Arleesha Wilson is an attorney and urban planner who is passionate about community development. She is on the Placemaking team of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, supports commercial real estate development and manages the real estate portfolio.
Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio
Roberta Garber is Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, whose members are working to advance solutions to closing the 54,000-household affordable housing gap in Franklin County.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Christopher Germain, AICP is a Senior Planner with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® (RRC) program working primarily with communities in the Upper Peninsula and Thumb/I-69 region as well as Detroit. Christopher provides direct technical assistance to over 60 communities and connects them with resources as they seek to reach RRC certification.
Theresa Saelim currently serves as Vice President, Community Development Consultant for PNC Bank in Columbus, OH. In her position, Ms. Saelim is responsible for developing and implementing programs and services that support low and moderate income communities and underserved areas for 26 counties in Ohio.
Joyce Barrett currently serves as Executive Director for Heritage Ohio Inc. Ohio’s statewide preservation organization whose mission is helping people save the places that matter, build community live better. Heritage Ohio coordinates the Ohio Main Street program, statewide historic preservation education and is the lead advocacy organization for the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
City of Columbus Economic Development
Ashley is the Downtown and Neighborhoods Manager for the City of Columbus Economic Development department. A skilled professional experienced in communications and campaign finance, as well as government and legislative affairs at the federal, state and local levels.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Alex Derkson is the Vice President of Global Philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase & Co. In this role, Alex manages JPMorgan Chase’s philanthropic work in Ohio and Kentucky, where the Firm focuses its giving in four priority areas: workforce readiness, revitalization of distressed neighborhoods, supporting diverse-owned small businesses, and financial health.
The Cincinnati Port Authority
Jessica Powell joined the Redevelopment Authority in 2017 to manage the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (“Landbank”) and its work in neighborhood revitalization. Managed by the Redevelopment Authority since 2012, the Landbank is an important tool addressing vacant and abandoned properties.
Plan F Solutions
Brian A. Friedman is the President of Plan F Solutions. Plan F Solutions is a consulting company lending expertise to organizations and businesses focused on transforming communities through Community Redevelopment, Creative Placemaking, Non-Profit Organizations, and Small Businesses Startups. Prior to launching Plan F Solutions, Brian was the Executive Director of the Northeast Shores Development Corporation.
Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Findlay
Leigh Esper is the Executive Director for the Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Findlay. The Center for Civic Engagement supports a network of community partners to seek collaborative solutions to complex social problems that affect residents across the Findlay-Hancock County region.
Brian Heitkamp is the President at CityWide. Brian is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s mission and strategy including economic development financing, real estate development, and the creation and implementation of comprehensive community development strategies and programs. Brian has extensive knowledge and experience with project structuring and management, and financial analysis.
Erie Downtown Development Corporation
Persinger previously worked at MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton law firm, where he focused on business and commercial transactions. He also provided legal assistance and guidance on local government and municipal law matters and counseled local, national and international clients on a variety of corporate governance and regulatory matters, such as labor and employment, anti-corruption and export issues. Persinger holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University and earned his juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council
Since 2007, Misty Crosby has served as the Executive Director of Buckeye Hills Regional Council. She has been with the organization since 1990. Buckeye Hills serves as the local development district for the Appalachian Region Commission and Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia; the economic development district for the federal Economic Development Administration.
Cheryl Wilson leads the Community Development lending group for CIBC Bank USA, based in Chicago. Increasing capital to under-served communities while promoting economic and environmental sustainability is the Community Development group’s primary goal.
National Community Stabilization Trust
Chris Garland is an urban community and economic development professional with over 15 years of experience in both Detroit, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio. Chris has a strong history in both cities of utilizing research-based methods, leveraging strong partnerships, and implementing creative solutions to deliver positive neighborhood and city-wide impact.
City of Akron
Jason Segedy is director of planning and urban development for the city of Akron, Ohio. Segedy has worked in the urban-planning field for the past 23 years, and is an avid writer on urban development issues, blogging at Notes from the Underground.
Area Development Foundation, Inc.
Jeffry Harris heads the Area Development Foundation, Inc., a private not-profit organization guiding the development efforts of Knox County and its political subdivisions, including Mount Vernon, Fredericktown, Gambier and Centerburg. Harris also serves as the President of the Knox County Land Bank, a land reutilization corporation under Ohio law that can acquire and dispose of tax-foreclosed and distressed properties.
DiSalvo Development Advisors, LLC
With more than 20 years’ experience, Pete has provided market research and development consulting in excess of one thousand projects throughout 46 states. His housing research and analysis is used as a resource by bond rating agencies, investment groups, banks, municipalities and private developers. Pete also has extensive experience working in highly speculative housing markets that have not seen appreciable amounts of housing construction in the past several decades. In the past year he has worked with several of these communities where he successfully collaborated with local officials, major employers, residents and other real estate professionals to document and identify market-supported housing opportunities.
Greater Ohio Policy Center
As Project Manager at Greater Ohio Policy Center, Aaron assists the organization in advancing and championing a statewide agenda of revitalization and economic prosperity through the management of GOPC’s campaign for brownfields state remediation funding.
Richland County Foundation
Allie Watson is the Senior Community Investment Officer at the Richland County Foundation. Allie helps donors fulfill their charitable wishes through grant making. She discovers and discusses community opportunities, projects and programs with donors and grant recipients.
Erica Spaid Patras
Greater Ohio Policy Center
Erica conducts research to identify realistic strategies for the redevelopment of Ohio’s small legacy cities, with a particular focus on executing equitable development within a weak-market context.
New Bedford Economic Development Council
Derek Santos has served as Executive Director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council since 2014. He is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the organization’s programs and initiatives. Before joining NBEDC, he was the historical architect for New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park and worked in the city planner’s office.
Issue Media Group
Brian serves as co-Chief Executive Officer for Issue Media Group. Prior to founding Issue Media Group, Brian directed e-Business Solutions for Infinity Broadcasting (Viacom), where he created “small” media within a radio giant. The e-Business Solutions team managed the sales, marketing, and creation of 11 online publications targeting niche audiences for technology, automotive, human resources, alternative energy, small business and real estate. In consecutive years, Infinity recognized Brian as a Newcomer of the Year and New Business Leader of the Year for its seven Detroit stations.
Montgomery County Land Reutilization Corp.
Michael Grauwelman, Executive Director, Montgomery County Land Re-utilization Corp. (aka Montgomery County Land Bank). Mike has served in a variety of planning, and real estate development leadership roles during his career. The organization operates in all market segments, but has focused on the stabilization of residential neighborhoods utilizing $18M in funds provided by a federally sponsored program.
Kristin is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and chair of the environmental group. Her practice focuses on environmental compliance and counseling, enforcement defense, environmental audits and permitting issues. She also assists with due diligence in business and commercial real estate transactions and the contracting provisions related to each.
Mike Jacoby, APEG President, leads the APEG-JobsOhio team’s project development and business attraction efforts as well as shale energy activities and initiatives related to the state’s Marcellus and Utica shale resources. His economic development career includes leadership of development efforts in Muskingum, Jefferson and Washington Counties.
Rep. Steven M. Arndt
Ohio House of Representatives, 89th District
State Representative Steven Arndt represents the 89th House District, which encompasses both Erie and Ottawa counties. Rep. Arndt has been primarily focused on economic, workforce, healthcare, Lake Erie and education initiatives and legislation in the Ohio House.
As Chief Policy Analyst at Reinvestment Fund, Dr. Michael Norton supports all research related to Reinvestment Fund’s organizational goals and mission. In this role Dr. Norton works closely with a range partners, including small non-profit organizations, local and national philanthropies, private companies, colleges and universities, school districts, federal, state, and city governments and agencies.
Alicia Townsend is Vice President, Community Development Manager at U.S. Bank responsible for Community Reinvestment Act performance for Ohio Metro markets. Alicia’s experience includes serving as a Commercial Real Estate Loan Officer and Consultant at the Cincinnati Development Fund, Inc. and the Division Manager for the City of Cincinnati’s Small Business Division and Office of Contract Compliance.
Greater Ohio Policy Center
As the Manager of Government Affairs for the Greater Ohio Policy Center, Jason is responsible for representing GOPC at the Ohio Statehouse, advocating for the issues and policy positions central to the organization's mission. Jason brings more than 15 years of experience working in and around Ohio state government.
