About

Advocacy

Events

Membership

Sponsor

Education

Newsletters

Resources

Technical Assistance

×

2018 Florida Opportunity Zones Conference Speakers

James Carras

Developing a Local Opportunity Zones Strategy
Tuesday December 18 10:45 - 12:00 PM

Investing in Florida's Opportunity Zones
Wednesday December 19 9:15 - 10:00 AM

Principal
Carras Community Investment, Inc.

James Carras is a member of the faculty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Graduate School of Design as well as Tufts University’s Department of Urban Policy and Planning. He has been consulting with mission-driven organizations and government agencies as well as financial institutions and developers for the past 30 years. James and his consulting firm, Carras Community Investment, Inc., has facilitated the creation and capitalizationof over fifty community development corporations (CDCs), development financial institutions (CDFIs) and public private partnership initiatives. He is the author of numerous affordable housing and equity studies and revitalization plans and has served as the Founding Executive Director of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, the Founding President of the Broward Housing Partnership and the South Florida Community Land Trust. Prior to establishing his consulting business, he served as a Community Development Advisor to the Mayor of Boston and was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Urban Reinvestment Advisory Group where he was awarded the John Hay Whitney Fellowship. Mr. Carras is recognized as a national development finance expert with a particular focus on New Markets Tax Credits, CDFI Fund, Opportunity Zones, the Community Development Financial Institution Fund and the Community Reinvestment Act.

Mr. Carras was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Sociology from Suffolk University in Boston, completed graduate work at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and received a Master’s Degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Public Administration. He is certified by the National Development Council (NDC) as an Economic Development Finance Professional and completed NDC”s Rental Housing Finance course. He is also certified as a Leadership Facilitator by the Lincoln Land Institute.

Mr. Carras has published various articles and publications including ones focusing on New Markets Tax Credits for the American Planners Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Community Reinvestment Act for the American Planners Association, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, National League of Cities and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Affordable Housing Loan Consortia for the National Association for Affordable Housing Lenders.

He chairs the Broward Housing Council and is the former Chair of the Broward County Minority Economic Development Board as well as Vice Chair of the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Economic Development Advisory Board. He served as Vice Chairman of the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Board of Directors, and is currently a Coordinator the South Florida Harvard Kennedy School Network Coordinating Committee, and Vice Chair for the Broward Schools Committee for Harvard College. Mr. Carras has also served on the Board of Directors for St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, the Broward Alliance for Neighborhood Development, Haymarket Bank and advisory boards for the United Way of Broward County, Neighborhood Lending Partners and Paradise Bank. For eight years, he served as the Chairman for the Fort Lauderdale Greek Festival as well as the President of the Himmarshee Village Association.


Tony Carvajal

Welcome & Revisiting Day 1
Wednesday December 19 9:00 - 9:15 AM

Executive Vice President
Florida Chamber Foundation

Tony Carvajal serves as Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation, the research and solutions development arm of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Working in partnership with state business leaders, the Foundation advances initiatives that envision a vibrant and sustainable economy in the Sunshine State.

He is regularly called on to provide guidance and insights into state-level plans and has served on numerous policy steering committees covering topics as varied as education, early learning, workforce development, economic development, transportation, healthcare, volunteerism, civic infrastructure, philanthropy, and smart justice.

He served as the lead facilitator guiding the development of the Six Pillars, a change management framework for securing Florida’s future competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability. The Six Pillars have been adopted by businesses, communities and governments across the state and several state chambers and economic development organizations across the country.

Previously, Tony spent 20 years managing and consulting with trade and professional associations across the country. His consulting practice specialized in strategic planning, Board & staff development, and the design of innovative leadership systems.


