Board Member Spotlight: Calvin Holmes

CRF’s Board of Trustees is made up of leaders with extensive experience working in community development, financial services, and other sectors. Each board member brings a unique perspective to CRF and helps the organization achieve its mission to improve lives and strengthen communities through innovative financial solutions. 

We want you to get to know our board members! Read our ongoing Board Member Spotlight series to learn more about each member, including why they joined the board, what goals they have for CRF and what they do for fun.  

In the first edition of our Board Member Spotlight series, we’re featuring Calvin Holmes, President of the Chicago Community Loan Fund. Read more about Calvin below: 

Photo Credit: Steve Becker |

Do you work for another organization? Where do you work? How would you describe your current role?

Chicago Community Loan Fund, President 

Tell us a little about yourself and your experiences. How did this experience lead to your passion for economic justice?

I grew up in a blue-collar household in E. St. Louis, Illinois where my mother and grandmother during one period in my youth worked in community development for the City of E. St. Louis and I listened to a good number of their conversations about their work. At Northwestern University curiosity led me to major in African American Studies where I learned much more about racial inequities in the U.S. and globally. I like to think that reading “a thousand slave narratives” upset me so badly that I knew I had to commit my life to social, economic and political justice. Those conversations at home likely placed me in the right frame to dedicate my life to providing equity to others but the academic exposure in college cemented the urgency and absolute necessity to do so! 

Why were you interested in serving on the CRF Board of Trustees?

Frank asked me to do so and I had always been impressed with him from presentations I had seen him give at industry conferences and it seemed exciting to be involved with a national industry thought-leading agency. 

What goals do you have for CRF?

To use its capital and know-how to significantly expand wealth and employment levels in low-income communities. To help the CDFI industry better leverage technology in our evolution to scale. 

Where do you see opportunities for CRF or others to help create a more equitable economy for all?

Affordable, accessible capital with expert business advisory services delivered with dignity will help tens of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs build wealth and hire people and hopefully reduce the racial wealth gap in the U.S. 

What other causes do you support?

Racial justice, shared-equity housing, arts & culture development, development of emerging countries, youth education, climate resiliency, etc. 

What do you do for fun?

Ride my bike! Listen to books while riding my bike! International travel! 

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