Brad Shimp likes to joke that great things happen after he leaves a job.
His theory is being put to the test again. Shimp retired at the end of April as president of the Community Capital Development Corp., where he has spent nearly two decades.
"I don't see it as retirement," he said. "Everybody says retirement. I see it as the next phase."
CCDC, founded in 1981, is a private, nonprofit institution that helps small businesses secure affordable financing. The certified development company, or CDC, helps mitigate the risk for banks and accounts for 40 percent or less of each loan.
"We make these deals happen," said Shimp, who lives in Liberty Township.
He was brought into the organization in 1993 as a Small Business Association microloan officer. He ascended to president, at the time called executive director, in 2001 when Mark Barbash left the job to become economic development director for Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
Cathy Garland, vice president of the CCDC, has taken over Shimp's position.
Garland, 60, said Shimp's management style allowed people to flourish in their jobs.
"They would take responsibility and do things on their own and grow," she said.
The Community Capital Development Corp., which employs eight, is among the largest 17 certified development companies in the state, lending roughly $20 million annually. Local clients include Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Katzinger's, Cheryl's Cookies, Snowville Creamery and PharmaForce Inc.
Garland, of Powell, said the federal government is trying to centralize CDCs into a one-size-fits-all model, "and that's been a challenge."
In the early 1980s, Shimp started the storefront improvement program in Ohio City, one of the emerging neighborhoods in Cleveland that includes some of the city's top-rated restaurants, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and many boutique shops.
He moved to Columbus in 1985 to take over the fledgling University Community Business Association, which was formed to address economic development and sustainability concerns facing businesses in the University District.
Since then, the area has undergone some dramatic changes.
Upon retirement, Shimp will help build a crowd-funding website for the Ann Sherry Foundation, which awards small grants for innovation in education, and hone his comedy skills with his improve troupe, Not From Concentrate.
Among his accomplishments at the CCDC, Shimp cited streamlining operations, significantly reducing expenses, eliminating underperforming programs and opening an office in Dayton.
"And, finally, I think I hired and facilitated some of the most talented people in the industry," he said.
"I am very proud of that," Shimp said. "I also had some fun along the way. It has been a good ride."