Inflation and interest rates seem to be rising relentlessly. But there is help for business, including new forgivable and low-interest loans. Join moderator Carol Coultas; Daniel Wallace, senior vice president of lending and investment at CEI; Jen Cummings, director of business programs at FAME; and Chris Fitzpatrick, chief of commercial lending at Machias Savings Bank, as they talk about resources to help business owners and managers battle tough financial times.

About the panel:

Daniel Wallace, Senior Vice President, Lending and Investment, CEI

As senior vice president, lending and investment, Daniel Wallace oversees the management and deployment of CEI’s $50 million loan fund, successfully leading a team of 12 as they helped Maine’s small businesses navigate the economic challenges of the pandemic. In his role as senior vice president, Wallace applies a systematic and conscientious approach to business development, financial analysis, and technical assistance, overseeing deployment of $17 million in 73 loans and investments to 71 businesses in 2020 alone. He joined CEI in 2012 as associate director of CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program and was promoted to director of lending in 2019. Earlier in his career, Wallace managed and owned retail food businesses, developed and built residential green homes, and ran a nonprofit arts organization. He is a professionally trained artisan baker and holds a B.A. from Williams College and an M.A. in community planning and development from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine.

Jen Cummings, Director of Business Programs, FAME

Jenn has over 15 years of experience as a commercial finance professional, both as a commercial loan officer and workout officer. She joined FAME in 2013 as Senior Workout Officer and now serves as Director of Business Programs. A Maine native, Jenn received her BS in International Business and Logistics from Maine Maritime Academy and earned her MBA from Thomas College. When not at work, she enjoys spending time outside hiking and skiing with her two daughters.

Chris Fitzpatrick, Chief of Commercial Lending, Machias Savings Bank

With almost four decades of banking experience, Chris leads a purpose-driven life. He is responsible for relationships throughout the entire State of Maine and assists other lenders with larger client needs. He has a passion for assisting businesses to grow and expand. He is motivated by job creation with the hope that our youth will have great opportunities close to home if they desire to stay in Maine.

“I am invested in helping Maine move forward so that our great state will continue to grow and prosper and become a destination for entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

Chris considers it his privilege to volunteer in Maine communities. He currently serves on the Board of Southern Aroostook Development Corporation, Northern Maine Community College Foundation and Houlton High School Alumni Association.


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