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Julia Gordon is the president of the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), a nonprofit organization that seeks to reclaim vacant homes to build strong neighborhoods and increase homeownership in underserved markets. In addition to managing NCST’s programmatic work transferring REO properties to misson-focused developers, Gordon serves as a thought leader in the mortgage, affordable housing, and community development sectors on issues of equitable development and sustainable homeownership.

Previously Gordon served as the senior director of housing and consumer finance at the Center for American Progress, manager of the single-family policy team at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. She has also worked in the civil legal aid sector and as a litigator at the law firm of WilmerHale. Gordon received her bachelor's degree in government from Harfvard College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Gus Frangos graduated with honors from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1982. He worked at the law firm of Ulmer and Berne after law school, then went on to serve as a Cleveland City Councilman and later as a Municipal Court Magistrate-Judge. He now also serves as President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation.

Steve Funk focuses his practice on business and public law litigation, appellate law, constitutional law, municipal law, real estate, and land use and zoning law. He is a Past President of the Akron Bar Association and has been named one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio” and as one of the “Top 50 Lawyers in Cleveland” by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine. He has significant appellate experience in both the federal and state courts, including a number of appeals and original actions before the Ohio Supreme Court.  He also is a member of the Advisory Group for the Northern District of Ohio with significant experience in district court. Mr. Funk is a 1991 graduate of the Harvard Law School and a former law clerk to U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich in the Northern District of Ohio. Prior to joining Roetzel in 1998, he was a Senior Litigation Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Douglas Sawyer is Assistant General Counsel for the Cuyahoga Land Bank where he has worked since 2010.  Doug graduated with duel degrees from Cleveland State University by simultaneously earning a Masters of Arts in Environmental Studies (Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs) and a law degree (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law).  He also maintains a private practice focused on real estate and business law.  Doug lives in Fairview Park with his wife and son.

Ric Wasserman is Treasurer of Athens County, Ohio.  Appointed Treasurer in June, 2018 he won election in November, 2018 and re-election in the primary of 2020.  Active in local politics for many years he is also an independent business owner in the hospitality and real estate industries. Upon becoming Treasurer he began working with the newly-created Athens County Land Bank, charting a course to address blight and dilapidation in the underserved areas of the county hardest-hit by floods, the shrinking coal industry and addiction.   The Athens County Land Bank to date has taken on 158 projects, foreclosed on dozens of houses and returned over 60 parcels to the tax rolls.

Chris Chmiel became an Athens County Commissioner in 2012.  His motto is "Working to make Athens County happier, healthier and more prosperous".  He helped get the Athens County Land Bank started in 2018 and enjoys doing waste diversion on land bank properties.  He also has a pawpaw and goat farm.

Thomas Schneider Lawrence County Land Reutilization Corporation, July 2016 to present date. U.S. Navy veteran. Persian Gulf service during the Iraqi war conflicts and Honorably Discharged in 1995. Commander of VFW Post 6878, Southern Ohio. After active military service, began working in the private sector in residential and commercial construction industry, as well as being an industrial machinist from 1995-2004. While taking Paralegal and Criminal Justice studies at Marshall University, simultaneously worked in Residential & Commercial Real Estate with the law firms Edwards, Klein, Anderson & Shope Co. LPA (2004-06) and Klein & Hall LPA (2006-14). Transitioned from private to public sector in 2014, first working for Lawrence County’s Department of Jobs & Family Services (2014-16) and assumed his present position with the Lawrence County Land Reutilization Corporation on July 31st 2016. Currently serves as a board member for the State of Ohio Land Bank Association. Active in local church, sporting and community programs geared towards youth, military veteran and senior citizen outreach.

Stephen D. Burcham is a graduate of THE Ohio State University with a degree in Accounting and is a certified public accountant. He was first elected to office as the Lawrence County Treasurer in 2004 where he continues to serve its 65,000 residents. Stephen sits on the Lawrence County Land Bank board as its chairman.

Matt Martin has been the Executive Director of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership since its launch in 2010 and has directed the organizations management of the Trumbull County Land Bank since 2013. Prior to joining TNP, he was a Land Re-utilization Manager for Stockyard Redevelopment Organization, a Cleveland CDC. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Cleveland State and an Master of Arts in Environmental Studies from Cleveland State's Levin College of Urban Affairs.

