Member Spotlight: Valerie Heiby


Valerie Heiby, Director of Development, Finance Fund Capital Corporation

Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve? What do you like most about working there?  

Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP), the certified non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) affiliate of Finance Fund, made its first loan in 2006. FCAP is primarily focused on small business lending in low-and moderate-income communities with focus on healthy foods, community facilities, health and wellness, education and manufacturing.  Our mission is to provide access to capital to promote development in low-income communities.

My favorite part of working for our organization is that we restore hope to people that need it and provide access to opportunities that would not normally exist.

How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?

I have been an AFP member for over 15 years. I enjoy the networking lunches although cannot attend monthly. I appreciate the information and research that is provided to AFP members and the events that I have attended over the years.

What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?

The member training events are the most valuable to me and my staff.

How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?      

I have worked for the Finance Fund for almost 23 years. I became the Director of Development 15 years ago and focused 100% of my time on fundraising. It is truly the passion for the mission that keeps me going year after year.

What is your favorite part about working in Columbus? Favorite place to go?

I love working in downtown Columbus.  My favorite part about it is simply walking around downtown to site see and people watch. Downtown has changed so much over the years, so there is never a dull moment.  Columbus has a lot to offer and is constantly expanding professionally and culturally.

Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.

I’ve have been married for 25 years, and we have 4 children. Our family is dedicated to volunteering and helping others. When I’m not working and spending time with family, I’m volunteering either at church, band, or serving on boards of great nonprofits.

What has been your biggest success in your career?

I would say that my biggest success is launching FCAP’s Healthy Food for Ohio (HFFO) program through many collaborative partnerships; however, this program helped to build a grocery store in Vinton County. Prior, there was not a single grocery store in the entire county for over 4 years.

The Healthy Food for Ohio (HFFO) program is a public-private partnership that provides loans and grants to food retailers to develop new or renovate existing fresh food retail in underserved communities throughout Ohio. The program helps to overcome funding gaps and barriers faced by food retailers operating in low-to moderate-income areas and will help finance costs and fill credit needs not typically addressed by traditional financial institutions. The HFFO program aims to increase access to affordable, fresh food in underserved areas, improving health and economic development for Ohio’s communities.

What has been your biggest learning opportunity in your career?

My biggest learning opportunity has been working on government applications that, when successful, help us to incentivize community development and economic growth through funds that attract private investment to distressed communities.

Where would you take your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to travel cross-country with my family in an RV.  And, yes with all of that craziness, we would definitely need to stop and relax on as many beaches as we could find. ?

What is one thing your organization does really well?

FCAP is really good at providing capital to help low-income communities.

Do you have a favorite book/blog/podcast/etc. that has been very helpful in your career that you’d like to recommend?

(Book): The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

Posted November 2018