We help build and grow remarkably successful Community Development Financial Institutions.

The most experienced team of CDFI industry professionals (not working for you)!

Jason Friedman, Co-Founder  & CEO. For nearly 30 years, Jason been driven to increase access to capital for low-wealth individuals and communities. He develops initiatives for state and local governments, foundations, and nonprofits across the country, including the CDFI Fund, Small Business Administration (SBA), the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF),  and the states of Alabama and Iowa.  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. 

Melanie D. Friedman, Co-Founder and COO. 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. Previously, Melanie was the founder Executive Director of the Iowa Children’s Museum and Campaign Manager for Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA).

Amy Szabo, Chief Client Services Officer:  As a community economic development professional, Amy’s core expertise is in helping nonprofits to develop strategies and capacity for resource development, compliance, and organizational development. Amy has been responsible for more than $40M in successful grant proposals, with an unparalleled record of success with the CDFI Fund, SBA, USDA and HHS. Before launching a successful consulting firm, Amy was Development Director for Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), a small business CDFI in Columbus, OH. Amy developed and implemented ECDIs fund development plan, which included proposal writing, grant compliance and reporting, and capitalization planning.  Amy holds a BA from Oklahoma State University and an MA from The Ohio State University.

Jonathan Harrison, Project Partner: Over a 25-year career in the nonprofit and private sector, Jonathan is one of the most highly regarded leaders in community development finance and social enterprise development. As Principal of Bumpercrops Consulting, Jonathan has domain expertise in community development 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.  Currently, he serves as the part-time CFO for California Farmlink, a CDFI based in California and as a Project Partner for Friedman Associates, guiding CDFIs to develop the infrastructure for increased volume, performance, and impact.

Peggy Sand, Senior Associate. Peggy has more than 20 years of affordable housing lending and policy experience working with nonprofits, local governments and foundations.  Currently the owner of Creative Consultants, her career has been divided between nonprofit senior management positions and independent consulting work. A former Executive Director of an affordable housing CDFI, Peggy specializes in helping nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and local governments adapt to changes in staffing patterns, funding streams, and/or market conditions. With Raffa, she has worked on a number of nonprofit sustainability/transition planning and executive search assignments. Peggy has extensive experience working with foundations,nonprofits and local governments to develop pro-active foreclosure prevention and mitigation strategies. 

Aaron Moeser, Associate:  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.

Bethany E. Chaney, Senior Associate: Bethany has more than 25 years of experience in leading human service and economic development organizations. Her core expertise is building the capacity of CDFIs in terms of resource development; marketing and communications; and organizational and board Development, particularly strategic and program planning. Bethany created the first resource development infrastructure for one of New York City’s largest homeless and human services agenciesAs Vice President for the North Carolina Minority Support Center, a nationally recognized CDFI intermediary, Bethany assumed management-level responsibility for resource development, planning and oversight for an $8 million loan fund, and organizational development activities. Her client list is impressive, featuring CDFIs, credit unions, think tanks, and foundations.  Bethany holds a BA from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from Northeastern University. 

Joanna Winchester, Associate. Joanna is the Principal of North 4th, LLC, a consulting firm that works with nonprofits to create smart projects, programs, and support structures which are inclusive in nature, and focus on community-based solutions.  Her firm specializes in fundraising, organizational development and restructuring, program development, social enterprise, branding and identity, fiscal management, and capacity building.

Joanna served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and the Director of Economic Development at the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) in Philadelphia. Under her leadership, Shanta strengthened and grew the organization, diversified revenue sources, instituted impact metrics and led new program initiatives. Shanta has a M.A. in City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Kathryn Harper, Associate.  Kathryn’s excels at helping organizations achieve sustainable impacts and outcomes in fund/business development and audience engagement. Currently an F|A Associate, Kathryn is also the owner of Paradise Scribe, where he provides consulting on brand & content marketing communications; write and edit revenue-generating proposals; donor/funder communications; campaign collateral, multimedia/PR, among other things. As Director of Development and Marketing for a 25-year old CDFI in Washington, DC., Kathryn stewarded a substantial donor portfolio valued in excess of $3M; and secured numerous grants from foundations, corporations and the CDFI Fund and HHS, among others. 

Jessica Sotelo, Senior Associate. Jessica spent the last 20 years dedicated to developing and leading initiatives focused on education, workforce development, access to capital, and financial literacy for lower income and working people. As the Founding Director of a community based organization that serves 16 counties in Eastern Idaho, Jessica set anb ambitious agenda in supprt of minority small business development in Native American and Latino populations.  Today, Jessica has amassed an impressive track record in preparigng CDFI Fund applications as well as OCS CED grants.  She also specializes in coaching Nonprofit ED/CEOs in strategic planning, program design and evaluation, compliance, board building, and more. 

Jayne Crosby Giles, Associate. Jayne has over 30 years experience in banking and small business lending. In 2016, she was recognized by the US Small Business Administration as the 2016 Financial Services Champion for Maine and New England, She is a former CEO of a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on providing small business loans and residential mortgage services to underserved, rural Maine markets.  As an F|A Associate, and through Giles Consulting, Jayne is helping CDFIs and economic development organizations develop strategies to increase performance, effectiveness and impact.,

Shanta Schachter, Associate. Shanta is a co-Principal of North 4th, LLC, a consulting firm that works with for profit and nonprofit clients to develop comprehensive strategies with nonprofits to create smart projects, programs, and support structures which are inclusive in nature, and focus on community-based solutions. Her firm specializes in fundraising, organizational development and restructuring, program development, social enterprise, branding and identity, fiscal management, and capacity building.

Shanta served for 11 years as Deputy Director of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) in  Philadelphia.  During her tenure at NKCDC, Shanta helped create a model for using sustainable actions as a tool for community engagement, household savings, and environmental impact in low-income neighborhoods. Shanta holds a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Geography, Urban Planning and Community Development.