Our Story

Mission

We promote economic justice and alleviate poverty by increasing the financial resilience and sustainability of community-based nonprofits and enterprises. Through flexible financial products and sound advice, we create opportunities to make socially responsible investments that revitalize Northern and Central California communities.

Vision

We envision financially strong and culturally vibrant communities where each person has access to decent jobs, homes, health care, education, and economic opportunities. We work in partnership with individuals and organizations who share our vision of sustainable communities and social and economic justice.

History

In 1987, our founders had a vision of putting their money to work as a tool for building financially strong and culturally vibrant communities capable of growing their sown seeds of self-determination. We have successfully carried out that vision since the 1980s, by connecting investors to communities, lending to nonprofits, small businesses, and cooperatives, and providing financial and real estate consulting to organizations that share our vision of sustainable communities and social, racial, and economic justice.

Since then we’ve invested more than $350 million to projects throughout California, impacting the lives of more than 1.5 million of our neighbors. Our lending and consulting services support organizations that provide affordable housing, equitable and sustainable access to healthy food, community arts, and critical social, medical and youth services.

Our Values

Conscious Investment

We deploy capital and knowledge that creates long-term systems change to power structures.

Learning

We use evaluation, reflection, and knowledge sharing to inform nimble and innovative approaches to solutions that achieve personal and organizational excellence.

Humility and Respect

We value the wealth of experience, insight, and culture rooted in the communities we work with.

Client Service Focused

We are responsive and consistent in our interactions. Everything starts with our clients’ needs. We adapt our process and offerings accordingly.

Racial and Economic Equity

We recognize that a history of discriminatory financial practices and intentional disinvestment have contributed to a lack of economic progress in low-income communities and communities of color. Community Vision provides capital and technical assistance for communities that have been systemically disadvantaged to ensure fairness in opportunities, resources, and rights for everyone.

Integrity

We are honest, accountable, and transparent with each other and our stakeholders. We value and practice sound ethical character and behavior.

Collaboration

We recognize and engage each other’s strengths to achieve a shared vision or goal.

Our People

We understand that no one knows your problem better than you do, and we believe that client input is integral to all solutions. Working together, we listen to your concerns and apply our experience and wisdom to tackle the financial challenges our clients face. You are our partner throughout the entire process.

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Ann Cameron : Interim President

Ann Cameron

Interim President

Ann joins Community Vision with more than 30 years of experience in the commercial banking field. While in senior management roles, she has successfully lead high-impact teams working in commercial lending, branch banking, and private banking for high net worth clients. She has served as Board President or Chairperson for numerous boards including La Clinica de la Raza, Community Vision, Marin Community Clinic and the Mayors Commission on Homelessness. Ann is active in her community, focusing on animal rights and keeping the elderly in their homes as they age. She holds a BS in Business from Dominican University.

acameron@communityvisionca.org
Jorge Marquez : Loan Administration Associate

Jorge Marquez

Loan Administration Associate

Jorge joins Community Vision as Loan Administration Associate. His professional experience spans more than 36 years and includes branch banking, as well as consumer and residential lending. Over the past  23 years he served including Sr. Loan Processor, Assistant Loan Officer, and Jr Underwriter. He was first introduced to the CDFI world in 2018 while doing a contract assignment and was intrigued by nonprofit community development and mission-driven commercial lending. Jorge brings a passion for financial literacy, economic equity, building credit, home ownership, and small business ownership to his role. He is excited to join the Community Vision family and assist in carrying out the mission to support building healthy, equitable, and inclusive communities. Jorge has served 12 years as Secretary Board Member of his Homeowners Association. Born in Mexico, Jorge migrated to Stockton and then the Bay Area, which has been his home for more than 40 years.

jmarquez@communityvisionca.org
Mark Herrera : Director of Development & External Relations

Mark Herrera

Director of Development & External Relations

Mark joins as our Director of Development & External Relations. He brings more than 20 years of nonprofit development, community engagement, and investor relations experience to his role. Before joining Community Vision he worked at RSF Social Finance where he helped grow their investor community from 300 accounts to 1,700 and portfolio from $10 million to $140 million. Mark brings experience in launching mission-driven philanthropic initiatives and a passion for building an equitable financial playing field where all people have access to the capital and opportunities they need to thrive. He has served on multiple boards including the Golden Bridges School. Raised in San Mateo and Sacramento, Mark holds a B.A. in English from Oberlin College, and an M.A. in English and Writing from Hollins University. He has lived in San Francisco and commuted via bicycle for 28 years.

mherrera@communityvisionca.org
Ross Culverwell : Vice President, Chief Credit Officer

Ross Culverwell

Vice President, Chief Credit Officer

Ross has over 20 years of experience working in finance and economics. He started at Community Vision in 2006 as a loan officer. Prior to that he spent nine years at Moody’s Investors Service, where he analyzed subsovereign debt mainly in Latin America, and helped expand the firm’s presence there. Ross holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University (SIPA). While at SIPA, he completed a State Department internship at the U.S. Embassy in Brazil.

rculverwell@communityvisionca.org
Catherine Howard : Senior Vice President of Programs

Catherine Howard

Senior Vice President of Programs

Cat has more than 15 years of experience designing and executing community development programs with a focus on lending and grantmaking. She has worked at both national and regional CDFIs, and has a background in affordable housing and healthy food access. She currently serves on the board of directors of California FarmLink. Cat holds a BA in government from the University of Maryland Honors Program, from which she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley. A native of Washington, DC, she is also a third generation Oakland resident, and proud of her bi-coastal heritage.

choward@communityvisionca.org
C. Lea Salem : Chief Financial Officer

C. Lea Salem

Chief Financial Officer

Lea has been in her current position with Community Vision since 2006 and has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years. At Community Vision she and her staff of six are responsible for finance, accounting, investor portfolio management, information technology, human resources, facilities, compliance and reporting.

She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration from San Francisco State University. She received her BA in French from Williams College.

lsalem@communityvisionca.org

Board of Directors

Patricia Gopaul, Chair

Joy Hoffmann, Vice Chair

Jim Snyder, Treasurer  

David Elssaeser, Secretary  

Anita Addison, At-Large  

Carolyn Johnson

Pamela Merchant

Andy Madeira

John Chan

Luisa Medina

Bryan Ignozzi

Central Valley Advisory Council

John Chan

Lillia Chaves

Tom Collishaw

Arthur Dyson

Caroline Farrell

Salam Nalia

Daniel O’Connell

Dennis Woods

Luisa Medina

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