REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 18, 2016) - Oportun, a mission-driven financial services company that provides small dollar credit to Latinos and others with little or no credit history, today announced that Jo Ann Barefoot has joined its Board of Directors. A highly-regarded expert in financial services innovation and dedicated consumer advocate, Barefoot will help Oportun expand its mission to extend responsible credit to those who need it most.
"We are excited to welcome Jo Ann to the Oportun Board of Directors," said Oportun CEO Raul Vazquez. "She is a rare combination of successful entrepreneur, trusted advisor to innovators, and passionate consumer advocate. There are more than 45 million people in this country without a credit score and Jo Ann's insights and support will help us reach more of them with our responsible small dollar loans."
Barefoot is a Senior Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Mossovar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at Harvard University, and the CEO of Barefoot Innovation Group. In this role, she regularly writes, speaks, and advises on the intersection of financial technology and regulation to facilitate new solutions for consumers. Barefoot also serves as a consultant to a number of consumer finance companies, and invests and advises fintech startups. She served for three years on the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and currently sits on the boards of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). She also hosts the podcast show Barefoot Innovation and is co-founder of the RegTech firm, Hummingbird Fintech.
Earlier, Barefoot was the first female Deputy Comptroller of the Currency and led the creation of that agency's original consumer protection unit. She has also served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; as Co-Chair of the consulting firm Treliant Risk Advisors, as a Partner and Managing Director at KPMG Consulting; and as Director of Mortgage Finance for the National Association of Realtors.
Oportun is a mission-driven financial services company that uses advanced data analytics and technology to provide responsible, affordable personal loans to Latinos and others with little or no credit history. The company's centralized data analytics system calculates each loan applicant's ability to repay, approves those loans the company believes can be paid back, and sets loan amounts and terms to fit individual budgets. Customer account information is also reported to credit bureaus to help customers establish credit history. Since its founding in 2005, Oportun has helped more than 800,000 customers by disbursing nearly $3 billion through more than 1.6 million small dollar loans. The company delivers customer service with bilingual staff across channels and operates more than 215 locations in California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and now Arizona.