Mr. Aragon’s NYS Civil Service career spans 25 years and covers the City of New Rochelle, New York City, and upstate New York. Preceding his appointment as Commissioner for Development for the City of New Rochelle, Mr. Aragon served as Commissioner for Planning & Environmental Management for Sullivan County, NY and Deputy Commissioner for Preservation Services for NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD).
His broad expertise includes community development, economic development and revitalization, housing, planning, transportation, environmental management, and the expansion of arts program as a building block for economic development.
Mr. Aragon has led the current renaissance in the City of New Rochelle, was the catalyst for the economic revitalization in Sullivan County and, while in NYC Government, was the creator of the “Fourth Street Arts Block” which solidified and preserved the cultural institutions in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Ellen Stuart from La Mama said it best when she wrote in 2006 to Mr. Aragon and said “Here we are out at sea. Thank you for helping to make it possible so that we can have a port to dock our dreams.”
Mr. Aragon joined the City of New Rochelle after a 23 year career in New York City Government and upstate New York. Preceding his appointment as Commissioner for Development for the City of New Rochelle, Mr. Aragon served as Commissioner for Planning & Environmental Management for Sullivan County, NY and Deputy Commissioner for Preservation Services for NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD).
His broad expertise includes community development, economic development and revitalization, housing, planning, transportation, and environmental management.
As Planning Commissioner in Sullivan County, Mr. Aragon led the Economic Development Corporation which acted as the catalyst for economic revitalization in the County. His extensive portfolio included the revitalization of main streets throughout the County, the advancement and repositioning of the Concord Hotel and Casino development, the continued growth of the Monticello Motor Club, the establishment and financing of the Dancing Cat Distillery, and a variety of additional creative and new job generating investment opportunities. Furthermore, Mr. Aragon was the County representative in Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council and played a key role in the Mid-Hudson Region Sustainability Consortium.
While responsible for half of HPD’s workforce, his contributions ranged from a variety of innovative management and technological tools designed to enhance performance and maximize productivity to budget, legislative, and political matters. His responsibilities included the enforcement of the Housing Maintenance code citywide while implementing innovative community and economic revitalization initiatives across New York City. Mr. Aragon was responsible for HPD’s neighborhood preservation efforts citywide in order to assist developers, owners, and tenants in preserving housing conditions and neighborhoods. Those efforts were augmented by the extensive work led by Mr. Aragon regarding the control and abatement of housing related narcotics activities, Housing Litigation initiatives, and the creation and management of the largest municipal housing education program in the country. Earlier in his career at HPD, Mr. Aragon was also responsible for the day to day management of the entire HPD-owned housing stock.
Prior to HPD, Mr. Aragon served at New York City’s Department of Transportation as Assistant Commissioner for Capital Projects and as Assistant Commissioner for Planning & Urban Mobility.
Mr. Aragon began his civil service career in New York City government as an architect and planner at the Department of Parks & Recreation and subsequently held positions of increased responsibility in that agency such as the Director of the Audit and re-Engineering unit and as Director of the Disciplinary unit.
Mr. Aragon earned an MBA from Baruch College, CUNY and a BA in Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He is a resident of downtown New Rochelle.
Steven Bellone was sworn into office as Suffolk County Executive on January 1, 2012. He is the 8th County Executive in County history. He previously served as Babylon Town Supervisor from 2001-2011.
County Executive Bellone, who represents more than 1.5 million residents, has focused his efforts on saving taxpayer dollars through Government Reform, boosting Economic Development to create local and lasting Suffolk County jobs, improving Long Island’s Water Quality to protect the region’s water supply, and enhancing the Quality of Life of Suffolk residents by improving public safety and investing in County parks and roads.
Government Reform efforts to consolidate and streamline operations have been a central priority to County Executive Bellone. He inherited a $500 million dollar deficit, and has since reduced the size of County Government more than any prior County Executive by over 10% — saving taxpayers more than $100 million a year.
Under his plan to consolidate services and save taxpayers additional dollars, Bellone has proposed to merge the offices of the County Comptroller and County Treasurer, which will eliminate duplicative services and patronage positions that will result in more than a million dollars a year in savings. Bellone saved taxpayers an additional $25 million per year after overhauling government health services and privatizing previously-run County health centers. Under County Executive Bellone’s leadership, new County employees are now paying into health care for the first time in County history. In addition, Bellone has frozen general fund property taxes and kept all taxes below the property tax cap.
Previously as Town Supervisor, Bellone trimmed the government workforce while maintaining the same high-level government services. He reduced the town’s debt every year, while delivering a $4.3 million dollar tax cut to residents.
County Executive Bellone’s Economic Development plan has focused on building innovation economies throughout Suffolk County to attract highly-skilled and knowledgeable workers, and to keep young professionals on Long Island. His Connect Long Island vision aims to invest in an upgraded rapid transportation system that will conveniently connect universities, research centers, downtowns, and parks. The plan is designed to strengthen local businesses by expanding natural customer bases and develop the necessary infrastructure to provide residents with north – south transportation options. Bellone’s signature downtown revitalization efforts include transit-oriented developments such as Wyandanch Rising, Ronkonkoma Hub, Heartland project and the East End Transportation plan.
As Babylon Town Supervisor, Bellone launched Wyandanch Rising in 2002, a comprehensive, community-based revitalization plan that redevelops the area surrounding the Wyandanch Train Station into a walkable, pedestrian-friendly, vibrant downtown. Bellone has continued to lead visioning efforts as County Executive. Upon completion, Wyandanch Rising will include a mixed-use neighborhood with affordable housing, retail and office space, public plazas, restaurants, community center and gallery space. As a result of these revitalization efforts, Wyandanch Rising was recently selected to be the future home of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
County Executive Bellone has made improving Long Island’s Water Quality one of his administration’s highest priorities and introduced the Reclaim Our Water initiative. Failing and unmaintained septic systems and cesspools have created an excess amount of nitrogen pollution in the region’s water supply, becoming a serious threat to Long Island’s water quality, coastal vegetation, wildlife, quality of life; and has already decimated the once iconic shellfish industry.
Bellone has worked extensively with state and federal officials to secure a historic investment of more than $380 million to help reduce excess nitrogen pollution, invest in waste water infrastructure and help to protect coastal vegetation and marshlands, which act as the final buffers against storms such as Superstorm Sandy. The County has identified 360,000 unsewered homes that contribute to nearly 70% of the nitrogen pollution load. Bellone’s initiative identifies sewering, upgrading current waste-water infrastructure, and installing advanced on-site waste water treatment systems in areas through Suffolk County.
Water quality experts and industry leaders believe this initiative will significantly reduce nitrogen pollution, helping to rebuild coastal vegetation, increase property values and improve Long Island’s water quality.
Quality of Life issues have been a major focus of Bellone’s career. As County Executive, Bellone has implemented an intelligence-led policing model, which has resulted in a 17% decline in countywide crime in his first two years in office. In 2013, Bellone passed the nation’s toughest monitoring and enforcement law to end the clustering of sex offenders. As Babylon Supervisor, he targeted serial code offenders and slumlords by creating the Quality of Life Taskforce and naming a special prosecutor for quality of life cases.
As an Army veteran, Bellone is committed to supporting and enhancing veteran service programs throughout the County. Bellone announced that all funds raised from the 2015 Suffolk County’s inaugural marathon will support local veteran organizations. In addition, County Executive Bellone ran the 2014 New York City marathon in conjunction with the Hope for the Warriors foundation. In Babylon, Bellone raised nearly half a million dollars for wounded soldiers by sponsoring annual Soldier Rides with the Wounded Warrior Project and Run for the Warriors.
County Executive Bellone led a comprehensive emergency response plan to coordinate disaster relief efforts, including region-wide collaboration with local, state and federal officials during Superstorm Sandy.
In 2006, Babylon was the first Town on Long Island to adopt Energy Star standards for new home construction, saving residents money on their energy bills. Later that same year, Babylon adopted the most comprehensive green building code in the nation. In 2008, Bellone created the first property assessed clean energy (PACE) efficiency program in the country, Long Island Green Homes.
Bellone is a graduate of North Babylon High School and he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Queens College in 1991. Enlisting in the US Army in 1992, County Executive Bellone served as a communications specialist stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. During his service in the Army, he was awarded commendations for meritorious service and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration by attending night classes at Webster University. Bellone earned his Law degree from Fordham University and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1999.
