Lending Specialist

Mountain Association (nonprofit)
Berea, Kentucky
Feb 23, 2023
Mar 25, 2023
Full Time

The Mountain Association seeks to hire a Lending Specialist to help the organization implement our lending work to reach our impact and deployment goals as a member of the Lending Team. The Lending Specialist will perform loan origination and underwriting, work directly with entrepreneurs to support their success, help develop and market financial products in our service area, and perform reporting and administrative tasks. The Lending Specialist will also collaborate with other Mountain Association staff on other organizational initiatives as needed.


The Mountain Association is a nonprofit that 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 needed.
  • 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 Technical Assistance 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 teams, 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.


  • Practice safety in all aspects of the job.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Engage with and participate in the Mountain Association’s journey to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility both in our workplace and our work.
  • Participate in the strategic planning process and implement the plan as it relates to this role.

Minimum Qualifications and Characteristics

Knowledge and experience: 

  • BA or BS in business, accounting or related field OR equivalent combination of education and experience totaling 4 years
  • Two years of experience in one or more of the following or a related field:
    • small business management
    • non-profit program management
    • community economic development
    • finance or lending

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.


  • The Mountain Association is committed to complying fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and all later amendments, and will follow any federal, state or local law that provides individuals with disabilities greater protection than the ADA. Equal employment opportunity will be given to qualified persons with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation, as defined by applicable law, is available to all employees when a disability affects the employee’s performance of their job functions.
  • 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:

  • Knowledge of and experience in Appalachia or Kentucky.

Here are a few examples of projects this staff person would be working on right now

  • Developing and presenting loan proposals to Mountain Association to Loan Administrator or loan committee for approval.
  • Networking and working with partners to identify referrals for our loan and other business support services.
  • Collecting data and verifying collateral information for reporting purposes.

Additional Information

This full-time position offers a competitive salary, with a range of $42,500 – $50,000, depending on experience, along with a generous benefits package. This position’s main office location is flexible between Mountain Association’s offices in Berea, Prestonsburg, and Hazard, Kentucky, though our staff currently have a hybrid work schedule where they work from home as their position allows. This position is supervised by Robert Allen, Lending Director. 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 and a cover letter specifically explaining why you are a good fit for this position to lendingspecialist.hiring@mtassociation.org. We will ask candidates selected for second interviews to provide contact information for three references. Interviews will take place via Zoom. Our hiring process typically includes: two rounds of interviews and a skill-based activity.

The Mountain Association is committed to ensuring the safety of all employees and their families, our clients, partners, team members and other individuals that we come into contact with for business purposes. Our approach to COVID-19 is informed by science and aligns to recommendations established by the CDC and other applicable government health agencies.

Our COVID-19 vaccination policy requires all prospective employees, prior to their start date, to: (1) become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination, or (2) request and obtain approval for an accommodation for a medical or religious exemption. Should an accommodation for a medical or religious exemption be approved, an employee would work with the Mountain Association to develop a COVID-19 safety plan. Employment is contingent upon meeting these requirements and the requirements of the position.

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