November 25, 2014 – USDA Leaders Visit REI Oklahoma

REI Oklahoma welcomed Lillian Salerno to its Durant headquarters on Tuesday. She serves as Administrator for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), an agency within the Rural Development mission area of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


As Administrator, Salerno is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s $10.7 billion guaranteed loan portfolio. RBS provides financial and technical assistance to small businesses and cooperatives throughout rural America to expand job opportunities, helps businesses grow, promotes energy independence through energy efficiency and the development of clean, renewable forms of energy.


Accompanied by Oklahoma USDA Rural Development State Director Ryan McMullen and Oklahoma Program Director Brian Wiles, Salerno toured the facilities at REI Oklahoma, and discovered ways in which the economic development firm expands Oklahoma’s prosperity. The group also visited other area organizations while in Oklahoma.


“We were delighted to showcase REI Oklahoma to such influential players in Oklahoma’s economic success,” said Scott Dewald, REI Oklahoma President & CEO. “Ms. Salerno’s visit created a great opportunity for us to strengthen our relationship with her and her team.”


REI Oklahoma, a non-profit economic development firm, offers services statewide. REI Business Lending collaborates closely with local lenders to help entrepreneurs navigate through business lending resources and programs. For women-owned businesses and minority-owned enterprises, REI Women’s Business Center and REI Native American Business Centers offer unique training, as well as technical assistance and access to capital. Additionally, REI Down Payment Assistance provides support to potential homeowners. REI Oklahoma leverages the New Markets Tax Credit program to attract new investments into Oklahoma and create needed jobs in low-income communities.