NASHVILLE (August 28, 2020) – Pathway Lending, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) as designated by the U.S. Treasury Department, today announced it has hired Keyunta “Key” Dawson to serve as Small Business Development Specialist, a new role created with funding from the Small Business Administration to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. He reports to Leslie Hayes, SVP of Education.

“From our work with small businesses impacted by COVID to date, it became immediately clear to us and our counterparts at SBA how vital hands-on support and coaching are to helping them navigate business decisions to keep the doors open,” said Hayes. “We’re thrilled to welcome Key to our team and have full confidence our clients will benefit from his expertise at this critical time.”

Key will be dedicated full-time to coaching clients who are pivoting or reopening their businesses following mandated closures or other economic interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As a small business owner and real estate investor, Key brings a wealth of entrepreneurship experience and operations expertise to the role. Prior to joining Pathway Lending, Key was the VP of Commercial Real Estate and Broker at Prime 100 Business Brokers where he earned a reputation for outstanding client service and as a skilled negotiator on behalf of his clients. In Key’s former career as a professional athlete, he played for the NFL.

“I am grateful to Pathway for the opportunity to better my community and change lives. I am driven by the desire to help others and look forward to sharing my diverse background to support our clients,” said Dawson.

Dawson graduated from Texas Tech University and is pursuing his master’s degree at Georgetown University.


About Pathway Lending Based in Nashville, Pathway Lending is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that serves business and communities throughout Tennessee and Alabama, and parts of Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi.

Founded in 1999, Pathway Lending has grown to become a major lending institution in the Southeast, propelling meaningful economic growth in communities across the region.  From fiscally responsible loans and hands-on support for business owners to flexible capital for affordable multifamily housing developers, our loans bring opportunities to the communities that need them most.

In 2019, Pathway Lending made more than $35.1 million in loans and delivered 21,265 hours of technical assistance and education. Get to know our mission and the stories of the entrepreneurs and communities we serve at