Technical Assistance

CDFA Urban Finance Forum
June 6-7, 2018
Cleveland, OH


CDFA Urban Finance Forum

The development finance opportunities and challenges facing urban communities have never reached a more critical juncture, and CDFA is taking action to address these issues. Join CDFA in Cleveland, OH this June for the 2nd Annual CDFA Urban Finance Forum. Limited to urban communities, the CDFA Urban Finance Forum will feature panels, working sessions, presentations and debates focused on urban issues and the financing resources available to address these challenges and opportunities.

This year’s forum will be hosted by five of Ohio’s largest urban communities including the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Columbus Franklin County Finance Authority, Development Finance Authority of Summit County, Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. These communities represent Ohio’s urban concerns and each community will have a unique opportunity to discuss their approach to addressing critical urban issues.

The CDFA Urban Finance Forum will kickoff with a special evening reception on June 6, 2018 with a lively discussion on the major development finance opportunities and challenges confronting urban areas. Participants from the nation’s largest urban areas will network, interact and learn about the efforts afoot to advance urban issues.

Programming on June 7, 2018 will be at Key Tower, featuring panel discussions directed by members of key urban development policy leaders from throughout the United States.



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wed 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Kickoff Reception
The Calfee Building
The CDFA Urban Finance Forum will kick off with a special evening reception on June 6, 2018. The reception will feature a lively discussion and an audience Q&A focused on efforts to accelerate private investment in municipal infrastructure. Participants from the Ohio's largest urban communities will interact, network, and establish talking points for the next day’s examination of urban finance issues.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Thu 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Registration & Breakfast
Welcome to The Key Tower and the CDFA Urban Finance Forum. Check in at the registration desk to receive your name badge and Forum materials. Enjoy a quick continental breakfast before the first speakers begin.
Thu 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Welcome & Opening Remarks
The CDFA Urban Finance Forum is an initiative aimed at addressing the development finance challenges and opportunities facing Ohio's urban communities. This year’s Forum will commence with a perspective on urban finance from our sponsors and CDFA leadership. In addition, the opening session will set the stage for the day’s perspectives, networking, and problem solving discussions.
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Thu 8:45 AM - 9:45 AM
How Cincinnati Addresses Urban Revitalization
In Cincinnati, manufacturing innovation built a powerful economy and prosperous middle class. Now, the Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority is building upon legacy assets, investing in urban industrial sites to attract next generation manufacturing. Through targeted investment, innovative development finance and land stewardship, the Redevelopment Authority is redeveloping neighborhoods as a strong counterpart to high-value job creation.
  • Laura Brunner, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Port - Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Melissa Johnson, Vice President of Industrial Development & Logistics, The Port - Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Robert Sanders, Director of Commercial Development, The Port - Cincinnati, Ohio
Thu 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Summit County & Akron: The Evolution of Summit County’s Development Finance Authority
The evolution of community based development finance authority to achieve valuable/measurable community impact, the story of the DFA of Summit County, 1994 – present. Learn how a local port authority created to maintain rail rights away evolved into a vital community and economic development organization servicing the city of Akron and northeast Ohio.
  • Chris Burnham, President, Development Finance Authority of Summit County
Thu 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Opportunity Zones Roundtable Discussion & Networking Break
Now that Opportunity Zones have been designated, we thought it would be good to provide some insight on the basics of Opportunity Zones and how this tax incentive could be used to spur investment into low-income and underserved urban communities. How should local communities with Opportunity Zones begin the important work of identifying potential investments and attracting investors? This Roundtable Discussion will feature several perspectives on this incentive.
  • Katie Kramer, Vice President, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Thu 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Thu 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
Toledo-Lucas County and the Renaissance of Manufacturing and Energy
This session will provide an overview of the evolution of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s Better Building of Northwest Ohio Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program with a focus on how development partners can use this alternative source of capital to spur economic development in their communities.
  • Teresa Snyder, Business Development Manager, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
Thu 1:45 PM - 2:30 PM
Urban Food Finance Roundtable Discussion & Networking Break
Urban areas address myriad development challenges with none more important than the local food system. From urban agriculture and food trucks to institutional buying programs and food deserts, the need for flexible and affordable capital to support the food system is a growing concern. But, what if traditional development finance could support this need? Similar to roads, bridges and transpiration, the local food system is part of a community's infrastructure. So why not finance it like infrastructure with traditional financing tools such as bonds, TIF, tax credits and revolving loan funds? We’ll explore the possibilities during this engaging and interactive food systems finance roundtable!
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • Deb Bentzel, Associate Director, Community Food Systems, The Food Trust
  • Brian Estabrook, Food Systems Planner, Franklin County Economic Development and Planning
  • Oran Hesterman, President, Chief Executive Officer, Fair Food Network
  • Ryan Kozak, Managing Director, Huntington Capital Markets
  • Michael Norton, Chief Policy Analyst, Policy Solutions, Reinvestment Fund
  • Morgan Taggart, Project Manager, The Food Trust
Thu 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
A Timeline of Cleveland Urban Revitalization: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame through East Bank of the Flats
Cleveland is in the midst of a great urban revitalization, and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority will present an overview the Port’s progression starting from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame through to East Bank of the Flats. During this session, we will take a look at innovative solutions to vital and complex problems during major projects. The port authority will also present a case study about their first PACE financing used on a lakefront project consisting of housing and retail space.
  • Rhonda Bever, Director of Finance, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
  • William Friedman, President and CEO, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
  • Carl W. Naso, Chief Financial Officer, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
  • Richard Pace, President, Cumberland Real Estate Development
  • Garth E. Woodson, Director, Development Finance and Inclusion, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
Thu 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Columbus-Franklin County: The Challenges of a New Development Finance Authority
Development finance authorities face many non-financing related issues. During this session, the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority will discuss the challenges that newer development finance authorities see and face. Learn how to manage outside advisors, manage and mitigate risks, and manage your board.
  • Chris Burnham, President, Development Finance Authority of Summit County
  • Jean Carter Ryan, President, Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority
  • Paul Toth Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
Thu 4:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Closing Remarks


The 2018 CDFA Urban Finance Forum Reception will take place at The Calfee Building on Wednesday, June 6 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

The Calfee Building
Main Lobby
1405 E 6th Street
Cleveland, OH 44114

The 2018 CDFA Urban Finance Forum will take place at Key Tower on Thursday, June 7.

Key Tower
Western Reserve Auditorium
9th Floor
127 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44114

Important Security Information
All registrants will be required to provide either a valid drivers license or passport in order to enter the bank. The name on the ID must match the name in CDFA's registration database. Registrants will also be asked to go through a metal detector and have their bags screened. Last minute registrants may require additional security screening since your name won't be pre-approved. Please register 2-3 days before the conference to assist CDFA with the security requirements.

CDFA has not secured a specific hotel room block for this event. However, many attendees qualify for either the federal or governmental rates at many Cleveland hotels. Hotels are typically willing to honor this rate if requested. Suggested hotels include:

Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center
Address: 1360 West Mall Drive, Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216) 696-9200

Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel
Address: 100 Lakeside Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216) 413-5000

In addition, dozens of hotels are located within a short distance of the Key Tower. CDFA has researched hotel options near Key Tower for attendees' consideration.

View Hotel Options

If you have any problems securing a hotel, do not hesitate to contact CDFA.


To register for the 2018 CDFA Urban Finance Forum, click on the Register button below. Registration rates vary depending on whether or not you are a CDFA member.
Standard Rates
CDFA Member: $125
Non-Member: $175