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Member Biography

Marla Bilonick

President & CEO, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB)
Washington, D.C.

Last Updated: October 19, 2022

Photo of Marla BilonickMarla Bilonick is NALCAB's President & CEO and also serves as CEO of NALCAB's subsidiary asset management company Escalera Community Investments.

A seasoned veteran in the arena of economic and community development, Marla brings over 20 years of expertise in small business development, community-based financial services and international aid with an emphasis on Latin America and the US Latino population. Prior to joining NALCAB, she served as the Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center in Washington, DC leading regional efforts to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence. She also served as a NALCAB board member from 2016-2020.

Marla is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a BA in Political Science and she received her MA in International Economics and Latin American Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Prior to her tenure at LEDC, Marla worked for DAI managing multimillion-dollar international development contract opportunities funded by USAID and other donor agencies in countries such as Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and her native Panama. She also served as the Director of Seedco's Upper Manhattan Business Solutions Center in Harlem – an initiative in collaboration with the New York City government to provide consulting and access to financing to local businesses. In addition, she helped Seedco develop and implement its long-term small business services approach after they were chosen to participate in the City's September 11, 2001 small business crisis response.

Marla is a board member of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the National Housing Trust, Self Help Ventures Fund, and is a founding member of the National League of Minority Voters' board. She is a former Aspen Institute Emerging Leaders in Microbusiness-ELM2 Fellow and a graduate of the Citi/OFN Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Marla serves on Capital One Bank's and PNC Bank's respective Community Advisory Councils and was an advisor to Wells Fargo's regional “Where We Live” initiative. She was named a Community Champion for the Washington, DC metropolitan area by Capital One Bank in 2015.

Most notably, Marla was appointed by President Biden to serve on the Department of Treasury's CDFI Fund Community Development Advisory Board and is the first Latino to be elected Chair of that Board and only the second female to Chair the Board in its 27-year history.