The New York State CDFI Coalition (“Coalition”) formed in 1995 as a project of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions under Cliff Rosenthal’s leadership. In addition to Rosenthal, members of the original steering committee were Clara Miller (Nonprofit Finance Fund) and Lyndon Comstock (Community Capital Bank). Initial support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation launched the Coalition. Cathie Mahon (current Executive Director of the Federation) was hired as the first Coordinator. The steering committee was soon expanded to include leaders from Alternatives Federal Credit Union (Ithaca), Rural Opportunities, now Pathstone (Rochester) and Capital District Community Loan Fund (Albany).
The Coalition’s initial CDFI legislation, first proposed before the federal CDFI Fund existed, was passed in 2007-2008 with support from Democrats and Republicans alike.
In 2014 the Federation convened the Coalition’s ad hoc Steering Committee to jointly devise a long-term vision for an independent, sustainable entity to lead CDFI state-level advocacy, foster and develop collaboration, raise capital, and devise a communication strategy to raise awareness of the work of CDFIs in our state’s distressed communities. A Strategic Plan was developed and adopted in 2015, and a founding board was convened to move forward with incorporation and identified initiatives. MaryBeth Bunge was hired as Coordinator on a part-time consulting basis in September, 2015.