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Provost to head New Mexico Native lending group

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SANTA FE, N.M. - David E. Provost has been named executive director of Native American Lending Group.

Provost is a former director of finance and development of the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund, an Albuquerque-based community development financial institution (CDFI) active in Native lending in the state.

NALG says it is the only Native-controlled economic development agency working in New Mexico. Jerry Smith, Laguna Pueblo, is the group's president. It concentrates on housing, tribal enterprises and private enterprises.

Smith said Provost would bring both financial acumen and cultural sensitivity to the position. Provost and his wife, Nancy, lived and worked on the Navajo Nation in 1994, and he has been a resident of New Mexico for the past seven years.

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He worked with the state's pueblo villages while serving as executive director of the Regional Development Corp., Santa Fe.

Both NALG and NMCDLF have received funding from the Treasury Department's CDFI Fund in recent years to assist Natives in the state.

NALG received $75,000 in 2000 for technical assistance to start up a home mortgage and small business lending effort for the state's 19 pueblos.

New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund got $1.35 million in 2001 (a $350,000 grant and a $1 million loan) "to increase the equity capital and technical assistance for its clients, particularly targeting lending to Native American entrepreneurs and projects benefiting Native American communities."

New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund has received three financings from the CDFI Fund, in 1997, 1998, and 2001, totaling $2.28 million.