County Executive Bellone resides in West Babylon with his wife, Tracey, their two daughters, Katherine Ann and Mollie Elizabeth, and his son, Michael.
Husband, Father, Son, Believer & My Brother’s Keeper, Servant Leader, Bibliophile, City Builder and Mayor of Columbia.
Since being elected mayor in a record turnout election in April 2010, Mayor Steve Benjamin has made it his mission to create in Columbia the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in America.
“My mission is to create in Columbia the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in America.”
His service in Columbia started back in 1990 when he served as student body president at the University of South Carolina, later becoming the Student Bar Association President at the USC School of Law.
Quick facts about Mayor Benjamin:
At 29 years old in 1999, Benjamin was appointed to Governor Jim Hodges’ cabinet as director of the state’s second largest law enforcement agency, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
Mayor Benjamin has continued his service to the community in serving on numerous boards for nonprofit organizations such as the Columbia Urban League, Benedict College, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and as a founding board member of the Eau Claire Promise Zone. He also served as a founding member of Choose Children First and chief legal counsel for Midlands Crimestoppers.
In 2009, Benjamin drew national attention by representing prominent radio host Tom Joyner and securing a pardon for Joyner’s great uncles wrongfully convicted in the death of a 73-year-old Confederate veteran and executed in 1913. In a landmark decision, the South Carolina Board of Paroles and Pardons voted unanimously to grant the posthumous pardon, the first for South Carolina in a capital case.
Reelected by a 30 percent margin in November 2013, Mayor Benjamin’s administration has been characterized by his firm belief in Columbia’s potential and intense focus on job creation. In his first term alone, his leadership helped cut unemployment in the metro by roughly half and secured billions of dollars in new regional capital investment in the midst of a national recession.
Combined with the rebirth of Main Street, these accomplishments have drawn national attention and accolades including his being awarded an Aspen Rodel Fellowship and receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Francis Marion University. He has twice been named to The Washington Post’s “The Root 100 List” (2011 and 2013) as well as the 2014 GRIO 100 and was honored to receive a 2014 Triumph Award from the National Action Network as their 2014 Public Servant of the Year.
As part of his commitment to fostering a world class police department in the City, Mayor Benjamin introduced the “Justice for All” initiative in 2014, which implemented new training, competitive pay, diverse representation and community engagement to strengthen the foundation of trust and accountability that exists between our communities and law enforcement agencies.
President Obama’s administration has also commended Mayor Benjamin on his work on behalf of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK). The city’s MBK efforts, in addition to Mayor Benjamin’s leadership, have led to Columbia being seen as a nationwide leader in implementing and upholding the missions of the program.
The Mayor was asked to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where he talked about the importance of instilling in his daughters that they can do anything they set their minds to, even becoming President of the United States.
In addition to serving as Mayor of Columbia, Mayor Benjamin also serves as Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and as Chairman for Municipal Bonds for America. He teaches a class at the University of South Carolina Honors College titled “Columbia, South Carolina: Building a Great City” and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
Mayor Benjamin is married to the Honorable DeAndrea Gist Benjamin, Chief Administrative Judge (Common Pleas) for South Carolina’s Fifth Judicial Circuit. The two are the proud parents of daughters Bethany (12) and Jordan Grace (10).
Follow Mayor Benjamin on Twitter: @SteveBenjaminSC.
Dryck Bennett is the Chief of Credit for the National Development Council’s Grow America Fund. He possesses over 20 years of experience in economic and community development finance resulting in hundreds of millions in projects. Mr. Bennett is skilled in utilizing multi-faceted government tax incentive, loan and workforce development programs coupled with complex private financing to bring real estate and business projects to fruition. He also has experience in non-profit organization management and administration. A published author, Mr. Bennett holds a Master’s in History and Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, Design and Economic Development.
Colleen Briggs is Executive Director of Community Innovation within the Office of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase & Co, a global leader in corporate philanthropy with $200 million invested in communities annually. She is responsible for helping establish and execute the firm’s global philanthropic strategies on financial health and community development, including two signature initiatives – the Financial Solutions Lab and PRO Neighborhoods competition. The Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative that convenes leading experts in technology and design to improve consumer financial health for underserved populations. PRO Neighborhoods is a five-year, $125 million program that works to increase the availability and accessibility of vital economic opportunities in distressed neighborhoods. Colleen also manages numerous programs across both topics designed to surface new approaches to community challenges, as well as explore global cross-cutting themes across the Foundation’s work, such as women’s empowerment, peer learning, evaluation, and attracting additional investment in our projects.
Prior to joining, Colleen was the Economic Policy Advisor to Senator Debbie Stabenow. In this role, Colleen managed the Senator’s economic portfolio, including policy related to financial services, tax, small business, job creation, community development, manufacturing, and housing. Colleen managed the Dodd-Frank market reforms for the Senate Agriculture Committee, and helped draft the Recovery Act, TARP, the Dodd-Frank Act, and healthcare reform.
Colleen is a member of the Asset Funders Network Steering Committee and the Innovations for Poverty Action Policy Advisory Group. She earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael Brown is the Vice-President of Community Programs at The Seattle Foundation. Michael oversees the Foundation’s community impact efforts, strategic grantmaking initiatives, convening activities, and plays a lead role with the Foundation’s impact investing program.
A seasoned grantmaker at one of the largest community foundations in the country, Michael brings perspective as a veteran of funder collaboratives and collective impact efforts, including SkillUp Washington to improve economic opportunity for low income adults, the Road Map Project to improve education and student achievement and Communities of Opportunity to improve life and health outcomes for low income communities in the greater Seattle region and the Sustainable Communities Funder group working to address issues at the intersection of environmental sustainability, equitable inclusion and economic opportunity.
From 1997 to 2000, Michael served as a legislative aide to City of Seattle Councilmember Richard McIver. Michael also served as Deputy Director for the Washington Association for Community Economic Development, a non-profit organization that provided training and technical assistance to statewide community-based development organizations.
A native of New Orleans, Michael received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Loyola University (New Orleans). Michael is President of the Building Changes Board of Directors and Neighborhood Funders Group, a commissioner at the King County Housing Authority, and a board member of Futurewise and the Washington State Budget and Policy Center. He is a past board member of Impact Capital and the Crisis Clinic.
Michael is also an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.
Angela Butler currently serves as a Director and Senior Vice President at the National Development Council (NDC), one of the nation’s oldest national non-profit community development organizations. NDC’s sole mission is to increase the flow of capital to underserved urban and rural areas for job creation and community revitalization. Angela is responsible for capital raising for NDC and the Grow America Fund, NDC’s small business lending arm, as well as all PR and Marketing. Prior to her current position, Angela served as a Vice President and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer for Carver Federal Savings Bank. Prior to joining Carver, Angela was an Assistant Vice President in the Merrill Lynch Community Development Company where she focused on the execution of deal underwritings and assisted in managing a portfolio of more than $400 million in loans and equity investments. Angela has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated for 22 years and most recently served as President of the Pi Kappa Omega Chapter in Manhattan. Angela earned an MBA in Finance and Real Estate from Columbia Business School in 2006 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1992 from Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA.
Jane Campbell heads up NDC’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy where she manages NDC’s Public Policy efforts in Washington D.C. In 2001, Campbell served as the first woman Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, where she attracted nearly $3 billion worth of investment capital to redevelopment projects around the city. Recently she served as the Staff Director for the United States Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and has spent her career advocating for economic and community development programs.
Senator Cantwell has led a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors. Before entering the United States Senate, Maria was a successful businesswoman in Washington’s hi-tech industry and also served in the Washington State Legislature. As one of the first women executives during the dot-com boom, Senator Cantwell helped build a company that created hundreds of high-paying jobs.
Since her election to the U.S. Senate in 2000, Senator Cantwell fought for middle-class families and strengthening our economic future. As a senior member of the Small Business Committee and Commerce Committee, Senator Cantwell has helped expand opportunities for women- and minority-owned small businesses; led the fight for small businesses and protected the United States Export-Import Bank; and secured critical investments to update our ports, rail terminals, roads and bridges.
Senator Cantwell has led the charge to expand and reform the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to boost the availability of low income housing across the country. As a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance, Cantwell secured a critical fix to the LIHTC program by permanently extending the credit rates to 9 percent of eligible costs on new construction, ending an era when variable rates made financing of affordable housing less predictable.
