The Economic Justice Fund’s Board is composed of highly experienced professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in the community development finance industry and is guided by a deep commitment to creating opportunity where opportunity is needed most.
Mr. Berman has nearly two decades of professional experience in the community development finance industry. Mr. Berman has excelled in positions at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. House of Representatives, and most recently at Capital Impact Partners, a national CDFI. He has proven management ability and a successful track record in leading public/private sector initiatives, issue advocacy, program development and implementation, coalition building, and strategic planning.
In his eight years at the CDFI Fund, Mr. Berman served in several senior management positions, including Manager of Legislative and External Affairs, from 2008 to 2014. In that role, he led a legislative agenda that nearly quadrupled the CDFI Fund’s annual budget, and he spearheaded efforts to grow the agency’s flagship CDFI Program and to ensure that several new programs—the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, Capacity Building Initiative, Capital Magnet Fund, and CDFI Bond Guarantee Program—were authorized and funded by Congress. Mr. Berman also served at the CDFI Fund as Senior Advisor to the Director.
At Capital Impact Partners, Mr. Berman serves as Senior Director of External Affairs and is responsible for guiding, implementing, and advocating for policy priorities on a wide range of community development finance issues. He has led federal, state, and local public initiatives that promote community development and increase access to small business financing, health care, high quality education, affordable housing, and healthy foods. Through his extensive professional experience, he has developed a broad network of contacts and has collaborated closely with countless organizations throughout the community development finance industry.
Ms. Gambrell served as the Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) from 2007 to 2013. She was the first African American woman to be appointed to lead the CDFI Fund and is still the agency’s longest-serving Director. During her tenure, the CDFI Fund experienced significant growth, more than doubling the funding available under its flagship CDFI Program, thus enabling the CDFI industry to expand its capacity to provide affordable capital, credit, and financial services to low-income communities across the country. Under Ms. Gambrell’s leadership, the CDFI Fund also designed and administered a number of new programs to serve underserved markets, including the Capital Magnet Fund, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, and the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.
Ms. Gambrell currently serves as the President and CEO of Appalachian Community Capital and is responsible for attracting and directing investments to enable CDFIs to make loans to small business owners, including entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs. Previously, Ms. Gambrell served in several executive positions at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), including Deputy Director for Compliance and Consumer Protection, where she was responsible for overseeing the FDIC’s national compliance bank examinations.
In addition to her current duties, Ms. Gambrell is a non-resident visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She also serves as a board member for the Association of Enterprise Opportunity , a national membership organization and voice of microbusiness development in the United States; the Low Income Investment Fund, a leading national CDFI that connects low-income communities with the capital markets; and Opportunity Finance Network, which shapes policy, conducts research, and creates partnerships and programs that assist their members in investing in economically distressed communities.
Ms. Jaure has over 30 years of experience in the field of community development finance. At the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), she served as Manager of the of the agency’s flagship program, the CDFI Program, which also includes the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In that role, Ms. Jaure managed more than $140 million in annual grants and oversaw contracts for technical assistance and training totaling $50 million. In addition, she ensured that all processes and procedures complied with federal rules, regulations, and applicable laws.
Prior to joining the CDFI Fund, Ms. Jaure worked as the Director of Federal programs for the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) where she implemented a portfolio of federal grants for credit unions. She was responsible for compliance with Office of Management and Budget circulars; grant agreements; sub-grantee compliance; and reporting requirements for NCUF’s federal grants program.
Since 2014, Ms. Jaure has led Jaure Consulting, which provides capacity building services to support the community development lending programs of nonprofit organizations. In addition, she provides a wide range of organizational development and grant writing services to nonprofits working in underserved communities.
Mr. Berg has over 35 years of experience working in the arenas of community, economic, and affordable housing development. From 1998 to 2017, he served as Legal Counsel for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). In that role, he was responsible for all legal matters that affected the administration and operation of the CDFI Fund. He was substantively involved in the development and implementation of all of the CDFI Fund’s programs, including the flagship CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the New Markets Tax Credit Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.
Prior to working with the CDFI Fund, Mr. Berg was an attorney in private practice, specializing in affordable housing finance and development. For much of the 1980s. he served as deputy director of research and development for the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Berg currently works as a counselor in a community mental health clinic that supports people who are experiencing homelessness.
Ms. Suarez is Vice President of Community Development within the Office of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a global leader in corporate philanthropy with more than $300 million invested in communities annually. She is responsible for helping establish and execute the firm’s global philanthropic strategies on affordable housing and community development.
Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Ms. Suarez was a Market Lead for Capital Impact Partners, a national Community Development Financial Institution. In this role, Abigail led Capital Impact’s investment strategy for half the country. Abigail started her career at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, as a Policy and Program Officer in the New Markets Tax Credit Program team. She holds an MBA from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree. in finance from St. Edward’s University.