2018 Governor's Conference on Housing and Economic Development

2018 Keynote Speaker: Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy 

Phil Murphy, as he says, “grew up in a family that was middle class on a good day.” That has shaped Phil’s values, his priorities, and the kind of governor he will be.

Religion, basic values, work ethic, education, and civic awareness were pillars of family life. His father never graduated from high school, his mother worked as a secretary; they inspired Phil and his three siblings to pursue their educations and be active participants in civic life.

Phil put himself through Harvard on loans and part-time jobs. After earning a graduate degree at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he started his career at the bottom, working his way up to help lead a major international business by learning how economies grow and create jobs.

Phil has helped lead local charities to support troubled teens and domestic abuse survivors, and these groups have changed thousands of lives for the better. Nationally, Phil served proudly as New Jersey’s sole representative on the board of the NAACP, the world’s oldest civil rights organization. He served as Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee, helping Howard Dean on the “Fifty-State Strategy” that rebuilt the Democratic Party from the grassroots up; that effort helped return Congress to Democratic hands in 2006 and elect President Barack Obama in 2008. Phil also has led national and state task forces on education and public employee pensions and benefits.

In 2009, Phil answered President Obama’s call to service and became the U.S. Ambassador to Germany after his confirmation by the U.S. Senate. After returning home in 2013, Phil and his wife, Tammy, saw our state falling behind. They couldn’t sit by and watch hard working families struggling to stay even, much less get ahead. They founded New Start New Jersey as a “think and do” organization to rebuild the state’s economy from the middle class out — New Start New Jersey partnered with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University to create the New Start Career Network, which is helping older, long-term unemployed residents once again actively compete for good jobs.

As Governor, Phil will make New Jersey more fair and just for all residents. His vision would grow the middle class and jumpstart the state’s economy by targeting investments in people and infrastructure, reclaiming New Jersey’s mantle as a center of the STEM and innovation economies, protecting working families by raising the minimum wage and expanding earned sick leave for all, and protecting the middle class with real tax fairness.

Phil and Tammy live in Monmouth County and are the parents of Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam.

“I am an optimist. I believe New Jersey’s best days are before us and that our future is unlimited."
— Phil Murphy

Websites: www.nj.gov, www.nj.gov/governor

Follow the Governor on social media: www.facebook.com/governorphilmurphy, www.twitter.com/GovMurphy


Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver
Commissioner, NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
Sheila Oliver took the oath of office as New Jersey’s 2nd Lieutenant Governor on January 16, 2018. She is the first woman of color to serve in statewide elected office in New Jersey history. She was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs by Governor Phil Murphy.

Lt. Governor Oliver is a 40-year resident of East Orange, and a native of Newark.

First elected to the General Assembly in 2003, she became Speaker in 2010 – the first African-American woman in state history to serve as such, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house.

She has chaired the Assembly Human Services Committee, and served on the Labor, Higher Education, Women and Children, Commerce and Economic Development, and Transportation and Independent Authorities committees. She also sat on the Joint Committee on the Public Schools and the Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity.

She also has served as an Essex County Freeholder, from 1996 to 1999, and was a member of the East Orange Board of Education.

A graduate of Newark’s Weequahic High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude in sociology, from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master of Science in community organization, planning and administration from Columbia University.

Lt. Governor Oliver began her career in public service as the Director of the Office of Youth Services and Special Projects for the City of Newark, where she focused on preparing young people ages 14 to 21 for post-secondary education and entry into the workforce. She later became the Development Director for The Newark Literacy Campaign while working at Caldwell College as the Coordinator of Career Guidance within the Educational Opportunity Fund Program.

She has taught college courses in Achievement Motivation, Nonprofit Management, and Pre-College Preparation, served as a consultant to a variety of nonprofit organizations, and spent several years as the Director of the Essex County Division of Community Action, an anti-poverty initiative.

Lt. Governor Oliver has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including the East Orange General Hospital Board of Trustees, the United Way, the Newark Coalition for Neighborhoods, the Newark Collaboration Group, the Rutgers-Newark Educational Opportunity Fund Advisory Council, the Global Women’s Leadership Collaborative of NJ, the Essex County and East Orange Committees on the Status of Women, Programs for Parents, and a number of other community-based entities. She has held memberships in the Women’s Political Caucus of NJ, the NAACP, and the Urban League.
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Leslie A. Anderson
President and Chief Executive Officer, NJ Redevelopment Authority (NJRA)

Leslie A. Anderson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA), a multimillion dollar independent financing authority created by the State of New Jersey to transform urban communities through direct investment and technical support. Ms. Anderson is the first African American woman to helm an independent financing authority in New Jersey and thanks to her tenacity, effectiveness, and vision she has been reappointed to this position by three consecutive governors.

Under her bold leadership, NJRA has used its financial resources to leverage over $3.8 billion in new investments, helping to redevelop some of New Jersey’s most economically challenged neighborhoods. Moreover, the Authority committed $418 million in direct investments in 44 eligible communities. This has led to the creation of 15,000 new housing units and 10 million square feet of commercial and retail space.

In 2006, Ms. Anderson created the NJRA Redevelopment Training Institute (RTI) to provide learning opportunities centered on the complexities of redevelopment and best practices for community revitalization. Since its inception, RTI has trained over 2,000 attorneys, elected officials, developers and nonprofits.

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Charles A. Richman
Executive Director, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Charles A. Richman brings more than 40 years of experience in New Jersey state government to his role as Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Before joining NJHMFA in January 2018, Mr. Richman previously had served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), where he had worked for 31 years. NJHMFA is an affiliate of DCA.

Prior to joining DCA in 1986, he served as Executive Director of the New Jersey State Energy Office, and Assistant Commissioner and then Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Energy. He was named Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs in 1986, was promoted to Deputy Commissioner in 2005, and held the title of Acting Commissioner at DCA three times.

Throughout his tenure at DCA, Mr. Richman spearheaded effective policy development in areas ranging from affordable housing, fire safety, community planning and economic revitalization to budget development. He was responsible for regulatory reform in a variety of building and housing codes, evaluations of municipal operations; formulation of legislative strategies; preparation of department budgets and priorities; contract management; and supervision of operating divisions.

Over the years he has represented DCA on a number of prominent boards and commissions, including the Council on Affordable Housing; Casino Reinvestment Development Authority; the State Planning Commission, the New Jersey Historic Trust; and the Asbury Park Housing Authority among others. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, he helped lead efforts to provide Sandy-displaced families with housing options and in administering federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to assist homeowners, renters and local governments in their Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts.
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Tim Sullivan
Chief Executive Officer, NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA)

Tim Sullivan serves as Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). In his role as CEO, Mr. Sullivan oversees the EDA’s strategic direction, leading policy and governance initiatives, and serves as the principal representative of the Authority throughout the state.

Mr. Sullivan 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. Mr. Sullivan joined the DECD in January 2014 as Director of Brownfield, Waterfront, and Transit-Oriented Development, and became Deputy Commissioner in 2015.

Mr. Sullivan 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, Mr. Sullivan 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.

Born and raised in Bergen County, Mr. Sullivan is a graduate of Georgetown University.

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Carl E. Van Horn, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University
Carl Van Horn is Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the founding Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. He is also Senior Advisor for Strategy and Planning in the Office of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. He is the author or editor of 17 books and over 150 scholarly articles and reports. He has held several senior positions in government, including: Director of Policy for the State of New Jersey; Chair of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; member of the boards of NJ Transit and the Commission on Science and Technology; and, Senior Economist, Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pittsburgh in Honors political science and sociology, and earned a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in political science/public policy from the Ohio State University.
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Hakeem Adebayo
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Milicon and Associates Limited, LLC
Hakeem Adebayo is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Milicon and Associates Limited, LLC, a construction and development company that focuses primarily on special-needs and low-to-median income housing statewide. He is a business and relationship management professional with 15 years of experience specializing in strategic planning, organization and market development, operations, emphasizing background within the dynamic financial and construction services industries. His background encompasses significant exposure to aspects of operations including business development, service delivery and finance. Mr. Adebayo is a dynamic communicator, facilitator and leader with a well-defined business vision, supplemented by strong marketing orientations, and the capacity to utilize and integrate diverse resources in achieving business objectives.
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Leah Apgar
Managing Director, Lending, New Jersey Community Capital
Leah Apgar joined New Jersey Community Capital in 2006 as an intern and has been an Associate, Lending and Lending Team Leader, Housing. She has been responsible for business development, relationship management, and underwriting for more than $200 million in financing. Ms. Apgar has been instrumental in designing, capitalizing and managing specialized funds and projects. In May 2018, she stepped into the role of Managing Director, Lending. A Lead New Jersey Fellow, Ms. Apgar was recognized for her contributions to the community development field when she received the “Rising Star Award” from the Edward J. Bloustein School at Rutgers University. Ms. Apgar has completed the Opportunity Finance Network’s Citi Leadership program for CDFI professionals. Ms. Apgar holds dual bachelor degrees in political science/economics and psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in community and economic development from the Bloustein School.
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Bob Atkins, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Director, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Bob Atkins is director of New Jersey Health Initiatives, the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University with a joint appointment in nursing and childhood studies. Dr. Atkins is a lifelong New Jersey resident and is committed to building healthier communities across the state through effective collaborations and partnerships, meaningful conversations across sectors, and evidence-based innovations.
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Ras J. Baraka
Mayor, City of Newark
Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s progressive approach to governing has won him accolades from grassroots organizations to the White House. He was listed in The Nation’s 2015 “Most Valuable Progressives” as “Most Valuable Mayor,” Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” and on the front page of the New York Times for “defying expectations” during his first year-and-a-half in office. From the launch of a social impact venture fund to accelerate the development of technology to the creation of the City’s first-ever police Civilian Complaint Review Board to mobilizing residents to combat violence in high-crime areas, Mayor Baraka’s leadership has married a profound vision with an unshakeable passion for the City where he has lived and worked for more than four decades. There is currently $2 billion in economic development underway in Newark and in his first 100 days in office, Mayor Baraka closed the City’s budget gap without laying off employees. He was recently joined by the City’s premiere corporate CEOs and leaders of social justice, community development, and educational institutions to announce a landmark initiative – Hire. Buy. Live. Newark, marking the first time that any U.S. city has sought to transform its economy by combining employment, procurement, and residential strategies.
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Meghan MacWillliams Baratta
Supervising Historic Preservation Specialist, NJ Historic Preservation Office (HPO), NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Meghan MacWillliams Baratta is a Supervising Historic Preservation Specialist with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (HPO). She has worked in a professional position at the HPO since 1999, when she received her Master of Science in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. With the HPO, she supervises the Project Review Section and project reviews under the New Jersey Register of Historic Places Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Land Use Regulation Program, Executive Order 215, and the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program. She monitors some of the HPO’s easements and heads the internship program. She also serves as HPO representative for the Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission, the Mapleton Preserve and the Ellis Island State Historic Preservation Office meetings. Prior to joining HPO, she was a partner with The Acanthus Group, a historic preservation firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Cheltenham, Pennsylvania.
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Adenah Bayoh
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Adenah Bayoh and Companies
Adenah Bayoh embodies the American dream. At age 13, she escaped the civil war in her native country of Liberia, immigrated to the United States and is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in her home state of New Jersey. Ms. Bayoh is the founder and CEO of Adenah Bayoh and Companies, which is the parent corporation that owns IHOP franchises in Newark, Paterson and Irvington, and a real estate development portfolio with over $250 million in urban redevelopment projects. Because of the success of her flagship IHOP in Irvington, she is the second largest employer in the township. Recently, she launched Cornbread, her signature line of fast casual, farm-to-table, soul food restaurants. Ms. Bayoh is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where she earned a degree in business management.
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Kimberly Beczo
Occupancy Specialist Coordinator, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Kimberly Beczo is the Occupancy Specialist Coordinator in the Property Management Division and has been with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency for 23 years. Her background includes experience in Section 8, 236, Tax Credit, and Assisted Living housing. She is an Accredited Residential Manager with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and holds a Tax Credit Certification. She is well-versed in the 4350.3 and the application of regulations governing the processing and transmission of tenant certifications. As the Occupancy Specialist Coordinator, she approves all tenant selection policies for Agency-financed developments and works directly with the assistant director of Property Management in the operation of the Occupancy Department.
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Richard Brehm
District Sales Manager, Soprema
Rick Brehm is a District Sales Manager for Soprema, a major manufacturer of building envelope systems (roofing, waterproofing and walls) with $3 billion in worldwide sales. He has been with the company 11 years and is responsible for states along the East Coast from upstate New York to Virginia where he manages 10 independent representatives. He has been involved in the construction industry specifically in the fields of roofing and waterproofing for over 36 years. Mr. Brehm has broad industry experience having worked for manufacturers, distributors and a contractor. His experience is in technical sales, sales management, product development, field applications of materials, safety and training. In general he is focused on all aspects of the building envelope. He has written articles about his areas of expertise and regularly conducts AIA presentations, sales trainings and works closely with architects, engineers and other specifiers.
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Vic Carlson
Chief of Homeless Services, Veteran Affairs New Jersey Health Care System
Vic Carlson is the Chief of Homeless Services for the Veteran Affairs New Jersey Health Care System. He is a Clinical Psychologist with over 35 years of experience developing mental health services in public service settings. He came to the VA in New Jersey 25 years ago to run the substance abuse treatment programs, and left in 2001 to manage other mental health programs in the community. Dr. Carlson returned to the VA 10 years ago to direct the vocational, residential and housing programs for homeless veterans. He has also been a member of the visiting faculty at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, and was awarded the Peterson Prize in 2007 for “a sustained career in professional psychology that has contributed to the public good at the highest level of distinction.”
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Eric Carrier
Project Development Officer, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA)
Eric Carrier is a lifelong resident of the Atlantic City area. After a long and successful career in residential real estate, he began working with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in 1992. Mr. Carrier was instrumental with CRDA’s initial acquisition and development projects in Atlantic City. Currently, as a Project Development Officer, he is a member of the Project Implementation and Management team, which oversees multimillion dollar construction and redevelopment projects within the city.
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Anthony Cava
President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset
Anthony Cava has 32 years of experience in health care administration and currently is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, an affiliate of RWJBarnabas Health. He formerly was Chief Operating Officer for Bayshore Community Hospital, Holmdel, an affiliate of Hackensack Meridian Health. His hospital leadership experience also includes positions as Vice President, Strategic Planning/Business Development and Vice President of Operations at Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank, an affiliate of Hackensack Meridian Health; Vice President of Operations for Kimball Medical Center, Lakewood, (now Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus) an affiliate of RWJBarnabas Health; and Vice President of Operations and Administration, and Vice President of Clinical Services at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital. He obtained a Bachelor of Science from St. John’s University College of Pharmacy, and a Master of Science in clinical pharmacy and administration from St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health.
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Paul Ceppi
Director, Business Banking and Community Development, NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA)
Paul Ceppi is the Director of Business Banking and Community Development at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. In this role, he oversees the Community Development team whose primary focus is working on tax credit programs designed to create and retain jobs, and encourage investment, particularly in some of the most distressed areas of New Jersey. Mr. Ceppi also manages the Business Banking team, which works closely with commercial lenders in forming partnerships to assist New Jersey businesses in obtaining the capital needed to expand. Prior to joining the EDA in 2007, he was employed by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, where he assisted developers and sponsors in obtaining financing to construct more than 4,000 units of affordable housing. Mr. Ceppi is a member of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority Housing Committee and the Board of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority.
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Sam Chapin
Associate Director, L&M Development Partners
