Local CDFI adds 7 new members from finance, small business, and DEI sectors


The Community Loan Fund is pleased to welcome five new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Bryce Cutler, Business Development, Capital Bank
  • Damonni Farley, Common Thread Consulting, Inc., Schenectady City School District
  • Trent Griffin-Braaf, Tech Valley Shuttle & GB Logistics
  • Patrick Gunty, Division of Budget, New York State
  • Karen Maxwell, Kema’s Kreations

These new members represent a cross-section of industries and boast an impressive track record of accomplishments in those industries.

“I am tremendously honored to be joining the esteemed Board of Directors at the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region,” says Bryce Cutler, VP, Business Development Officer for Capital Bank. “Having lived and worked in the Capital Region for nearly 30 years, I understand the opportunities available to us and the challenges we face. Throughout my 27 years in banking, I have enjoyed assisting entrepreneurs with bringing their visions to life and have been humbled to support the underserved. I look forward to helping the Community Loan Fund continue its mission of promoting sustainable community development efforts for economically underserved people and communities in our region.”

“I’m completely honored to be a contributing member of the team doing this transformative work in our communities,” says Damonni Farley, Founder of Common Thread Consulting and Family Empowerment/Community Outreach Coordinator for Schenectady City School District.

“I wanted to be a part of the Community Loan Fund Board of Directors because I value the commitment they have to small businesses, and more specifically, women and minority-owned small businesses in our area,” says Trent Griffin-Braaf, CEO and Founder of Tech Valley Shuttle and GB Logistics. “I have utilized the Community Loan Fund in the past, and I can vouch for the level of service and care I have personally received.”

“I decided to join the Community Loan Fund so I could take part in the positive impact that the Fund has on the Capital Region, the place I have always called home,” says Patrick Gunty, Budget Examiner, Debt Unit, New York State Division of Budget. “I hope to bring experience from my time working in the public finance unit within the Division of Budget. I am also excited to learn from my fellow board members, who are proven leaders in our community.”

“I joined the Community Loan Fund in hopes of bringing a different perspective to board, which will in turn broaden our reach in the community,” says Karen Maxwell, Seamstress, Designer and CEO of Kema’s Kreations.

The Community Loan Fund Board governs the 35-year-old organization and oversees the operation of both the lending and training programs there. Board members serve 3-year terms, which can include committee assignments.

The Community Loan Fund also oversees the work of the Albany Center for Economic Success (ACES) a business incubator and training space. ACES also welcomes two new board members:

  • Kasir Rasul, AllStreet Global Entertainment
  • Milly Deane, Citizens Bank

“We are so pleased to welcome these new members to our team,” says Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director for the Community Loan Fund. “Each member brings with them an exceptional amount of talent and experience. They have also demonstrated a passion for community development and financial inclusion. Their help will strengthen our efforts to build a more equitable economy.”