The cdfa / About Us / Governance


Board of Directors

Listed below are CDFA’s Board of Directors for 2014:

Mike Baker

Chief Executive, The Social Enterprise Loan Fund

Mike joined TSELF in 2004, and was previously employed by NatWest at executive level. Originally called the Local Investment Fund, TSELF was set up as a registered charity in 1994 to provide loan finance for charities and organisations with a charitable purpose, with the aim of overcoming the funding gap often experienced by social enterprises. Loans have been made to around 200 community enterprises with the total amount lent being approximately £9m. These community enterprises are based in the five English Regions where TSELF has been able to provide dedicated staff to develop the business. Funding has come from a number of sources, including the government, the RDA’s and several banks. TSELF was a founder member of CDFA and the Adventure Capital Fund. Mike has a lifelong commitment to charities and social enterprises; he was a board member of King’s Cross SRB for seven years and is now on the boards of CDFA and Adventure Capital Fund.

Jonathan Diggines (CDFA Chair)

Chief Executive, EV Group

Jonathan Diggines joins from Enterprise Venture Group, where he was CEO and brings to CDFA a wealth of business and finance experience developed over the past twenty years in public and private sector co-investment and the management of venture capital funds, latterly at Enterprise Ventures where he took funds under management from £20m to £130m by successfully investing in regional SME’s, for the most part in the North of England. He spent 11 years as a Managing Director at Murray Johnstone Private Equity where he managed around £360 million in a private equity and venture funds.
A solicitor, Jonathan is a highly experienced company director who has taken a number of significant public and private company board positions. He sits on the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Member Services Committee and is a former Member of the Council of the BVCA, where he chaired its Legal & Technical Committee for several years. He is also a BVCA lecturer on its Foundation Course.

Stephen Edwards

Financial Controller Enterprise Northern Ireland Limited (ENI)

Having spent 6 years in practice during which time he qualified Stephen left practice to join GE Capital TLS Vehicle Rental working through a variety of finance roles to become the Financial Analysis and Planning Manager for the business which had a turnover in excess of $200m. Following a 2 year spell as Financial Controller for a group of start-up businesses which grew to turnover in excess of £2m within two years he relocated with his family to Ireland.
Stephen joined Enterprise Northern Ireland in 2006 as Financial Controller and has gained significant experience in dealing with the management and delivery of public funded programmes.
Stephen has gained significant experience in the area of community finance overseeing both the strategic and operational management of Aspire Micro Loans for Business, the ENI Loan Fund and the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund.
Stephen is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Melanie Elliot

Chief Executive, MCF Loans

Melanie Elliot is Chief Executive of MCF Loans a strong CDFI offering personal and business lending across the Midlands. Derbyloans started out five years ago; under Melanie’s leadership the business has successfully expanded across borders into Derbyshire, South Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, opened local branches, making affordable finance more accessible to the community. She established a new brand “MCF Loans” Midlands Community Finance. Previously Melanie worked for HBOS and Abbey National (18 years). From branch management to Operational Training; instrumental in setting up/managing call centres with 200 staff in Retail Banking. As a Management consultant she established UK wide leadership programmes. Key skills:- exceeding K.P.I’s, coaching / mentoring, sales / lending, strategic development, change management, managing stakeholder relationships, funding contracts and business budgets. Passionate about the community and re-generation, she has a desire to develop people to reach full potential thus developing the CDFI sector for the long term.

Katy Ford

Chief Executive, Foundation East

Katy Ford is the Chief Executive of Foundation East (FE), an SME and micro business lenders based in Suffolk and lending in the six counties of eastern England. She joined FE in February 2004 at its inception initially taking on the role of Finance and Investment Manager and becoming Chief Executive in March 2009. Her primary role is to lead the strong staff team of nine to deliver the vision and mission of FE, and to ensure the values of the company are embedded at every level. She is also responsible for fundraising, building and maintaining relationships with all stakeholders, including the society’s members, funders, bankers and auditors. Furthermore, she undertakes the HR function, ensuring FE is compliant with all regulatory requirements and is FE’s anti-money laundering reporting officer. As FE is a small organisation, she provides a hand on supporting role in the respective team as and when the need arises. Prior to joining FE, Katy managed the treasury department for insurance broking firm Marsh Inc in Guernsey for 14 years.

