President and Chief Executive Officer
Daniel Marsh was elevated to President and CEO of Grow America, formerly NDC, in January 2017. He is the third president in the organization’s 53-year history.
His work in the field of economic and community development has spanned over 35 years in the public, private and non-profit sectors and includes all aspects of business finance, real estate development and continuing education focused on community development.
Considered one of the nation’s leading experts in the field of community development finance and program development, he oversees every aspect of Grow America’s staff and operations across the United States. Grow America’s wide-ranging areas of focus include advisory services, education, community development financing, small business lending, affordable housing finance and development, and social infrastructure services and programs.
Prior to becoming President and CEO, Marsh also served as Executive Vice President for Policy and Programs in NDC’s Washington Office and Eastern Regional Director of Advisory Services. He is credited with incorporating and building NDC’s mission focused affiliate, NDC Housing and Economic Development Corporation, in which NDC’s nationally recognized nonprofit Social Infrastructure Program, Tax Leveraged Investment Program and Federal Home Loan Bank member lending programs are housed.
Before joining NDC, Marsh served in a number of positions for the City of Newburgh, New York, where he rose to become the Executive Director of Newburgh’s Office of Economic Development. As the Executive Director, he carried out a revitalization program that secured more than $100 million in investment in a city that experienced massive disinvestment during the previous 30-years. During that same time, he was the founding director of the Newburgh Local Development Corporation and Executive Director of the City’s Industrial Development Agency. In those capacities, he oversaw both the financing and development of key commercial and industrial real estate projects and created New York State’s first Small Issue Industrial Revenue Bond Pool Financing Program. In addition to working to build Newburgh’s future, Marsh championed the preservation of its past and, under his leadership, the city created a federally recognized historic district. At the time of recognition, it was the largest contiguous historic district in America. To protect the historic fabric of the community, Marsh authored the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, which included the formation of the Architectural Review Commission.
Marsh graduated from Hartwick College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Urban Studies. After guiding NDC through the pandemic years and navigating the unprecedented challenges we all faced, Marsh is focused on continuing to build and expand Grow America’s impact in its next half century, with the unwavering commitment to provide opportunity to economically underserved communities and populations across America.
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Ennis is the Chief Operating Officer of Grow America, formerly NDC. As the previous Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Ennis oversaw all matters related to financial management, reporting, budgeting and forecasting, and audit and tax preparation. Before becoming CFO for the entire organization in 2016, Mr. Ennis oversaw financial matters for Grow America’s development arm, which finances and develops affordable housing and other community and economic development projects. In this capacity, Mr. Ennis oversaw the financial management and reporting for transactions involving $754 million of New Markets Tax Credits, $805 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, and $1 billion in tax exempt bond financed properties throughout the United States.
Prior to joining NDC, Mr. Ennis was a Senior Associate at Dixon Hughes PLLC (now DHG), and primarily worked to provide external audit and review services for community banking clients throughout North Carolina. Mr. Ennis received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Banking from Appalachian State University and has a Master of Science in Accountancy from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Chief Financial Officer
Daniel Choi is the CFO of Grow America, formerly NDC. He is a CPA registered in the state of NY with broad experience in financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, federal and non-federal grant compliance, and audit and tax preparation. He is responsible for the overall financial operations of Grow America and works closely with the executive team to manage capital resources and implement strategic business plans.
His initial role with NDC included overseeing financial and compliance reporting for its Small Business Lending and New Markets Tax Credit programs. Prior to joining NDC, he worked as an accountant for the Community Development Trust and prior to that, was a public auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Mr. Choi graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. He lives in Westwood, NJ with his wife and daughters.
Managing Director of Special Programs
Chuck Depew is a Senior Director for Grow America, formerly NDC, a national non-profit that provides economic and community development assistance to local governments. For more than 30 years NDC has worked with local jurisdictions on multiple housing and economic development efforts.
Chuck provides technical assistance in project finance, development negotiation and housing finance to communities throughout the Northwest, including Utah and Wyoming and Northern California. In addition, he teaches commercial and housing real estate finance nationwide in NDC’s leading training program. Prior to his tenure at Grow America, Chuck was Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Development for the City of Seattle. He has over 30 years of experience in public finance, housing, economic and community development.