Gladys Cook

Opportunity Zones and Disaster Recovery
Wednesday December 19 11:00 - 12:00 PM

Disaster Housing Recovery Director
Florida Housing Coalition

Gladys Cook brings over 25 years of experience in housing and community development in Florida. She has been a technical advisor for the Florida Housing Coalition for many of those years and has developed training and program design for nonprofit organizations and local governments.  As a planner she provides research and analysis skills in the formation of housing incentives, conducting needs assessments, and housing specialties such as land banking and community land trusts.  She offers capacity building and strategic planning for organizations including predevelopment, underwriting and compliance for homeownership, rental and supportive housing.  Gladys is a problem solver and consensus builder seeking to maximize human and capital resources to expand the supply of accessible, sustainable, and affordable homes for workforce and special needs households. 


Joseph Darby

Understanding Rules & Regulations for Opportunity Funds
Tuesday December 18 1:00 - 2:15 PM

Investing in Florida's Opportunity Zones
Wednesday December 19 9:15 - 10:00 AM

Partner
Sullivan & Worcester

Joseph B. Darby III is a partner in Sullivan & Worcester's Boston office, focusing his practice on business and transactional tax law. Mr. Darby advises a wide variety of corporations and high-net-worth individuals on tax and legal aspects of business and real estate activities and represents these taxpayers before federal and state taxing authorities. He also works with high-net-worth individuals and business owners to organize their personal income tax and estate planning affairs in order to maximize wealth preservation and minimize tax on transfers to family members, charities and other recipients. This is accomplished through the use of the latest sophisticated estate planning strategies, including family limited partnerships, installment sales to defective grantor trusts, the formation of family charitable foundations, and other similar techniques.

Mr. Darby has represented and advised numerous public and private companies, as well as private equity and venture capital firms, on investment and acquisition transactions and on the disposition of business interests, in transactions ranging from early-stage investments in high-tech startups to acquisitions and sales of mature, late-stage companies and publicly traded corporations.
Another focus in Mr. Darby’s practice is the taxation of intellectual property, including tax aspects related to the development, licensing and exploitation of intellectual property rights, the migration of valuable intellectual property to offshore jurisdictions and the tax-efficient sale of intellectual property rights.

Mr. Darby is the author of Practical Guide to Mergers, Acquisitions and Business Sales, Second Edition, a textbook published by National Underwriter Company, an ALM (American Legal Media) Business. He has extensive experience in the areas of structuring mergers, acquisitions, business sales, and related business transactions. He teaches graduate-level courses on the buying and selling of businesses at Boston University School of Law in the Graduate Tax Program and at Bentley University McCallum Graduate School of Business in the Masters of Taxation Program.

Mr. Darby has been the recipient of numerous journalism and writing awards, and has authored two books and more than 1,000 articles published in such diverse publications as The Tax Lawyer, Worth Magazine, Venture Capital Magazine, Banker & Tradesman, Mass High Tech, Hemispheres Magazine, Contract Professional, Trusts & Estates Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Boston Business Journal and The Boston Phoenix. Mr. Darby is a frequent contributor to the World Trade Executive family of publications, including Practical International Tax Strategies, Practical European Tax Strategies, and Practical US Tax Strategies, and is a member of the editorial and advisory board of World Trade Executive.

Mr. Darby served as a member of the Board of Assessors for the Town of Watertown from 1993-2011, and has served as pro bono legal and tax counsel to a variety of Boston-area charitable organizations. He is a former president of the Boston Police Foundation (2008-2012) and is currently president of the Watertown Police Foundation, an organization he founded in April 2013 to help Watertown recover from the violent events that led to the capture of the Marathon bombing suspects.  

Mr. Darby is the editor of the Tax & Sports Update.


Grey Dodge

The Latest on Opportunity Zones in Florida
Tuesday December 18 9:30 - 10:30 AM

Highlighting Florida Projects in Opportunity Zones
Wednesday December 19 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Policy Director
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Grey Dodge is the Policy Director for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) where he develops and advises on workforce, community, and economic development policies. Grey serves as the state lead on Florida’s Opportunity Zones program and directs DEO’s 12 Counties initiative, an intensive local economic development project. He has also been instrumental in launching DEO’s post-Hurricane Irma private sector disaster recovery efforts and now Hurricane Michael private sector response and recovery.
 
