Jasmine McGhee joined Heron in 2018 as the Communications Associate. Prior to Heron, Jasmine was an intern at Nonprofit VOTE and a student advisor at Northeastern University's Global Experience Office. Her professional background also includes an internship at the Northern Ireland Migrant Centre in Belfast, where she worked on a multimedia project that captured refugee and immigrant narratives. She earned her B.A. in International Affairs from Northeastern University.
In 2018, Dana Bezerra became the new president of Heron. However, Dana has been at Heron for 13 years in total, starting as a program officer in 2006. She’s seen Heron grow and change and is now sharing her guidance, leadership, and lessons learned as we focus on the intersection of communities and capital markets. In this podcast episode, we ask Dana to reflect on her first year as president, and share what’s next for Heron.
At Heron, we’re always looking for opportunities to better align our investments with our mission — which sometimes involves investing deliberately in specific geographies. Here is a spectrum of strategies that we look to when we are trying to invest in a specific place.
A few years ago, Heron gave a sizable grant to stimulate job growth in a city that had high rates of unemployment. While our intentions were good, our grant resulted in unintended consequences for the community— prompting us to reevaluate how we think about net contribution in a place.
This summer, Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) introduced a bipartisan bill called the Small Business Access to Capital and Efficiency Act, also known as the Small Business ACE Act. The point of the Small Business ACE Act is to strengthen the Small Business Administration 504 loan program (SBA 504) by reconciling conflicting requirements and removing unnecessary burdens.