Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Community Search
2017 Fall Finance Conference Speakers

as of 8/22/17

Fall Finance Conference Speakers


Audra Hamernik
Executive Director
Illinois Housing Development Authority

Audra is a longtime housing executive with more than 20 years of public and private industry experience. She was appointed Executive Director of the Authority in February of 2016, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Council of State Housing Agencies and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s Community Investment Advisory Council. Prior to this, she was principal of A. Hamernik & Associates, a consulting firm where she advised nonprofit agencies on affordable housing development and funding strategies, and counselled local governments on affordable housing issues and administration of funds. Audra was also the Executive Director and founder of Bluestem Housing Partners, a nonprofit organization that developed affordable apartments for working families in both urban and rural communities. In each of these roles, she is credited with the coordination of complex investments that layered public and private funds to build quality, affordable homes throughout Illinois. Before founding Bluestem, she served as Assistant Community Development Director for the Village of Villa Park and as Senior Planner for DuPage County. She grew up in Johnson County in southern Illinois, and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Bill Libit
Chief Operating Partner
Chapman and Cutler LLP

Bill concentrates his practice in the corporate and securities area.Bill’s corporate and securities practice includes representation of issuers and investment banks in connection with public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities. He also represents issuers in other aspects of their business involving compliance with federal securities regulation, including preparation and review of required periodic filings including 10-Ks, 10-Qs and proxy statements and press releases and communications with institutional investors and shareholders as well as compliance with NYSE and NASDAQ listing requirements,corporate compliance and corporate governance counseling and strategy matters. Bill’s corporate governance practice includes advising public company boards, including audit, compensation and governance committees as well as investigative committees.


Donald Billingsley

Acting Director, Program Administration Division, Office of Multifamily Production


Don is the Acting Director of the Program Administration Division. He manages the development and implementation of policy, program and legislative initiatives impacting Multifamily FHA and Risk Share lending. The Program Administration Division also oversees counterparty risk management and lender qualifications related to Risk Share lending.

Prior to joining HUD, Don was an Analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta; Senior Real Estate Development Manager for an LIHTC developer in Philadelphia, PA; Executive Director at Interfaith Housing Development Corporation in Bristol, PA; and Managing Member of Del Val Developers in Buckingham, PA.

Don attended Roosevelt University where he majored in Information Systems; is a certified Low Income Housing Tax Credit Professional; and is a United States Navy combat veteran.


Eugene Jones, Jr.
Chief Executive Officer

Chicago Housing Authority

Eugene Jones, the Chief Executive Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority.

He is directly responsible for implementing CHA’s extensive redevelopment program of public housing and continuing the agency’s mixed-income-focused strategic initiative to help build strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago.

He has more than 35 years of service and experience in housing operations, resident services, accounting and finance, auditing, maintenance, new construction, capital construction and Housing Choice Voucher programs. Jones held previous key roles at various housing authorities across the country and in Canada. He is credited for turning around numerous troubled housing authorities to either a standard or high performance.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Albuquerque and his MBA from New Mexico Highlands University.



Mike Airhart
Vice President
George K. Baum & Company


Mike Airhart is a Vice President with George K. Baum & Company, serving in the National Housing Finance Group, with primary responsibility for southeastern US states and working out of the greater New Orleans office.


He has more than 24 years of experience working in the housing finance industry as a mortgage banker, nonprofit executive, local HFA director and investment banker. His depth of knowledge of financial markets is complemented by his hands-on experience in running both market rate and MRB programs. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of a local housing finance authority for three years prior to joining the firm.


He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Louisiana State University. He has been a speaker at many national and regional real estate finance industry conferences.


His time has also been devoted to the following professional organizations:

• Former Chairman and Board Member of the Louisiana Housing Corporation

• Former Single Family Committee Chairman for Louisiana Housing Finance


• Former President of Louisiana Mortgage Lenders Association

• Volunteer President of Louisiana Mortgage Lenders Foundation

• Member of the National Conference on State Housing Agencies

• Member of the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies

Marisa Novara
Director of Housing and Community Development

Metropolitan Planning Council


Marisa joined MPC in 2011. She directs MPC's housing and community development work, and manages technical assistance and support to communities facing development challenges related to housing, transportation, transit-oriented development and economic development. She designed and

manages the multi-year Cost of Segregation project.



