Through perseverance and proof, CDFIs have made gains on the federal policy front. When CDFIs were given the opportunity to make PPP loans, smaller businesses were able to access the program and the average loan size fell. They’ve been approved to participate in the Federal Reserve’s PPP Liquidity Facility. And a $1 billion appropriation request for CDFI Fund funding is in full play. Join OFN policy experts for an update on federal policy and a discussion of key initiatives going forward.
Dafina Williams is Senior Vice President for Public Policy at the Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs). She joined Opportunity Finance Network in 2006 and leads the organization’s public policy efforts on federal appropriations and small business lending as well as manages the organization’s grassroots advocacy efforts. Dafina serves on the Executive Committee of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition, association of non-profit and for-profit organizations that promotes responsible small business lending practices and on the New Markets Tax Credit Advisory Board of Self-Help Ventures Fund. Ms. Williams is also the President of the Board of Directors for Barrio Planta Project, an international nonprofit providing access to free, quality education in Latin America. Dafina is a magna cum laude graduate of Temple University, where she received a BBA in Economics
Alison launched the Feighan Team in 2015 because she wanted to create a government relations and advocacy firm committed to amplifying the voice of community development organizations and social enterprises in Washington, DC.
Alison has worked in the field of community development and housing since 1984 and has 25 plus years’ experience as a lobbyist in Washington. In that time, she has helped numerous clients succeed as the political landscape in Washington changed. Through it all, she has seen first-hand that there is no substitute for engaging and empowering clients to be powerful advocates. She demystifies the political and legislative process and provides clients with the tools and strategic counsel they need to advance their causes, building bi-partisan support and seeking common ground.
Recognized as a creative and tenacious advocate, Alison has experience on a range of issues including small business finance and microenterprise development, rural economic development, community development finance and venture capital, and tax credit financing. She was instrumental in crafting and enacting several critical pieces of legislation including the New Markets Tax Credit, the New Markets Venture Capital Program, the SBA Microloan Program, the SBA’s Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME), and the Community Advantage (CA) loan guarantee. In addition, she has extensive experience helping clients secure and increase funding for their work in traditionally underserved urban and rural communities. Alison works with a wide range of federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration.
Built on a solid foundation of service, organizing and advocacy, Alison launched a unique lobbying firm that combines the power of what they know and who they know to advance the interests of their ‘game changer’ clients.
Before coming to Washington, Alison lived in Boston where she worked on community reinvestment and Fair Housing issues and helped launch an affordable housing program for a community action agency in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Alison is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio and holds a Masters Degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan
William Manger is the Chief of Staff and the Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access at the U.S Small Business Administration. The Office of Capital Access helps make funding available through banks and other lending partners to small business that cannot otherwise obtain loans. After being appointed by Administrator McMahon in March 2017, Manger has taken responsibility over the SBA’s loan program policy, technology, operations and oversight. This includes SBA’s flagship 7(a) and 504 loan programs, the microloan program and the surety bond program. As Associate Administrator, Manger manages a $120 billion portfolio of direct and guaranteed loans, nine operation centers, and 560 employees of SBA’s Office of Capital Access.
Prior to his current SBA appointment, Manger served as Managing Director at Brock Capital Group, a boutique Investment bank in New York City, where he advised and supported small-to-medium sized enterprises in their efforts to raise capital and expand their businesses. From 2007 to 2009, Manger served as Associate Administrator for Field Operations at SBA. He first came to SBA in 2005 to serve as Regional Administrator for Region 2, based in New York City. Manger holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.