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Our People

People Helping People


The RVCDF team is dedicated to the community and is here to help our clients achieve success. Follow the links to learn more about the passionate people that support our mission.

Our Staff




Robert Williams

Program Manager


After graduating from WSU with a BA degree – College of Business – Finance, Robert began his career in the banking and financial services industry in 1979. Prior to joining Rainier Valley Community Development Fund  Robert worked as a Director of CRA Loans & Investment Manager at Union Bank where he led the enterprise wide  strategy to provide growth capital to middle market companies that create meaningful jobs and wealth building in underserved communities around the country.   His professional background includes building relationships and the trust of his clients by developing customized strategies to assist with obtaining their goals, dreams and aspirations. Robert has spent much of his career working with Non -profit organizations and corporate sponsors to provide scholarships to the underserved to obtain higher education.  Robert is a past Trustee of Seattle Colleges, and served as past Board Chair for Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Trustee for Washington State University Foundation Advisory Council Member – Washington State University Everett and former Board Member of the Woodland Park Zoological Society.  Robert a Seattle native resides on in West Seattle. When he is not at work, he enjoys spending time with

Linda Madison

Business Manager


Linda is a dynamic change agent with a track record of innovative leadership in transformational operations. With extensive proficiency in non-profit fiscal forecasting, cash management, budgeting, ad hoc reporting, and financial dashboarding of key performance indicators, she consistently delivers pristine financial reports, tailor-made for diverse audiences. Beyond her financial acumen, Linda’s holistic approach to business extends to overseeing critical support functions like HR, Risk, IT, and Facilities management. Her commitment to fiscal sustainability, best business practices, and systematic enhancement is evident from her two decades as a financial executive, steering multi-million-dollar organizations. A fervent advocate for solution-based strategic planning, Linda emphasizes collaborative teamwork, harnessing her insights to drive transformative impact in community engagement. Her educational background includes a BS in HR Management, and she’s on the path to earning an MBA in HRM. Linda is also an esteemed participant in the Executive Finance and Leadership Management Program at Wharton School. Outside of her professional realm, Linda enjoys traveling, the soothing rhythms of jazz, nurturing her garden, and cherishing moments with family on Whidbey Island.

Bob Luciano

Business Loan Officer


Bob Luciano, Executive Director: Bob Luciano is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the fields of business and finance. Born and raised in Dedham, Massachusetts, Bob’s passion for economics led him to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from Seattle University. With an impressive career spanning over 26 years in business and middle market banking, Bob has honed his skills in financial analysis, risk management, and strategic planning. His expertise has made him a trusted advisor to numerous businesses, providing tailored financial solutions to support their growth and success. In addition to his work in banking, Bob has made significant contributions to the non-profit sector. With six years of experience in nonprofit lending and economic development, he has played a crucial role in empowering underserved communities and fostering economic opportunities. Bob’s dedication to giving back extends beyond his professional endeavors, as he actively serves on non-profit boards, working towards creating a positive impact in the community. When not immersed in his professional pursuits, Bob finds joy in spending quality time with his family. He cherishes the moments he gets to share with his loved ones, creating lasting memories and building strong connections. Driven by his passion for finance, commitment to community development, and devotion to his family, Bob Luciano exemplifies a well-rounded professional with a heart for making a difference.”

Andrea Sherwood

Business Manager


Andrea Sherwood, Portfolio Manager: Andrea Sherwood is a finance professional with extensive experience in non-profit small business lending. With a career spanning over twenty years, she has made significant contributions to the field, displaying a deep understanding of the intricacies of small business financing. As a prior co-founder of a successful non-profit, she empathizes with entrepreneurs and the struggles they go through getting their ventures off the ground and cultivating their growth. Andrea transitioned out of SBA financing and now serves as a valued member of the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund. Throughout her career, Andrea has showcased her expertise in navigating complex lending processes and assisting entrepreneurs in securing the necessary resources to achieve their business goals. Her dedication to fostering economic growth and supporting local communities has earned her a reputation for being a reliable and trusted advisor. Her passion for empowering underserved neighborhoods and promoting economic equity continues to drive her commitment to the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund’s mission. Andrea is a proud graduate of Western Washington University, with a degree in Secondary Education and US History. She is a Renton resident, and when not at work, enjoys reading, container gardening, antiquing and planning her next family travel adventure.