Prior to MPC, Marisa spent a year in Milan, Italy, completing her master’s degree in urban planning with a focus on international community development. Her studies were informed by years of work on the ground in Chicago, most recently as the senior project manager for Lawndale Christian Development Corporation. There, she directed more than $30 million in afordable rental and for-sale housing development in the North Lawndale neighborhood. She also worked in community development at the Steans Family Foundation and Carole Robertson Center for Learning.


Marisa serves on the Community Development Committee of The Resurrection Project, the Public Policy Committee of the Urban Land Institute, was a 2014 Marshall Memorial fellow and a 2016 Leadership Greater Chicago fellow.


Mathew Wambua
RHR Funding


Mathew Wambua, President of RHR Funding, is located in Richman’s New York, New York office and is responsible for establishing and expanding Richman’s mortgage multifamily lending platform. Mr. Wambua was former Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Mr. Wambua earned a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard.



Ryan Bowen
Senior Counsel
National Public Finance Department

Chapman and Cutler, LLP


Ryan Bowen is a senior counsel in the National Public Finance Department of Chapman and Cutler LLP in the firm's Chicago office. Since joining the firm in 2007, Ryan has served as bond counsel and underwriter's counsel on numerous single family and multifamily transactions. In this capacity, Ryan has served as bond counsel to a number of local housing finance corporations and also frequently serves as underwriter's counsel on housing transactions throughout the country. Ryan routinely provides advice and counsel on various securities law matters related to the municipal securities market.



Vivian Benjamin

Assistant Director

Mortgage Finance Division

Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland

Vivian Benjamin is the Assistant Director of the Mortgage Finance Davison of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland. While she shares responsibility for all of the programs of the division, her primary responsibility lies in the multifamily area. She is responsible for analyzing loans submitted by private for profit, non profit and governmental entities for financing using the proceeds of private activity, 501(c)(3) bonds and governmental bonds. The Commission has issued bonds without credit support and with a variety of credit supports. Vivian has been with the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) for over twenty-five years. In that time she has seen some notable achievements in Multifamily Mortgage Finance; HOC has issued well over a billion dollars in bonds to finance rental and for-sale housing for low to moderate-income families.


Other HOC achievements on which Vivian has worked would include HOC's approval to participate in the FHA Risk Sharing Pilot Program. HOC's receipt in 1994 of a General Obligation rating of "A" from Moody's Investors Services. During the summer of 1993, Vivian consulted with the staff of HUD Headquarters as the representative of the Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (Now "NALHFA") to help craft the Risk Sharing Pilot Program. During the summer of 2009, Vivian worked with NALHFA, the staff of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Treasury and others to establish the Treasury/HFA Initiative. Vivian is a past Secretary of the NALHFA Board and a current member of the Board of Directors of NALHFA. In addition to her service to NALHFA, Vivian also serves of the Board of the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) in Baltimore, Maryland a Baltimore based nonprofit agency that provides free design assistance, community development and planning services to other nonprofits and municipalities including Prince George's County and the Washington, D.C. corridor.



Cindy Waldron


Research Analytics and Modeling, Single Family Division


Cindy Waldron is Director, Affordable Lending Analytics and Research in the Single-Family Affordable Lending and Access to Credit organization. Her responsibilities include researching the evolving needs of the affordableand underserved markets, providing leadership and coordination for regulatory goals and reporting, generating analytics to expand distribution and access to credit, working with sourcing to target and purchase underserved and goal-rich loans and providing support to new affordable offerings, programs and services.


A veteran of over 20 years in the mortgage industry, Ms. Waldron joined Freddie Mac in 1999 and has held leadership roles within the Single-Family Model and Analytics and Single Family Affordable Lending and Access to Creditareas.



more Calendar
Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal