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Community Development

posted on July 9, 2007

Revitalization of Florida's Underserved Communities addressed in FMCRC Summit

Regions Financial Corporation Announces $100 Billion Commitment to Community Development in the Southeast, Midwest and Texas
n $15 Billion set for Community Development initiatives in Florida
FMCRC Chairman Al Pina (center) with summit attendees. Those in the photo include (Left to right) NaFFAA Florida State Chairman Romie Dela Paz; Palm Beach County Commissioner Jess Santamaria; Luis Diaz, Esq. President, United States Hispanic Advocacy Association;  Mr. and Mrs. Al Pina; NANAY Inc. President and FMCRC Director Dr. Joy Bruce, Philippine American Society officer Dr. Ernest Bohol.

Susan Martinez, Regions' Florida Regional President underscored the financial institution's commitment to community development in Florida.  "Florida is an important state for Regions, and we recognize the economic potential of all of our communities here and we're committed to serving them."  The community development initiatives will be over a seven-year period.

The Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition (FMCRC) presented its Fifth Annual Minority Community Economic Development Summit last June 4th and 5th in Tampa.  Region's  Chairman Jackson W. Moore was the featured speaker at the summit.

The annual event now on its fifth year, addressed the revitalization of Florida's underserved communities, subprime lending and FMCRC's partnership with Brandeis University's War on Poverty needs assessment. 

Summit topics focused on Real Estate Development, New Market Tax Credit Program, Workforce Development, Immigration and Health Issues, Small Business Development, Capacity Building for Minority Organizations,  and War on Poverty Programs.
Thomas M. Shapiro, Director, Institute on Assets and Policy- Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University with his presentation at the Subprime Lending Roundtable. Representatives from FMCRC, Greenlining Institute, Tri-State Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition, Brandeis University and HUD reviewed the impact of the Subprime Mortgage Sector in the minority community.

"FMCRC appreciates the commitment that Regions has made to our Annual Summit and especially the willingness of Mr. Moore to join us and share his perspective on emerging markets and how financial institutions can best partner with our communities," said Al Pina, chairman of the FMCRC. "On an apples-to-apples basis, Regions commitment is a model for other financial institutions to follow."

The Summit was highlighted by The War on Poverty, Assets for Change Initiative team previewed findings from their comprehensive asset mapping of Jacksonville. The data highlighted asset-building opportunities around which to mobilize a community. It provides the context for the War on Poverty, Assets for Change concept and partnerships, including an update on the progress of the project. It demonstrated the potential for comprehensive community development to anchor efforts that build communities while providing opportunities for families to build assets that leverage successful mobility out of poverty.

A presentation on Capital and Financial Tools for Small Business also highlited the event, presented by William Mateo, Florida Program Manager fo Accion USA and Eli Rodriguez, Community Impact Manager, Bank of America.

The presentation focused on access to capital and adequate planning, considered as the keys to successful small business. The presentation was an informative, interactive session highlighting techniques for accessing capital and financial planning tools especially designed for small businesses.  It was followed by a question and answer session.

Summit sponsors included Regions Financial Corp, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Colonial Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC, SunTrust and JP Morgan Chase. 

n Related story: The 2007 FMCRC Golden Eagle Awards

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