As President of NTCIC, Merrill directs fundraising and acquisitions opportunities, develops and implements overall strategy and new lines of business for the company and coordinates governing board/staff relations.
Merrill joined NTCIC in 2016, bringing 19 years of experience in community development finance that includes the structuring and closing of over $1 billion utilizing Historic, New Markets, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Before joining NTCIC, Ms. Hoopengardner was a Principal at Advantage Capital Partners, a finance company that specializes in using public-private partnerships to raise venture capital and small business capital for investments and loans in underserved areas. At Advantage, Merrill raised over $100 million per year in state and federal NMTC funds that were used to provide access to capital for small businesses nationwide.
Merrill began her tax credit career with the law firm Nixon Peabody LLP, where she represented a number of prominent community development entity, investor and project sponsor clients.
Merrill received her bachelor’s degree and law degree from Duke University. She is the chair of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition and a member of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Advisory Board, the SunTrust CDE Advisory Board, the Banc of America CDE Advisory Board, and the Executive Committee of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.
Managing Director Tax Advantage Group by Cherry Bekaert
Laurel Tinsley serves as the managing director of Tax Advantage Group (TAG) by Cherry Bekaert. With 20 years of experience, Tinsley brings expertise in complex financial transactions for the economic development of communities through her knowledge of federal and state new markets tax credits (NMTCs), historic tax credits, low-income housing tax credits, renewable energy tax credits, bond financing and other types of incentives. Tinsley provides clients with technical guidance through transactions beginning at inception and assists in compliance through the entirety of the loans until unwind. Before joining Cherry Bekaert, Tinsley was the CEO of MBS Urban Initiatives, a Community Development Entity (CDE), and deputy general counsel of development at McCormack Baron Salazar. During her tenure, Tinsley deployed more than $297 million of the CDE’s NMTC allocation into 42 investments resulting in more than $1.16 billion in investment in low-income communities (LICs) across the country. In addition, she sourced more than $50 million in third party NMTC allocation into six projects as a tax credit, finance and development consultant. Tinsley’s extensive knowledge in tax credits began with a legal career with an emphasis on federal, state and local tax issues and complex investments involving corporations, partnerships, and tax-exempt entities.
Attorney Butler Snow
Ashley Wicks is a member of the firm’s business services and public finance practice groups. She focuses her practice on state and federal tax planning and controversy, tax credit finance, economic development incentives and 103 tax. She has represented qualified active low-income community businesses, leverage lenders, guarantors and community development entities in more than $300 million in federal new markets tax credit (NMTC) transactions. She has also represented source lenders and state tax credit investors in NMTC transactions. Ms. Wicks has represented developers in hybrid NMTC, historic tax credit and/or renewable energy transactions. Ms. Wicks has served as bond counsel in tax-exempt bond financings, including affordable housing financings. She has represented mass transit agencies in the exercise of early buy-out options and voluntary terminations of tax-advantaged leases and the payment undertaker in the voluntary termination of tax-advantaged leases. She has represented taxpayers in controversy matters with the Mississippi Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service. She is a Certified Public Accountant, and Mid-South Super Lawyers® has recognized her as a “Rising Star” for her work. She currently serves on the president of the Butler Snow Foundation and treasurer for the Community Foundation for Mississippi. Ms. Wicks is also involved in several civic and community organizations. Additionally, she is a frequent speaker on legal issues. Ms. Wicks obtained her J.D. from Tulane University, a M.P.A. from Jackson State University and a LL.M. in taxation from the University of Alabama. She is admitted to the State Bars of Mississippi and Texas and the U.S. Districts Courts for both Districts of Mississippi.
CEO Ho-Chunk Capital
Shareholder Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr
Courtney Tawresey is an experienced attorney who focuses on representing business with general corporate, federal tax and financing matters. Tawresey is well-versed in corporate and partnership tax planning, taxation of financial products, private equity, lease financing, public finance and tax-exempt bonds, as well as real estate and exempt organizations. Tawresey also has significant experience in issues involving international tax, state and local tax and executive compensation. Over the last decade, Tawresey has worked on more than $1 billion in tax credit transactions and represented clients in a variety of complex real estate and financing transactions. With an advanced degree in tax law, Tawresey draws on her knowledge of the tax code to provide clients with comprehensive advice on structuring federal and state new markets tax credits, historic tax credits, opportunity zones and other tax credit transactions. Tawresey excels at translating complex legal, tax and financial information into actionable steps for clients. Regardless of the matter at hand, clients always appreciate her keen eye for detail, attentive client service and mindfulness of the bottom-line.
