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Special COVID-19 Edition: Small Business Access to the Paycheck Protection Program

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Presenter Bios

Claudia Castillo

Claudia Castillo is the owner of Claud-B Studios, a boutique beauty salon located in Parma Hts., OH and the owner of Castillo Enterprises which provides financial services to small business owners and new entrepreneurs, located in Middleburg Hts., OH. She has an associate’s degree in Network Systems Administration, a bachelor’s degree in Project Management, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Claudia is currently in pursuit of starting her second Master’s degree in Legal Studies to specialize in Corporate and Tax Law that starts Fall 2020. Claudia left the banking industry after 22 years and as of March 2019 is a full-time entrepreneur. She has 20+ years of philanthropy work within the Latino Community providing positive resolutions with translations and interpretations at courthouses, immigration hearings, Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Services, hospitals, etc.


Gil Goldberg

Gil Goldberg serves as District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Cleveland District Office. He was appointed to the position in 1994. As District Director, Gil Goldberg is responsible for the administration of a FY 19 business portfolio of over 1,480 individual loans for a total of $396 million. Since the great recession, lending in the Cleveland District has increased 725% (SBA’s nationwide increase has been 449%). He is responsible for the oversight of five SCORE chapters and 12 SBDC service centers in the northern 28 counties of Ohio. He also handles the marketing efforts of one SBA sponsored micro-lender in the District, as well as the delivery and oversight of the Agency’s 8(a), and HUBZone government contracting programs for small business.

In FY12 Director Goldberg also developed the New and Start-Up Small Business Initiative, partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. As a result of the Initiative, the District immediately saw a 30% increase in new and start-up business loan volume in FY12 over the previous year. From the end of the great recession, start-up and new business loans increased 149%, and are now back to pre-recession levels.

In FY14, the District developed an initiative with Cuyahoga County. The initiative is now being piloted in the City of Cleveland and six inner-ring suburbs. Under the pilot, the county matches the funds the cities contribute on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to the maximum amount of $500,000. These funds are then used as a performance grant (supplemental equity) in conjunction with an SBA loan. The Urban League of Greater Cleveland and the Hebrew Free Loan Association are also partners in this County/City initiative. Mr. Goldberg recently served as Chairperson of the SBA Underserved Market Team, which developed recommendations to increase access to capital for those populations that have not yet participated in the nation-wide uptick in lending since the great recession. Mr. Goldberg holds a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. He resides in Shaker Heights with his wife Marcia. They have three grown children and four grandchildren. Mr. Goldberg served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.


Ray Graves

Raymond Graves is a lender relations specialist for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Cleveland District Office. He joined the SBA for the second time in 2013, having previously spent a few years with the Columbus, Ohio, district office. In between, Mr. Graves had various roles at certified development companies, including processing, packaging, sales, and credit functions.


Brian Hall

Brian Hall serves as the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Greater Cleveland Partnership Equity and Inclusion. In addition to his duties at the Greater Cleveland Partnership, where he was a founding board member and 5-year Co-Chair of its Commission on Economic Inclusion, he is also a small business owner and investor. For over 30 years his companies have provided contract staffing intra and inter plant logistics, warehouse services, parking and distribution solutions. They served many Fortune 100 customers across America.

Brian earned a BBA from the University of Cincinnati and an EMBA from Baldwin Wallace University. He additionally completed four annual executive tracks in business management at The Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College and a certificate of Strategic Management with Georgetown University.

Brian has served on several civic boards and task forces in the areas of health, economic development, youth education, music arts and culture. A director and member of the strategy and compensation committees and the Chair of the governance and community benefits committees of University Hospital Health Systems; a Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee for the University of Cincinnati Foundation; and the chairman of the R.E.A.L. Re-Entry committee at Mount Zion Church where he also is a trustee.

Among his many activities he founded the Tremont Elementary School Advisory group in 1991, which mentored 14 young males through high school. He was a founding member and 10-year president of the Presidents' Council LLC a collaboration of CEO's focused on economic growth and wealth creation in the African American community. He is the current Chair of the Black Young Presidents Organization Network; an international network of black CEO's who members are YPO or YPO Gold. Brian has received numerous awards including the R. H. Adler Community Leadership Award from the American Jewish Committee, Volunteer of the Year by Leadership Cleveland; The Man of the Year from Cleveland Public Theater; Father of the Year by American Diabetes Association and Supplier of the Year for Community service by Ford Motor Company. He has also been named as one of the 100 influential leaders in Northeast Ohio by Cleveland Magazine and as part of the Power Pack 100 by Crain’s Cleveland Business. He was inducted into Inside Business Magazine, Hall of Fame in 2010.

He is an NDC-certified Economic Development Finance Professional, and a graduate of The Ohio State University and Tufts University.


Anna Smukowski

Anna Smukowski serves as Local Initiatives Support Corporation's (LISC) Director, Investor Relations & Capital Strategies working to introduce, position and proactively market LISC’s core impact lending to nontraditional investors. In this capacity, she supports capital strategies aimed at growing LISC’s loan capital, including modeling of financial and social returns of LISC’s products. In the Covid era, Ms. Smukowski manages LISC’s Paycheck Protection program through LISC’s affiliate immito. Ms. Smukowski has also served as Program Manager for LISC’s Pay for Success program and started her career at LISC as Credit Officer. She began her career as a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte. Ms. Smukowski received her B.S. from NYU Stern and her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.