Grey has extensive policy experience, previously serving as the Governor’s Fellow for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the regulatory agency responsible for professional licensure, alcoholic beverages, hotels and restaurants, and pari-mutuel wagering. Grey also previously served in the Florida House of Representatives Majority Office, as a Public Policy Fellow for New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and as a Legislative Assistant in the Florida State Senate. Grey holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida and will soon earn his Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from the Florida State University College of Law.


Gregory Feldkamp

Highlighting Florida Projects in Opportunity Zones
Wednesday December 19 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Vice President, Finance
Strategic Property Partners, LLC

Gregory Feldkamp serves as the Vice President of Finance for Strategic Property Partners where he manages the financial analysis and underwriting of all new developments and investments.  In this role, he oversees all financial modeling, market research, portfolio aggregation, and financial returns.

Prior to SPP, Feldkamp worked for FIDES Capital Partners, LLC, a real estate advisory and investment firm, where he served as an origination source and execution lead for all of the firm’s advisory assignments. During his tenure at FIDES, he focused on debt and equity placement for real estate assets or operating platforms and principal investments in the housing sector. Feldkamp received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.


Tim Fisher

Understanding Rules & Regulations for Opportunity Funds
Tuesday December 18 1:00 - 2:15 PM

Manager, Government Affairs
Council of Development Finance Agencies

As the Manager of Government Affairs, Tim Fisher is focused on advancing development finance policy interests at the state and national level, as well as defending the interests of CDFA members on Capitol Hill. In addition to leading CDFA advocacy efforts, Tim authors the annual CDFA Volume Cap Report, the CDFA Federal Policy Agenda, and CDFA federal policy white papers. Tim also coordinates CDFA research on microfinance and manages its international partnerships. Prior to joining CDFA, Fisher worked for the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, where, under the direction of the Commission’s Public Policy officer, he authored reports on topics ranging from the state of Latino small business ownership in Ohio, to the cultural responsiveness of Ohio’s public institutions. Tim is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and his master’s degree in Latin American Studies.


Erin Gillespie

The Latest on Opportunity Zones in Florida
Tuesday December 18 9:30 - 10:30 AM

Opportunity Zones and Disaster Recovery
Wednesday December 19 11:00 - 12:00 PM

Deputy Chief of Staff
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Erin​ ​Gillespie​ is the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, where she manages agency communications, legislative affairs, strategic planning, data analytics and project management. Erin worked closely with Governor Scott’s office to review requests and nominate Florida’s Opportunity Zones. She is also leading the agency’s private-sector disaster recovery efforts by partnering with local, regional, state and federal agencies to ensure Florida recovers strongly from Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael.

Previously, Erin served as the communications director for the Department of Economic Opportunity, as the press secretary for Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as the press secretary at the Florida Department of Children and Families. Prior to her public service, she was a newspaper reporter for six years in Florida and Georgia. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Spanish and a master’s degree in Hispanic Studies, both from Auburn University.  Erin is also an adjunct professor with the Florida Center for Public Management at the Florida State University School of Public Administration and Policy.


Deryck Harmer

Investing in Florida's Opportunity Zones
Wednesday December 19 9:15 - 10:00 AM

Managing Director
Triloma Financial Group

Deryck Harmer is one of the managing directors and founders of Triloma Financial Group. In this role, Deryck is responsible for the firm’s overall growth activities and seeks new investment opportunities with companies that pursue unique strategies in the marketplace. Deryck has extensive investment management and investment banking experience, primarily within real estate, direct lending, project finance, venture capital and private equity. From 2015 to 2018, Deryck served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Triloma EIG Energy Income Funds, public investment companies advised by Triloma Energy Advisors and EIG Global Energy Partners that invested over $50 million in energy and infrastructure debt.

Prior to joining Triloma, Deryck spent more than a decade at CNL Financial Group serving in a variety of roles across its real estate development, private equity and capital markets divisions. He most recently served as the firm’s Chief Strategy Officer and Board Member for CNL Securities Corp., a FINRA registered broker-dealer. Most notably, Deryck spearheaded the creation and launch of Corporate Capital Trust, a public non-traded business development company that focused on making originated, senior secured loans to middle market companies in partnership with KKR. Corporate Capital Trust (NYSE:CCT) listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017 with over $4 billion of assets.

Deryck first began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, where he performed tax services for a broad range of companies. Deryck earned his B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in Accounting from Florida State University, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from Rollins College. Deryck holds FINRA Series 7, 24 and 66 licenses, is a Certified Commercial Investment Member and a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.

Deryck currently resides in the Orlando area with his wife and two children.


Katie Kramer

The Latest on Opportunity Zones in Florida
Tuesday December 18 9:30 - 10:30 AM

Welcome & Revisiting Day 1
Wednesday December 19 9:00 - 9:15 AM

Vice President
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Katie Kramer is a Vice President at the Council of Development Finance Agencies and has been with CDFA since 2005. She is an accomplished non-profit executive with expertise in fundraising, grant writing, operations, and building organizational capacity. In her role at CDFA, she leads the Research & Technical Assistance team focused on technical assistance and creating strategic partnerships with foundations, federal agencies, and other industry non-profits to grow the professional acumen of CDFA members and the development finance industry at-large.

Ms. Kramer interacts with thousands of development finance practitioners each year, guiding them through their professional development and understanding of the diversity of development finance programs. She has developed numerous courses in the CDFA Training Institute, edited several CDFA publications, and designed marketing and communications collateral for the association. Her writing has been featured in publications and reports on development finance, including those commissioned by The Kresge Foundation, World Bank, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. She regularly speaks about development finance at national and local conferences and is a guest lecturer at The Ohio State University.

Previously, Ms. Kramer served as CDFA’s Director of Education & Programs and Development Director. Before joining CDFA, Ms. Kramer worked in the Assessment Division at Ballard & Tighe, Publishers as Project Coordinator where she managed projects involved with the development of standardized language tests. Prior to Ballard & Tighe, Ms. Kramer was employed by Scripps College as Assistant Director of the Annual Fund where she organized fundraising campaigns for alumnae, parents, and students. She studied art history at Scripps College and holds a BA in English with honors from Cleveland State University.

Ms. Kramer serves as a board member for the Ohio Statewide Development Corporation and is a member of the Education Committee for Ohio Women in Public Finance.


Will Lambe

Who are Opportunity Fund Investors?
Tuesday December 18 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Director of Capital Solutions
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Will Lambe has joined Enterprise’s Creative Capital team as director of Capital Solutions. In this position, he cultivates a pipeline of affordable housing and community facility projects across the Enterprise capital delivery platform. Will’s role spans multiple areas of Enterprise, including debt and equity products, as well as Enterprise’s emerging work in Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds. In this role, he also supports targeted capital raising efforts through Enterprise’s CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) to address the financing needs of affordable housing developers and community services providers.

With over 15 years of experience in the community and economic development sphere, Will will use his strong background in building public-private partnerships and knowledge of practical investment strategies to help improve the lives of individuals and communities.
Most recently, Will was a senior advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, where he focused on building partnerships that would enable private investment into distressed markets. While at the Fed, he led research projects on the flow of philanthropic dollars into communities. He has also served as director of community and economic development in the School of Government at the University of North Carolina and held key positions conducting research and policy analysis related to the revitalization of distressed markets.

Will holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a master’s in public policy from Duke University.


Jim O. Lang

Using Opportunity Fund Capital with other Development Finance Tools
Tuesday December 18 2:30 - 3:30 PM

Shareholder
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

James O. Lang focuses his tax and corporate project finance practice on tax incentive programs, Qualified Opportunity Zone and Qualified Opportunity Fund financing, tax credits, and related state and federal incentive programs.  Jim is closing over $4 billion of Qualified Opportunity Funds and ancillary Qualified Opportunity Zone deployment of funds and has closed or is structuring several billion dollars in tax credit incentivized transactions.  Jim represents funds, investors, lenders, community development entities, and for-profit and not-for-profit project sponsors in complex transactions where capital stacks require enhancement through incentive financing, including Qualified Opportunity Zone incentives, state and federal new markets tax credits, affordable housing and low-income housing tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, and renewable energy tax credits. He works with funds, investors, lenders, project sponsors, and qualifying businesses to structure these tax incentive programs along with ancillary governmental and non-governmental financing programs, including inbound immigration and Visa investment programs, grants, and taxable and tax-exempt bonds. Jim works with clients on developing creative structures designed to increase benefits and ameliorate risks.


Inez Long

Using Opportunity Fund Capital with other Development Finance Tools
Tuesday December 18 2:30 - 3:30 PM

President & CEO
BBIF Florida

Inez Long, (MBA, University of Central Florida, BA Accounting, University of South Florida), has from 1991 to the present, served as President/CEO of BBIF Florida. BBIF Florida is a mission driven, not-for-profit, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that focuses on providing capital to Black, minority and undeserved small businesses. BBIF’s mission is to develop and promote business enterprises through education, training, loans and advocacy.

Under Mrs. Long leadership, BBIF Florida has provided over $45 million in loans to over 330 Black and minority businesses, created and sustained over 11,155 jobs all while maintaining a historical loan loss rate of approximately 3 percent; invested and leveraged $50 million in community economic develop projects, creating 450 construction jobs 300 permanent . She has lead the organization to: (1) expand its geographic service area to statewide, (2) expand its client base from Black business to include other minority and underserved small businesses, (3) received two federal New Markets Tax Credits allocation of $20 million each, two FA awards totaling $1.9 million, and (4) to be selected as one of three initial CDFI’s to be nationally recognized and received a Wells Fargo Bank Diverse Community Capital grant of $1 million.

BBIF’s organizational certifications are: U.S. Department of the Treasury CDFA & CDE, FDIC Money Smart for Small Business Collaborator, SBA Community Advantage Delegated Lender and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Short Term Lender.

Mrs. Long has 28 years of combined experience in the financial services industry. She began her professional career in commercial banking in Credit Management and Commercial Lending with First Union and SunTrust banks in Orlando, Florida.

Mrs. Long currently serves on the board of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and is the Chair of the OFN Equality Committee. Mrs. Long has served on the boards of the following organizations: Wayne Densch YMCA (Pine Hills), WMFE Public Broadcasting Company, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and the Central Florida Expressway Authority, previously the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority (a gubernatorial appointment). Other civic and professional involvement includes co-creating a Reading Club at the Raleigh Street Boys and Girls Club. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Mrs. Long is married to Fitzhugh Long and they have raised three children and a niece. Hobbies include reading, yoga, golf and bike riding.


Stephen R. Looney

Understanding Rules & Regulations for Opportunity Funds
Tuesday December 18 1:00 - 2:15 PM

Shareholder
Dean Mead

Mr. Looney is the Chair of the firm’s Corporate and Tax Department. He represents clients in a variety of business and tax matters including entity formation (S and C corporations, partnerships, and LLCs), acquisitions, dispositions, redemptions, liquidations, reorganizations, tax-free exchanges of real estate and tax controversies. His clients include closely held businesses, with an emphasis on medical and other professional practices. He is a former Chair of the S Corporations Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tax Section. He is Board Certified in Tax Law by The Florida Bar, as well as being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).


Eddy Moratin

Highlighting Florida Projects in Opportunity Zones
Wednesday December 19 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Executive Director
LIFT Orlando

Eddy Moratin is the Executive Director of LIFT Orlando, a non-profit organization founded by business leaders to partner with neighborhood residents and accelerate community transformation. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty through holistic neighborhood revitalization mixed-income housing, cradle to career education, wellness and economic opportunity.

Prior to joining LIFT Orlando, Eddy spent seven years as the Executive Director of Lifework Leadership Orlando, a premier leadership development organization. During this time he also served as Senior Fellow at PathNorth in Washington D.C. helping senior leaders around the country broaden their definition of success. As a social-entrepreneur who believes in the power of creating jobs to transform lives and entire communities, he became a co-founder of BAM, LLC a holding company for shared officing and remote receptionist franchises. Additionally, he founded a minority certified joint-venture that helped launch Laurus, a multi-functional, call center outsourcing company employing hundreds domestically and abroad.

