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Robert K. (Bob) Jenkins Jr.
Chief Executive Officer

A long-tenured economic development finance professional, Bob has held executive positions in both public and private-sector economic development organizations. He was the founding CEO of Hampton Roads Ventures (HRV), a successful economic development investment firm that has been active in the NMTC program since the program’s inception. Bob has also served as COO of the Norfolk Redevelopment & Housing Authority (NRHA), the largest municipal economic development and affordable housing agency in the state of Virginia. He managed the securing of multiple awards of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to finance the successful redevelopment of two distressed public housing properties into Broad Creek, an attractive, 672-unit, mixed-income, mixed-use community. An experienced real estate finance attorney, Bob is a graduate of Howard University and the George Washington University School of Law. He is licensed to practice before a number of tribunals including the US Tax Court and  the US Supreme Court. Bob has successfully completed postgraduate studies in real estate development finance at the MIT Center for Real Estate.

Donald R. Phoenix
Chief Investment Officer

Don joined us following a distinguished career with NeighborWorks of America, a Congressionally chartered community development intermediary, where he served as Regional Vice President. Don was responsible for overseeing financial and technical services for network organizations in 13 states and  the District of Columbia. He also led the organization’s Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts in the wake  of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and continues to lead the Southern Region’s efforts to deliver needed resources to assist communities challenged  by natural disasters. A long-time community development lender and investor, Don has served as Housing Director for the city of Savannah GA, Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Servicex of Savannah, vice president of Carver State Bank of Savannah (GA), assistant vice president of Great Southern Federal Savings Bank. Don is a founding member of the Georgia State Trade Association of Nonprofit Developers, a member of Georgia ACT, a founding board member of the Partnership for Southern Equity, and past chair of the Federal Home Loan Banks’ advisory council, and several other community development organizations. He presently serves on the board of the Center for Community Progress and National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations and  is Chairman of the Advisory Board for Hampton Roads Ventures Fund.

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Gwendolyn McDonald
Chief Administrative Officer

With over 20 years’ experience in the finance sector, Gwen has served as a full charge bookkeeper to countless businesses in dozens of industries. Over the last 10 years, she has combined her accounting knowledge with office management skills. She served as a staff accountant for over 10 years with Reznick, Fedder, and Silverman, a predecessor to Cohn Reznick, and with Bond Beebe, now known as Withum, Smith + Brown, PC. Gwen is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Brian Jenkins
Chief Operating Officer

Brian has over three decades of experience in loan servicing, proforma development, asset management, and portfolio analysis. He commenced his professional career in the Loan Servicing Department of Metropolitan Federal Savings & Loan, a federally insured suburban Washington, DC financial institution. Brian later served as General Manager of a real estate investment and management firm with an extensive portfolio of commercial and multi-family residential properties. A graduate  of Lincoln University, Brian attended the University of Maryland Graduate School of Business.

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Samuel J. Deal
Senior Advisor, Portfolio Management

Sam has over three decades  of executive-level banking experience in community economic development finance. He has served as Senior Vice President of Harbor Bank, one the largest minority-owned banks in the United States. Sam also served as Chief Operating Officer of Harbor Bank’s Community Development Corporation. A respected educator, Sam teaches graduate-level courses in banking and finance at the Earl Graves School of Business at Morgan State University. Sam is a graduate of Morgan State University and the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Karen M. Williams
Senior Advisor, Tax Credit Investment Initiatives

Her responsibilities include coordination of our NMTC Advisory activities. Karen is an experienced economic development finance attorney specializing in creating and leading public-private partnerships. She has been rated  AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell (their highest rating) and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for real estate law and in Chambers USA for project financing. Karen has twice been named by Oregon Super Lawyers as one of the top 25 female attorneys in the state and listed five times among the top 100 attorneys in Oregon. An experienced NMTC practitioner, Karen has accessed the NMTC program to attract and deploy over $850 million into lower-income communities. She has advised CDEs  and authored multiple successful NMTC applications.

For nearly a decade, Karen led the public-private development team at the Lane Powell law firm, part of the firm’s real estate and land use practice group. Prior to joining Lane Powell, Karen was General Counsel of the Portland Development Commission Karen is a graduate of Antioch University in Seattle and the University  of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law cum laude. She is a member of American and International Mensa.

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Ashley N. Wicks
Butler Snow Law Firm  |

Ashley N. Wicks is a partner in Butler Snow, a full-service law firm with offices concentrated in the southeast. Ashley have extensive experience in economic development finance law. Ashley received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Jackson State University. She received her Juris Doctor from Tulane University and her Master of Law in taxation from the University of Alabama.  

She is admitted to practice in Mississippi, Texas, and the District of Columbia. The Mississippi Business Journal recently named her to be in the top 10 of their list  of 50 Top Professionals Under 40.

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