Equipping Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities.


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November 5, 2014

WASHINGTON  – Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) has received a $75,000 grant from NALCAB—National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders. This grant will support LEDC expand their revolving loan fund and general operation expenses. The additional capital will yield significant new opportunities for wealth building among low-income people, greater job creation and retention, and improved self-sufficiency and sustainability for LEDC clients in the DC region. 
According to Marla Bilonick, Executive Director, “The NALCAB award will allow us to continue our mission of equipping Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Our small business experts work hand in hand with local entrepreneurs to help them start, fund and execute their business ideas. Our small business team provides technical assistance to existing businesses that need our support. This grant allows us to service more clients and to successfully continue this work.”
With the generous support of the Sam’s Club Giving Program, NALCAB awarded $1.1 million to 24 small business projects across 17 states that are managed by community and economic development nonprofit organizations. View a complete list of the grantees and their program descriptions at
About LEDC
Working families deserve to live in affordable homes and own successful small businesses – but too many are unable to turn these dreams into a reality. The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) equips Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to buy and stay in their homes, take control of the decisions affecting their apartment buildings, and start or expand small businesses. For more information, please visit
About the Sam’s Club Giving Program
Established by the Walmart Foundation in 2008, the Sam’s Club Giving Program is dedicated to micro- and small business prosperity, investing more than $11 million in national and local programs dedicated to improved training, education and increased access to capital for small business owners. For more information on national or local giving, visit
NALCAB-The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders is a San Antonio based organization that represents and serves over 100 members that are a geographically and ethnically diverse group of nonprofit community and economic development organizations that are anchor institutions in our nation’s Latino communities. NALCAB’s mission is to build financial and human assets as well as real estate and technology resources for Latino families, communities, and organizations. For additional information, visit NALCAB’s pressroom or go to
October 31, 2014

WASHINGTON  – After a nationwide search, Marla Bilonick has been named Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC).
Marla has been serving as Interim Executive Director of LEDC since May and has over 15 years of experience directing and developing economic development initiatives. Under her leadership, LEDC has continued to provide critical affordable housing and small business development services throughout the DC metropolitan area. She is an Emerging Leader in Microbusiness (ELM2) under the Aspen Institute’s FIELD program and served on Mayor Vincent Gray’s Business Regulatory Reform Task Force. 
Over the past year, LEDC provided over 750 DC area entrepreneurs with technical assistance and small business training; made 123 microloans totaling over $1.5 million; counseled and trained 500 clients on financial literacy and buying their first home; and organized tenants in 84 buildings, which provide more than 2,913 units of affordable housing.
“There is no one who knows LEDC better than Marla and we have continually been impressed with her dedication and commitment to the organization,” said Noralisa Leo, Chairwoman of the LEDC Board of Directors. "Her experience in the community development field and ability to manage large-scale projects and teams is a perfect match for LEDC in this critical period of growth and expansion.”
“I am thrilled to have been chosen to lead such a respected organization and see great opportunities ahead for LEDC.” says Bilonick, “I am excited for the future and am wholeheartedly committed to LEDC; the clients & communities we serve; and our talented, hard-working staff.”
Prior to joining LEDC in 2012, Marla worked for Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) where she led new business development marketing missions in Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua and her native Panama.  Before DAI, she spent seven years in New York working for Seedco, helping to initiate and develop their small business support services in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. As Director of the Upper Manhattan Business Solutions Center in Harlem, a full-service business center that provided no-cost consulting and access to financing to New York City businesses, she helped increase client volume by 100% in her first six months and worked closely with the New York City Government’s Department of Small Business Services to ensure that the Center was meeting its contract performance targets and financial metrics. While at Seedco she also provided technical assistance on financial management to two NYC Latino community-based organizations via the Community Organization Financial Assistance Program.
Bilonick grew up in Montgomery County and is a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and holds a Masters in International Economics and Latin American Studies from the John Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies-SAIS. She currently serves on DC’s Small Business Policy Project Steering Committee, on the Board of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, and on Montgomery County’s Department of Economic Development’s Economic Strategy Advisory Group. Marla lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband, Tim, and three children, Matteo, Luca, and Romy.
Monday, 27 October 2014 15:04

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