Robert Lopez is the new chief operating officer at the Valley Economic Development Center, it was announced Tuesday.

Lopez will oversee daily operations of the VEDC’s small business lending and development programs while also creating an infrastructure to support the center’s national expansion.

He replaces Alex Guerrero, who became chief operating officer in June 2014. Guerrero has moved over to become senior vice president, external affairs for the organization.

Prior to the VEDC, Lopez had been director of servicing at national online small business loan provider Dealstruck and chief credit officer at microlender Accion San Diego.

“Robert’s experience in alternative lending will enable us to fulfill even more completely our mission of creating economic opportunity that strengthens communities,” VEDC Chief Executive Roberto Barragan said in a statement.

The VEDC is among the largest nonprofit business development corporations in the greater Los Angeles market with five area locations and another in Oakland. It offers direct micro- and small-business loans as well as SBA loans.