Mr. Depew has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning from the University of California, at Santa Cruz; and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington.
Managing Director of Affordable Housing Development
Stephanie Dugan is an economic development professional and currently is a Senior Director. She manages several technical assistance contracts and also teaches Grow America courses in Economic Development Finance, Business Credit Analysis, Problem Solving & Deal Structuring, Home Ownership Finance, Mixed Use Real Estate Finance and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. She has assisted a number of clients to secure federal and state Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits. She provides development assistance to nonprofit organizations interested in using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for affordable housing projects. Most recently, she assisted a small housing authority with its fourth tax credit project – the $20 million redevelopment of a former public housing site into 80 units of affordable housing using a combination of LIHTC equity, HOME Investment Partnership funds, public housing funds and private debt.
She draws on experience gained as the Assistant Director of Economic Development for the City of Abilene where she administered a small business finance and incentive program, capitalized at $6 million per year. Prior to leaving the City of Abilene, she served as project manager for the “Windsor Hotel,” $5 million downtown restoration project.
Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Texas Tech University in Economics.
Executive Managing Director of Technical Assistance and Training
Raquel Favela is a recognized expert in economic development and housing with 25 years of experience. As Senior Director at the nation’s oldest non-profit technical advisory services firm, Grow America, formerly NDC, she leads the central regional team in helping public sector clients understand their markets and develop customized strategic plans and policy solutions that build eco-systems critical to equitable job creation and diverse housing options. Raquel’s unique brand combines practical experience with her long-range planning and policy acumen to bring balanced problem solving to communities.
A thought leader and authority, she has walked in the shoes of most of the major participants in real estate development: owner, investor, developer, consultant, governmental entity, lender and landlord. Known for delivering results, while at the City of San Antonio, Raquel is credited with producing San Antonio’s first Strategic Community Development Plan in 2007. Ten years later while serving as the City of Dallas’ Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services, Raquel was lauded for delivering the city’s first Comprehensive Housing Policy that addressed long standing fair housing issues and disparate impact. In her role with NDC, Raquel has been the trusted advisor to clients across the country to include East Chicago, Indiana, Rockford, Illinois, Los Angeles County, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the State of Illinois and in Texas, San Antonio, Irving, and Temple. Raquel has guided clients on financing structures for challenging redevelopment projects, a role that garnered her extensive transactional experience with federal, state and local tools available to maximize public benefits.
Managing Director of Small Business Lending
Ann Finnegan is Senior Director in Small Business Lending/CILF President and brings more than 30 years of lending, finance, and development experience to Grow America CILF’s MWBE small business lending initiatives in communities throughout the United States (and more than a decade of that time was spent working in Long Beach to deliver the resources of the Grow Long Beach Fund). Since early 2020, Ms. Finnegan has been designing, developing, and implementing Covid-response resources (both grant and small business recovery loan programs) at scale around the country in NDC client communities.
Ms. Finnegan rejoined Grow America and CILF’s senior management team in late 2019, after serving almost nine years as a commercial and small business lender with Hudson Valley’s Kinderhook Bank, where she led the bank to nationwide recognition as a USDA guaranteed business and non‐profit community facilities lender. Prior to her brief career in community banking, Ms. Finnegan was a Director with the NDC, on the team that secured CDFI status for NDC’s SBA Small Business Lending Company and served as the President of NDC’s Grow America Fund for more than a decade. Ms. Finnegan has a business degree from Siena College, and an MBA from SUNY Albany, and resides in Watervliet, NY with her husband and two children. She serves as Treasurer on the Boards of the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation and Hudson Hall, and on the Loan Committee of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital District.
Managing Director of Training
Jackie Gorman is Managing Director of Training. She combines her skills as a community and economic development professional with extensive experience in training and curriculum development. Jackie joined Grow America as a Senior Director for the SEED Academy. The SEED Academy is a national program that helps BIPOC real estate developers.