N.A. Chief Credit Officer Native American Bank
Joel Smith has served as the senior vice president and chief credit officer of Native American Bank since 2013 and oversees the bank’s CDE and NMTC program activity. He is an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. He has more than 17 years of experience in commercial credit, lending and management. He holds a master’s degree in finance from the University of Colorado Denver, and a dual B.B.A in finance and accounting from the University of Oklahoma. Smith also is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, and holds a RMA Credit Risk Certification designation. He serves as a board member for several Native American local and national nonprofit organizations and previously served as board president for Hasinai Gaming Enterprises, an economic development enterprise of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. Smith was named to the 2015 Native American “40 under 40” by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and to the 2020 “40 under 40” by the Independent Community Bankers of America as an emerging community bank leader.
Partner Thompson Coburn LLP
Jarrod is the chair of Thompson Coburn's Tax Credits practice and has over 15 years of experience representing lenders, community development entities and investors in connection with a broad range of tax credit, real estate, commercial finance and specialty lending projects.
Jarrod routinely works on economic and community development projects that utilize one or more state and federal tax credits and other incentives like real property tax abatement to finance the construction and/or rehabilitation of real property. From start to finish, Jarrod manages these highly sophisticated projects, which require a significant amount of time and specific legal experience, as well as close collaboration among real estate developers, lenders, investors and governmental bodies.
Program Manager for New Markets Tax Credit Program CDFI Fund
Christopher Allison is the program manager for the new markets tax credit (NMTC) program at the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Mr. Allison previously served as associate program manager for the NMTC program. He oversaw the development of NMTC application materials, led the implementation of the NMTC evaluation process in the CDFI Fund’s new Awards Management Information System, and made recommendations for tax credit allocations. Prior to joining the CDFI Fund, Mr. Allison was a program manager at Single Stop USA, where he oversaw grant and performance management for a national portfolio of community-based organizations related to income supports. He worked on several innovative workforce development and asset building projects at Seedco, a national economic development intermediary. Mr. Allison has also held positions with Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Community Capital in North Carolina. Mr. Allison holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an emphasis on economic development, and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Eugene Lang College at The New School in New York.
Trefor A. Henry
Associate Program Manager CDFI Fund, Office of Compliance Monitoring & Evaluation
Trefor Henry is an associate program manager in Office of Compliance Monitoring & Evaluation at the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund. In this role, he is responsible for compliance monitoring and evaluation of the New Markets Tax Credit program. Prior to joining the CDFI Fund in 2004, Mr. Henry was a financial analyst with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU), a certified CDFI. In this capacity, he was responsible for underwriting, portfolio management and compliance monitoring for NFCDCUs Capitalization Program–an investment and grant portfolio comprised of more than 125 community development credit union borrowers. Mr. Henry earned a master’s degree with a concentration in finance and marketing from New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wesleyan University.
Associate Program Manager, Financial Strategies and Research CDFI Fund
Oscar Gonzales is a researcher and associate manager for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). Mr. Gonzales is associate manager for the CDFI Fund’s Office of Financial Strategy and Research. His research focuses on the evaluation and performance of the CDFI Fund’s national award and tax credit programs. Previously, he worked for the United States Congress at the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) in the area of federal economic and community development programs, providing policy research support for members of Congress and Congressional Committees. His policy portfolio at CRS included federal programs such as the CDFI Fund, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Community Development Block Grant program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to working at CRS, he worked in the Division of Insurance and Research at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, analyzing the financial performance of community banks and conducting research on the impact of national disasters on financial institutions and local communities. He is completing his PhD at the University of Maryland.
Rebecca Darling is a partner in the metro Atlanta office of Novogradac. Ms. Darling has experience in all areas of real estate accounting, with an emphasis in the new markets tax credit (NMTC), historic rehabilitation tax credit and affordable housing sectors. She specializes in audit and taxation of NMTC and low-income housing tax credit partnerships, including those subject to the auditing requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has extensive experience in assisting in the facilitation, review and preparation of NMTC allocation applications. Ms. Darling works closely with the Novogradac NMTC Working Group, a membership organization that is highly regarded for its effort in addressing technical programmatic issues surrounding the NMTC industry. She is a contributor to the Novogradac New Markets Tax Credit Handbook and Novogradac Introduction to New Markets Tax Credit Booklet. Additionally, she is a frequent speaker at industry events. Ms. Darling earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Kennesaw State University. She is licensed in Georgia as a certified public accountant.