Sam Chapin has worked at L&M Development Partners for seven years, beginning in construction management and preconstruction services, and now as a member of the development team. He is part of the L&M team that focuses on development projects outside of New York City, at this time primarily in New Jersey. Since 2015, the team has financed and built approximately one million square feet of development in Newark with more in the pipeline. Mr. Chapin is also focused on expanding L&M’s reach into new markets such as Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. He graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts in art history in 2008 and from Columbia Business School in 2014.
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Christine Cicio
Senior Program Coordinator, Center for Government Services, Rutgers University
Christine Cicio is a Senior Program Coordinator at the Center for Government Services, a unit within the Division of Continuing Studies at Rutgers University. The Center for Government Services trains more than 8,000 individuals each year through 22 separate programs. Ms. Cicio oversees continuing education training programs for local, state and national government employees in a variety of areas including affordable housing. Prior to her career at Rutgers University, she worked as a community educator and outreach coordinator in the nonprofit industry for over eight years.
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Sharon Clark
Executive Director, Central Jersey Housing Resource Center (CJHRC)
Sharon Clark has been with Central Jersey Housing Resource Center – originally called the Somerset County Coalition on Affordable Housing – for 25 years. She has served in numerous positions with the agency and has been Executive Director since 1997. Prior to joining the agency, she spent eight years as a property manager for Unirok Enterprises, Inc. where she was responsible for over 600 rental units in four states. Ms. Clark and CJHRC have been recognized numerous times for outstanding programs, counseling and community service. The agency continues to be recognized as a nonprofit leader and works collaboratively with over 25 organizations to ensure clients’ needs are met. Currently, CJHRC is the administrative agent for more than 1,000 affordable housing units in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. She also serves on various committees and task forces focused on housing issues in New Jersey and how to resolve problems clients face.
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Christopher Coes
Vice President, Real Estate Policy and External Affairs, Smart Growth America
Christopher Coes is Vice President of Real Estate Policy and External Affairs at Smart Growth America. He oversees Smart Growth America’s real estate programs including LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, and TOD Finance and Advisors, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Smart Growth America. Previously, he served as a Consultant for Government Affairs and Campaigns at M+R Strategic Services, and for three years, he served as Transportation for America’s Senior Campaign Advisor and Deputy Director. In addition to his work on transportation and real estate issues, he brings over 10 years of experience in government relations, advocacy and coalition building, and program management. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, and serves as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of African American Real Estate Professionals of DC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in government and politics from St. John’s University.
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Tai Cooper
Deputy Chief Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor
A Newark native, Tai Cooper earned a Bachelor of Arts in urban planning from The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and a master’s degree in urban planning from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. Ms. Cooper has a wealth of political experience and has worked for more than a decade in senior-level positions in federal, state and municipal government. She began her political career as a Senior Aide to U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. During the 2014 Newark mayoral election, Ms. Cooper served as spokesperson and Senior Policy Advisor for mayoral candidate Ras J. Baraka and was later appointed to serve as his Chief Policy Advisor. Ms. Cooper currently serves as the Deputy Chief Policy Advisor in the Office of the Governor.
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Israel Cronk
Executive Director, Montclair Center Business Improvement District
Since 2016, Israel Cronk has led a team of passionate volunteers and staff to decrease vacancies, improve the quality of life, and advocate for businesses and property owners. Montclair Center is responsible for the programming, maintenance and promotion of a downtown business district that includes over 400 businesses. Montclair has won New Jersey’s Favorite Downtown Arts District and the Great American Main Street Award.
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Alex Curio
Senior Associate, Triad Associates
Alex Curio is a lifelong New Jersey resident with more than 20 years’ experience in operating and assisting community development programs of all sizes. As part of Triad Associates' team of professionals, he specializes in problem solving, problem avoidance and finding creative ways to get things done. As Community Development Director for the City of Vineland, Mr. Curio planned and implemented the city's first homebuyer assistance program. Over 10 years, more than 150 families became homeowners and most remain so. He has developed forms, processes and policies that streamline community development implementation while maintaining compliance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (and other) requirements.
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David M. Daly
President and Chief Operating Officer, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G)
David M. Daly was elected President and Chief Operating Officer of Public Service Electric and Gas Company effective October 2017. In addition, Mr. Daly assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of PSEG Long Island, a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), which has been managing the electric transmission and distribution systems on Long Island and in the Rockaways since January 2014. Prior to his current position, Mr. Daly served as President and Chief Operating Officer of PSEG Long Island. Before his appointment to PSEG Long Island, Mr. Daly served as Vice President - Asset Management and Centralized Services at PSE&G. Since joining PSE&G in 1983, Mr. Daly has held a variety of positions in utility operations and support services. He has an electrical engineering degree from the State University of New York Maritime College and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University.
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Deborah De Santis
President and Chief Executive Officer, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
Deborah De Santis leads the Corporation for Supportive Housing in advancing solutions that use housing as a platform for services to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, maximize public resources, and build healthy communities. Under her leadership since 2007, CSH has tripled its lending and supported the creation of over 200,000 permanent stable homes for individuals and families struggling through multiple challenges, including the trauma of homelessness, lack of healthcare, and intergenerational poverty. Prior to her current position, Ms. De Santis served CSH for four years as the Director of the New Jersey program, was Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and was the Deputy Chief of Staff to New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. Ms. De Santis earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Babson College, where she is on the Board of Trustees.
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Dr. Stephany De Scisciolo
Senior Director, Knowledge, Impact & Strategy Team, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Dr. Stephany De Scisciolo is the Senior Director of the Knowledge, Impact & Strategy Team at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., a multidisciplinary team of researchers, data scientists and evaluation specialists. She leads Enterprise’s national health and housing research agenda, creates tools and resources for use in the field, and cultivates key partnerships. Her work focuses on addressing health inequities using affordable housing as a platform for better health outcomes. Dr. De Scisciolo holds a Ph.D. in health policy from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Wellesley College.
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Wilda Diaz
Mayor, City of Perth Amboy
Wilda Diaz was re-elected to her third term as Perth Amboy Mayor in November 2016. She was first sworn-in on July 1, 2008, becoming the first woman to hold that office and currently the only elected Latina mayor in the state. As she marks her 10-year anniversary, she remains at the forefront of issues such as: expanding programs for children, youth and families; maintaining an open and honest government; business expansion; economic development; job creation; and preserving the city’s history. Over $17 million for renovations and storm mitigation was invested to create a state-of-the-art waterfront as part of Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts. Her aggressive outreach and promotion of business advocacy has welcomed major corporations such as Buckeye Partners and Target. Her administration has attracted over a half-billion dollars in corporate investments in the past five years while creating local jobs, and beautifying and remediating over several hundred acres of long-vacant industrial property.
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Tim Doherty
Executive Director, Project Freedom Inc.
Tim Doherty has been the Executive Director of Project Freedom Inc. since 1997. Prior to that, he owned and operated a family fuel oil business and gasoline distributorship for 25 years. Since taking the helm at Project Freedom Inc., he has overseen the organization’s growth from $3.5 million to over $80 million in assets, creating over 423 barrier-free rental units within seven housing communities throughout New Jersey. These communities are totally barrier-free developments that provide a completely accessible environment to anyone who uses a wheelchair, thereby providing the maximum ability to achieve an independent lifestyle. Mr. Doherty is also a certified Low Income Housing Tax Credit specialist and was former Chair of the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Arts in human service administration from Rider University.
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Ricardo Fernandez
Business Administrator, City of Passaic
Ricardo Fernandez has been in the field of housing, planning and zoning administration for over 19 years. He serves as the Business Administrator and Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency and the Urban Enterprise Zone for the City of Passaic, working diligently to promote economic stability and quality of life for City residents. Mr. Fernandez is the owner and CEO of J.I.A. Consulting, a firm specializing in land use planning and development. He is a state-licensed qualified purchasing agent, professional planner and is nationally certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a member of the New Jersey Municipal Management Association, New Jersey Planning Officials, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and the New Jersey Association of Planning and Zoning Administrators.
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Sheri Fine
Supervisor, Office of Housing, Division of Developmental Disabilities, NJ Department of Human Services (DHS)
Having assisted in the development of residential settings in the community for more than 15 years, Sheri Fine is a supervisor with the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Office of Housing and Resource Development. She has more than 34 years of experience working for DDD in a variety of capacities supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
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Robin Florio
Senior Administrative Analyst, Ocean County Planning Department
Robin Florio has worked for the Ocean County Planning Department for the last 23 years. She is responsible for providing leadership, oversight and strategic direction for management and coordination of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs. Ms. Florio oversees the administration and fiscal management of grant funds and coordinates with qualified community housing development organizations to facilitate development of affordable rental housing in Ocean County. In addition, she manages the county’s first-time homebuyers program and tenant-based rental assistance program.
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Michael Floyd
