Roxanne DeMarco RickertTell us about yourself and why you are passionate about small business /entrepreneurship.

I have taken a slightly circuitous path from Metro Atlanta to rural Colorado – I now live in a town less populated than my high school! Throughout my career, I have held steadfast to a belief in equal access which can manifest itself in a multitude of ways.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and that is especially true in rural economies. To have vibrant, diverse economies, we must also have vibrant, diverse businesses and business owners. Unfortunately mainstream financial service providers generally use rigid, formulaic calculations which disadvantage anyone outside of their strict parameters. For the past 7.5 years I have been working to change this through various revolving loan funds and technical assistance programs, securing more than $100 million in capital for rural Colorado.

Why do you think FSWCF’s mission is important?

Too often systemic inequalities create barriers to accessing capital, deterring some entrepreneurs entirely and forcing others to take on high cost capital, which has long term ramifications for their business’s viability and success. For this reason, I am passionate about economic empowerment and removing barriers to accessing capital. I believe FSWCF plays a key role in helping prebankable individuals access capital to create and grow their small business.

What are your credentials/past experience, for working in your position?

I previously worked for First Southwest Bank, a CDFI, as the Community Development Director. In that role, I helped found FSWCF in 2015, securing the initial capitalization and developing organizational framework. I spearheaded the first annual impact report and worked on successive publications while overseeing impact metrics. Prior to that position, I worked on a gubernatorial race in Michigan, a consumer rights activist group in DC, and two nuclear nonproliferation think tanks

Roxanne is a bulldozer when it comes to removing barriers and writing grant applications. Her analytical skills and passion for building systems is the skill set the FSWCF needs to continue to grow out impactful work. Roxanne has been involved with the organization since the very beginning. I am excited to bring her on our team to continue to build capital equity in rural Colorado.
— Azarel Madrigal, Executive Director

What will your role at FSWCF entail?

I will build upon our data collection and use it to critically inform decision making, determining if our current product offerings serve both our market and mission. I will also build processes and systems to streamline operations, ensuring FSWCF has the needed infrastructure to support growth.

What are you most excited about for your new role?

Impact Investing is an emerging field and I’m excited to further develop FSWCF’s impact metrics and position us as an innovative leader in this space.

Your top 3 favorite Podcasts/Books?

  • Glory UGA: As a highly analytical person, I appreciate the in-depth analysis of Georgia Football – I bleed red and black and am always ready to talk SEC Football.
  • Get Sleepy: Sometimes it’s hard to turn my brain off, this always helps.
  • Sounds Like a Cult: I find it fascinating to reframe readily accepted pop culture through a cult mindset.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

When I’m not working I’m likely adventuring in the beautiful San Juan and Rio Grande Forests – either by ski, foot, or bike and usually with my dog and toddler in tow. Other times I’m reading a new fantasy book or enjoying time with my people. And if it’s a Saturday in the Fall, GO DAWGS!