About Us

Our Mission

California Southern remains committed to assisting small and mid-size businesses get the financial assistance they need to become productive and successful and contributing partners in their communities.

Through longstanding and trusted relationships with more than 40 banks and lending institutions, California Southern helps secure financing for small businesses that have great potential, but lack credit strength and may be unable to qualify for a conventional loan on their own. California Southern does this by assuming a portion of the financial risk. The program places emphasis on assisting small businesses, particularly minority and women-owned businesses who cannot qualify for a bank loan without a guarantee.

For nearly 30 years, California Southern has been recognized as a valued business partner within the communities it serves, having helped create more than 4,000 new jobs in a variety of industry sectors including construction, hospitality, ancillary medical services, service industry and craft brewing.

Board of Directors

The California Southern Board of Directors includes dedicated business professionals with many years of financial and business experience as well as broad and varied community support and involvement.

Fernando Ponce - Chair

Over the years, Fernando Ponce’s focus has been connecting business owners with capital providers to get them access to the financing they need. Working as a business banker and as the Regional Business Development Officer at Primary Funding, has given Fernando the important perspective on how building relationships and making connections is an essential part of business success. He is also a board member of the Chicano Federation of San Diego County, where he works on making an impact and giving back to his community.

Barry J. Schult, Esq. - Vice Chair

Barry J. Schultz is a Partner with the law firm of Devaney Pate Morris and Cameron. With over 25 years of combined legal, planning, and community development experience, his law practice focuses on real estate and land use law, community development, affordable housing, infill development, and sustainable community development. Barry has been a guest lecturer at UCSD and has taught courses on Urban Design and Economics. As an active member of the community, Barry serves on the Boards of the McAlister Institute, and the Carmel Valley Planning Board.

Ciro G. Villa - Treasurer

Ciro G. Villa is the Senior Director, Commercial Banking for Torrey Pines Bank. He has over 25 years of industry experience and has held senior level positions in the San Diego, Chula Vista and San Ysidro areas. Mr. Villa is a long-time resident of San Diego, growing up in South San Diego. In addition to serving on the board for CA Southern, his community involvement includes board member for Home Start and Casa Familiar. Mr. Villa’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University and a Master’s Degree in Business. He also graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School, Class of 2010.

Nury Saenz - Secretary

Nury Saenz, EA started working in accounting while attending school and opened her own practice in 1997, becoming an Enrolled Agent in 2003. In addition to full service accounting and payroll services, her office also offers Income tax return preparation, with year-round representation for Individuals, business (LLC’s and Corporations) and Trusts. She has a very diverse clientele base, many with domestic and international businesses. Nury received her National Tax Practice Institute accreditation in 2014 and is now a NTPI Fellow. She teaches payroll and small business tax seminars on behalf of the IRS as a volunteer. Additionally, she is a QuickBooks & Xero expert and regularly teaches classes for all levels.

Michel Anderson - Board Member

Michel Anderson has served on the California Southern board since its inception in 1989. He has over 30 years of experience as a business and land use consultant specializing in governmental relations, project management, development processing, and public affairs and is currently the Principal at Michel Anderson Associates. Michel has served on the Board of Directors of numerous community based non-profit organizations. He presently serves as Chairman of both the the SANCAL Board of Directors and the CASAS Board of Directors.

Kim Folsom - Board Member

As a high-tech executive and serial entrepreneur, Folsom has been founding, leading and growing innovative companies for more than 25 years. She is the founder of LIFT Development Enterprises, Inc. and co-founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator, FUUUSE.CMNTY.com the first online community for fueling underserved small business expansion and the only women-led, revenue-based venture fund focused on helping underserved, employer-based micro small businesses ($50K to $2M), secure funding and achieve exponential growth. She has raised more than $30 million in institutional venture financing, and has founded or served as a key executive for multiple successful ventures, including showUhow, DriveCam and Seminarsource. Before devoting her energies to entrepreneurship, Folsom was an executive at National Dispatch Center, Luce Forward, Alltel Systematics and Great American First.

Dale Wineteer - Board Member

Dale Wineteer serves as President of RoadOne West, Inc. and A to Z Enterprises, Inc. in San Diego. He is the past President of Evolution Insurance Company in addition to serving on a variety of non-profit boards, including as past President of Pioneer Hook and Ladder (the San Diego Firehouse Museum). Dale has served on the California Southern Board of Directors in various leadership roles throughout his tenure.

