Press Release: ICYMI: DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld Honored with Wisconsin CDFI Champion Award

Wisconsin Department of Administration Logo



Tony Evers, Governor

Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary

May 3, 2023

ICYMI: DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld Honored with Wisconsin CDFI Champion Award

Recognition from Invest in Wisconsin Honors Long-term Support for Wisconsin Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)


Madison, Wis. – Earlier this week Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld was recognized as a Wisconsin CDFI Champion by Invest in Wisconsin, a group of 20 Community Development Financial Institutions (or CDFIs), for her role as a partner in advancing economic development initiatives throughout the State of Wisconsin. Secretary Blumenfeld was honored during the annual CDFI legislative day at the Capitol on May 2, 2023.  

“During the course of my career as a CPA, as past secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, and now at DOA, I’ve been fortunate to work hand-in-hand with organizations and CDFIs across the state that make it possible for communities to thrive, for housing to get built, for small business owners to see their dreams come true,” said DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld upon accepting the award. “I am humbled and honored to be recognized today, knowing that the work we do together, and the impact of CDFIs continues.”

Invest in Wisconsin group presenting CDFI Champion award to DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld at the CDFI Legislative Day May 2, 2023

Front row LR: Catherine Haberland, DFI Assistant Deputy Secretary; Kathy Blumenfeld, DOA Secretary; Cheryll Olson-Collins, DFI Secretary; Chris Patton, DOA Deputy Secretary; Back row, LR: Fausto Rivera, Forward Community Investments; Gary Goyke, Invest in Wisconsin;  Ryan Zerwer, Forward Community Investments, Inc. president and CEO; Darian Luckett, Illinois Facility Fund director of lending; Valerie Renk, Habitat for Humanity CEO; Wendy Baumann, WWBIC president/CVO; Maysee Herr, Hmong Chamber of Commerce CEO; Brianna Wright, WWBIC; Cara Connors, DOA legislative advisor.

“Wisconsin’s CDFIs are leaders in financial inclusion. They provide financial education, technical assistance, and capacity-building support to the organizations, businesses, or individuals who they serve," said DFI Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins. “I'm proud of the progress that’s been made by DOA’s Diverse Business Investment program, CDFIs, and organizations serving small businesses and individuals in hard-hit communities across Wisconsin over the last few years, and it's wonderful to see Secretary Blumenfeld being recognized for her leadership in this effort.”

“CDFI's play a critical role as investors in communities throughout the State of Wisconsin making housing more affordable, stimulating economic growth, creating jobs and providing opportunity for advancement to low-income families,” said Ryan Zerwer, Forward Community Investments Inc. CEO. “Secretary Blumenfeld has been a tireless champion of our work and her support has benefitted citizens in every corner of the state in immeasurable ways."  

As part of Governor Evers’ efforts to support and bolster small businesses across the state, $42 million was invested in the Diverse Business Investment program, administered by the Department of Administration, for the purpose of supporting CDFIs and organizations serving small businesses in hard-hit communities across Wisconsin. The funding resulted in expanded opportunities for grants, training, and one-on-one support for business owners in communities of color, women, veterans, and under-represented and under-funded entrepreneurs. 

Visit to view pandemic-related assistance information as well as the latest data and success stories about how COVID-relief investments are making a difference across the state. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.


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