Technical Assistance


Angela Blatt

Bonds & Food Systems
Tuesday February 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Investment Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday August 29 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance
Tuesday November 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Director, Research & Technical Assistance
Council of Development Finance Agencies

As Director of Research & Technical Assistance with the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), Angela focuses on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded initiative “Defining the Food System Asset Class,” whereby CDFA explores opportunities for the advancement of local and regional food systems using development finance tools. Through this initiative, Angela collaborates with communities across the country providing technical assistance and producing strategic plans for development finance strategies that meet infrastructure, agriculture, and small business needs to support equitable, local food economies. Angela leads CDFA’s Food Systems Finance Advisory Council, joining both the food and finance industries, administers CDFA’s Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, connecting food-related businesses and projects with development finance agencies, and manages the Food and Agriculture Finance Update monthly newsletter. In 2021, she gained certification as a Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) through the CDFA Training Institute.

A Navy Veteran, Angela holds two degrees from The Ohio State University: a Master of Public Administration with a focus on Food Policy from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Science from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Tom Bliss

Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance
Tuesday November 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Executive Director
Southeast Nebraska Development District

Tom Bliss has been the Executive Director for the Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD), located in Lincoln, Nebraska since 2017. During this time, SENDD has expanded its role in a variety of community and economic development programs, including workforce housing, downtown revitalization planning, early childcare, and broadband planning. Prior to SENDD, Bliss was the Executive Director for a bi-state regional planning organization and a Certified Development Company in St. Joseph, Missouri. Bliss has served on numerous state and national boards for development organizations.

Joe Canfield

Targeted Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday June 27 2:00 - 3:30 PM

CEO Yellow Banana/Co-Founder of 127 Wall
Yellow Banana

Joe is the operating partner at 127 Wall and currently serves as the CEO of Yellow Banana, a retail grocery operator with annual revenues of nearly $150 million and over 400 employees.
Joe has over 30 years of leadership experience in the retail and wholesale grocery industry, most notably at Albertsonsand C&S Wholesale, in addition to broader experience across supply chain, procurement, merchandising, operations and finance. He also has over 25 years of experience as a residential and commercial general contractor.
Joe received his B.S. in Finance from Franklin Pierce College. Joe resides in Cleveland with his wife, Shari.

Brett Doney

Access to Capital Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday April 25 2:00 - 3:30 PM

President & Chief Executive Officer
Great Falls Development Authority

Brett Doney leads the Great Falls Development Authority, a public/private economic development partnership serving the 12-county Great Falls Montana trade area. Doney has over 30 years of experience in urban and rural community economic development. Prior positions include: President/CEO of Enterprise Maine, a family of community economic development organizations dedicated to creating economic opportunity and enhancing the quality of life in rural western Maine; Director of the Ft. Devens Reuse Center, a 9,600 acre army base redevelopment planning effort in Massachusetts; and, President of Doney Associates, a Boston-based consulting firm focused on urban revitalization, public/private real estate development, and innovative economic development.

Doney’s team efforts have won awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the American Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council, the National Association of Development Organizations, the Finance Authority of Maine, the Montana Economic Developers Association, and the National Brownfield Conference. His professional certifications include Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR), Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate (SLCR), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), RMA Credit Risk Certification, Federal Grants Management, and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. Doney earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Doney has taught, given presentations, and served on technical advisory teams for a variety of state, national and international economic development and industry organizations. He currently serves on the boards of the Montana Economic Developers Association, the Great Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau (Chair), the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls (Chair), and the Upper Missouri River Heritage Area Planning Corporation. He serves on the International Economic Development Council’s Accreditation and Public Policy Advisory Committees, as the Montana Government Relations Chair for the International Council of Shopping Centers, and on the McLaughlin Research Institute’s National Development Council. He is an active Rotarian and past President of the Great Falls Rotary Club.

Michael Graff

Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance
Tuesday November 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

McGuireWoods LLP

Mr. Graff has served as bond, underwriter's, bank, borrower's, issuer's or trustee's counsel on dozens of tax-exempt bond financings in Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Wisconsin and Idaho. He has extensive experience in all aspects of tax-exempt financings for: small manufacturing companies; private, nonprofit elementary and secondary schools; nonprofit association headquarters; college and university student housing facilities; hospitals and health care facilities; multifamily affordable housing projects (including low-income housing tax credits); solid waste disposal facilities; port facilities; water and waste authorities; community development authorities and other land-based special taxing districts; road and rail transportation projects; and various other borrowers, governmental issuers and their projects. He is the co-author (with William J. Strickland) of "Financing Virginia's Local Governments" in the Virginia Local Government Attorneys' Handbook. A former trial lawyer, Mr. Graff has brought numerous judicial proceedings to establish the validity of municipal bonds. He was a Parkinson scholar at Duke University School of Law and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa at the College of William & Mary.

Cole Mannix

Access to Capital Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday April 25 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Founder & President
Old Salt Meat Company

Cole is part of a family that has ranched together near Helmville, Montana since 1882. He believes the land is kin. After working as director of operations for a beef company called Ranchers Original and later as associate director of a conservation organization called Western Landowners Alliance, today Cole leads Old Salt Co-op, a meat company using animal-based food and agriculture to optimize human and ecological health. He lives in Helena with spouse Eileen Brennan, and sons Finn and Charlie.

Anneliese McClurg

Access to Capital Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday April 25 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Targeted Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday June 27 2:00 - 3:30 PM

In Transition

Anneliese McClurg is a Coordinator of Research & Technical Assistance at the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). Anneliese is responsible for working on the Kellogg Foundation-funded food systems finance initiative and USDA Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training grant. This includes research for strategic plans, online resource centers, and webinars, writing for best practices documents, and providing support for technical assistance projects across the country. She also produces the CDFA Tax Credit and Rural Development Finance Update newsletter and is currently working on creating a Food Finance Best Practice Guidebook. Anneliese received a Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Dan Miller

Access to Capital Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday April 25 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Investment Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday August 29 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Founder & CEO

Dan Miller is the Founder and CEO of Steward, an online platform enabling individuals to directly participate in the financing of regenerative agriculture. Through Steward, funders can earn a return while equipping farms and ranches with the capital they need to grow.

Dan was previously Co-Founder and President of Fundrise, the first and largest US real estate crowdfunding platform, which has raised over $4 billion from 400,000 investors since inception.

Steward combines Dan’s background in finance, real estate, and technology with his passion for agriculture stemming from his maternal family, which has been farming on the Eastern Shore of Maryland since the 1880s.

Kevin Morse

Investment Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday August 29 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Co-founder and CEO
Cairnspring Mills

Kevin has dedicated his professional career to improving the health and prosperity of natural resource-based communities. He is a serial entrepreneur, proven executive, and manager with 30 years of combined experience in rural economic development, government relations, farming, business startups, and working lands conservation.

As CEO and co-founder of Cairnspring Mills, Kevin taps into his deep experience as a farmer, economic development leader, conservationist, and community builder and applies his can-do spirit to build the mill from the ground up. Kevin recognized that building a new regional grain milling business would bring value back to the community and farmers and was a critical part of revitalizing the local food system.

Prior to founding and starting Cairnspring Mills in 2015, Kevin was a senior manager for the Nature Conservancy of Washington for 10 years and the Executive Director of a council of governments and economic development district on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for 4 years. His work in both places focused on building diverse coalitions, managing high-performing teams, and creating innovative public and private sector solutions to improving community resilience, safety, and prosperity by building the critical infrastructure needed to strengthen the economies in rural communities.

Kevin also farmed for 10 years and built a successful pasture pork business that supplied some of the best chefs in the region and remained profitable until closing this year to focus on the new milling business. Kevin is deeply rooted in the beautiful Skagit Valley and is an outdoorsman, avid fisherman, and displaced Italian who loves to cook and bake with his family and friends.

Tammy Nebola

Bonds & Food Systems
Tuesday February 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Loan Program Specialist
Iowa Finance Authority

Tammy Nebola is a Program Specialist for the Iowa Agricultural Development Division of the Iowa Finance Authority. She started with the Division in 2008 and manages the two loan programs, the Beginning Farmer Loan Program (Aggie Bond Program) and the Loan Participation Program.
Iowa continues to have the most active Aggie Bond program in the nation. Tammy has assisted many other states with best practices when creating or enhancing their Aggie Bond programs.
Tammy serves as the Vice President and Treasurer for the National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs. They are an association of public and private agricultural financing entities working passionately for the promotion and financing of agricultural development.
Tammy attended the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, pursuing a Degree in Accounting. She has over 20 years of banking and finance experience, specializing in agricultural and commercial lending, and agricultural bond financing.

Michael Pehur

Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance
Tuesday November 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Development Finance Consulting Director
Duane Morris Government Strategies

As the Development Finance Director at DMGS, Michael Pehur brings over 15 years of experience in economic development financing and project management. Michael is responsible for providing consulting strategies for real estate, business, and municipal clients. He primarily works to identify grants, loans, tax incentives, and other public financing programs available for complex development projects.

