2011 Annual Conference
The 2011 Annual Conference—IMPACT. It’s What We Do—was the largest OFN Conference to date. The theme was the perfect topic for CDFIs of all types, including banks, credit unions, loan funds, and equity funds, that are enjoying unprecedented attention for the impact they have on low-income, low-wealth, and disadvantaged communities across the U.S. More than 1,000 attendees discussed how CDFIs create impact, learned about new sectors where CDFIs are making a difference, and found out about many public and private funding sources for their work.
The breadth and depth of sessions offered—70 breakout sessions in 11 specialized tracks and 20 facilitated networking sessions—provided each of the record number of attendees with learning opportunities appropriate to their positions and the organizations they represented. Additionally, experts in the CDFI field and a leader of Fortune 500 corporations addressed attendees, and a variety of awards ceremonies were held to celebrate the best and brightest in the CDFI field.
Our 27th annual Conference opening plenary featured a panel discussion moderated by Chris Farrell, an award-winning journalist and economics editor for Marketplace Money, a national personal finance show on public radio. The panel discussed how CDFIs can leverage their track record to expand their coverage to every community that needs one.
Adam Brotman, SVP and GM, Digital Ventures at Starbucks, talked about the Create Jobs for USA initiative, and introduced Mark Pinsky, OFN President and CEO, who delivered his state of the industry speech “IMPACT. It’s What We Do.” In it, Mark talked about how doing one thing over and over again, as CDFIs have over the past 30 years, creates significant impact. Mark also discussed the future of the industry, citing programs such as the CDFI Bond Guarantee program, CDFI Fund Financing Healthy Food Options track, and Create Jobs for USA.
Citi Foundation unveiled OFN’s video about the CDFI industry called “Opportunity. Multiplied.”
The OFN Conference Justice Grant was presented to Duluth-based Churches United in Ministry, an organization whose mission supports social, economic, and political justice.
The fifth annual Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance celebrated six 2011 Awardees and concluded with The Kresge Foundation announcing its support for the 2011–2012 NEXT Awards, including $200,000 planning grants to help applicants prepare for the NEXT application phase!
Donna Gambrell, CDFI Fund Director offered remarks at OFN’s Eighth Annual Native Gathering, citing the Fund’s support for Native communities, and at Wednesday’s luncheon, she encouraged attendees to apply to the FY 2012 funding round of the CDFI Program or FY 2012 funding round of the NACA Program, or attending Capacity Building Initiative training.
Jeremy Nowak of The William Penn Foundation, and formerly of the Reinvestment Fund, gave a speech about how much receiving the Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Lending meant to him.
The sixth annual Native CDFI Awards honored accomplishments of one Native CDFI, Salt River Financial Services Institution, and a visionary Native CDFI leader, Ted Piccolo, executive director of the Northwest Native Development Fund, as well as featured captivating dance performances.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2012 OFN Conference, October 15–18, in San Antonio, TX! Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.