David Chestnut is an Illinois native who relocated to the USDA National Office in August 2015 as a member of the B&I Loan Processing staff. David joined USDA Rural Development in November 2009 at the State Office in Champaign, Illinois as a Business Programs Specialist. His Illinois duties included the processing of B&I loan applications as well as management of several Rural Development grant programs within the state. Prior to joining Rural Development, David spent nearly 30 years as a commercial lender in the Springfield and Champaign, Illinois markets, working with diverse group of small business clients.
As a B&I Loan Processing Specialist, David works nationally with Rural Development offices to review program compliance and process B&I loan guarantee requests that exceed a State’s individual lending authority. In fiscal year 2017, nearly $1.5 billion of B&I loan guarantees were approved for lenders to enhance their loans to rural businesses, which serve to increase employment opportunities and provide lasting economic benefits to our rural communities.
David brings a field office and lender perspective to the B&I program national office, and assisted in crafting the recent regulatory changes to the B&I program that have resulted in increased opportunities for utilization of B&I loan guarantees in conjunction with investments from the NMTC program. David was a co-presenter last fall with Michelle Mooney and David Trevisani of NDC to provide New Markets training to each of the Rural Development business program directors, and continues to work closely with the Rural Development field staff on their NMTC projects.
Allison joined the Foundation in 2006 to oversee investments made through Window of Opportunity, the Foundation’s $150-million affordable rental housing preservation initiative. Since then, her responsibilities have expanded to include overall portfolio management for the Impact Investing program.
Allison has worked in affordable housing, economic development and commercial real estate for over 20 years. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as a senior underwriting manager in the Community Lending Group (formerly the American Communities Fund) at Fannie Mae, where she underwrote and closed more than $150 million in debt and equity transactions for affordable housing developments. She also worked for eight years at Bank One in a variety of departments, including Commercial Real Estate and Community Development Real Estate. Before moving to Chicago, she participated in the Urban Fellows Program in New York City, where she worked as a project manager at the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Recently, Allison served on Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s task force charged with creating and implementing a program to deploy $100 million in grant funds from a national mortgage settlement aimed at addressing the foreclosure crisis. She also serves on the board of directors of the Chicago Foundation for Women and the Chicago Chess Foundation.
Allison graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College with a Bachelor’s degree in Government, and earned a Master of Management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Real Estate.
Irene Collins joined EDEN in 2011 as the CFO. In June, 2013, at the retirement of the founding Director, Irene was selected to be the second Executive Director in the history of the organization. EDEN is a diverse and dynamic organization, with distinct areas of programming all centered on providing housing and support for individuals who are struggling with mental illness or other disabilities, and who are in need of housing.
Ms. Collins’ background is rich and varied, which has allowed her to apply a wealth of experience to the operations of EDEN. Her work history includes experience in several for-profit industries such as public accounting, health insurance, manufacturing, and retail.
Her non-profit career began at the YWCA of Greater Cleveland where she held the roles of CFO, COO, and Interim CEO. Her deep concern for the plight of youth aging out of foster care led to the creation of Independence Place, a 23-unit apartment project. This project was unique for the City of Cleveland, and was financed through Low Income Housing Tax Credits and several other sources.
As Executive Director of EDEN, Ms. Collins has focused her efforts on strengthening the infrastructure of the organization through staff development, implementation of a comprehensive performance management system, renovation of the organization’s scattered site portfolio, and a proactive and pragmatic approach to housing development.
Ms. Collins holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Cleveland State University, Executive MBA program, and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive). She lives in Concord Township with her husband, Gary.
As managing director of The Kresge Foundation’s Social Investment Practice, Kimberlee Cornett works closely with the foundation’s program teams to make capital and financing available to organizations working on key, strategic priorities of the foundation. She identifies capital gaps and then structures loans, loan guarantees and alternative financing through banks, community development financial institutions and specialized lenders to meet specific project needs.
“By bringing financing to bear on a problem, we unlock new sources of capital that are essential to measurably move the needle,” Kimberlee says.
Prior to joining Kresge in 2009, Kimberlee worked at Maryland-based Enterprise Community Investment, a real estate investment services company for affordable housing and community development. From 2000 to 2007, she served as vice president of the firm’s investment management division and closed on $1 billion in equity investments in affordable housing projects. Later, as vice president of national equity initiatives, she led business development efforts for the company’s debt and equity products.
Kimberlee was appointed a White House Fellow by President Clinton and served at the Small Business Administration. Previously, she led a Habitat for Humanity start-up affiliate and worked at a shelter for homeless women and children in Washington.
A graduate of Hood College in Maryland, she earned a master’s degree in organizational development at Marymount University in Virginia.
Rob Curry is the Executive Director of the CHN Housing Partners (CHN). Mr. Curry is responsible for the overall management of CHN, its thirty-five (35) real estate partnerships / LLCs, and a combined annual operating and capital budget ranging from $40-60 million.
The mission of CHN is to leverage the power of affordable, stable housing to change lives and improve communities. CHN’s core operations include affordable housing real estate development (6,000 units), property management (2,000 units currently under management), and energy conservation (8,000 jobs annually). In addition, CHN delivers an array of housing stability resources, including utility bill assistance (30,000+ clients annually) and foreclosure prevention. Finally, for residents of CHN homes, CHN focuses on delivering a portfolio of resident services designed to maximize opportunities for families to enhance their own financial stability and success.
Prior to joining CHN in 1998, Mr. Curry was the Program Director of the Cleveland LISC office. He received his MBA from Case Western Reserve University and his BA in Peace Studies from Manchester University.
Amy Dosen, Director of Acquisitions and Underwriting – She leads a team that has responsibility for all aspects of deal acquisition and underwriting of projects that will go into the NDC Corporate Equity Fund.
Prior to joining NDC Ms. Dosen was most recently responsible for regional acquisitions for two LIHTC syndication firms, Alliant Capital and WNC & Associates. Before her employment for these two firms the majority of Ms. Dosen’s career has been with KeyBank in positions of increasing responsibility related to real estate and community development finance, culminating in her appointment as the Equity Sales Manager and Vice President leading their subsidiary Key Community Development Corp. During her time leading the group they invested in LIHTC projects and funds, NMTC and HTC projects and Community Venture Capital funds. Under her leadership the bank completed its first secondary sale of $100 million of LIHTCs. Ms. Dosen holds a MBA from Ashland University and a BA in Finance from Kent State University.
Nick Elders is the Vice President of Technology Solutions and Services at CRF. He is responsible for CRF’s platform services division and leads the development and implementation of CRF’s Connect2Capital Marketplace and CRF’s SPARK Loan Origination Platform. Nick is in his seventeenth year at CRF. During this time he has held positions across a number of functions including fundraising, loan origination, business analysis, project management, information technology, process optimization, innovation, software development and sales. He holds an Economic Development Financial Professional (EDFP) certification from the National Development Counci, Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator and a 2015 OFN CitiLeader. Nick also holds a B.A. in Economics from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.
Michael R. Elliott Jr. is an accomplished and highly motivated professional with over fifteen years of combined multi-sector experience. Currently working for National Development Council (NDC) as Director and Program Manager of the Capital Access Fund of Greater Cleveland, a programmatic initiative in collaboration with National Development Council, Morgan Stanley and both the Urban League of Greater Cleveland and National Urban League Urban Empowerment Fund, Michael is responsible for leading efforts to increase access to capital to minority businesses within the Greater Cleveland region. Prior to joining NDC, Michael was a Program Manager for the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development, whose efforts helped secure over 2.7 million dollars in City assistance which leveraged over $60 million dollars in public and private procurement which helped to create 601 jobs and retained over 342 jobs within the City of Cleveland. Notable projects include the Oatey Company headquarters expansion, the redevelopment of the historic Fairmont Creamery building and Flats East Bank Phase II. In addition to his efforts in helping to attract, expand and start Cleveland based businesses, Michael spearhead efforts to increase local nonprofit business development capacity by raising more than $90 thousand dollars from various philanthropic companies and organizations including the Cleveland Foundation. Prior to joining the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development, Michael served in the financial service industry where he held various client service and leadership roles with employers such as Progressive Insurance, Bank of America, and National City Bank. Additionally, Michael’s commitment to the community led him to take on roles at several nonprofit organizations. Michael is a two time graduate of Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs receiving his B.A. in Nonprofit Administration and his M.P.A in Public Administration and is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional with National Development Council.
Richard is a Managing Director at FilBen Group, a New York based owner and operator of senior housing properties. He is responsible for management of all facets of real estate development including site acquisition, planning and design, agency review, deal structure, financing and construction. Richard also manages development and health care operation services provided by FilBen to other senior housing sponsors.
Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, GOVERNING Magazine, former mayor, Kansas City, Missouri. Funkhouser began his career as a social worker and then went on to become an auditor, first in Tennessee state government and then for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, where he served from 1988 until 2006. Funkhouser was Mayor of Kansas City from 2007-2011. He is credited with stabilizing the city’s finances during his term. He holds several degrees, including an interdisciplinary PhD in public administration and sociology. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Lourdes Germán is Director of International & Institute-Wide Initiatives at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy where she is helping to advance the Institute’s global municipal fiscal health campaign and its work as a co-lead organization for the municipal finance policy unit of the United Nations Habitat III effort. An expert in municipal finance, Lourdes began her career as a public finance attorney representing government entities. Following that work, Lourdes co-created the national municipal finance business division at Fidelity Investments, the largest global mutual fund company, as a Vice President of Municipal Finance, and opened and managed Fidelity’s first New York office for public finance. Following Fidelity, Lourdes’ professional experiences included serving as General Counsel and Vice President of a national municipal investment management company, creating and teaching a graduate government finance course at Northeastern University, and advising non-profits focused on urban economic growth. Lourdes is also the founder and director of the Civic Innovation Project, an online thought leadership platform that was awarded the 2015 State of Boston Innovation Award for its impact using technology to advance city-to-city learning with respect to the most challenging issues facing governments. Outside of work, Lourdes serves as Governor Baker’s appointed Chair of the Massachusetts State Finance and Governance Board, is a government appointee of the Mayor of Boston to the committee focused on the City’s audit and finance matters, serves on the board of Boston Women in Public Finance, and serves on the board of United Way.
David is responsible for managing PNC’s national New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) practice within PNC’s Tax Credit Investment Group. In this role David is responsible for his team’s execution and oversight of all of PNC’s NMTC activity including new equity originations, underwriting, portfolio management and dispositions. This also includes management of PNC’s $628 million in NMTC allocations, and an active portfolio of NMTC investments totaling over $2.5 billion of Qualified Equity Investments with nearly 100 different NMTC allocatee partners. Additionally, David has authored all 6 of PNC’s successful NMTC allocation applications.
Prior to joining PNC’s Tax Credit Investment Group, David worked for nine years in PNC’s Community Development Banking division, including the final five years as the manager of PNC’s Community Development financing business, providing specialized debt and equity financing to CDFIs and community development projects throughout PNC’s retail banking footprint. During this time, David created and grew PNC’s NMTC platform while tripling PNC’s overall community development debt and equity portfolio.
David has served on several community and economic development boards and commissions in the Pittsburgh area, and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.
John Giles was elected the 40th Mayor of Mesa, Arizona in August, 2014. He was re-elected in August 2016 and began his first full four-year term in January 2017. Mayor Giles is
committed to taking Mesa to the next level with his NextMesa vision.
Mayor Giles has overseen a growing economy that added thousands of new jobs, new employers like Apple, Textron Aviation and Dexcom and over $1.5 billion in new capital investment. He is bringing renewed focus and attention to Mesa’s downtown resulting in a budding creative economy with new businesses and entertainment options. Mayor Giles
believes education is one of Mesa’s core values and remains committed to expanding higher ed and pre k options in the city.
Recognizing these efforts and more, Money.com, a subsidiary of Time Magazine, named Mesa the best big city in the Southwest.
Kevin Goldsmith is the Originations Manager for the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Group at Chase, which has continually expanded its market share and leadership as a NMTC equity investor and allocatee, receiving $540 million of allocation to date.
Mr. Goldsmith joined the Chase NMTC team in 2006. He is responsible for managing a national team of bankers that originate and structure NMTC investments and then lead those transaction teams through the NMTC closing process by leveraging the full financial services of the firm. Kevin’s team works with industry partners and business units throughout Chase to identify, screen, and underwrite NMTC transactions.
Prior to joining Chase, Mr. Goldsmith spent six years with the National Development Council (NDC) as a Director on the Midwest team and with NDC’s Grow America Fund, a national not-for-profit community development financial institution and SBA 7a small business lender.
Kevin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and MBA from DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago. In addition to a passion for community and economic development finance, Kevin enjoys biking, running, international travel, and speaking Spanish.
Kevin Gremse is an economic development professional with over two decades of experience. Kevin has used his working knowledge of business credit and real estate underwriting and proven experience with federal, state, and local economic development incentive programs to structure development transactions exceeding $600 million throughout the country. As a Senior Director at NDC, Kevin manages a team of professionals who work in over thirty municipalities in the eastern United States. Kevin coordinates a multi-disciplined set of economic and housing development services, including technical assistance, training, and financial services to public and private sector clients. Kevin assists to advance the work of NDC’s affiliated programs, including its federal tax credit investor programs, its pubic facility development division, and its small business lending company in client communities. Kevin is a widely experienced instructor for many of NDC’s economic and housing development finance courses and professional development programs. Kevin is a graduate of the University of Scranton and earned a master’s degree in public finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. Prior to his career NDC, Kevin worked in the economic development field with several municipalities and also served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). He currently serves on the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Fairfield County and the Community Capital Fund, a community development financial institution (CDFI). He lives in Connecticut with his wife and four children.
Mike Griffin is the Director of Investor Relations for the National Development Council’s Corporate Equity Fund. He joined the organization in April of 2014. In this role he is responsible for maintaining and establishing relationships with corporate investors with the objective of raising capital that the fund invests in affordable housing projects across the country.
Prior to NDC Mike was the Senior Vice President and Director of KeyBank’s Community Development Banking group, with responsibility for Corporate CRA Compliance and Community Development Asset Management.
Mike joined Key in April 1998 as Asset Manager for the bank’s portfolio of community development investments. The portfolio is currently $1.6 billion of investments targeted to Key’s fourteen footprint states.
In addition to Asset Management responsibilities he was appointed National CRA Compliance Manager in 2003. The directed the bank’s last three CRA exams, the most recent resulting in the bank’s 8th consecutive Outstanding rating. In the CRA role, Mike focused on building partnerships, both at the corporate level and in the 22 KeyBank districts. Mike also had a lead role in responding to community groups and shaping KeyBank positions in response to community concerns.
From 2006-2008 he was responsible for KeyBank Plus, Key’s program to reach the unbanked, including the bank’s innovative check cashing program. In connection with this program Mike has been featured in the Wall Street, on National Public Radio’s Market Place program and in various trade publications. He has presented the unbanked program at US Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank conferences and the FDIC Committee on Economic Inclusion.
Prior to working at KeyBank, Mike was the Asset Manager for Cleveland Housing Network, a nationally recognized leader in both building and rehabilitating affordable housing.
Mike is a graduate of Cleveland State University with dual degrees in Business Administration and Spanish. He serves on many Cleveland non-profit boards focused providing affordable housing.
In 2010 he was appointed to a three year term on the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council where he was the Vice Chair of the Housing and Community Development committee. He also sat on the Consumer Bankers Associations Community Reinvestment Committee for over 10 years.
An Indiana native, Hazlett has worked on agriculture and rural issues for over fifteen years. Working in both the U.S. House and Senate, Hazlett has most recently served as Republican Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry where she was an advisor on many issues impacting rural America from Farm Bill programs to broadband and child nutrition.
In addition to her public service in Washington, Hazlett was the Director of Agriculture for her home state where she managed the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and was an advisor to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on agriculture and rural issues. Further, she served as Chief of Staff to Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman where she assisted in the creation of the state’s first Office of Community and Rural Affairs, an agency devoted to providing financial and technical assistance to rural communities, and supervised management of the state’s housing finance, energy, and tourism agencies. Outside of public service, Hazlett was in private law practice where she advised clients on agriculture and environmental regulatory matters.
Hazlett is a graduate of Kansas State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communications. In addition, she holds a law degree from Indiana University and a masters degree in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas.
