ProsperUs Detroit, an economic development initiative that builds and sustains neighborhood entrepreneurs and small businesses, is implementing a dual leadership role to support the organization’s high demand for capital through its lending program, naming Shakir Bralock and Matthew Bihun lending director and portfolio director, respectively.
“We value this dual leadership model because it places equal emphasis on every important stage of the lending process,” says Chanell Scott Contreras, executive director of ProsperUs Detroit. “Deploying more capital is very important to us, but what makes ProsperUs unique is the investment and care we give our borrowers and those in our portfolio. We do this throughout the life of their loan and beyond.”
Previously, Bralock spent 16 years as banking center manager, most recently at Flagstar Bank. Bralock’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and love of the city is well known from his years of experience with pursuits in the community and, now, the local food truck he co-owns.
“I am honored to be a part of a team of passionate professionals who are excellent at what they do,” says Bralock. “Prior to joining the organization, I heard from community members about the life-changing services and funding they are receiving from the team at ProsperUs. I’m thrilled to be on the journey with my new team and ready to work.”
Bihun has been with ProsperUs Detroit since 2013 and most recently served as the loan fund manager. He has been an integral part of the ProsperUs team and is responsible for much of the organization’s impact in Detroit’s neighborhoods, as well as building accessible, creative, and responsive lending practices. Outside of his work at ProsperUs, Bihun is also the co-owner of several businesses.
“After almost 10 years of experimenting with, learning from, and modifying microlending best practices here in Detroit, I am confident that this co-leadership model at ProsperUs will lead to the greatest outcomes for our borrowers while simultaneously supporting the long-term viability of our loan program,” says Bihun. “We view this as nothing short of a win-win scenario.”