Working Together for Solutions
From case studies in community redevelopment to rehab strategies for vacant properties, the annual Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s 2017 Ohio Land Bank Conference offered up timely and essential information for land bank board members and staff, county and municipal officials, community and economic development officers, community development corporations and all those interested in repurposing vacant and abandoned properties and revitalizing our neighborhoods.
The conference was held September 11 through 13 at the Crowne Plaza Cleveland at Playhouse Square in Cleveland and drew participation from 46 land banks throughout Ohio.
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, delivered the keynote address. Cordray formerly served as Ohio Attorney General. Before that, he served as Ohio Treasurer and Franklin County Treasurer, two elected positions in which he led state and county banking, investment, debt, and financing activities.
The conference featured 30 different sessions, including several led by Cuyahoga Land Bank staff, including:
Michael Schramm, Director of IT and Research for the Cuyahoga Land Bank, along with team members James McGuire and Jessie Masters, served on a panel that examined data tips, tricks, tools and testimonials that every land bank should hear.
Cheryl Stephens, Director of Acquisitions, Dispositions and Development, along with team members Jane Larson, Deidre Lightning-Whitted, Jim Maher, and Rosemary Woodruff, presented a panel discussion titled Demolition 101 to a packed room.
Records Manager Sarah Norman, Executive Assistant Jacqui Knettel, and Assistant General Counsel Doug Sawyer presented on the importance of records retention for land banks for compliance with Sunshine Laws and public records statutes.
Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel, conducted a conference session on using strategic tax foreclosures to create community partnerships along with Vatreisha Nyemba, Compliance and Program Development Manager.
“The Ohio Land Bank Conference continues to be an essential opportunity for different land banks throughout the state to come together to share ideas and experiences, learn from one another, and together find new solutions to the ongoing problem of blight in our community,” says Frangos.