Executive Director, Greenwood Archer Capital

Greenwood Archer Capital (GAC) was founded in 2012 as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to supply micro and small business loans catalyzing small business development throughout the metropolitan Chicago area, its adjacent suburbs and greater Cook County, Illinois.

A subsidiary of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI), GAC promotes economic development by lending its expertise and capital to small businesses in low-income communities.

GAC’s name pays homage to Black Wall Street. Greenwood & Archer was the main intersection in the Greenwood Business District, which generated hundreds of successful Black-owned businesses. GAC seeks to continue the legacy of Black Wall Street by providing access to capital and educational resources that empower our communities to use entrepreneurship as a pathway to economic freedom.

To date, GAC has deployed $18 million in capital, serving 1,600 small businesses, with 82% to Black entrepreneurs, and an average loan size of $23K.  

For more information on GAC, please visit here.

The Opportunity 

GAC seeks an experienced Executive Director (ED) to build a talented team committed to supporting Black entrepreneurship and the economic development of low-income communities.  The ED will be a strategic leader who can drive growth and elevate the organization to new heights.  As the external face of GAC, the ED will play a pivotal role in building relationships and partnerships to ensure reach and impact.  The ED will be responsible for leading innovative programs and initiatives that meet the capital and capacity needs of Black entrepreneurs with a hands-on and collaborative approach to support borrower’s unique situation and needs.   

The ED will be responsible for working with GAC’s Board of Directors to develop a strategic direction to increase capital investment in Black and other small businesses.  As a subsidiary entity, the ED will work collaboratively with Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) executive staff to ensure operational excellence.  In partnership with GAC’s Board, CNI, and staff, the ED will lead the organization to new levels of growth and impact as GAC continuously aims to deliver both innovative and responsive lending products and programs.  Additionally, the ED will demonstrate collaborative leadership cultivating an organizational culture congruent with its mission.  As a mission driven leader, this is an opportunity to grow Black entrepreneurship and drive economic development in low-income communities with creativity and purpose.  

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate for this role will embody a collaborative and authentic leadership style, the ability to engage with diverse groups, and lead through inspiration.    

The successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes.  

Commitment to Mission

  • Strong belief creating an equitable world where Black businesses have equal access to all forms of capital
  • Ability and skills to maintain excellence in the content and delivery of GAC’s services and products to continue to best meet the needs of businesses served
  • Experience leading with an equity lens in ensuring an innovative approach to access to capital

Strategic Vision

  • Collaborate with GAC Board, CNI leadership, and staff to craft a future forward strategic vision for the organization designed for impact and growth
  • Identify out-of-the box ideas for new opportunities to expand GAC’s business model
  • Create a culture of innovation and encouragement of new ideas while maintaining a balanced hand with risk and effective mitigation  
  • Experience exploring opportunities for increased impact across different sectors, with a track record of increasing growth in organizational partnerships

Organization Leadership and External Affairs 

  • Build and lead a lending team to advance the organization’s mission and objectives and maintain its economic sustainability
  • Establish and drive a culture of growth, collaboration, and innovation
  • Serve as a member of the CNI leadership team, working collaboratively with staff and functions across the organization
  • Nurture and expand connections with diverse audiences and constituent groups to elevate the mission of GAC
  • Position GAC as a thought leader for Black businesses in this space as well as a trusted business partner for borrowers
  • Serve as a key external spokesperson and representative of GAC to external partners, funders, investors, elected officials and community stakeholders, including representation of the organization at local and national conferences and community development finance convenings.
  • Demonstrate fundraising success by partnering with a range of funders and groups and skilled at identifying and securing new sources of revenue for GAC

 In addition, strong candidates will:  

  • Be a strategic thinker with the ability to take a long-term, thoughtful approach to achieving organizational strategic goals
  • Have the ability to attract, develop, retain, motivate, and lead staff
  • Bring demonstrated experiences in setting priorities decisively, delegating responsibilities, assuring accountability, and allocating resources to ensure results
  • Have a knowledge base in lending, community or economic development, and ideas on how to develop new all while balancing financial performance with positive community outcomes
  • Demonstrate excellent communications skills and comfort working with a diverse set of colleagues and investors
  • Cultivate and maintain close relationships with current funders, and develop relationships with new potential partners
  • Have an appreciation and understanding supporting Black entrepreneurs of Chicago
  • Experience in community or economic development, lending, and/or CDFI preferred

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $185,000 – $200,000 with a benefits package.

ApplicationApply here.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Alicia Salerno and Tatyana James of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to by filling out our Talent Profile here.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email [email protected]. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

CNI is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners 

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit https://diversifiedsearchgroup.com/koya-partners/.