The people who make it all happen
President & CEO
Damon Burns is a New Orleans native and public finance professional with more than 10 years of experience in entrepreneurship, investment banking, corporate banking and economic development. He is currently the President & CEO of The Finance Authority of New Orleans. The Finance Authority is a housing and economic development finance agency that has financed over $600 million of affordable housing and economic development projects in New Orleans.
Prior to joining The Finance Authority of New Orleans, he founded Munivestor, a financial data and technology company focused on the municipal bond industry using $200K in private investor capital. Munivestor was selected to participate in some of the nation’s premier startup programs including Techstars’ Risingstars Bootcamp, Morgan Stanley’s FinTech Investor Showcase and PowerMoves NOLA. Other technology experience includes being an Investment Committee member of the New Orleans Startup Fund, which provides early stage capital to New Orleans based companies with high-growth potential.
Burns earned a Marketing degree from Texas Southern University and an MBA with a finance concentration from the University of New Orleans. He also earned a professional certificate in Urban Redevelopment from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vice President of Finance & Operations
Bianka Brown serves as Vice President of Finance and Operations for The Finance Authority of New Orleans (FANO), where she is responsible for the financial leadership and operations. In her role, she is responsible for upholding strong fiscal management and accountability while providing timely, accurate and reliable financial information as well as enhancing internal control.
Before joining FANO, Bianka served as Chief Financial Officer for The Housing Authority of Jefferson Parish, where she was responsible for financial and strategic management, including the agency’s financial reporting, federal grant management, long-range capital improvement planning and program management.
Bianka has extensive operational and financial management experience in private, public and nonprofit sectors.
She brings a wealth of experience through her successes with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, First NBC Bank and JP Morgan Chase, where she helped the organizations streamline financial and procedural policies and create monitoring and accountability systems.
Bianka’s demonstrated experience includes Financial Forecasting, financial analysis, cash management, federal grant management, systems conversions, budget preparation and competitive analysis and benchmarking.
Bianka holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southern University at New Orleans.
Vice President of Programs
Lydia Cutrer serves as Vice President of Programs at The Finance Authority of New Orleans. She has established a track record of deploying capital in a way that is focused on financial, risk and relationship management. She gained experience at JPMorgan Chase, PNC Realty Investors and Calvert Foundation originating and managing investments in corporate debt, commercial real estate and affordable housing across the country. Since returning home to New Orleans in 2012, she’s managed departmental projects for the City of New Orleans and directed a community development loan fund for the Foundation for Louisiana.
Lydia earned her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her BBA from Temple University.
Lydia is active on various community boards and committees, including A Shared Initiative, Inc., American Association of University Women, Big Class, Market Umbrella and the Sisters of the Holy Family. She enjoys playing tennis and traveling.