National Development Finance Summit 2023

National Summit Speakers

Paul Anderson

New Markets Tax Credits & Tribal Investment
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Vice President
Rapoza Associates

Paul Anderson is Vice President of Rapoza Associates, a public interest lobbying firm in Washington, DC.
Paul works to advance the legislative priorities of community and economic development clients, including the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Coalition and CDFI Coalition, by lobbying Congress and federal agencies on their behalf. He is the author of the NMTC Coalition’s annual Progress Report, a publication based on the Coalition’s annual survey of CDEs.

Previously he served as Director of Programs at the George Mason University Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and in Congressional Affairs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Paul is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in Political Science.



Tabitha Atkins

Bringing New Markets Tax Credits to Your Community
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Founder and CEO
The Atkins Group

Tabitha Atkins has dedicated the majority of her career to the community development finance industry, working in various capacities to ensure that residents, small businesses, nonprofits, and anchor institutions in historically under-resourced areas have access to affordable financial products and services. Her primary focus has been sourcing, underwriting, and providing asset management services using creative financing tools such as federal and state New Market Tax Credits ("NMTCs") and historic tax credits ("HTCs"), grants, and senior and subordinated debt. She has held positions at Cross Street Partners and Urban Action Community Development, City First Bank of DC, the CDFI Fund, and Opportunity Finance Network, and has worked on a range of projects supporting access to quality healthcare, social services and healthy foods, scaling operations for manufacturing companies, and new construction and historic revitalization of commercial real estate in disadvantaged urban areas. In 2023, she launched The Atkins Group to leverage her relationships and track record to provide direct NMTC consulting services to community facilities and assist lending institutions with capital deployment strategies. In addition to her commitment to raising capital for highly impactful projects, Tabitha is currently a governing board member for the St. Agnes Hospital Foundation, The Creative Alliance, Baltimore Heritage, and the Partners for the Common Good; she sits on a few NMTC Advisory Boards; and she is on the Partners for the Common Good’s Loan Committee. Tabitha has a Master's of Public Policy and Administration (Jackson State University) and an MBA (Johns Hopkins University). She loves to travel, listen to music, laugh, and spend quality time with her family and friends.



Beth Bafford

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Clean Energy Finance Forum
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

VP
Calvert Impact Capital

Beth has spent her 20-year career across the public, private, and social sectors and the last decade building new businesses that connect the capital markets with communities to drive inclusion, clean energy, and environmental sustainability. She has helped expand Calvert Impact from a single-product firm to a platform of products and services built to support and scale the community and green finance industries. This includes a loan syndications business that has structured and raised nearly $1B on behalf of community and green finance providers; a series of pandemic-response small business recovery funds; the Cut Carbon Note; and the Mission Driven Bank Fund. Most recently, Beth has led the development of the Climate United coalition, an applicant to the National Clean Investment Fund program of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. She serves on the Advisory Board for the CASE Initiative on Impact Investing (CASEi3) at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, the Investment Committee for the Aaron and Lillie Straus Foundation, the Impact Investment Committee for the Baltimore Community Foundation, and the Board of Founders First Capital Partners. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and four young children.


Matt Barnhill

IRA Tax Credits for Driving Economic Development
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Senior Manager
CohnReznick LLP

Matt Barnhill, CPA, is a senior manager with CohnReznick’s Project Finance and Consulting Practice and is based in the Charlotte, NC office. He is a member of the Firm’s Renewable Energy, Affordable Housing, and Commercial Real Estate Industry Practices. He specializes in building and reviewing financial models, partnership tax accounting, transaction structuring advisory, and other technical services needed to support various tax-incentivized renewable energy and real estate projects. He has been with CohnReznick since 2014. Prior to joining CohnReznick, he worked in corporate financial planning & analysis, where he was responsible for creating and maintaining company budgets, forecasts, and financial reporting to management.

Matt supports clients by providing complex financial modeling and advisory services to developers, investors, lenders, and other project stakeholders. His knowledge and experience with numerous federal and state tax credit programs has led him to be involved in every stage of project development. In the renewable energy space, he has served as tax credit advisor on dozens of projects throughout the country, including solar, wind, and fuel cell technologies. He has also advised on projects utilizing Opportunity Zone capital. His understanding of stakeholder objectives allows him to find innovative solutions so that those objectives can be achieved.


Olivia Barone

Best Practices for Equitable Lending
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Senior Project Officer, Clean Energy Program / Economic Transformation
New Jersey Economic Development Authority

Olivia Barone is a Senior Project Officer with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Olivia manages the clean energy team’s $90M zero emission vehicle incentive pilot program, NJ ZIP, the Authority’s $350M Offshore Wind Tax Credit Program, and a onetime COVID relief program. Olivia will continue to lead and support the NJEDA’s growing clean energy portfolio of programs, including supporting electric vehicles with partner agencies. She is also the co-leader of NJEDA's employee networking group focused on the advancement of women , Women's Initiative Network'. Prior to the NJEDA, she worked on municipal sustainability for the City of Montevallo, AL. She was charged with launching and implementing the city’s first sustainability program, which included recycling and waste diversion, energy efficiency, stakeholder engagement and resident quality of life. Olivia, a born and raised Jersey girl, has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Sustainability from Rider University.


Jeffrey Blumenfeld

Revolving Loan Funds for Childcare, Nonprofits & Critical Needs
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Of Counsel
Kutak Rock LLP

Mr. Blumenfeld is a resident in the Philadelphia office, where his practice consists primarily of serving as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel in major public offerings of tax-exempt governmental debt in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In addition, he assists attorneys in other offices representing national firm clients in local public finance matters such as credit enhancers, conduit lenders and borrowers, and bondholders. He has more than 25 years of experience in the issuance of debt by public entities, having served as bond counsel, underwriters’ counsel, counsel to conduit borrowers, and credit enhancers and trustees in a broad range of transactions, which includes general governmental, utility, education, housing, health care, 501(c)(3), industrial development and redevelopment financings, securitization of tax liens, and derivatives. Prior to his joining Kutak Rock in 2009, Mr. Blumenfeld was a partner in two Philadelphia-based firms, at one of which he chaired the Public Finance practice group, at the other of which he chaired the firm’s New Jersey public finance practice and served as lead attorney for the firm’s engagement as bond counsel for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s single-family mortgage revenue bond program.

Mr. Blumenfeld has experience in virtually every area of public finance, from small general obligation issues, exempt facility issues including water supply, sewage and solid waste and airports, 501(c)s including educational institutions, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and large project-financed transactions. Current engagements of note include a pilot solar energy program involving new market tax credits and other federal subsidies, and the representation of the bondholders in a well-known bond default of long standing.

Mr. Blumenfeld is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) and frequently serves as a panelist at NABL seminars, as well as a member and past president of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers. He has served as a guest lecturer on securities law and municipal indebtedness at the graduate school of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, at Rutgers University School of Law-Camden, and at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University.


Sharmane Brookes

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Director of State Small Business Initiative Program
U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority




Stephen K Brown II

Clean Energy Finance Forum
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Founder & Board Officer
Clean Energy Fund of Texas, Inc.

Steve's career spans well over 25 years of green lending, government relations, public affairs and energy sustainability experience. He was the 2014 Democratic Nominee for Texas Railroad Commissioner, which made him the youngest African American to win a statewide primary in Texas.

He began his career in The Clinton White House as an intern in the Office of Legislative Affairs. He assisted that division in their efforts to advance President Clinton’s congressional priorities. After moving back to Houston in 1998, he joined the staff of U.S. Congresswoman Sheila JacksonLee and later became the budget analyst for then House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sylvester Turner. In 2003, he joined the American Heart Association - Texas Affiliate as its Vice President of Public Advocacy. There, he guided AHA through one of its best legislative sessions and was recognized as one of three most influential non-profit lobbyists in Texas from 2005 to 2007.

As a result of that success, Stephen launched Capitol Assets, A Full Service Public Affairs firm, which specialized in lobbying, issue campaigns and public relations. In that role he was involved in numerous statewide advocacy efforts like funding for Medicaid/CHIP, childhood disabilities, stroke coordination, immunizations, mass transit and environmental justice issues.

Steve is currently the President of Capital Assets Energy LLC, a successful clean energy development consulting firm that specializes in financing retrofits of commercial, non-profit and multi-family properties with energy efficient and renewable energy improvements. To date, Capital Assets has secured close to $5 million in capital for energy efficient/renewable energy retrofits throughout Texas through the C-PACE program. Capital Assets has also helped to develop over 500 MWs of utility scale solar, assists local governments on their green energy procurement strategies, and organizes communities around environmental justice.

