Lending Specialist

Posted 3 months ago

Building a new economy, together.


The Mountain Association is looking for a highly motivated individual to join its Lending Team as a Lending Specialist. The Lending Specialist will engage in loan underwriting, present potential deals to staff and loan committee, perform necessary reporting and administrative functions, identify potential community economic development projects, work directly with entrepreneurs, assessing business viability, contribute to evolving strategy development and learning and develop strong local relationships.


The Mountain Association invests in people and places in Eastern Kentucky to advance a just transition to a new economy that is more diverse, sustainable, equitable and resilient. Our Lending team offers loans to existing and startup businesses and organizations. We are a Community Development Financial Institution and a nonprofit, so we can offer greater flexibility and lend to those who may not otherwise qualify. Our Business Support program connects business owners and nonprofit leaders to consultants who can help them succeed. Our Energy experts help businesses, nonprofits, public agencies and homeowners find much-needed energy savings through utility bill analysis, on-site energy efficiency and solar assessments, financing and grant application support.

The Mountain Association also engages in research, communications and advocacy for policy and narrative change, and works with partners on a variety of projects to demonstrate what’s possible in Eastern Kentucky.

Position Description

Duties and responsibilities include participation with the Lending Team including, but not limited to, the following areas:

Loan Origination and Underwriting Services

  • Market the Mountain Association financial products and services in assigned sub-region.
  • Develop and maintain a network of referral partners including other lenders, business service providers, and community and economic development agencies as a primary source of referrals.
  • Conduct initial loan request screening for development impact and project feasibility analysis.
  • Effectively and accurately follow loan intake, underwriting and loan closing processes.
  • Perform basic due diligence and credit analysis of potential borrowers.
  • Develop and present loan proposals to the Mountain Association staff and loan committee.
  • Collect basic data and collateral information on current borrowers as requested.
  • Collaborate with portfolio support team to ensure all closing items are met.

Customer Relationship Management

  • Attend community meetings and make presentations on the Mountain Association’s behalf to build reputation and demonstrate the Mountain Association’s value as a partner in region. Participate in community economic development (e.g. SOAR) discussions, serve on work groups and in some instances lead efforts that contribute to a just transition. 
  • Maintain consistent and positive working relationships with Mountain Association borrowers and connect them to Mountain Association’s Business Support programs and other resources to help them succeed.
  • Help applicants locate other funding or technical assistance sources if the Mountain Association is not a good fit.
  • Support delinquency assistance/collections work in conjunction with portfolio support team.

Community Economic Development Services

  • Understand and articulate the Mountain Association’s enterprise development strategies for comprehensive community and economic development, and support the Mountain Association’s just transition work. Work with Mountain Association team(s), partners and local communities to develop market-based solutions and demonstration projects in accordance with the Mountain Association mission and 5-Year Plan.
  • Research community, industry or enterprise issues or opportunities and contribute towards community economic development program design when requested.
  • Capture and share learning as it emerges within the Mountain Association and among partners.
  • Collaborate with other Mountain Association teams on cross-team projects and initiatives as needed.

Reporting and Administrative Responsibilities

  • Participate in regular Mountain Association Lending Team staff meetings.
  • Use the Mountain Association database to track key borrower and technical assistance information.
  • Perform internal and grant reporting as needed.
  • Assist in proposal development and grant reporting as needed.
  • Communicate timely, clearly, and with good humor, both within and outside the Mountain Association.
  • Maintain professional office presence. 
  • Practice safety in all aspects of the job.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications and Characteristics

Knowledge and experience

  • B.A. or B.S. in business, accounting or related field OR three years of experience and demonstrated success with lending to small businesses
  • Two years of experience and demonstrated leadership in one or more of the following or a related field:
    • small business management
    • non-profit program management
    • community economic development
    • leadership and/or professional development
  • Experience in and knowledge of small business, entrepreneurship, organizational development or management.
  • Experience mentoring, training and/or teaching.

Personal characteristics

  • Committed to the Mountain Association’s vision, mission and values.
  • Demonstrated ability to be self-directed and execute successful projects such as those described in the responsibilities above.
  • Willingness to travel for day and occasional overnight stays within the region.
  • Strongly articulated interest in and commitment to positive social change.

Technology and software

  • Strong computer skills, in particular spreadsheets and word processing.


  • Strong writing skills and the ability to write clearly for a general audience.
  • Strong group facilitation skills and public speaking experience.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills and the capacity to work constructively in teams.


  • Close vision with or without corrective lenses necessary for computer work; manual dexterity needed to operate computer.
  • Able to perform assigned duties in a time-efficient manner.
  • Valid driver’s license and ability to drive. Either insurability on the Mountain Association’s group vehicle policy or access to a reliable vehicle for regular trips.

Preferred Qualifications and Characteristics:

Two or more years’ experience in one or more of the following:

  • Owning or operating a small business or non-profit.
    • Financial reporting, accounting, spreadsheet analysis and forecasting.
    • Originating or underwriting commercial loans.
  • Experience using project management software and/or customer relationship management software.
  • Knowledge of and experience in Appalachia or Kentucky.

Additional Information

This full-time position offers a competitive salary based on experience, with a generous benefits package. Potential candidates can inquire about the salary range by emailing John-Mark@mtassociation.org. This position’s location is flexible between the Mountain Association’s offices in Berea, Paintsville, and Hazard, Kentucky. The Mountain Association is an equal opportunity employer. The Mountain Association is committed to principles of diversity and equity and encourages applications from all people.

Please e-mail your resume, contact information for three references and a cover letter specifically explaining why you are a good fit for this position to lending.hiring@mtassociation.org. Application review will begin on September 22nd and continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The interview process will be conducted according to public health guidelines during the COVID-19 emergency, including the likelihood of remote interviews.

Like most of the Mountain Association staff, the person in this role will likely begin the position working from their home. Please do not let childcare challenges related to the pandemic deter you from applying. We recognize that not everyone has access to childcare right now because of the pandemic, so we are open to a conversation about the hours worked at the start of this position if you’re not able to start full time. Our organization has implemented the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act and there is fully paid caregiving leave available to parents.

For more information about the Mountain Association, visit www.mtassociation.org. Please no drop-ins.

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