After more than two decades as President & CEO of the Prince George’s Financial Services Corporation (FSC First), Shelly Gross-Wade announced to the Board of Directors that she will step down from her role at the end of the year.
Diane Brown, Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Operating Officer of the Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union, expressed deep gratitude for Gross-Wade’s years of service. “I thank Shelly for her wisdom, commitment, hard work and vision. The growth and impact FSC First has made is a direct result of her leadership. We congratulate her on a job well done and for cementing an indelible legacy that will serve the county and region for many years to come. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish Shelly Gross-Wade our best wishes for a wonderful retirement. She will be missed and remembered and revered,” Brown reflected.
Throughout her 46-year tenure as a public servant, advocate and financial leader, Gross-Wade blazed a trail for improved access to capital for small, minority and socially disadvantaged businesses throughout the State of Maryland. She was the first African American and woman to lead FSC First, which is a member of a distinguished group of African American-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in the State of Maryland and the United States. Her career contributions within Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County made a significant impact on economic development initiatives within the region. Committed to financial empowerment through education, Gross-Wade volunteered with numerous non-profits and lectured frequently at the MEDA Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course.
With Gross-Wade at the helm, FSC First evolved from serving exclusively as an SBA 504 Certified Development Company (CDC) into a U. S. Department of Treasury CDFI and regional Lender Service Provider. Under her leadership, FSC First maintained a 25-year public-private partnership with FDIC-insured banks that renew and fund the $6 million revolving loan fund. Today, FSC First manages more than 10 distinct loan programs to support unbanked and under-banked small-, women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses and rapid growth companies. To expand access to capital for emerging and expanding entrepreneurs, Gross-Wade stewarded FSC First’s appointment as fund manager for several specialized economic development finance programs. These programs include: the Prince George’s County $50 Million Economic Development Incentive Fund, the $10 Million New Market Tax Credit Fund, the HUD 108 Local Economic Development Fund, the Prince George’s County Green Bank, the Commercial Property Assessment for Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program, the State of Maryland Small Woman and Minority-owned Business (Video Lottery Terminal) Fund, the Microenterprise Loan Fund and three revolving loan funds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gross-Wade transitioned FSC First from serving exclusively as a direct lender to designing, implementing, funding and managing essential grant programs. These programs provided approximately $40 million in mission-critical relief to locally owned businesses, preserving thousands of jobs for local residents.
Gross-Wade served four Prince George’s County administrations with distinction, including former County Executives Wayne K. Curry, Jack B. Johnson, Rushern L. Baker, III and the current County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks, who is the first African American woman to serve in this capacity.
Gross-Wade’s bold vision, relentless commitment and integrity position FSC First for continued success. She will assist the Board of Directors in the search, selection and hiring of her successor to ensure a smooth transition and stakeholder engagement in the process.
“A lot of things come with success, including increased expectation, opportunities and regulation as well as a need for more collaboration and resources,” Gross-Wade reflected. “I’m confident that FSC First will rise to the challenges ahead and continue to shape our communities in powerful ways.”