H. Blair Kincer is a partner in the metro Washington, D.C., office of Novogradac in the company’s government consulting and valuation advisory services (GoVal) group. Mr. Kincer specializes in four primary practice areas: market analysis and appraisal of various types of mixed-income and affordable housing properties, new markets tax credit (NMTC) industry consulting, historic tax credit (HTC) industry consulting, and market analysis and appraisal in the renewable energy industry. The real estate appraisal practice has specialized competencies in all value aspects surrounding Section 42 development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) MAP program, HUD rent comparability studies and valuation of all tangible and intangible assets involved in affordable housing development. Further, Mr. Kincer has worked on many low-income housing tax credit Year 15 and disposition analyses, including GP and LP interest valuations and qualified contract analyses. In the HTC and NMTC arena, Mr. Kincer specializes in various analyses involving evaluating debt and real and financial asset value/appraisal questions. Further, the appraisal of commercial real estate assets involved in NMTC and or HTC redevelopment is an area of significant experience. His experience in the renewable energy industry includes solar and wind-generation facility appraisals and impact analyses of renewable energy services provided to affordable housing. Mr. Kincer, a certified LEED Green Associate, brings to his practice a broad understanding of green building technologies, best practices and the LEED Rating System. Mr. Kincer is also a member for the Counselors of Real Estate and of the Appraisal Institute. Before joining Novogradac, Mr. Kincer was vice president of acquisitions for a regional developer, where he specialized in financial and economic feasibility analysis. His responsibilities included finding and processing potential acquisitions for rehabilitation using tax credit and tax-exempt bond financing. Mr. Kincer served as a manager with Ernst & Young LLP, where he performed portfolio valuations, market analysis and loan pool performance reviews. His areas of specialization included portfolio review, retail and hospitality. Mr. Kincer received his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and his master’s degree from Duquesne University. He is a member of the Appraisal Institute and a certified general appraiser in approximately 15 states.
Attorney Ginsberg Jacobs LLC
Darryl Jacobs has more than 25 years’ experience in tax and corporate law. His practice focuses on international, state and federal tax matters, with a primary concentration on tax credit financing transactions. Mr. Jacobs regularly counsels developers, investors, syndicators and lenders on new markets tax credits (NMTCs), historic tax credits (HTCs), low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and preservation easements. Additionally, Mr. Jacobs is featured frequently as a speaker at local and national tax conferences. His corporate experience includes mergers and acquisitions, complex corporate transactions and private placements. Mr. Jacobs is also adept in the structuring of joint ventures, limited liability companies and partnerships. Mr. Jacobs was formerly a partner at Sachnoff & Weaver and Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC. Mr. Jacobs earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his juris doctor from Harvard Law School.
Executive Vice President Greenline Ventures
Kermit Billups is an executive president of Greenline and is involved in activities including transaction structuring, tax credit syndication, debt financing, origination, underwriting and new markets tax credits (NMTCs) compliance. Mr. Billups began his career at Capmark in 1999 and has been a member of the NMTC platform since 2004. He has been in investment banking since 1992, with an emphasis on developing solutions for deficiencies in low-income communities nationwide, including complex and innovative financings to benefit low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and NMTC transactions. He has participated in more than $3.5 billion of development finance and affordable housing capital. He has successfully completed more than 50 taxable and tax-exempt revenue bond programs to serve low- and moderate-income individuals. Before joining Capmark, Mr. Billups worked for Honeywell, IBM, Legg Mason and Stephens Inc. Mr. Billups has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
President and CEO Henderson and Company
Irvin M. Henderson is the principal of Henderson & Company, a development company with expertise in the areas of community development and historic preservation, commercial, residential and enterprise development. Mr. Henderson has an extensive track record in downtown revitalization, multi-family development and commercial development for urban core infill. He is the former president and CEO of Henderson Financial Services and the former CEO of Gateway Community Development Corporation. Mr. Henderson is immediate past chair of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, a trustee of the Community Capital Trust, a trustee emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, past chair and current board member of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, finance and audit chair of the National Main Street Center, advisory board member Monticello and board member of several new markets tax credit community development entities. He is re-developing the New Granada Theater with the Hill CDC in the historic Hill District of Pittsburgh along with 40 units of housing and the ICA GreenRise Center in Chicago. He is developing the historic Masonic Temple and the A. G. Gaston Office Building in Birmingham as historic national monuments in Alabama. He is developing a post-industrial business center in the Ensley neighborhood in Birmingham. Over the last few years, he completed a manufacturing facility in Lumberton, N.C., apartments in S.C. and a Job Creation Center for the Arc of Hilo, in Hawaii.