Board of Directors




Alvertis Brooks Jr

President


Alvertis is a Seattle native raised in the Central District who obtained his undergraduate degree from Seattle University, majoring in Accounting and Finance. Following his passion for education and athletics, he pursued a Master’s in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership at the University of Washington School of Education. Currently, Alvertis is furthering his educational journey as a candidate for a Doctorate in Education at the University of Washington’s Leadership for Learning program. With a background in auditing for regional and national organizations, Alvertis made a significant career shift to the field of education. Over the past 15 years, he has held various roles in educational institutions, including Intervention Counselor at Franklin High School and Broadview Thomson, Director of Middle School Athletics at University Prep, and Director of Community Development at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy. Additionally, Alvertis served as the Assistant Director of Athletics for Seattle Public Schools (SPS), where he contributed to the development and management of athletic programs across the district. Driven by his passion for equity and inclusivity in education, Alvertis has actively served on advisory boards focused on creating culturally responsive spaces for students and families of color. He is currently a board member for Seattle United, contributing his governance expertise, and the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund, where he serves on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. These board positions have given him valuable opportunities to connect youth and families with the educational and community experiences they desire. Alvertis is a dedicated father and Founder of Learn With Us Now (LWUN), supporting families and organizations in navigating education for equitable futures. LWUN offers resources, workshops, and mentorship programs to empower individuals and collaborate closely with families and organizations, ensuring well-informed decisions and improved educational outcomes.

Richard Cassell

Vice Chair


Richard L. Cassell is an accomplished sales leader and marketing expert with a proven track record of driving revenue growth and building high-performing teams. With a deep understanding of consumer behavior, strategic planning, and a passion for delivering exceptional results. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated an exceptional ability to develop and execute successful sales strategies that generate substantial business growth. Richard has consistently exceeded targets, driving revenue and profitability for both established organizations and startups. Richard’s keen market insights, coupled with his ability to identify and seize opportunities, have propelled him to the forefront of the sales industry. As a natural leader, he has a talent for building and inspiring high-performing teams. He understands the importance of cultivating a culture of collaboration, innovation, and accountability, leading to increased productivity and exceptional results. Richard’s ability to motivate and empower team members has resulted in numerous accolades and recognitions. In addition to his sales leadership acumen, Richard possesses a deep understanding of marketing strategies and their impact on driving brand awareness and customer engagement. He has developed and executed successful marketing campaigns, leveraging both traditional and digital channels to reach target audiences and achieve business objectives. His expertise in data analysis and market trends allows him to develop targeted, results-driven marketing strategies that deliver measurable outcomes. With a strategic mindset, a passion for sales leadership, and a deep understanding of marketing, he continues to shape and transform sales and marketing landscapes. Richard remains dedicated to delivering exceptional results, empowering teams, and exceeding expectations.” When not immersed in his work, Richard enjoys spending time with family, reading, writing, gardening, working around the house and backyard barbecuing.

Cleodis Floyd

Secretary


A native of Seattle, Cleo Floyd graduated from Colorado State University on a football scholarship. In 2012, he graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law with honors while also externing in the legal department at NIKE. Mr. Floyd has been named as a Super Lawyer Rising Star since 2018. He has been a certified NFLPA contract advisor since 2013 and has represented numerous NFL draft picks.

Mandy Landa

Treasurer


Mandy Landa is a seasoned professional with over 40 years of experience in operations and strategic planning within the startup industry. Currently serving as the Director of Operations at Amara, an emerging food brand, Mandy is responsible for architecting growth, providing strategic direction, and ensuring a seamless supply chain through effective planning, communication, forecasting, and process implementation. Mandy’s career has been marked by her passion for startup culture and her ability to thrive in dynamic environments. Throughout her professional journey, she has contributed her expertise to at least four startup companies, gaining valuable insights and honing her skills in driving operational efficiency and fostering business growth. With a keen eye for identifying opportunities and a strong focus on strategy, Mandy has an unwavering dedication to creating pathways for success, particularly for women and economically challenged communities. She views her role as a board member of the RVCDF as a way to foster a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial landscape — and she encourages like-minded women to consider serving on the board.

