Spotlight: Interview with Bryan Friend
CDF Vice President, based in CDF's Pacific Northwest office in Seattle. He also serves on the Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Board, as well as the Pacific Northwest Area Committee for the Union Bank Foundation.
The CDF group has traditionally focused on California. What was the thinking behind its expansion to Washington?
Union Bank has been active in the Pacific Northwest for over 100 years, and we've greatly expanded our presence here since acquiring Washington-based Frontier Bank in 2010. Washington is a growing market for CDF, with top-quality affordable housing developers working hard to meet the great need for affordable housing in the region. All of the bank's offices are located west of the Cascades, so that fact has defined our market.
You handle all CDF originations for the Pacific Northwest. What does that mean for CDF customers?
We are a nimble operation, and I believe that's a real advantage for customers. I am the single point of contact for our customers, handling both debt and equity financing on each of our transactions. Our customers don't need to speak with a variety of departments in order to negotiate a deal — they only need to speak with me. We think that allows a smoother and more efficient delivery, and our customers seem to agree.
You've served on the Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Board for about a year. Describe that experience.
It's a privilege to serve on the Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Board with colleagues in the industry who I really admire. We are a group of about two dozen who advise the governor's office and the state Department of Commerce, which manages the Washington State Housing Trust Fund, on a wide range of topics related to affordable housing — mortgage counseling, multifamily finance policy, reducing homelessness, and many other issues. Our objective is to provide citizen input for policymakers in the state, and I think we accomplish that.
What do you enjoy most about your role with CDF?
I've never had a job that gives me more personal satisfaction than this one. The greatest joy for me is to attend groundbreakings or ribbon-cuttings and to see the large number of people who are committed to a single goal: providing housing for people in need. When you focus on the residents who you're helping, it makes you feel very good.