Learn about the five speakers featured at our 2019 Learning Exchange. They’ll be discussing five different topics on several trends impacting our communities!
Technology for Good
Paul Devitt, Ph.D.
With 20+ years of software engineering experience and 10+ years at the executive level, Paul has led organizations to deliver best in class technology solutions within Marketplace, eCommerce, SaaS, Financial and Manufacturing industries. In more recent years, his focus has been modernizing technology through migration to the cloud, automated releases (CICD), auto-scaling, data streaming, micro-services, etc. Most recently at Snagajob, Paul drove all aspects of technology to advance the company’s vision for employers to fill jobs instantly and for people to find work when and where they want. Paul is a graduate of the University of Leeds in England with a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in organic chemistry and has more than 20 years of experience in tech, including many years of hands-on coding. During his teenage years, his love for technology started with freelancing on many early assembly language applications and games. Prior to Snagajob, Paul held technology leadership positions at Snagajob, Capital One, Circuit City, and Borders.
Community Development Finance
Director, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund
Jodie Harris has worked in both the public and private sectors for over 25 years and joined the Treasury in 2007 as an associate program manager and later a senior adviser to the director of the CDFI Fund. During her nearly 13 years with the Treasury, Jodie has managed grant programs and developed legislative and policy proposals for a wide range of issues with a focus on access to capital, community development banking, and financial inclusion. As the recently appointed head of the CDFI Fund, she helps generate economic growth and opportunity in some of our nation’s most distressed communities. Most recently, Jodie led a team of policy analysts in the development of policies and programs to support community and economic development nationwide. By offering tailored resources and innovative programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector capital, the CDFI Fund serves mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to support economically disadvantaged communities.
Health and Housing
Executive Director, Housing & Community Development at Bon Secours Baltimore Health System
As an employee of Bon Secours since 1987, George Kleb is responsible for the administration, direction, and operation of all housing programs for Bon Secours Baltimore including rental housing management (802 units in service) and new housing development (more than 300 in development). George is one of the chief architects of Operation ReachOut Southwest, an award-winning neighborhood revitalization initiative in southwest Baltimore. The work has resulted in more than $115 million in capital improvements and $20 million in grant-funded programs to the neighborhoods surrounding Bon Secours Hospital since 1994. He also directs local system-wide community benefit reporting and compliance. George received his bachelor’s degree from Western Maryland College and a certificate in housing and community development from the University of Maryland in 1998. He lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife Tina and four children.
President, Waukeshaw Development
Dave McCormack is focused on growing businesses and investing in unexpected places. Through his work, he has recognized the nearly universal struggles of small-town America of identity, population, and economic development — and he is inspired to lead the charge of transformation. To initiate change, Dave created Waukeshaw Development, a successful real estate group in Old Towne Petersburg. Waukeshaw’s projects have brought six city blocks back to vibrant life, while simultaneously launching 13 businesses. Dave works with communities across Virginia and North Carolina to revitalize forgotten treasures. In doing so, he has launched two brewery brands, a popular coffee destination, and hundreds of apartments throughout the Commonwealth. Waukeshaw achieves its goals by attracting traditional bank financing as well as seeking grants and other incentives. The group also works with an expert team of architects, CPAs, legal professionals, and consultants to syndicate state and federal historic tax credits. The firm’s adaptive repurpose and historic tax credit developments, in varying project stages, comprise more than 500,000 square feet and reflect a value of more than $90 million.
Executive Director, GRID Alternatives
Nicole Steele has over 15 years of experience in the environmental and energy fields and serves as a board member for MDV-SEIA, the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), and as an advisory board member for DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU). When she started as Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic in 2014, there was little precedent for low-income solar policies and programs across the region. To advance access to renewable energy, Nicole has built partnerships with organizations and government agencies in Delaware, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Nicole has also led GRID Mid-Atlantic to design, develop, and implement the Solar Works DC program under Solar for All, a program of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment. The program seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households and reduce their energy bills by 50 percent by 2032, and train District residents in solar installation and career readiness skills. Through her work, Nicole strives to be a voice to ensure solar energy and jobs are accessible to everyone.
Meet your Emcee
President and Executive Officer, Virginia Community Capital
Since our launch in 2006, Jane has led VCC and our leverage of a $15 million state-backed investment to nearly $800 million in public and private investment in Virginia. Along the way, she has overseen the creation of jobs, vibrant communities, and an improvement in Virginians’ quality of life.
Early in Jane’s banking career, she was tasked with undertaking compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act for her employer. “I begrudgingly said yes,” she recalls. “Yet that decision began a journey that led me to community development banking, mission-related finance, and the ability to use my skills to positively impact communities. That ‘yes’ has created a fulfilling career.”
Jane is the former community development executive for Wachovia, where for 10 years she managed all aspects of community development operations, lending, and compliance for the corporation.
She lives in Goochland County, and splits her time between VCC’s offices in Richmond and Christiansburg. She enjoys hiking and riding horses.