Western Alliance Bank offers financial solutions for the public sector, helping local governments invest in infrastructure improvements. Learn more about the Bank’s commitment to aiding underserved communities and how the intersection of finance and public policy inspire Vice President & Credit Team Lead Melvin Moothen to advocate for a more diverse LGBTQIA+ representation in the public finance industry.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company.
I am a Vice President Credit Team Lead for the Public Finance team at Western Alliance Bank. Prior to joining the team, I was a Portfolio Manager/Associate Relationship Manager at U.S. Bank where I began my career in the industry 13 years ago. Western Alliance Bank Public Finance group serves municipalities and local governments nationwide with a broad array of financing tools designed to meet the unique financial needs of the public sector. We offer specialized industry expertise and a robust set of solutions to help communities finance major capital projects and pressing infrastructure needs.
What impact is your company making in your industry?
We hold a long history of helping our clients build better communities. With the right resources, municipalities and local government entities can implement cost-effective financing strategies and expand economic development through infrastructure improvements that promote community enhancements. Western Alliance Bank is here to provide public finance expertise and offer comprehensive solutions with flexible terms and seamless transaction execution.
Is there a specific project or recent success you’re particularly proud of that you would like to share?
Recently, the Public and Nonprofit Finance team at Western Alliance Bank closed an $80.5 million Interim Construction facility for Prosser Public Hospital District, located in Prosser, Washington. The facility will be used to fund construction of an 80,000-square-foot hospital and a 21,000-square-foot medical office building. One of the key components will be a Level IV Emergency Department that will be open 24 hours a day and serve as a primary point of entry for patients.
Permanent financing for this project will be provided by USDA Rural Development through its Community Facilities Programs. Western Alliance Bank is pleased to work in partnership with the USDA to finance critical health care infrastructure like this in rural areas nationwide.
What inspires you?
Seeing the end product of the work that we do and knowing that it helps serve underserved communities drives me every day. Through those transactions, not only do I get to be a part of the process, but I also get to learn new things, meet new people, and help solve complex problems. The Public Finance industry is very intellectually engaging with an intersection between the financial sector and public policy. To hone in on the cross-section between the two sectors, I pursued a Public Administration masters degree from the University of Washington, which has helped me broaden my knowledge and get a bigger picture of the industry. Throughout my career, I have been able to build long-term relationships with all the stakeholders from the client to the attorneys, advisors, and many others while we all play an integral part in developing public infrastructure for the public good.
Are there shared goals and values that drive the successful relationship between you and Nixon Peabody?
Nixon Peabody has been a valuable partner in the transactions that we have worked together on. I have worked closely with several attorneys including Rudy Salo, Angelica Valencia, and Jade Turner-Bond and it is apparent that our shared values of high performance, entrepreneurial spirt, and commitment to diversity and collaboration has led us to execute and deliver unparalleled service to our customers. The alignment in our values has led to a remarkably successful relationship that we continue to expand and grow.
What do you see as a major opportunity or challenge for the Public Finance market in the year ahead?
The largest challenge currently faced within the industry is a talent shortage across all the various public agencies as well as the private sector. Statistics continue to show that a diverse workforce leads to better outcomes, and there is a real opportunity for decision makers to leverage the networks and unlock the power of diversity and inclusion to create a diverse and well-rounded pool of talent that delivers superior results for our clients. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just about doing the “right” things; it is a valuable commitment to building a sustainable workforce and attracting new talent.
I am particularly proud to see more people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ leaders in the industry. I have been involved with Muni Pride, a national professional and networking organization in the public finance industry serving the LGBTQIA+ community. We continue to work alongside other Public Finance affinity groups to create a more diverse and equitable network. We have received tremendous support from our partners such as Nixon Peabody and are incredibly grateful for their commitment and being at the forefront of DEI efforts within Public Finance. While we have made significant progress, there is still more work to do. Let’s keep up the good work.