BBVA Compass, Opportunity Finance Network Welcome First Class of Opportunity Fellows to Birmingham

  • 25 professionals from diverse finance organizations participate in leadership program
  • Fellows to explore ways to give underserved communities better access to capital

BIRMINGHAM, AL, March 22, 2017— BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network on Tuesday welcome their inaugural class of 25 Opportunity Fellows to Birmingham for a three-day training session where they’ll explore how to lead the change necessary to give underserved communities equal access to capital. Adam Kopp, Senior Loan Officer at Mercy Loan Fund, is one of the professionals selected for the program.

“Through his work, Adam has demonstrated an unerring commitment to serving society’s most vulnerable,” said Jason Battista, President of Mercy Loan Fund. “We’re very honored that he was selected to participate in such a prestigious program, and look forward to learning from him upon his return.”

BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network joined forces in October to develop the Opportunity Fellows Program. The program is designed to boost the leadership ranks and spur the transformation of Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs, which are critical engines of opportunity in low-income communities. Nationally recognized experts in the field of community development chose the 25 Opportunity Fellows from nearly 100 highly qualified applicants, and together they represent emerging, mid-career and executive-level professionals from CDFIs across the country. Adam Kopp was selected to participate in the Emerging level.

“This innovative and robust leadership program brings together participants with different levels of experience with a common goal: to increase opportunity for all people and in all communities across the country,” said Pam Porter, Executive Vice President, Strategic Consulting at OFN. “We congratulate the 25 Opportunity Fellows, and we thank BBVA Compass for recognizing the impact this program will have and for its generous support.”

The Opportunity Fellows Program provides nine months of training with world-class experts in leadership and racial equity from the University of Alabama Collat School of Business and Race Matters Institute. The program kicks off this week at the BBVA Compass headquarters in Birmingham, where participants will engage in interactive activities and experiences, and will learn from other leaders in microfinance. They will also spend time with experts to better understand the patterns and causes behind the growing inequity in racial and ethnic minorities, as well as tour the Innovation Depot business incubator.

“We could not be more proud of this leadership program, and of these participants,” said BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas. “We know that by investing in their future, we’re investing in the future of all of our communities. These are the leaders of organizations who put capital to work directly in low- to moderate-income communities. The idea is to arm them with the tools and skills they need to flourish in this impactful field of community-oriented finance.”

A complete list of participants is available at: http://ofn.org/opportunity-fellows

Adam Kopp is a Senior Loan Officer at Mercy Loan Fund (MLF).  In this role, he is responsible for originating, underwriting and closing loans for the development and preservation of affordable housing.  Adam started at MLF as an Asset Manager in 2012.  After taking on additional lending responsibilities, he became a full time Loan Officer in October 2014.  Adam came to MLF from UDR, Inc., a multifamily real estate investment trust, where he was part of a management rotation program that included work in property management and acquisitions.  Adam holds a BA in Political Science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn. and a MS in Real Estate and Construction Management from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.  Outside of work, he is on the board of directors of The Denver Voice, a member of the Impact Denver Class of 2016, on the Housing Colorado Education Committee, an active participant in Toastmasters International and holds a Colorado Real Estate Broker License.

About Mercy Loan Fund

For more than three decades, Mercy Loan Fund (MLF), a leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has focused exclusively on funding affordable housing and essential community infrastructure projects that support affordable housing. By collaborating with socially-responsible developers, MLF has helped finance the development of single and multifamily homes for rental and homeownership. These developments help underserved communities, including people with low-incomes, seniors, farm workers, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. MLF is a subsidiary of the affordable housing nonprofit, Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), headquartered in Denver, Colo. For more information, please visit mercyloanfund.org.

About BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 672 branches, including 344 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 75 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 19 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 (5th). BBVA Compass was recently named Best Digital Bank in North America by global finance magazine Euromoney and the best regional bank in the South & West and best mobile app in Money magazine’s 2015-2016 list of the Best Banks in America. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com.

About OFN

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the leading national network of private financial institutions, creates growth that is good for communities, investors, individuals, and the economy. Members of OFN are community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that deliver responsible lending to help low-wealth and low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2015 OFN’s network originated $48 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native American communities. This financing has helped to create or maintain more than 1,044,000 jobs, start or expand nearly 191,000 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of nearly 1.5 million housing units and 9,800 community facility projects. For more information, visit ofn.org.

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