His early career included serving as a Client Services Consultant with Right Management Consultants, the leading global provider of integrated consulting solutions, helping 80% of Fortune 500 companies to “manage the human side of change”. He served in multiple leadership positions over a six year career at the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest and most influential chambers in Florida with over 5,000 members. During his time there he became a founding team member for Workforce 2020, one of the most innovative, business-led welfare and workforce reform initiatives in the country. He worked with the Jobs Partnership of Florida, a job training program designed to help the under and unemployed break the cycle of poverty through employment. There he designed, launched and delivered their first  corporate training curriculum for developing better leaders, managers and employees.

Eddy has a passion for encouraging others to realize their full potential and to use their individual gifts and influence for the betterment of the whole community. Eddy serves on the board of Summit Church in Orlando, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Giselle and their two children, Isabella and Kristopher.


Marshall Phillips

Understanding Rules & Regulations for Opportunity Funds
Tuesday December 18 1:00 - 2:15 PM

Using Opportunity Fund Capital with other Development Finance Tools
Tuesday December 18 2:30 - 3:30 PM

Principal
CohnReznick LLP

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.


Terri E Preston-Koenig

Lunch & Featured Speakers
Tuesday December 18 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Principal
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Terri Preston, principal with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, has been with the firm since 2001. Terri is a principal on the transactions team. She has worked in the commercial and real estate finance industry since 1987. Terri has been a primary author in the writing of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) applications with which Baker Tilly has been involved and leads its asset management and impact assessment teams. She has underwritten and participated in the closing of multiple NMTC and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) transactions.


Cissy Proctor

Welcome
Tuesday December 18 9:00 - 9:30 AM

Executive Director
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Cissy Proctor was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott as the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in January 2016. Director Proctor is focused on ensuring that Florida remains the top state in the nation for job creation by continued efforts to diversify Florida’s economy through partnerships across economic, workforce and community development.

She believes that by working to recruit new businesses to our state, supporting the growth of existing businesses and making investments in strong workforce development and infrastructure, we will ensure that Florida continues to lead the way.

She has built relationships with businesses, elected officials and policy experts across the country to ensure the department is effectively serving businesses, communities and individuals so that Florida remains the best place to live, learn, play, work and do business.

Before joining the department in 2013, Director Proctor practiced law with the Tallahassee-based firm Bryant Miller Olive, PA. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from the Florida State University College of Law and her bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.


Michael Ross

Using Opportunity Fund Capital with other Development Finance Tools
Tuesday December 18 2:30 - 3:30 PM

President
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Michael Ross, president and principal of Baker Tilly Capital, LLC, the wholly-owned private investment banking subsidiary of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, and partner with Baker Tilly, has been with the firm since 1987. He specializes in real estate transactions and comprehensive project finance for development projects leveraging New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), Opportunity Zones, EB-5 and other alternative financing programs to provide flexible and affordable capital to qualifying projects and businesses. Additionally, Mike is a licensed investment banker and CPA.

Mike served a critical role in setting up Baker Tilly Capital, LLC, and The Valued Advisor Fund, LLC. These entities were established to assist accredited and institutional investors in placing equity with real estate developments and businesses seeking capital and to help clients secure financing.

Baker Tilly Capital, LLC is a boutique investment bank specializing in merger and acquisition (M&A), capital sourcing, project finance and corporate finance advisory services. The Baker Tilly Capital team is led by investment bankers and corporate finance specialists that have meaningful experience advising clients in evaluating strategic and financial alternatives, creating and executing sell-side and buy-side M&A strategies, and identifying cost-effective financing alternatives and sources. Backed by Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, a national accounting and advisory firm with significant industry expertise, Baker Tilly Capital offers value added insights before, during and after the transaction.


