Press Releases


For Immediate Release
May 17, 2005  

Treasury Fund Head to Speak at Summit on Financial Resources For Wisconsin’s Native Communities

(Madison) Arthur A. Garcia, Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at the U.S. Treasury, will be the keynote speaker at The 2005 Summit on CDFIs: Financial Resources for Native Communities, the first-ever event of its kind in Wisconsin. The summit will be held May 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Green Bay. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions is sponsoring the event.

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund was created to expand the available investment capital and financial services in distressed urban and rural communities and has a program designed specifically to address capital needs in Native American communities. To leverage the fund’s resources, an organization must be certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which means they must provide financial services to people and communities that are traditionally underserved by mainstream financial institutions. They focus on a “double bottom line”—economic gains and contributions to the local community.

The purpose of the Summit is to bring together Native American leaders, county officials and representatives from financial institutions to build synergy and to discuss how Native Communities might use CDFI funds to create more businesses, build home ownership, strengthen infrastructure, and develop community projects. Representatives of financial institutions will have the opportunity to learn how their institutions might become CDFIs.

“This event offers an unprecedented opportunity for players from three key groups to sit down at the table together to hear experts, ask questions and network,” said DFI Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann. “There is untapped potential for using CDFI money, and my hope is that this occasion serves as a catalyst for greater development in our Native Communities. I am delighted that Arthur Garcia will be there,” added Secretary Heinemann.

Speakers include Wisconsin DFI Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann ; Jaclyn Nicolas, Community Affairs Program Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, Director of Training and Technical Assistance; First Nations Oweesta Corp; and David Dumke, Field Services Representative, Wisconsin Counties Association. A panel discussion will include representatives from Legacy Bank in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Credit Union League, and the National Community Capital Association.

Wisconsin currently has 14 CDFIs. CDFIs have awarded nearly $10 million in funds to Wisconsin organizations since 1996. A 2002 survey of CDFIs showed that they financed 96 business and micro-enterprises, creating and supporting 836 jobs, and provided training and technical assistance to 14 organizations and more than 2,000 individuals. The CDFI Fund calculates that every dollar they invest in a CDFI leverages 21 non-federal or private-sector dollars.

Deadline for registration is May 18. There is no fee, and materials, meals, and refreshments will be provided. To register for the Summit on CDFIs, contact DFI’s Teresa Walker at 608-267-1713 or email her at teresa.walker@dfi.state.wi.us