For nearly her entire working life, the 70-year-young Alane Goldstein has worked for non- or not-for-profit organizations. It is just part of what makes Alane…well…Alane.
“I like community service, and I love to make a positive difference,” notes the Business Development Specialist for Community Ventures’ micro-lending team who will soon be retiring from CV. “I help clients get the loans and I help write the loans, but I mainly provide technical assistance. I help them with the business of business.”
“Alane always was looking out for her client’s best interest, to ensure that she helped each client to become successful in business and never afraid of telling the client what they needed to know—no matter if the client liked it or not—in a nice way because she always wanted them to succeed, notes Lew Whalen, CV’s Vice President of Lending. “She was always a true teacher. Every time she met with a client, she was helping them with something to become more successful.”
Her heart for others seems to be a recurrent theme when her co-workers reflect on Goldstein’s accomplishments. Prior to her time at CV, Goldstein worked with refugees and immigrants for another Louisville, Kentucky organization, helping them to save for houses or to open a business.
“I first met Alane when I went to work for Navigate Enterprise Center, which is part of Jewish Family & Career Services,” remembers Dan Heffernan, President of New Markets Tax Credits for CV. “Alane had been employed there and was very accommodating and welcoming to me. I noticed a sign above Alane’s desk that read “tikkun olam”. I recall out of curiosity asking Alane what the meaning of that was. Alane told me that it’s an old Hebrew saying that means “to heal the world.” After knowing Alane for 12 years now, it’s fitting that she would have that sign because that is very much who Alane is. I have seen her give her lunch away to people while at work because they were hungry, buy groceries out of her own pocket for customers in need and reach in to her own pocket and give money to customers or residents in need. I have seen Alane go out of the way to stop by a customer’s home on the weekend because they had a newborn baby at home and she didn’t want them to have to go to the office during the week. When one of our employees was in need, Alane would privately buy a gift card or cash or find another way to help. I will also miss Alane’s sense of humor—she has an awesome ability to interject humor at the most perfect time.”
Goldstein has worked for CV since 2013. It will actually be her second attempt at retirement, as she “stepped back” once before in 2010 to indulge her own enterprising spirit.
”I thought I was ready for a break and to let the entrepreneur in me come out,” Goldstein laughed. “My business was collectibles. I would go to flea markets and other places, do my research to buy what people were collecting then resell what I found on eBay. I did that for 2 years and then decided I wanted to come back to work. I missed interacting with people. A friend of mine told me about the CV position and it seemed like a good fit—a non-profit, community service type place that makes a difference.”
But even her time off paid dividends for CV clients looking to start their own businesses, as by running her own business Goldstein gained knowledge and experience that she could then pass along to them.
“When you have an online store it is almost like having a brick-and-mortar. You have to know your product and know your market and client demographic and you have to present your product in a pleasing way. You have to have a logo and good customer service—all of the same things that go into a brick-and-mortar store go into an online store.”
Brenda Weaver, CV’s President of Housing and Lending understands just how Goldstein’s many and varied life experiences helps her clients succeed in their own businesses. “Alane has devoted many years to helping small business owners in the Louisville area with education, technical assistance, and capital. Her expertise, relationships, and compassion for those she serves has made her an invaluable part of the Microlending and Women’s Business Center teams.”
“It has been a pleasure working and collaborating with Alane as we counsel and train folks to become successful entrepreneurs,” added Phyllis Alcorn, Director of the Women’s Business Center. “I will truly miss Alane’s quick wit and sense of humor for sure. I will also miss her candor and honesty. You can always count on Alane to give you an honest answer to a question – whether you are ready for it or not!”
This time around, perhaps retirement will stick. And while most assuredly everyone at CV and her former clients wish her the best, Goldstein and her passion for people will undoubtedly be missed.