Our Relentlessly Driven CDFI Consulting Team
Friedman Associates is relentlessly driven to strengthen the intellectual and financial capacity of nonprofit lenders. We share your vision for economic justice and equal access to capital for low-wealth individuals and communities.
Our CDFI Consulting team are industry experts with a proven track record of results. What does that mean? It means we have built successful organizations; raised millions for operations and loan capital; and subsequently achieved measurable community impact. As a result, we are the fastest growing CDFI Consulting firm in the U.S. – let us show you why.
Jason Friedman, Principal. For nearly 30 years, Jason been driven to increase access to capital for low-wealth individuals and communities. He develops access to capital initiatives for state and local governments, foundations, and nonprofits across the country. He managed capacity building initiatives for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and designed a new grant making initiative for the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF). Jason led and expanded a statewide CDC in Iowa, and was the Director of Training and Education for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). He served under former Governor Mario M. Cuomo as an Economic Development Advisor. With Friedman Associates, Jason has amassed a CDFI Consulting Team team working across the country to support lenders to create real change and impact.
Melanie D. Friedman, Principal. A co-founder of Friedman Associates CDFI Consulting and Director of Finance. Melanie specializes in the development and execution of organizational restructuring, board development and fundraising programs for non-profits and community and political campaigns. Melanie is working with our clients to develop staff capacity and systems for stronger governance and broad-based fund development. She has experience in managing fundraising campaigns for non-profit organizations and elected officials at the local, state and national levels. Melanie guides CDFIs through comprehensive board development, streamlining financial management systems and organizational restructuring. Previously, Melanie was the founder Executive Director of the Iowa Children’s Museum and Campaign Manager for Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA).
Barbara Eckblad, Associate. Barbara has expertise in both small business and micro-finance. Most recently, Barbara was Director of Lending for WWBIC (Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.) where she oversaw all aspects of WWBIC’s small business loan fund. Under her leadership, Barbara led the WWBIC Lending Team to grow the loan portfolio by 67% over 3 years, while decreasing delinquency rates to below-industry standards. Before joining WWBIC, she owned her own small business. As an entrepreneur in the private sector, she built an innovative commercial and residential real estate firm from start-up to $17 million in annual sales, eventually transitioning the firm employee ownership. As a member of the Friedman Associates CDFI Consulting Team, Barbara has become a successful CDFI Consultant who can quickly diagnose barriers to growth and then roll up her sleeves to help you increase financial performance and impact.
Jonathan Harrison, Partner. Jonathan is highly regarded as a leader in social enterprise development and community development finance. He is the Founder of Emerge Financial Wellness, a workplace financial wellness company offering an innovative suite of financial education stability programs to companies as part of their employee health and wellness strategy. Jonathan has expertise in small business finance, small dollar lending, combating payday lending, and workplace financial wellness, and consults on product and program development for financial institutions and financial technology firms. He is a seasoned social entrepreneur who has devoted his career to building and running social enterprises. As Director of Rubicon National Social Innovations (RNSI), he led a team developing the next generation of social enterprises – business models that are scalable to multiple locations, financially self-sufficient yet deliver high social impacts. Prior to joining RNSI, he was the Director of Business Development at MACED in Berea, KY, an award winning CDFI focused on business lending in Appalachian Kentucky. In 1998, Jonathan co-founded alt.Consulting, a social mission-driven technical assistance provider and led the organization as Executive Director for its first five years. He has an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Jonathan is one of most valuable members of the CDFI Consulting Team CDFI and we are honored to have him on the Friedman Associates Consulting team.
Alice Veenstra, Veenstra Consulting. Alice is one of the most distinguished CDFI Consultants in the country and we are fortunate to have her on our team. She is a former senior staff member of the CDFI Fund who developed and managed the NACA program, managed the BEA program, and underwrote 400 applications for all CDFI Fund programs, including NMTC. And today as an external reader, has reviewed approximately 100 – 150 more applications, primarily NMTC applications. Alice has raised almost $66 million for non-profit organizations in NH, Maine, and around the nation through CDFI Fund and other Federal and state programs. In addition to her work with FA and her own consulting firm, Alice works with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP on NMTC applications. She has a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University – Kennedy School of Government.
