Co-Managing Director |
California Statewide CDC
| Running for:|| At-Large|
| Election Year:|| 2014|
| Term Expiration:|| 2016||CANDIDATE STATEMENT|
Dear NADCO Member CDC:
I am writing to ask for your support in my run for a second term as an At-Large Director on the NADCO Board. This is why I am asking for your vote.
My Background (in Brief)
I have been serving as Co-CEO of California Statewide CDC since late 2008 and have been with the CDC for 9 years. I started my career as a CPA (with Price Waterhouse) serving small business clients in the Boston, MA/New England area. Following graduate school, I worked for two large companies over a 14-year period, Intel Corporation (Silicon Valley) and Pepsi Cola International (Eastern Europe), where I served in a variety of financial management positions closely supporting operations, after which I went the entrepreneurial route with two software technology startup companies (one of which I co-founded). In my first term as a NADCO Director, I have been involved in a major governance improvement initiative, the commencement of a new industry visioning process, as well as actively supporting NADCO marketing efforts to help raise the profile of the CDC industry and 504 program.
The reason I am running again is that I feel much remains to be done - our industry currently faces some significant challenges as well as opportunities that will require NADCO and its board to navigate carefully over the next two years and beyond.
Challenges and Opportunities
· New oversight requirements – Coming from a CDC that has focused very hard on trying to maintain reasonable credit quality and program integrity, I believe that better oversight had long been needed (my CDC advocated for it several years ago). At the same time, I’m concerned that SBA not over-steer in a way that bogs down CDCs who are trying to do the right things and get loans out to small businesses. I would like to see NADCO work closely with OCRM to ensure that new requirements are made clear in advance of reviews, that tools are made available to CDCs who seek to improve their internal operations and controls, and that a feedback loop with OCRM continues on an ongoing basis. Our industry was tarnished by the business practices, resulting losses and consequent enforcement action of one very large CDC. I believe that the time is right for our industry to revisit and update our Code of Ethics to promote fair competition and discourage behavior that places our industry at further risk.
· 7a) program overlap – The increase of the 7a) limit to $5 million, focus on larger CRE transactions and new 25-year fixed rate loans (by major national lenders) is placing 7a) on a collision course with the 504 loan program. I believe that this is to a significant degree the result of lack of differentiation of the two programs by SBA and lack of clarity about the goals of the respective programs. As part of the joint visioning process with SBA, I would like to see NADCO constructively engage and encourage SBA to articulate the overall strategy and in the process more clearly differentiate the 7a) and 504 loan programs so that the benefits to small businesses are optimized and unnecessary program overlap and cannibalization are avoided.
· Screen outs - Continued high levels of screen outs hurt everyone – not just those CDCs who experience them directly, because dealing with these exception situations consumes capacity of reviewers who are processing loans. Realizing there are many differing opinions about screen outs, I believe there is an opportunity for NADCO to work jointly with the SLPC on a more formal screen out reduction initiative. This would involve developing a “root cause” analysis to better understand key causes, identifying and implementing solutions on a joint basis with SBA.
· Debt Refi, marketing and other new initiatives - Over the past year the new NADCO leadership has taken great strides toward improving the visibility of the 504 program and the CDC industry (including on Capitol Hill), which is critical for our long term survivability. Reinstatement of the 504 Debt Refi program should continue to be a very high legislative priority. Along with this, I would like to work with the NADCO board and my fellow industry members to explore other creative 504 program enhancements aimed at making the 504 program available to even more small businesses.
Thank you for your consideration. It would be an honor and privilege to serve on your board once again. I welcome your inputs and feedback – please feel free to call me on my cell at 818-419-2360 with your thoughts.