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New Name, New Director, Expanded Mission

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New Name, New Director, Expanded Mission

The six-year-old Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona (NPLF) is now Growth Partners Arizona (GPAz). The organization is expanding its service area statewide and planning to add loans to businesses in distressed communities, in addition to retaining its core focus on nonprofit loans.

Lesli Pintor accepted the position of GPAz Executive Director beginning June 1, 2019. She currently serves in a consulting capacity for the organization. Pintor is a 31-year veteran of the financial services industry, served on the NPLF Board of Directors for three and half years, and has significant experience in working with nonprofits and small businesses.

“The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s recognition of NPLF as a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) early in 2017 positioned NPLF, now GPAz, to expand the ways in which we can help empower communities throughout Arizona,” said Don Jenks, Chair, GPAz Board of Directors and retired commercial banking executive. “The CDFI certification also makes GPAz more attractive to a wider variety of investors.”

Foothills Bank Makes First EQ2 Investment to Growth Partners Arizona

NPLF, now GPAz, signed an agreement for its initial $150,000, 10-year Equity Equivalent (EQ2) investment late last year with Foothills Bank, a division of Glacier Bank, that expanded into the Tucson market in 2018.

EQ2 loans are a capital product for CDFIs and their investors that allows CDFIs to strengthen their capital structures, leverage additional debt capital, and, as a result, increase lending and investing in economically disadvantaged communities. For bank investors in particular, the EQ2 may be a mechanism for receiving investment test credit or enhanced lending test credit under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

“We are pleased to support GPAz—and in turn, the people served by the nonprofits and businesses that receive loans from GPAz—in this way,” said Reid Clark, Regional President, Foothills Bank. “The organization has a great track record and the depth of financial and community expertise on GPAz’s staff and Board of Directors made the investment decision an easy one.”

Connie Hillman Family Foundation Issues Challenge Grant

Beginning March 1, 2019, the Connie Hillman Family Foundation is donating one dollar for every two dollars donated to GPAz, up to $125,000. To qualify for the two-year challenge match, the donations must be from new individual, foundation and corporate donors or increased donations from exisiting donors. These funds may be used for both operations and lending.

More About NPLF/GPAz

The Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona was established in 2013 as a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) to deploy investor money and achieve its mission of growing the financial and intellectual capital of nonprofits in the region. NPLF saw steady growth in the number of nonprofits assisted, both through loans and financial technical assistance, and the pool of investors providing low-interest money that NPLF relent to qualified nonprofits.

In 2017, The U.S. Department of the Treasury recognized NPLF as a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). With this certification, NPLF joined more than 750 nonprofit CDFI loan funds across the country committed to providing affordable financing to promote economic and community development in underserved and distressed communities.

To leverage its CDFI status, NPLF is expanding its geographic reach statewide and adding small business lending to its product mix. To reflect these changes, NPLF changed its name to Growth Partners Arizona.  It also is now affiliated as a supporting organization of the Arizona-based nonprofit Business Development Finance Corporation (BDFC), one of the most active community-focused SBA lenders in Arizona. Phone: (520) 382-9818.

More About Foothills Bank

A full-service commercial bank specializing in financing solutions for all types of businesses, Foothills Bank offers a full range of loan and deposit services through its Tucson branch located at 4713 E. Camp Lowell Drive. Phone: (520) 989-7100. Website:

Glacier Bancorp, Inc. is the parent company for The Foothills Bank, Yuma, operating in Arizona; Glacier Bank, Kalispell and its bank divisions: First Security Bank of Missoula; Valley Bank of Helena; Western Security Bank, Billings; First Bank of Montana, Lewistown; and First Security Bank, Bozeman, all located in Montana; as well as Mountain West Bank, Coeur d’Alene, operating in Idaho, Utah and Washington; First Bank, Powell, operating in Wyoming and Utah; Citizens Community Bank, Pocatello, operating in Idaho; Bank of the San Juans, Durango; and Collegiate Peaks Bank, Buena Vista both operating in Colorado; First State Bank, Wheatland, operating in Wyoming; and North Cascades Bank, Chelan, operating in Washington.

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