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Becky Koch '99: Community development lender
Prior to Columbia Business School, Becky Koch worked as a nonprofit fundraiser specializing in event management and had never heard of community development finance. Now, as a vice president in HSBC Bank USA’s Community Development Department, Koch provides capital to nonprofits around the country. “I discovered community development finance through my summer internship while at business school and I knew instantly that I had found my passion,” she says.
At HSBC, Koch works to ensure that the bank meets the credit needs of community organizations throughout its market area. Combining past experience with business school training, Koch makes equity investments and loans in areas such as affordable housing, small business development and community development. “I couldn’t have designed a more challenging, dynamic and rewarding profession,” says Koch.
Koch believes that her prior work in the nonprofit sector gives her an insider’s advantage when meeting with her clients. “I’ve been on the other side of the table, so I understand not only how nonprofits run their programs, but also how they fund them,” she says, “This helps me craft the appropriate investment or loan product.”
Koch credits her success in community development finance to her obtaining an MBA. “Before business school, I had a grassroots understanding of nonprofit financial management,” she says, “But since completing the program, I’ve been able to put my business knowledge to work in practical ways that have directly impacted the community development field in New York and across the country.”
Koch was the 1999 recipient of the Joanne Martin Award for Public and Nonprofit Management, which is given annually to the graduating student who best exemplifies dedication to the sector and personal integrity.