D.C. Green Bank CEO Exits as the Organization Prepares to Scale Up

By Tristan Navera, Washington Business Journal


D.C. Green Bank’s inaugural chief is exiting as the financial organization prepares to emerge from its “startup” phase and take advantage of federal resources now available to support sustainable construction.

Eli Hopson, founding CEO of the 2.5-year-old program, is leaving to become chief operating officer and executive director of the Coalition for Green Capital, a nonprofit that will soon apply with the Environmental Protection Agency to became the nation’s first green bank. Friday was his last day on the job.

D.C. Green Bank CFO Jean Nelson-Houpert has been named interim leader in Hopson’s place. The board hasn’t disclosed a process for naming a permanent CEO but said one is ongoing.The institution was established by the District in 2018 to provide financing mechanisms for sustainable building upgrades.

Under Hopson’s tenure, the D.C. program grew from $2 million in loan commitments in its first year to a projected $30 million in its third. That’s meant ever-bigger financing deals, like a $7 million loan to PosiGen to provide solar energy at no cost to 350 low- and moderate-income D.C. households.

“I’ve been proud of what we accomplished, the progression of learning while dealing with this volume of loans,” Hopson said in an interview. “It’s been extraordinarily fast given the complications.”

“We’re going to be going out of the startup mode and into full implementation and scaling,” Brandi Colander, chair of the bank’s board, said in an interview.

“We have all the infrastructure in place to deploy the money coming our way,” Nelson-Houpert said.

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