Staff spotlight: Jason brings a personal touch to new position

Jason Huntington specializes in small business lending, but his job is more than handling money—it’s helping turn rural hopes and dreams into reality.

A part of the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), Jason’s position of loan portfolio manager is new to the organization.

REAP is a program that focuses on small business development, and consists of four elements including networking, business management training, credit (microloans), and technical assistance.

Jason will work with loan representatives on potential new loans, financial reporting, and more, all of which he is excited to dig into.

“Temporarily, my goal is to understand and shape this role, since it’s a new position,” Jason said. “We have a tremendous loan team, and long term, I’m looking to further support the REAP loan division.”

While he is excited about the professional responsibilities of this role, Jason also connects with it on a personal level.

“I’m most looking forward to helping people realize that dream of opening their own business,” he said. “My wife and I moved back to this area several years ago because she wanted to start her own small business, so I completely understand how difficult it can be to realize that dream. Being a help in any way will be very fulfilling.”

Jason has several years of grant writing, traditional commercial banking, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) experience under his belt, and he’s happy to be able to use that experience in a rural capacity.

Being born and raised in a small community in southwest Iowa, rural America has always held a special place in Jason’s heart.

“I’ve had pit stops in major metropolitan areas, but have always found my way back to rural America because of the people,” he said. “Caring about individuals and their lives has been instilled in me since I was young, and I want my daughter to have that same love of rural as I do.”

In his free time, Jason enjoys being with his family, traveling, and playing golf. He is also an avid Iowa Hawkeyes fan and is fond of water sports. Jason, his wife, Amanda, and their daughter, Jovi, live in Pender, Nebraska.

Jason can be reached at his office in Lyons at jasonh@cfra.org or 402.687.2100 ext. 1021.