We are proud to introduce ten regional community champions to ensure our flagship Advance Strategy is increasing the flow of capital to underserved and overlooked communities and creating inclusive economic opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) through a group called the Advance Advisory Committee (AAC).
With this intentional partnership, we have selected a diverse group of individuals who have lived, learned, and labored experience in various industries and with small business development, nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and underrepresented communities.
The committee members are dedicating their time and expertise to making sure that the San Diego community has access to education, health, and wealth via inclusive lending practices.
Join us in welcoming to the committee:
Flora Barron, director of economic development at MAAC, has a decade of experience designing, administering, and evaluating high-impact social and economic development programs.
Vanessa Cadena, VP senior branch manager at Pacific Premier Bank in La Costa/Carlsbad, has over 13 years of banking experience. She is active in various boards and committees in the community, including the governing board of directors, the finance committee, and the Community Charter School (MCCS)’s education advisory committee, all at MAAC, and the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s membership committee.
Amanda Cheyney, a client advisor at the CA Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), brings over 15 years of experience within the intersection of workforce, economic, and community development. She has been recognized by federal, state, and local elected officials for her achievements.
Alejandro Galicia, owner and operator of BPI Plumbing, is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army National Guard. For over 16 years, Alex has been providing plumbing services for residential, commercial, and government entities in the San Diego area.
Christie Marcella, COO at Connect, has 10 years of project management experience serving the public sector in San Diego.
Wesley Quach, as the business advisor and programs manager at the Asian Business Association of San Diego (ABASD), also serves as the director of the ABASD Small Business Development Center. As part of the SBDC network, Wesley provides no-cost consultations to small business owners and entrepreneurs, helping them start, grow and expand.
Alexis Villanueva, director of economic development at the City Heights Community Development Corporation, has dedicated the last six years to business development at the intersection of social work, education, workforce development, health access, digital equity, economic development, and so much more—in the City Heights community.
Natasha Salgado, community engagement & small business manager at the Logan Heights CDC, is focused on socio-economic justice in Logan Heights and the Historic Barrio District. She also serves as the City of San Diego Promise Zone Economic Activities co-chair & Small Business Advisory Board vice-chair.
Shreya Sasaki, the senior director of family and community at Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) and former COO at Mission Driven Finance, oversees a host of programs at JFS ranging from refugee resettlement to positive parenting and connecting the community with social services.
J.R. Gregory Tolver, the owner of The JR Tolver State Farm Agency, is an entrepreneur and community leader heavily involved in the San Diego business community. He is a founding board member of Black San Diego and a board member of Startup San Diego.
Although the AAC does not have the authority to make investment decisions on behalf of Mission Driven Finance, they support us in identifying partnerships and businesses, as well as guiding us on how to properly approach the San Diego small business and nonprofit communities.
As a social enterprise and certified B Corporation, we are excited to see the innovation and change this committee will ensure we create. We are doubling down on our mission to make it easier to invest in the community with this added structure of transparency and accountability with the help of these community champions.
If you know any small businesses or nonprofits looking for capital to help them scale and grow, refer them to us!