The OFN 2017 Board Elections campaign is on! There are ten candidates for four seats on the OFN Board. Get to know each one by visiting the campaign site here.
OFN Members vote on the OFN Board at the OFN Membership Meeting on Thursday, September 28, from 8:45 AM–10:15 AM. Can’t make it to the Conference? Contact Seth Julyan to vote by proxy!
CDFI Connect spoke with Tate Hill, Senior Manager, Administration, Access Plus Capital, to learn more about the candidate. Check out Tate’s candidate video and statement here.
Tell us about yourself and what motivates you:
I was raised in Fresno, a child of teachers. My mother was a small business owner, daycare provider and my father was a small general contractor. While in college doing a fellowship with a regional planning and resource organization (Great Valley Center), I gained a greater appreciation and love for the opportunities around community development. Most of my career has been in some form of community or economic development. I started in Self Help Enterprises’ housing rehabilitation program and then was recruited to work grassroots place-based organization that served as a catch-all for everything from financial literacy and business development to job development and land use. I then landed at the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, and had the opportunity to work on the California and the US Black Chambers on a number of policy issues, and to help shape their policy agenda as it relates to African-American and minority-owned small businesses.
A little more than a year ago, I came to what was then Fresno CDFI, now Access Plus Capital. This was the next level of community economic development for me, marrying many of the activities I had been in engaged in prior: the marriage of access to capital and access to technical resources and business coaching. We recognized that our work is not just about providing capital. How to be more effective in the operations, finance and marketing side of the business. It’s not just a question of how do we help to change the dynamics of the business but of the community. My desire to see the impact of our work is what motivates me.
What do you think is the most important role for OFN in the CDFI industry:
Advocacy around access to funding. In the same way our businesses need that access point, CDFIs need that access point. The lion's share of CDFIs are medium and small CDFIs that specifically support their local communities. OFN plays a critical role in helping CDFIs engage around policies that impact the industry. Particularly with proposed cuts and threats to this kind of work, and with may CDFIs not having the staffing capacity to be in DC. OFN galvanizes the voice and creates partnership around these issues.
The other part is to help lift up the best practices from an operational and business model side. Our organization has been part of the Wells Fargo DCC and the working groups - those kinds of engagements are so critically rich for CDFIs. In some communities there is not a regional network to pull from, so to be able to connect with the best practices around staffing, technology, and underwriting strategies bring tremendous value.
What would you bring to the board over the next three years:
Diversity in thought. Coming from an emerging CDFI, we've only been around 10 years, there are things we have done well, particularly around diversity. So the thought process around best practices, and lifting this up within the industry.
Also, I am newer in the CDFI world, but not new to the type of work CDFIs engage in. But because of my relative "newness" I bring in a fresh perspective to the board.
I also have the desire to see the industry, the field, and OFN, live up to the expectations that our borrowers and stakeholders have of us. We must ensure that we continue to be a strong asset to the community. OFN must be that voice to help speak for the CDFI and the borrower even when others may not always want to hear it.
To ensure an efficient voting process, please identify your CDFI’s Voting Delegate in advance of the September 28 Membership Meeting and contact Emily Tunney with the delegate’s name. Voting Delegates will be able to pick up their ballots 30 minutes before the start of the Membership Meeting.