Bennett Hilley serves as the Assistant Director for Credit Review for HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program where she oversees the origination of new loan guarantees as well as the credit review for the program’s existing loan portfolio. Prior to this role, she managed federal oversight of New York City’s $4.2 billion HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant for long-term recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
Bennett first joined the Department in August 2011 as a Presidential Management Fellow, working primarily with the CDBG Entitlement Program. Her fellowship included rotations at the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at Treasury as well as at Purpose Built Communities, a non-profit in Atlanta, which supports holistic community revitalization efforts across the country. Before working at HUD, she worked for the City of Philadelphia primarily on zoning code updates and strategic redevelopment initiatives and for the Center for Planning Excellence, a non-profit working on hurricane recovery and comprehensive planning efforts in South Louisiana.
Bennett is also involved at the neighborhood level in Washington, D.C., serving as an elected representative on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C, located in the northwest area of the District.
She received a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design in 2011 and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emory University in 2006. She has also received professional certifications from the National Development Council in both Housing Development Finance and Economic Development Finance.
Tom Jackson joined the National Development Council (NDC), one of the oldest national not-for-profit full service community and economic development organizations in the country, in 2007 as a Field Director with the Central Team. In 2011, Tom assumed the leadership of NDC’s Training Division, while maintaining his roles as a technical assistance expert and trainer in development finance. In addition to leading a Training team that builds capacity in over 2,000 government and nonprofit professionals each year, Tom provides technical assistance, training, financing and development assistance to municipal and not-for-profit clients throughout NDC’s central region, including Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa, Texas and South Dakota. Tom has worked extensively with project’s utilizing NDC’s New Markets Tax Credit Program, the recipient of several of the largest tax credit allocations in the country since the federal program’s inception.
Tom previously served as a senior economic development officer and special projects manager with the City of Cincinnati where he managed comprehensive community redevelopment efforts in struggling inner-city neighborhoods. He currently lives in Cincinnati.
Lisa M. Jones is the Manager of the Bond Guarantee Program at the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. In this capacity, she is responsible for the oversight, management and implementation of guarantees for bonds issued by Qualified Issuers. The Secretary of the Treasury provides a 100 percent guarantee of the bonds. Bonds guaranteed through the program support community development lending by providing a source of long-term debt to certified CDFIs. Certified CDFIs deploy the bond proceeds by lending to low-income and underserved communities.
Prior to joining the CDFI Fund, Ms. Jones’s professional experiences comprised pension fund management, small business and venture capital initiatives, community and economic development, global economic policy and investment research, corporate and real estate finance, and commercial lending. Her prior experiences also included serving as a principal for Quest Capital Strategies; senior financial analyst for United Technologies Corporation global pension funds; international analyst for the Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Treasury Unit; associate for American International Group; and Loan Associate for Mitsui Manufacturers Bank.
Ms. Jones received a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Management and Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Marketing from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Society Washington, DC. She was a member of the Women Angels.net, the first structured women’s “angel” venture capital investment club in the U.S. designed to invest in emerging growth companies in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Mr. Kranbuhl is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development & Affordable Housing Policy at Treasury. Prior to serving at Treasury, he worked for Gladstone Investment Corporation and Petra Capital Partners, investing private equity and debt capital in, and serving on the boards of, companies across a broad range of industries that included light and specialty manufacturing, healthcare services, consumer and industrial products and services, aerospace and defense, and business services. He has also worked for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Wheat First Butcher Singer/First Union Securities, and the Bank of New York. Mr. Kranbuhl is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and holds an MBA from the University of Michigan as well as a BA from Duke University
Since becoming President of Fahe seventeen years ago, Mr. King led Fahe’s launch of multiple new social enterprises, including equity funds for low-income housing tax credits, consulting services, and an alternative mortgage brokerage, JustChoice Lending. Under his leadership, Fahe has more than doubled its Membership to 50+ Members in six states, quadrupled annual housing production, and increased funds under management from $24M to $260M. Additionally, Mr. King has led Fahe in expanding its strategic scope to embrace education, health, and economic opportunity, in addition to housing and leadership. He has established Fahe’s reputation as a national authority on Appalachia, rural issues, and persistent poverty. In FY2017, Fahe invested $94M in Appalachia and served 80,000 people. Mr. King is a 2006 Alumni of the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Achieving Excellence program, and 2014 Alumni of the Harvard Business School’s three year Owner/President Management (OPM) program. He holds an MBA Degree in Economic Development from Eastern College in Pennsylvania, and a BA Degree in Economics and Accounting from Bluffton College, Ohio. Mr. King serves on many national boards of directors—examples of current or recent board service include: the Opportunity Finance Network, National NeighborWorks Association, NeighborWorks Rural Steering Committee, Fannie Mae Advisory Board, and the National Rural Housing Coalition.
Eric Letsinger is the Founder and CEO of Quantified Ventures whose mission is to simplify access to impact capital in order to scale innovations that drive true social and environmental change. He brings 25+ years of executive management experience leading organizations in the public, nonprofit and private sectors operating within the healthcare, environment, education, and housing industries. In executive positions with IBM, Baltimore Public Schools, Baltimore Housing Department, Cyveillance Software, PWC and Samaritan Inns Homeless Services, he led transformative, public-private initiatives to drive social impact in complex, cross-sector business environments. Eric has an MBA from Yale University and a BA in Urban Studies from Northwestern University. He married way over his head and has two daughters who keep him humble.
Quantified Ventures works with governments, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and healthcare systems helping them tap into the financial resources needed to sufficiently scale operations and deliver meaningful impact, primarily through the Pay For Success model. Quantified Ventures is currently designing, brokering, and implementing a series of healthcare, energy, housing, education, and environmental transactions across the country.
John Linner has 45 years of experience in community development. He spent 17 years working in local governments in Seattle, WA, Cleveland, OH, and Toledo, OH. Since 1989, he has worked for the National Development Council. He has served as one of NDC’s trainers and helped to create NDC’s classes for housing development professionals. For 20 years, he was also in charge of underwriting and acquisitions for NDC Corporate Equity Fund, a non-profit syndicator of low-income housing and rehabilitation tax credits. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Carleton College and a M.A from the University of Iowa in Urban Planning.
Daniel Marsh’s work in the field of economic and community development has spanned 30 years in the public, private and non-profit sectors and includes all aspects of business finance and real estate development. At the National Development Council (NDC), which he joined in 1986, Marsh has served as a Regional Director and Senior Manager prior to assuming his current responsibilities directing NDC’s Policy and Advocacy work in Washington, D.C. Mr. Marsh also serves as President of the NDC Housing and Economic Development Corporation, NDC’s development and financing arm, and is credited with creating its nationally recognized P3 program using tax-exempt financing for social and traditional infrastructure development.
Before joining NDC, Marsh served in a number positions for the City of Newburgh, New York, beginning as a project administrator and later administering the City’s CDBG program and then a variety of its economic development activities, including the creation of Newburgh’s first marketing and outreach strategies and programs. He then served as Executive Director of Newburgh’s Office of Economic Development, carrying out a revitalization program that brought over $100 million in investment to what had been one of the nation’s most economically distressed cities. During that same time, he was the founding director of the Newburgh Local Development Corporation and Executive Director of the City’s Industrial Development Agency, overseeing both the financing and development of key commercial and industrial real estate projects and created New York State’s first Small Issue Industrial Revenue Bond Pool.
Brian McGeady guides the short and long-term acquisition and development activities of the Multifamily Division and oversees the LIHTC operation in 15 states. Under McGeady’s leadership over the past 8 years, the Affordable Housing Division of Miller-Valentine has produced an average of nine, 9% tax credit allocations. MV has also been ranked in the Top 15 in the Affordable Housing Finance Magazine’s Top 15 developers for each of the last 5 years, including reaching #3 in 2017. He oversees a team that has developed apartment communities in the following states: Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Brian is responsible for the strategic planning, acquisitions, development process, feasibility analysis and the creation of strategic housing partnerships with both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Product types include senior communities, multifamily and single family homes financed with both 9% and 4% credits. His expertise includes the development of new construction, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse properties into affordable housing.
In 2004 through 2005, he spent almost two years with Paramount Financial Group, underwriting tax credit properties- involved in more than $150 million of equity investment. Over the past five years, he has closed 70 plus tax credit developments. Brian joined Miller-Valentine Group’s Multifamily Division in 1999 and returned to the company in 2005.
