Celina Peña

Chief Program Officer for LiftFund

Celina Peña is chief program officer for LiftFund, a nationally recognized non-profit business lender in the US that provides business loans and support in thirteen U.S. states in the Southwest to underbanked small business owners.

Peña’s experience includes lending, policy making, strategic planning, project management, fundraising, program development, relationship management, and communication designer. She is a former U.S. Small Business Administration women business center director, Vice President of Business Support, and Vice President of Lending. Previously she was part of the small business team at the City of San Antonio and also a policy analyst with Methodist Healthcare Ministries, a non profit in San Antonio.

Today Celina’s responsibilities include design and implementation of business education, designing and supporting lending and learning programs, implementing and overseeing employee training, managing and supporting MMS™, a division of LiftFund, which serves 19 CDFI partners as their loan origination and risk management system. She also leads and collaborates in program development, R&D, data quality and planning, staff engagement and training, and grants and communications efforts for LiftFund.

She is a product of public schools in the Rio Grande Valley (Texas) and received a B.A. degree from the University of Texas-Pan American and an M.A. degree from the University of Texas-San Antonio. Most proudly she is the mother of Alejo (age 12) and Américo (age 4) and is married to Michael Soto, an English professor at Trinity University.

My Sessions

In a moderated discussion between LiftFund Chief Program Officer, Celina Pena, and CEO of ImageFreedom, Matt Egan, this session will focus on the troubles that small businesses face getting recognition early on in the journey especially in a crowded digital space. If you are looking for ways to enhance your visibility or have questions about […]