Gorman is a recognized expert in community development. She spent over 8 years as CEO of San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside, Inc. (SAGE) a non-profit charged with revitalization and economic development on San Antonio’s Eastside. During her tenure at SAGE, she grew the annual budget of that organization from $200,000 to $1.6 million and the staff from 2 to 14. Gorman has had a very diverse career that includes executive leadership positions with the Texas Engineering Extension Service, building subdivisions and tract homes for a national production home builder and selling Tide for Procter and Gamble. A service-disabled veteran, she served as a Military Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army. Gorman is a recognized community leader and has served in many volunteer leadership positions. She is an expert in board governance and parliamentary procedure and is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians.
Managing Director of Entrepreneurship
Joseph Gray is a Grow America Director serving the central region of the US. He has over 30 years’ experience in urban planning and community redevelopment. He is the former President of JEG Urban Planning Associates. He has served in leadership roles in public service and private development, including government, non-profit, and private sector senior management positions. He has expertise in NSP administration, monitoring, and record keeping.
He also has extensive experience providing TA to HOME and CDBG PJs, CHDOs, and Housing Authorities on a wide range of housing and economic initiatives including home ownership and multi-family rental projects, Community Land Trusts and other shared equity programs, neighborhood and community redevelopment plans, and public facilities and infrastructure projects. He is a widely recognized national and international speaker on “participatory governance” and is also a contributing author for two books and numerous national publications on the subject of community building.
Managing Director of Technical Assistance – East
Kevin Gremse is an economic development professional with over two decades of experience. Mr. Gremse has used his working knowledge of business credit and real estate underwriting and proven experience with federal, state, and local economic development incentive programs to structure business and real estate development transactions exceeding $5 billion throughout the country. As a Senior Director at Grow America, Mr. Gremse manages a team of professionals who work in over thirty municipalities in the eastern United States.
Mr. Gremse coordinates a multi-disciplined set of economic and housing development services, including technical assistance, training, and small business lending, and tax credit equity investment to public and private sector clients. Mr. Gremse assists to advance the work of Grow America’s affiliated programs, including its federal tax credit programs, its public facility development division, and its small business lending company in client communities. Mr. Gremse is an experienced instructor for many of Grow America’s economic and housing development finance courses and professional development programs and is also a frequent panelist at national and state economic development trade conferences on the practical use of federal and state finance programs and incentives. Mr. Gremse is a graduate of the University of Scranton and earned a master’s degree in public finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government.
Executive Managing Director of Affordable Housing
Mike Griffin is the Fund Manager and Director of Investor Relations for Grow America’s Corporate Equity Fund. He joined the organization in April of 2014. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of the Fund, including for maintaining and establishing relationships with corporate investors with the objective of raising capital that the fund invests in affordable housing projects across the country. In addition he oversees the acquisitions and asset management functions.
Prior to Grow America Mike was the Senior Vice President and Director of KeyBank’s Community Development Banking group, with responsibility for Corporate CRA Compliance and Community Development Asset Management.
Mike joined Key in April 1998 as Asset Manager for the bank’s portfolio of community development investments. The portfolio is currently $1.6 billion of investments targeted to Key’s fourteen footprint states.
In addition to Asset Management responsibilities he was appointed National CRA Compliance Manager in 2003. The directed the bank’s last three CRA exams, the most recent resulting in the bank’s 8th consecutive Outstanding rating. In the CRA role, Mike focused on building partnerships, both at the corporate level and in the 22 KeyBank districts. Mike also had a lead role in responding to community groups and shaping KeyBank positions in response to community concerns.
Managing Director of Special Projects – Technical Assistance
Tom Jackson joined Grow America, formerly NDC, one of the oldest national not-for-profit full service community and economic development organizations in the country, in 2007 as a Field Director with the Midwest Team. Tom provides technical assistance, training, financing and development assistance to municipal and not-for-profit clients throughout Grow America’s central region, including Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa Texas and South Dakota. Tom works extensively with project’s utilizing Grow America’s New Markets Tax Credit Program, the recipient of several of the largest tax credit allocations in the country since the federal program’s inception.
Tom previously served as a senior economic development officer and special projects manager with the City of Cincinnati where he managed comprehensive community redevelopment efforts in struggling inner-city neighborhoods. He currently lives in Cincinnati with his wife and daughter.
