Recap of OFN West Regional Meeting in Oakland

OFN held our final 2022 Regional Meeting on July 12 in Oakland, CA — one of our largest turnouts to date! Held at The Overlook at the Port Workspaces, this convening was our last in-person regional meeting of the year, following our Midwest and Southeast Regional Meetings. OFN members networked with fellow CDFIs, learned updates about existing and proposed public policies as well as OFN research, and weighed in on CDFI growth strategies.  

With more than 100 participants representing CDFIs, government agencies, investors and funders, and other partner organizations, the meeting opened with introductory remarks from OFN’s Seth Julyan followed by Amber Gomez Mace from Wells Fargo, a longtime CDFI partner and the event sponsor.  

Next, we heard from OFN SVP, Public Policy Dafina Williams who gave a D.C. policy update, which included the 2022 Congressional Outlook, CDFI Priority Legislation, Small Business Administration (SBA) Community Advantage Program, and more. 

During a facilitated discussion, each CDFI also provided status updates on the challenges and opportunities they’re currently facing. Then attendees voted on topics to discuss in small group sessions. Following the open space discussions, we had lunch provided by CDFI-funded business Javi’s Cooking.  

Following lunch, OFN SVP, Research Adrienne Smith updated us on CDFI trends. She walked us through a high-level look at OFN annual member survey data and gave us insight into how OFN uses the data, what CDFIs are doing across the country, and why it’s important for OFN members to complete the survey each year.  

The meeting concluded with Sara Razavi, OFN board member and CEO of Working Solutions CDFI, leading a discussion on “Growth Strategies: Alliances, Mergers, and Acquisitions.” Attendees had the opportunity to hear different perspectives on collaboration and what that can mean in terms of growth, not only for CDFIs but also for the projects they fund and communities they serve.  

OFN thanks the many participants and supporters of our 2022 West Regional Meeting, especially Wells Fargo for generously sponsoring all three of our 2022 Regional Meetings.  

While this concludes our Regional Meetings for the year, we invite you to join us for the 2022 OFN Conference October 18-21 in New York City! 

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