Ian Beniston, AICP, HDFP is the Executive Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) and has been a part of the organization since the idea of YNDC was conceived in 2008. He is responsible for YNDC’s consistent achievement of its mission and day to day operations.

Ian was born and raised on the north side of Youngstown. He has fifteen years of neighborhood planning, development, and finance experience in the private, non-profit, and public sectors.

Ian holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Youngstown State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a National Development Council Housing Development Finance Professional. He was a 40 under 40 award recipient in 2009, 25 under 35 award recipient in 2013 and 2017, a Next City Vanguard in 2014, and OCDCA CDC Staff Member of the Year in 2015. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Community Corrections Association, Ohio Poverty Law Center, and ACTION. Ian lives in the City of Youngstown with his wife, Krista and retired racing Greyhound, Bird.

Debora Flora, as executive director of Mahoning County Land Bank since July 2012, has guided the development of programs that contributed to neighborhood stabilization, business expansion, new construction projects and greener, cleaner corridors. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the new Ohio Land Bank Association.

Sam Lamancusa is the current Treasurer of Trumbull County and Chairman of the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation, informally known as the Land Bank. Sam joined the Treasurer’s office in 2001, first serving as Chief Deputy Treasurer before being elected to the office.

In 2010, Sam saw the devastating aftermath of decades of disinvestment and population loss, followed by the foreclosure crisis of 2008 on the housing market throughout Trumbull County. It was at this point he was the leading advocate for the creation of a land bank, leading to the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation being established in October 2010, and the third land bank to be established in Ohio. With the assistance of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (TNP), a 501c3 nonprofit community development organization supporting neighborhood revitalization throughout Warren and surrounding communities, Sam operated the Land Bank out of his office with existing staff.

In 2013, with its continual growth, the Land Bank entered into a contractual agreement with TNP to manage the day-to-day operations of the Land Bank, leading to the first land bank, nonprofit CDC partnership in the state. Sam believed that a place-based nonprofit was an invaluable tool for the growth and impact of the Trumbull County Land Bank. This could not be truer, under TNP’s management the Land Bank has demolished over 1,300 blighted, abandoned structures, renovated nearly 500 homes to create new homeownership opportunities, reactivated 1,200 vacant parcels through side lot sales and greening installations, and have created an impressive slate of unique programming to assist in all facets of neighborhood revitalization.

As Treasurer and Land Bank Chairman, Sam has remained active in the Land Bank and has used this position help and work with the public in one of the most trying times in Trumbull County history.

Sam has been a lifelong resident of Girard. He and his wife Nicci have two children and four very spoiled grandchildren. Sam is often heard saying that we must work to save Trumbull County and bring back the neighborhood environment that he grew up in, for the sake of our youth.

Alex Czayka is Senior VP for Conservation Transactions for Western Reserve Land Conservancy. He oversees all the conservation projects the Land Conservancy takes on throughout its 21-county service area. Some of his responsibilities include generating, funding, and completing unique and complex conservation projects including conservation easements, property acquisitions, property dispositions, mitigation and habitat restoration. After graduating from Kent State University (BS Biology) and SUNY Brockport (MS Wetland Ecology), Alex went on to work for the U.S. Geological Survey, the Nature Conservancy and ultimately landed at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Alex is a native of Ashtabula County, where he grew up on a small horse farm. Alex was recently married to his wife Natalie, they currently reside in Moreland Hills with their three dogs

Bob Owen has served as General Counsel for Western Reserve Land Conservancy since September 2011 and has been a member of the Land Conservancy’s legal staff since April 2006. During his time at the Land Conservancy, Bob has worked on over 300 conservation real estate transactions ranging in scope from straight forward individual conservation easement donations to complex, multi-million dollar acquisitions involving public and private sector parties and often combining state and federal grant funding with private philanthropic dollars. As General Counsel, Bob is responsible for the oversight and management of the Land Conservancy’s in-house legal department and provides guidance and counsel to the Land Conservancy’s leadership and staff on all legal matters, including those involving risk management and avoidance. He is a member of the Land Conservancy’s senior management team and serves as the organization’s Assistant Secretary.

