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RELIGIOUS LENDING - OUR TEAM

Community First Financial Resources Division provides financial services to fund mission critical projects with an approach that utilizes both sound research and a wide range of experience. Our partners bring unique perspectives to this market in that they have worked for and with faith based organizations. We bring professional and spiritual disciplines and a real understanding of the challenges faced in realizing a vision. We work with ministries nationwide where we genuinely believe our services will make a measurable difference to the vision and mission of the organization.

Therese DeGroot is Managing Director. Therese has more than 30 years of financial and management experience and has worked exclusively with and for non-profit organizations for over 20 years.  She established the religious lending division to serve the faith based community and is committed to providing unique and value added services to this market.

Jim Babbage is Senior Vice President, Director of Ministry Development. Jim has over 18 years experience of financial services and religious lending, most recently with a national Christian credit union where he developed and managed ministry relationships nationwide. Jim is also an ordained Pastor with a ministry at Chapman University that serves students.

Derek Avera is Vice President, Relationship Manager.  Derek has over 25 years experience in financial services and religious lending, including a national Christian credit union where he developed and managed ministry relationships.  Derek will primarily be responsible for identifying and managing new ministry opportunities in the Midwest and Southeastern United States.
Daron Rogers is Vice President, Relationship Manager.  Daron has over 19 years of experience in religious lending.  Most of those years spent with two nationally recognized Christian credit unions where he developed and managed new business nationwide.  Known for his strong commitment to serve the faith based community, he possesses the skills and knowledge to help each client attain their financial goals and serve their communities.

Nate Taylor is Vice President, UnderwriterNate has many years’ experience in financial services and religious lending, most recently with a national Christian credit union where he was an underwriter for new business opportunities. Nate will be primarily responsible for underwriting new ministry, education and nonprofit opportunities for the Religious Lending Team nationwide.

Leslie Sabala is Assistant Vice President, Underwriter. Leslie brings more than 18 years financial services expertise in both religious lending and commercial real estate. Her experience with project management, construction and treasury management products contribute to the exceptional customer service she provides to this market.

Craig Wagner is Real Estate Banking Representative. Craig brings more than 10 years financial services expertise in commercial real estate. His experience in real estate, construction and treasury management products provide the foundation for Craig to exceed our clients’ service expectations.

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