August 1, 2018
Santa Barbara, CA—WEV’s Loan Program is a critical way many local small businesses get financial support. It provides startup and expansion capital of up to $50,000 to small businesses that can’t qualify for traditional bank financing. Now, the program has a new Director of Lending who has been part of the organization for years.
Marni Brook recently joined WEV as the Director of Lending. She has extensive experience in small business and commercial lending, and also volunteers as a member of the loan committee for the Economic Development Collaborative. Though new to the staff, Brook spent many years on the Board of Directors and is very passionate about WEV’s mission. “I could not be more thrilled to join Marsha Bailey and the whole team at Women’s Economic Ventures, an organization I have been connected to for many years,” says Brook.
Brook has more than 24 years’ experience in community banking and lending in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Her passion is working with small business owners to help them achieve success and sustainability. “I spent my entire career in banking and in the community, and feel like all that experience led me right here to WEV,” explained Brook. “I am excited to increase awareness about WEV’s loan fund so that business owners can get the capital they need to start, grow and thrive.”
Brook graduated from UCSB with a degree in English Literature. She completed the California Bankers’ Association’s Commercial Lending School as well as the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. She has extensive experience in small business and commercial lending, and has also volunteered as a member of the loan committee for the Economic Development Collaborative. Brook is passionate about the community and is involved in numerous community based organizations in Ventura County.
Brook will be focused on growing the loan program by increasing awareness, deepening relationships with community partners and communicating the importance of capital in establishing and growing small businesses.
About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)
Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. WEV provides training, consulting and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow and thrive in business. WEV serves all of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties from offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Maria. While WEV targets its services toward women, it helps men as well, and provides many services in English and Spanish.
Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to over 14,000 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and made more than $5 million in loans, assisting over 4,000 local businesses. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center, and a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
A pioneer in the field, WEV was founded by Marsha Bailey, a nationally recognized advocate for women business owners. Marsha recently completed her tenures on the National Women’s Business Council and as board president of the national Association of Women’s Business Centers. For additional information, visit WEV’s website at www.wevonline.org.