In addition to his extensive experience in conservation, real property, and non-profit law, as an associate in the Cleveland, Ohio office of Taft, Stettinius and Hollister, Bob focused much of his practice in the areas of real estate and municipal law, leading him to serve a local northeast Ohio community as both its assistant law director and prosecutor for over six years. As such, Bob is well versed in matters involving municipal and public sector clients.

Bob currently serves on the Members’ Committee of the Terrafirma Risk Retention Group, a conservation defense captive established solely for the defense and enforcement of conservation interests, and previously served as a member of the Land Trust Alliance’s Conservation Defense Advisory Council (CDAC) from 2014 through 2018. Bob also served on the executive committee of the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts (COLT), a state-wide land conservation advocacy and education group, from 2007-2014 and served as its President from 2012-2014. He is a graduate of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and obtained his Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Hiram College. Bob is a lifelong resident of northeastern Ohio and currently lives in Newbury Township in Geauga County.

Steve McQuillin, founder of Vermillion Institute, is a preservation consultant based in Hayesville, Ohio with more than 40 years of experience in the field of historic preservation. A graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University's Preservation Program, Mr. McQuillin first began working for the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and has worked on his own as a consultant for more than 34 years. Among his projects are the rehabilitation of Cleveland's Terminal Tower and adjacent Higbee Building plus numerous projects throughout Cleveland's Warehouse District, years of service as preservation consultant to GE Lighting at Nela Park in East Cleveland, plus work for numerous communities in northern Ohio.

Heather Rudge With over 30 years of historic preservation expertise, Heather provides a wide range of preservation services to private developers and building owners, non-profit organizations, and institutional building owners that includes evaluation of historic tax credit eligibility, successful delivery of federal and state historic tax credits, project management to protect historic tax credits through construction, preparation of National Register nominations for individual buildings and historic districts, survey and inventory of historic resources, historic building condition assessments and maintenance plans, and Section 106 Review. Prior to starting Historic Preservation Group in 2014, Heather work in the historic preservation public and not-for-profit sectors, and for two architectural firms where she focused on federal and state historic tax credit projects. In addition to Ohio, Historic Preservation Group has projects in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Recent and current Ohio projects include the May Company, Tinnerman Steel Range Co., the West Side YWCA and St. Michael School & Convent in Cleveland; College Club in Cleveland Heights; the Veronika, the Lakewood Historical Society, the Nest on Madison, the Trinity Project, and the Phantasy @ Studio West in Lakewood; Central School in Amherst; the Empire Hotel in Tiffin; and the Wittenberg Fieldhouse in Springfield.  Heather is a graduate of the University of Vermont’s Historic Preservation Program and Michigan State University.

Jessica Powell joined the Port in 2017 to manage the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (“Landbank”) and its work in neighborhood revitalization. Managed by the Port since 2012, the Landbank is an important tool addressing vacant and abandoned properties. In this role, Jessica works closely with the neighborhood revitalization team and community development corporations so that she can effectively support and lead holistic, programdriven initiatives that restore properties to productive use. She also coordinates the Landbank's work with the City of Cincinnati, other Hamilton County jurisdictions, and community stakeholders to affect management and stewardship of Landbank-owned properties. Jessica brings to the position more than 15 years of legal experience in the areas of housing and neighborhood improvement. She served as a Chief Counsel at the City of Cincinnati’s Law Department, where she focused on improving neighborhood quality of life through affirmative litigation and other strategic advocacy. Before that, she served as Senior Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, LLC. Jessica’s experience includes advocacy related to affordable housing and local and statewide legislative advocacy related to neighborhood blight. Jessica earned her juris doctorate from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and serves on the Hamilton County Foreclosure Policy Group, Vacant Properties Task Force, LISC Local Advisory Committee, City of Cincinnati’s Community Development Advisory Board, FC Community Coalition Board, and Greater Ohio Policy Center Board.

Howard E. Katz is the Legal Educator-in-Residence at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. A native Clevelander, he returned to the area in 2017 after a long career as a professor and administrator at several law schools.

In addition to Howard’s career in higher education of more than 30 years, he served for seven years as the Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis. He has also served as the Chief Counsel to the Cleveland City Council, was the Senior Fellow at the American Architectural Foundation, and was a Knight Foundation Fellow in Community Building (a program run by the University of Miami School of Architecture). For several years he conducted public affairs interviews for a Cleveland radio station.

Katz regularly makes presentations about teaching and curriculum at national conferences, and along with his Cleveland-Marshall College of Law colleague  Kevin O’Neill, is the co-author of the most widely-read book on law school teaching.

Howard holds a B.A. in political science from Case Western Reserve University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Frank Ford is Senior Policy Advisor for the Thriving Communities Program of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. He also serves as the Chair of the Greater Cleveland Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council (VAPAC). He is a licensed attorney who has worked in the field of community development for 40 years. Mr. Ford was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1981 and in the State of Colorado in 1994. His work with communities has included housing development, commercial retail development, organizational development, human capital development and applied research. Mr. Ford graduated from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, and received his Juris Doctor Degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Bill Faith has served as COHHIO’s executive director since 1994. Throughout his career, Bill has worked to develop housing solutions for people with disabilities; directed agencies serving the needs of the homeless and promoted affordable housing, especially for very low-income people. He has had extensive involvement with all of the key state and federal government agencies on a wide range of housing and homelessness assistance programs. On the national level, Bill has served as Chairman of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) for six years and also as President of the Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Will Basil joined The Port in 2012. Over the last seven years, he has become an integral part of its neighborhood revitalization work. His work has included oversight and management of many of the core functions of the Landbank and support of The Port’s neighborhood redevelopment strategy.

Will currently works closely with Port leadership to help manage the Land bank’s workflow, programs, and its engagement with its Hamilton County community and jurisdictional stakeholders. Will’s background in urban planning has helped to infuse data-driven decision making into the workflow of the Port’s neighborhood work. This has included coordination of The Port’s data-oriented platforms, tracking measures and reporting.

Will plays a critical role in the Land bank’s day-to-day operations as well as execution of its long-term strategies and goals. His work ethic is driven by his passion for equitable and community-informed development and revitalization of neighborhoods through partnership.

Will earned a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the American Planning Association and Urban Land Institute (ULI) Cincinnati, where he serves on the Management Committee. He is a graduate of ULI’s Emerging Leaders Program and has served as a team mentor for the ULI/Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Will is also a graduate of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Cincy Next Program (Class 6).

Jerry Paffendorf is an American mutt from the forested farmlands of New Jersey who's lived around the country in Portland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Detroit, where he moved in 2009 and started building what's evolved into LOVELAND Technologies. Jerry dropped out of high school, got turned on by Ray Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines" while in art school, and earned a Master of Science in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He and the team at Loveland Technologies work with governments, developers, neighborhood groups, and passionate individuals to gather and present information about property in clear, actionable ways.

Ted Brandt is Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Marathon Capital. Mr. Brandt is responsible for managing the global operations and strategic decisions for the company, overseeing various transaction teams, and continuing to build the Marathon Capital brand.

Before founding Marathon Capital, Mr. Brandt held various senior management positions within large non-bank finance and leasing companies including GE Capital, Dana Commercial Credit, and Transamerica. During these 15 years, Mr. Brandt had start-up responsibility for leasing units, hands-on turnaround assignments, and opportunities to create and execute a variety of manufacturer vendor programs. He also actively worked on the buying and selling of specialty commercial finance units during this time.

Mr. Brandt received a BA in Economics in 1984 from Oberlin College and his MBA in 1987 from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He serves on the Advisory Council for Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago and the Board of Trustees for Oberlin College. He holds his Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses.

