Beth Lipson talking to 2022 OFN conference audience

Past, Present, Future: A Message From Beth Lipson 

Beth Lipson, Senior Advisor, Opportunity Finance Network

Lipson reflects on a career of service at OFN and talks about what’s next

Read time: 4 minutes

After more than 25 years of exemplary service to the community development finance industry, our colleague Beth Lipson has decided to transition from her role as OFN’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and is now serving as OFN Senior Advisor through the end of 2024. I am pleased to announce that Bhumip Patel is serving as Interim CFO and SVP, Accounting and Finance. 

Beth’s legacy and impact on OFN, our network, and by extension communities across the country, is remarkable and leaves an indelible mark on our future. Her tenure at OFN saw the growth and strengthening of CDFIs nationwide. Beth helped lead OFN and the industry through the Great Recession and the pandemic era, and she did a wonderful job serving as Interim CEO after my predecessor Lisa Mensah’s departure.   

Beth – thank you for your service to our organization, our network, and our mission. Your teammates at OFN and partners across the industry share a deep admiration and respect for you and the expertise, insightfulness, and passion you bring to our work. You have been a fantastic partner, for me and for so many who share our mission.  

It’s important to center Beth’s voice, given what she has meant to this work. Below, she shares some personal reflections about this milestone transition. Over the coming months, I hope you will join me in offering Beth thanks and congratulations. 

– Harold Pettigrew

A Message From Beth Lipson 

May 12 marked my 27-year anniversary at OFN. Today, I want to share with you that I will be leaving the organization at the end of the year. It has been an honor to call OFN my professional home for more than a quarter century, and I can’t imagine a better place to have spent so much of my career. OFN’s extraordinary staff, members, partners, and communities give me purpose and keep me grounded in the fight for justice.  

Some of my favorite memories at OFN are of bringing together CDFIs and partners across banks, corporations, and other philanthropies for innovative programs that expand economic opportunity: the NEXT Awards, Create Jobs for USA, Grow with Google Small Business Fund, and, most recently, the Finance Justice Fund, a signature social investment to bring corporate and philanthropic capital to finance justice. 

These partnerships provided the right types of resources to support OFN’s member CDFIs to grow, innovate, and deliver impact in their communities. And now, we have the extraordinary opportunity to partner with the EPA and private sector investors on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. I look forward to seeing how these programs will have a transformative impact on our industry.  

Recently I transitioned to a Senior Advisor role at OFN, one that I will hold through the rest of the year. In this capacity, I continue to support our development and climate efforts.

Although I’m transitioning from a day-to-day role at OFN, I will never be far from the organization and industry. This transition allows me to support OFN during this exciting time of growth and opportunity while also beginning to explore other professional opportunities in and around the industry, including in my hometown of Philadelphia.  

Under Harold’s leadership, I am excited to see the OFN team expand in new and exciting ways and for OFN’s impact to multiply. I will always be cheering for the amazing work of this organization and its wonderful team. OFN’s finances are in great hands under Bhumip’s leadership.  

I look forward to continuing the journey with you to drive meaningful change in communities across our country.

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