Ruby Harris

Ruby Harris
Co-Director of Lending
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Nate Schaffran

Nate Schaffran
Co-Director of Lending
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Ruby Harris & Nate Schaffran Promoted to Co-Directors of Lending

Community Vision is pleased to announce that Ruby Harris and Nate Schaffran have been promoted to Co-Directors of Lending. Together, they will lead Community Vision’s Lending team through a shared leadership model, specifically overseeing the loan origination process – from initial inquiry to disbursal of funds.

Ruby will lead our Community Development lending for nonprofits, including working capital and real estate loans. Ruby joined Community Vision in 2018 as Manager of Community Development Lending, where she led Community Vision’s nonprofit, affordable housing and community facilities lending. She joined our team with more than 18 years of experience in affordable housing, real estate finance, and urban planning. Prior to joining Community Vision, Ruby worked at the SF Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, where she designed and led the pioneering Small Sites Program to preserve and rehabilitate “naturally occurring affordable housing”, protecting vulnerable households and increasing the supply of affordable housing in San Francisco.

“I am thrilled to Co-Direct with Nate at a time when Community Vision’s financial performance and focus on racial and economic equity is stronger than ever,” said Ruby. “We are committed to supporting community-led initiatives, increasing community control of assets, and setting forth priorities for this stage of Community Vision’s evolution.”

Nate will lead our Economic Development lending, with a focus on businesses and social enterprises that contribute to a more just and inclusive economy. Nate joined Community Vision in 2017 as Manager of Food Enterprise Lending, where he focused on our food and small business lending. He came to the organization with more than 15 years of experience in social impact lending, healthy food financing, and policy. Prior to joining our team he was with Root Capital, a pioneering international impact investment fund, where he launched and led the organization’s Africa lending, and later managed global loan originations.

Ross Culverwell, who has served as our Chief Lending Officer since 2012, assumes the new position Chief Credit Officer. In this role he will oversee credit policy, risk management, and loan administration. This division into originations and credit departments, something that’s common in larger CDFIs and community banks, will enable Community Vision to deepen expertise and strengthen systems as we expand our lending activity.

“We believe the idea of ‘equity’ applies not just to who we choose to lend to, but how we work with our borrowers,” said Nate. “And that’s what these changes are all about – being as transparent, efficient, and reliable as possible for the organizations we serve.”

Esperanza Pallana
Director of Strategic Initiatives
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Esperanza Pallana Promoted to Director of Strategic Initiatives

Community Vision is thrilled to announce that Esperanza Pallana has been promoted to Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she leads a talented team that supports staff across the organization in implementing activities that strengthen Community Vision’s internal operations and impact in California communities. Esperanza also advises executive leadership on strategic direction, helps ensure our work is rooted in equity and justice, supports new initiatives and capitalization strategies, and leads our place-based initiatives and policy priorities.

With a deep calling to advance racial and economic equity, Esperanza joined Community Vision in 2016 and was most recently Senior Program Officer where she supported the growth and management of the California FreshWorks program, spearheaded our most recent strategic planning process, and lead other equity-focused internal initiatives such as integrating a new 360 performance feedback and management system.

She came to Community Vision with more than 15 years of experience in food systems, environmental health, and public health advocacy. Before joining Community Vision, she served as the Director of Oakland Food Policy Council.

“I enter this leadership role with gratitude, unwavering dedication, and a sharpened focus,” said Esperanza. “My vision is to ensure that Community Vision creates measurable and lasting social change where all communities have the power and resources to cultivate inclusive and just economies.”