Previously Project Finance Coordinator at Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED), Michael facilitated project financing and managed the technical components of various funding programs. At ACED, Michael managed over $55 million of Federal and State contracts. He facilitated project financing for site preparation, public infrastructure, environmental remediation, transit-oriented development, commercial redevelopment, and general business development assistance within Allegheny County. His work included many notable projects that have generated vast economic impact on the region, including Dick’s Sporting Goods Headquarters, Clinton Commerce Park, Westport Development, Monroeville Convention Center, and McCandless Crossing. He served as the primary manager of the County Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program, including project approval, deal structure, and continuing administration of active Districts. As part of this responsibility, Michael also authored the first-ever evaluation of the ACED TIF program.

Before his time with ACED, he served as Special Projects Coordinator with Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, where he coordinated business retention and expansion efforts in Fayette County, PA. There he provided assistance, such as site location and financial incentives, to companies located in or relocating to Fayette County and administered various aspects of the Keystone Opportunity Zone Program, the Fayette Forward Strategic Plan, the Fayette Enterprise Community, and the Fayette County Water and Sewage Project.

Michael is nationally recognized as a leader in the economic development finance industry. He received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council. As a Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) member, Michael is a frequent speaker on TIF and other development finance programs/policies. He supports CDFA’s efforts to provide education, resource development, and research on development finance as part of the CDFA Pennsylvania Financing Roundtable Advisory Committee and CDFA/EPA Brownfields Technical Assistance Program. Michael was appointed to the CDFA Board of Directors at the 2013 Annual National Development Finance Summit and serves as Chair of the Governance Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Regional Development Funding Corporation, a non-profit SBA lender in Southwestern Pennsylvania (Past Board Chair).

Tracy Phillips

Targeted Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday June 27 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Colorado C-PACE

Tracy Phillips is the Director of the Colorado C-PACE Program, and is a Certified Energy Manager, Certified Demand Side Management Professional, Performance Measurement and Verification Analyst, and holds a Master’s Degree in Physics. His 27 years of experience with commercial building efficiency and sustainability includes energy audits, recommissioning, measurement and verification, master planning, sustainable design assistance, program management and third-party technical reviews. He is currently serving as the Chair of the IPMVP Committee and is the former Technical Director of GBCI's Investor Confidence Project.

Sara Pietka

Investment Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday August 29 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Director of Community Investments

Ms. Pietka has over a decade of experience in analyzing, underwriting, and structuring complex transactions in the real estate, renewable energy, and community development sectors. She is passionate about expanding economic opportunity with inclusion as a core principle – shifting capital to shift power.
As the Director of Community of Investments at Ecotrust, Ms. Pietka develops Ecotrust CDE’s NMTC strategy and oversees all CDE operations including deal sourcing, allocation deployment, portfolio management, program compliance, impact reporting, and transaction unwinds in addition to leading the annual NMTC application process. Ms. Pietka has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington and was certified by the Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program developed by the Council of Development Finance Agencies.

Jaime Silverstein

Targeted Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday June 27 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Croatan Institute

Jaime Silverstein is a Senior Associate at Croatan Institute. She also sits on the board of directors for Metta Earth Institute. Previously, she has worked as a farm business advisor for NOFA-VT; crop R&D specialist for Freight Farms, a Boston-based urban agriculture start-up; program coordinator for Slow Money Boston; and senior research fellow at the Sustainable Endowments Institute, where she led research on responsible investing practices at colleges and universities. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University and an MBA from the University of Maine. 
Silverstein has collaborated on various sponsored research projects addressing finance and sustainability, including “Soil Wealth” (2019) and “Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing” (2013). She has contributed to outreach and research, surveying institutional investors and money managers for the US SIF Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends.
Silverstein is a Kripalu-certified yoga teacher. She enjoys hiking, frequenting local farmers markets, and studying herbalism. She also co-leads a local climate action group in Kittery, Maine.

Charles Spies

Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance
Tuesday November 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

President and Managing Director
CEI Boulos Capital Management

Charlie spreads his time among various personal and business interests. Since 2020, as a founder, President, and Managing Director for CEI-Boulos Capital Management LLC, he has focused on capital development for this joint venture between a CDFI subsidiary and a vertically integrated commercial real estate firm. The joint venture is a for-profit with over $80 million in private equity under management. It invests nationally in commercial real estate projects. The primary focus is on affordable housing in economically distressed minority communities. He also serves as a financial consultant and volunteers on various boards.

