Some state and local governments have been collaborating with CDFIs for years. These collaborations tend to spike after natural disasters, when governments turn to CDFIs to help deliver relief and recovery programs. The national COVID-19 crisis has spawned new municipal- and state-CDFI partnerships across the country, raising the visibility of CDFIs as financial first responders for the most vulnerable businesses. This session looks at 3 partnerships—how they came to be, what they include, and their prospects for living on through the economic recovery and beyond.
As Wacif’s CEO, Harold leads one of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area’s leading CDFI’s focused on providing access to capital products and services, and capacity building technical assistance to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs, women, and entrepreneurs of color. Since 1987, Wacif has invested over $40 million in strategic capital to drive equity and economic opportunity in underserved neighborhoods throughout the region. Prior to joining Wacif, Harold was the Director of Entrepreneurship at Prosperity Now, where he led its national efforts to advance policies and programs that increased business success for low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs throughout the United States. In addition, Harold has served as an advisor to the World Bank on private sector, small business development, and business licensing strategies in Somaliland and greater Somalia, and served as an advisor to National League of Cities advising cities across the country on equitable development strategies. Prior to Prosperity Now, Harold was appointed to serve as Director of the Washington, D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development, where he served as the city’s chief advocate for small businesses, advising the Mayor on all programs, policies, and issues impacting the local business community, and led the city’s agency responsible for supporting the development, economic growth, and retention of District-based businesses, and promoting economic development throughout the District’s commercial corridors. In addition, he served as the city’s leading regulatory business licensing official as Administrator for Business and Professional Licensing. Harold is a 2016 Common Future Local Economy Fellow, 2015 Next City Vanguard, and has been honored with numerous industry awards and public service appointments throughout his career. Harold has a Master of Urban Planning degree from New York University, and an undergraduate degree from NC State University, where he served as a member of the Board of Trustees
As President of AltCap, Ruben is responsible for the overall administration, management and ongoing growth & development as well as strategic direction of the organization.
Under his leadership, AltCap has grown from a community development entity (CDE) specializing in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) facilitated financing to a high performing, impact driven community development financial institution (CDFI) and SBA Microloan Intermediary providing alternative capital to communities and small businesses throughout the Kansas City metro.
Since 2008 Ruben has led AltCap’s participation in the NMTC Program, helping the organization secure $213MM in allocation from the CDFI Fund to date which has resulted in over $250MM in impact investments in Kansas City since 2010 – ranging from a LEED Platinum manufacturing facility to a repurposed church now home to a social services non-profit. After getting AltCap certified as a CDFI in 2015 and SBA microlender in 2017, Ruben has led the development of its small business and micro loan products, which have provided nearly $20MM in financing to entrepreneurs and small businesses under served and overlooked by traditional financial institutions. Ruben continues to lead AltCap’s growth, having reached nearly $20MM in assets ($150MM off-balance sheet) in 2019 and has expanded its geographic footprint to the entire Kansas City metro – enabling it to serve more communities and small businesses shut out of the financial mainstream. Ruben recently launched and sits on the Board of Directors of equity2, AltCap’s impact investment affiliate that is initially focused on offering equity financing to job creating businesses and catalytic real estate development projects in Opportunity Zones in Missouri and Kansas.
In addition to his role at AltCap, Ruben is a member of the Community Advisory Committee for IFF, the largest nonprofit CDFI in the Midwest, serves on the board of directors of the Community Capital Fund, Saint Luke’s Hospital and Midtown KC Now and is a volunteer reader for Lead to Read KC. Ruben has been an adjunct professor at UMKC’s Department of Architecture, Planning and + Design where he teaches a course in urban redevelopment.
Ruben was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Slovakia where he supported a microlending and business development NGO, taught English at a local secondary school and helped found a local boxing club for Romani youth. He holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration and a MPP from the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy.
David Langlieb is Senior Underwriter for New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), with a focus on lending to small businesses and nonprofits. Prior to joining NJCC, Mr. Langlieb worked in small business lending and grants administration for nine years at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Growth and Structure of Cities from Haverford College and a master’s in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. Mr. Langlieb serves on the board of Friends of Cristo Rey High School in Philadelphia.
Wilson Lester is a community finance professional. His role as Executive Director of Piedmont Business Capital (a CDFI), works diligently to create relationships with businesses in urban and rural communities through microlending in support of the operational expansion and new business development for women and minority entrepreneurs. With a strong track record of new program development, he has cultivated an attraction of capital and partners that has secured millions in impact capital for the Piedmont Triad since 2016. With a unique ability to effectively communicate and demonstrate value to public and private partners, Wilson continues to increase the scalability of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for his community. Having built multiple successful companies, Wilson has relevant experience developing small businesses. Wilson is a transformative leader having made inter-organizational teams and systems to deploy capital and technical assistance programs. These efforts have grown the Guilford County tax base in underinvested census tracts by sustaining and creating jobs in our community employed by small businesses. As an emerging community leader, Wilson serves on the board of directors for the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, Reinvestment Partners (Durham, NC), Cone Health Foundation Board, and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. Also, he is an active member of Greensboro Rotary, and the Tau Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. In 2018, he was recognized as a 40 under 40 in the Triad Business Journal and nominated by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce as a Small Business Advocate of the Year in 2018, 2019 and 2020. He is also a member of the Leadership Greensboro 2018 Class. In 2020 he was recognized by the State of Black North Carolina and Black Business Ink Magazine as a 40 under 40 most influential African Americans in the Triad. In addition to his commitment to the community, he continues to increase his depth of knowledge in leadership as a member of the Center for Creative Leadership’s 2019 Executive Leadership Academy cohort. Wilson earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Greensboro College and completed his graduate degree in Management, Strategy, and Leadership at Michigan State University.