West Sacramento, Calif. – Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and the Citi Foundation selected Juanita Hallstrom, loan admin manager of Rural Community Assistance Corporation’s (RCAC) Lending & Housing Department, as one of 48 community development financial institution (CDFI) professionals who will participate in the second annual Citi Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance.
Developed by CDFIs for CDFIs, the unique industry-wide initiative launched in 2014 and prepares participants to lead transformational change, ensures strong leadership at all levels of the industry, and promotes leaders that represent the diverse communities that CDFIs serve.
Hallstrom manages a five-member loan administration team, portfolio administration, cash flow needs, investor compliance and reporting for a loan portfolio of more than $60 million. She oversees all loan closings and provides title and escrow technical support. Hallstrom has more than 25 years of experience in real estate finance, and she has been with RCAC since 2000.
“I am honored and excited to have been selected by OFN and Citi Foundation to participate in this leadership program,” said Hallstrom when she learned about her acceptance into the program.
RCAC has been a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) since 1996. Eligible applicants to the loan fund are nonprofit organizations, public bodies and tribal governments for affordable housing, community facilities and environmental infrastructure projects. For profit entities, sole proprietorships, nonprofit organizations, and tribes or tribal designated entities, may qualify for business loans.
“We are very happy that Juanita was accepted into this wonderful program. Juanita is a valuable team member and this is a great opportunity to invest in her development. We thank Citibank Foundation and OFN for making this possible,” said Michael Carroll, RCAC’s director, Lending & Housing.
Juanita Hallstrom is among a group of emerging, mid-career, and executive level professionals from CDFIs in 20 states and the District of Columbia. These participants represent many CDFI types and focus areas, including affordable housing finance, business and microenterprise, community facilities, and consumer finance. (See the full list of participants here: http://ofn.org/leadership)
“The first year of the Citi Leadership Program was a resounding success, and we look forward to working with this next group of professionals,” said Mark Pinsky, President and CEO of OFN. “OFN welcomes these leaders to the program. Across the board, each selected participant demonstrates commitment to leading structural and systemic change in the opportunity finance industry. We are thankful for the Citi Foundation’s longstanding support of CDFIs and its dedication to developing talent, which will enable the industry to continue to raise the bar in how we serve low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities.”
Beginning in January, the 2015 cohort will meet four times over eleven months and follow a curriculum that OFN developed with the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
“When we have a strong roster of talented and dedicated professionals leading the CDFI industry, we have the potential to create a much deeper impact in the low-income communities that CDFIs serve,” said Brandee McHale, Chief Operating Officer of the Citi Foundation. “This program enables individuals at all levels of their careers to create a road map for personal and professional success while thinking strategically about how to influence the opportunity finance industry for generations to come.”
Founded in 1978, RCAC provides a wide range of community development services for rural and Native American communities and community-based organizations. Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, RCAC’s employees serve rural communities in 13 western states and other Pacific Islands. RCAC has strong core services and expertise in housing, environmental infrastructure (water, wastewater and solid waste), leadership training, economic development and financing.
RCAC created its Loan Fund in 1988 and was later certified as a CDFI. As of Sept. 30, 2014, RCAC closed 739 loans which totaled $410,042,553 and leveraged more than $1.5 billion for projects in rural communities. These loans supported 64,648 individual water and wastewater connections for rural citizens, 12,615 housing units; 6,648,352 feet of community facility space; and created or retained 14,762 jobs. RCAC currently has 160 loans under management, totaling more than $61.7 million. Additionally, RCAC manages 48 loans totaling more than $51.6 million on behalf of other lenders and investors.
In FY14, RCAC closed 36 loans which totaled $12,765,499 in nine states. These loans supported 1,989 individual water and wastewater connections for rural citizens, 300 housing units; 3,620,027 feet of community facility space; and created or retained 273 jobs.
About Opportunity Finance Network
OFN, the leading network of private financial institutions, creates growth that is good for communities, investors, individuals, and the economy. Members of OFN are community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that deliver responsible lending to help low-wealth and low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2012, OFN’s Network originated more than $33.3 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities, and financed development/rehab of 960,000 housing units, started or expanded nearly 94,000 business and microenterprises, and helped create or maintain nearly 600,000 jobs. More information is available at: ofn.org.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.citifoundation.com.