Paul F. Curran is the founder and Managing Director at BQ Energy a renewable energy development firm that specializes in siting wind and solar projects on landfills and brownfield sites. Previously, Paul had served as a Managing Director at SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy development company, as well as Chief Development Officer at Axio Power and Apex Wind. Paul and his colleagues have lead the development of several renewable energy projects on brownfields and industrial sites, including the Steel Winds facility, the Greenfield Solar Farm and others. Projects developed by Paul and his colleagues have received awards and recognition by the US EPA, and several worldwide publications for the sustainable redevelopment of brownfield sites as well as the innovative development practices in the renewable energy industry. Prior to founding a successful renewable energy development company in 2002, Paul worked in the conventional energy industry for over 20 years with Texaco and Chevron. In that capacity, he and his colleagues have developed cogeneration, and renewable energy projects in many US States and in Europe. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of New York. Paul holds an MBA from Marist College and degrees in Engineering from Columbia University.

 

Mr. John A. Zampino is an Associate Director, Assessment, Remediation & Revitalization and Ohio VAP Certified Professional #280.  Over his 28-year career he has compiled extensive experience in the areas of environmental due diligence and the assessment of soil, groundwater, soil gas and indoor air.  Mr. Zampino is familiar with Ohio’s underground storage tank regulations and Ohio EPA’s Solid Waste Rules.  As an Ohio VAP Certified Professional, Mr. Zampino has combined his technical experience and regulatory knowledge to plan and execute complex brownfield redevelopment projects.   As a VAP Certified Professional, he has issued No Further Action letters and received Covenants Not to Sue for residential as well as commercial/industrial land uses.  Mr. Zampino’ s focus is to not only provide quality environmental consulting but strive to assist his clients in developing and executing comprehensive plans to manage environmental risks as they may relate to property transfers and future redevelopment.  He strives to provide his clients with the necessary information to make sound decisions and complete successful projects.  Mr. Zampino holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Kent State University, Master of Science degree in Hydrogeochemistry from Case Western Reserve University, and an Executive Juris Doctorate from Concord School of Law.  He remains active in Ohio’s VAP and stays apprised of regulatory changes as a participant in Ohio’s VAP five-year rule review team and advisory committee member.

Mr. John T. Garvey, CP, PG, CPG, is the Vice President for Partners. For Brownfield and due diligence related projects, he is responsible for senior project oversight, project quality and development of technical staff. He provides expertise in the areas of due diligence, site assessment, contaminant fate and transport, risk assessment, remediation and assisting clients in managing the difficulties unique to brownfield redevelopment projects. He has provided expert testimony and consulting for litigation relating to chlorinated solvent and petroleum releases, Phase I ESA all appropriate inquiry, and groundwater resources cases. Mr. Garvey was an invited participant in the Voluntary Action Program (VAP) five (5) year rule review/revision process and as a Certified Professional (CP) in the VAP, was as a member of the workgroup that prepared Ohio’s first vapor intrusion guidance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA).  Mr. Garvey was an invited member of the VAP Advisory group that spurred HB 168, extending federal CERCLA protections to the state level in Ohio.

Mr. Garvey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Edinboro University, and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Geology from the University of Akron. He is a Certified Professional (#118) under the Voluntary Action Program; a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG #9639); and a Professional Geologist (PG) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (PG-001383-G).

Kenneth Oehlers is in his 10th year as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio.  Ken has an 17 year background in growing nonprofit organizations through partnerships within communities and holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Organizational Leadership.  Before coming to Habitat for Humanity, Ken worked in marketing/sales and helped clients gain market share through creative advertising and collaboration.  Ken is just as excited about working with Habitat for Humanity as the day he started and looks forward to continuing to grow Habitat’s important mission in Southeast Ohio and across the world.  Ken lives in Athens, Ohio where he loves cheering for the Ohio University Bobcats along with his wife and their crazy dogs!

Ryan Miller was named executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Ohio in January of 2007. He was responsible for establishing the first Habitat for Humanity state office in Ohio, and his duties include providing resources and training for 52 Habitat for Humanity affiliates. Ryan also puts his government background to good use by advocating for affordable housing at the state and federal level.

Before joining the Habitat for Humanity state office, Ryan served as assistant director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia where he focused on providing financial resources for the region. He also served as director of constituent affairs for the Ohio House of Representatives and as a member of senior staff for Speaker Householder. During his time in state government, Ryan served on a number of nonprofit boards with a particular emphasis on Appalachia Ohio.

