Name: Doug Coward, Executive Director, SELF
CDFI: Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
City, State of Site Visit/ Meeting: Fort Pierce, FL
Borrower Visited or Description of Event: Introductory meeting with Congressman Brian Mast
Which member(s) of Congress, their staff, and other individuals attended? Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) and Derek Hankerson, Constituent Service Representative.
What does it take to have a successful site visit/meeting/roundtable discussion? Highlight the triple bottom line impacts of CDFIs and make a personal connection with the elected official and staff.
What was the highlight of the site visit/meeting/roundtable discussion? Having the Congressman and his staff truly understand and appreciate the need for the CDFI program and the specific benefits of SELF.
What is one piece of advice you have for a CDFI that wants to develop a relationship with a congressional office with whom they have never met with before? Don’t be afraid to reach out to your congressional representatives, regardless of party affiliation. Help them connect the dots between the many benefits of CDFIs and their priorities (e.g., jobs, clean energy, resilience, and helping underserved and underbanked communities).