Paul Tupper

Member


Paul is a founder and owner of Onda Origins coffee roasters, located in the amazing Hillman City neighborhood in Rainier Valley. With his brother and business partner Scott, they have grown Onda Origins from a hobby-business sending fresh-roasted coffee to friends-and-family to 60 employees, five brick-and-mortar cafes (four branded as Fresh Flours), a roastery, and a bakery. Onda is a mission driven business, dedicated to impact from source to service by working alongside growers to shift access to profit, ownership, resources, and human connection — all while prioritizing the best quality coffees. Previously, Paul worked in environmental education and then fundraising, including for five years at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia (BS Forest Resources) and the University of Washington (MA in Museum Studies with a certificate in Nonprofit Management). He is also a board member of The Nature Project. Onda was formerly a client of RVCDF, which was instrumental in providing access to capital when funding from traditional banks was not yet possible. Knowing firsthand the impact that RVCDF provides,
Paul joined the board because of his passion for creating an inclusive, diverse ecosystem for small business owners – particularly those without access to capital – in the Rainier Valley and beyond. Beyond work, Paul loves spending time with family and friends, playing basketball, and doing all things outdoor-recreation.

Marlon Turner

Member


Marlon has over 18 years experience in the Tech industry ensuring Quality Product development across multiple industries. A strong community connector Marlon is an active member of the community as he frequently participates in and assist in the development of Community events. Marlon is a Seattle native raised in the Rainer Valley, Franklin Highschool Alumni and graduate of University of Louisiana Monroe. As an entrepreneur and business owner Marlon will aid in ensuring other business are aware of the opportunities available through RVCDF.

Efrem Fesaha

Member


Efrem Fesaha, is a first generation Eritrean American whose family moved to the US (West Seattle) in 1988 for an opportunity his Father received to work for Boeing as a Mechanical Engineer. Efrem attended grade school in West Seattle, attended Washington State University for his B.A., and is currently a candidate for a Masers in Business Administration at Seattle University. Prior to establishing Boon Boona Coffee, Efrem worked 13 years in corporate finance for local companies such as Holland America, Nordstrom and Amazon. In 2011, Efrem returned from a three-month stay in his family’s native country of Eritrea where he became inspired by the Cafe culture that existed in the capital Asmara and returned to Seattle with the desire to venture into coffee. Boon Boona Coffee was launched with the aim of sourcing the highest quality coffee from Africa. In collaboration with coffee farmers across many African nations they look to develop long lasting relationships and support the sustainability of their crops. Boon Boona Roastery & Café operations are located in Downtown Renton, a second in the Central District of Seattle, and a third University Ave (new UW). Efrem won the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Washington Small Business Person of the Year award for 2022 and most recently was named 2022 Pacific Northwest Small Business Person of the Year, selected among state winners from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. 

Rudy Castillo

Member


Originally from Union City, New Jersey, Rudy has 20 years of financial services experience in consumer and commercial lending. He studied psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ, has Certificates of Completion in accounting from Seattle Community College, and formal Credit training by Moody’s Analytics. An avid supporter of the community, Rudy is a Board member & loan committee chair for Rainier Valley Community Development Fund; supporter/volunteer at Food Lifeline, FareStart, Foster School of Business, and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska & Washington. In his downtime, Rudy’s interests include woodworking, camping, cornhole, craft beer, wine, live music, movies, traveling, and co-parenting two incredibly smart and talented children.

Apply Now

If your business or residence is located in southeast Seattle and your company has been in business for at least one year, Rainier Valley Community Development Fund will work with you on your specific financing needs. Take a few minutes to complete a loan inquiry now.