WASHINGTON, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) announced that Rhonda Pointon has joined the organization as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Training & Support, a newly-created position. An accomplished leader with over twenty-three years of experience in the banking and finance industries with a focus on SBA and commercial lending, Pointon will spearhead NADCO's regulatory affairs department, representing the organization before the SBA and other federal agencies. "We are thrilled to welcome Rhonda, a former Certified Development Company (CDC) executive with a track record of success in the 504 program as well as commercial banking," said NADCO President & CEO Beth Solomon. "Rhonda's appointment to this newly-created role is a major step forward in our effort to provide NADCO members with the highest-quality regulatory counsel, training and support. This is an advancement for CDCs, the 504 program, and SBA lending." Pointon spent seven years as a senior lender with Business Finance Group, a nationally-recognized CDC serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. Starting her career at what is now Wells Fargo, she was most recently a Senior Vice President of Congressional Bank, a community bank. Pointon currently serves on the Virginia Bankers Association Retail Executives Committee. She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a bachelor's degree in business administration. ABOUT THE SBA'S 504 DEBT-REFINANCE INITIATIVE The Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) Act, originally enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, did not become fully operational until February 2012, significantly shortening the period of time that businesses could use 504 loans to refinance qualifying existing debt. It expired on September 27, 2012. During that time, over 2700 businesses refinanced nearly $7 billion in old, expensive debt to unleash capital that was reinvested into their businesses to create and sustain jobs. The measure literally saved thousands of businesses in communities across the country during the recession, helping them accelerate the economic recovery. Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a senior member of the Committee introduced a five-year extension could offer capital access to over 250,000 additional businesses across the country, saving them up to $20,000 per month while costing nothing to the taxpayers. ABOUT THE SBA'S 504 LOAN INITIATIVE 504 loan initiative is a long-term financing tool for economic development that provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate loans to help them acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization at zero cost to taxpayers. Certified Development Companies (CDC) work with the SBA and private sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses under the 504 loan program. A CDC is typically a private, nonprofit corporation set up to contribute to the economic development of its community.