Former Portland banking exec joins nonprofit lender

By: Clare Duffy - Feb 07, 2018
Source: Portland Business Journal

Longtime Portland banking executive Mark Stevenson is moving to the nonprofit world.

Stevenson is joining community development financial institution Craft3 as its chief financial officer. Craft3 makes loans to Oregon and Washington small businesses, individuals and nonprofits unable to secure capital from traditional banks.

In 2017, Craft3 issued more than $48 million in loans from its eight offices in Portland, Astoria, Klamath Falls, Bend, Port Angeles, Spokane, Seattle and Walla Walla, Wash.

Starting this month, Stevenson will help lead the Seattle-based organization from its Portland office.

Stevenson has worked in the Portland banking industry for more than two decades. He served as president and CEO of Capital Pacific Bank for more than 10 years before it merged with Pacific Continental Bank. He was then executive vice president and chief nonprofit and sustainability officer at Pacific Continental until its acquisition by Columbia Bank last year.

Until January, Stevenson had also served on the Craft3 board of directors since 2016, and said he was eager to put his banking experience to use at an organization that's dedicated to investing in local communities.

"It's a logical evolution from the work I was doing in community banking," Stevenson said. "I just felt increasingly drawn to this kind of work, this is exactly the kind of work I want to be doing at this point in my career."

CEO Adam Zimmerman said Stevenson's extensive experience in the banking industry will help Craft3 execute on its new five-year strategic plan, which focuses on "impacting people that matter, places that matter and sectors that matter."

Specifically, Stevenson said, that means more investment in minority-owned small businesses, Native American communities, rural areas and sectors with an environmental focus, like natural resource management. He also said he's particularly excited about a new Craft3 program, the Community Impact Investment, that allows qualified individuals or institutions to buy an investment that translates directly to loans in their community.

"You're raising funds from people locally to invest in local loans," Stevenson said. "I love the Craft3 spirit of innovation that's aimed at making a difference for our communities."