Skip to main content

Tag: events

Meet the MAF Madrina: Jenny Flores

Jenny Flores still remembers when MAF Founder and CEO José Quiñonez showed up at Citigroup with a piece of paper and a big dream. 

Back then, MAF was just a small office on the second floor of a restaurant, and convincing people of our mission was no easy task. 

“You were selling this big vision, and many executives didn’t quite get it,” Jenny recalls. “But because I grew up in this community, and because I understood you so intimately — what you were trying to solve — we jumped in to support that big vision. And here we are, 15 years later.” 

Now, Jenny is the Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy at Wells Fargo, and MAF has outgrown that small office — but not that big dream. In fact, we’re building it together hand-in-hand with Jenny, the madrina of MAF’s 15-year quinceañera celebration

“Jenny radiates energy. Her enthusiasm and passion for serving people is contagious because it’s real and heartfelt,” José said of Jenny before presenting her with the Madrina Award. “It is my honor to call her amiga, colega y compañera en la lucha.”

Jenny was chosen for this honor because of her lifelong and steadfast commitment to serving people with dignity and respect. “The fact that our immigrant community — that we have so many assets that others may see as ‘weaknesses’ — they’re actually strengths,” Jenny said to the audience. “And I love that.”

“Over the years, through all her various roles in philanthropy, she always found ways to support our work of building solutions rooted in community,” José said. “I recall many conversations we’d have over lunch, strategizing and dreaming of what more we could do for the people we serve. And while I always seemed to have walked away with way more projects on my plate after every conversation, I always left our meetings energized and inspired, ready to do more.” 

Meet the MAF Padrino: John A. Sobrato.

A Time to Celebrate MAF 2.0

A community comes together to mark the next phase in Lending Circles

Last Monday, October 20th we opened our doors to over 150 members of the MAF family in celebration of MAF 2.0: the exciting new phase of our organization. Everyone from funders to clients and friends came to discover our new space and learn about the launch of our social loan platform.

The evening was full of excitement as the room was abuzz with thoughts on MAF’s continued growth and development. The incredible catering from some of our favorite credit-building clients (Alicia’s Tamales, D’Maize and Delicioso Creperie) only added to the jovial atmosphere. It was a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and how what was born in the Mission District is now resonating throughout the country.

With the launch of our new platform, we are empowering other organizations to do similar work in their community.

Shweta Kohli, a Lending Circle client, shared her story recently chronicled in the New York Times. Her journey beautifully exemplifies the strength and resilience of all our clients.

Kari Dohn Decker, Executive Director of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Responsibility for the West Region spoke to the current status of credit-building efforts, expressing that “this is a national issue”. She praised MAF’s partnering efforts which are bringing help to people in need across the United States. She capped off her speech by announcing MAF as the recipient of another round of funding from JPMorgan Chase of $300,000.

San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros closed out the program. He presented MAF with an award from the city making sure to point out that MAF has “really moved the needle” on the credit building issue.

“You’re building a stronger community. You’re building a stronger San Francisco. And now I’m confident that you will do the same across the country,” said Jose Cisneros.

Every day we meet more and more individuals and communities eager to use our services. To meet our growing needs, we took two steps: The first, finding a bigger office and the second, improving and expanding our technology. Our new location means bigger meeting spaces and easier access so we can better serve our clients.

Technology has been essential to everything we do at MAF from loan management and accounting to communication and fundraising. Over the past five years of using Salesforce, we learned and observed where there were bottlenecks in our application and enrollment process, especially in our Lending Circles partner provider experience, so we wanted to address those areas with our new Social Loan platform. Our guests got to see a demo of the platform’s features during the party and learned more about our deepened commitment to partnerships in the Bay Area and beyond.

Looking ahead, we are rapidly expanding our programs and bringing on new organizations to partner with us, so we needed a new system that would enable us to handle working with many more organizations and individuals.

The MAF 2.0 Launch Party marks a step in a new direction for our organization and we were thrilled to be able to celebrate with members of our community. Everyone who walked through our doors is an important part of our family. Their support and energy make us who we are and we are grateful that we were able to include them in our efforts to bring more hardworking families out of the financial shadows.