From Commercial to Consumer with Jonathan Encarnación of Community First Fund Credit Union

Behind the Vault Episode 17

Structuring capital to solve community needs

New or de novo banks and credit unions are rare, even more so when born from existing community institutions. Pennsylvania’s Community First Fund did just that in 2022. Jonathan Encarnación, Senior Vice President and Chief Retail Officer, shares the story of Community First Fund, the underserved market it serves, its growth through mergers, and its launch of a consumer deposit institution after 30 years of commercially focused lending.

Some highlights from the episode:

  • Their legacy in micro-lending, affordable housing development, and grocery/food distribution
  • The role non-financial outcomes play in measuring the success of initiatives
  • Their strategy of addressing community gaps in access to housing and fresh food in addition to financial services
  • The unlikely partnerships that have accelerated Community First Fund and what helped launch the credit union

Click here to see Community First Fund’s impact report

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This is Behind the Vault: Conversations with Customer-Driven Bankers, the podcast dedicated to empowering CEOs, Presidents, and CMOs in the community banking and credit union industry. In this digital era, your role as a leader in these financial institutions is more crucial than ever. Join us as we explore the stories, strategies, and successes of fellow industry leaders, providing you with actionable insights to drive your institution toward unparalleled success.

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