Highlights from OFN Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting in Baltimore

Caroline Valvardi

On December 5, CDFIs from around the Mid-Atlantic region gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Baltimore Branch for a day of peer-learning. During the convening, industry practitioners representing CDFIs based in communities from New York to Maryland discussed their unique challenges and opportunities and heard from a range of speakers, including CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. 

OFN Executive Vice President of Membership Seth Julyan kicked off the meeting with key updates and reminders, including the December 13 application deadline for OFN’s new Energy Efficiency Financing Grant Program. He also shared upcoming events and trainings, including the March 2020 Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry course and OFN’s annual Small Business Finance Forum to be held in Chicago in June 2020 (date TBD). 

In addition, OFN Senior Associate of Public Policy Mary Scott Hardwick discussed updates on priority policy issues, including the state of FY 2020 funding for the CDFI Fund, extension of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, and pending CRA modernization (Update: OCC released a notice of proposed rulemaking on 12/12/19, which includes a 60 day comment period).

Following updates from the OFN team, leaders of CDFIs in attendance shared their organizations’ current challenges and opportunities, later breaking into smaller groups to discuss pressing topics, including creative ways to source and grow capital, racial equity and diverse participation in program design, and collaborating for impact with strategic partners.  

After lunch, Harris spoke with attendees about CDFI Fund award updates and timelines and the impact the federal government shutdown had this year. OFN President and CEO Lisa Mensah also addressed attendees, reminding and encouraging them to visit OFN’s brand-new headquarters at 901 D Street SW in Washington, D.C., and to make use of its private and shared office space. 

OFN thanks the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Baltimore Branch for hosting the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, in addition to Wells Fargo for their financial support of our 2019 OFN Regional Meetings. Also, special thanks to Jodie Harris for attending nearly all six of this year’s Regional Meetings around the U.S.! 

Stay tuned for updates on our 2020 Regional Meetings!