Norah leads a team of finance professionals who put dollars to work building more just and vibrant communities, raising and investing capital in ways that drive progress in low-income communities. She brings over 25 years of community finance and impact investing experience and is responsible for the delivery and oversight of impact investing products from origination to risk management and leads new product and program development, capitalization efforts and national partnerships. Since joining NFF in 1993, Norah has raised capital from increasing numbers of investors in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors, and deployed $650 million to achieve high impact results in communities. She currently oversees a $310 million portfolio that includes loans, lines of credit, and tax-credit financing, tailored to the needs and aspirations of community organizations. Prior to NFF, Norah worked at the Housing Development Fund in Stamford, CT, and as a program manager at International Voluntary Services, a provider of technical assistance to rural communities. Norah holds a master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University. She is a member of the New Markets Tax Credits advisory boards of the Corporation for Supportive Housing and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, and the loan committee of the Boston Community Loan Fund.
Steve Millard has worked over the last twenty years to support the success of businesses of all sizes in Northeast Ohio.
As Executive Director of COSE since 1998, Steve has led COSE’s efforts to support the success of small businesses by advocating for their needs with government and creating products, services and resources to assist them in operating their businesses.
As Executive Vice President of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Steve supports GCP’s work with Middle Market and Tech companies through GCP’s AMMP and OHTec programs and provides leadership for additional strategy and economic development initiatives of the organization.
Millard also serves as president of Group Services, Inc. which provides products and services to reduce business costs and complexities for members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, COSE and several other business membership organizations.
Prior to his work with GCP, Steve was with Andersen Consulting’s Supply Chain Strategy Practice and he also worked in logistics for General Electric’s Medical Systems Business Group.
Millard holds a degree in finance and a degree in transportation and distribution management from Syracuse University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
Millard serves on the boards of the Economic Community Development Institute – Cleveland (ECDI), The Fund for Our Economic Future, the National Small Business Association and the Presidents’ Council Business Chamber and Foundation. In addition, he provides support to a number of small businesses as a member of their Board of Advisers.
John Moon manages the community development department at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The team supports a wide range of initiatives that address the needs of low-income communities and individuals throughout the Fed’s nine-state western region. Facilitating financing/investing, supporting multi-sector collaboratives, and focusing on larger systems barriers in lower-income urban and rural markets are a particular focus of the team. John has extensive social change experience in the public and private sectors including work at Living Cities, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, U.S Treasury’s CDFI Fund, the City of Seattle, Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, Fleetbank, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. John has also advanced national community development programs and policies, including those involving social investments, healthy communities, small business credit, and affordable housing. He has also published articles and papers and spoken nationally on these topics. John earned his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Steven Mount focuses his practice on tax credit financings including New Markets Tax Credit, Historic Tax Credit and Energy Tax Credit transactions. He also represents clients concerning partnership taxation and other real estate joint venture transactions, and issues concerning real estate investment trusts.
Ingrid Nardoni serves as the NDC Corporate Equity Fund’s Director of Asset Management. Ms. Nardoni is responsible for supervision of the asset management staff, oversight of local project performance and compliance, and for data and document management for the General Partner and the Funds. Ms. Nardoni works with the General Partner’s financial management team and the asset management staff to prepare the fund’s quarterly and annual reports. Prior to assuming this position, she served as Compliance Manager for the NDC Corporate Equity Fund.
Ms. Nardoni developed and oversees the delivery of the General Partner’s Asset Management and Compliance Training program for the Fund’s local partnerships and their third party professionals.
Prior to joining NDC in 1997, Ms. Nardoni had extensive experience in management, contract administration and compliance from positions in sales and marketing and in human resources. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and Education from the College of New Rochelle, and a Masters of Business Administration in Economics from Iona College. Ms. Nardoni has completed courses with Elizabeth Moreland, Theopro, Quadel, Novogradac and Reznick, and passed the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Housing Credit Certified Professional exam in 2006.
Kelley Oehler started working for Farmer Home Administration, which later became Rural Development, as a loan specialist in Wisconsin in 1990 and worked with farm programs and single family housing. In 1994 Kelley entered the State Office of Wisconsin and started working with multi-family housing loan processing and servicing. In 1996, Kelley moved to the Business and Community Programs and work with community facilities, water and environmental programs, and all of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service Programs, including Business and Industry.
In 2008, Kelley moved to Washington, DC to work with Energy Programs in Rural Business-Cooperative Service Energy Division. In May of 2010, Kelley became the Branch Chief for the Energy Division.
In January of 2017, Kelley Oehler became Director of the Business and Industry Division.
John Palyo serves as President of the National Development Council’s Grow America Fund. The National Development Council is one of the oldest national not-for-profit full service community and economic development organizations in the country. Grow America Fund is a community development bank authorized to make loans under the Small Business Administration 7(a) program throughout the United States. Since its inception, GAF has made over 500 small business loans with a total of $188 million in loan volume. John has been a Director with the National Development Council since 1998 and as President of GAF he oversees all lending operations of the Fund, which is also operates as a Certified Development Financial Institution. John regularly teaches several NDC training courses including ED 101 – Economic Development Finance and ED201 – Business Credit Analysis.
Prior to joining GAF, John worked for five years at JP Morgan Chase and Nat West as a loan underwriter working on a range of business loan products ranging in size from $50,000 to $2 million.
Marshall Phillips has more than two decades of experience in finance and accounting with a focus on sourcing equity and debt capital for real estate transactions as well as operating companies. A CohnReznick partner, he is based in the Charlotte office.
Marshall works with clients in structuring real estate transactions that include the use of historic tax credits, affordable housing tax credits, solar/renewable energy tax credits and incentives, and New Markets tax credits. He also works with a variety of state credit programs and oversees due diligence on behalf of investors and syndicators.
Brian Prater is the Executive Vice President for Strategic Development & Corporate Affairs at the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF). LIIF is a national Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in San Francisco. LIIF is one of the largest nonprofit affordable housing, education and childcare facility lenders in the country, and is a seven-time recipient of New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) awards.
Prater is one of the creators of the national $90 million Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) initiative. He also oversees LIIF’s federal policy shop, national fundraising, communications, knowledge sharing, transit-oriented development (TOD) and innovation functions. Previously, Prater led LIIF’s lending and program work in the Western Region, overseeing the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, including all transactional work, TOD and green programs and state and regional policy. LIIF is partnering with Enterprise Community Partners to advance equitable TOD nationally, including program, planning, policy and transactional work. In March of 2013, Living Cities released a paper “Filling the Equitable TOD Financing Gap” that Prater and Melinda Pollack from Enterprise co-authored.
Prior to joining LIIF in 2008, Prater was a Senior Vice President and Team Leader in Community Development Banking with Bank of America in San Francisco, and was responsible for the Northern California and Nevada markets. Prater also spent seven years with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and three years with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Prater has Master’s degrees from Columbia University (School of International and Public Affairs) and Syracuse University (S. I. Newhouse School), and a Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University.
Mr. Rackleff was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 3, 2017 to serve as Assistant Secretary for the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development. CPD is responsible for administering grants to alleviate homelessness and to help communities finance growth and development. In addition, CPD also seeks to develop viable communities by promoting integrated approaches that provide quality affordable housing, and expand economic opportunities for low and moderate-income persons. The CPD division within HUD administers various grant programs which help communities plan and finance their growth and development, increase their capacity to govern, and provide shelter and services for low to moderate income persons. CPD oversees the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS), as well other grant offices within CPD. Additionally, CDBG Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding is administered through CPD.
Prior to assuming his current role as Assistant Secretary with HUD, Mr. Rackleff was a Partner at Locke Lord, a nationally recognized law firm, where he focused his practice on community and economic development, affordable housing, and inner-city revitalization. Prior to his tenure with Locke Lord, he previously served as Director of the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department. During his Houston tenure, the Department financed production of approximately 10,000 high-quality affordable multifamily housing units and assisted 1,700 single-family homeowners with reconstruction of hurricane damaged homes, financial assistance to low-income homebuyers and emergency home repairs to ameliorate health and safety issues. Additionally, during this period, Houston became the first major city to effectively end Veteran’s homelessness; while chronic homelessness declined over 70%. Key revitalization projects Mr. Rackleff led include developing a grocery store in a food desert and the historic preservation and conversion of a blighted office building into the new JW Marriott Houston Downtown hotel. Mr. Rackleff graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University and received his law degree from the University of Southern California.
