Minority Advocate 2 Featured

9:57am EDT July 22, 2002

In any business, getting results ultimately is what really counts.

That may be at least one of the reasons Tim Johnson was selected Minority Advocate for Pennsylvania and the SBA’s mid-Atlantic region, as well as for the SBA’s Pittsburgh district.

“There are a lot of well-intentioned people who fall short,” says Vic Tatum of Kensington Capital, a venture for which Johnson helped put together a financing package for its launch last year. “He’s one of the people who really delivers.”

Johnson heads National City’s community development lending department, where he often has to work with precision and diligence to get public entities such as the Community Development Loan Fund and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh to coordinate their efforts with the borrower and National City to put together loan packages for growing businesses and new ventures.

Making those efforts successful with a minority enterprise, says Johnson, is ultimately no different than with any venture.

“You have to go into them in a way where the transaction will be beneficial to both parties,” says Johnson.

Johnson points to National City’s efforts to help convenience store entrepreneur Gene Thomas put together financing to expand his Quik-It store chain as an example of the kind of projects that can be accomplished when public and private entities work together.

Johnson is not afraid to take on a tough project and work with it patiently if it shows promise.

“He’s willing to invest the time,” Tatum says. “You really need someone who is willing to sit down and hear your story.”