CRF Names Kuester Director of Credit and Business Operations

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA Names Kuester Director of Credit and Business Operations

Nonprofit lender looks to expand small business lending with new hire

MINNEAPOLIS – August 26, 2019 – Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) – a mission-driven non-profit lender dedicated to improving communities and transforming lives – has named longtime business lending expert Jake Kuester as its new director of credit and business operations.

With a 30-year history of providing capital for communities and opportunities for people, CRF is small business lender that understands the unique needs of small business borrowers. CRF’s SBA 7(a) loan program, administered through its affiliate – CRF Small Business Loan Company – is a highly flexible alternative to traditional business loans, providing between $150,000 and $4 million to qualified businesses that can’t be financed by conventional lending sources. As a non-bank licensee authorized by the SBA to offer 7(a) business loans, CRF often provides financing when others can’t or won’t.

“After a career in lending for major financial institutions, I was thrilled to find a great opportunity with CRF,” said Kuester. “I believe strongly that small business financing is a huge driver of community benefit, and CRF shares those values as a pillar of its mission.”

Kuester will manage the credit and loan packaging/closing process, as well as credit policies, procedures and operations for its small business lending practice.

Since becoming an SBA 7(a) lender, CRF has made nearly 450 SBA 7(a) business loans. CRF’s emphasis is on community impact and helping to create a more equitable economic landscape for women, people of color, veterans and underserved populations.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, Kuester embarked on careers with U.S. Bank, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, WESTconsin Credit Union and Wells Fargo, where he coached, led and developed a team of seven construction loan underwriters with territories throughout the central U.S.

“Jake is a well-known expert in the Twin Cities business lending community, and we are grateful to be working with him to expand our business lending operations,” said Judy Jandro, senior vice president of small business lending for CRF. “By strengthening small business lending, we can improve our communities for the better through access to capital and a truly grassroots approach to addressing income inequality and entrepreneurship for women, veterans and people of color.”

Learn how CRF lends differently and supports small businesses in the nation’s most deserving geographies.

About Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF)
Founded in 1988, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to empower people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities through innovative financial solutions. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CRF supports other mission-driven organizations, increases economic mobility, and builds strong local economies through the development of solutions aimed at creating an equitable financial system. CRF has injected more than $2.4 billion to stimulate job creation and economic development and support community facilities. For more information, visit


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