Rebecca Humphries - Board Member

Rebecca Humphries is Senior Vice president/Relationship Manager with Endeavor Bank, specializing in commercial loans, including business acquisition, expansion, Equipment financing, and commercial real estate. Her nearly 30-year career in the financial industry has been in community banking. Previously to joining Endeavor Bank, Ms. Humphries was Senior Vice President/Senior Loan Officer for Neighborhood National Bank, a community bank serving the San Diego community. Rebecca has worked in a variety of capacities within the industry including operations/branch management with an emphasis on lending, including loan origination, underwriting, processing, special assets, and credit administration. An active member in her community, in addition to her involvement on the California Southern Board, she is a volunteer with a number of youth oriented organizations.

Viridiana Rosales-Trujillo - Board Member

Center Manager, Imperial Valley Small Business Development CenterViridiana Rosales-Trujillo is a passionate advocate for small business development and community empowerment. Currently serving as the Manager of the Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center under the direction of the Imperial County Workforce and Economic Development, Virdiana brings experience and a deep commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in the region. As a first-generation immigrant, she understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing small business owners.

Viridiana holds a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University, a master's degree in Public Administration with a concentration in leadership in complex systems from Claremont Lincoln University, as well as a Graduate Professional Certificate in Urban Development, and a Graduate Professional Certificate in Urban Management. She is dedicated to professional growth and, through San Diego State’s Professional Skills Development program, serves as a facilitator of leadership and soft skills trainings. With a love for serving her community and a focus on creating an economic impact, Viridiana is a dynamic leader making a meaningful difference in the lives of those she serves. Currently, Viridiana sits on the board of directors for the Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce and serves as co-chair of their Tourism & Economic Development Committee, extending her influence and dedication to the region's economic growth and community well-being.

Our Staff

Our staff is dedicated to helping you get the answers and financial assistance you need to start or expand, your business. The California Southern team looks forward to working with you to make your business ownership dreams a reality.


President & CEO

Mr. Hernandez is the President and CEO of California Southern FDC. He joined Cal-Southern as the Chief Credit Officer/Senior Vice President in May of 2018; and was appointed as President and CEO of the organization on January 2021. Prior to joining Cal-Southern, Hernandez was Chief Credit Officer of ACCION San Diego from 2014 to 2018 and was responsible for lending staff supervision and training, program development, underwriting, loan portfolio quality and management, loss mitigation and recovery; and participating in the development of bank and community partner relations. Hernandez received a B.A. in Sociology, with an emphasis in Work Force Studies from University of Illinois at Chicago. He is originally from Mexico City; moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1977 and has resided in San Diego since July of 2012. Hernandez has over 30 years of experience in banking, including consumer, business and commercial real estate lending. In Chicago, he worked for Metropolitan Bank Group, La Salle Bank & Trust and The First National Bank of Chicago. He has been featured in various newspaper articles including The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Hernandez served as Chairman of the Board for the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce from 2015 to 2019 and is currently serving on the Boards of Chicano Federation, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovations and San Diego Parks Foundation.


Loan Officer

Lisa Davis is a Loan Officer with California Southern. Lisa's previous employment was with Union Bank where she managed both high net worth clients and small businesses varying in revenue size of $2.5 million - $15 million. In her 35 years with the bank she held various positions and titles in lending and brings a wealth of knowledge in small business and commercial lending as well as business development and compliance. Lisa is a member of MANA de San Diego. She also volunteers at Family Health Center's Spirit of the Barrio Luncheon.


Loan Officer

Vanessa joined California Southern SBDC in July 2020. She has over 15 years of experience in the financial field and micro-lending including being part of the Mexican Government. Prior to joining, Vanessa was a Jr. Loan officer of ACCION San Diego from 2018 to 2020. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UABC and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Marketing from Cetys. Both of these universities are well renowned in the Mexico. Vanessa’s experience includes portfolio collection management and the returned check department for Nextel (C.K.A. AT&T). The territory she covered included four states in the Republic of Mexico. Vanessa was previously an active member of the Rotary Club of Ensenada.


Loan Portfolio Administrator/Manager

Karla Ibañez joined California Southern SBDC in October 2020 as the Loan Portfolio Administrator/Manager. Her previous employment was with a Community Development Bank where she primarily focused on Administration/Compliance; liaison between Executives, Board of Directors, Committee Members, Employees, Vendors and other Financial Institutions. In her nearly 30-year banking career she has held various positions and titles, which have resulted in setting her apart with her Organizational and Administrative skills. Karla’s passion is creating priceless moments in the outdoors with her family!


Accounting Manager


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