Vice President, Community Development Banking Chase
Nicole Boone is a vice president in Community Development Banking-New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) group at Chase, where she is primarily responsible for the origination, deal structuring and closing of NMTC investments within the Western United States. Since joining Chase in 2018, she has executed approximately $200 million in NMTC investments. Before joining the firm, Ms. Boone was the business development lead of the California market at Capital Impact Partners, where she supported the debt and NMTC placement within her respective market. Previously, she worked as an associate and analyst in the Corporate Commercial Real Estate Banking Group at USBancorp, where she performed valuation and financial analyses and participated in the execution of various types of transactions, including equity offerings and mergers and acquisitions of large real estate investment trusts (REITs). Ms. Boone has a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida A&M University. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling with friends and family. Ms. Boone resides in Los Angeles.
CDE Manager Travois
Michael Bland is a CDE manager at Travois New Markets. It is Mr. Bland’s job to document and measure the community impacts of new markets tax credit (NMTC) investments in Indian Country. Mr. Bland can help you get access to favorable financing through the NMTC program by helping you tell your story. NMTC investors and community development entities (CDEs) base investment decisions on which developments create quality jobs, generate environmental benefits and otherwise positively impact low-income communities. Mr. Bland has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the University of Texas.
Director Stonehenge Capital
Mr. Crawford is responsible for the sourcing, underwriting and administration of investments with an emphasis on new markets tax credits and underserved markets. Prior to joining Stonehenge, Mr. Crawford worked for McKinsey & Company serving executive-level clients across a number of industries and functional specialties. His background also includes experience in corporate audit with Cardinal Health. Mr. Crawford earned his bachelor’s degree in honors finance from The Ohio State University.
Noel Andrés Poyo
Deputy Assistant Secretary For Community Economic Development United States Department of the Treasury
Noel Andrés Poyo is the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Economic Development. He most recently served for 14 years as executive director of the National Association for Latino Community Assets Builders (NALCAB), a nonprofit membership organization serving as the hub of a network of more than 120 community and economic development organizations that serve geographically and ethnically diverse Latino communities. Beginning in 2015, he also served as chief executive officer of Escalera Community Investments, NALCAB’s subsidiary asset management company that controls social investment funds designed to capitalize affordable housing developments and small businesses. Poyo’s 22-year career has focused on integrating immigrants and people with low incomes into the mainstream financial services and real estate sectors of our economy and on improving the livability and economic resilience of low-income neighborhoods and affordable housing communities. He has played diverse roles in the implementation of community development projects valued at more than $1 billion. From 2015 to 2017, Poyo served as one of 15 members of the Community Advisory Council for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He has extensive experience advising the executive leadership of some of the nation’s largest banks and numerous nonprofit lenders and social investors. Poyo is a graduate of Yale University.
En Jung Kim
Executive Director, Community Development Banking - New Markets Tax Credit Group Chase
En Jung Kim is executive director of Chase community development group where she is primarily responsible for managing the originations team for new markets tax credit (NMTC) investments nationally. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Kim was acquisition manager at National Equity Fund Inc., where she supported the placement and management of NMTC activities of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) since 2004. Established in 1979 by the Ford Foundation, LISC is a national nonprofit organization that provides grants and loans to support community development in low-income communities. Previously, she worked as an associate in the global technology group at the Investment Banking Division of Lehman Brothers where she performed valuation and financial analyses and participated in the execution of various types of transactions, including equity offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, she worked in Seoul, Korea, in the global financial services group at Lehman Brothers. Ms. Kim has bachelor’s degrees in international relations and economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Brad Elphick is a partner in the metro Atlanta office of Novogradac. He has extensive experience in the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), historic tax credit and new markets tax credit (NMTC) programs. Mr. Elphick specializes in developer consulting, with an emphasis in forecasting and partnership taxation. He also works extensively with real estate partnership audits and compliance audits, as well as the structuring of LIHTC and NMTC applications. Mr. Elphick also leads and coordinates the NMTC Working Group, a membership organization that is highly regarded for the work it does addressing technical programmatic issues surrounding the NMTC industry. He is a regular contributor to the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits’ NMTC content, a frequent speaker at industry events and serves as chairman of Novogradac & Company’s annual fall New Markets Tax Credit Conference. He also serves on the board of directors of the Mississippi Association of Affordable Housing Providers and is often a speaker at state housing credit conferences in the Southeast. Mr. Elphick received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from Emory University and a master’s degree in taxation from Georgia State University. He is licensed in Georgia, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia as a certified public accountant.
United States Senator State of Maryland
A third-generation Marylander, Ben Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues while representing the people of Maryland in the U.S. Senate, and before that in the House of Representatives. First elected to the Senate in 2006, Sen. Cardin currently serves as Chair of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, which is on the forefront of rebuilding our economy. He is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Environment & Public Works committees. A member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee since arriving in the Senate, Sen. Cardin helped write the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that has helped small businesses in Maryland and nationwide weather the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and he created the EIDL Advance Grant program to quickly get cash to small businesses in need. Sen. Cardin believes access to quality, affordable health care should be a right and not a privilege, especially during a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. He continues to be a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and has advocated for the addition of a public option for coverage. Sen. Cardin has a deep interest in foreign affairs and has worked across party lines to further our national security and protect universal human rights. He has fought to ensure that anti-corruption, transparency and respect for human rights are integrated our foreign policy. He also has worked to ensure gender equity in national security programs and policies. From 1987-2006, Cardin represented Maryland's Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and served for 17 years on the Ways & Means Committee. He was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986. During his time as Speaker from 1979-1986, he reformed Maryland's property tax system, the school financing formula and the ethical standards for elected officials. A 1967 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1964 from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Policy Studies' National Advisory Board and the St. Mary's College Advisory Board, Center for Study of Democracy.
Jodie Fish is a manager in the Portland, Ore., office of Novogradac, where he specializes in new
markets tax credits (NMTCs), opportunity zones, low-income housing tax credits and historic
rehabilitation tax credits. In addition to providing various consulting services, he works extensively
on financial statement audits, tax return preparation, final cost certifications, financial forecasts
and agreed-upon procedures engagements. Mr. Fish’s specialization with the NMTC includes
experience with Community Development Financial Institution reporting requirements and
NMTC allocation applications. Before joining Novogradac, he obtained several years of experience
at other northwest CPA firms, where he provided audit, accounting, tax compliance and business
advisory services to manufacturers, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, contractors, real
estate developers, property owners, employee benefit plans and nonprofit organizations. Mr.
Fish also has tax and accounting experience with individuals, closely held partnerships, LLCs, S
corporations and C corporations. Mr. Fish is a regular contributor to the Novogradac Journal of
Tax Credits and has presented on accounting and tax topics in various industry conferences. Mr.
Fish received his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting
from Portland State University. He is licensed in Oregon as a certified public accountant.
Nicolo Pinoli is a partner in the Portland, Ore., office of Novogradac, where he specializes in affordable housing and community development, including the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), new markets tax credit (NMTC), historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) and opportunity zones (OZ). Mr. Pinoli has extensive experience in a wide range of services, including financial statement audits; tax return preparation; writing NMTC and LIHTC applications; LIHTC, NMTC, OZ and HTC transaction underwriting; consulting on LIHTC, NMTC, OZ and HTC transaction structuring; and LIHTC, NMTC and OZ compliance. A frequent speaker at industry conferences, Mr. Pinoli also delivers several webinars every year on topics such as NMTC exit strategies, NMTC allocation applications and LIHTC Year 15 strategies. He has published many articles on various technical issues confronting the affordable housing and community development industries, and serves as a technical editor of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Handbook and Novogradac’s Tax Reform Resource Guide. Mr. Pinoli received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in professional accounting from Brigham Young University and is licensed in California, Oregon and Washington as a certified public accountant.
