Community Loan Fund picks successor to longtime training manager

Community Loan Fund picks successor to longtime training manager
Written by Publishing Team

ALBANY – The Community Loan Fund has selected Destiny Watkins to succeed Paul Stewart, its longtime coach and technical assistance director, after he recently retired.

Watkins worked with the organization for seven years and was promoted internally from her previous position as Community Development Lending Officer at the Loan Fund.

She started with the agency as an apprentice while attending St. Rose College and has helped dozens of small businesses obtain financing. Watkins said she’s excited about the promotion, although it took her some time to adjust to the “big shoe” Stewart had left to fill.

“He left a great legacy,” she said. “We’ve made some good strides in the past few years and I just want to keep that momentum going.”

Watkins’ goal is to build on Stewart’s foundation and increase access to Loan Fund programs, especially for business owners who are constrained in their day-to-day operations. It plans to increase offerings of virtual learning and in-person financial workshops to help small business owners bridge the gap between their finances at home and professional ventures.

“I have a really passion for coaching and helping entrepreneurs achieve their plans,” Watkins noted. “I’m just so excited about it.”

The organization said Watkins was chosen because of her “dynamic skill set, comprehensive understanding of the market, and longstanding commitment to economic justice.”

She brings an impressive level of expertise to the table, said Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director of the Loan Fund.

“We know she will succeed in this position because she cares about her clients, and believes in the mission of the Community Loan Fund,” MacFarlane said.

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