Opportunity Finance Network to Posthumously Honor Linda Davenport and John Berdes With 2017 Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award

By: OFN Staff - Sep 25, 2017
Source: Opportunity Finance Network

Community development finance industry’s highest tribute given to two champions of economic justice

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) today announced Linda Davenport and John Berdes were both named as recipients of the 2017 Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Finance. The award will be presented posthumously during OFN’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. on September 27.

Presented by OFN, the national network of community development finance lenders, the Ned Gramlich Award is the highest individual honor in the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry. This is the first time OFN will give the award to two individuals simultaneously.

Davenport began her 30-year community development career in the affordable housing arena at the National Housing Partnership and later at Fannie Mae. She joined the U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund, where she was instrumental in implementing the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC), which has attracted billions of dollars in investments in low-income communities. As the Deputy Director of Policy and Programs at the CDFI Fund and later at the CDFI Coalition, Davenport helped grow the CDFI industry and strengthen many individual organizations within it.

Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President for Policy at the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), said, “Linda’s life was dedicated to serving the underserved and supporting the growth of the CDFI industry. There are few, if any, individuals that have had more of an impact on the opportunity finance industry over the past 15 years than Linda. She is truly worthy of commemoration.”

Josephs will present the award to Davenport’s children Bella Davenport and David Davenport.

Berdes committed his entire life to building just and equitable communities. In 1994, he founded Craft3—then called ShoreBank Enterprise Pacific—a CDFI that provides loans and other assistance to people and businesses in the Pacific Northwest without access to traditional financing. For example, Craft3 partnered with Coastal Community Action Program in 2001 to install four wind turbines off the Pacific coast. Every year, this project generates 13.5 million KWH of renewable energy, nets $400,000 in income, and supports 1,000 – 2,000 low-income families. Since its inception, Craft3 has invested more than $442 million in more than 5,500 people and businesses in Oregon and Washington.

Adam Zimmerman, President and CEO of Craft3, said, “John was an indomitable voice in support of capital innovations to help those less fortunate. He brought an incredible sense of urgency to the work of blending access to capital for low income, rural communities with environmental conservation. He was at the forefront of finding new ways to measure the results of what we now call ‘impact capital,’ and the concept of metrics and feedback loops was part of his daily lexicon.”

Zimmerman will present the award to Berdes’ sister Madelyn Golliher.

Keith Bisson, President of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) and OFN Board member, said, “I am deeply honored to recognize the two outstanding recipients of the Gramlich Award. The industry lost two great champions—in equal measures brilliant and tenacious, but they are not forgotten. Both were mentors to me personally and to so many of us in our field. They have each left a legacy of accomplishments and inspiration that will carry on for years to come.”

Lisa Mensah, President and CEO of OFN, said, “Linda and John embody the Gramlich spirit of determination in different ways. Linda's years of counsel, passion, and service were unwavering and her tireless behind-the-scenes contributions moved mountains. In contrast, John was an exuberant, bold, and committed leader for his staff, peer organizations, and the communities Craft3 served. We are pleased to recognize their significant contributions to community development finance with this important award.”

Former Federal Reserve Governor Ned Gramlich inspired this lifetime achievement award. He was the Board of Governors’ primary liaison to the Fed’s Consumer Advisory Council, advising on community development and consumer finance policy matters. Gramlich, who died in 2007, was an outspoken voice against predatory lending and a strong defender of the Community Reinvestment Act. From October 2006 through his death in 2007, Gramlich served on the Board of OFN.

About Opportunity Finance Network
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), strives to ensure low-income and other under-resourced communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services. Members of OFN are CDFIs that deliver responsible lending to help low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2015, OFN’s network originated $48 billion in financing in rural, urban, and Native communities. This financing has helped to create or maintain more than 1,044,000 jobs, start or expand nearly 191,000 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of nearly 1.5 million housing units and 9,800 community facility projects. For more information, visit ofn.org.

Blair Kahora
Source URL: https://ofn.org