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As a small business owner, Barbara built an innovative commercial and residential real estate firm from start-up to largest market share.  She then transitioned this successful firm to employee ownership.

Barbara's core expertise is grounded is scaling loan programs, portfolio management and aligning staff, products and systems.  She focuses on earned income strategies and establishing loan operations systems. Special attention is devoted to technical assistance deployment, and building collaborations with local and state governments, banks, small business agencies and funding agencies and individuals.  

B.A. with Honors, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI
Graduate Studies, Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary, Nashotah, WI
Management Institute, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Extension
Real Estate Certifications: CCIM Candidate, Certified Residential Specialist Council (CRS)
Graduate Realtors Institute (GRI) and Real Estate Buyers Agency Council (REBAC)

LESLIE HOFFMAN  began her career as a journalist, covering a wide range of topics as a newspaper and Associated Press reporter. A tour in the Peace Corps in El Salvador planted the seeds of a community development career. Leslie joined the U.S. microfinance sector, serving in various leadership roles overseeing lending, portfolio quality and asset recovery, client service, communications, and strategic partnership development. Her consulting work focuses on capacity building and business strategy for nonprofits, community development financial institutions, community colleges, community-based networks, and small businesses.

STACY ZIELINSKI, Economic Development Professional has been active in the microfinance industry for nearly a decade. She has worked for several CDFI’s as Senior Technical Assistance Provider and Loan Officer. Her experience ranges from business plan development and review to underwriting and business development. She has also supervised/managed a TA staff team and led the organization of The SBA Community Advantage Lending program.

Stacy holds an MBA from Alverno College, a BA from Marquette University and brings over 7 years small business experience as owner/operator in the retail and hospitality industries.
BARBARA ECKBLAD combines natural leadership ability, analytical thinking and creative problem solving to impact results in community and economic development. She is a resourceful and passionate leader, adept at establishing trust and growing commitment among staff. 

Barbara served as Director of Lending for Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp, where she oversaw all aspects of the loan fund and grew the loan portfolio by 67% over 3 years while decreasing delinquency rates to below-industry standards.
Leslie is also a professional faculty member at the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management where she has taught courses in entrepreneurship and nonprofit management.
MARIANNE VERMEER is motivated by making a difference - for her clients, her family, and the world at large. People remark on her ability to think strategically, her 360-view of organizations and the factors that influence their success, the benefits of her global perspective, and her financial acumen. She has started and grown organizations as COO, CFO, Board Member, and Executive Director, helped to turn-around and rebuild organizations with worthy missions as a member of the executive team, and consulted with start-up companies, state government agencies, and non-profits on multiple strategic and tactical matters. Ask her about strategic planning or financial sustainability and her eyes light up. Give her a chance to roll up her sleeves as part of a team and she will connect with her fellow team members as she dives into her assigned role.

Born and raised in the rural Midwest, Marianne earned her B.S. degree from Colorado State University and her M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Marianne has lived in Egypt and Pakistan in addition to 12 states in the US; her work has taken her to Asia, Africa, Central and South America and to most corners of the US. She is now based in Richmond, Virginia where she resides with her family.
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