Matt Meeker is a partner in the Dover, Ohio, office of Novogradac, where he specializes in federal and state new markets tax credits (NMTCs), renewable energy tax credits (RETCs), historic rehabilitation tax credits (HTCs), low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and opportunity zones (OZ) investments. Mr. Meeker has consulted on hundreds of tax credit transactions. He provides transaction advisory services to real estate and renewable energy developers, community development entities, lenders, consultants and investors on the structuring and financing of federal and state NMTCs, RETCs, HTCs and LIHTCs. Mr. Meeker also has extensive experience working with syndicators regarding the various tax and accounting issues involved in NMTCs, RETCs, HTCs, LIHTCs and OZs. He also advises on accounting, tax, compliance and regulatory matters in addition to providing traditional audit and tax services. Mr. Meeker frequently speaks at industry conferences and seminars on topics related to the new markets, historic rehabilitation, renewable energy tax credits and opportunity zone industries. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University of Ohio and is licensed in Ohio as a certified public accountant.
President and Principal Rapoza Associates
Bob Rapoza has more than four decades of experience as a professional lobbyist. He is an expert on the federal budget and appropriations process, with special expertise in federal housing and community development policy. His knowledge and desire to ensure programs for disadvantaged communities and populations are not only sustained, but are able to reach their goals, fueled his drive and success in securing and increasing funding for his clients’ work–even in a difficult budget environment. Mr. Rapoza is responsible for numerous legislative accomplishments, including saving federal rural housing and community development programs from budget cuts, establishing the Intermediary Re-lending Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and securing funding for community development programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. At the Department of the Treasury, he effectively steered the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program to enactment. Mr. Rapoza also has earned recognition in the education and job training policy arena. He created a YouthBuild program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and guided its more recent transfer to the Department of Labor. He became involved with community development issues while serving with the Massachusetts Department of Community Affairs. After moving to Washington, D.C., Mr. Rapoza held executive positions with the Rural Housing Alliance, the National Rural Housing Coalition (which he continues to serve as executive secretary and legislative director) and the Rural Coalition, before establishing Rapoza Associates in 1984. Mr. Rapoza has served on the boards of several housing and community development organizations and has been a featured speaker on legislative issues, government and politics at numerous governmental, industry and trade association conferences. He has been profiled in The Washington Post and in the authoritative Beacham’s Guide to Key Lobbyists. Mr. Rapoza is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Amanda Read is a partner in the Cleveland office of Novogradac. She provides a wide range of services to community development entities, including transaction structuring, development and implementation of internal compliance policies and procedures, bookkeeping, monthly loan servicing and asset management, compliance review and Community Development Financial Institutions Fund reporting. She assists her clients in transaction structuring, financial modeling, new markets tax credit (NMTC) compliance and reporting. Ms. Read’s experience includes working with complex financing for community development real estate developments, including using NMTCs, historic tax credits, public/private partnerships, and other federal, state and local tax credits and incentives. She is also a frequent speaker at the preconference workshops at the company’s NMTC conferences. In addition to her NMTC practice, Ms. Read also focuses on the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), providing accounting, auditing, forecasting and compliance of developments subject to the regulatory requirements of the LIHTC program and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ms. Read received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Akron. She is licensed in Ohio as a certified public accountant.