David Sillaman

Who are Opportunity Fund Investors?
Tuesday December 18 3:30 - 4:30 PM

President & Fund Director
Sikari Luxe

David works with clients to develop structured turn-key opportunity fund solutions for businesses and real estate development projects which produce positive economic, social, and environmental returns for investors, stakeholders, and the community. Eazy Do It has developed over $3B in active and soon to be launching Qualified Opportunity Funds. Eazy Do It is the fund developer for the Sikari Luxe Opportunity Funds. The Sikari Luxe Tampa fund was one of the first two funds to launch in the U.S. Additionally, is the first Qualified Opportunity Fund shortlisted by Silicon Reviews as a Top 50 Most Trustworthy Companies of the Year.


Howard Smith

Opportunity Zones and Disaster Recovery
Wednesday December 19 11:00 - 12:00 PM

Distinguished Corporate Fellow
Global Resilience Institute

Dr. Howard Smith is a Senior Research Analyst with 28 years of experience as a social scientist and operations researcher. His career focus is on the governance and performance measurement of resilience and homeland security issues. Currently he is the Integration Team Lead for the System of Systems Operations Analysis (SoSOA) program, designing transition and sustainment strategies for the development of a DHS-wide operations analysis capability. As Integration Team Lead for the SoSOA program, he is developing simulations capable of showing complex interdependencies between critical infrastructure systems before and after disruptive events and programmatic changes. Prior to joining ARA he served the DHS Homeland Security Studies and Analysis FFRDC as the Mission Area Director for Resilience, Emergency Preparedness and Response, and as the division director for Policy and Program Analysis.

Over his career he developed, supported and deployed dozens of outcome-oriented performance measurement processes across a wide range of social, economic, and physical systems. Including development of a published guidebook on resilience measurement: Measuring for Results Application of Key Concepts to Resilience Measurement (2015)


Reid Thomas

Who are Opportunity Fund Investors?
Tuesday December 18 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Executive Vice President
NES Financial

Reid Thomas serves as the Executive Vice President for NES Financial. Responsible for global sales and marketing, he brings over 20 years of sales and marketing leadership in both public and private companies in high-growth Silicon Valley technology companies. Thomas’ past experience includes leading sales with Voice Over IP pioneer Sylantro Systems, driving revenue and market share growth to a successful IPO with VINA Technologies, and Octel Communications, which was acquired by Lucent Technologies. During his time with NES Financial, Thomas has been instrumental in the rapid growth of the company's EB-5 business, making NES Financial the leader in EB-5 by providing innovative solutions specifically built for the industry. Thomas' active participation in the EB-5 community has made him a frequent and sought after author and speaker at events and conferences across the country. He has written numerous articles, blogs, and white papers on the topics of escrow and fund administration, solidifying his position as an industry expert. Thomas received the 2018 IIUSA Game Changer of the year.


Matthew Vander Werff

Highlighting Florida Projects in Opportunity Zones
Wednesday December 19 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Founding Principal
MVW Partners




Stephen H. Watkins

Who are Opportunity Fund Investors?
Tuesday December 18 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Chief Executive Officer
Entrex

Mr. Watkins is an experienced entrepreneur founding a series of successful information and business services companies; two of which grew to billion dollar market cap companies.

His efforts raising capital and exiting from these companies repeatedly demonstrated the inefficient and unstructured path that entrepreneurial companies experience when trying to access the capital markets. These experiences inspired Mr. Watkins to conceive a capital market for entrepreneurial companies: Entrex. To create public awareness of the entrepreneurial sector Mr. Watkins wrote a nationally syndicated financial column which had readership of over 8,000,000.  He also founded, working together with the Dow Index Team, the Private Company Index (PrivateCompanyIndex.com) which helped to establish the vibrancy of the "top-line" of the entrepreneurial sector.  In 2006 Mr. Watkins authored the book: "Capital Can't Fund What it Can't Find", which focused on capital markets, capital formation and capital access for entrepreneurial companies. Mr. Watkins is active in the US Chamber of Commerce, Fortune Small Business, and other global business forums which provide him regular opportunities to speak to entrepreneurial company CEO's about Growth, Financing and Capital formation.


