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More on CDF’s ‘Crazy A** B****’ Fiasco: Board Prez Knew of Shocking Letter Since NOV ’09

Ed. Note: In light of Monday’s revelation that Martina Guilfoil, executive director of the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (CDF), had resigned after it was discovered that she had written a shocking, profanity-laced letter to a local business owner, we asked Board President Joshua Williams to respond to several questions. His answers are below unedited.

How & when did the Board first learn of Ms. Guilfoil’s letter to Ms. Jones?

The full Board learned of the letter on August 12, 2010.  I was aware of the letter on November 19, 2009 – but chose not to share it with the full board with an understanding from Martina that it was inexcusable and that the letter was to be destroyed, not shared internally or externally, and she agreed.  We were notified by Ms. Jones on August 23rd that it had been anonymously delivered to her business.

How would you characterize the Board’s overall response at that time?

The Board was unanimous in their agreement that it was unacceptable, inexcusable, unprofessional and extremely harmful and that an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the letter should be undertaken.  The Board felt that if there were other instances in which Ms. Guilfoil had acted in a manner that didn’t best serve or represent the Fund, we needed to have that information.

Is it the Board’s position that Ms. Guilfoil did not actually send the letter to Ms. Jones?

This our understanding.

If so, do you have any idea who did?

This is part of the investigation that is not yet completed.

Is the Board aware of any other misconduct by Ms. Guilfoil?

At this point we cannot comment on any other issues with Ms. Guilfoil, as she has resigned her post with our organization and to discuss those matters publicly would not serve the community or the Fund.  We can say that Ms. Guilfoil is not believed to have done any legal wrongdoing.

Can you confirm that two other RVCDF staff members are currently on unpaid leave?

Two staff members are on leave.

If so, does their leave have anything to do with Ms. Guilfoil’s letter?

At this point we cannot comment on the leave of our staff since that would violate their privacy.

We can however say that we are assessing the conduct and professionalism of the CDF work-place, including our entire staff and roll of the Board, at this time to ensure that we can move forward with a team of individuals who want to serve the community and have the best interests of the Fund at heart.

According to his RVCDF bio, Joshua Williams serves as Vice President of International Banking and Trade Solutions for Wells Fargo Bank and has been a member of the Board since 2003. He lives with his family in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. Photo/RVCDF


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14 Comments on "More on CDF’s ‘Crazy A** B****’ Fiasco: Board Prez Knew of Shocking Letter Since NOV ’09"

Linh Thai
5 years 2 months ago

Officially submitted my resumé to the board. Anyone else from the community?

Linh Thai
5 years 2 months ago

Seanna Jordan – I will contact you tonight. Just to have clear understanding – I am interested in serving the community FIRST and FOREMOST. Yes, RVCDF needs to move forward; but it cannot do so without clear, measurable and transparent steps to regain the public trust and supports.

Seanna Jordan
5 years 2 months ago

To Valley residents, small business owners and readers of the RVP: The RVCDF, in its last two years of operation, has provided a great service to the community by giving out more than $20 million in loans to businesses of all sizes in the Valley.

Josh has personally met with Ms. Jones to offer his apologies and the apologies of the entire board. We ask for your patience and support as we move forward. We each believe strongly that the CDF can continue to be a valuable asset to the entire community. We want to quickly resolve this and get back to the business of assisting Rainier Valley businesses and entrepreneurs.

This is a Board made up entirely volunteers. If you want to help us get back to business by volunteering your time and expertise, we’d love to have you. Please contact me at 206 601 6278.

5 years 2 months ago

Institutional racism is the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture, or ethnic origin.

To be turned down for a loan is one thing, but to write a letter blasting the applicant (a black woman with a business on MLK that has been negatively impacted by light rail construction over the years) for being a “broke ass” and for “wasting their time” among other things is blatantly racist if nothing else.

5 years 2 months ago

It sounds like nobody knew the letter was mailed until August 23rd, at which time they took action. If Mr. Williams was told the letter was never sent, I understand his response. How would they have known it was sent or that it was a problem?

I’m not sure I understand the accusations of institutional racism, either. As soon as they knew the letter was sent, swift and harsh action was taken. August 23rd was less than two weeks ago.

And the City should definitely not take control of a community based organization. It is, by design, meant to be run by the community. I am not ok with the administration, particularly this administration, running an organization for our community. We’d have upscale townhomes on every corner and dog parks on every block. We’d be the New Ballard.

5 years 2 months ago

Sounds like several of you should call the RVCDF and offer your own volunteer time in service of the Valley. They are looking for new board members. If Williams (or any other Board member) steps down, someone else (maybe YOU?) will need to help galvanize this organization forward. And even without someone stepping aside, they still need more help. Time to stop yelling from rafters and step onto the court instead. This organization needs our help not our rants.

5 years 2 months ago

@ Garlic Gulch

I’m glad something like this got out because it shines the light on the people who go around riding their rainbow coalition car pretending to be “down” with everything and everyone.

Garlic Gulch
5 years 2 months ago

What are these fools thinking? Clean house or get out now. Institutional racism permeating from our own community development fund is a travesty.