Chief of Property Management and Technical Services, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Michael Floyd was appointed Chief of Program Services at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency in August 2002, with the title being changed in 2012 to Chief of Property Management and Technical Services. The Division of Property Management, Division of Technical Services and the Division of (Section 8) Contract Administration have reported to Mr. Floyd since 2002. He also serves on the Agency’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Committee. Mr. Floyd joined the Agency in 1986 and has served in several capacities, including Development (Loan) Officer, Senior Development (Loan) Officer, Internal Operations Coordinator, Director of Strategic Planning and Director of Portfolio Dispositions. Prior to joining the Agency, Mr. Floyd was coordinator of the Neighborhood Preservation Program in Princeton and Assistant Supervisor of Licensing and Evaluations with the Bureau of Rooming and Boarding House Standards, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Mr. Floyd has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College.
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Joseph M. Forgione
Founder and Principal, JMF Properties Group
Joseph M. Forgione is the Founder and Principal of JMF Properties Group. With 20 years of development experience, he is responsible for the construction of over 2,000 residential units as well as multiple commercial and retail spaces. At JMF Properties Group, Mr. Forgione manages site acquisitions, project development approvals, and liaising with municipal, state and federal agencies. He is also a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He is a member of the New Jersey Civil Engineers and the New Jersey Builders Association. Mr. Forgione served as a Commissioner for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) from 2001 to 2013. He also served as Chairman for the NJSEA’s Construction Committee and was a member of the selection committee for the redevelopment of the Meadowlands complex. Mr. Forgione earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
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Pamela Frank
Vice President, Gabel Associates
Pamela Frank, Vice President of Gabel Associates, has more than 20 years of experience in sustainability issues and the renewable energy industry. She supports the firm's efforts related to development of renewable energy, storage, energy efficiency, advanced technologies and electric vehicle (EV) growth. Ms. Frank also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of ChargEVC, a coalition that promotes sustainable growth of the EV market. Gabel provides management services for this innovative group made up of utilities, automotive dealers, technology companies, equity, environmental and consumer advocates. Ms. Frank has been a key stakeholder in the development of the solar energy market in New Jersey, and is a featured speaker at national and state conferences on topics related to solar energy policy, EV market development and renewable energy financing. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to bring together leaders from diverse sectors to advance issues related to sustainability.
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Carmelo G. Garcia
Chief of Development, Economic and Housing Development Department, City of Newark
Carmelo G. Garcia is the Chief of Development for the Economic and Housing Development Department for the City of Newark. He previously served as the City’s Acting Deputy Mayor and Director of Economic and Housing Development. Prior to this, he had served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Real Estate Officer of Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, and is the former Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority. He also had served in the New Jersey General Assembly for the 33rd Legislative District. He holds a Master of Science in information systems and management from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and sociology from Seton Hall University. He graduated from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government with an executive degree in public policy and community development, and holds a Certification in Leadership and Management from Cornell University and a Certification in Human Resources and Public Administration from Rutgers University.
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Rosa M. Gil, DSW
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comunilife, Inc.
Dr. Rosa Gil is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comunilife, which began in New York City in 1989 and provides affordable/supportive housing for people living with special needs, medical respite services and suicide prevention activities for Latina teens. She had served as a Mayor’s Health Policy Advisor; Chair of NYC Health + Hospitals and other leadership positions within the organization; New York City Human Resources Administration’s Executive Deputy Commissioner for Families and Children Services; and Dean for Health Sciences at the City University of New York. Dr. Gil serves on numerous boards including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City Board of Health, New York City Mayor’s Supportive Housing Task Force, New York State Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force, and the EmblemHealth Board of Trustees.
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Frank M. Gilliam, Jr.
Mayor, City of Atlantic City
Frank M. Gilliam Jr. was sworn into office as Mayor of Atlantic City on January 1, 2018. Highly regarded for his upright, enthusiastic and no-nonsense leadership style, Mayor Gilliam was previously elected as an Atlantic City Councilman-At-Large beginning in 2008. Born and raised in Atlantic City, he is a proud product of the public school system. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from Stockton University, which also recently honored him with an award for professional achievement. He also holds a Master of Social Work from the University of San Francisco. As a small business owner, member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Mayor Gilliam understands the issues facing large and small businesses. Over the course of his political career, he has sponsored multiple initiatives to help spur development within Atlantic City.
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Aisha Glover
President and Chief Executive Officer, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC)
Aisha Glover has over 15 years of experience as a convener, champion and agent for economic empowerment and social responsibility. Currently, she serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, where she oversees a range of innovative and community-focused economic development initiatives. Previously, Ms. Glover served as the Vice President of External Affairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the nonprofit organization that manages the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Ms. Glover's impact at the Brooklyn Navy Yard was informed by her tenure at the Center for the Urban Environment, New York City’s largest provider of environmental education programs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College, City University of New York, in sociology and political science; a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York; and a leadership certificate from the Columbia Business School, School of Social Enterprise.
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Darryl Godfrey
Chief Operating Officer, NJ Redevelopment Authority (NJRA)
Darryl Godfrey serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA), and has worked to increase the authority’s impact and expand its reach. To this end, he has played an integral role in the authority applying for and receiving New Market Tax Credits from the federal government. In 2014, NJRA received its first-ever tax credit allocation of $20 million. Mr. Godfrey spearheaded the effort to deploy these subsidies to critical economic development projects in Camden and Newark. Before joining NJRA, he served as the Executive Vice President of Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC). Mr. Godfrey began his career in banking where he spent over 15 years working for some of the nation’s largest financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, GE Capital, Commerce Bank, Banco Popular, and First Fidelity Bank. He earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University where he is currently completing his Master of Public Administration.
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Gia Gore
Director of Real Estate, Eden Autism Services
Gia Gore is the Director of Real Estate for Eden Autism Services, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve the lives of children and adults with autism. Ms. Gore is responsible for managing and overseeing the real estate activities of the organization, including leasing, site selection, selling, buying, market research, financial analysis, and establishing and maintaining company-wide real estate standards and policies. She manages a diverse range of projects involving real estate and facilities from development through stabilization. She has extensive experience in developing special needs projects for individuals with developmental disabilities. Prior to Eden, Ms. Gore spent 13 years at Our House Inc. and was the organization’s Director of Real Estate.
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Tonnetta Graham
President, Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation
Tonnetta Graham is a Philadelphia native who is a Founder and current President of the Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to neighborhood preservation, commercial, residential and economic development and planning. She has successfully led community engagement efforts and negotiations on a wide variety of local projects, which resulted in community benefits that stabilized the neighborhood and empowered its long-time residents. Her additional service efforts include board affiliations with the Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center, East Fairmount Park Coalition, Community Partnership School and the Audubon/Outward Bound Discovery Center. She also serves as an instructor for the Philadelphia Citizen’s Planning Institute and is a contributor to its Citizen’s Tool Kit. Ms. Graham has a Bachelor of Science in human resources from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in higher education and organizational leadership from Drexel University, with additional certifications in volunteer management and citizen planning.
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Kyle Graser
Financial Analyst Coordinator, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Kyle Graser serves as the Financial Analyst Coordinator for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency's Property Management Division. He is a licensed certified public accountant in New Jersey and also a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. He earned a bachelor's degree in forensic accounting from Rider University. Prior to joining NJHMFA, he gained experience in the private equity industry with Venture Management Services Inc. and the financial services industry with Crowe Horwath, LLP.
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Roger F. Grutzmacher, AIA
Managing Architect, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Roger Grutzmacher is the Managing Architect for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency's Technical Services Division. He reviews construction documents submitted to the Agency related to the construction of multifamily housing projects throughout New Jersey. Mr. Grutzmacher brings 30 years of private sector experience and knowledge in the field of architecture, planning and construction administration to the Agency.
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Dorothy Guzzo
Executive Director, NJ Historic Trust, NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
Dorothy P. Guzzo was appointed Executive Director of the New Jersey Historic Trust in February 2008. Under the direction of a Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor, the Historic Trust was created in 1967 to advance historic preservation in New Jersey. The Historic Trust is responsible for administering the historic preservation matching grant and loan programs. From 1995 to 2008, Ms. Guzzo served as the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of New Jersey. As the federally recognized State Historic Preservation Office, she oversaw the project certification to qualify for Investment Tax Credits. She has held elected office, and served on her municipal planning board and local historic preservation commission.
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Anne H. Hamlin
Director, Tax Credit Services, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Anne Hamlin has been with the Tax Credit Services Division at New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency since 2008. As Director of Tax Credit Services, she administers the 4% and 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program for the State of New Jersey on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service. Ms. Hamlin has over 14 years of experience in the affordable multifamily housing industry and has a Bachelor of Arts in political science.
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George Helmy
State Director, Office of U.S. Senator Cory Booker