Greater Dayton RTA
Mark Donaghy is the Chief Executive Officer of RTA and has more than 40 years of experience in public transportation, with over 30 years at the CEO level. He has held positions with varying levels of responsibility in both public and private transportation operations in Kentucky, Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska and New Hampshire.
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
As the Transportation Policy & Coalition Manager for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Pete Metz oversees a coalition of business leaders advocating for expanded investment in transportation that connects people to jobs and supports a talent rich workforce.
Community Action of Wayne/Medina Counties
As President/CEO of Community Action Wayne/Medina, Melissa Pearce oversees initiatives to stabilize households and provide opportunities to build individual self-sufficiency for low-income residents in a two-county area. Through community collaborations, Pearce leverages the agency’s $10 million budget for focuses on early children education, housing, energy services, transportation and workforce development.
Richland County Regional Planning Commission
Jotika Shetty has served as the Executive Director of the Richland County Regional Planning Commission since 2014. Shetty has been a planner and environmental coordinator for the Mansfield-based civil engineering firm of K.E. McCartney & Associates prior to her joining RCRPC.
Matt is responsible for research, development, and implementation of effective social investments that strengthen and improve the community. He provides leadership to advance the Foundation’s efforts currently focused on the Weinland Park neighborhood.
Kamara is a Columbus native and she loves spending time with her family. She is working on her Bachelors of Science in Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and minoring in Public Policy at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University. Her passion is leading through service to others. She lives and works in her community; volunteering as a Milo-Grogan Area Commissioner and working part time at the Milo-Grogan Recreation Center.
Prior to starting MCR Services in 1995, Wade Hungerford spent over a decade as a laborer, cabinet maker, Project Superintendent, Project Controls Manager, and Pre-construction Manager. Twenty years later, Wade now serves as the President and CEO (and sole proprietor) of MCR Services, Inc., and is responsible for overseeing all operations. Headquartered in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood, MCR Services, Inc. has become a leading self-performing general contractor in central Ohio.
Mrs. Evans oversees the financing, development and implementation of Homeport’s residential development and neighborhood revitalization strategies and leads business development to support the targets of Homeport’s strategic plan and increase investment and impact in Central Ohio communities.
Milo-Grogan Area Commission
Milo-Grogan area resident and business owner. AC Chair and Zoning Chair of the Milo-Grogan Area Commission.
Affordable Housing Trust
Ms. Mallory serves as General Counsel and Director of CDFI Investments for The Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County. Prior to joining The Affordable Housing Trust, she was a partner with Frost Brown Todd, LLC, where she focused her practice on advising tax exempt organizations, businesses, individuals, and business owners, in the core areas of corporate and business law, financing, commercial real estate, and tax planning.
Mayor of Somerset, OH
Mayor Tom Johnson is the Mayor of the Village of Somerset, Ohio, and has served in this position since 2010. Tom is also an Executive in Residence at Ohio University, as part of the Rural Revitalization Partnership Initiative, which seeks to support regional collaborations to improve quality of life in Appalachian Ohio. In the past, Tom has served as Executive Director of the Perry County Community Improvement Corporation and as Senior Vice President of Standard Chartered Bank.
Fifth Third Bank
Susan Thomas serves as Vice President & Commercial Real Estate Principal at Fifth Third Bank where she focuses on tax credit lending transactions including the low income housing tax credit, new markets tax credits, and historic tax credits. In addition, as part of Fifth Third’s $32 billion 5-year Community Commitment, Susan is responsible for the non-tax credit CRA commercial real estate lending strategy across the bank’s 10-state footprint.
Gordon Mann is a member of the PFM Management and Budget Consulting practice, managing projects where the firm provides financial, budgetary and operational analysis, and direction to municipal governments. Gordon has worked extensively to help Pennsylvania municipalities develop multi-year plans, which are multi-faceted strategies to overcome the operational and financial challenges that push municipal governments’ budgets out of balance.
Andrew Deye is a managing director at JobsOhio, where he oversees strategy, global business development and research functions. Previously, Andrew worked in investment banking for eight years, most recently as a vice president at Greenhill & Co.
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Layisha Bailey is a Community Development Analyst in the Community Development Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. In her role, she performs research and outreach around housing and economic inclusion as well as monitor economic trends impacting LMI communities throughout the 4th District. She is passionate about raising awareness of issues impacting the unserved and underserved.