Columbus, OH (April 5, 2019) – The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is pleased to announce the following individuals for receiving the 2019 Caren S. Franzini Fellowship. Congratulations to:
- Donna Culpepper, Executive Director, Nocona Economic Development Corporations, Nocona, Texas
- Julia Schneider, Assistant Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York, New York
- Barbara Waters, Associate Director of Marketing, Connecticut Green Bank, Rocky Hill, Connecticut
- Johanna Nelson, Finance Development Specialist, New Mexico Economic Development Department, Sante Fe, New Mexico
“CDFA is proud and honored to recognize Donna, Julia, Barbara and Johanna as our first class of Caren. S. Franzini fellows. These
inspirational women represent rising, talented stars in the development finance world and we are thrilled to welcome them into the CDFA
family.” states Toby Rittner, DFCP and President & CEO of CDFA. “Over the next year, we will challenge our four fellows to explore
development finance with the energy, passion and dedication demonstrated by my good friend and mentor, Caren Franzini. Her legacy lives on through this fellowship and we are proud to honor her memory while helping to brighten the professional future for women throughout the country.”
The Caren S. Franzini Fellowship was established in 2017 by the CDFA Board of Directors to recognize the exemplary leadership of Caren
Franzini, a past President of CDFA and former CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). During her career, Caren was dedicated to the advancement of development finance best practices, education, and advocacy.
Recognized by her peers and colleagues as “simply the best,” Caren brought a high level of mastery and acumen to her work. Her
commitment to the development finance industry is evident in the numerous programs created and the billions of dollars of investment that she catalyzed during her tenure at NJEDA. She was equally passionate about building leaders and experts in the field as she was about
financing businesses and expanding economic growth and job creation for New Jersey communities.
The Caren S. Franzini Fellowship was created to build leadership positions for women in the field of development finance and to inspire
them to embody Caren’s spirit and professionalism. Franzini Fellows are given the opportunity to work directly with CDFA through a one year program aimed at developing perpetuating female leadership in the field of development finance. Each class of Franzini Fellows will
collaborate on a project of significance to the development finance industry and present it to a national audience. Franzini Fellows may build a new type of financing program, research creative deal structures, write a publication of best practices, or demonstrate new methodologies in the development finance industry. Collectively, their work will showcase expertise in development finance and the power of women-led initiatives. To read more about the Franzini Fellowship, please visit our webpage.
The Council of Development Finance Agencies is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns
and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community
representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information about CDFA, visit www.cdfa.net.