Elli Papadopoulos, Associate. Joining Friedman Associates CDFI Consulting, Elli has over 12 of experience working with community development organizations and business owners. She is the Founder of Skopos NYC which provides advisory services to small to medium businesses on challenging financial issues. Previously, Elli served as a Loan Officer with the Grow America Fund, a nationwide CDFI, where she managed several community loan funds and deployed over $15m in small business loans. Elli was responsible for underwriting and structuring customized financing solutions for small businesses and ensuring that community impacts were included in the transaction. Previously, Elli led financing assistance at the NYC Business Solutions center in Lower Manhattan. There she connected over 200 small businesses to capital with various lenders. Elli earned her B.S. in Business and Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. We are proud to have Elli as one of our CDFI Consultants.
Amy Szabo, Associate. Friedman Associates CDFI Consulting Team is very grateful for our partnership with Amy, one of our most valued CDFI Consultants.. Much of Amy’s career has been spent helping organizations define, implement, and direct strategies for resource development, communications, and broad organizational growth. As a proposal writer, she has a track record of over $18 M in successful grant proposals to federal, state, and local governmental agencies and foundations. Experienced in the proposal lifecycle, from research and identification of opportunities, through crafting and submitting a proposal, to post-submission services. As Director of Asset Development for ECDI, a CDFI in Columbus, OH, she directed the administration of a $1.5 million asset building grant program, including: core program planning; training; policy and procedure development; marketing; staff supervision; reporting; and funding development.
Aaron Moeser, Associate: We are honored to have Aaron join our team at Friedman Associates CDFI Consulting. Aaron has significant experience in banking, non-profit lending, and small business ownership. As the Vice-President of Cornerstone Community Bank, he was responsible for developing new business with companies with annual sales of $2 million to$ 50 million, and originated and underwrote credit, analyzing credit risk and cash flow. As the senior loan officer for Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation in Milwaukee, he evaluated and analyzed credit risk for new loan applicants, managed and monitored loan portfolio, and provided technical assistance to existing business owners and new loan clients. As of one of our CDFI Consultants, Aaron works with CDFIs all over the country to provide underwriting training and also evaluates and underwrites small business applications. He has an MBA from Marquette University school of business.
Heather Holt Totty, Associate. Heather is a seasoned development professional. She has served as a Resource Development Director for three CDCs and as the Annual Fund Manager for a regional theater. As an in independent contractor she has executed dozens of wining grant proposal resulting in over $4M in funding for her clients over the past four years. She has brought her expertise to CDCs, CDFIs, healthcare entities, arts organizations, and education organizations. In addition to proposal writing, Heather’s experience encompasses prospect research, program development, developmental and content editing, and project management. We are grateful to have Heather as a key member of the CDFI Consulting Team.
Pamela Rich, Associate. Pamela is the founder and President of Metris Growth, LLC. Metris partners with non-profit and for-profit organizations to find solutions for efficient operations including process and system automation and development of systems for smaller start-up companies. Pam was Executive Vice President at Wisconsin Business Development (WBD), a non-profit organization providing economic development strategies and business/financial solutions to help small business grow. She was responsible for corporate administration and Finance for the company with 47 employees and a loan portfolio of over $660 Million. During Pam’s tenure WBD doubled its revenue and staff size. Pamela has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Washington State University and a MBA from the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Business with a dual major in Real Estate and Human Resource Management. We are grateful to welcome Pam join us as one of our CDFI Consultants.
MacDonald Stacks, Associate. MacDonald Stacks has over thirty five years’ experience in the community development and human service field and we are honored to have him as one of our CDFI Consultants. He served as the CEO for nearly thirty years of the Community Action Program of Lancaster County, an organization with an annual budget of over $40 million. He was responsible for the development of the agency’s affordable housing development program, among others. While at CAP, he served as a founding member of Community First Fund, a regional small business and affordable housing CDFI. After his retirement from CAP, he served five years as the full time Development Consultant for Community First Fund. Mac’s insights and experience have been extremely valuable to the CDFI Consulting Services team at Friedman Associates.