CCLF'S E-NEWSLETTER OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, ISSUES & FEATURES
As you have been reading in our newsletter, website and other CCLF communications, Chicago Community Loan Fund continues to grow its loan portfolio - already reaching $11.1 million in financing with an additional $11.4 in commitments in the first half of the year. This compares to the $18.8 million in total closed last year. To keep up with this record pace and ensure internal capacity continues to meet our borrowers' demand, we have affected major changes which include new hires and promotions. I am delighted to share with you that I have promoted Rob Rose to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Programs of the Chicago Community Loan Fund effective May 1. Rob served as our Vice President of Lending over the past two years and led the organization to our new and higher standards of lending and technical assistance provision.
Rob will continue to serve as the executive lender for the corporation with a team of middle managers to support him. New positions created include Director of Lending Operations, Director of Portfolio Management, Director of Operations and Director of Economic Development. I am also bifurcating our finance and administration functions which become separate departments overseen by Rob as their executive. Jane Ames, who has greatly improved our accounting systems over the past five years, will focus on accounting and finance with a new greatly expanded team which includes a Controller and Finance and Accounting Associate. As CCLF grows, we are moving to expand these departments so they can focus on their ever-broadening, but distinct, responsibilities.
My board and I are confident that our new structure will allow us to improve cross-department integration and communications, develop our terrific team of emerging leaders, improve operational efficiencies and provide better service to our customers, investors, funders and other partners. We will be able to do more for the people and places that deserve a higher quality of life.
Calvin L. Holmes, President
And The Winner Is?
The suspense level was high and all the nominees were present at the Annual Symposium held by the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management of North Park University. Chicago Community Loan Fund was in the running for the coveted 2014 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and had shared detailed information on our strong qualifications including financial management, use of volunteers, fundraising, governance, operating policies, human resource management, strategic planning, external relations, programs and impact. CCLF had applied for this award in the past and had received honorable mention as we continued to improve our internal capacity over the years to better serve our customers.
This year's Large Category award winner was Chicago Community Loan Fund! This announcement was made by a video that played to an audience of 400 nonprofit sector leaders. Calvin Holmes, CCLF President, was present to accept the award. He acknowledged the other finalist in the Large Category, La Casa Norte, and the winners in the Small and Emerging Category - Literature for All of Us and Waukegan to College. "This award will make CCLF work harder to improve our management practices so that we can continue to proudly display this trophy in our offices as a reminder to be the best we can be for all of our stakeholders," stated Calvin.
The awards committee selected CCLF because it "demonstrated effective management through its in-depth strategic planning process, cultivation and relationship building with volunteers, effective resource management, and transparency with stakeholders. The award review committee believes the effectiveness of these practices will fuel the expansion of CCLF's economic impact, and directly enable the individuals, families, and communities it serves to thrive."
Photo by John Martin-Eatinger Pictured: CCLF Board Member, Ailisa Herrera; CCLF COO, Rob Rose; Axleson Center Director, Dr. Pier Rogers; CCLF President, Calvin Holmes; widow of award namesake Jimmie Alford, Marie Bullock; and CCLF VP of External Relations, Juan Calixto
CCLF Holds Second Annual Stakeholders Meeting
Chicago Community Loan Fund held its annual stakeholders meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on June 12, 2014. Funders, investors, partners and public agency representatives were present to hear the programmatic goals that CCLF achieved in 2013 and year-to-date. Board member Ed Jacob opened the meeting by setting the stage and then introducing Jason Keller, Economic Development and Illinois State Director for the Community Development and Policy Studies Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Jason welcomed CCLF's stakeholders to the Federal Reserve and reflected on trending new regulations and CommunityReinvestment Act requirements for the financial industry.
Board Chair John Tuohy acknowledged special guests and Jason for providing a wonderful venue and support team for the meeting and introduced the CCLF board and management team to the audience. He thanked PNC Bank for once again sponsoring the stakeholders meeting and announced that they have just become CCLF's largest investor at $8 million. Thurman Smith, SVP Community Development Bank - Market Manager for PNC replied, "PNC Bank strategically partners with organizations that can efficiently and prudently address the unique demands of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. CDFI partners like CCLF have demonstrated a proven ability to navigate under-served neighborhoods and to address the unique capital requirements that too often impede revitalization, growth and equality."
