The Council of Development Finance Agencies has tapped Richard M. Palank to serve as the new chairman of its board of directors.

CDFA officially announced the appointment late Thursday after having introduced the new chairman to members at the group's annual summit in St. Louis at the beginning of May.

Palank, who will serve as chairman until 2011, is the senior vice president of the St. Louis County Economic Council's business finance division, which provides a variety of financing options to local businesses. He also is the president and chief executive officer of the St. Louis County Business Finance Corp., a regional loan program, and the founder, president, and CEO of the St. Louis Business Development Fund, a for-profit community development corporation.

"Rick is a tremendous asset to the industry, and his knowledge, expertise, and past board experience will help to continue the momentum that CDFA has built as the premier leader in the development finance industry," said Toby Rittner, the group's president and CEO.

Palank will take over for Frances Walton, chief financial officer of New York's Empire State Development Corp.

CDFA also added other new members to its board. Darnell Moses, authorities manager for the Allegheny County, Pa., Department of Economic Development, is the new vice chairman. The new treasurer is James Parks, president and CEO of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, and John Kerr, director of economic development and grants management for the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, will serve as secretary.


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