It is with great sadness that we share the news that John Berdes, Founder and CEO of Craft3, passed away peacefully yesterday after a battle with lung cancer.
John was a tremendous voice in the CDFI industry and fought for equity, inclusion, and justice. He was a champion of opportunity finance and an exuberant, tenacious, and committed leader for his staff, peer organizations, and the communities Craft3 served.
He showed up for people. We recall John responding to a meeting with leaders of CDFIs of color who spoke about their lack of access to the same funding relationships as some of their peers by traveling to spend time with them and make funder introductions. In another instance, John was invited to provide words of counsel to a young CDFI. He thought nothing of getting on a plane, at a moment’s notice, to share his vision of disruptive innovation with this new organization. Not long ago he participated in OFN’s CDFIs Making History project, providing his own oral history as the founder of a thriving, innovative CDFI. He was that kind of person.
We will miss him greatly.
Craft 3 also invites you to share memories of John on the Craft3 Facebook page.