Ryan graduated cum laude from Ohio University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in political communications with a minor in political science. While at Ohio University, he served as an intern for the director of boards and commissions and the director of policy for Governor George Voinovich. While working for Habitat, Ryan received a master’s degree in management from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

He resides in Columbus, OH with his wife, Amy and sons, Connor and Evan. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys volunteering for his church and coaching youth sports.

Patrick Bravo is the Executive Director of the Summit County Land Bank, located in Akron, Ohio, and has served in that role since 2014. Active in the community, Patrick is also a member and past-president of the Akron Public Schools Board of Education, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Child Guidance and Family Solutions, a member of the Salvation Army advisory board and a member of the Ohio Land Bank Association Board of Directors. Patrick has previously served on the Board of Trustees for ReWorks (formerly, the Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority) and the Summit/Medina Business Alliance, as well as numerous other committees and activities within the community. He is a member of the Torchbearers Alumni Association, a graduate of Leadership Akron’s Community Leadership Institute, and a graduate of Class 32 of Leadership Akron. Patrick holds a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University, a Master’s in Public Administration & Urban Studies and law degree from the University of Akron, and has completed the coursework for a Ph.D. in Public Administration & Urban Affairs from the University of Akron.

Jeff Gottke is the president of the Knox County Land Bank. After teaching high school history and government in Mount Vernon for 12 years, Jeff went to work for the Area Development Foundation, the local economic development entity which runs the Land Bank. He made the jump from teaching because he believes in the power of Land Banks as community development organizations and is excited to make a difference in Knox County. Jeff has a Masters Degree from Ashland University and previously served on Mount Vernon City Council. He currently serves on serval boards serving Knox and adjoining counties, including the Boy Scouts of America Muskingum Valley Council, Knox County Historical Society and Main Street Mount Vernon.

Teresa Bemiller was elected to the Board of Commissioners in November 2008, after twenty-six  years of elected and appointed government service. She is completing her third four-year term.  Her public service career began in 1979 at the Knox County Clerk of Courts Office. Appointed  Clerk in 1983, she went on to be elected to three four-year terms. She left the Clerk's office to  work as the Customer Services Manager at the Ohio Secretary of State's Office. In 2000 she became the Director of Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority, a political subdivision of the State  of Ohio. During her public service tenure, she has been active in many local and state boards  and committees.

Chris Pycraft is a member of Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston in Wooster, Ohio. He has B.S. from the College of William & Mary and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University. His speciailities include, among other, land use and development, corporate governance and company formation. He is a member of the Wooster Rotary Club, Goodwill Industries of Wayne and Holmes Counties Board of Trustess, and the Wooster Lacrosse Club.

Carey Shea As the Director of Special Initiatives at Home by Hand, Carey is leading the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act initiative.  Carey Shea is the former Executive Director of Home by Hand and of Project Home Again, a community revitalization and affordable housing organization rebuilding the neighborhoods of northern New Orleans. From September 2012 until December 2013 Carey was a loaned-executive to the City of New Orleans where she worked with the Director of Housing Policy and Community Development to design and implement a $52 million soft-second mortgage program that enabled over 1,000 residents to become first-time homeowners in Orleans Parish.  She arrived in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina to project manage the disaster recovery planning process -- the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) -- for the Rockefeller Foundation.  Upon completion of the planning process, she launched and implemented the $25 million Community Revitalization Fund for the Greater New Orleans Foundation.  Carey has also worked for the Surdna Foundation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Habitat for Humanity, and the East New York Urban Youth Corps, which she founded.  Carey was the founder and president of an urban homesteading (sweat-equity) rehab project in New York City in the 1980s.

