The Community Loan Fund is proud to announce the hiring of two new staff members who have recently joined our organization! Elionor Issac has joined the Community Loan Fund as our new Bookkeeper and Ruth Kassel, Ph.D has joined as Director of Operations for the Community Investment Trust (CIT).

Elionor Issac joins us with multiple years of experience in the financial sector in both New York and Florida. She received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration & Marketing from Russell Sage College right here in Albany and is also an active volunteer. Originally from Puerto Rico, Elionor was instrumental in rebuilding her community after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. She served on the front lines distributing water, food, and necessary supplies to the areas hit hardest by the storm.

Ruth Kassel, Ph.D joins the Community Loan Fund after many successful and impactful years as a professor at Siena College. Prior to her career in teaching, Dr. Kassel earned her Ph.D in Spanish Sociolinguistics from the University at Albany. While at UAlbany, Dr. Kassel completed fieldwork with Mexican indigenous communities in diaspora and she contributes her passion for community development from this experience. During her career in higher education, Dr. Kassel coordinated the AmeriCorps interdisciplinary research program that brought together faculty, students, and community members from diverse backgrounds to achieve common goals. This program ultimately launched critical community initiatives and programs such as; the South End Night Market and created theatre and virtual reality tours for historic sites in Albany. In addition to this, the program organized research to support United Way’s Summer Meals program and even supported the feasibility study for the Community Investment Trust.

Dr. Kassel’s commitment to a more equitable South End knows no bounds, as she often spends time planning and implementing the South End Night Market and even fills in as the “farmer” from time to time to keep healthy fruits and vegetables at the market. She currently volunteers for FOCUS Churches serving coffee at the Breakfast Club and is involved in her Jewish Faith Community.

“The Community Loan Fund is thrilled with the additions of Elionor Issac & Ruth Kassel to our team” said Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund.

“Elionor & Ruth are both professionally capable in their respective positions but what stands out is their commitment to building more equitable and inclusive communities in their personal lives. Both are extremely community minded, dedicated, and passionate women who live our mission statement everyday; strengthening communities and changing lives.”

Please help us welcome Elionor and Ruth to the team!