Private sector support is critical to CDFIs’ long-term sustainability. Be it banks, philanthropy, corporations, or other impact investors, these entities provide needed debt and equity. Since the COVID-19 crisis hit in the spring, these entities have responded with relief through modified grant and loan terms, new debt for emergency and PPP loans, and new grants. Now that we are moving from relief to recovery and rebuilding, how is the private sector thinking about the next year or two? How are they adapting to the reality that CDFIs will be lending in a time of prolonged economic uncertainty, when no one knows if their small business clients will make it or not? CDFIs—and their small business clients—are counting on the private sector to be with them through this journey and into the long-term.
Amir manages OFN’s Financial Services team and is responsible for development of new funds and resources to support OFN’s on and off balance sheet financing activity. Amir comes to OFN from Amalgamated Bank, where he was First Vice President for Commercial Banking, covering community development finance and growth markets. In this role, he was a lead originator for mission focused lending to nonprofits, CDFIs, impact investment funds, and foundations, completing more than $100mm in approved transactions and originations. Also serving as Senior Advisor to the Amalgamated Foundation, he advised nonprofits, CDFIs, and investment funds on impact finance strategies. Prior to Amalgamated Bank, Kirkwood served as a Partner at Next Street, playing various roles to support business development and client management. Earlier, he was a Director in Citigroup’s Municipal Securities Division, working as a relationship banker for Citi Community Capital. He managed origination with municipal agencies, CDFIs, intermediary lenders, community development corporations, and nonprofits. While at Citi, and in partnership with OFN and Calvert Impact Capital, Kirkwood helped create the Communities at Work Fund, LP, a national $200 million commitment to finance the general operating needs of CDFIs.
Jeanique Druses is Vice President and Program Officer in Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a global leader in corporate philanthropy with more than $250 million invested in communities annually. She joined the firm in September 2016.
Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase & Co., Jeanique was the Assistant Director of Resident Business Development in the Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability at the New York City Housing Authority. There she designed and launched the Business Development Unit, providing access to business building services to over six-hundred thousand persons, launching over 200 businesses. In addition to overseeing the unit, Jeanique collaborated with other city agencies and non-profit organizations to develop business programming, tailored to the specific needs of low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs.
Jeanique has also held management positions in Operations, Strategic Marketing, Finance, and Business Development at Verizon, Mercedes Benz, and American Express and taught Entrepreneurship and Marketing in the City University of New York system.
A Wharton Business School Graduate, with a dual degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management, she also holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Jeanique lives on Long Island, NY with her husband. She is co-chair of the Long Island Racial Equity Donor Fund and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is also a Coro Leadership New York alum. Her prior board service includes the Leadership Council for Kiva US, the StartUp Newark Advisory Board, the Leadership Board of the Council of Urban Professionals and Community2Community, Inc.
Leslie has dedicated over a decade of her career working to change the systems that have been most extractive on social and natural ecosystems. Over the last 5 years she has focused on identifying and advancing solutions to address the wealth disparities in economically marginalized communities. In her last role as VP of Strategic Partnerships at Common Future (formerly BALLE), she brought together diverse stakeholders around decolonizing access to capital, racial equity and impact investing, equitable financing tools, democratic governance and financial structures, integrated entrepreneurial ecosystems, and shared ownership of land, housing, and businesses.
Leslie has training in sustainable building, strategic planning, and facilitative leadership for social change. She has proudly served on executive committees for multiple boards, including The Green Chamber of Greater Phoenix, USGBC Arizona Chapter, and Oakland Grown, and currently serves as board co-chair for the New Economy Coalition.
Stephen Nunes is a Director in Next Street’s New York office, where he runs the organization’s Capital practice, a capital markets business that assists with the structuring of innovative primary and secondary capital markets transactions to support capital raising efforts focused on increasing the flow of capital to small business owners in under-served communities. Stephen structures and executes on a diverse range of transactions, primarily for community development financial institutions, including direct balance sheet capital raises, structured transactions (e.g. loan sales programs, securitizations), and off-balance sheet funds.
Prior to joining Next Street, Stephen worked as a Director for UBS AG in the Investment Banking division where he provided companies with M&A advisory services and debt and equity financing. While at UBS, Stephen also collaborated with the firm’s Wealth Management division as part of its initiative to improve the availability of impact investments to UBS’ network of retail clients.
Megan Teare has been working in the community development field for over 20 years. She is currently a senior vice president with the Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment group where she manages the program that provides enterprise-level capital to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and nonprofit housing developers. Megan also serves as a board member of Neighborworks Capital Corporation. Before joining Wells Fargo, she served as senior loan officer at the McAuley Institute and as a consultant to non-profit housing developers. She has an undergraduate degree in architectural history from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Virginia.