Founder Eric Weaver receives Jefferson Award for Public Service
Opportunity Fund was featured on KPIX-5 News CBS San Francisco this week as Founder Eric Weaver received a 2018 Jefferson Award for Public Service in a story that also featured #OpportunityFunded entrepreneur Alicia Villanueva, owner of Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas. The Jefferson Awards recognize “quiet heroes in the community,” honoring those who have made significant impact through public service at the national and local level – and Eric has surely done that. Since founding Opportunity Fund in 1994, Eric has led Opportunity Fund to invest $606 million in small businesses, savings programs, and community real estate, helping thousands of underserved people in California and beyond-like Alicia, profiled in last night’s broadcast.
“I started Opportunity Fund to provide opportunities for people, like Alicia, who are driving economic opportunity in their communities and just need the chance for someone to say “Yes” to their dreams. Not only did Alicia build a successful business from the ground up, she also sent her son to college and created jobs for 17 people in the community. I accept this award in recognition of the hard work our clients are doing to build better lives for themselves and improve their communities, and with deep appreciation for our community of supporters.” – Eric Weaver, Opportunity Fund Founder
Meet Alicia, Owner of Tamales Los Mayas
When Alicia came to the U.S., she cleaned houses full-time and made tamales at night and on the weekend for her friends. With Opportunity Fund’s help, Alicia grew her tamale business from a cart at local “Off the Grid” food festivals; purchased a fleet of delivery vans so she could take on notable catering clients like Google and Amazon; and moved from La Cocina’s incubator kitchen into a 6,000 square-foot factory in Hayward where her team now makes 2,500 tamales by hand each day.