HOUSTON, Feb. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network are putting out the call to dedicated leaders at community development financial institutions and inviting them to apply to the Opportunity Fellows Program, their joint initiative to boost the CDFI industry's leadership ranks and spur greater access to capital in under-resourced communities.
CDFIs are critical engines of opportunity in low-income communities, and this is the second year that BBVA Compass and OFN, the leading membership organization for CDFIs, have joined forces to help cultivate the next generation of leaders and prepare them to influence and reshape their organizations and the industry. In 2017, the inaugural class of Opportunity Fellows was given nine months of training with experts in leadership development and diversity, inclusion and equity — all designed to better support their organizations' efforts to deliver responsible, affordable lending to low-income, low-wealth, and other underserved communities, especially communities of color.
"We're carrying forward the Opportunity Fellows Program for 2018 because the importance of CDFIs cannot be overstated, and we must step up and give their leaders the tools and skills they need to thrive in today's ever-changing world," said BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas. "Last year's inaugural class came ready to learn and challenge the status quo and share their experiences, and we expect to round up an equally compelling group of leaders for 2018."
The application deadline has been extended to Feb. 26. Nationally recognized experts in the field of community development will then choose approximately 25 CDFI leaders, including emerging, mid-career and executive-level professionals, and those invited to participate will be announced in March. The 2018 Opportunity Fellows Program will then commence in May for the first of two training sessions in BBVA Compass' headquarters city of Birmingham, Ala. The second training session is slated for September 2018, and the participants' final stop for the program will be the OFN Conference in Chicago in October.
During the sessions, participants will engage in interactive activities and experiences, and will learn from leaders in community development finance as well as Birmingham community leaders to understand how to facilitate organizational change that promotes greater diversity and inclusion within their CDFIs as they pursue more equitable investment in communities. To develop the agenda and curriculum, OFN is partnering with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business and the Race Matters Institute.
"This is at its core a leadership program," said Donna Fabiani, Executive Vice President, Knowledge Sharing at OFN. "Participants in this program will hone their leadership skills as they look at their own organizations and develop frameworks and processes for promoting more equitable investment in underserved communities across the country."
To apply, please go here.
To view a video recap from 2017, go to bbva.info/OFP2017.
To learn more about BBVA Compass, visit: www.bbvacompass.com
About BBVA Group
BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a strong leadership position in the Spanish market, is the largest financial institution in Mexico, it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States; and it is also the leading shareholder in Garanti, Turkey's biggest bank for market capitalization. Its diversified business is focused on high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. More information about BBVA Group can be found at bbva.com.
About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 649 branches, including 336 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 45 in Florida, 37 in Colorado and 18 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (6th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 6th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2017. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at www.bbvacompass.com. For more BBVA Compass news, follow @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visit newsroom.bbvacompass.com.
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), strives to ensure low-income and other under-resourced communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services. Members of OFN are CDFIs that deliver responsible lending to help low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2016, OFN's network originated $54 billion in financing in rural, urban, and Native communities. This financing has helped to create or maintain more than 1,202,000 jobs, start or expand more than 256,000 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of nearly 2 million housing units and more than 10,000 community facility projects. For more information, visit www.ofn.org.
SOURCE BBVA Compass