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2018 Conference Highlights

Opportunity Knocks for a Stronger New York


May 8-9

Albany Marriott Hotel

Keynote Speaker

Cliff Rosenthal

“Fighting for Equity in an Inequitable Society”


Conference Summary

Cliff Rosenthal is a nationally and internationally recognized leader and innovator in bringing financial services to low-income communities and consumers. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy of The New School in New York City.

During a career spanning more than 30 years as CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, he authored the first concept paper for the establishment of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund of the U.S. Treasury Department.

He co-founded and for two decades was a leader of the national CDFI Coalition. Under his direction, the federation invested more than $100 million in local credit unions, with funds raised from the CDFI Fund, social and religious investors, major banks, and foundations. In the process, he transformed the federation into a well-capitalized, sustainable nonprofit organization that supports low-income financial cooperatives throughout the country.

Rosenthal served on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve System, the board of the U.S. Social Investment Forum, the Fair Mortgage Collaborative, and New Markets Tax Credit advisory boards for Center for Community Self-Help, J.P. Morgan Chase, the Opportunity Fund, and others.

After leaving the National Federation, he launched the Office of Financial Empowerment of the newly created federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), developing initiatives to improve access to financial services for low-income and economically vulnerable consumers. Now a consultant, he also serves as a senior advisor to the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC).

Tuesday 11:30 am
Plenary Session

Opportunity Zones – the Next Big Thing, with Christina Travers, Pravina Raghavan

Tuesday 3:15 pm
Collaboration Speed Dating
  • Small Business Lending – Towards a Common Small Business Application – can’t we all just get along? Thought Leader: Jessie Lee

  • Participation Loans – Banks, Credit Unions and CDFIs –leveraging partnerships to make more loans. Thought Leader: Cathi Kim & Hubert Vantol

  • Opportunity Zones – is there room for smaller CDFIs to participate – what if we collaborate? Thought Leader: Marnie Lavigne

  • Marketing – Combining Efforts to Increase Impact. Thought Leader: Julie Fahnestock

Wednesday 9:00 am
  • Housing: What’s New at HCR with Darren Scott, NYS Housing & Community Renewal and moderator Michael Skrebutenas.

  • Housing: Foreclosed Properties – Still Out There in a Community Near You with Howard Banker, New Jersey Community Capital and moderator Greg Maher, Leviticus Fund.

  • Small Business: Doubling the Impact: Fine Tuning Products for Specific Clients With Aisha Benson, TruFund, Steven Cohen, Excelsior Growth Fund and moderated by Daniel Delahanty, Bridgehampton National Bank.

  • Small Business: Small Business: TA by the Numbers With Steven Gomez, Greater Newark Entrepreneurial Co, and Kim Jacobs, Community Capital and moderator Jeanique Druses.

  • Consumer: Optimizing Impact: Using technology to reach scale and optimize the user experience with Trusted Advisors Program from Neighborhood Trust, Kate Hao, Happy Mango Credit and Melanie Stern, Spring Bank, and moderator Kelli Arnold, Key Bank.

  • Consumer: Product in a Box: a Gift for Lenders with Dara Duguay, Credit Builders Alliance, and moderator Yanki Tshering, Business Center for New Americans. 

Conference Event Highlights

Download the Conference Program

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