Dennis Roberts is an attorney and real estate agent. As the Director of Programs & Property Management, Roberts heads the real estate development division at the nationally recognized Cuyahoga Land Bank. In that role, Roberts & team have facilitated the renovation and dispostion of over 1,145 single family homes throughout Cuyahoga County generating over 14 million in sales over the last 10 years. In addition, under Roberts’ leadership, the Land Bank has built/sold two luxury homes for the combined value of almost $700,000 in one of Cleveland’s upstart neighborhoods and is on track to develop several additional luxury homes this year. Not only is Roberts working to add new housing products to expanding real estate markets, he is also keenly focused on helping more challenged neighborhoods prosper as well. Through the Land Bank’s committed leadership, the strategic infusion of capital to stimulate development and result-oriented partnerships, the Land Bank is poised to accelerate the real estate related transformation of many of Cuyahoga County’s under resourced communities. Simply put, Roberts uses his unique blend of creative expertise, knowledge of the local real estate market and his thorough understanding of the acquisition, renovation and sale process, to help municipal government, non-profit organizations and citizens solve vexing real estate challenges. Roberts is married to his wife Sabrina and has a daughter, Morgan.

Tiffany Sokol, HDFP is the Housing Director for the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) where she has served in various capacities for the past 8 years. At YNDC, Tiffany leads a team in the development and implementation of all of the organization's housing programming. Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Youngstown State University. She is an NCHEC-Certified Housing Counselor and National Development Council Housing Development Finance Professional. In addition to revitalization, Tiffany enjoys exploring Mill Creek Park with her dog Fiona, kayaking, mentoring neighborhood youth, and making renovations to her historic residence in Youngstown.

Amanda Mayan is a driven, accomplished, entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience in the finance and investment industry. She currently serves as Founder and Director of MAN Holdings, LLC. Ms. Mayan began her career in Risk Management, quickly moving up the ranks, then holding several positions including Controller for Bache Leasing Corporation in the Miami area. Her passion for community development, service, and real estate development led her to form a company devoted to improving people’s lives. With a strong background in finance, management, and solutions development, Ms. Mayan is able to identify unique opportunities for purchase, renovation, stabilization, and reselling of distressed properties. She is committed to utilizing her skills to build stronger communities.

Her background includes proven success in design and implementation of cohesive rehabilitation budgets, project oversight, and marketing and resale programs for properties of all types. Ms. Mayan is a successful entrepreneur with real estate investment knowledge and background. Ms. Mayan has proven experience generating new revenue streams through effective identification and pursuit of new business opportunities.

Ms. Mayan has been managing her own properties since 2009 including single family, multi family and commercial. Many projects have been purchased, had value added, and have been sold at a profit at a later date. Since 2012 the investment strategy has been to purchase projects, engage in aggressive investment and rehabilitation and selectively hold for the long term in order to take advantage of both cash flow and appreciation over time.

Isaac Robb is the Director of Urban Projects for Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Isaac is responsible for redevelopment scenario planning, structuring land transactions for urban open space projects, as well as assisting with the Land Conservancy’s property inventory program. A native Oregonian, Isaac holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Willamette University and his Master of Arts in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. Isaac also has experience teaching English as a second language to students in China and South Korea.

Dennis Roberts, Esq. Dennis Roberts is an attorney and a real estate agent.  As the Director of Programs & Property Management, Roberts heads the real estate development division at the nationally recognized Cuyahoga Land Bank. In that role, Roberts & team have facilitated the renovation and disposition of over 1,500 single family homes throughout Cuyahoga County generating more than 14 million in sales over the last 10 years.

In addition, under Roberts’ leadership, the Land Bank has built/sold several homes for the combined value of over $2 million dollars throughout the greater Cleveland area. Not only is Roberts working to add new housing products to expanding real estate market segments, he is also keenly focused on helping more challenged neighborhoods prosper as well. Through the Land Bank’s committed leadership, the strategic infusion of capital to stimulate development, the Land Bank is poised to accelerate the real estate related transformation of many of Cuyahoga County’s under resourced communities.

Simply put, Roberts uses his unique blend of creative expertise, knowledge of the local real estate market and his thorough understanding of the acquisition, renovation and sale process, to help municipal government, non-profit organizations and citizens solve vexing real estate challenges.