Will Weatherford

Lunch & Featured Speakers
Tuesday December 18 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Managing Partner
Weatherford Capital

Will is Managing Partner of Weatherford Capital, and primarily responsible for deal sourcing, investor relations, and providing strategic guidance to our portfolio companies.

Will was the 84th Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, serving from 2012-2014, which at that time, made him the youngest Speaker of the House in America. His tenure in the Florida Legislature was from 2006-2014 before being termed out of office. Will serves on the boards of several companies including TECO Energy, Emera Technologies, Kitson & Partners, Payit, and MBF Healthcare Partners. Previously, Will served as a Board Director at Florida Traditions Bank, and Sunshine Bancorp Inc.

Will’s public service continues through his community engagement with non for profit organizations like the Florida Council of 100, Metropolitan Ministries, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. He also served as a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute.


Robert Weissert

Opportunity Zones and Disaster Recovery
Wednesday December 19 11:00 - 12:00 PM

Executive Vice President
Florida Tax Watch, Inc.

Robert oversees the research agenda and coordinates our efforts to increase government efficiency, improve accountability, and enhance effectiveness. Robert also served TaxWatch as a Research Analyst, Director of Communications, Director of Research, and Vice President for Research before being promoted to lead the Research Team.

Before joining Florida TaxWatch in 2007, Robert worked in Washington, D.C. as a policy analyst for the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and before that as a research analyst for the Congressional Research Service. Robert has a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law (Charlottesville, Virginia) and a B.A. with Honors in Political Economics and Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan). 

Robert was selected for Leadership Florida's Connect Florida Leadership Institute Class I and was featured as a "Must-Know Floridian" by Florida Trend magazine in March 2011.


Clarence E. Woods

Developing a Local Opportunity Zones Strategy
Tuesday December 18 10:45 - 12:00 PM

CRA Manager
City of Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency

Clarence E. Woods III is the Manager of the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Northwest-Progresso-Flagler Heights Community Redevelopment Agency (“NPF CRA”). Before taking the Manager position in Fort Lauderdale, he was the Executive Director of the City of Miami’s Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (“SEOPW CRA”), where he was responsible for designing, developing, and implementing sustainable community development plans in a cost-efficient and time-effective manner.

Mr. Woods brings more than two decades of knowledge and experience in real estate, banking, finance, and government. He is a native Miamian who earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Virginia State University (Petersburg, VA.) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Cameron University (Lawton, OK). Prior to his work in government, Mr. Woods held positions at First Commercial Bank SSB, Bank United, and Mortgage.com, where he gained practical experience in banking, finance, and real estate. He brought that knowledge and experience to the positon of Real Estate Specialist for the City of Miami in 2000. While serving in that position, he coordinated development activities and provided project management for City of Miami development projects, including Parrot Jungle Island, Miami Children’s Museum, Watson Island Aviation and Visitor’s Center and Grove Harbour Marina & Marketplace.

In 2005, Mr. Woods joined the Office of Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones as a Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Housing. During his tenure, he gained intimate knowledge of the challenges faced by the Overtown community, which informed his belief that sustainable community redevelopment must address the complex mix of challenges faced by residents of low-income neighborhoods. Mr. Woods was then brought on as Assistant Director of the City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agencies and later appointed Executive Director of the SEOPW CRA to head the redevelopment of Overtown.

As Executive Director of the SEOPW CRA, Mr. Woods provided strategic leadership during this crucial phase of Overtown’s progress. Under his management, the SEOPW CRA worked with its partners to implement a number of projects and programs that would strengthen the human capital and increase the agencies revenues by stimulating economic development. Accomplishments include having secured approval of $60 million in bond loan financing for several major new mixed-used affordable housing projects, the 1.7 billion dollar Miami World Center mixed-used development, the $750 million Conference and Convention hotel to be built by Marriot, and the billion dollar All Aboard Florida Brightline passenger rail. Mr. Woods has positioned Overtown to be a focal point of future investment and growth in Miami.



CDFA National Sponsors

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • MB Financial Bank, NA
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor