Executive Director of the California Community Economic Development Association
Roberto Barragan is the Executive Director of the California Community Economic Development Association, a 200 member association committed to community revitalization in diverse urban and rural neighborhoods across the state of California. Roberto assists Community Development Corporations (CDCs), Community Action Agencies and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to plan, fund, establish and expand robust community economic development programs, including micro and small business lending programs, strategic and innovative community reinvestment solutions, as well as assist nonprofit organizations with social venture business plans and funding strategies as well as fund development plans and campaigns, and conceptualize, structure, fund and manage community led real estate projects, e.g. administrative offices, child development and training facilities, homeless shelters, affordable housing and commercial and retail projects that serve low and moderate income communities.
For the past 3 years, Mr. Barragan served as the Principal of nationally serving Aquaria Funding Solutions, a diverse group of consultants focused on expanding CDFIs of Color and addressing the lack of economic equity and racial justice in the community lending industry. His work has helped dozens of Latino and African American CDFIs expand their small and micro lending to entrepreneurs of color across the country. In this role, Mr. Barragan specialized in assisting Latino and Black entrepreneurs to purchase existing businesses, specifically those the managed or were employed. Over the last 25 years, Mr. Barragan helped over 100 aspiring entrepreneurs to buy existing businesses to save over 2,000 jobs.
Over the last 3 years, Mr. Barragan has also served as Chair and Vice Chair for the inaugural Federal Reserve Board of Governors Community Advisory Council. Established by Dodd Frank legislation, this Council of 15 national geographically and demographically diverse individuals from non profit and financial organizations, universities, labor unions and associations who meet twice annually to advise the Board on issues ranging from the Community Reinvestment Act to homelessness. And until late 2017, Mr. Barragan served as a founding Board member for California United Bank, a $3 billion community bank serving Southern California.
Previously, Mr. Barragan was the President of Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) from 1999 to 2016. He managed the largest small business development non-profit organization in California, managing a $11 million budget with 80 employees in 8 offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami and Chicago. VEDC served over 3,000 businesses yearly with financing, training and direct business assistance. Barragan designed and implemented a growth strategy for VEDC building $70 million in assets with a small business loan portfolio of $35 million. In the last decade, Mr. Barragan has raised over $100 million in federal, state and local as well as private resources for small and medium sized business development.
He led VEDC to national prominence as a highly regarded CDFI originating $25 million annually in small business loans. The VEDC lent almost $100 million to women and minority business owners in the last 10 years, and launched numerous community and business programs including Business Opportunity Funds in Chicago and New York, the Pacoima Development Federal Credit Union, the National African American Small Business Loan Fund, the Women’s Small Business Risk Mitigation program, and the National Micro Finance Fund among many others.
Mr. Barragan graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Law, and studied Marketing and Real Estate Finance at the University of California, Berkeley, Hass Graduate School of Business Administration.
Mr. Barragan is a Board member of the National Association of Community Development Associations, Affordable Aging for the Living, and CRCD Enterprises. He is a past Chair of the Board of the California Reinvestment Coalition as well as a founder and past Board member of the National Association for Latino Asset Builders.
He is a long time Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Child Development Institute (CDI) a San Fernando Valley based child development and assistance organization.