CDFI Coalition Celebrates 25 Years of the CDFI Fund at the 2019 Institute

The CDFI Coalition, representing the nation’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), held its 25th Annual Institute on March 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C. This year’s event drew one of audiences, with some 170 people in attendance. Members of Congress, federal agency officials, and key staff spoke and participated in panels on policy and resource information related to the work of CDFIs over the course of the two day event.

CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris addresses 2019 CDFI Coalition Institute attendees at the opening luncheon plenary.

A significant highlight of the 2019 CDFI Coalition Institute was the release of a new report, showcasing 67 CDFIs’ work in revitalizing rural and urban areas across the country and their success in creating economic opportunity, jobs, and services. This is the second report of its kind from the CDFI Coalition–the first was released in 2014, which marked the 20th anniversary of the first CDFI Coalition Institute and the enactment of legislation establishing the CDFI Fund.

The Institute included 12 panels, as well as keynotes by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee; Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG); and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE),  Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on FSGG. CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris also provided a keynote the Institute, in her first industry keynote since becoming the Director in January 2019, as well as keynote remarks from Kevin Goldsmith of JP Morgan Chase.

At the Capitol Hill Reception, CDFI Coalition Board Chairman Dominik Mjartan of Optus Bank, provided former CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan with an award, recognizing her achievements and thanking her for her dedication to community development.

Annie Donovan, former CDFI Fund Director, with CDFI Coalition Board Chair Dominik Mjartan.

The panel discussions were robust and timely conversations on a number of topics of importance to the CDFI community, including a session with key Treasury Department staff. A panel titled, Other Federal Resources, included presentations from Rafael Elizalde, Program Manager with the Office of Community Services at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Joe Fitzmaurice, senior advisor to the director of the Strategic Initiatives and Planning Division in the Bureau of Primary Health Care’s Office of Program and Policy Development, part of the Health Resources and Services Administration at HHS; Bill Manger, Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access at U.S. Small Business Administration; Ethan Handelman, Senior Policy Analyst at Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Mark Brodziski, the Deputy Administrator of Business Programs for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Other session topics included initiatives for place-based, equitable development; Opportunity Zones; the legislative landscape and CRA modernization; fintech opportunities and challenges; financing microbusiness; affordable housing; addressing unconscious bias; CDFIs’ post-hurricane investing in Puerto Rico; impact investing and data evaluation; and updates from leading banks focused on investing in CDFIs.

In addition, the Coalition also held an election for three board member seats. Victoria Stein of Community Reinvestment Fund USA was reelected to the CDFI Loan Fund seat, and Anne Dyjak of Primary Care Development Corporation and Hank Helton of Pathway Lending were elected to at-large board seats. The Coalition also thanked departing board members Keith Bisson of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. and David Beck for their two terms as Board members.

The agenda, with further details on panelists and speakers, is on the Events page of the website, along with links to presentations. You can also view photos from the event on the CDFI Coalition’s Facebook page.

We hope you will join us next year for the 26th CDFI Institute!