George Helmy has served as U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s State Director for two years. As Senator Booker’s top staffer in New Jersey, Mr. Helmy oversees all operations of his state offices. Prior to his elevation as State Director, he served as Senator Booker’s New Jersey Deputy Chief of Staff for two years. Before joining the Senate staff, Mr. Helmy worked for 15 years in the private sector. He has also served as an aide to U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, where he led the Senator’s state-focused efforts on economic development, gun and crime legislation, and banking and consumer affairs. Mr. Helmy received a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
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Deborah Hoffman
Director, Division of Economic Development, Passaic County Department of Planning and Economic Development
Deborah Hoffman has served as Director of the Division of Economic Development, Department of Planning and Economic Development for the County of Passaic since September 2000. In this role, she provides direct technical support to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Passaic County. She has secured over $1.75 billion in financing and incentives for Passaic County companies, and held 101 business seminars and secured grants totaling $23,161,039. Additionally, she has developed a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the county; promoted the redevelopment of brownfield sites through a $400,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant; and is responsible for the activities of the Passaic County Brownfields Commission. She also is responsible for the activities of the Passaic County Film Commission, the Passaic County Community Development Block Grant Program and the $11.8 million Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program. She holds a Master of Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts from New York University.
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Robert A. Huether
Assistant Director, Supported Housing and Special Needs, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Currently the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Assistant Director for Supported Housing and Special Needs, Robert A. Huether has over 30 years’ experience in banking, community development and housing finance. At NJHMFA, Mr. Huether has previously served as the Assistant Director for Program Development, Outreach and Foreclosure Prevention, as well as the Assistant Director of Single Family Programs, with responsibilities including managing the Agency’s CHOICE residential construction loan efforts as well as the single-family in-house loan originations. Additionally, Mr. Huether has served on several municipal boards and agencies, and was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Raritan Valley Community College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from University College of Rutgers University.
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Robert Jackson
Mayor, Township of Montclair
Robert David Jackson is the Mayor of the Township of Montclair. In the May 2016 election, he ran unopposed and became the first mayor re-elected in township history. He also served as mayor in 1987-1988. Since taking office in July 2012, Mayor Jackson has been hailed for dramatically reducing Montclair’s debt and raising its bond rating from AA- to AAA. Montclair is now one of the few municipalities in New Jersey with this prestigious designation and the only one in Essex County. The financial turnaround has been achieved while making substantial infrastructure improvements, enhancing service delivery, minimizing property tax increases, and creating unprecedented increases in property values. A Montclair native, Mr. Jackson graduated from Montclair Kimberley Academy, Princeton University, and the Harvard Business School.
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Rosie Jackson
Assistant Director of Property Management, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Rosie Jackson is the Assistant Director of Property Management and has been with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency for 34 years. She is responsible for supervising the occupancy department within the Property Management Division. Ms. Jackson oversees the Agency’s portfolio of developments in relationship to TRACS and occupancy requirements. She has extensive experience in the housing industry, and currently holds the designations of Certified Assisted Housing Manager (AHM), Tax Credit Specialist (TCS), Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP), C6P and NCP-Executive. In 2010, Ms. Jackson was inducted into the HFA Hall of Fame in recognition of more than 20 years of service in the housing credit industry.
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Tilayah Johnson
Housing Administrator and Property Manager, Alternatives, Inc.
Tilayah Johnson is a Housing Administrator and Property Manager helping provide housing opportunities to low-income individuals with mental health disabilities to live independently in the community. Previously, she worked as a receptionist at the New Brunswick Housing and Redevelopment Authority after graduating from Raritan Valley Community College with an associate’s degree in liberal arts. She transitioned to a Property Manager for the housing authority while obtaining several certifications in the housing field. Ms. Johnson took an opportunity to expand her property management talents at The Community Builders in New Brunswick. The position allowed her to work with senior citizens and low-income individuals on a tax credit mixed-use property with commercial leasing. Furthering her service to low-income individuals, Ms. Johnson now helps with housing development for Alternatives, Inc. and continues to use her property management skills.
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Samantha Kiley
Executive Director, AtlantiCare Foundation
Samantha Kiley, MPH, MBA, is the executive director of the AtlantiCare Foundation. AtlantiCare is a member of Geisinger Health System. Ms. Kiley oversees the strategy and operations of all fundraising and community initiatives for AtlantiCare. She brings extensive experience in fundraising, community grants, community engagement, and community health programming to her role. She received the Community Outreach Award from the New Jersey Hospital Association Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey for her work with AtlantiCare’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Children program (HSHC) in 2009 and 2010. Ms. Kiley holds a Master of Public Health: Community Health Administration degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration from University of Massachusetts–Amherst. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Villanova University, and completed a Cultural Health Promotion certification program through the University of Guanajuato, Mexico.
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Allison Kopicki
Director of Policy, Planning and Research, NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA)
Allison Kopicki is the Director of Policy, Planning and Research at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. She joined EDA in January 2018 after serving as Deputy Policy Director for Governor Phil Murphy’s transition team. Prior to that, she was the State Policy Director for New Jersey Future, a nonprofit advocating for smart growth and revitalizing communities in the state. She has worked in New Jersey state government in the Office of the Comptroller, the Governor’s Office of Economic Growth, and Treasury. She is also a recovering journalist and has worked for several media outlets, including NBC News, the New York Times, and Bloomberg.
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Wendy Lawrence
TRACS Coordinator, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Wendy Lawrence has worked in the field of subsidized housing for 31 years. She had been a Resident Site Manager before working in the Occupancy Department of Property Management at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. She has been a Certified Assisted Housing Manager since 1988 with numerous additional credits earned through CPE Sponsors. Ms. Lawrence has been overseeing the Agency’s database since 1995 and is an Agency coordinator on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Secure Systems and EIV. She attends all meetings and trainings regarding TRACS and is the liaison between HUD Washington, NJHMFA, software technicians and property managers.
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Lesley Lefler
TRACS Coordinator, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
Lesley Lefler is a TRACS Coordinator for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Property Management Division and has been with the Agency for over 14 years. Prior to her NJHMFA career, she worked as an On-Site Manager for 10 years. Her background includes Section 8, 236, Tax Credit, and Assisted Living Housing. Ms. Lefler holds certifications in Tax Credit Compliance, Fair Housing, and a CPO through NAHMA and Assistant Housing Manager through Quadel.
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Dr. Lewis A. Leitner
Professor of Management, Stockton University
Over the past 45 years, Dr. Lewis A. Leitner has served Stockton University as both a professor and academic dean. He is also an experienced management consultant and strategic planner. He completed his undergraduate education at Lehigh University and received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His teaching and research have focused on leadership, strategic planning, organizational excellence, stress and stress management, customer service, entrepreneurship, total quality management, and future trends. He has served as a keynote speaker at many conferences and organizational retreats. His most recent keynote addresses have focused on the topics of “Leadership and the Demands of a Changing World”, “Competitive Skill Sets for the 21st Century” and “Exploring an Unimaginable Future.” He has also published dozens of articles in a variety of professional journals and has presented papers at a variety of academic conferences and meetings.
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Beth Anne Macdonald
Economic Development Director, Borough of Roselle Park
Beth Anne Macdonald has worked to revitalize communities since 2001 and recently joined the Borough of Roselle Park as their first Economic Development Director. Prior to joining Roselle Park, she was the Executive Director of the Downtown Somerville Alliance, managing one of New Jersey’s oldest business improvement districts.  Throughout her career she has worked to strengthen the connection between the business and residential communities through the social fabric of downtowns. As an advocate creating for more resilient and inclusive communities through thoughtful stakeholder engagement and inspired placemaking, Ms. Macdonald has worked with several New Jersey improvement districts on creating best practices for downtown management. She has spoken on increasing the effectiveness of business improvement districts at the New Jersey League of Municipalities and on pedestrian malls at the 23rd Congress for the New Urbanism. She is currently a board member of Downtown New Jersey and completed the International Downtown Association Emerging Leader Fellowship Program in 2016.
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Colleen Mahr
Mayor, Borough of Fanwood
Serving as Fanwood mayor since 2004, Colleen Mahr applied her development background to the local problem of a deteriorating downtown. Since her election, downtown Fanwood has been transformed to a residential/retail gem in close proximity to the New Jersey Transit train station. This success was featured in two editions of "The Redevelopment Handbook,” and she recently hosted an NJRA Redevelopment Tour. Re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term as mayor, she is one of the longest serving woman mayors in the state. Mayor Mahr led a coalition of mayors working with the Raritan Valley Rail Line to secure limited direct rail service to Manhattan. She serves as 1st Vice President of the New Jersey League of Municipalities and is past President the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. She currently serves as Director of Business Development for DMR Architects in Hasbrouck Heights.
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James Maley
Mayor, Borough of Collingswood
Since 1996, Jim Maley has served as the Mayor of the Borough of Collingswood, where he has held elected office since 1989. During his tenure as Mayor, the Borough has had a series of redevelopment successes in commercial and residential projects. In 2011, Forbes magazine named Collingswood one of the 10 Most Transformed Communities in America. The Borough's downtown has been named one of the Great Places in America by the American Planning Association - the first place in New Jersey to receive the distinction. He heads up Maley Givens, a law firm with over 30 years of experience representing private and public entities in economic development and land use projects, and is an experienced trial attorney. His redevelopment work has been recognized with an Achievement in Planning Award from the New Jersey Planning Association.
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Stephen Malpezzi
Research Affiliate, Rutgers Center for Real Estate, and Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Stephen Malpezzi is Emeritus Professor in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a Research Affiliate at Rutgers Center for Real Estate; and Dean of the School of Advanced Real Estate Studies at the Homer Hoyt Institute. His research includes work on economic development, the measurement and determinants of real estate prices, and the effects of regulation and other economic policies on real estate markets. Among numerous publications, he is the author of “A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Housing Policy” (with Richard Green; Urban Institute Press, 2003; the second edition is forthcoming) and is currently writing a book on local economic development. Prior to his current affiliations, he was an economist specializing in urban development at the World Bank and at the Urban Institute.
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Adrian O. Mapp
Mayor, City of Plainfield
Adrian O. Mapp is in his third term as Mayor of the City of Plainfield. His agenda is aggressive - focused on rebuilding Plainfield’s economy and opportunities for residents, leading to a renaissance of almost a half-billion dollars in redevelopment projects. He has implemented legislation focused on fairness, sick-leave for workers, and that addresses economic inequality, health, and educational disparities. He served as a Plainfield councilman for 16 years and a Union County Freeholder for two. He is the Director of Finance and QPA for the City of Orange, and serves on the state’s Local Finance Board; as Chairman of the New Jersey Black Mayors Alliance; and as Central Vice President of the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association. Mayor Mapp holds a Master in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University; a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Rutgers University; and an Associate in Arts in public administration from Union County College.
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Karen Martin
Communications Manager, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA)
Karen Martin joined the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority’s (ACCVA) media relations team in September 2008 and continues as Communications Manager with the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Ms. Martin began her career in the early days of casino gaming in Atlantic City. After holding various public relations and marketing communications positions at the Claridge Casino Hotel and Trump Castle and Trump Marina, the Temple University graduate performed freelance public relations and consulting work for various casinos and direct marketing companies. At the CRDA, she actively promotes the destination and the region in a most favorable way, and oversees media outreach for several citywide events, including the Atlantic City Airshow and Atlantic City Restaurant Week. Ms. Martin is a member of the Public Relations Council of Atlantic City, as well as the Public Relations Society of America’s New Jersey and national chapters.
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Paul McEvily
Executive Director, Interfaith Neighbors, Inc.
Paul McEvily serves as Executive Director and a board member of Interfaith Neighbors, Inc. He is actively involved in the day-to-day operations of Interfaith Neighbors, with oversight responsibility for the senior meals program; community and economic development initiatives; development of affordable housing for the benefit of low-income buyers in Monmouth County; and the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods in communities served by Interfaith Neighbors. Mr. McEvily is a member of the statewide Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) Task Force; Chairman, Executive Committee, Monmouth County Continuum of Care; Member, Board of Trustees, Mary Owen Borden Foundation; Member, Board of Trustees, Lunch Break, Inc., and a Member, Board of Trustees, Second Life Bikes, Inc.
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Kevin McQueen
Partner, BWB Solutions, LLC
Kevin McQueen is a partner at BWB Solutions, LLC, a national consulting firm that supports foundations, social enterprises, nonprofits, public-sector agencies and other mission-driven organizations in making impact investments designed to achieve social benefits for underserved communities. He is also an Adjunct Instructor at The Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment at The New School, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in finance, financial management, and business planning. He has been an independent consultant, providing management and strategic planning assistance to public and private economic development organizations and financial intermediaries. His extensive experience in the corporate and development finance and impact investing fields was gained through positions with Citibank, NatWest and Capital Impact Partners. He previously served as Program Director of the National Congress for Community Economic Development. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Partners for the Common Good, a community development financial institution.
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Wayne Meyer
President, New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC)
Wayne Meyer has served as President of New Jersey Community Capital, a nonprofit community development financial institution, since 2009. An attorney and CPA, he holds a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law. He provides leadership, and promotes and advocates for policy change on behalf of NJCC, its borrowers, and its target communities. Key accomplishments include spearheading a new strategic vision for NJCC: taking a comprehensive approach to revitalizing whole neighborhoods; and creating a new model of community development that leverages the bulk purchase of troubled mortgages and foreclosed properties. He serves on numerous committees, including NeighborWorks America’s Community Stabilization Advisory Committee; and the JPMorgan Chase Community Advisory Board; and is Vice Chair for the FHLBNY Affordable Housing Advisory Council. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the National Housing Institute, and served on the Housing Transition Advisory Committee for New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy.
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Sarah Mickelson
Senior Director of Public Policy, National Low Income Housing Coalition
Sarah Mickelson serves as the Senior Director of Public Policy for the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Ms. Mickelson previously worked with Enterprise Community Partners as a Senior Analyst and with Rapoza Associates as a Policy Counsel. She graduated from the University of Connecticut, School of Law, after receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She has also been a member of the Virginia State Bar since 2009.
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Randi Moore
Division Chief, Hudson County Division of Housing and Community Development
Randi Moore leads the Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for the County of Hudson. In this role, she is responsible for administering federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for community development, affordable housing and homeless programs. HCD also leads the Hudson County Alliance to End Homelessness and serves as the lead applicant to HUD for Continuum of Care homeless assistance funding. In her time with the County, Ms. Moore has spearheaded new initiatives and implemented innovative programs to expand housing opportunities and improve the way services are provided to homeless individuals and families. Ms. Moore has over 12 years of experience working in the housing and homelessness field in New Jersey. Prior to her current position, she worked in the nonprofit sector at organizations focused on affordable housing and homeless issues.
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Bret Morgan
Co-founder, Cowerks
Bret Morgan is a co-founder of Cowerks, a coworking community of over 400 startups and small businesses, and a partner at Humble Humans, a full stack digital shop specializing in web and mobile app design and development. He is also involved in projects such as Fresh Markets, a series of farmers and makers markets at the Jersey Shore; Asbury Agile, an annual technology conference; and Bands on a Budget, an online printing company for bands, brands and businesses.
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Noam Newman
Executive Vice President, Development and Marketing, Blue Onyx Companies
Active in both New York and New Jersey, Noam Newman’s track record began in investment sales, followed by the successful execution of two ground-up development projects in New York’s East Village totaling 175,000 square feet. In 2014, a unique opportunity lead to the acquisition of a 70,000-square-foot abandoned industrial manufacturing building in Passaic. Labeled South Market Lofts, it has become a market catalyst as a Transit Oriented Development. The project features 63 river-facing live/work loft-style units and an open production facility facing a public riverwalk with open river views. The project was successfully entitled and sold in May 2017. Immediately following, Mr. Newman joined Blue Onyx Companies and is leading an ambitious repositioning plan from the company’s current holdings to projects with like-minded innovation and community involvement comparable to the success experienced with South Market Lofts.
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Kathleen Noonan
Chief Executive Officer, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
In 2018, Kathleen Noonan became the Chief Executive Officer of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, a nonprofit healthcare innovator that recently launched the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs. Ms. Noonan has worked extensively at the intersection of health and welfare law and policy, especially as it relates to children and families. In 2008, she co-founded PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to connect clinical research with real-world health policy priorities. She is a member of the faculty in the University of Pennsylvania Master of Public Health Program, and is adjunct faculty in the Division of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine. Ms. Noonan has also served as a mediator in public-impact cases concerning health and human services. She received her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University.
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Katherine Packowski
Senior Associate, Triad Associates
Kathy Packowski joined Triad more than 15 years ago and is responsible for the implementation of company programs and grants, including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs, Triad’s affordable housing program, and the relocation of residents and businesses in the communities Triad serves. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the administration of a wide range of housing and community development programs for municipalities throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania including: CDBG entitlement programs (CDBG/HOME); Affordable Housing administrative agent; residential and commercial WRAP/relocation assistance; Small Cities housing rehabilitation and public facility grants administration; U.S. Economic Development Administration grants; and U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development grants. Ms. Packowski graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in environmental design.
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Karen Parish
Senior Project Manager, Mullin & Lonergan Associates
Karen Parish has been with Mullin & Lonergan Associates since 1989, and currently serves as Senior Project Manager. She began her career as an intern with the Lincoln, Nebraska, small cities program in 1977. She joined the City of Memphis, Tennessee, Community Development office in 1979 as a Community Development Specialist working on a range of neighborhood development issues. In 1981, she joined the staff of the City of Reading, Pennsylvania, becoming the Director of Housing in 1985 and the Community Development Director in 1987. Ms. Parish has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s CDBG program, and has worked with both large and small clients in nearly every aspect of CDBG, HOME, ESG and other HUD programs. She holds a master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of Nebraska, and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.
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Asish Patel
Senior Associate, Monarch Housing Associates
Asish Patel, Monarch Housing’s Senior Associate, works with the Housing Production Team. During his 24 years at Monarch, Mr. Patel has worked on numerous acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction projects consisting of single-family homes, apartment buildings, as well as commercial spaces. His work has led to the development of over 2,000 units of housing for special needs persons, and persons in need of affordable housing. As Senior Associate, Mr. Patel is responsible for client relationships, project selection and contract negotiations. He also works on project analysis, budget preparation, site analysis, coordination with development team and funders, preparation of financing applications and general project coordination. He graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in management. He also attended Pratt Institute’s Community and Economic Development Internship Program and is currently a participant in the inaugural class of the Enterprise Leadership Institute.
