Lesia Bates Moss
Seedco Financial Services Inc.
New York City
With nearly two decades of experience in corporate and real estate finance, Lesia Bates Moss is the driving force behind Seedco Financial Services, a provider of capital and assistance to small businesses. With experience gained from tenures at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Moody’s Investors Service, Bates Moss was tapped in 2009 to head Seedco. She leads a team that manages some $200 million in assets to promote community and economic development in low-income neighborhoods.
Bates Moss attributes her successes to the richness of her professional and personal experiences. “Having grown up in a very entrepreneurial environment, that [experience] really serves as the foundation for the work that I am doing now because I understand the needs of the businesses that we serve. I understand how our communities at large operate,” says the Virginia native. A staunch advocate for social and economic equality, Bates Moss staged a sit-in as a student at the University of Virginia, persuading the school’s board to divest its holdings in businesses linked to South Africa’s apartheid government. “At an early age, my parents gave me some very sound advice: We are only limited by the limitations we place on ourselves. Shoot for the moon and you’ll catch a star. They never allowed me to accept anything less than doing and being my best, regardless of my gender or race,” she says. “As a woman of color, I am thrilled to see more of us in influential roles to make a real impact in every sector of our economy and society.”
Bates Moss sits on several boards, including the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., and is a long-standing member of The Executive Leadership Council. She holds a master’s degree in real estate investment analysis and finance from New York University and a bachelor’s in American government from the University of Virginia.