Managing Director and Manager Tax Credit Finance Dept, Capital One
Mr. Gagnet has more than 35 years of experience in the financial sector, including 33 in banking and finance. Mr. Gagnet is a managing director and manager of the tax credit finance department, housed within the capital market’s team at Capital One. His team is responsible for the management of all new markets tax credit investment activities (investor, CDE, leveraged lender, asset management), as well as management of Capital One’s alternative energy investment business. Previously, Mr. Gagnet managed the oil and gas specialty lending department for seven years at Hibernia National Bank, prior to its acquisition by Capital One in 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Gagnet managed Hibernia’s Debt capital markets department, focused on interest rate derivatives and private debt placements. He began his career in banking by participating in the Hibernia credit analyst training program, and then worked with the Southeast Louisiana C&I lending team, rising to section manager of that group. Mr. Gagnet holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Louisiana State University, and a master’s degree from Tulane Universities A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Managing Partner Novogradac
Michael Novogradac is the managing partner of Novogradac, which has been in business since 1989. He specializes in affordable housing, community development, historic preservation and renewable energy. Mr. Novogradac’s focus is in real estate taxation and accounting. He is the author of numerous real estate-related tax and accounting articles and books, including the Novogradac Opportunity Zones Handbook, the New Markets Tax Credit Handbook and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Handbook. A frequent speaker at tax incentive conferences and forums throughout the country, Mr. Novogradac also broadcasts a weekly podcast, Tax Credit Tuesday. As a leading industry expert, he is frequently quoted in national media, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg, Forbes, CNBC News, NBC News, National Public Radio and Crain’s New York Business. Mr. Novogradac is active in advocating for the inclusion of affordable housing, historic preservation, community development and renewable energy incentives in federal and state tax policy, and serves as advisor on industry and governmental affairs for the NMTC Working Group, LIHTC Working Group and the Opportunity Zones Working Group. Mr. Novogradac provides input to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, and other federal and state agencies as well as members of Congress, including testimony before the United States House Committee on Ways and Means. Mr. Novogradac also serves on the executive committee of the Housing Advisory Group and the boards of directors of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the National Housing Conference, the NMTC Coalition and Historic Tax Credit Coalition. In 2016, Mr. Novogradac was inducted into the Affordable Housing Hall of Fame. He also received The Affordable Housing Visionary Award from The NHP Foundation in 2018, in recognition of his contributions to the affordable housing community and in 2020 was honored as one of the top 25 OZ Influencers through Opportunity Zone Magazine. Mr. Novogradac graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He received an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He is licensed in California, Oregon, Maryland and Texas as a certified public accountant. You can follow Mr. Novogradac on twitter @novogradac and on his blog at www.novoco.com/blog or listen to his weekly podcast at www.novoco.com/podcast.
Director of Business Development U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
Laura Vowell is the director of business development for new markets and historic tax credit investments at U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. Since joining USBCDC in 2005, she has been instrumental in originating and closing more than $3 billion of tax credit investments in hundreds of projects around the country. Since 2014, she has managed a national team of originators who invest in transactions by helping secure funding for a diverse array of projects; from food banks and performing arts centers, to grocery stores and historic hotels. Ms. Vowell is a regular speaker at national community development and historic preservation industry conferences and tax credit-related events. She is the treasurer of the NMTC Coalition, on the executive committee of the Partnership for Job Creation, and the board of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition. She served as the treasurer of the D.C. Preservation League prior to relocating to St. Louis, where she was also the treasurer of the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee and is currently on the board of Grand Center Inc. Ms. Vowell began her career in the Washington, D.C., area as a transportation engineer. Prior to joining USBCDC, Ms. Vowell worked with a private real estate developer, managing several redevelopment projects in the Los Angeles area. She holds a master’s degree from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Squire Patton Boggs
Louis J. Jenull represents clients in most phases of federal income taxation with an emphasis on a range of tax credits, community development programs, environmental, safety and health issues, real estate lending and development, oil and gas (including significant midstream and master limited partnership experience), low-carbon programs and IRC Section 45Q, mergers and acquisitions, and the structuring and formation of complex partnerships with tax-exempt, U.S. taxable and foreign investors. He has extensive experience in structuring various tax-advantaged investments for tax equity investors (and sometimes others), including structures for the monetization of tax credits (low-income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, energy and investment tax credits, refined coal tax credits and new markets tax credits with investments totaling approximately U.S. $3 billion), as well as a variety of structured finance transactions. He also actively advises clients in the renewable energy arena regarding the development of, and investments in, wind and solar power projects and low-carbon/sequestration programs and tax credits.
Shareholder Maynard Cooper & Gale
Randall is a shareholder and member of Maynard Cooper’s public finance, real estate and economic development practice groups. He focuses on the representation of developers, sponsors, investors, governmental and nonprofit entities in connection with in a variety of commercial real estate transactions and tax credit finance transactions, including low-income housing tax credits, new markets tax credits and historic tax credits. He also counsels developers, sponsors, investors and other clients through the complexities of the emerging opportunity zones incentive and structuring transactions to take advantage of opportunity zones tax incentives. In addition, Mr. Minor represents governmental and nonprofit entities in connection with the issuance of taxable and tax-exempt bonds, notes, warrants, and other debt instruments. Mr. Minor is a graduate of Yale Law School and the University of Alabama.