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Joseph Perez
CPA, Partner, WithumSmith+Brown, PC
Joseph Perez is a partner with WithumSmith+Brown, PC, and has over 20 years of professional experience in both private and public accounting. Since joining Withum in 1997, he has provided accounting, auditing and tax services to clients in a variety of industries, with a concentration in affordable housing. He is a member of Withum’s affordable housing team and leads the audit and tax engagements of over a dozen Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects and other housing entities receiving U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidies. He also supervises cost certification reporting and carryover credit reporting for a variety of entities. Mr. Perez holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rutgers University. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in New York and New Jersey, and is a member of the AICPA and the NJSCPA. He has served as the chairman of the NJSCPA's accounting and reporting interest group.
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Frank Piazza, Jr.
Founder and President, Piazza & Associates, Inc.
Frank Piazza, Founder and President of Piazza & Associates, has been dedicated to the administration and compliance of affordable housing for municipalities, nonprofits and for-profit developers for over 25 years. He entered the affordable housing arena in 1991 by directing a successful effort to develop 126 low- and moderate-income apartments in Plainsboro for a local nonprofit corporation. In 1994, he established Piazza & Associates, which has become one of the largest and most experienced firms in New Jersey specializing in the independent monitoring of affordable housing. Currently, Piazza & Associates serves as the Administrative Agent for a variety of new and existing low- and moderate-income housing programs in more than 50 municipalities. The company also manages a number of condominium and homeowners associations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from St. Mary’s College in Baltimore, and a Master of Divinity in theology from the University of Notre Dame.
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Margie Piliere
Chief Economic Development Officer, Choose New Jersey, Inc.
Margie Piliere is the Chief Economic Development Officer for Choose New Jersey, Inc., an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) whose mission is to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout New Jersey with a focus on urban centers. She is responsible for overseeing all lead generation and business development activities, including prospect management. Prior to joining Choose New Jersey, she served more than 25 years at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). Upon her retirement from the EDA, she served as the Director of Business Banking and Community Development where she led the sales team for all loan and incentive resources, managed the intake of applications for financial assistance, and developed relationships with businesses, banks and municipalities. She had also served as EDA’s Regional Director of Business Banking and Community Development for the North Jersey region and as the Assistant Director of Lending Services.
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Michael Pintabone
CPA, Partner, WithumSmith+Brown, PC
Michael Pintabone is a partner with WithumSmith+Brown, PC and has over 15 years of professional experience in public accounting. He is a member of Withum’s affordable housing team and leads the audit and tax engagements of over 30 affordable housing projects, which include more than a dozen Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects. He is a graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Mr. Pintabone also serves as on the Board of Directors for the Joseph H. Firth Youth Center in Phillipsburg as well as the Grace Project.
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Brian Platt
Business Administrator, City of Jersey City
Brian Platt is the Business Administrator for the City of Jersey City. He was previously the Chief Innovation Officer for the City and helped create the Jersey City Office of Innovation in 2015. Mr. Platt previously worked for McKinsey & Company and as a kindergarten teacher with Teach For America. He recently completed a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University. Mr. Platt was included on the 2017 “Traeger List” as one of the top 100 local government leaders in the United States, as well as the 2018 Insider NJ list of top 100 millennials in New Jersey government and politics.
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Grace Strom Power
Chief of Staff, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU)
Grace Strom Power is Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and is responsible for the development and implementation of policy along with the day-to-day management of the agency. She also serves as the Chairperson of the 2019 State Energy Master Plan Committee. Ms. Power previously practiced law for over 10 years focusing on energy issues, government affairs, and regulatory law. She began her career as the Legislative Liaison at the BPU. Ms. Power has been selected as a New Jersey “Super Lawyers” Rising Star by her peers in the Energy & Natural Resources practice area since 2016. Active in state and local politics, Ms. Power is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, and Rutgers College. She was an Eagleton Institute of Politics Graduate Fellow and undergraduate associate.
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Brian Rader
Managing Member and Attorney, Rader Law, LLC
Brian Rader is the Managing Member of Rader Law, LLC, a law firm in Hoboken and provides legal services to individuals and businesses in the real estate community. He works extensively with property owners, managers, real estate brokers and community associations, providing a full range of litigation and general counsel services. Mr. Rader has litigated a wide range of matters involving real estate and multi-dwelling properties throughout New Jersey including, but not limited to, matters involving negligence and breach of habitability standards; actions against unit owners for breach of community governing documents; and allegations involving breach of fiduciary duty standards on the part of community association nonprofit boards. He earned a Bachelor of Science in criminology and justice studies from The College of New Jersey, and a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law. Mr. Rader sits on the Board of Directors of Advance Housing, Inc.
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Nicholas Ratti
Principal, CohnReznick
Nicholas Ratti is a principal with CohnReznick’s Project Finance Consulting Practice in Boston, Massachusetts. He has more than 15 years of experience in the tax credit industry. Mr. Ratti is currently responsible for developing and evaluating tax credit syndication structures, providing tax compliance advice, evaluating tax credit recapture or tax-loss reallocation issues, strategizing post compliance period exits and providing syndication advisory services. He has extensive experience structuring a wide range of low-income housing, historic and new market tax credit transactions for his developer and investor clients.
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David Roberts
Township Planner/Director of Community Development, Township of Toms River/DG Roberts Planning & Design, LLC
David Roberts is a licensed planner in New Jersey and a registered landscape architect in New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and New York, with 37 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He received a Bachelor of Science in environmental planning and design in 1978 and a Bachelor of Science in landscape architecture in 1979, both from Cook College at Rutgers University, and received a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in 1981. In 1997, he created the Principles of Redevelopment course as part of the mandatory training program of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and served as the principal instructor of the course until 2015. He co-authored “The Redevelopment Handbook, A Guide for Rebuilding New Jersey’s Communities,” published by DCA in 2003. The second edition of the handbook was released by DCA in 2012.
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Edwin W. Schmierer, Esq
Director, Mason, Griffin & Pierson, P.C.
Edwin Schmierer is a Director with Mason, Griffin & Pierson, P.C. His law practice includes Governmental Affairs and Real Estate and Land Use with areas of emphasis on municipal affordable housing compliance, Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) administrative hearings, impact fee methodologies, wastewater planning and redevelopment and housing programs. He serves as Assistant Princeton Municipal Attorney, West Windsor Township Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney, Counsel to Pennington Borough Planning Board, Counsel to East Windsor Municipal Utilities Authority, Assistant Counsel to New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Hopewell Township COAH Attorney, Assistant Counsel to New Jersey Planning Officials, Borough of Haddonfield Special COAH Counsel and Borough of Highland Park Attorney.
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Kathleen Schulte
Vice President, Client Services, Piazza & Associates, Inc.
Kathy Schulte began working at Piazza & Associates in 1998. She is a trained compliance specialist and has attended numerous compliance and fair housing courses offered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. She is experienced in both Council on Affordable Housing and Low Income Housing Tax Credit applications. Currently, Ms. Schulte supervises the compliance department and client services at Piazza & Associates. Her duties include extensive communication with clients and leasing agents regarding availability and initial rent-up of affordable units, and she often deals directly with eligibility questions from affordable applicants. Ms. Schulte helped to develop and is an instructor for the Rutgers/ Affordable Housing Professionals of New Jersey (APHNJ) course on qualifying for affordable housing.
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Michael B. Simmons, CPM®, NAHP-e
President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Realty Management, AMO®
Michael B. Simmons is President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Realty Management, AMO® in Pleasantville. Community Realty Management is a full-service real estate management organization with a multifamily management portfolio of over 8,700 units throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, the Midwest and the U. S. Virgin Islands. He currently serves as Vice President of the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA). He is a member of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Federal Housing Advisory Board and a past National President of IREM. He is a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
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George Sowa
Chief Executive Officer, Greater Trenton
George Sowa, whose family history in Trenton dates back over 100 years, brings a successful 30+ year career in real estate development to his role as founding Chief Executive Officer of Greater Trenton. For the past 18 years, he was with Brandywine Realty Trust, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded, full-service, real estate companies. Most recently, he served as Brandywine’s executive vice president and senior managing director, and was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s New Jersey and Delaware operations and development. He has substantial experience in urban development, and in 2014, led Brandywine’s selection by Campbell Soup Company to be the developer of the Camden Gateway District — a transformative 1.5 million-square-foot, mixed-use project. As a result, Mr. Sowa played a key role in Subaru’s selection of Camden as the site for its $118 million North American headquarters. Mr. Sowa is a graduate of Cornell University.
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Leslie Stivale
President and Chief Executive Officer, Triple C Housing, Inc.
Leslie Stivale is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Triple C Housing, Inc., a nonprofit community housing development organization and supportive services provider. As a vision-driven, results-oriented leader, Ms. Stivale has expanded Triple C’s supportive housing program, leveraging multiple funding sources to develop high quality housing, preserve existing housing stock, grow opportunities and enhance supportive services for individuals, families and veterans who have been formerly homeless and/or disabled. She has 28 years of experience in behavioral health, human services and the supportive housing industry, having worked within the private and nonprofit sectors in senior and executive management. She holds a master’s degree from Montclair State University, a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Rutgers Business School, and is a certified psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner. In 2011, she was appointed to the New Jersey Interagency Council for Preventing and Reducing Homelessness.
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Patrick Terborg
Founder and Managing Member, TD+Partners
Patrick Terborg is a Founder and Managing Member of the real estate development firm, TD+Partners. Mr. Terborg has completed commercial mixed-used and industrial projects in urban areas in New Jersey. He has led the firm in the development of over 500 units of housing and 300,000 square feet of commercial space over the last five years. His projects have resulted in the transformation of large blighted sites in urban areas into thriving communities consisting of affordable and market-rate housing and commercial businesses. Mr. Terborg has also focused the firm toward creating projects that lead to real community and economic benefits such as the creation of jobs in local communities, the creation of healthy food initiatives as well as access to high quality early childhood education and affordable housing. Prior to founding TD+ Partners, Mr. Terborg served in senior financial management roles at New York University, Blackstone Group and Computershare.
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Sean Thompson
Director, Local Planning Services, NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
Sean Thompson is the Director of Local Planning Services with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Mr. Thompson has been with DCA for over two decades. During his tenure, he has reviewed municipal master plans, housing elements and land use ordinances for compliance with the Fair Housing Act and New Jersey Administrative Code. He has also provided municipal officials, nonprofit organizations and private developers with the technical assistance to further affordable housing activities. Currently, Mr. Thompson leads a staff of professional planners who assist municipalities in achieving local land use and planning goals. He holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University, and a bachelor's degree from The College of New Jersey (formerly known as Trenton State College).
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Gary Toth
Director, Project for Public Spaces
During his 46 years in transportation, land use planning and placemaking, Gary Toth has worked to use transportation to build communities, and enhance places and quality of life, not just move vehicles. In 34 years at the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT), he came to learn the “political engineering” needed to dovetail community goals with transportation. As part of several national transportation organizations, he came to understand the culture and issues facing state DOTs and local transportation agencies. Since joining the Project for Public Spaces in 2007, Mr. Toth has worked with communities to help them create more sustainable streets and transportation networks. He has also worked with a dozen state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Public Transportation Association and the National Highway Institute on new approaches to transportation, and land use planning. He has written a number of articles on these topics as well as the Citizen’s Guide for Engaging Transportation Professionals.
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Khai Tran
Chief Executive Officer, Waterfront Ventures and Penji; Co-founder, Waterfront Lab
Khai Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant raised in Camden, is a serial entrepreneur involved in the city’s revitalization. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Waterfront Ventures, an organization dedicated to bringing 100+ startups and businesses to Camden; Co-founder of Waterfront Lab, a coworking space, innovation hub and community center providing office and event space to businesses moving into Camden; and Founder of Owner’s Magazine, a digital publication for startups and entrepreneurs. Mr. Tran’s ultimate goal for the city is to build a pipeline of internships, jobs and opportunities directly for students and residents in Camden. To further support his vision for the city and create an exemplary model for community conscious businesses, he partnered with local startup founder Johnathan Grzybowski to launch Penji, an unlimited graphic design startup, both revolutionizing the graphic design industry and to provide jobs to Camden students.
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Karen Trommelen
Director, Burlington County Office of Community Development and Housing
Karen Trommelen assumed the helm of the Burlington County Office of Community Development and Housing in 2008, having worked in that office since 1996. Burlington County’s Office of Community Development and Housing administers federally funded Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, including the Community Development Block Grant Program, the HOME Program and Continuum of Care (CoC) programs. Ms. Trommelen serves on several committees that impact social and economic opportunities for low and moderate-income persons, including the county’s CoC, United Way’s Impact Council and the General Advisory Committee for Transportation Services. She is currently the Vice President of the New Jersey Community Development Association, having previously served as Secretary. She is a graduate of Douglass College with a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences and licensure as a health inspector. Upon graduation, she worked as a Health Inspector for Burlington County and in administrative capacities for a local HMO.
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Madeline Urbish
Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor
Madeline (Maddy) Urbish serves as Governor Phil Murphy’s Policy Advisor on energy and environment. In this capacity, she oversees the Governor’s policy agenda in the clean energy economy, including offshore wind and updating the state’s Energy Master Plan, among many other issues. Prior to joining the Murphy Administration, Ms. Urbish served as Director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed with New Jersey Audubon. Additionally, she has experience working for a U.S. Representative in Congress; leading policy and public relations for the Center for Community Engaged Learning at The College of New Jersey; and as a legislative aide for then-Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. Ms. Urbish attended The College of New Jersey where she earned two Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, and earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
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George Vallone
President, Hoboken Brownstone Company
As President of Hoboken Brownstone Company, a multi-faceted real estate development firm active along New Jersey’s Hudson River “Gold Coast,” George Vallone has extensive experience in urban housing through a socially conscious approach to development. His firm has been responsible for renovating brownstones and brick row houses, and has built mid-rise and hi-rise condominiums in Hoboken and Jersey City. His development companies specialize in large, mixed-use brownfield redevelopment projects. His general contracting company, Inner City Construction, Inc., has built over 1,000 affordable housing units for nonprofit church-affiliated community-based groups and for-profit housing corporations in Jersey City, Paterson, Newark and Trenton. He is past President of the New Jersey Builder’s Association (NJBA) and served as Co-Chair of the Green Infrastructure Task Force, a partnership between NJBA and NJ Future. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Gettysburg College and a Master of Business Administration in international finance from Fordham University.
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Kevin D. Walsh
Executive Director, Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC)
Kevin D. Walsh is the Executive Director of Fair Share Housing Center. In 2000, he joined FSHC following a clerkship in the New Jersey Supreme Court. Mr. Walsh, a graduate of The Catholic University of America and Rutgers University School of Law in Camden, is responsible for the administration of FSHC and focuses his practice on regulatory challenges and litigation involving high-growth municipalities. He has had major success in getting affordable housing included in key transit-oriented development plans. Mr. Walsh received the Mary Philbrook Award from Rutgers School of Law - Camden in October 2012 and was named Lawyer of the Year in December 2012 by the New Jersey Law Journal. Mr. Walsh was recognized in the NJBiz Power 100 and NJBiz Real Estate 50 lists.
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Connie Weiss
President, CA Weiss Sales, LLC
Connie Weiss, President of CA Weiss Sales, LLC, has been the local sales representative for Soprema, Inc., for over 20 years and has been in the Philadelphia roofing/metal market for over 30 years. In addition to being a manufacturer's representative in the commercial roofing and waterproofing industry, she is also Registered Roof Observer (RRO) and a Green Roof Professional (GRP). Ms. Weiss prides herself in providing technical support to owners, specifiers and contractors for building envelope projects. CA Weiss Sales, LLC, can also provide minority requirements for projects as it is a certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE) company.
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Evan Weiss
Deputy Director, PEL Analytics
Evan S. Weiss is a Director at PEL Analytics, who specializes in the crafting and execution of comprehensive development and recovery plans for governments, businesses and nonprofits. In New Jersey, he has overseen significant recovery efforts in Atlantic City, East Orange, Newark and Trenton, as well as the Newark Public Schools and the Camden City School District. Mr. Weiss has been working closely on all aspects of the Opportunity Zone program since its inception, helping design the allocation formula for New Jersey and providing guidance across the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and New England to a variety of stakeholders, and he continues to provide in depth support to federal officials, governors, mayors, economic development experts, and investors across the United States. Mr. Weiss has facilitated the formation of several place-based and sector specific Opportunity Funds, focused on infrastructure, workforce housing, and philanthropic partnerships.
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Dr. Christopher Wheeler
Chief Data Officer, NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
Dr. Christopher Wheeler is the Chief Data Officer of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. He is responsible for managing the department’s data analysis and reporting functions. Previously he served as DCA’s research economist, responsible for data and policy analysis and program evaluation for the Commissioner’s Office and the Division of Local Government Services. He holds a Ph.D. in public affairs from Rutgers University-Camden, a master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Temple University. He previously worked for Rutgers University and the PFM Group in various data analysis and modeling roles.
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Vinn White
Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor
Vinn White draws on his experience in leadership roles over the last decade—including eight years at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) — to advise Governor Phil Murphy on a broad range of transportation matters. He is a member of the core team implementing the Opportunity Zones initiative for the State. During his tenure at the Office of the USDOT Secretary, he acted as the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and supported two visionary Secretaries—Ray LaHood and Anthony Foxx. At USDOT, Mr. White coordinated the department’s response to Superstorm Sandy in the impacted region. He was also part of a core group that led the department’s work to understand how transportation decisions impact distressed communities under the Ladders of Opportunity initiative. He was the chief federal architect of USDOT’s 30-year forecasting report outlining system impacts, entitled Beyond Traffic. For this work, he received the Secretary’s Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement.
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Megan York
Vice President, Community Grants, Planning & Housing (CGP&H)
Megan York, Vice President of Community Grants, Planning & Housing, has 19 years of experience in affordable housing, planning, grant writing and community development. She has prepared housing elements and fair share plans for municipalities throughout New Jersey and has extensive experience navigating rules and regulations relating to affordable housing in the state. She manages a portfolio of over 2,500 affordable housing owner-occupied and rental units in over 50 locations throughout New Jersey. She received a master’s degree in urban geography from the University of Tennessee, and a bachelor’s degree in geography and history from Macalester College. She is a licensed New Jersey professional planner and a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners. She is co-chair of the Montclair Housing Commission, and regularly participates in national studies and panels conducted by the Grounded Solutions Network and the Center for Housing Policy.
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