Opportunity Zone Conference

The Baker-Polito Administration hosted the Massachusetts Opportunity Zone Conference on Dec. 12, 2018, at the UMass Lowell Conference Center, engaging over 330 municipal leaders, state officials, economic development professionals, investors, developers a

The Opportunity Zone program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into ‘Opportunity Funds,’ which are specialized investment vehicles dedicated to investing in designated zones. Massachusetts has 138 Opportunity Zones, located in 79 communities in all regions of the state.


Conference Agenda

8:50 a.m.         Welcome

Mayor William Samaras, City Manager Eileen Donoghue, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, Secretary Jay Ash

9 a.m.         Massachusetts Update

Mike Kennealy, Assistant Secretary for Business Growth, Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development 

9:20 a.m.         Opportunity Zone Fundamentals Panel

Sarah Bianchi, The Governance Project; Marc Schultz, Snell & Wilmer; Tony Grappone, Novogradac & Company LLP; David Weisblat, Foley & Lardner; Karen Kelleher, LISC

10:20 a.m.       How States and Municipalities Can Maximize Opportunity Zones - Grand Ballroom

                        Sarah Bianchi, The Governance Project

10:50 a.m.       Investor Panel

                        Mike Kennealy, EOHED; Navjeet Bal, Social Finance; Steve Grossman, ICIC; Scott Bailey, MassChallenge; Joel Sklar, Samuels & Associates

11:50 a.m.       Lunch

12:30 p.m.       Working Groups:

  • Gateway Cities: Aimee Ward Weeden - MassInc; Ben Forman – MassInc; Gilbert Winn - WinnDevelopment; Sal Lupoli – Lupoli Companies; Colleen Dawicki – Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
  • Rural Markets: Rick Sullivan - Western Mass EDC; David Panagore - Town of Provincetown; Brianna Drohen - Orange Innovation Center; Jon Schaefer - Berkshire East; Tim Burke - Mill Town Capital
  • Development in Established Markets: Rachel Heller – CHAPA; Andrew Grace – City of Boston; Bill Gause – Leggat McCall; Mark Newberg – Womble, Bond, and Dickinson

1:30 p.m.         Working Groups:

  • Investing in Businesses: Mike Kennealy – EOHED; George Ashton – LISC; Joe Kriesberg – MACDC; Greg Shell – Bain Capital; Chris Rezendes – Spherical Analytics
  • Housing Development: Janelle Chan – DHCD; Chrystal Kornegay – MassHousing; Beverly Bates – The Community Builders; Bob Obear – Obear Construction
  • Commercial Real Estate: Laura Canter – MassDevelopment; Dave Traggorth – Traggorth Companies; Brian Burke – The Menkiti Group; Carlos Febres-Mazzei – Quaker Lane Capital; Ted Carmen – Concord Square Planning and Development

2:30 p.m.         Opportunity Zone Q&A with Secretary Jay Ash

3:15 p.m.         Networking


Opportunity Zones in Massachusetts 


How States and Cities can Maximize Opportunity Zones

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