LiftFund poised for 2022 + Beyond

Our mission to level the financial playing field remains strong, serving as the guiding star for our enhanced business model and growing portfolio of products and services. This evolution is also reflected in our executive leadership suite.

Janie Barrera, President & CEO has included a General Counsel & Director of Government and Community Affairs and a Chief People Officer to the executive leadership team at LiftFund to continue the momentum of our record impact over the past two years and align with the changes within the organization.

We are proud to welcome Amy and Ronita to our family and celebrate the promotion and contributions of Adrian, Nelly and Celina, longstanding executives with LiftFund. We are also grateful for Rich’s time at LiftFund as COO/CFO/CLO and his many other hats to drive the company’s success. 

Amy H. Hereford 

General Counsel & Director of Government and Community Affairs 

LiftFund is pleased to announce the hiring of Amy H. Hereford who will serve as General Counsel & Director of Government and Community Affairs. In her role, Amy is leading our community, local and federal government affairs strategic initiatives and representing our small business advocacy programs. Additionally, as LiftFund’s General Counsel, Amy provides compliance and governance oversite.  

Amy is licensed to practice law in California and Texas. She represented local and national businesses as a litigation partner with Barton, East & Caldwell, PLLC and previously with McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP (now Dentons) in San Diego. She also served as the president and board chair of the Alamo Heights Chamber of Commerce. Amy was also the founder of a consulting company specializing in bar exam preparation for prospective Texas attorneys, and a college business and ethics law professor.  

Ronita Pinckney 

Chief People Officer 

Ronita Pinckney is LiftFund’s first Chief People Officer. In her new role, she lead’s organizational practices around employee inclusion and engagement, professional development and recruitment. Her strengths lie in people, performance, process, change management and organizational psychology.   

Ronita most recently was the Division Director, Organization and Talent Development for Whataburger, where she created programs to nurture and engage employees. Ronita has received national and federal recognition for her accomplishments in process improvement and reengineering to include Rochester Institute of Technology and USA Today Quality Cup (RIT/USA), Chief of Staff Team Excellence award to name a few. Ronita is also a U.S. Air Force veteran. 

Celina Peña 

Chief Growth Officer 

Celina Peña who has been a Lifter for 12 years, has been promoted to Chief Growth Officer, a new executive position that oversees LiftFund’s growing portfolio of responsive products and services. In this new role, Celina leads the direct lending, business learning, business grants, communications, and advancement teams.  

Previously, Celina served as the Chief Advancement Officer on the leadership team where she oversaw multiple key departments, including Development, Individual Giving, Business Support, Communications, Customer Service, and special programs such as the Recovery Small Business grants, a program that launched in 2020 to provide relief to small businesses from the pandemic. 

Nelly Rojas-Moreno  

Chief Financial & Credit Officer 

Nelly Rojas-Moreno has been promoted to Chief Financial & Credit Officer to grow and sustain our organization’s operations. She leads the departments working to sustain our front-office operations, including underwriting, accounting, closing and IT. Nelly started working at LiftFund 20 years ago and was instrumental in the development of our evolving risk model. 

Nelly has dedicated her professional career to leveling the financial playing field for underserved entrepreneurs by developing innovative and flexible underwriting criteria while managing risk for the organization. She is a strong proponent of CDFIs because she believes they are seeding our communities with opportunity and hope. She has seen first-hand the power entrepreneurship can have in a community, especially when small businesses can prosper in an inclusive economy where everyone prospers. 

Adrian Gonzalez

Senior Executive Vice President, SBA Lending Group

Adrian Gonzalez has been a Lifter since 2011 leading a variety of lending teams. He currently manages LiftFund’s Community Development Corporation administering the SBA 504 program in the State of Texas.

Adrian is an active member of the community and has served in multiple boards including the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of Bexar County, BISH Foundation, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Most recently, Adrian was added to the MD Anderson Cancer Center “Legacy Society” for this continued support.

 Celebrating the Retirement of Richard Ruebe

Richard Ruebe, the first Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at LiftFund, announced his retirement earlier this month. Ruebe served as the COO for nearly five years where he oversaw Lending, Credit, Financial Operations, IT, HR and Facilities for LiftFund’s offices throughout its footprint.

He oversaw all LiftFund’s loan operations including Small Business Administration 504 loans, 7a Community Advantage loans, large loans and microloans. Rich was instrumental in developing a business strategy to guide and effectively measure the organization’s sustainability goals. LiftFund is a stronger organization because of his guidance and contributions.

The entire LiftFund family wishes Rich much happiness in his retirement.

In Memoriam Tom Clausen

The LiftFund family is deeply saddened by the passing of our executive vice president of treasury management, Tom Clausen. Tom joined LiftFund in 2010 and was instrumental in LiftFund’s strong financial position and growth. His wittiness and great sense of humor would always bring the team together, and we will remember him for his big heart. We keep his family in our prayers during this difficult time. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin