Advisory Services








Intro Incentives Course
November 7, 2018
Dallas, TX

Alaska Industrial Development and Export AuthorityBaker Tilly Virchow KrauseBallard Spahr LLPBNY MellonBricker & Eckler LLPBryan Cave LLPBusiness OregonCohnReznickFBT Project Finance Advisors LLCFrost Brown Todd, LLCGrant Thornton LLPHawkins Delafield & Wood LLPIce Miller LLPKeyBanc Capital MarketsKutak Rock LLPMB Financial Bank, NAMcCarter & English, LLPMcGuireWoodsNW Financial Group, LLCSB Friedman Development AdvisorsSquire Patton BoggsStern Brothers & Co.Stifel NicolausU.S. BankWells Fargo SecuritiesWilmington TrustZ. The Bond Buyer


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Incentive use has grown dramatically and become a more prominent – and challenging – part of economic development work. Economic development incentives can help locations attract, retain and develop business and industry, but they are also used to finance neighborhood revitalization, redevelop brownfields, provide workforce training and accomplish other important community objectives.

The Intro Incentives Course will examine the role of economic development incentives in conjunction with other development finance programs and explore how incentives can be used effectively and responsibly.

This course will consider how incentives are being used in today’s economic environment and outline steps that are being taken to reduce risk and achieve better outcomes. In particular, this course will address the characteristics of well-designed incentive programs and processes to ensure meaningful impact, value, and accountability.

This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

2018 National Development Finance Summit

This year, the Intro Incentives Course will be held in conjunction with the 2018 CDFA National Development Finance Summit which will take place in Dallas, Texas. The CDFA National Summit brings together the leaders and dealmakers in the development finance industry to discuss best practices, trends, and project financing solutions.

The CDFA National Summit is a dealmaking event at its core with a program built to encourage networking and individualized learning about all types of development finance tools and programs. At the CDFA National Summit, you will meet industry experts, connect with financing, learn about the latest approaches, and discover development finance solutions to bring to your local community.


Course Objectives

  • Discover how incentives programs operate at the state, local, and regional level
  • Consider characteristics of well-designed incentive programs that work for both the business and the community to drive long-term, mutually beneficial economic development projects
  • Understand how to refine incentive strategies and reduce risk
  • Learn about approaches to compliance monitoring and program evaluation
  • Share strategies for meaningful reporting and communication on incentive use
  • Hear about the new rules for tax abatement disclosures
  • Discuss innovative incentive approaches being employed by communities across the country

Topics Covered

  • Incentives in the context of the development finance toolbox
  • Incentive program design elements
  • Due diligence and impact analysis
  • Performance agreements and compliance
  • Elements of program evaluation
  • Improving transparency, reporting and communication
  • Trends in incentive use

Who Should Attend?

  • Bond issuers
  • Economic development professionals
  • Community development professionals
  • Elected officials
  • Government and nonprofit finance officers
  • Corporate trustees
  • Legal counsel
  • Underwriters
  • Commercial bankers
  • Accountants
  • Financial advisors
  • Policy makers

Course Advisor

Ellen Harpel PhD Ellen Harpel PhD
CDFA Incentives Course Advisor
Business Development Advisors
Ellen Harpel is the founder of Smart Incentives and president of Business Development Advisors LLC (BDA), an economic development and market intelligence consulting firm. She has helped many communities evaluate the competitiveness of their... (More)


The agenda for this course has not yet been announced. Please check back frequently to see updated information.


The 2018 National Development Finance Summit will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, located downtown in the vibrant Arts and Financial District. Enjoy the best of downtown Dallas - from the American Airlines Center to the cultral attractions of the Arts District - right at your fingertips.

Sheraton Dallas Hotel
400 North Olive Street
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-922-8000

Reserving a Room

CDFA has arranged a significantly reduced room rate of $199.00 (plus tax and service fees) per night for a standard room (single or double occupancy). Hotel rooms are available from November 6 to November 9 at the reduced rate if reservations are made before October 16. This rate is not guaranteed if reservations are made after the cut-off date or if the hotel is sold-out. Please reserve your room early.

>>>Reserve Hotel Rooms Online

Sheraton Dallas Hotel Directions

The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is served by two major airports. Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) is approximately 30 minutes away from the hotel and Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) is approximately 20 minutes away. The hotel is accessible by metered taxi and DART Light Rail System. For those arriving by car, driving directions are posted on the hotel's website. Valet parking is available upon request.


The Intro Incentives Course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

Register before September 14, 2018 for Early-Bird Rates.
Early Bird Rates
CDFA Member: $400
Non-Member: $550
Standard Rates
CDFA Member: $450
Non-Member: $600