Before his current pursuits, he served as CEO for CEI Capital Management LLC, a for-profit subsidiary of Coastal Enterprise, Inc. CEI Capital’s primary focus is deploying New Markets Tax Credit allocation. One of the country's most prominent New Markets practitioners, it has placed over 1 billion dollars in allocation into low-income communities across the nation from Maine to Hawaii, mostly in rural areas.

Before joining CEI Capital Management in September of 2006, Charlie served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System. He is the former CEO of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds and served as the CEO of the Finance Authority of Maine (“FAME”).

Trained as a forest biologist, he is interested in natural resource-based businesses and finance programs supporting forestry, agriculture, conservation, and other natural resource sectors.

He received a BS and MS in Forest Science from the University of Maine and an MBA from the University of Southern New Hampshire.

Dan Streit

Targeted Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday June 27 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Senior Researcher

Dan Streit is a Senior Researcher at Slipstream, a non-profit organization that is committed to accelerating climate solutions for all. Dan is an experienced researcher, with expertise in residential and commercial clean energy financing, as well as energy planning for local governments, and intersections between energy programs and community priorities. He leads Slipstream’s effort to pursue its mission through study and support of local sustainable food systems. He also advises on Slipstream’s development and administration of multifamily and commercial financing programs in four states and has experience developing high-impact financing programs.  Dan’s research informs the development of Slipstream’s financing, agriculture, and community-based programs. His work poises the organization to provide community-driven solutions, financing programs, and consulting services that enable households, property owners, businesses, and local governments to operate more efficiently and reduce negative environmental impact.  
Highlights of Dan’s tenure with Slipstream have included co-managing and leading a multi-stakeholder redevelopment of the PACE Wisconsin program and tripling Slipstream’s Energy Finance Solutions (EFS) volume of funded loans in a three-year period. He is energized by working with dedicated colleagues and partners to explore holistic climate solutions.

Robin Weis

Targeted Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday June 27 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Deputy Director/ Rural MN Energy Board PACE Administrator
Southwest Regional Development Commission

Robin Weis has been with the Southwest Regional Development Commission since June 1998.  The SRDC serves a nine-county area of Southwest Minnesota and provides regional planning services focused on economic development, transportation, energy, active living and solid waste to local units of government.  Prior to her current position, she was both the Aging Program Director with the MN River Area Agency on Aging, Inc. and the Executive Director of RSVP of Southwest Minnesota.  Weis has been performing Economic Development duties since 2014 and administers several revolving loan funds, including a Local Development Organization (LDO) and the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program through the Rural MN Energy Board.  Weis became certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council in November 2015.  She facilitates regional economic development initiatives such as daycare, broadband and succession planning. Weis has extensive experience in forming collaborations, strengthening capacity and generating support for new or expanding initiatives.  She facilitates many workgroups and committees within the region.

Rodney Wendt

Bonds & Food Systems
Tuesday February 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Executive Director
Washington Economic Development Finance Authority

Rodney Wendt has served as WEDFA’s Executive Director since 2007. He has been involved in public finance transactions for over 25 years, including many years as a public finance attorney in private practice prior to joining WEDFA. His greatest passion at WEDFA is bringing the public finance toolbox to innovation-promoting economic development projects, including research institutions and projects that create value from streams of waste products. He has helped WEDFA finance many critical economic development projects in Washington State, without using the State’s taxes or other funds. Rodney has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and law degree from the University of Michigan.

Henry Zhang

Investment Tools & Food Systems
Tuesday August 29 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Chief Executive Officer
Everstar Capital

Fawn Zimmerman

Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance
Tuesday November 28 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Director, Research & Technical Assistance
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Fawn Zimmerman is a Director of Research & Technical Assistance at the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) working to create, develop, and execute programming which will help underserved communities gain more access to capital. She is responsible for working on the CDFA Equitable Capital Loan Guarantee Program designed to bring more capital to minority small businesses and the CDFA–NASDA Foundation Socially Disadvantaged Farmers & Ranchers Access to Capital Program focused on curating an extensive database of agricultural resources, providing hands-on technical assistance, and developing culturally significant programming to encourage increased investment in socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Fawn studied at Ohio University as a post graduate and holds a BA with honors in Communication from The Ohio State University. She also has extensive experience working within the real estate industry in sales, investing, marketing, and operations; and, she has provided leadership in a variety of settings including classrooms, training sessions, production sets, and writing projects. She has long united her career goals with her philanthropic ones, and looks forward to applying her creative, academic, and work experiences together to promote positive changes within the development finance landscape.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker Graydon LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
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  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
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  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • PGAV Planners, LLC
  • Raza Development Fund
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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