Robert A. Rapoza, President and Principal, has more than two decades of experience as a professional lobbyist and is an expert on the federal budget and appropriations process, with special expertise in federal housing and community development policy. He has been responsible for numerous legislative accomplishments which include saving federal rural housing and community development programs from budget cuts, establishing the Intermediary Relending Program at the Agriculture Department, sustaining and increasing funding for community development programs at the Department of Health and Human Services, promoting the creation of a YouthBuild program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and successfully steering the New Markets Tax Credit program to enactment. Mr. Rapoza first became involved with community development issues while serving with the Massachusetts Department of Community Affairs. After moving to Washington, DC, he held executive positions with the Rural Housing Alliance, the National Rural Housing Coalition (which he continues to serve as executive secretary and legislative director), and the Rural Coalition before establishing Rapoza Associates in 1984. A graduate of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he has served on the boards of several housing and community development organizations and has been profiled in the Washington Post and in the authoritative Beacham’s Guide to Key Lobbyists.
As the Community Development Lending and Investing Manager, Kevin E. Rogers is responsible for underwriting lending and investing opportunities, managing portfolio risk and product creation for PNC Community Development Banking. He works closely with all markets to help achieve production goals in an effort for PNC to continue receiving an outstanding CRA Rating.
Prior to becoming the Lending and Investing Manager Kevin served a Development Advisor within the line of business. He was the connection between the Bank and the Communities in which it operates. He was responsible for ensuring that the Community Development Customer segment was served through the coordination and development of lending and investment opportunities, service, education and marketing efforts.
Kevin has been with PNC Bank for 28 years beginning his career in the Wealth Management Department as the manager of the tax and operations departments. He oversaw the production of Fiduciary, Income and Estate Tax returns for Wealth clients along with the management of the department operations.
Kevin became a Certified Public Accountant in 1987. He has a B.S. from the University of Scranton and graduate of the Central Atlantic School of Trust, Pennsylvania Bankers Association; and National Graduate Trust School, American Bankers Association.
He is active in many local non-profits and foundations:
Kevin lives in the Scranton area with his wife Cindy and two sons Nicholas and Kristopher.
Keven is a seasoned community development professional, with over 20 years in affordable housing development, operations, and asset management. He has experience working with the public sector in finance and planning, and has worked for non-profit and for-profit developers.
As an expert in structured finance residential development, Keven has put together complex deals using LIHTC, tax exempt bonds, private loans, historic credits, local and state funds and other sources.
On the operations and asset management side, Keven has managed large portfolios in multiple states and Western Washington. These portfolios have included properties serving homeless individuals and families, farm workers, seniors, and general population.
Currently in the NDC Seattle office, Keven is Asset Manager for Public Private Partnerships that have developed Class A office, educational, research and public parking facilities. His position involves providing tax exempt bond financing through the 63-20 and 501 (c) (3) programs, selection and oversight of development teams, managing relationships with the sponsor occupants, and managing compliance.
Keven lives with his family in West Seattle, where he has a backyard pizza oven, and roasts his own coffee.
Michael Saad focuses his practice on real estate, real estate finance, joint ventures, equity funds, low-income housing tax credits, new markets tax credits, rehabilitation tax credits, community development and government-financed housing law. Michael led the Real Estate Practice Group for a number of years, has served on its management committee and currently leads the Tax Credit & Community Development Practice Group. He is listed in Chambers USA, has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995 and has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer. For his service as general counsel to the company since its inception in 1989, Michael received Ohio Capital Corporation’s Founder’s Award.
His experience includes representing equity investors, financial institutions and other lenders and developers in a variety of debt, equity and mezzanine financings and syndications, as well as the acquisition and development of real estate.
Michael’s involvement in professional associations includes membership in the American Bar Association’s Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development. He is a board and executive committee member of the Ohio Housing Council, a nonprofit organization designed to support and promote affordable housing programs in Ohio. Other memberships include the Financial Institutions, Bankruptcy and Real Properties Committees of the Columbus Bar Association.
Mrs. Schoonover grew up in the Athens, GA area, but has spent much of her banking career in Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL and Winston-Salem, NC. Mrs. Schoonover currently serves as the CRA Services Manager & Lending Coordinator within BB&T’s CRA/Community Development Department. In her role as the Services Manager she works to develop and lead implementation of comprehensive initiatives and service opportunities across the bank’s footprint and manages her department’s relationships with national and large regional partners. As the Lending Coordinator, she works closely with various teams to ensure understanding of credit and finance structures that supports the bank’s credit culture while generating lending opportunities. Heidi has over 18 years banking experience with a passion for helping to build relationships that empower organizations to reach and exceed their mission of serving the low and moderate income communities.
Mrs. Schoonover is active on many board and committees and is currently affiliated with the following organizations: Alabama Asset Building Coalition (AABC) – Board Treasurer; Alabama Micro Enterprise Network (AMEN) – Board Member; Impact Alabama – Board Member; and TruFund Financial Services, Inc. – Board Member;
Heidi is a graduate of Mercer University’s Stetson School of Business with degrees in Finance and Management. She is also certified as a Housing Development Finance Professional and Economic Development Finance Professional.
Jennifer Seamons currently serves as Vice-President and Senior Relationship Manager of Key Community Development Corporation for KeyBank. In this position, she is responsible for acquisition of low income housing tax credits, new markets tax credits and historic tax credits within a direct investment footprint of Utah, Washington State and Alaska. In addition, her responsibility includes managing investments with national syndication funds to support affordable housing developments throughout the Bank’s 13 state branch footprint.
Jennifer joined KeyBank in 2000 and her background in banking includes experience in branch operations, commercial underwriting, along with community development lending. She brings financial expertise, counsel, and customized solutions to help organizations reach their complex goals. Jennifer has a BBA in Accounting and Finance from Boise State University and a Master’s Degree in Accounting at Boise State University.
Jennifer’s passion and commitment to her community is evident in her active participation in her community. She serves as Past President to the Idaho-Nevada Community Development Financial Institution, Inc. Board of Directors, and Board Member of the Boise State Alumni Association and has volunteered with Big Sister for Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of the Treasure Valley, as well as contributing to several other organizations.
Andrew Seth is the President of Sustainable Strategies DC, a strategic consulting and government affairs firm that helps localities obtain resources for revitalization and tools for success in the green economy. Prior to that, Andy was a partner and the Director of Coalitions at The Ferguson Group. He is the Executive Director of the Climate Communities coalition and directed the American Waterfront Revitalization Coalition. He previously served as a project manager on environmental issues at the International City/County Management Association, where he directed the Local Government Environmental Assistance Network. Prior to joining ICMA, Andrew was a member of the government affairs team at Spiegel & McDiarmid. He began his environmental career at the conservation non-profit American Rivers.
Kristin Siglin is currently Senior Vice President, Policy at Housing Partnership Network, a business collaborative of nearly 100 high-performing nonprofits that finance, develop and manage affordable housing and community development projects.
Before coming to HPN, Kris was a Vice President at Enterprise Community Partners, a community development intermediary and syndicator of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Kris had various roles at Enterprise including Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor, Vice President for Economic Opportunities, and Vice President for Knowledge Sharing. She managed a special project that commissioned and disseminated original research on school-centered community revitalization.
In 2001-2003 Kris was the Policy Director of the Millennial Housing Commission, a 22-member bipartisan commission charged by Congress with examining the nation’s housing policy and making recommendations to improve the affordable housing delivery system.
Kris worked on Capitol Hill for ten years, including a stint as the Minority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. She also served on the personal staff of Senator Christopher S. Bond (R-MO) and Representative Jim Leach (R-IA.)
She has an AB in History, Magna Cum Laude, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
Wanda Speight is Senior Vice President, Financial Services with Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). Wanda is a financial services executive with over 25 years of experience in business development, underwriting and management positions. Wanda leads a team responsible for the development of strategy, underwriting and execution of transactions in the areas of Project Finance, Business Lending, Tax Advantage Programs, Capitalization and Grants Administration.
