Gerardo Espinoza, Executive Director
Gerardo has served as Executive Director of LEAF for the last nine years, spearheading the Fund’s growth at the national level and developing financing programs and technical assistance to small businesses in Massachusetts. He joined LEAF after spending many years in the commercial banking and investment management field. His background includes ten years as a Vice President at First National Bank of Chicago, and 15 years in investment management in the positions of Portfolio Manager and Senior Vice President with Baring Asset Management and John Hancock funds. Gerardo serves as advisory member of the annual Federal Reserve's Financial Innovations Roundtable, a member of the Boston Federal Reserve's Working Group on Wealth Inequality, and a board member the Food Coop Initiative, the Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority, and Third Sector New England. He has a master’s degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Amine Benali, CFA, Managing Director, Strategy & Development
Amine is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and brings with him a vast experience in investment analysis and management. He joined LEAF after 19 years as an investment analyst and portfolio manager focused on Emerging Markets and Global Natural Resources. He worked as an equity analyst at Baring Asset Management, as Senior Research Officer at John Hancock Advisors, and as Managing Director at Manulife Asset Management. He has co-managed equity portfolios with up to $1.8 billion in AUM. Amine has devoted himself academically and professionally to development economics. He is also an entrepreneurship Lecturer at Northeastern University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in Economics from Boston University.
José Luis Rojas Villarreal, CFA, Managing Director
José Luis has been with LEAF since 2019, focusing in managing the Mass Food Trust Program and lending to worker owned companies. Before that he was a Community Investment Lending Officer at Boston Private Bank and a Community Group Manager at Mass Growth Capital, providing credit to small businesses located in disadvantaged communities of Massachusetts. Prior to that José Luis was the head of lending at Root Capital that focused on financing small and growing rural businesses in Latin America and Africa. He has a master’s degree in Economic Development and International Finance from Columbia University, and a BA in Economics and International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. José Luis is bilingual in English and Spanish, is proficient in French, and has some knowledge of Portuguese.
Josh Glickenhaus, Director of Lending & Operations
Josh manages LEAF's financing activities. He is committed to growing LEAF's portfolio of loans to cooperative enterprises, scaling its social impact while maintaining strong financial performance. Josh joins LEAF after working for several years in the community development finance sector in Philadelphia, including roles lending to local small businesses and analyzing CDFIs as investment opportunities. He holds a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.
Alex Plowden, Development Manager
Alex supports LEAF’s development efforts by seeking out and renewing investments and grants, maintaining current investor relations, and building out LEAF’s broad network in the CDFI ecosystem. He holds a Master’s of Public Policy and a Bachelor’s with Independent Concentration in Informed Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before joining LEAF, Alex worked on the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign and interned for Massachusetts Peace Action, an advocacy group for peaceful foreign policy based in Cambridge.
Christopher Hunter, Financial Analyst
Chris joined the LEAF team in 2017 to support the growth of the Boston focused L-TAP program. Chris graduated with a degree in Business Analytics and Operations Research from MIT. He uses his finance and economics background to support LEAF's Technical Assistance Program.
James Louney, Controller
James has significant experience in the accounting field, holding CFO-level positions in a variety of private and publicly traded companies, as well as working for Deloitte.
Rebecca Lin, Systems & Operations Coordinator
Rebecca is the overseer of LEAF’s general operations and is in charge of seeking funding to ensure clear communication between departments. Prior to joining LEAF, she started a branch of the micro enterprise Threads of Hope and interned with Artistri Sud, an NGO that provides business coaching to artisans in the developing world. She graduated from McGill University with a BA in Economics and Social Entrepreneurship.
Conor McFarland, Loan Manager
Conor joins LEAF after working for the Resident-Owned Communities-New Hampshire (ROC-NH) program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, a CDFI located in Concord, NH. At ROC-NH, he consulted new and existing manufactured housing park cooperatives and supported the Credit/Portfolio Analyst in monitoring the manufactured housing park portfolio. Conor earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Minor in Spanish at the University of New Hampshire.
Margaret Lund, Consultant
Margaret brings over 15 years of experience in healthy foods retail lending gained in her previous position as Executive Director of the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF), a 30 year-old CDFI which focuses on financing cooperative enterprises. More recently, Ms. Lund has served as a trainer and consultant for a number of CDFIs through the Opportunity Finance Network’s healthy food lending program. She holds a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.