2022 Speakers and Presenters

Laurie Benner

Associate Vice President of Programs
National Fair Housing Alliance

As Associate Vice President of Programs for the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Laurie Benner is responsible for developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating innovative national programs designed to advance research, programs, and policies that provide equitable access to homeownership, housing, economic, and other opportunities. Her primary focus is to spearhead the Keys Unlock Dreams initiative – a 10-city program aimed at expanding affordable and fair housing options; increasing the homeownership rate and related benefits for people and communities of color; preventing an unbalanced recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; and closing the racial wealth and homeownership gaps.

Laurie is a seasoned housing and nonprofit professional with experience in financial management, strategic planning, communications, organizational development, land conservation, grant management, real estate development, affordable housing, community outreach, program development, financial literacy, fair housing, diversity issues, foundation management, and consumer education. Prior to joining NFHA, Laurie served as the Director of Housing Programs for Maryland REALTORS®, the largest professional trade association in the state.

Laurie holds a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies, a Master’s in Nonprofit and Association Management, and an MBA. She is a trained mediator and experienced facilitator and serves on several nonprofit organizations' boards and committees. She lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her two daughters.

Pete Carroll
Executive, Public Policy and Industry Relations


Pete Carroll is Executive, Public Sector and Policy with CoreLogic. Pete’s team drives enterprise strategic initiatives for CoreLogic, oversees industry engagement programs, monitors relevant legislative, regulatory, and counterparty policy developments, and expands opportunities for CoreLogic’s thought leadership and solutions expertise across the housing ecosystem.

Prior to joining CoreLogic, Carroll was Executive Vice President of Quicken Loans (now Rocket Mortgage) where he led the development of Quicken’s positions on a broad spectrum of policy and counterparty issues. Earlier, he was Senior Vice President, Capital Markets, at Wells Fargo and was the Assistant Director (Head), Office of Mortgage Markets, at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where he co-led teams responsible for implementing the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) mortgage rulemakings.

Pete holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Connecticut College. Pete currently serves on the Housing Policy Executive Council (HPEC), the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) Board of Directors, the Orange County United Way Leadership Council, and the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) Advisory Board. Pete has also served on numerous other boards, including the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Residential Board of Governors (RESBOG), Structured Finance Association (SFA), Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), and others.

Ronald T. Crowe
Elite Digital Mortgage Consulting

Ronald T. Crowe has worked with bank owned mortgage companies, independent mortgage companies, GSE’s as well as an outsourcing firm over the years, having begun his career in the 1980s. His expertise in the mortgage industry ranges from mortgage loan servicing to regulatory compliance and training in collections, foreclosure, REO and loss mitigation, quality control, compliance and audit roles, as well as sales and relationship management. Mr. Crowe has streamlined and saved the mortgage industry hundreds of millions of dollars enhancing the ability to reduce costs and improve transactions in mortgage markets.

Dawn E. Grace
Vice President, Housing & Community Investment,
FHLB Cincinnati

Dawn E. Grace is currently the Vice President of Housing & Community Investment (HCI) at the FHLB Cincinnati, a regional wholesale bank serving member financial institutions in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. She was named to her current position in January 2019 and works with the Senior Vice President in managing the operations of the HCI department. Her responsibilities include overseeing the management and administration of FHLB Cincinnati’s affordable housing and economic development programs.

Dawn has over 25 years of experience working in housing development. Prior to joining FHLB Cincinnati, Dawn worked as a Senior Community Development Analyst/Program Manager with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community and Economic Development. In her various roles with the City, she provided project management for a diverse range of projects including market rate and affordable projects, as well as single family, multi-family and mixed-use projects. In addition she has experience in the areas of program development, implementation and administration; financial analysis and compliance/monitoring.

Dawn holds a M.B.A in Management from the University of Cincinnati as well as a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University (Tallahassee FL). She also has certifications from the National Development Council (NDC) in Housing Development and Economic Development. She is currently a board member of Homesteading & Urban Redevelopment Corporation (HURC) as well as the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC). Dawn and her husband Keith are “pseudo” empty nesters who have three daughters and they reside in Cincinnati, OH.

Marcia Griffin
Founder and President

Marcia Griffin is on a mission to financially strengthen people and elevate home-ownership success for people of color across America. As founder and president of HomeFree-USA, Marcia has helped thousands to save, keep and get more money through Homeownership, which she feels is the key to long term wealth for all people. HomeFree-USA enjoys a remarkable 0% foreclosure rate among families that have participated in the organization’s pre- and post-purchase program. Serving as a bridge between financial institutions and the community, Marcia addresses the needs of homebuyers and homeowners with targeted education, distinctive marketing strategies and unique lender products.

A recognized homeownership expert and frequent guest speaker, Marcia is a member of the Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, the Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, the Ocwen Financial Community Advisory Council, America’s Homeowner Alliance, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation Committee, the Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Council, and the Rocket Mortgage Advisory Council.
Recently HomeFree-USA launched the Center for Financial Advancement at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Our goal is to introduce students to the mortgage industry and advance homeownership as an important goal for parents, faculty, and inner-city residents. Most importantly, HomeFree-USA will expand diversity in mortgage finance and increase homeownership in diverse communities.

Marcia is a tireless advocate for nonprofit leaders and for disadvantaged people everywhere. Under her leadership, HomeFree-USA funds and strengthens the capacity of 53 other nonprofits that represent the interests of 4.5 million diverse families across the country.

Bryan Keller

Managing Partner, National Practices
Partner-in-Charge, Real Estate Services Group

Bryan Keller is the Managing Partner of RubinBrown’s National Practices and the Partner-In-Charge of RubinBrown’s Real Estate Services Group. In his role as National Practices Managing Partner, Bryan leads the firm’s Chicago, Las Vegas and Nashville offices. He is also responsible for overseeing RubinBrown’s nationwide expansion in the Real Estate, Private Equity and Gaming industries.

Bryan has over 25 years of experience providing consulting, tax and accounting services to real estate owners, developers and investors. Bryan has specialized expertise with partnerships that own projects eligible for federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, federal and state historic tax credit programs, the New Markets Tax Credit program and HUD programs. Bryan is frequently invited to speak on affordable housing and tax credits at national and state industry conferences.

Alvin J. Nance

LHP Development
CEO of Development

Alvin J. Nance is Chief Executive Officer of LHP Development, LLC. Before joining LHP in 2015, Alvin served a 14-year tenure as Executive Director and CEO of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, the public housing and redevelopment authority for the City of Knoxville, during which he served on the staffs of Mayors Victor Ashe, Bill Haslam, and Madeline Rogero. Prior to joining Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation Alvin worked for Valley Fidelity Bank & Trust Company ten years and SunTrust Bank for ten years.

Alvin is active in organizations representing public housing authorities and affordable housing developers in Tennessee and the Southeast. He previously served two terms on the Board of Directors and was Vice Chairman of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and served on THDA’s Tax Credit Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Tennessee Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities’ legislative committee and in several leadership roles for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, including posts on its community revitalization, development, and legislative committees. Also served two terms on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.

Among his many business and community activities, Alvin serves on the boards of Mountain Commerce Bank, Knoxville/Knox County Sport Authority, Knox County Industrial Development Board, Project GRAD, The First Tee of Greater Knoxville, Maryville College Board of Trustee, Covenant Health Hospital, Metropolitan YMCA Board, Emerald Charter School, and Great Smoky Mountain Boys Scouts of America.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Maryville College.

Kelsey Oesmann

Director of Design & Development
Urban Housing Solutions

Kelsey Oesmann is an architect and the Director of Design & Development with Urban Housing Solutions, Nashville’s leading nonprofit provider of affordable housing. Kelsey came to Nashville in 2017 as an Enterprise Rose Fellow, and has since contributed to the construction or preservation of more than 700 affordable apartments. She is an advocate for authentic community engagement and policies that create more equitable cities, including transit, public health, and resilience. As an extension of this work, Kelsey designed The Game of Rent community teaching tool to combat harmful stereotypes and misconceptions about affordable housing.

Prior to moving to Nashville, Kelsey designed mixed-use and multifamily projects with an architecture firm in the Washington, DC area. In 2016, she biked from Virginia to Oregon with the nonprofit Bike & Build to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2014 and is originally from New Jersey, so she maintains high standards for bagels and pizza. Kelsey also finds joy in cycling and hiking, runs on strong coffee and live music, and never leaves home without a good pen.

Steve O'Connor

Senior VP for Affordable Housing Initiatives
Mortgage Bankers Association

Steve O'Connor is Senior Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). He manages MBA's efforts to support the affordable housing policy and business objectives of our members. He is also responsible for outreach to industry groups, consumer organizations, and other key stakeholders. O'Connor is a regular guest speaker on industry issues.

O’Connor leads MBA’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Council. He also serves on a number of industry boards, including the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Freddie Mac’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council, the National Urban League’s Urban Solutions Council, the Homeownership Council of America, and Rocket Mortgage’s Consumer Affairs Forum.

O'Connor joined MBA in 1996. Previously, he worked in government affairs for the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac. He also worked for Skyline Financial Services Corporation.

O'Connor holds a Bachelor's degree in political science from Marquette University and a Master's degree in political science from American University.

Zac Oswald

Gallatin Managing Attorney, Housing Practice Lead
Legal Aid

Zac Oswald is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and a 2013 cum laude graduate of University of Miami School of Law. While at law school, he also earned a Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries and acted as the Student Director of Business Affairs for Cat 5 Music Publishing. While awaiting his bar exam results, he worked as a grill cook at Chipotle Mexican Restaurants and still cuts chicken faster than most Tennesseans. He started at Legal Aid Society in 2014 as a University of Miami Legal Corps Fellow, working primarily in the Family Law Unit. He is Managing Attorney of the Gallatin Office, practicing Housing and Consumer Law, and is the Lead Attorney for the firm’s Housing Practice Group. Zac was the 2016 recipient of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Service’s New Advocate of the Year award.

Christopher Ptomey

Executive Director
ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing

Since 2018, Christopher Ptomey has served as executive director of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing. Prior to joining the Center, Ptomey helped launch and lead Habitat for Humanity International’s US government relations and advocacy team for more than a decade and previously served as federal liaison for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and as senior legislative aide to Rep. Michael Collins (GA).

Since joining ULI in 2018, Ptomey has led the design and launch ULI’s annual Home Attainability Index publication and provided strategic oversight of research on family renter housing, low-density rental development, tenant and property stability, and homeownership attainability in master-planned communities. Ptomey appears frequently as a speaker and panelist in local, regional, national, and global housing convenings and is a regularly cited expert and opinion leader in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and a variety of local, regional, and development industry outlets.

Ptomey resides in Roanoke, VA, and holds degrees from Haverford College (BA, Philosophy) and George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School (JD) and is a member of the bar in his native Tennessee.

Mark C. Reid

Executive Director
Jackson Housing Authority

Mark C. Reid graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has been employed by the Jackson Housing Authority for over 30 years and currently serves as its Executive Director. While serving as Director of Asset Management, he coordinated JHA’s transition to manage LIHTC properties in Jackson. Mr. Reid also has experience in church and community leadership, meeting the needs of the elderly and low-income families as well as budgeting and financial planning.

Mr. Reid currently serves as the VP of Housing with the Tennessee Association of Housing Redevelopment Authorities (TAHRA), Member of the Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Member of the Jackson Madison County Anti-Poverty Board, Leadership Jackson member, BancorpSouth Advisory Board member, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Advisory Board.

In 2021, Mr. Reid was nominated for the Neighborhood Stabilization Award. He is married to Karen Perry Reid.

Dottie Sheppick
Founding Partner
Specialty Mortgage Product Solutions, LLC

Dottie Sheppick is a founding partner of Specialty Mortgage Product Solutions, LLC (SMPS). SMPS was formed in 2016 and serves lenders and others focused on affordable, builder and first-time homebuyer products and programs. Her consulting clients have included Freddie Mac, the National Council of State Housing Agencies and Habitat for Humanity International. Dottie has 30 years’ experience in niche lending with her last corporate position as Bank of America’s SVP, Affordable Housing Executive. Prior to that she was Director of Housing Impact at Fannie Mae. Dottie is well known for her entrepreneurial approach to develop products and programs that meet client’s needs.

Jeff Strand
Coordinator of Government and External Affairs

Tennessee Disability Coalition

Jeff Strand is the Coordinator of Government and External Affairs at the Tennessee Disability Coalition. In his role, he is responsible for monitoring the General Assembly, constructing policy and facilitating legislation and building advocacy networks to support our mission. Jeff received a master’s in Special Education from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, and an additional master’s in Community Development with a focus in housing research from Vanderbilt University.

Lindy Turner
Executive Director

Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc.

Lindy Turner has led Clinch Powell, a not-for-profit organization focused on building strong communities, caring for people and protecting natural resources in Tennessee for more than three decades. Clinch-Powell is a HUD approved counseling agency, a Community Housing Development Organization, a licensed Mortgage Broker, a certified USDA loan packager, a Rural LISC Financial Opportunity Center and manages a related Construction Company, an emerging CDFI, an Ecotourism Resort and the largest and oldest continuous AmeriCorps program in TN with assets nearing $10 million. Lindy has been recognized for her service to rural communities including the USDA Public Service Award, Conservationist of the Year from The Nature Conservancy and the National Rural Community Action Award from the U.S. Forest Service. She is from TN but has lived in California, Washington D.C., New Mexico, Georgia and England. She enjoys being a grandmother and is happiest with a good book, a porch swing and a warm ocean breeze.

Dave Urban
Regional Director - Gulf Coast Region
RBC Community Investments

Dave Urban currently serves as Regional Director – Gulf Coast Region with RBC Community Investments, with a focus on originations activity in the Gulf Coast, Southeast and Illinois. He originally joined the group in 1998 and has worked on acquisitions and origination activity during his tenure. Cultivating relationships with both for-profit and not-for-profit developers, Dave has closed on real estate equity transactions in more than 20 states, including Puerto Rico. Prior to joining RBC, Mr. Urban had over 10 years of experience in accounting and finance. He worked for TravelCenters of America in Cleveland, performing operations and budget analysis on over 85 locations, and assisted in determining the profitability of potential acquisitions. Since joining RBC, he has worked closely with developers to close on a broad range of projects and providing assistance in securing construction and permanent financing, as well as developing and maintaining several long-term developer relationships. Mr. Urban has also worked closely with several state and local tax credit agencies and assisted in the development and servicing of equity investor relationships. A 1997 MBA graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University, Mr. Urban's background includes experience as a Controller and International Controller.

Dr. Troy D. White

Executive Director
Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency

Dr. Troy D. White is the sixth executive director of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), the Nashville and Davidson County housing authority, which has a budget of $150 million and houses approximately 30,000 people, primarily through Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA). The Agency also owns and manages several mixed-income residential developments, and oversees a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program, which has helped create and preserve more than 5,500 affordable housing units in the city since its inception in 2016.

In addition, MDHA administers federally-funded community development and homeless assistance programs on behalf of Nashville and Davidson County.

Dr. White previously served as the director of housing authorities and market segment leader at Aprio, a national CPA and advisory services firm. He has more than 20 years of executive experience working at several housing authorities in cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte, where he managed budgets in excess of $315 million. He brings expertise in affordable housing development, finance, human services, economic development, compliance, community engagement, risk management, community development and facilities management.

Dr. White earned his Doctor of Public Administration with distinction from Capella University, his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Connecticut and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University. His professional affiliations include NAHRO, Morris Brown College Foundation – Board Member, Metro Action Commission – Board Member, Nashville Downtown Partnership – Board Member

Loretta Williamson

Truist Bank
SVP, Head of Mortgage Strategic Growth

Loretta Williamson is the Senior Vice President, Head of Mortgage Strategic Growth with Truist Bank. Loretta has been with Truist for 7 years and has served in the Mortgage/Banking industry for 23 years. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Loretta relocated to Midlothian, VA in 2014. She has held many roles in various areas of Mortgage, including Sales, Operations and Capital Markets.

As Head of Mortgage Strategic Growth, Loretta leads a team responsible for identifying and deploying profitable growth strategies that focus on the shifting demographics driving home ownership in the coming years. Those strategies include a concentration on first-time homebuyers, the underserved, millennials, non-English speaking clients and inclusive lending overall. In addition, Loretta collaborates with internal and external partners to continue driving Community Reinvestment efforts.