Jacqueline Gillon is a community builder, group facilitator, and published poet. As the Community Engagement Specialist and Diversity Coordinator for Thriving Communities, the urban program of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, she focuses on the physical restoration of the Buckeye, Woodland Hills and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods in the city of Cleveland. Serving on the Diversity, Equity Inclusion and Justice Committee of the Land Conservancy, she is also on the Equity Advisory and Action Committee of Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

As a co-founder of Black Environmental Leaders, a new association of community leaders, entrepreneurs, representatives of national and local non-profit environmental groups and governmental organizations, she is dedicated to the stewardship of the natural and built environment. She received the Fresh Innovator’s Award from the Freshwater Cleveland and the Cleveland Leadership Center for her work. Jacquie also serves on the City of Cleveland’s Planning Commission’s East District Design Review Committee and on the Advisory Board of The Swetland Center For Environmental Health at Case Western Reserve University Jacquie is one of 15 to receive the 2020 Crain’s Business Cleveland Women O Note Award.

She is First Vice-President of the board of NOAH, (The Northeast Ohio Alliance For Hope) in East Cleveland. At Elizabeth Baptist Church, Jacquie is a part of the Christian Education ministry and serves as Linkage Coordinator for the church.

Jacquie spent a total of 19 years with Neighborhood Centers Association and Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI), co-facilitating and staffing 29 classes of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland, a grassroots leadership program in partnership with the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. She now serves on the board of NLI.

Her book of original poetry, Anointing In My Hands, was published in 2011.It can be found on the shelves of East Cleveland and Cleveland Public Libraries.

Appointed at age 23 to the former East Cleveland City Commission, she was elected at 31 and completed three consecutive terms on the East Cleveland City Council, focusing on community development, youth, environmental policy, as well as safety and law enforcement.

Jacqueline Gillon is a graduate of Hiram College and completed the Wilder Foundation’s Shannon Leadership Institute in Minnesota

Shawn Carvin is a native of Warren, Ohio and since 2013 has worked at Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (TNP), a 501c3 community development organization, as the Director of the Trumbull County Land Bank. Through his role as the Director of the Land Bank, Shawn is responsible for the organization's growth and remaining aligned with its mission to improve communities throughout Trumbull County. Through his leadership at the Trumbull County Land Bank, it has seen tremendous growth, building robust programming to address the vacancy and blight that has plagued Trumbull County communities. He has been successful in developing and implementing programming that is accountable and accessible to the community and its residents.

Prior to his time at TNP, he served in the United States Air Force as a meteorologist. In 2012, Shawn moved back to his hometown of Warren to be a part of the city’s resurgence. He holds a BA in Geography from Youngstown State University. Shawn serves on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Land Bank Association, Habitat for Humanity of the Mahoning Valley, the Trumbull Art Gallery and the W.D. Packard Foundation. He was also the 2016 recipient of the Rising Star award through the Ohio CDC Association and a 2017 recipient of a 25 under 35 award.

John Habat, J.D. –President/CEO, Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity John has led the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity since 2011.  During this time, he has evolved the focus of Habitat to leverage its home building and rehabbing activities to catalyze neighborhood revitalization, which includes helping existing residents in target areas with critical exterior home repairs.  Additionally, he has built Habitat’s ReStore thrift retail operation by more than quadrupling annual sales and opening a second store on the county’s east side.

John has served in positions in nonprofit management, higher education, public policy, law, government, economic development and finance.  He has had a diverse professional life spanning a variety of administrative and financial management positions.  During his 40-year career, he has helped shape and advance institutional vision, built and directed staff and volunteer resources and formed internal and external partnerships throughout Northeast Ohio.  As a full-time advocate for Greater Cleveland in Columbus and Washington, D.C., John was active in many economic and community initiatives.

John began his career as a legislative fellow in the Ohio General Assembly, moving from there to work as an Executive Assistant to Cleveland’s mayor George Voinovich; thereafter he  practiced law at a firm that specialized in municipal government legal matters.  He moved on from the full-time practice of law to work as an advocate for Greater Cleveland in state and federal relations, eventually becoming Vice President for Government Relations and Transportation at the Greater Cleveland Growth Association.  John’s career path took a new direction when he became an executive in higher education, serving first as Vice President for Administration and Finance at both Youngstown State University and Cuyahoga Community College.

Thanks to our 2020 Ohio Land Bank Conference Sponsors

Western Reserve Land Conservancy works to transform some of the areas hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis by revitalizing and restoring safe, green, vibrant communities. These efforts include our work to support county land banks. Learn more by visiting our website.