Former banking regulator and Chicago Alderman takes the helm of Chicago’s premier Small Business Administration (SBA) lender after two years on the firm’s Board of Directors
CHICAGO- SomerCor, Chicago’s leading Small Business Administration (SBA) Certified Development Company (CDC), appointed Manuel “Manny” Flores as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Flores takes the reins at SomerCor after serving two years as a member of the nonprofit lender’s Board of Directors. Flores brings a unique blend of public and private sector experience and leadership to the role, said the organization.
“Manny offers a transformative vision for SomerCor that promises to build our bench strength in SBA 504 lending and expand our reach to more small business owners from more walks of life—particularly women, minority and veteran-owned businesses,” said Margy Sweeney, a member of the Executive Committee of the SomerCor Board of Directors.
“We are happy to enrich our partnerships with the Midwest banking and credit union communities by bringing someone with Manny’s depth of experience as a financial services professional, attorney, public servant and lifelong advocate for entrepreneurs.”
Flores recently led all communications, marketing, and business development as Chief Strategy Officer for Glass Mountain Capital LLC, a national accounts receivables firm. He also practiced law at Kelleher & Buckley, LLC as Of Counsel and at Arnstein & Lehr, LLP as Partner, where his role included representing financial institutions on regulatory matters.
Flores served in the Chicago City Council with distinction as Alderman of the 1st Ward and went on to lead the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation as Director and Acting Secretary, where he regulated and supervised state-chartered banks and credit unions.
“Flores has a strong background in economic development; he sits on the Cook County Economic Development Advisory Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Small Business Advisory Council of Illinois, where he advances policies and initiatives to grow small businesses and strengthen the state’s entrepreneurial environment”, said the company.
“I am honored and humbled to have been selected by my fellow board members to lead SomerCor. Our team is committed to building on our long track record of success because we know our continued focus on achieving operational excellence, creating an engaging and best-in-class experience for borrowers and customers, and providing exceptional support and service to our lending partners will grow SomerCor’s reach and impact,” said Flores. “SomerCor is a mission-oriented, social impact enterprise that is poised for an exciting new chapter of growth as a leading, national CDC.”
Flores is also active in social engagement and philanthropy; he sits on the Board of Trustees of Dominican University, is a member of the Board of Directors of ChildServ and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and is a member of the Advocate Aurora Health Care Governance Council.
Flores earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Dominican University, and a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1992, SomerCor provides capital to entrepreneurs throughout Illinois with a mission of business growth and job creation by offering SBA 504 loans in partnership with banks, credit unions and other lending institutions. Referenced by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as “small businesses’ window to Wall Street,” the 504 Loan Program provides businesses financing for the purchase of fixed assets of owner occupied projects at a long-term, below-market, fixed interest rate. As part of a broader economic development vision, SomerCor also facilities and processes Community Advantage loans and administers the City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) and Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) grants. SomerCor is ranked a Top 25 National CDC for SBA 504 loans and is Chicago’s largest 504 loan provider. It holds and services a loan portfolio in excess of $487 million, comprised of more than 965 loans to Illinois entrepreneurs. (Fuente: PRNewswire)