Steve is also the Founder and Board Chairman of the Clean Energy Fund of Texas Inc (TxCEF). TxCEF is focused on making the emerging green economy affordable and just for all Texans. We believe that an equitable transition to clean energy will help to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, eliminate energy poverty, create green jobs and catalyze economic development opportunities in historically under-resourced communities.


Karen Bustard

Revolving Loan Funds for Childcare, Nonprofits & Critical Needs
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Senior Program Manager
Reinvestment Fund

Karen Bustard is a Senior Program Manager working within the Early Childhood Education team at Reinvestment Fund. She guides organizations seeking grants and loans through a variety of programs that offer facility improvement and expansion, child nutrition programs, and working capital/pandemic stabilization supports. Those programs under her management have provided over $16 million in grants and loans to 700+ child care and community-based organizations in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. over the past 5 years. She manages the Phila ECE Loan Fund, a $3 million revolving loan fund offering flexible, low-interest loans to child care providers in Philadelphia, which was capitalized by grant funding from the William Penn Foundation in 2018. Ms. Bustard holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from the Fox School at Temple University.



Neyli Castillo Suarez

Best Practices for Equitable Lending
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Interim Lead Program Administrator, Recovery Programs
New Mexico Finance Authority

Neyli Castillo Suarez is originally from California but has resided in New Mexico, also known as the Land of Enchantment, since 2012. She has a Master's degree in International Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, both from New Mexico Highlands University. Neyli received both of her degrees by age 21. Neyli then became an assistant professor at New Mexico Highlands University, where she taught Principles of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Finance. As a professor, she helped students reach their full potential by assisting them and offering them guidance. In July 2020, Neyli was hired as a temporary funding coordinator at the New Mexico Finance Authority to assist with the new Small Business Recovery Loan program and CARES Act grant program. These programs were created in 2020 by the New Mexico Legislature to provide financial assistance to small businesses during the pandemic. Neyli was hired permanently at NMFA in March 2021 and became the Interim Lead Program Administrator in August 2022. Throughout the pandemic, Neyli has processed many Small Business Recovery Loan, CARES Grant, and LEDA Recovery Grant applications, allowing businesses affected by the pandemic to access much-needed capital. Neyli has enjoyed assisting small businesses through the application process. In addition to assisting businesses financially, the LEDA Recovery Grant program also focused on economic development. Neyli states that is a wonderful feeling getting feedback from businesses that the loan and grant monies helped them keep their doors open. Neyli is happily married and is the mother of an extraordinary boy named Noah. She loves to spend time with her family as she seeks to create lasting memories.


David Clower

Bringing New Markets Tax Credits to Your Community
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

President/Chief Executive Officer
National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC)

David G. Clower, RDF’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Investments, previously served as RDF’s Chief Investment Officer and its Chief Credit Officer. He joined in 2010 with over 20 years of commercial and investment banking experience across commercial real estate, venture-debt, private equity, alternative and socially responsible, impact investment platforms. In his current role, David is responsible for concepting new strategic initiatives; and designing, vetting, and commercializing innovative and scalable community development financial products and services including the establishment of a mission-driven, third-party asset management platform.

Mr. Clower currently serves as the Vice Chair of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation (“NTCIC”); Chair of its Audit, Finance & Risk Committee; and Member of its Investment Committee. He also serves as Chairman of the Community Development Advisory Board for Quontic Bank, New York-based, CDFI depository and as Vice Chair of the Phoenix Conservatory of Music’s Board of Directors. Mr. Clower previously served as an Executive Committee Member of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition’s Board of Directors, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Advisory Board, and the Association of Latino Professionals for America – Phoenix Chapter Corporate Advisory Board.

He is a multi-national with dual citizenship in the United States and México. He studied Applied Economics at the University of San Francisco; Commercial Real Estate Finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Strategic Business Leadership at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Jennifer Cummings

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Director of Business Programs
Finance Authority of Maine

As Director of Business Programs at the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), Jennifer Cummings oversees a strong and experienced lending team that works with Maine lenders and businesses to help them get to “yes.” FAME has a unique role in Maine, tasked with taking on greater risk than traditional lenders for the benefit of the state. FAME does this primarily by offering Maine lenders commercial loan insurance and providing direct loans to Maine businesses through its FAME Direct Loan program, frequently facilitating deals that would not otherwise be possible.

At FAME success is measured by the number of jobs created and retained, as well as the amount of capital deployed: since 1983 when FAME opened its doors, over 100,000 jobs have been created or retained across all of Maine’s major industries and over $2 billion in loans and equity capital has been funneled into the Maine economy.

Jenn has over 15 years of experience as a commercial finance professional, both as a commercial loan officer and workout officer. She joined FAME in 2013 as Senior Workout Officer and now serves as Director of Business Programs. A Maine native, Jenn received her BS in International Business and Logistics from Maine Maritime Academy and earned her MBA from Thomas College. When not at work, she enjoys spending time outside hiking and skiing with her two daughters, Grace (9), and Eleanor (4). She can also be found competing at local Crossfit competitions and is a Crossfit Trainer.


William Cummins

Strategies for Deploying SSBCI Capital & Technical Assistance
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Executive State Director
Alabama Small Business Development Center

In June 2011, Bill Cummins was named Executive State Director of the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, a public sector service organization devoted to supporting Alabama small business. Bill is a thirty-year veteran of commercial banking and joined Bank One/New Orleans in 1998 as the Market Manager -- Trade Finance for Louisiana. In 2000, he was promoted to first vice president for Global Treasury & Trade (Southeastern Market Manager). In 2004, Bank One merged with JP Morgan Chase, and Bill served as Executive Director for Global Trade Services for JPMorgan Chase Bank.

From 1996-1998, Bill was Senior Vice President and Director of the AmTrade International Bank in Atlanta; from 1982 to 1995, he was group vice president for trade finance with South Trust Bank in Birmingham.

Bill is a former member of the Bankers’ Association on Foreign Trade and co-founded its Small Business Export Finance Committee. He has served as an expert witness regarding trade finance before several congressional committees and is a frequent lecturer for trade groups, financial institutions and universities. Bill is a published author on trade finance with articles appearing is such periodicals as The Exporter, RMA Guide to Commercial Lending, Export Today. He is a member and former Vice Chair of the Louisiana District Export Council – LADEC and former Chairman of the Alabama District Export Council, 1994-96 (and its Vice Chairman from 2014 to present). For many years, Bill served on the faculty of the LSU Graduate School of Banking; he is a former adjunct professor with Birmingham-Southern University. Bill served on the Board of Visitors for the College of Business at Loyola University and was the 2001-2002 Chair of the International Trade & Tourism Council of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI); in January of 2005, Bill was elected to the Board of Directors of LABI. In 2000, he was elected to the Board of the World Trade Center of New Orleans. From 2017 to 2020, Bill served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of District Export Councils and from 2019 to 2020, he served on the Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank, and from 2022 he has served on Ex-Im’s Council for Small Business. From 2018 to 2021, Bill served on the Board of Directors of the national association for Small Business Development Centers, America’s SBDC.

In 1994, Bill was voted in the top ten International Bankers in the USA by International Business magazine and, in 1993, he was recognized by Alabama’s SBA with an award for his contributions to small business exporting. In March of 2022, Bill was recognized as the recipient of the Governor’s Export Advocacy Award by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.

A New Orleans native, Bill is a graduate of Tulane University and of the Masters of International Business Studies (MIBS) program of the University of South Carolina. Bill is married to Linda LeBlanc Cummins and has two grown daughters and five
grandchildren. He is a member of Jubilee Shores United Methodist Church (Fairhope, Alabama) and from 2020 to 2022 served on its Leadership Council.



Alma Fargason

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Lead Planner
WSP USA

Alma Fargason, AICP is an urban planner who specializes in resilience, transportation, and strategic planning. Alma works for WSP and has worked on planning projects in the northeast, with a focus on Philadelphia, for the past 8 years.


Bryan Fike

Strategies for Deploying SSBCI Capital & Technical Assistance
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Research Officer
Drexel University

Bryan is a Research Officer at the Nowak Metro Finance Lab, where he focuses on financing for small businesses and inclusive economic growth. He joins the Lab with a background in economic development, public administration, and small business support. Bryan joined the lab from New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN), a practitioner network focused on inclusive economic development. Previously, he worked in public administration, supporting a range of federal workforce and safety net programs at the U.S. Department of Labor. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia, where he trained and advised youth entrepreneurs, supported a government-funded microcredit program, and implemented school-based programming in entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Bryan earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in economics from Wittenberg University.


Angie Fredrickson

Brownfield Financing: Philadelphia Navy Yard & Lower Schuylkill
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Vice President of Real Estate Services
PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation)

Angie is thrilled to be the Vice President of Real Estate Services at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (“PIDC”), where she focuses primarily on driving economic growth in Southwest Philadelphia through life sciences real estate development consistent with the City of Philadelphia’s Lower Schuylkill Master Plan. Prior to joining the PIDC team, Angie served as the Director of Business Development at the Port of Philadelphia (“Philaport”). She also practiced admiralty, maritime, and transportation law at one of the leading boutique admiralty firms in the nation - Palmer, Biezup, & Henderson, LLP. She earned her J.D. at Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude with numerous distinctions, and is admitted to practice law in the state of New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. District Courts of New Jersey and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to earning her J.D., Angie worked closely with industry partners and regulators in the areas of seaport management, transportation planning, and environmental planning at two of the largest ports in the United States – the Port of Long Beach, California, and the Port of Seattle, Washington. She holds a Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, and was a NOAA Washington Sea Grant Marc Hershman Fellow, where she focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Before pursuing a career in public policy, transportation, and law, Angie studied art history and dance at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Angie spent several years working in the arts in New York City before transitioning to a career in law, policy, and real estate development. When she is not working at PIDC, Angie enjoys exploring the Wissahickon park in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter, and practicing yoga and meditation.


Christina Fuentes

Strategies for Deploying SSBCI Capital & Technical Assistance
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

VP of Community Development and Business Development
New Jersey Economic Development Authority

Christina Fuentes is Vice President of Community and Business Development within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Community Development division. In this role, she provides strategic direction and leads the implementation of all lending, small business services, and targeted community development activities. This includes overseeing a team with expertise in community development, business banking, and small business services that work to build thriving, equitable, and inclusive communities. Additionally, she manages the creation of new programs and leads the roll-out of programs designed to support New Jersey micro and small businesses and other various equitable investments throughout NJ communities.

Christina most recently served as the NJEDA’s Managing Director of Community Development and Small Business Services, where she developed, coordinated, and managed initiatives that support community development, such as incentives and loans that advanced redevelopment, historic preservation, and small business supports and products.

During her time as NJEDA’s Director of Small Business Services, Christina led a newly created department to better assist early-stage entrepreneurs and micro- and small-business owners and to help create a small business ecosystem throughout the state. The Small Business Service unit coordinates and manages the provision of technical assistance and other business support services, including regularly engaging in outreach to chambers of commerce and other trade organizations and community groups focused on small businesses. Christina continues to lead the NJEDA’s efforts to foster a dynamic, supportive environment for the State’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, with a focus on more comprehensively assisting historically underrepresented firms and underserved communities.

Prior to joining the NJEDA in 2015, Christina was employed by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority as a Project Development Officer in the Real Estate and Economic Development Department. She also administered grant programs and was responsible for contract management related to economic development services. Christina is the Assistant Secretary of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Kentucky.



Darla Garrett

Awards Luncheon
Thursday November 9 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Director
Maryland Department of Commerce

Darla Garrett is a Program Manager with the Maryland Department of Commerce and oversees the Office of Finance Programs Accounting and Administration Unit. Additionally, she administers Maryland’s Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Businesses Account-Video Lottery Terminal Fund, and the State’s Small Business Credit Initiative. Darla has over 20 years of combined professional experience in finance, banking and economic development. Prior to joining Commerce in 2001, Darla worked with First National Bank of Maryland in the Small Business Lending Center. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Public Policy, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and is Maryland’s first to obtain CDFA’s Development Finance Certified Professional designation.


Martin Gitlin

PACE Financing Trends & Best Practices
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Attorney
Clean Energy Counsel

Martin Gitlin has over 30 years of experience advising clients on a broad range of transactional and financing matters related to energy projects, with particular emphasis on distributed renewables, energy efficiency, and carbon emissions.  In recent years, he has focused on advising clients on all aspects of property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for residential and commercial building upgrades, as well as the financing of solar and other home improvement loans.  With experience as both a General Counsel and a senior commercial leader, Martin brings a practical, business-focused approach to advising clean energy clients.  He received his JD, cum laude, from the Harvard Law School and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 


Brenda Guess

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Assistant Secretary
Louisiana Economic Development

Brenda Clark Guess, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, serves as the Assistant Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. Ms. Guess is chiefly responsible for guiding LED’s programs that grow Louisiana’s small business sector which builds capacity, increases opportunities and accelerates growth. They include Small and Emerging Business Development, Mentor-Protégé Recognition, Bonding Assistance and Louisiana Contractors Institute, Rural and Veterans Initiatives. In addition, Ms. Guess is currently directing the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) effort in Louisiana to partner with financial institutions, the venture and seed capital community, and other lenders and the communities that they serve.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Guess served as the Director of Business Incentive Services for 10 years. In this position, she administered programs geared to give companies a competitive edge through tax incentives, and developed a variety of state programs for the retention, creation, and expansion of Louisiana businesses and industries.

Before joining LED, Brenda spent six years in municipal government and 6 years in private sector banking and business management. To enhance her growth in economic development and finance, she is a graduate of the Venture Capital Institute and has attended several classes towards certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional with the National Development Council (NDC).

Brenda received a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and a Master’s degree in public administration from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge.


Bernel Hall

Bringing New Markets Tax Credits to Your Community
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

President & Chief Executive Officer
New Jersey Community Capital

Over the past 25 years, Bernel Hall has executed over $5 billion in real estate investment, lending, and disposition transactions for multifamily, retail, office, and hotel properties in 36 states throughout the US. A former investment banker, public housing executive, and real estate finance professor, Mr. Hall is an expert in large, multi-faceted public-private real estate transactions, small business transactions and executive leadership.

As New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) President and CEO, Mr. Hall leads the largest Community Development Financial Institution in New Jersey with four business lines–Lending, Real Estate Development, Investment Ventures and Strategic Community Consulting–with approximately $700 million in assets under management. Loans and investments leveraged over $2.5 billion in capital to more than 120,000 business owners and residents in underserved and low-income communities in New Jersey, New York, and Florida. Additionally, Mr. Hall leads Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of NJCC, and the largest affordable housing development company in New Jersey with more than 600 units of housing and 500,000 square feet of commercial assets. CAPC’s capabilities include real estate development, property management, asset management, mortgage acquisition, and mortgage modification services in New Jersey, New York, and Florida.

As President and CEO of Invest Newark, he established a proven track record of transformative leadership that resulted in wealth creation for underserved communities throughout New Jersey’s largest City. In partnership with his Board of Directors and Staff, Mr. Hall transformed Invest Newark into New Jersey’s premier economic development vehicle featuring the state’s only land bank, a municipally sponsored fiber optic company, an employee-owned industrial company, and an infrastructure investment fund.

As CEO of Halltown Real Estate Advisors, Mr. Hall served as real estate investment advisor to some of the largest housing authorities in the country. As part of his tenure with the Atlanta Housing Authority (“AHA”), Mr. Hall established a $100 million co-investment vehicle between AHA, HUD, and the Atlanta Economic Development Authority (“Invest Atlanta”). During his tenure with the New York City Housing Authority (“NYCHA”), and oversaw the execution of over $1.5 billion in real estate disposition, development, and joint venture transactions. Previously, Mr. Hall worked in Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group where he was responsible for sourcing and evaluating urban-based multifamily, retail, and mixed-use real estate private equity investments. Prior to his work at Goldman Sachs, Mr. Hall executed $785 million in real estate acquisitions, loans, and joint ventures transactions for UBS Investment Bank. Mr. Hall began his career with Bank of America in the firm’s Construction Lending and Real Estate Investment Banking Groups.

Mr. Hall is a licensed Uniform Investment Advisor (Series 7, 65) and possesses a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina State University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. He sits on the community development and new market tax credit advisory boards of PNC Financial and Goldman Sachs, respectively. He also holds a certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors.


Jodie Harris

Welcome to the CDFA National Development Finance Summit!
Thursday November 9 9:00 - 9:30 AM

President
PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation)

Jodie Harris—an economic development industry leader with three decades of experience spanning the public, private, and nonprofit sectors—joined PIDC in June 2023 after nearly two decades serving in various roles in the federal government, including four years as director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund).


Bringing more than 30 years of experience in economic and community development, Jodie has dedicated her career to driving meaningful, sustainable, and equitable economic growth, especially in historically underserved communities. As president of PIDC, Jodie works with the organization’s partners at the City of Philadelphia and Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce—along with stakeholders in the business, civic, and philanthropic communities—to drive inclusive economic growth, vitality, and opportunity to every corner and zip code of Philadelphia.

As the head of the CDFI Fund, Jodie successfully ensured the agency fulfilled its critical function of supporting mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting economically underserved communities across the country. Under her leadership, Harris annually managed an appropriated budget of approximately $300 million, including grant and administrative funding that supports the administration of various economic programs. She also led a team that  administered $3 billion in pandemic recovery funding, the highest level of appropriated grant funding in CDFI Fund history.

Jodie previously served in a variety of roles at the Department of the Treasury, including program manager, senior advisor, and director of community and economic development policy. While her work at the Treasury Department crossed several sectors, Jodie has long focused on initiatives that expand access to capital, with additional experience in community development finance and financial inclusion. Prior to her work in government, Jodie held various roles related to community economic development and empowerment from the very beginning of her career, including as a community development credit analyst with Meridian Bank before expanding her portfolio by working in the private sector as a strategic planning manager at Accenture and serving as a research analyst at the Institute for Education and Social Policy.

Jodie is a native of Philadelphia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from the University of Maryland and has also earned two graduate degrees from New York University: an MBA in finance and management and an MPA in public policy. 


Christopher Hicks

Bond Financing to Bridge Housing Gaps
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

President & Vice Chairman
Provident Resources Group Inc.

As Provident’s President and Vice Chairman of the Board, Mr. Hicks is a member of the executive team that establishes the company’s strategy, culture, and fulfillment of its charitable missions.  Mr. Hicks also spearheads Provident’s public-private partnership financings, working with project partners and beneficiaries, financing partners, investors and rating agencies to ensure successful financial execution and an ongoing commitment to our partners for the life of our engagement.  His role includes management of origination, analysis, and execution efforts for transactions and project relationships across a variety of asset classes. Chris works to foster relationships with state and local governments, public and private universities, and healthcare systems, as well as development partners, allowing Provident to utilize its proven financing platform to further not only its non-profit missions but the missions of each of these partners.
 
Prior to joining Provident, Mr. Hicks spent 18 years in the Public Finance Department of Citigroup Global Markets Inc., departing in 2019 as a Director in their Higher Education and Public Private Partnership Groups. During his time at Citi, Mr. Hicks worked with clients on over $25 Billion in financings.
 
Mr. Hicks holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Wake Forest University.


Anna Horevay

Clean Energy Finance Forum
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Associate
McGuireWoods LLP

Anna focuses her practice on public finance transactions, serving clients as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, bank's counsel, developer's counsel and borrower's counsel. She counsels clients on a range of financing structures using tax-exempt and taxable bonds, leases, tax credits and other governmental incentives. Anna also co-founded the Maryland Women in Public Finance chapter and serves as its president and a member of its board of directors.
Anna’s experience includes land-secured transactions, incremental tax revenue pledges and public-private partnerships for governments, mixed-use developments, transportation facilities, continuing care retirement communities, renewable energy facilities, exempt facilities, multifamily housing and hospitals.
Anna is active in the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Maryland, is a member of its executive board and serves as the co-chair of its Judicial Nominating Committee.



Patricia Huddle

Tax Increment Financing Driving Retail Revitalization
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

President
Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority

Patty Huddle assumed the role of president of the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority in 2023. She originally joined the organization in 2020 as Vice President.
Prior to joining the Finance Authority she worked for One Columbus (formerly Columbus 2020) for nine years where she served as Senior Vice President, Economic Development.
She has additional economic development experience at the local and state levels.
Huddle worked in private industry for a national franchise organization and insurance company prior to commencing her career in economic development.
With over 25 years in economic development, she has served on a variety of boards and commissions including the MidOhio Development Exchange, Ohio Economic Development Association, and Franklin County Infrastructure Bank. Huddle is a graduate of The Ohio State University.


Steve Johnson

Welcome to the CDFA National Development Finance Summit!
Thursday November 9 9:00 - 9:30 AM

Bonds for Manufacturing, Nonprofits & First Time Farmers
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Director, Community Development
Colorado Housing and Finance Authority

Steve Johnson leads the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority’s (CHFA) Community Development team which includes Multifamily Lending, Housing Tax Credit Allocation, and Small Business Finance. CHFA’s mission is to strengthen Colorado by investing in affordable housing and community development. Steve began working for CHFA in 1996 as a commercial loan officer and became a Director in 2010. Steve says what drew him to CHFA, and continues to be the most rewarding part of his job, is the opportunity to do “banking with a mission.” Steve currently serves as Treasurer of the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) Board of Directors and is a graduate of Hillsdale College.


Maima Kaba

SSBCI Compliance Training (Optional, Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 2:15 - 3:45 PM

Supervisory Compliance Analyst
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Maima Kaba is the Compliance Manager for Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Maima has over a decade of experience in the federal government specializing in federal financial reporting, accounting, policy, and oversight. She spent over five years as an Accountant with the Department of Homeland Security and was selected and served as a Federal Financial Management Fellow in the Office of Management and Budget. Prior to joining Treasury, she served as the Director of Financial Reports Service at Department of the Veterans Affairs’ Office of Finance. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.


Colin Kalvas

PACE Financing Trends & Best Practices
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Partner
Bricker Graydon

Colin Kalvas is a public finance and economic development attorney. Colin serves political subdivisions, financial institutions, developers and special purpose districts such as special improvement districts and new community authorities in many different capacities related to the issuance of bonds, securities law, federal income tax law, contracts, real property acquisition, development, leasing and governmental revenues.
 
Colin has been at the forefront of developing property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing in Ohio. His PACE efforts include serving as counsel to PACE administrators and energy special improvement districts throughout Ohio, as well as serving as bond counsel and lender’s counsel to Ohio port authorities and other financial institutions that finance energy efficiency and clean energy projects through PACE. He is well known within the PACE community. He has extensive experience negotiating, documenting and closing PACE transactions, including as part of complex capital stacks.


Joan Kato

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Collaborative Campaign Director
GreenLatinos

Joan Kato is an environmental justice advocate with over twenty years of experience leading change in people of color grassroots communities; managing grants to ensure both compliance and inclusiveness of frontline organizations; and motivating staff to achieve social impact goals through advocacy, policy, and political campaigns. As a community organizer, she has dedicated her life to achieving equitable outcomes for populations that have faced systemic discrimination. In her role as a consultant for GreenLatinos, Joan has started Colaborativo40, which is an initiative to help eight of the largest Latine organizations in the U.S.—GreenLatinos, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Hispanic Federation (HF), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), MANA- A National Latina Organization, UnidoUS, US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) pursue, coordinate, and promote Justice40 Initiative federal grant opportunities. In 2020, Joan led the largest voter registration effort in the U.S.—registering 1.54 million voters in 11 states, including Minnesota. She also managed a $124M budget; of which $94M was re-granted to 174 community-based organizations (CBOs). To accomplish this, Joan developed a grants program that supported both big and small voter registration organizations. Under Joan’s leadership and guidance, the voter registration effort for the first time regranted to two American Indian CBOs operating on Reservations and ensured quality control standards were met, even in locations with limited connectivity. Moreover, her program was the first to figure out how to return to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic without community spread. At Deloitte, Joan led federal government proposal pursuits, resulting in over $200M in contracts. She managed a $289M government contracting budget and led a 62-person team federal government support team. Joan’s specialty was in projects related to strategic communications, change management, and leading organizations through culture change. Joan began her career working on Capitol Hill for Congressman Gutierrez and on several candidate campaigns, including President Obama’s 2008 and Bernie’s 2016 campaigns. Joan has also worked as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State where she worked on the intersection of economic and environmental issues in several countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Most recently, Joan started a majority people of color-owned firm, Everyday Voters, that provides community engagement and comprehensive grant advisory services. From canvassing to phone to digital services, Everyday Voters provides holistic, metrics-driven, customized outreach programs, program management, and grants management consulting services that emphasize current best practices, quality control, and analytics. Joan is originally from Los Angeles and Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa with an undergraduate degree in marketing and international business. Joan also holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University SAIS in Economics and International Relations. She speaks Spanish, Vietnamese, and Bahasa Indonesian.


Frances Kern Mennone

Brownfield Financing: Philadelphia Navy Yard & Lower Schuylkill
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Managing Director
Frost Brown Todd LLP

A seasoned leader with rich experience managing organizational stakeholders, Frances is recognized for strategically building ideas and developments of significance. She has a reputation for solving problems for large-scale projects that are challenging and complex and that involve numerous, often competing interests. She works tirelessly at building relationships and connecting project partners with the right entities to ensure success. Her passion runs deep and defines the way she approaches every project.


Daniel Kolodner

Bringing New Markets Tax Credits to Your Community
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Partner
Klein Hornig LLP

Dan Kolodner focuses his practice on community development projects utilizing tax credit financing. He specializes in complex deal structuring, combining tax incentives – such as New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and Renewable Energy Tax Credits – with state tax credits and other financing sources in a variety of community development transactions.  He regularly represents both for-profit and nonprofit developers, qualified low-income community businesses (QALICBs), and community development entities (CDEs), as well as institutional tax credit investors. Dan regularly shares his expertise at conferences on both the national and local level, speaking on the topics of Historic Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and other Federal and state tax incentives.


Jennifer LaHatte

Revolving Loan Funds for Childcare, Nonprofits & Critical Needs
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Managing Director of Policy, Research, and Government Affairs
Maryland Department of Commerce

Jen LaHatte is the Managing Director of Policy, Research and Government Affairs for the Maryland Department of Commerce, the State’s primary economic development agency. In this role she oversees a group of ten research and policy staff responsible for identifying and enhancing economic development policies and providing high quality research products and economic analyses leading to strategies that maximize the State’s economic growth. Jen has worked for the Maryland Department of Commerce in a variety of roles since 2012, including Director of Policy and Program Development as well as Business Policy Analyst, and has been managing her division since 2021. Prior to joining Maryland Commerce, Jen worked for a political fundraising consulting firm. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and lives in Maryland with her husband and two young sons.


Emil Liszniansky

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Principal
Envision Group LLC

Emil Liszniansky is a Principal at Envision Group LLC and a certified planner, licensed attorney, and registered engineer with over 14 years of experience in the planning, design, and implementation of infrastructure and development projects ranging from comprehensive plans and corridor enhancements to community revitalization efforts and economic development initiatives. Emil brings a unique perspective to the development process as his engineering background allows him to identify potential design constraints early in planning and provide creative, yet feasible solutions, while his legal training allows him to successfully navigate complex financing, environmental, and regulatory issues that arise during project development. An experienced grant writer and funding strategist, Emil has assisted Northeast Ohio clients in securing over $23 Million in federal funding since 2016.


Jarrod Loadholt

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Partner
Ice Miller LLP

Jarrod Loadholt is a partner in Ice Miller’s Public Affairs Group. Jarrod previously served as the head of Credit Karma’s Washington, D.C. office as its first director of legislative and regulatory affairs where he managed the company’s government relations function. In this role, he was responsible for the overall supervision, planning, organization and coordination of the company’s state and federal legislative and regulatory affairs strategy. In 2016, Jarrod co-founded a full-service public affairs firm specializing in federal and state government relations, public affairs, strategic communications and issue and electoral campaigns. As a principal of the firm, he developed and executed legislative, regulatory and procurement strategies for a diverse range of commercial, governmental and nonprofit clients. In this capacity, Jarrod also served as a senior advisor to several mayoral campaigns, including the historic victories of Randall Woodfin in Birmingham, Alabama and Frank Scott in Little Rock, Arkansas. Prior to the creation of his public affairs firm, Jarrod functioned as policy, compliance and product counsel for SolarCity and Tesla. Additionally, he acted as Senior Counsel to the House Committee on Financial Services for the United States House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit where he advised members on a broad range of legislative and regulatory issues, including cannabis banking, data security and privacy, blockchain and digital currencies and the body of federal laws regulating consumer financial products and services. Jarrod also served as Senior Oversight Counsel to the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee handling all oversight matters for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, the National Credit Union Administration and the Financial Stability Oversight Council


Lauren Mack

Bond Financing to Bridge Housing Gaps
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Attorney
Law Office of Lauren Mack, P.C.

Lauren has over 30 years of experience in financing (tax-exempt, taxable and public-private partnerships), federal tax, non-profit organizations, health care, corporate, and governance matters. She works with clients to provide practical solutions to their real-world problems. Lauren has been involved in a wide range of public financing transactions, serving as bond counsel and issuer’s counsel, as well as advising borrowers (including health care organizations, cultural institutions, schools and universities, and Indian tribal governments), underwriters, and banks (as direct lenders, liquidity providers and letter of credit providers) on tax and other matters. She advises clients with respect to transaction structuring, as well as post-closing covenant and tax compliance. She also represents clients before the IRS in connection with audits, closing agreements under the IRS’ Voluntary Compliance Program, and private letter rulings. Lauren also advises clients on corporate transactional and financing matters, including issuance of public and privately placed debt, use of special purpose vehicles, public-private partnerships and other joint ventures, and corporate acquisitions and dispositions. Her representative clients include corporations, municipal entities, commercial lenders, and credit enhancers. She works with the client’s financial team on transaction structure, due diligence, documentation, continuing disclosure, and post-closing covenant compliance. Lauren received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, graduating with distinction. She received her B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.


Karl Marschel

Tax Increment Financing Driving Retail Revitalization
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Partner
Arnold & Porter

Karl Marschel, a member of Bryan Cave’s Real Estate Private Equity and REITs team, represents clients, both private and public, in all aspects real estate, from acquisition, development and disposition to negotiating development financing and navigating various tax incentives.

Among his clients are REITs and private equity firms as well as developers, equity investors and purchasers in connection with brownfield redevelopment and alternative energy projects.

Karl also represents clients with respect to public-private partnership matters such as corporate incentives and tax increment financing and serves frequently as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and trustee’s counsel with respect to special district financings, tax increment and other redevelopment financing.


Conor McCarthy

Revolving Loan Funds for Childcare, Nonprofits & Critical Needs
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Director of Lending and Portfolio Operations
Grow America

Conor McCarthy, Grow America, Director of Lending and Portfolio Operations, manages a team that is responsible for originating and structuring small business loans in Grow America’s respective markets throughout the country. Conor has worked and managed various small business loan programs, which deployed tens of millions of dollars, up and down the capital continuum. Those include complicated commercial real estate transactions for businesses looking to acquire their real estate and smaller infusions of working capital to fund a business’ operating cycle. Conor is also responsible for the management of Grow America Lending’s Portfolio Management, in which he leads a team that oversees a large and growing portfolio of business loans throughout the country. He holds a B.A. from Colorado College, a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College, a Masters of Business Administration from New York University and is an Grow America Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). He brings years of experience at both the local, state and national level in small business finance and within the wider field of economic development.


Tonita McKnight

Best Practices for Equitable Lending
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Business Development Officer
ACT! Albany Community Together, Inc.

Tonita McKnight is a Georgia native with roots in North and Southwest GA. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College with a major in Theater. She has held various positions in personal banking, property management, program management, grant administration and economic development.
Tonita has first-hand experience working with disadvantaged populations in property management of mixed communities (market and subsidized rents) and public relations and grant administration with the United States Census Bureau.
She currently works as a Business Development Officer with Albany Community Together, Inc. where she helps entrepreneurs in Southwest Georgia with coaching, connections and access to capital.
Tonita is married with four children and enjoys watching movies and playing games with her family and friends.


Kate McNamara

Brownfield Financing: Philadelphia Navy Yard & Lower Schuylkill
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Senior Vice President, Navy Yard
PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation)

Kate McNamara is PIDC’s Senior Vice President for the Navy Yard, a 1,200 acre mixed-use campus in South Philadelphia featuring 150 companies and over 15,000 employees. She is responsible for campus planning and development, site and utility grid operations, and capital projects, overseeing a $35M annual operating budget and over $50M in infrastructure projects. In 2020, Ms. McNamara led a nationwide competitive process that resulted in a $2.6B master development partnership with Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners, including market-leading commitments for equity ownership and contracting by MBE, WBE, DBE, and veteran-owned companies. Building on that agreement, she oversaw development of the 2022 Navy Yard Plan Update, an inclusive plan for equitable, sustainable, and accessible economic growth featuring $6B of investment and 8.9M SF of new development. Ms. McNamara joined PIDC in 2011 to lead the Lower Schuylkill Master Plan, a $411M initiative to reposition 3,700 acres of riverfront industrial land. Prior to joining PIDC, Ms. McNamara served as Special Assistant to PA Governor Ed Rendell, managing the Commonwealth’s $450M port expansion initiative and strategic planning for the $786M expansion of the PA Convention Center.



Laura McRae

New Markets Tax Credits & Tribal Investment
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Loan Program Manager
Native American Development Corporation

Laura joined the CDFI team at the Native American Development Corporation (a 40-year-old, multidimensional Native American community-oriented economic development organization located in Billings, MT) in the Spring of 2023, on the tail-end of a 40-year career in commercial lending, small business banking, mortgage lending, and loan administration. In her previous professional career, she worked for Citigroup Global Markets, Wells Fargo, M&T Bank Corporation, and Glacier Bank Corporation, as well as two other CDFIs (Montana Community Development Corporation aka MOFI in Missoula, MT, and the Alternatives Federal Credit Union, affectionally known as the Hippy Bank in Ithaca, NY). In addition to her activities at NADC, Laura teaches upper-division business classes at a Native American community college, while also pursuing her Ph.D. in Business Finance. Laura joins the team at NADC at a critical time in their CDFI’s evolutionary history as the nonprofit begins to transition towards large project lending throughout Indian Country, requiring complex capital stacking and leveraging four decades of organizational experience gained by working intimately with both rural and urban Indigenous populations. NADC is a founding member of the Mountain Plains Regional Native CDFI Coalition that was recently awarded $44 Million in Build Back Better program funds to build capacity and expand resources, while actively revolutionizing the way in which Native American finance is conducted.


Melanie Mendiola

Strategies for Deploying SSBCI Capital & Technical Assistance
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Administrator/Chief Executive Officer
Guam Economic Development Authority

Melanie Mendiola was appointed as the Administrator/CEO of the Guam Economic Development Authority in 2019 after 10 years of banking and finance and 6 years in non-profit management. Immediately prior to her role at GEDA, she served as the Executive Director of the UOG Endowment Foundation and a co-founder and Director of Farm to Table Guam. In 2003, she graduated from New York University with an Economics Degree. She obtained her MBA from the University of Guam in 2012, and another Master's Degree in Financial Planning from Kansas State University in 2017. She is a former recipient of the Guam Chamber of Commerce's Guam Young Professional of the Year Award, as well as the Small Business Administration's Minority Business Champion. In 2013, she was also awarded a Diversity Scholar Award by the Financial Planning Association for her research and work in financial planning.


Ariel Miller

Awards Luncheon
Thursday November 9 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Bringing New Markets Tax Credits to Your Community
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Senior Director, Research & Technical Assistance
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Ariel Miller is the Senior Director of Research & Technical Assistance with the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). During her time at CDFA, she has conducted research and data collection, written numerous publications, and developed curriculum on topics including access to capital programs, equitable economic development, infrastructure finance, federal finance, tax credit programs, and food system finance. Ariel also leads technical assistance engagements with development finance agencies for strategic planning, finance program development, and CDFI certification. In this role, she contributes to the organization’s strategic planning, staff development, and day-to-day management, in addition to leading the Research & Technical Assistance team. Ariel received her Master of City and Regional Planning degree from The Ohio State University, where she also earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.


Raisa Mohamud

SSBCI Compliance Training (Optional, Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 2:15 - 3:45 PM

Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Raisa Mohamud is the Compliance Specialist for Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Raisa brings a diverse range of experience, having worked in non-profit organizations and government positions at both the state and federal level. Prior to joining Treasury, she was a contract Policy Analyst with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Public Administration. Raisa enjoys spending her free time with friends and family.


Donna Nuccio

Bringing New Markets Tax Credits to Your Community
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Managing Director
Broadstreet Impact Services

Donna oversees all aspects of deploying NMTCs for our clients and for Broadstreet’s growing NMTC tax syndication business including management of a team dedicated to deal origination, industry relations, advisory board relations, post close portfolio management, and compliance reporting. Prior to joining Broadstreet, Donna served as a Senior Director of Structured Finance and Healthy Food Access at Reinvestment Fund. Donna holds a M.S. in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s University. She also sits on the board of the Pan American Academy Charter School in Philadelphia.


Michael Pehur

CDFA Clean Investment Accelerator for Development Finance Agencies
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 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).


Antonio Portuondo

PACE Financing Trends & Best Practices
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Managing Director
The Bank of New York Mellon

Antonio Portuondo is a Managing Director and President of The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company N.A., a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Tony is the Segment Head of the Bank’s Corporate Trust Public not for Profit Business. Primary responsibilities include sales and relationship management, risk, new business, and client service delivery.

Prior to his current role, Tony managed the Corporate Trust Public Finance business and also served as the Public Finance Chief Administration Officer initiating and leading strategic initiatives, as well as managing its Best Practices program.

Tony has more than 19 years of corporate trust experience holding various business administration, business development, and management positions.

He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Florida, and a Master of Public Administration specializing in Public Finance from Florida International University.


Zaba Rashan

Best Practices for Equitable Lending
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Community Development Specialist
City of San Diego

Zaba Rashan joined the City of San Diego in 2023 as a part of the business expansion, attraction, and retention team focused on the creation of jobs and investment in San Diego.  Her professional experience spans the non-profit, municipal, federal, and government contracting sectors. She has worked on issues in economic development, foreign affairs, humanitarian aid, climate change, small business education, and sustainable housing. She is a 2023 Franzini Fellow with the Council of Development Finance Agencies, a fellowship aimed at developing women leaders in the field of development finance. Prior to joining the City of San Diego, Zaba worked as a program manager at a national CDFI with a primary focus on expanding the organization’s commercial loan portfolio and oversaw the deployment of $175MM in COVID-relief grants in the state of Illinois. Prior to that, she conducted research at a government contractor in support of federal and NGO clients managing a portfolio including the CDC, State Department, World Bank, USAID, and the US military. Her previous professional experience also includes overseeing the day-to-day operations of the marketing and communications departments at a housing-focused non-profit where she worked closely with the executive team to produce the organization’s annual publications and entrepreneur programming. Zaba received her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in International Affairs and bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine in Political Science. Zaba is a humanitarian at heart who believes in thinking globally and acting locally.


Rachel Reilly

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

CDFA Clean Investment Accelerator for Development Finance Agencies
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Clean Energy Finance Forum
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Senior Advisor
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Rachel Reilly is the Founder of Aces & Archers, a strategic advisory and consulting firm focused on addressing socioeconomic inequality by reimagining traditional models for economic growth and private investing. Rachel previously served as the Director of Impact Strategy at the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) where she led the organization’s work to support communities, policymakers and investors catalyzing sustainable economic growth in Opportunity Zones across the nation. Prior to EIG, Rachel was the Director of Impact Investing at Enterprise Community Partners where she expanded community investment opportunities for people and businesses by leading Enterprise’s $100 million debt offering – the Impact Note – as well as policy and advocacy activities related to impact investing. She has a Master’s in Real Estate Development from the University of Maryland, and served two terms as an elected representative in Washington, D.C.


Terrie Riley

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Terrie Riley serves as the Lead Policy Advisor for the SBBCI Technical Assistance Grant program. In her role, she is committed to helping grant recipients successfully support small businesses and improve capital access in underserved communities. Ms. Riley has extensive experience with driving continuous improvement in financial and program management. Prior to joining the US Treasury SSBCI team, she worked as a management consultant guiding clients in the achievement of transformative business ventures. In her federal career, she worked previously as an Accountant managing special projects in support of process improvements and business operation optimization. Ms. Riley is a graduate of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business and Clark Atlanta University.


Toby Rittner

Welcome to the CDFA National Development Finance Summit!
Thursday November 9 9:00 - 9:30 AM

CDFA Clean Investment Accelerator for Development Finance Agencies
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Awards Luncheon
Thursday November 9 12:00 - 1:30 PM

President & CEO
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Toby Rittner is the President & CEO of Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing hundreds of public, private and non-profit development entities. Members are state, county and municipal development finance agencies and authorities that provide or otherwise support economic development financing programs. Mr. Rittner runs the day-to-day operations of the Council including the organization’s various educational, advocacy, research, resources and networking initiatives.

