Senior Management

James H. Bason

President / Chief Executive Officer

James H. Bason sets and refines the broad strategic direction for the organization and leads a highly collaborative team in the execution of all programs and services. Mr. Bason provides tactical oversight for all aspects of our programs, staffing, operations, monitoring and reporting of social impact outcomes. James H. Bason is an experienced financial executive with a history of providing comprehensive lending management expertise. Prior to joining TruFund Financial, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at Carver Bancorp a nationally recognized community banking organization where he served in various executive roles during his nine year tenure. During this time he successfully drove organizational growth to build the loan portfolio from $250 million to $675 million and developed and implemented policies and procedures to enhance financial controls and to improve lending and loan servicing operations. Previously Mr. Bason served in positions of increasing responsibility at The Bank of New York, formerly as Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Lending and Community Development. Prior to that Mr. Bason was the Community Reinvestment Act Officer at Barclays Bank in New York. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and a Banking Diploma in Finance from the American Institute of Banking. He recently completed a Citi/OFN Sponsored Leadership Training Program for CDFI Executives at Wharton University. He completed his Formal Bank Credit Training Program at the Bank of New York.

Aisha Benson

Executive Vice President
Director NMTC – Empowerment Reinvestment Fund, LLC

Aisha Benson, Executive Vice President, is responsible for directing, managing, and integrating multi-disciplined team functions related to the delivery of lending services, tax credit deployment and TA programs across TruFund's footprint. She also oversees program design and implementation, resource partner selection and management, and the coordination of outreach and business development efforts for TruFund’s programs. During her tenure, numerous multi-million-dollar capital access, guaranty and grant programs have fallen under her direct management. Prior to TruFund, Ms. Benson served as VP of Business Lending at Carver Federal Savings, and as VP of Commercial Lending at JP Morgan Chase. She has 24 years’ experience deploying capital to Low Income Communities, including acquisition, construction and permanent finance projects. She has deployed $89 million in NMTCs and $172 million of capital to low income communities, including $72 million in loans to small businesses and non-profits financed through TruFund’s Small Business Loan Fund. Based on her vast experience, Ms. Benson serves on several key industry Boards, including the NMTC Coalition (Executive Committee member) and NY CDFI Coalition (founding member). She also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Community Development Entities of US Bank and Coastal Enterprises. Ms. Benson holds a B.A. in Psychology, Cum Laude from Columbia University and a certificate through a Citi/OFN Sponsored Leadership Training Program for CDFI Executives at Wharton University.

Ken Harvey

Vice President / Director of Finance

Ken Harvey is Vice President – Director of Finance for TruFund Financial Services, manages and directs all financial and accounting practices, procedures, and systems, and provides management and oversight of TruFund’s liquidity, treasury functions, budgetary process, forecasting, and financial reporting and controls. Prior to joining TruFund, he served as Assistant Manager of Corporate Accounting at Altria Corporate Services (previously Philip Morris). Mr. Harvey earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from Queens College and a Master’s degree in Finance from Adelphi University.

Michael Vaugh

Vice President/ Chief Credit Officer

Michael Vaugh is Vice President and Chief Credit Officer for TruFund Financial Services, Inc. Mr. Vaugh is responsible for TruFund’s credit risk management division, which includes underwriting and approval, credit administration, portfolio analytics, credit risk rating methodologies, counterparty risk, and problem loan management. Mr. Vaugh is an experienced commercial credit manager with formal credit training from Omega Performance. Mr. Vaugh has management and underwriting experience with Commercial Real Estate, Small Business Lending and C&I Lending. Over his 14 years of industry experience, he has worked with a variety of business such as Fortune 500 financial institutions, federal credit unions and nonprofit community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Mr. Vaugh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration from East Stroudsburg University.

Kim Carter Evans, MBA

Vice President/Managing Director
Director of Corporate Communications

As the Managing Director, Kim Carter Evans is responsible for providing strategic leadership and management of market operations, lending, program implementation and economic development community strategies. Ms. Carter Evans leads the lending and program teams with an emphasis on growing the portfolio while enhancing the entrepreneurial education and support culture as well as market expansion. In addition, Ms. Carter Evans oversees all corporate communications & marketing functions across TruFund’s national footprint building brand awareness and advancing TruFund’s strategic agenda.
With over 15 years of experience as a business and economic development professional having worked in both the government and non-profit sector, Ms. Carter Evans brings extensive experience in disaster recovery program implementation; municipal economic development strategy consulting, federal fund administration to include Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG); strategic partnership and relationship management. Ms. Carter Evans joined TruFund in 2012 responsible for resource development, strategic partnerships and program implementation in the Louisiana market.
Prior to joining TruFund, she serviced in roles of increasing responsibility with the State of Louisiana Department of Economic Development; City of New Orleans Department of Economic Development; United States Department of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – Urban Entrepreneur Partnership. As a management and strategy consultant with CCMG Management, Ms. Carter Evans served as senior business and municipal strategist. Ms. Carter Evans is an active community volunteer currently servicing on the Board of Directors of Jubilee Impact Fund (Chicago, IL) and Center For Empowerment and Development (Atlanta, GA)
Ms. Carter Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Mass Communications – Public Relations from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) – International Business Communication.

Brian Gurski

Vice President/Managing Director - New York

As the New York Managing Director, Brian Gurski oversees lending, technical assistance and economic development initiatives for the New York market. Mr. Gurski has extensive experience in small- and medium-size enterprise, economic and community development. Prior to joining TruFund, Mr. Gurski was a management consultant with a firm he co-founded and led engagements in strategy, change management and turnaround in predominantly the public and non-profit sectors nationwide. A dedicated educator, he has trained hundreds of counselors serving diverse and low-income communities on financial literacy and empowerment in New York City and in more than 15 cities nationwide through programs supported by the NYC Office of Financial Empowerment, Cities for Financial Empowerment and Bloomberg Philanthropies. He also currently teaches strategic design and management at Parsons The New School for Design. Mr. Gurski is a former regional director of the New York State Small Business Development Center at LaGuardia Community College/City University of New York (CUNY) where he helped launch the national pilot of the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. He has also served as a loan officer and lending team manager with another Community Development Financial Institution serving microenterprises in predominantly minority, new immigrant and low-income communities in New York City. Mr. Gurski completed an MBA with a concentration in finance from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College/CUNY, a bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College, and executive training in value innovation from The Aresty Institute for Executive Education at The Wharton School.

Myla R. Poree

Vice President / Managing Director

Myla R. Poree manages all of TruFund’s lending and economic development activities in the Louisiana market. Ms. Poree is responsible for directing, managing and integrating multi-disciplined team functions related to the delivery of lending services and technical assistance programs in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and surrounding regions. Ms. Poree received her B.S. in Business Administration from Xavier University and M.B.A. from Texas Southern University.

LaShaunda René

Assistant Vice President/Managing Director

As the Texas Managing Director, LaShaunda René manages and oversees all of TruFund’s lending and economic development activities in the Texas market. She also acts as Manager of Business Services and Program Development in Louisiana.
LaShaunda has over 17 years professional experience working in the non-profit and government sectors; in the areas of community and economic development as well as program development and management, business and resource development, training and facilitation, special events, strategic thought and community engagement. Over the past three years LaShaunda has been focused on supporting small, rural, minority and women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to recover from disaster and to become more resilient. Lashaunda has also received training in community development finance, fund development, facilitation and racial equity.
She is a graduate of International Business and French Studies from Dillard University and of Public Administration from Walden University. LaShaunda is a Charter School Board Member of New Harmony High School, a Housing Nola Leadership Board and Lender’s Roundtable Member, a Women’s Leadership Academy Member and an Executive Mentor at Loyola University and a member of the Houston Minority and Women Business Task Force.