Outreach & Loan Officer
Cooperative Fund of New England
Deborah Hawkins is the Loan & Outreach Officer covering Maine for Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE). CFNE is a nonprofit lender/CDFI in New England and eastern upstate New York, lending to cooperatives and community nonprofits since 1975. Deborah resides in Clifton, Maine and serves prospective and current borrowers, underwrites loans, and offers financial workshops for cooperatives. She is a Maine native who has done bookkeeping/accounting work for a wide variety of small businesses and non-profits for over 25 years in New York, southern California, and Maine. She has helped found several food buying clubs and was active in the Community Supported Agriculture movement in its early years, including co-founding the then-largest CSA in the United States in 1991. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Deborah was the Administrator of the Demeter Association for certification of Biodynamic farms in the U.S. and Mexico. In this role she worked with the major U.S. organic certifiers helping draft regulations for the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Returning to college in 1987, she learned about and was greatly inspired by the cooperative movement and its values. She has been involved with the movement in various ways ever since, including ongoing work with Cooperative Maine. Deborah joined the staff of Cooperative Fund of New England in January of 2017. She holds a B.A. from California State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California, all in philosophy, focusing on issues of social and economic justice. She has taught philosophy, mainly applied ethics, for 10 years.