This webinar will feature IFF ( – IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income populations and individuals with disabilities. Since 1988, IFF has provided $1 billion in flexible, affordable financing to nonprofits serving a variety of sectors – affordable housing, health care, education, community development, and more. These investments have leveraged $3 billion, developed more than 27.8 million square feet of real estate, and impacted communities by creating more than 7,200 childcare slots, 54,000 school seats, 371,000 new patient visits, and 12,000 units of affordable housing.


Welcoming remarks:

1. George Mui - Moderator, Founder, Asian American Executive Network (AAEN) & IFF Board Member

2. AAEN Special Guest - Joe Neri (CEO of IFF)

3. Janet Alikpala - Project Manager @ National ACE

4. National ACE Special - Shenlin Chen, AARP MI Executive Council member

Featured IFF Speakers:

1. Gordon Hellwig - Managing Director of Lending, Illinois & Northwest Indiana

2. Kate Ansorge - Managing Director for Real Estate Solutions at IFF

Special Guest Sharing Experience with IFF:

1. Dennis Mondero - Executive Director of Chinese Mutual Aid Association

2. TBD

Q/A - Participants via Chat

Joe Neri is CEO of IFF — one of the nation’s largest and highest-rated, non-depository, diversified Community Development Financial Institutions. Joe leads a staff of over 100 highly dedicated and talented financial, real estate development, policy, and research professionals committed to strengthening nonprofit health, education, housing, and human service agencies and the communities they serve.

With over 30 years of comprehensive community development experience, Joe led IFF’s expansion to 10 states and grew its assets by 135%. He created IFF’s Real Estate and Research business; created Home First, a housing development corporation for persons with disabilities; co-founded a nationally recognized community development corporation; and led municipal economic development efforts.

Joe has broad, direct experience in nonprofit community facility finance, planning and development, affordable housing, community small business lending, child care facilities design, finance, and systems planning and charter school authorizing, finance, and development.

Joe has held adjunct instructor positions at the graduate planning schools of the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Joe is Chair of the board for Acción Chicago, serves on the Community Advisory Committee for U.S. Bank, and previously served on the Community Advisory Committee of the St. Louis Federal Reserve. Joe holds a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelors in Urban Affairs from Grinnell College.

Gordon Hellwig is IFF’s Managing Director of Lending for Illinois and Northwest Indiana, providing leadership and management for IFF’s lending activities and capital solutions in the greater Chicagoland area, NW Indiana, and central Illinois. He has more than 25 years of experience in commercial banking, many of those with the nation’s first community development financial institution (CDFI), Shorebank in Chicago. At Shorebank, he was a Vice President for Commercial Lending and for Commercial Real Estate Lending as well as the Director of Risk Management for Shorebank’s holding company. He also was a Vice President for Commercial Lending for the Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest and a Vice President in the Acquired Assets Division of MB Financial Bank. He is the former Vice Chairman of the Oak Park (Illinois) Housing Authority, currently the board treasurer of the Collaboration for Early Childhood, and a member of the Greater Austin Development Association, a 501 c (4) organization that promotes quality, affordable, housing and economic development in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. He earned a BA in History and Russian from Cornell College and an MA in Russian history from the University of Chicago. He also served as an American diplomat with the US State Department, with overseas assignments in India, Romania, and Russia.

Kate Ansorge, Managing Director for Real Estate Solutions at IFF

Kate oversees the IFF’s Real Estate Solutions team serving non-profits in the Chicago and Milwaukee metro areas. IFF offers real estate consulting include project feasibility analysis, lease versus buy analysis, site search, building assessments, predevelopment services including architect, design oversight, zoning and permitting assistance, vendor oversight, and cost estimating as well as owner’s representative services including contractor procurement and construction oversight.

Kate joined IFF in 2008 as a Senior Project Manager and has worked with non-profits to obtain and close $98 million in federal and State of Illinois New Markets Tax Credit allocation, including the Lawndale Christian Health Center’s $24 million health and fitness center. She has provided project management services to Lakeview Pantry, Inspiration Kitchen’s Garfield Park location, Children’s Home + Aid’s 240-slot early childhood center in Carpentersville, and Foundation for Homan Square’s multi-tenant Nichols Tower in North Lawndale.

Kate’s housing experience includes management of the acquisition and rehabilitation of housing funded by IFF’s $12 million of Neighborhood Stabilization Program housing grants and management of a $9 million grant funding a foreclosure acquisition/renovation revolving grant program benefiting low-income buyers in West and South Cook County suburbs.

