Lansing-based Great Lakes Capital Fund, a community development financial institution, has changed its name to Cinnaire.
“The Great Lakes Capital Fund name holds significant goodwill in the industry, but the name no longer effectively represents either the markets we serve or the value we offer in those markets,” says Mark McDaniel, president and chief executive officer for Cinnaire.
The name change follows a year-long branding process that provided valuable insight into how the organization is viewed by its supporters and partners, and how the organization could enhance its visibility and value in the industry.
McDaniel says a driving factor leading to the company’s decision to update its brand came when Delaware Community Investment Corporation became part of Great Lakes Capital in October 2013. He says the partnership presented an exceptional opportunity to grow into new and different markets, to expand its business activity, thereby increasing its ability to reinvest locally. Yet the two organizations maintained their existing company names; this did not promote a cohesive brand.
He says an additional factor influencing the decision to rebrand was that the current name, Great Lakes Capital Fund, did not represent the entirety of the markets the company serves, which consist of: Michigan, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“Cinnaire was created from two Celtic words, “cinn”-meaning moving forward, advancing, progressive and “aire”-meaning caring, helpful. These words were commonly used by our partners during focus groups to describe the organization; we wanted our new name to reflect those words,” McDaniel says.
McDaniel says Cinnaire has experienced tremendous growth over the past two years and has increased its staff 34 percent during this period. Currently, Cinnaire manages $3.2 billion in equity investments and loans in the community redevelopment space. It’s community development lending programs have supported over 280 loans totaling over $330 million for a variety of uses including affordable housing, community facilities and lines of credit for Community Development Financial Institutions or nonprofit partners whose work complements Cinnaire’s.
The company manages 58 housing tax credit equity funds, supporting the development or preservation of over 652 affordable housing developments, representing 39,000 units. In addition to these investments, it manages over $360 million of New Markets Tax Credits supporting over $1.5 billion in total development costs. To date, Cinnaire’s cumulative activities have supported the creation or retention of over 81,000 jobs and provided quality, safe and stable housing for over 97,000 low- to moderate-income individuals.