 Arthur Foreman

Managing Director, Donbac

Arthur joined Donbac in 2009 when it was re-launched to meet increasing gaps in finance solutions created by the credit crunch.
Donbac is a not for profit company limited by guarantee covering South Yorkshire and the Sheffield City Region: it provides loans up to £100,000 to both new and established businesses.
Arthur comes from a banking background (ACIB qualified) and enjoyed 23 years with Willaims & Glyn’s / RBS Head Office roles as well as portfolio and branch management. He subsequently worked 12 years in Business Link (Sheffield & South Yorkshire) intially in an advisory role and subsequently as a Contract and Development Manager, before spending 2 years as a self employed adviser.
Other external positions previously held include Board representation at Sheffield Business Club and Sheffield Young Enterprise: also Marketing Officer at Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Business Advisers and Secretary of Lincolnshire Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Neil Hewitt

Social & Cultural Team Manager, Triodos Bank

Neil Hewitt is responsible for managing a team of Relationship Managers which collectively provides a total of £380 million of funding into Social Housing, Charities, Social Enterprises, Health Care, Faith Groups and Arts & Culture sectors. In addition to supporting the 460 borrowing customers, the team manages over 600 deposit relationships, with funds entrusted exceeding £30 million. This diversity enables Neil to understand the challenges that each of these very different sectors are facing, both on a strategic and operational level. His role gives an early insight into the impact of Government policies that impact on the Sector, and his active involvement in events and conferences is aimed at helping businesses prepare their future funding proposals, based in their changing financial needs. Neil is committed to making a difference and, based on the Triodos banking model, is convinced that, with more conscious use of money, we can deliver a more sustainable future.

Nicholas Nicolaou

Managing Director – GLE oneLondon

Nicholas Nicolaou has over 15 years’ experience lending to SMEs and is a Prince2 Practitioner. Since Nicks’ arrival, GLE has won contracts for 4 local authority, 2 pan-London, 1 UK-wide charity and 1 national DWP fund – total capital value almost £18m. In addition, he leads its Enterprise Agency, which is integrated with its CDFI activity like some other CDFA members. Nick demonstrates an interest in and understanding of the CDFI sector, its strengths and opportunities for the future through regular meetings with peers both within and outside of the CDFI Business Lending Networking group. Nick highly values working in partnership with members and does so regularly. Nick believes, if elected, he would provide a dynamic approach and perceptive voice to the CDFA board to assist all types of CDFIs at a critical time.

Hugh Rolo

Director of Innovation, Locality

Hugh Rolo works for Locality as Director of Innovation. Locality has 600 plus members across the UK.  Current members have a combined turnover of £430mn and own assets valued at £750mn. They cultivate enterprise and build assets – creating wealth in communities and keeping it there.
He is a founder partner and Director of the Key Fund Yorkshire- both of which are investing “patient capital” in community enterprises. On behalf of the DTA, he is a founder partner of the Adventure Capital Fund and an advisor to Communitybuilders Investment Panel.
Hugh is leading for Locality on an action learning research programme into Community Shares and Bonds backed by Communities and Local Government and the Office of Civil Society.
Hugh is also a director of ACCENT Regeneration, a leading housing association.
Hugh remains active in his own community of Manningham in Bradford as a Director of ABL, and Manningham Mills Community Association, development trusts, and as a secondary School Governor, where he chairs the finance committee.

Bob Wallis

Director of Operations, Fredericks Foundation

Bob Wallis has worked for Fredericks Foundation since 2005, starting up specialist projects in mental health and physical disability in London. As Director of Operations Bob has overseen the assimilation of lending organisations in the South West and relationships with partner organisations; working with BIS on Mentoring and Business Support programmes; as well as with SEEDA as a Director of Inclusive Finance cic. He chairs the Somerset Board, has developed relationships with the local authorities and is responsible for most of the contractual negotiation with funders. Bob also assesses plans and manages clients in Kent, East Sussex and London, where he works with London Youth Support Trust and Leonard Cheshire.
Bob set up internet information and ticketing business Dynamic Listing Ltd which obtained contracts with Reuters and the National Theatre after having managed a regional touring theatre for 10 years. He is a Trustee of Hextable Dance in Kent.

Stephen Waud

Executive Director, Bradford Enterprise Agency Ltd

Steve is an Engineer and a qualified Barrister and has been involved in the running of SME’s at board level for many years now. His strong financial, legal and technical skills put him in an ideal position to understand the needs of business and support them. He has worked within a number of market sectors, these include, plastics, automotive, brand marketing to name a few.
He has established grown and developed BEF since 2004 and has seen its asset base grow 10 fold in that time, lending millions to SMEs in that time.
Steve is regularly consulted by different agencies on the CDFI sector and has contributed to a number of programs to see the growth and development of the sector, especially in the Yorkshire and Humber region. He is a strong advocate of CDFIs and is keen to see the sector achieve significant scale and reach.