CCLF celebrates PNC Bank as its largest investor. Pictured are Calvin L. Holmes, CCLF President; Thurman "Tony" Smith, PNC Bank's SVP Community Development Bank - Market Manager; Jane Ames, CCLF's VP of Finance; Rob Rose, CCLF's COO and EVP of Programs and Paul Labonne, PNC Bank's VP and Community Reinvestment Act Officer
CCLF President Calvin Holmes joined with great news: CCLF won the 2014 Alford-Axelson Award for Managerial Excellence, CCLF's CARS rating was improved from A 3 to AA 2 and CCLF reached its asset goal of $50 million two years ahead of schedule. He also highlighted the new organizational structure that positions CCLF to proactively meet the growing demand for financing. The news continued to get better from the other presenters, which included Rob Rose, newly appointed COO and Executive Vice President of Programs and Jane Ames, Vice President of Finance.
CCLF's stakeholders at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 6/12/14
Partners in Progress Initiative: Bringing Firsthand Knowledge of Successful Corridors to the Table
Chicago Community Loan Fund and West Humboldt Park Development Council representatives meet with Betina Dowdell of Citi Community Capital (center) and Marcus Samuelsson (second from left), Chef/Owner of Red Rooster in Harlem, NY on March 1, 2014.
Community Blueprint showcases our borrowers and their projects that are helping to revitalize low- to moderate-income neighborhoods in the Chicago area. What may be less apparent is where CCLF gets the capital to be able to make these loans, and the answer is: investors. Some of our investments are from banks and corporations, but almost half of our investors are individuals and families. Irene D. Ginger is one such investor placing worth on the social impact that CCLF can help deliver.
Irene D. Ginger
Ginger, who lives in Park Ridge, first learned about CCLF through her son, Paul, who now works for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In the past, he was a member of the CCLF Board of Directors and mentored CCLF president Calvin Holmes when he was a lender.
"I decided I was interested in socially-conscious investing and so I decided, well, a couple thousand dollars is not going to break me, so I went ahead and gradually, I increased my investment in CCLF," Ginger said.
For their recent grants, CCLF thanks Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, Citi Foundation, MB Charitable Foundation, The PrivateBankand the Searle Fund at The Chicago Community Trust.
For their recent investments and renewals, CCLF thanks Kathy Tholin, Trinity Health, The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and Marisa Whitesell.
Staff & Board News
Deborah Sabol joins CCLF as our new Director of Operations. Deborah was originally hired as the Office Manager and was immediately promoted. She has over 10 years of experience as an operations manager for several corporations. Deborah holds a bachelor's degree in Business Management and Development from DePaul University. CCLF welcomes Senior Loan/Program Officer Kevin Truitt who further expands our lending team. Prior to working at CCLF, Kevin spent the bulk of his career in finance as a corporate and commercial banker working for major financial institutions. Kevin earned his Bachelor's in Business Administration from Loyola University and MBA from DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.Deandre Tanner joins CCLF in the newly created position of Finance and Accounting Associate. Prior to his employment with CCLF, Deandre was an accounting intern. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Chicago State University.
New CCLF staff, from left: Sabol, Truitt and Tanner
Recent staff promotions include:
Rob Rose to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Programs from Vice President of Lending; Mark Fick to Director of Lending Operations from Senior Loan/Portfolio Officer; Lycrecia Parks to Director of Portfolio Management from Senior Portfolio Management Officer; Deborah Sabol Director of Operations from Office Manager, Evelyn Turner to Senior Loan Closing Officer from Loan Closing Officer and Lincoln Stannard to Portfolio Management Associate from Lending Associate.
Credit Memos: CCLF Lends $2.23 Million in 2nd Quarter
5655 S Indiana, LLC received a $440,000 permanent loan to refinance 22 units of affordable rental housing in Washington Park. This loan is part of theCook County Preservation Compact.
