Vice-Chair | President & CEO, LiftFund
San Antonio, TX
Janie Barrera is founding president and chief executive officer of LiftFund, formerly Accion Texas Inc. Created in 1994, LiftFund has grown to hold the nation’s largest micro-lending portfolio. The nonprofit agency provides small loans and management training to microenterprises of all kinds — from startups to long-established businesses — and operates in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
As president and CEO, Ms. Barrera is responsible for the organization’s financial management, oversight of its annual budget and the development of methodology and loan delivery procedures. She has received recognition for her accomplishments, including the Small Business Administration Financial Services Advocate of the Year and the Minority Enterprise Development Consortium’s Corporate Advocate of the Year. San Antonio Business Journal listed Ms. Barrera as one of “Twenty Defining Players: People Who Have Helped Shape the City,” and also named her as one of 2013’s “Legacy Leaders.”
Ms. Barrera has served on many national, state and local boards, including the Federal Reserve Board’s National Consumer Advisory Council. President Barack Obama appointed Ms. Barrera to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability and she also was named to the board of directors for the Federal Reserve of Dallas’ San Antonio Branch. Ms. Barrera began her career as director of telecommunications for the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1977. There, she helped found the area’s first nonprofit radio stations, KLUX and KHOY, as well as two television production studios. After completing her MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word, the Corpus Christi native remained in San Antonio where, in 1989, she became marketing director for the U.S. Air Force Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division headquartered at Randolph Air Force Base.