Prior to joining IFF, Kate was a Project Manager for East Lake Management & Development, which develops and manages family, senior, supportive and public housing throughout Illinois. In this role, she coordinated and closed financing, managed construction projects, and coordinated leasing and sales for affordable housing projects funded through low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, and HOPE VI financing. Kate holds a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Vassar College. She previously served on the boards of Delta Institute and Women in Planning + Development.

Dennis Mondero - Executive Director, Chinese Mutual Aid Association

Dennis Mondero has served as Executive Director of Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) since August 2013, after serving for approximately ten years on CMAA’s Board of Directors.

Dennis is a first-generation immigrant, born in the Philippines, when his family moved to Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood in 1971. Dennis received his bachelor’s (BA) degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana, his law degree (JD) from Indiana University at Bloomington, and his master of law degree (LLM) in Real Estate from John Marshall Law School.

After some time practicing commercial real estate law, Dennis later joined the City of Chicago as Chief Counsel for the Department of Buildings, then subsequently held positions as Deputy Buildings Commissioner, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer for the CTA.

Dennis is a past President of the Asian American Bar Association (AABA) and the Asian American Action Fund of Greater Chicago. Among his current activities, Dennis sits on the Board of Directors for Illinois Partners for Human Services, a state-wide coalition of over 850 non-profit organizations, and on the national board for NAFFAA, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. Dennis also serves on Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s Advisory Collective, and various other community advisory boards, such as for the University of Illinois at Chicago, Truman College, and the Chinese American Bar Association.

FUN FACT | Dennis loves to swim, bike, and run.

George Chunkau Mui, Founder and Moderator, Asian American Executive Network, IFF Board Member, Managing Partner, Global Consultants United

Asian American Executive Network is informal network designed to bring Asian American executives together to support each other and the community. Global Consultants United is an International Business Consulting Group that provides world-class solutions with a team of collaborating partners. Services include international business development, access to contracts, capital, and markets along with professional & management training of corporate executives and promising professionals.

George has recently retired from the U.S. Department of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) after ten plus years of public services. He initiated the Global Market Access programs for gaining access to the global markets by leveraging the Diaspora Business Community. This approach was adapted into the U.S. National Export Strategy. His innovative programs earned George two MBDA National Director Awards in 2010 and 2017. George also served as the Senior Advisor for The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) from 2014 – 2016 where he served as the business liaison for AAPI businesses for both WHIAAPI and MBDA.

Prior to joining MBDA, George Mui served as SBA’s Small Business Development Center Director at the Asian American Alliance. He was also the president of New World Connections, Inc., an independent consulting company specializing in international business development and professional training. He completed a successful career at Lucent Technology that spanned 19 years from a software engineer to Product Management Director with $400 Million Dollars business unit.

Janet Alikpala (AL-ik-PAH-luh) is a Project Manager for National ACE. Before joining National ACE, she helped co-found a tech start up called KOHA based out of Chicago. Her background is in nonprofit marketing, fundraising, PR and communications and was the former Public Affairs Director for Dominick’s, a division of Safeway, Inc

Shenlin Chen serves as an Executive Councilmember of AARP Michigan. She is also currently the President and CEO of the Association of Chinese Americans, Inc. – the Detroit Chapter of OCA Asian American Advocate. She has over 21 years of non-profit management experience and an extensive background in developing and monitoring programs. Shenlin was the Executive Director of ACA from 1999 to 2015. In her current capacity, she oversees the entire operation of the organization and ensures routine compliance of programs, services, and practices. She is responsible for developing comprehensive fundraising strategies including government grants, corporate contributions, program income, and individual donor programs. She also supervises the designs of financial protocols and procedures to control costs and monitor disbursements. In her professional experience, she has demonstrated strong capability in adapting to changes during transformation and in leading the organization to steady growth despite economic and other challenges.

Under her leadership as the Executive Director, ACA successfully transformed and expanded services and programs from the City of Detroit to Madison Heights and other cities such as Sterling Heights, Troy, Ann Arbor, Canton, Westland, Plymouth, and Novi. She broadened and diversified clientele to all ages and various cultural backgrounds. She also continued to bring in new initiatives to address the needs of target populations.

Shenlin strengthened infrastructure of the organization to increase efficiency. She recreated the company’s website, inaugurated e-newsletters, and established an electronic membership network. She oversaw the implementation of an online QuickBooks accounting system, credit card system, PayPal, and volunteer recruiting system. She also created an intensive plan for the staff’s professional development.

Shenlin established a stronger and broader collaboration with community partners and education institutes of all levels. She successfully created an internship program for college and high school students. She led smooth transitions in the creation, renovation, expansion, and relocation of ACA service centers in the years 2002, 2005 and 2010 respectively.

More Info (External Link)
December 6, 2020

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