Managing Director of Technical Assistance – West
Diana Sasser is a Senior Field Director and leads Grow America’s Technical Advisory Services West Team. She is based in Long Beach, CA, and works with local communities and non-profits on structuring financing for housing and economic development projects with federal, state and local resources. She has worked in communities across the U.S. to implement small business grant and loan programs for local communities, focused on minority and low-income businesses. Ms. Sasser has also been actively involved in the design, development and implementation of Covid-response and recovery resources in communities throughout the country since March 2020.
Ms. Sasser is an economic development professional with over twenty years of experience in community economic development, particularly with real estate and small business development finance. She has extensive knowledge of financial underwriting for business credit and commercial real estate and is skilled in sizing and structuring creative financial packages that address Covid-related needs in this moment, and in normal times bridge the gap between development costs and private sector investment, utilizing a broad range of financial resources.
Executive Managing Director of Human Resources
Gertrude serves as the Head of Human Resources. Prior to assuming this role, Gertrude directed financial planning, procurement and investment of funds for Grow America, formerly NDC, for over 33 years. During her time as CFO, she guided NDC from a manual to a comprehensive computerized accounting system. Working closely with auditors to ensure the timely preparation and publication of interim and audited financial statements. Other duties included multi-state tax preparation and annual corporate reporting to various state, city and local municipalities, as well as analyzing financial records and forecasting future financial positions and budget requirements to management.
Gertrude developed the policies and procedures in the area of Human Resources. She has authored Grow America’s first employee manual. As Grow America’s Director of Human Resource, Gertrude oversees all aspects of Grow America’s fringe benefit package.
Gertrude is a graduate of Pace University in New York City.
Executive Managing Director of Economic Development
David Trevisani has been a Director for Grow America for the past 23 years. He has held numerous positions with the Company all involving the structuring of complex, catalytic community development projects and programs in urban and rural markets across the country. Mr. Trevisani currently leads Grow America HEDC’s Economic Development division which includes three distinct initiatives. The operation of Grow America’s New Markets Tax Credit program, a $754 million initiative responsible for raising and investing debt and equity capital in community development projects nationwide. He also manages Grow America’s Social Infrastructure division which involves structuring Public Private Partnerships with municipal and not for profit clients using an innovative approach that combines low-cost tax-exempt debt with the efficiencies of private delivery for the erection of public buildings and infrastructure. This approach has successfully developed in excess of $2 billion of public real estate and saved our municipal partners untold millions. The third is NDC’s Small Business Lending (SBL) Division. The SBL team manages two US Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that make guaranteed and unguaranteed small business loans in low income communities nationwide.
Prior to his current position Mr. Trevisani provided technical assistance, training, financing and development assistance to municipal and not for profit clients in the eastern region of the US. He has structured numerous projects for his clients using capital sources involving private debt and equity, Federal sources including CDBG, Section 108, Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Industrial Development Bonds as well as various State and Local sources. Prior to his employment with NDC Mr. Trevisani worked for the City of Utica, NY in various capacities the latest being Commissioner of Urban & Economic Development. Responsibilities included developing, marketing, managing and implementing programs designed to diversify the industrial, commercial and small business economy of the Utica area. Mr. Trevisani received a bachelor’s degree with highest honors in Engineering Technology from SUNY Utica/Rome and a M.B.A. from SUNY Binghamton.
Managing Director of Social Infrastructure
Matt began at Grow America, formerly NDC, in 2002 and works primarily with communities in the Northeast U.S. as well as in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to structure and secure financing for community development projects. These include real estate transactions ranging in size from $2.0 to $120 million, and a wide range of development projects that are eligible for New Markets, Low-Income Housing and Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Clients have included large (New York City and Washington DC) and small cities (Hartford, New Haven, Portchester) and a wide variety of nonprofit organizations across the country.
Currently, Matt oversees the Social Infrastructure division which undertakes development projects on behalf of nonprofit and municipal clients. He manages a team which oversees the entire development process – design, permitting, financing, construction, and operations.
Prior to joining Grow America, Matt served as a Senior Program Officer for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation where he created the NFL Grassroots Program, which rebuilds community athletic fields and promotes youth development. The program continues today with more than $58 million in total awards since 1998.