1,280 attendees from across the country—as well as some international attendees— experienced an amazing three days of CDFI networking, learning, and discussion at OFN Conference 2016. We gathered to share information, insights, and ideas in general sessions and during 61 breakout sessions delivered by our peers. Three tours, arranged by our Atlanta co-hosts, showed the impact of CDFIs and CDFI partnerships at work in Atlanta.

During our conversations, we learned to rethink the challenges we face as an industry, and left with renewed energy and purpose to deliver opportunity and economic inclusion in our communities. Thanks to all who participated in making it a huge success.

Among the highlights:

  • Welcome remarks from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
  • Detailed, provocative discussion about impact investing during the Opening Plenary, Impact Investing and Beyond: Creating a More Equitable Future. The panel was comprised of Lisa Hall of Anthos Asset Management, Catherine Berman of CNote Group, Melissa Bradley of Kogod School of Business at American University, Cynthia Muller of W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
  • A speech, followed with a Q&A period, by President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis Lockhart, and a presentation by 100 Resilient Cities President Michael Berkowitz
  • The 10th Anniversary Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance, an evening celebrating the 2016 NEXT Awardees and 10 years of NEXT innovation and impact—Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union and Rio Grande Valley Multibank—and honored Lower Valley Credit Union, Texas Community Capital, and The Housing Fund with NEXT Seed Capital Awards.
  • Awarding the prestigious Ned Gramlich Award for Responsible Finance to Elsie Meeks, former USDA Rural Development State Director
  • CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan’s remarks on the industry
  • Honoring two Native CDFI Awardees: Táala Fund received the Circle of Honor Award and long-time Native CDFI practitioner, Sheila Herrera, received the Visionary Leader Award for Outstanding Achievement.
  • Learning from Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer of Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), this year’s Justice Award Grantee, about PSE’s coalition-based business model
  • Hearing from OFN Connect keynote speaker Barry Libert of OpenMatters about The Digital Imperative: How Networks and Platforms Change the CDFI Agenda
  • And much, much more

Get all the highlights—watch the videos and view photos and session materials—on our 2016 Conference Recap.


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