7 Questions With...

Darren Renier, Finance Specialist, Community Development Corporation of Northeast Indiana
Nov 5, 2020
Tim Brumbeloe
7 Questions With...

Darren Renier has been the finance specialist for the CDC for more than 15 years. His passion for helping businesses attain financing is palpable. Here Renier discusses his position at the CDC, what the future holds and where he can be found in his free time.

Q1: How did your career path lead you to becoming Finance Specialist with the Community Development Corporation of Northeast Indiana (CDC)?

After graduating with a marketing degree from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, I knew that I wanted to be in sales and marketing. At the time, I hadn’t really considered banking, but the more I learned about the profession, it was apparent that it consisted of a nice blend of sales and marketing as well as finance. Each day I get to spend time marketing CDC business loan programs to our referral partners – bankers, CPAs, real estate brokers, business attorneys, economic development professionals, chambers of commerce, etc. – while also analyzing business financial statements and structuring loans. It provides a good mix and lots of variety.

I was drawn to the CDC after volunteering on its finance committee while working at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union. I was able to see how beneficial CDC loans are to businesses that are looking to finance fixed assets such as a commercial building or a piece of equipment because of the low down payment and low interest rate our loans offer. Moreover, CDC loans are designed to help northeastern Indiana businesses that are expanding and adding jobs to the community, so we play an important role in economic development as well.

Q2: What to you actually do in your role? 

I am responsible for marketing CDC loan programs to our referral partners. Often times this entails explaining the nuances of CDC/SBA programs to individuals that are not familiar with them. In addition, I structure and underwrite loan applications, present loans to our
loan committee for approval, work with SBA to insure
CDC is complying with loan guidelines, prepare loan documents, and attend loan closings.

Q3: What makes you passionate about helping businesses?  

I am passionate about helping businesses because I
have a tremendous amount of respect for business owners who have the courage to risk everything to own their business. Not only is their own livelihood at risk, but their employees are dependent upon the business for their income. This is a huge responsibility and therefore, I feel it is our obligation to provide businesses access to capital to allow them to operate successfully.

Q4: How do you define success?

Success to me is helping businesses and entrepreneurs be successful and realize their dreams. By providing financing, CDC is able to help in completing projects that would not have been possible without our assistance. CDC loans often aid companies that do not meet conventional bank lending standards, so CDC enables the projects to be completed that strengthen our communities. This is a very rewarding feeling and is one of the main reasons I enjoy my job so much.

Q5: Where can you and your family be found in your free time? 

In our free time, we enjoy spending time together with family and friends. That includes dining out, visiting local attractions and watching Notre Dame football. Having said that, with two kids in travel softball our “free time” often consists of sitting on bleachers watching them play which is very enjoyable. We’ve met lots of great families and some of our best friends have been introduced to us because of athletics. 

Q6: What do the next five years look like for you?

From a personal and professional standpoint, the next five years will bring lots of change. By that time, both of our girls will have graduated from high school, so my wife and I will be empty nesters, which is very difficult to imagine. From a professional standpoint, I hope to be completing my 21st year at CDC. We have great loan programs and I truly enjoy my job. I feel that CDC loans are one of the best economic development tools available and are extremely valuable in helping our communities grow and prosper.

Q7: Have things changed for the CDC because of the pandemic? How? 

Fortunately, things have not changed too much at CDC. Our staff has been working from home, which has taken some time getting used to, but our operations have continued without interruption and loan volume has been strong. We did begin offering a new loan program (COVID-19 Recovery Loan) designed to assist Allen County businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. The program has attracted lots of interest and we are excited to be able to assist businesses in their recovery.

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