Community Service Council of Northern Will County received a $150,000 revolving loan to purchase and renovate foreclosed properties across Will County. This loan is part of the Neighborhood Investor Lending Program. Thanks to Doug Tedeschi of Kirkland & Ellis LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
Genesis Cooperative received a $410,000 construction/mini-permanent loan to refinance and complete minor repairs to a 22-unit housing cooperative in South Shore. This loan is part of the Cook County Preservation Compact. Thanks to Esther King of Kirkland & Ellis LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
Blue Chair Capital, LLC received a $90,000 construction/mini-permanent loan to refinance two affordable rental properties in Burnside and Greater Grand Crossing. This loan is part of CCLF's Neighborhood Investor Lending Program. Thanks to Joy Spezeski and Coree Smith of Kirkland & Ellis LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
XT Properties, LLC received a $666,240 mini-permanent loan to finance 2-3 unit rental properties across Chicago's South and West Sides. This loan is part of CCLF's Neighborhood Investor Lending Program. Thanks to Patrick Herndon of Mayer Brown LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
West Humboldt Park Development Council received a $225,000 mini-permanent loan to refinance a community office and a healthy food restaurant in Humboldt Park. This loan is part of our commercial real estate initiative. Thanks to Brian Dole of DLA Piper LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
Lifeline Productions, Inc. received a $250,000 mortgage refinance and working capital loan to offer access to live theatre and education in Rogers Park. Thanks to Meredith Morgan of Chapman and Cutler LLP for serving as CCLF's counsel on this transaction.
The mission of the Chicago Community Loan Fund is to provide flexible, affordable and responsible financing and technical assistance for community stabilization and development efforts and initiatives that benefit low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, families and individuals throughout metropolitan Chicago.
The Chicago Green Office Challenge Award & Recognition Ceremony took place on June 18. The event, held at the Chicago Cultural Center, recognized the Round 3 participants who had scored the most points in the Challenge or achieved other milestones. The Challenge makes Chicago more sustainable by having buildings and tenants engage in friendly competition to reduce environmental impact. Participants complete activities, such as providing recycling bins at each desk or taking a quiz on recycling, for which they receive points.
With 3625 points, Chicago Community Loan Fund received 18th place out of over 150 scoring participants, and was awarded a gold-level business award. In her speech to the awardees, Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago, mentioned CCLF specifically, sharing our "Big 3" challenge as an example of intra-office competition. The "Big 3" challenge called for staff members to turn off the three electronics at their desk - computer, monitor and printer - before heading home each night. Other notable efforts by CCLF included our purchase of a set of dishes, so that each time we receive catering, we are not using disposable dishware. Round 4 of the Green Office Challenge will begin around Labor Day in 2014.
CCLF's 2013 Annual Report highlights the stories of three borrowers whose projects help revitalize Chicagoland's more challenged neighborhoods: a commercial retail property in the Chatham neighborhood completed by Veja Enterprises; an affordable housing program for refugees that leads to homeownership operated by Emmanuel House in Aurora; and a project currently under development by Theaster Gates, owner of The Stony Group, in Chicago's South Shore that is creating a cultural space that will house arts, food, the John H. Johnson archives and more. You can read about the impact of these projects and all the highlights from 2013 by accessing the Annual Report onlinehere.
CCLF Technical Assistance Assessment Report
CCLF conducted a multi-year assessment of its Gateway to Community Development Technical Assistance Program from 2009-2013. The report indicates CCLF's technical assistance has been instrumental in helping a wide range of developers make meaningful impact in their communities.CCLF's staple of workshops including Project Readiness and Building for Sustainability have been well received with 680 participants attending 135 workshops between 2009 and 2013. To learn more, access the reporthere.
2014 Alford-Axelson Award Video
The announcement of the 2014 Alford-Axelson Award Winner is available for viewing on You Tube. The video, created by the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, highlights CCLF as the winner in the Large Category. To view the video, clickhere.
Stakeholders Meeting PowerPoint Online
CCLF's Stakeholders Meeting PowerPoint presentation is now available on our website for those funders and investors that were unable to attend the event. You can find the presentation here.
Federal Reserve Community Development Resource
The Federal Reserve's community development offers research, outreach and technical assistance and other activities to promote a more robust economy overall with a focus on low- to moderate-income communities. They have launched FedCommunities.org as a gateway to access community development resources from all 12 Federal Reserve Banks and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Be sure to bookmark this site to learn about practical resources to help you in your role as a community development professional. You can access the site here.
Donate to CCLF
We need your financial support to provide targeted technical and financial assistance that empowers community-based developers to help create communities where people thrive. You can support our work with a secure online donation via PayPal.
Connect with CCLF
You can stay up to date on CCLF and other industry news and events by following@cclfchicago on Twitter.