Rittner is one of the most vocal and recognized leaders of the development finance industry nationwide and has advised state and federal government leaders, including President Biden and President Obama’s Administration Transition Teams, on economic development finance policy. Through his leadership and guidance, CDFA was successful in preserving private activity bonds and other critical development finance tools during the 2017 tax reform deliberations and has had numerous pieces of legislation introduced in the United States Congress. In 2021, Rittner successfully led a national effort to reauthorize and fund the $10B State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) program as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Rittner focuses on sustainable finance with an emphasis on infrastructure, clean energy food systems, small business and innovations in the development finance industry to drive sustainable outcomes. He has written extensively about impact ready initiatives that leverage and engage capital in ways that drive local sustainability in both the environment and economy.

Rittner is a frequent speaker at local, state and national conferences and events focused on economic development finance. He has been featured in The Bond Buyer, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, NPR and other national media publications concerning the advancement of development finance tools. He is the author of CDFA's highly acclaimed Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance and co-author of CDFA's Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency.

Rittner is an adjunct faculty member at The Ohio State University and Carnegie Mellon University teaching planning and finance for sustainable economic development. He is also a Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) and has completed the prestigious Oxford University Sustainable Finance Foundation Course.

Prior to joining CDFA, Mr. Rittner was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Mr. Rittner has also worked for the Franklin County, Ohio Board of Commissioners and the City of Gahanna, Ohio. Mr. Rittner previously served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board and is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Community Fund I. Mr. Rittner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master's of City and Regional Planning degree from The Ohio State University. Mr. Rittner was awarded the Ohio State University College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016.


David Safer

Bond Financing to Bridge Housing Gaps
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Managing Director
U.S. Bank

David Safer joined U.S. Bank National Association in 2016 and is responsible for business development activities in the States of New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, New England and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Prior to that, David spent 10 years at The Bank of New York Mellon in a similar capacity. Mr. Safer joined Manufacturers Hanover Trust in 1989 and through acquisitions, spent time with Chemical Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank and JP Morgan Chase. Mr. Safer held various positions including Regional Manager for the West and Northeast Regions of the Relationship Management Team, Team Leader of JPMorgan Chase’s Institutional Trust, Deal Services Negotiation Team, and Team Leader on the International & Project Finance Team, responsible for sovereign, corporate and municipal clients primarily located in the Asian, African and North American regions with a concentration in Power and Mining Project Finance transactions. David received his B.S. degree in Business Economics and Finance from the State University of New York at Oneonta.


John Saris

Strategies for Deploying SSBCI Capital & Technical Assistance
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Finance Manager
Business Oregon

John Saris is the Finance Manager at Business Oregon. The mission of Business Oregon is to create, retain, and attract businesses that offer living wage jobs for Oregonians. The Finance Officers that John works with administer the department's direct loan and loan-guarentee programs, conduit bond programs for small businesses, and have helped Oregon businesses access more than $2 billion of private capital through these public programs. John has also had the privilege to serve on the Board of Directors for CDFA since 2010.


Eric Silva

CDFA Legislative Breakfast
Friday November 10 9:00 - 9:45 AM

CDFA Legislative Representative
North South Government Strategies

Eric Silva serves as CDFA's Legislative Representative in Washington, DC. Eric has been an instrumental part of CDFA's legislative success over the past two decades. Mr. Silva is a founding partner at NSGS. He began his career in Washington as a Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center and the Corporation For Enterprise Development before serving as an aide to Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Prior to founding NSGS, Eric practiced law for more than eight years in the Government and Regulatory Affairs group of Winston & Strawn LLP, a major international law firm.

Mr. Silva has significant experience in a number of policy areas, including tax, agriculture, financial services, health care, energy and the environment, and trade. Mr. Silva has successfully advocated for client interests on some of the most significant legislation of the past decade, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the Affordable Care Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the 2008 and 2012 Farm Bills.

While practicing law, Mr. Silva served as legal counsel to clients on matters related to the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Lobbying Disclosure Act and congressional and executive branch ethics rules. He also served as in-house counsel to a major law firm Political Action Committee.

Mr. Silva received a B.A. from Boston College and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. While at Boston College, he was a member of the University President’s Council on Student Formation and the recipient of the Congressman John Joseph Moakley Award for International Service. In law school, he competed on the Notre Dame International Moot Court Team and represented clients pro bono on a variety of matters through the Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic.

Eric proudly serves as a Board Director for the Congressional Hunger Center, Boston College Alumni Association, and the Belfast Beltway Boxing Project.


Michael Slania

Bonds for Manufacturing, Nonprofits & First Time Farmers
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Attorney
Industrial Development Authority of Pima County

Michael Slania, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received his Bachelor of Business Administration, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1981 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1984. He has practiced in the areas of public finance law and corporate law, in both Wisconsin and Arizona. Mr. Slania joined the Firm in 1992, after practicing in Phoenix with a national law firm.

His experience in public finance includes a variety of municipal and state issues in Arizona, as well as numerous other states, including New Mexico, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio. He has served as Bond Counsel for many types of obligations, including industrial development revenue bonds, school district bonds, notes and leases, general obligation bonds, water and sewer revenue bonds, street and highway bonds, special assessment bonds, lease/purchase financings and certificates of participation. As Disclosure and/or Underwriter’s Counsel, he has prepared and reviewed both Official Statements for public (retail) sale and Private Placement Memorandum for private (institutional) sales. He has also served as Issuer’s Counsel or general corporate counsel for various governmental and non-profit organizations and as Trustee’s Counsel to several national banks on a variety of bond issues. Furthermore, he has acted as borrower’s counsel on various 501(c)(3) issues.

In addition to public finance, Mr. Slania has extensive experience with other transactional legal work. Representation of small and medium sized corporations, limited-liability corporations, and partnerships as well as a variety of non-profit entities have been a significant part of his practice.

Estate planning, including premarital agreements, is another aspect of Mr. Slania’s practice. Individual attention and working through various options that are available is a hallmark of vital estate planning.

Mr. Slania is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the State Bar of Wisconsin, Southern Arizona Estate Planners, and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Salpointe Catholic High School and previously served as President of Salpointe Catholic Education Foundation. Mr. Slania enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons and traveling.


Gary Smith

Bonds for Manufacturing, Nonprofits & First Time Farmers
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Chief Executive Officer
Chester County Economic Development Council

Gary W. Smith currently serves the Chester County Economic Development Council as President and CEO. He joined the Council in 1976 and pioneered award-winning programs of below market-rate financing, agricultural economic development, brownfields redevelopment, conduit funding for commercial construction, industry partnerships, urban revitalization and multi-agency collaboration. During his tenure, the Council has secured over $200 million in external funding for 320 plus projects ranging from regional economic revitalization to workforce development. The Council’s programs and services have helped to create over 165,000 new jobs; assisted in retaining more than 185,000 existing jobs; and brokered more than $13.1 billion in commercial financing loans. Over 7,700 new businesses have also been established during that period.
Today, the Council employs over 40 economic development specialists, who work out of its modern, 12,000 SF facilities in Eagleview Corporate Center helping businesses located in Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania to grow and prosper.


Mitchell Smith

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

CDFA Clean Investment Accelerator for Development Finance Agencies
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

CDFA Legislative Breakfast
Friday November 10 9:00 - 9:45 AM

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Senior Director, Government & External Affairs
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Mitchell Smith is the Senior Director of Government and External Affairs at the Council of Development Finance Agencies.
Previously, Mitchell worked for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission on the education research team and served as the committee staffer for the House of Representatives Primary and Secondary Education Committee. There, Mitchell drafted legislation and completed legal research on behalf of the Ohio General Assembly.

A native of Bentonville, Arkansas, Mitchell attended the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, where he received his B.A. in American Studies and Political Science in 2009 and was a punter for the Razorbacks. He went on to complete his M.A. in American History and then relocated to Ohio University to complete a Ph.D. in American History. His specialization is in American diplomatic history, politics, and culture.


Jeff Stout

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Director
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Jeff Stout serves as the Deputy Chief Program Officer for Small Business and Community Investment in the Office of Capital Access at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In this role, he directs the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and oversees the Emergency Capital Investment Program and the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund. Previously at Treasury, he served as the Director of Federal Program Finance as well as the Director of the inaugural iteration of SSBCI. Prior to joining Treasury, he was a commercial lender and Senior Vice President of Business Development at City First Bank of DC, a CDFI bank in Washington, DC. He holds a Master's of Public Policy from Georgetown University and undergraduate degrees in economics and philosophy from the University of Iowa.


Andy Struckhoff

IRA Tax Credits for Driving Economic Development
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

President
PGAV Planners, LLC

Andy Struckhoff brings to PGAV a variety of skills in economic and community development. Andy’s professional career includes both public and private sector experience. Andy has led underwriting activities analyzing potential acquisitions, tax increment financing planning activities including composing redevelopment plans and cost/benefit analyses, business retention and recruitment projects, undertook return analysis activities and also performed a variety of demographic analyses. Andy works with communities to develop solutions regarding open space, neighborhood, downtown planning, and public financing. His breadth of experience allows him to engage in projects as varied as land use policy, fiscal impact analyses, and market analyses. He also works with communities to develop effective policies and guidelines for using public incentives to attract private development.


Tim Sullivan

Awards Luncheon
Thursday November 9 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Chief Executive Officer
New Jersey Economic Development Authority

Tim Sullivan currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), a role he has had since February 2018. As a member of Governor Murphy’s Cabinet, Tim oversees the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth and making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy.
During his tenure, Tim has led the NJEDA’s transformation into a comprehensive economic development organization dedicated to implementing Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey. Tim has overseen the creation of new programs that drive New Jersey’s innovation economy, strengthen emerging and historic sectors, support small businesses, and cultivate equitable community development.

Under his leadership, the NJEDA has led the development and implementation of more than 15 programs created under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 ranging from real estate development to film industry support, provided more than $700 million in COVID-19 relief to small businesses impacted by the pandemic, facilitated the construction of the NJ Wind Port and growth of a robust offshore wind industry in New Jersey, launched the ground-breaking New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund, programmed $150M in support for main streets and small businesses, invested in economic security through programs recognizing maternal and infant health, child care, and food security as economic enablers, and helped municipalities revitalize brownfields and other underused spaces into valuable community assets.

Tim most recently served as Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), where he oversaw State tourism and branding, brownfield redevelopment, transit-oriented development, and waterfront initiatives. Tim previously served as Chief of Staff to the New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, focusing on transportation and transit-oriented development, brownfield redevelopment, waterfront and maritime/port redevelopment, public and affordable housing policy, small business support, infrastructure finance, and public/private partnerships.

Prior to joining city government in 2010, Tim worked at Barclays Capital as Chief of Staff to the Head of Global Investment Banking. He began his career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers in 2003 as a healthcare banker, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions for leading companies in the managed care, biotechnology, and healthcare services sectors.
Tim is native to Bergen County and is a graduate of Georgetown University.


Erwin Tam

Bond Financing to Bridge Housing Gaps
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Director of Financing
California Housing Finance Agency

Erwin Tam was appointed Director of Financing at the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2021. CalHFA is California’s statewide affordable housing lender dedicated to financing mortgage loans and downpayment assistance for first-time homebuyers and multifamily rental developments for low- and moderate-income Californians.

As the Director of Financing, Erwin is responsible for CalHFA’s financial operations. This includes the controllership, investments and treasury management, capital markets, financial planning and analysis, annual budget, and financial risk management.

Prior to joining CalHFA, Erwin spent 20 years in municipal advisory and investment banking roles, most recently as Senior Vice President at Backstrom McCarley Berry & Co. in San Francisco. He has consulted on and structured over $18 billion of municipal bonds throughout his career across a variety of sectors including K-12/higher education, transportation, municipal utilities, and general government.

Erwin has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley in Economics and Environmental Science (Biological Science).



Chris Tweedy

SSBCI Convening (Registration Required)
Wednesday November 8 12:00 - 2:00 PM

President & CEO
Chickasaw Nation




James Vergara

PACE Financing Trends & Best Practices
Thursday November 9 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Chief Investment Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Home Run Financing

James Vergara is the chief operating and chief investment officer of Home Run Financing, the leading residential PACE lender, where he manages the underwriting, technology and servicing aspects of the business as well the company’s investor and capital markets relationships. Since joining HRF, James has overseen the transition of the company from a whole loan seller to a structured finance vehicle and completed four securitizations of R-PACE assets. Prior to joining HRF, James established the SprucePACE program at Spruce Finance. James started his career as a banker and trader at large investment banks in New York, including Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank. James is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.



Kristopher Wahlers

Best Practices for Equitable Lending
Thursday November 9 3:45 - 4:30 PM

Partner
Ice Miller LLP

Kip Wahlers has more than two decades' experience in the field of public finance, economic development and public law. Kip has represented state and local governments at all levels as bond counsel and has also served as underwriters' counsel, bank counsel and counsel to private sector entities doing business with government.

Kip's experience includes financings and projects with port authorities, counties, municipalities, townships and school districts. Kip also advises clients on public records issues and ethics issues.

Kip has authored legislation relating to financing programs in Ohio and elsewhere, including tax credits, loan programs and amendments to legislation establishing new community authorities and authority for impact facilities. He has assisted private companies in obtaining incentives from state and local governments, including tax incentives, tax abatements and tax increment financing.

Kip is former general counsel for JobsOhio and for Browning & Associates, a municipal financial advisor. He is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and has lived in the Columbus area since 2000. Wahlers graduated magna cum laude, with highest honors, from University of Georgia, in 1985 where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English. He graduated from University of Michigan where he earned his Master of Arts in English in 1986. He holds a juris doctor from University of Michigan Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1991.


Ira Weinstein

New Markets Tax Credits & Tribal Investment
Thursday November 9 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Principal
CohnReznick LLP

Ira Weinstein serves as CohnReznick’s Managing Principal – Real Estate, Cannabis Industries, where he oversees the advisory, assurance, and tax services pertaining to both industries. His role is to develop and execute strategy that grows the capacity and capability of the firm’s resources dedicated to these industries for the benefit of our clients, our people, and our communities.

The real estate practice includes the community development platform (all tax credits, public finance and affordable housing), commercial real estate, and construction. CohnReznick works with the full spectrum of real estate industry stakeholders including developers, institutional investors, private equity firms, lenders, asset management companies, REITs, and construction companies. The firm provides project finance and consulting, audit and tax regulatory services, and helps many of these companies improve financial processes, implement technologies, and employ best practices in process redesign.

The cannabis practice includes regulatory compliance for audit and tax services, tax structuring and all the advisory services designed to improve the operational effectiveness of many industry participants (plant touching and ancillary companies).

Prior to taking on this role, Ira spent the eight years managing the Baltimore office and over 20 years managing a consulting practice focused on providing strategic advisory services to clients in support of their vision for growth and enhanced enterprise value. He has extensive knowledge of the public-private partnership, specifically leveraging government programs to accomplish the project finance goals of his client base. Such programs include the federal and state New Markets Tax Credit Programs, the federal and state historic tax credit programs, renewable energy tax credits for investment and production, and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

Ira is a subject matter expert and firm leader on Opportunity Zones, an economic development provision passed as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, providing technical, transaction advisory, and entity formation services related to this provision. In this role, Ira co-authored “The Guide to Making Opportunity Zones Work” in 2020.

Ira speaks at conferences and seminars nationwide on a variety of topics. 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. His initial experience just post-college was doing credit analysis for a factor in extending credit nationwide across a variety of industries.


Collin Willard

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Friday November 10 10:00 - 12:00 PM

Grants Specialist/Grant Assistance Program
Biden School of Public Policy at the University of Delaware

Collin Willard is a grants specialist at the Biden Institute for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware. Collin works on the Grant Assistance Program (GAP), which is a state-funded initiative that provides free technical grant assistance to Delaware local governments and communities. With a background in transportation and land use planning, writing, and historical research, Collin supports local governments with grant research, project planning, and direct application assistance. Collin is a founding member of the GAP team, assisting with the program’s launch in 2022 as a graduate student.


John Wooten

Bonds for Manufacturing, Nonprofits & First Time Farmers
Thursday November 9 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Head of Municipal Placements
Wells Fargo Securities

Mr. Wooten leads the bank’s Municipal Placements division responsible for working with 501(c)(3) organizations, corporations, and municipalities issuing tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds under Wells Fargo’s fixed rate, variable rate, and direct purchase bond programs. He works with bond counsel, local authorities, and others in putting together financing teams to successfully manage bond underwritings, refundings, and restructurings. He has more than 20 years of experience in consulting, providing financial analysis, and completing transactions for clients. John speaks at numerous industry-related conferences and travels the country educating Wells Fargo clients on the benefits of bond finance. He currently sits on the board of the Council of Development Finance Agencies. He earned a Master of Business Administration at George Washington University in 1989 and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of South Carolina in 1985. Registered with FINRA as a General Securities Representative (Series 7), General Securities Principal (Series 24), Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52), Municipal Securities Principal (Series 53), an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79), and has passed the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination (Series 63).