Partner Thompson Coburn LLP
Elizabeth Feldmeir is a nationally known community development and tax credit advisor. For more than a decade, she has worked directly on several billion dollars in tax credit transactions and represents lenders, investors, community development entities and developers. She is recognized for her ability to collaborate with parties in a transaction and her understanding of her clients’ businesses and their priorities. With an advanced degree in tax law, Ms. Feldmeir draws on her knowledge to provide clients with comprehensive advice on the best approaches for structuring federal and state low-income housing tax credit, new markets tax credit and historic tax credits, as well as renewable tax credit transactions. Feldmeir combines traditional financing with tax incentives in order to finance the expansion of operating businesses and the development of mixed-use real estate, charter schools, manufacturing facilities, protective shelter facilities, hotels, theatres, health care facilities, and retail and commercial developments. She has also represents clients during the acquisition, development, construction, sale and management of commercial and multifamily residential property.
Partner Barnes and Thornburg LLP
Erik Rickard works with developers, investors, funds and financial institutions and counsels them on real estate finance, joint ventures, equity funds, new markets tax credits, low-income housing tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits and commercial lending law. He also assists clients in the acquisition, senior and mezzanine debt financing and equity financing of real estate.
Director of Public Policy and Government relations, Marketing Novogradac
Peter Lawrence is director of public policy & government relations for Novogradac. In this role, he coordinates the company’s public policy and government relations work on low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), the new markets tax credit (NMTC), the historic rehabilitation tax credit, renewable energy tax credits, and U.S. Housing and Urban Development programs. Before joining Novogradac, Mr. Lawrence was the senior director of public policy and government affairs for Enterprise Community Partners, where he led the execution of Enterprise’s policy and advocacy agenda. His primary issue responsibilities were tax (including LIHTC and NMTC advocacy as well as tax incentives to promote green and sustainable building), affordable housing preservation and rental housing policy. While at Enterprise, he helped found the Affordable Rental Housing A.C.T.I.O.N. (A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods) campaign. He was the secretary of the board of directors of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition and a member of the board of directors of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition. Mr. Lawrence was also a legislative and policy associate at the National Council of State Housing Agencies. Mr. Lawrence also was a housing policy analyst for the Center on Budget Policies and Priorities, a congressional fellow for Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island in Reed’s capacity as the Ranking Member of the Senate Housing and Transportation Subcommittee, and a presidential management fellow for the Office of Policy Development & Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition to his federal experience, he served as an analyst for the affordable housing group of Chicago Metropolis 2020, and as an appointed member of the Interagency Taskforce on Homelessness of the city of Berkeley, Calif.
Partner Akin Gump
Jeffrey D. McMillen advises clients on federal tax and pension policy matters. Before joining Akin Gump, Mr. McMillen was the staff director of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, where he served under Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) and Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery (R-LA). During the course of his tenure with the Committee, Mr. McMillen assisted in drafting the Energy Tax Policy Act of 2003, developing the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act of 2003, and crafting the American Competitiveness Act of 2002 and the Community Solutions Act of 2001. Previously, he served on the staff of the Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight. Before joining the government, Mr. McMillen was the tax counselor for the 3,000-member American Electronics Association.
Director of NMTC Operations River Gorge Capital
Monica Blanton is the new market tax credit team lead for BrightBridge Capital’s subsidiary CDE, River Gorge Capital. Brightbridge is a certified CDFI, nonprofit commercial lender focused on supporting economic development. Since 2005, Ms. Blanton has worked in all aspects of NMTC operations and plays a key role in BridgeBridge’s success in being awarded $132 million in NMTC allocations to date. In addition to closing financings using River Gorge’s NMTC allocation into projects that have positive community impact, Ms. Blanton provides consulting services to help borrowers obtain and close NMTC financing from other CDEs, a role for which she has been dubbed a NMTC “Sherpa”. She leads engagement of River Gorge’s Advisory Board and oversees internal policy development and implementation for investor and regulatory reporting for BrightBridge’s NMTC and CDFI programs. Ms. Blanton is a Certified Public Accountant. Her professional experience includes eight years in public accounting with international firms in the area of assurance services. Subsequently, she provided management and supervisory consulting services for a variety of businesses in the areas of general business, financial systems, policies and procedures, financial reporting, and analytical analysis.