Prior to joining PIDC Wanda served as an EVP with Opportunity Finance Network, managing OFN’s strategic financing division. Her responsibilities included the design and implements new financing strategies, products, and systems for the community development financial institutions (CDFI) industry. Previously, Wanda worked in the Commercial Real Estate Division of Sovereign/Santander Bank, where she had marketing and underwriting responsibilities for a $250 million loan portfolio. Prior positions held by Wanda include Senior Vice President with GMAC Commercial Mortgage and Director of Lending for The Reinvestment Fund, one of the country’s leading CDFIs.
Wanda holds an MBA from Drexel University, in Philadelphia, PA and a BA from Dickinson College. She brings a background of formal credit training, advanced commercial real estate underwriting and portfolio management, as well as, small business and middle market lending. Wanda in the past served on the Level II Investment Committee of the Communities @ Work Fund, a $200 million pool of capital funded by Citi Corporation and the Calvert Foundation and Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia.
Michael Swack is a professor at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire where he directs the Center for Impact Finance. He also serves on the faculty of the Paul College of Business and Economics. Dr. Swack has published in the areas of economic development, development finance, community investment and mission related investment. Recent publications include a comprehensive industry analysis of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry for the CDFI Fund and a book, co-written with Charles Tansey entitled Capital Markets, CDFIs and Organizational Credit Risk.
Dr. Swack was the founder and former Dean of the School of Community Economic Development (CED) at Southern New Hampshire University. Dr. Swack has been involved in the design, implementation and management of a number community development lending and investment institutions both inside and outside the United States. He was the first Chairman and served for 17 years as a board member of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA), a state-chartered equity fund for community economic development ventures and projects. He is the founding president and a current board member of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. He was a founding board member of the Opportunity Finance Network, a trade association of Community Development Finance Institutions. In 2000 he founded, and continues to direct, the Financial Innovations Roundtable, a program that promotes new approaches and policies designed to build the field of community development finance and increase access to capital for community development intermediaries. Internationally he has been involved in development finance and microfinance work in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Dr. Swack received his doctorate from Columbia University, his master’s degree from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
CYNTIA J. MILLIKEN TAYLOR
Ms. Taylor has been active in Affordable senior housing as the President of Housing Initiatives of New England Corporation for 28 years. In this position she has over seen the development of 28 senior housing and assisted living facilities in Maine and New Hampshire. The goal of the organization has been to provide the nicest designed, highest quality affordable senior housing with supportive services to allow people to age independently with caring assistance.
Ms. Taylor received a professional degree in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design after receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Her creative talents have been employed in all the facilities that have been created by Housing Initiatives. With a focus on Urban Planning, she has helped many communities with providing senior communities that are well integrated in town centers with amenities that are appreciated within the larger communities.
Using the creative approach to services Housing Initiatives has partnered with communities who want to save historic buildings, with hospitals in rural areas that want to provide services and higher educational institutions that want to provide health services to the geriatric and aging populations.
Ms. Taylor serves on the Advisory Board for the NDC New Markets Tax Credit Programs. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the University of New England. She also serves as treasurer for the Kailer-Vaill Home for Women in Scarborough, Maine. She has been active in the preservation of historic buildings as former Vice Chair of the Maine Preservation organization and currently is on their advisory board.
David Trevisani is the Chief Operating Officer of NDC’s New Markets Tax Credit Program, part of NDC’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (HEDC), a real estate development arm of NDC that has developed close to $1 billion of projects ranging from affordable housing to municipal office buildings. He previously served as a Director on NDC’s East Team, providing technical assistance to units of government and non-profit organizations on affordable housing and economic development projects. He also has a broad classroom repertoire including ED 202 – Real Estate Finance, ED 515 – New Markets Tax Credits, HD420 – Rental Housing Development Finance, HD422 – Computer Spread Sheet Analysis for Housing, HD430 – Housing Development Finance: Problem Solving and Deal Structuring and Mixed-Use Real Estate Finance. David previously acted as commissioner of Urban and Economic Development for his home town of Utica, NY, managing the City’s Planning and Community and Economic Development office. He currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and three children.
Alice Vilma is an Executive Director on the Multicultural Client Strategy team, where she works with her partners at the Firm to strengthen Morgan Stanley’s connection to the multicultural business community by identifying, developing and executing commercial opportunities with corporate, government, and individual clients.
Ms. Vilma has been at Morgan Stanley for over 10 years, beginning her first 3 as an Analyst after her undergraduate studies at the University of Miami. She returned to the Firm in 2009 and has worked in different roles primarily in the Global Capital Markets Division, including Equity Capital Markets – where she covered companies in the Industrial, Transportation, Power & Utilities and MLP industries from an equity financing perspective – Securitization, where she structured and executed corporate asset-backed bond transactions and GCM Management, where she worked closely with the division heads on strategic projects, operations of the division and the analyst and associate programs among other responsibilities.
Ms. Vilma has spent her career in the financial services industry, and worked at Sallie Mae in their Strategic Planning and Corporate Development group before attending business school. Prior to returning to Morgan Stanley, Ms. Vilma was an Assistant Vice President in the Communications, Media and Entertainment Group at CIT, where she spent her time advising clients on and making investments in production and content related companies in the entertainment sector.
Ms. Vilma has over 15 years of structured finance experience across various asset classes and sectors, executing over $25Bn of securitization and structured finance transactions over that time. Her different experiences have rounded out her skill set and provided unique perspectives that have proven advantageous to her in her current role. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Miami and received her MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Matt Ward is the CEO of Sustainable Strategies DC, a strategic consulting and government affairs firm that helps localities obtain resources for revitalization and tools for success in the green economy. Before that, Matt was a partner and leader of the Green Practice Group at The Ferguson Group. Matt is also the owner of the Ward Washington Law Firm. He previously served as a partner and government affairs advocate at Spiegel & McDiarmid. He is a co-founder of the National Brownfields Coalition and the Brownfield Communities Network, and he has served as national policy director to a number of organizations including the Climate Communities Coalition, National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals, the National Association of Towns and Townships, the Mayors Automotive Coalition, the Manufacturing Alliance of Communities, and the American Waterfront Revitalization Coalition.
Ira Weinstein serves as Managing Principal of CohnReznick’s Baltimore office. He is focused on transaction advisory and finance services for projects utilizing the New Markets tax credit, historic rehabilitation tax credit, investment tax credit, production tax credit, and low-Income housing tax credit. He provides analysis, structuring recommendations, and supports transaction negotiations for project sponsors, developers, investors, syndicators, and other intermediaries. He also provides transaction advisory services to industries that include affordable housing, commercial real estate, and renewable energy.
Ira speaks at conferences and seminars nationwide on various tax credit programs. Before joining CohnReznick, he advised local economic development organizations on strategies to revitalize their geographic footprint. Before that, he spent several years in the corporate finance department of a public company raising capital for corporate and project finance and completing acquisitions and divestitures of company assets.
Evan Weiss is a Senior Analyst at HJA Strategies who specializes in the crafting and execution of comprehensive development and recovery plans for governments, businesses and non-profits. With a particular expertise in distressed municipalities and school districts, Evan has been a key player in crafting and executing financial and operational recovery plans for Scranton, Pennsylvania, Atlantic City, Newark, and Trenton, New Jersey, as well as the Newark Public Schools. Evan’s analysis has guided Mayors, Superintendents, Members of City Council, Department heads and State officials, as well as State and Federal elected officials. Evan has also helped facilitate several significant asset monetizations and public private partnerships (P3s) for large and multijurisdictional parking, golf, water, stormwater, and wastewater systems, including the largest ever Pennsylvania sale of a combined sewer system, generating $500m for Scranton, PA. Evan also serves as the State Superintendent’s lead strategic and operations consultant for the Newark Public Schools, preparing the now-successful transfer to local control after 20 years, closing a $70 million gap in a $1 billion budget.
Evan received his B.A. from the University of Chicago in Political Science and Fundamentals: Issues & Texts.
She is responsible for a portfolio of investments throughout the country, including oversight of watch list properties.
Prior to joining NDC, Mrs. Zielinski was the Vice-President of Asset Management for KeyBank, with the responsibility of overseeing the Asset Management Team and insuring prudent regulatory compliance of the investments, within the banking environment. For nearly ten years, Mrs. Zielinski was part of the finance team of the Cleveland Housing Network, a leading affordable housing developer in the Cleveland, Ohio market. Additionally, she was the Controller for a private real estate developer for many years. Mrs. Zielinski holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Akron.