With 1,250 attendees, 89 breakout sessions, 6 tours, and a fun run, OFN's 31st Conference was the place to be November 9–12.
- At the Opening Plenary, we heard from Detroit Mayor , The Kresge Foundation President , JPMorgan Chase Vice Chairman , and a on the important role of CDFIs and public-private partnerships in . Throughout the Conference, our tours took us out of downtown and into Detroit’s neighborhoods, where homes are being purchased and repaired, and small businesses are coming back.
- CDFI Fund Director , Senator Gary Peters, and US Representative delivered targeted remarks on the important role of CDFIs in community revitalization in Detroit and across the country.
- At OFN Connect, a preview of his research on CDFI capitalization and growth. OFN plans to publish the complete report in early 2016.
- Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. One year ago at the 2014 OFN Conference, we introduced racial equity as a critical goal for the industry. At this year's Conference, we introduced an Equity track of sessions that included an Advancing Equity Workshop delivered by Race Matters Institute (RMI), breakout sessions on inclusive growth, and a roundtable discussion on OFN's industry equity strategy.
- In his State of the Industry Speech, 10X, OFN President and CEO Mark Pinsky challenged the industry to set its sights on a 10X growth in our influence, a leap forward that will require new capitalization strategies, a focus on talent development, an analysis of business models and technology, and a focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity. Mark's full speech or download the prepared text.
- Moises Loza, Executive Director of the Housing Assistance Council, received the prestigious for his long history of service in the opportunity finance field. In his acceptance speech he said "Because I know first-hand what it's like to work hard but still struggle, I've made it my life's work to provide affordable housing for low-income people in rural areas."
- We heard from the three NEXT Opportunity Award winners—, , and —and honored Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (CPCDC), Justine PETERSEN, and the Disability Opportunity Fund with .
- Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the Surdna Foundation, and Opportunity Finance Network awarded the second annual to Minneapolis-based Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA).
- At the , Wisconsin Native Loan Fund received the Circle of Honor Award and long-time Native CDFI practitioner and advocate, Elsie Meeks, received the Visionary Leader Award for Outstanding Achievement.
- Lisa Johanon, Executive Director of Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation, this year's , spoke eloquently about transforming individuals to reach their highest potential while transforming the central Detroit community to be a place of Shalom.
Thank you to all of our sponsors this year!
Capital Impact Partners / Chi Ishobak, Inc. / Cinnaire / Corporation for Supportive Housing / Detroit Development Fund / IFF / Invest Detroit / Local Initiatives Support Corporation / Metro Community Development, Inc. / Northern Initiatives / One Detroit Credit Union / Opportunity Resource Fund