Housing Summit

2024 Delaware County Housing Summit:

Date: Friday, April 5th (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Ivy Tech Fisher Building 
345 S High Street 
Muncie, Indiana 47305

The Delaware County Housing Summit is an opportunity for developers, elected officials, and community stakeholders and residents to learn more about the county’s current housing situation and best practices in local housing development. Through insightful panel discussions, keynote presentations, and networking opportunities, attendees will learn about collaborative initiatives, emerging trends, and policies related to housing challenges and opportunities. Participants are encouraged to network with each other, share experiences, and build capacity to strengthen their ability to address housing challenges and opportunities effectively.


8:30-9 a.m.Registration
9-9:15 a.m.Welcome
9:15-10:15 a.m.Morning keynote – Setting the stage for housing in Delaware County
10:30-11:30 a.m.Morning breakout session (A & B)
A. Best Practices and How Non-profits Can Transform Communities [Rm 113]
B. Developer Panel – The Real Costs [Multi-purpose Rm]
11:30-12:30 p.m.Lunch

READI 2.0 funding update and next steps
12:45-1:45 p.m.Afternoon breakout session (A & B)
A. Cooke Medical – A Model for Mid-High Income Housing Development [Rm 113]
B. Legislative Panel – Local Codes and State Legislation: Impact on Successful Housing Development [Multi-purpose Rm]
2-3 p.m.Afternoon keynote – Heather Presley Cowen – Using data to make informed housing decisions

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Keynote Speakers:

Morning Keynote: Setting the stage for housing in Delaware County

Dagney Faulk, Ph.D.
Director of Research, Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), Ball State University

Dr. Faulk’s research focuses on regional economic development issues and state and local tax policy and has been published in Public Budgeting and Finance, Journal of Urban Affairs, Public Finance Review, the National Tax Journal, the Review of Regional Studies, the Journal of Urban Affairs, State and Local Government Review and State Tax Notes. She has worked on numerous Indiana-focused policy studies on a variety of topics including analysis of fixed-route bus transit, the regional distribution of state government taxes and expenditures, school choice, housing and property tax issues. She is coauthor (with Michael Hicks) of the book Local Government Consolidation in the United States (Cambria Press 2011) and co-editor (with James Connolly and Emily Wornell) of the book Vulnerable Communities: Research, Policy and Practice in Small Cities (Cornell UP 2022). 


Afternoon Keynote: Using Data to Make Informed Housing Decisions

Heather Presley-Cowen
Full Bio (pdf)

“Housing is economic development. Economic growth is optimized when we build enough of the housing that the talent we want to attract and retain can afford in places that make all of us happy to be there.”

Specializing in working with government, community & business leaders to design customized, “homegrown” solutions to address local housing and community development needs, Heather Presley-Cowen brings more than 25 years of housing & economic development-related experience to communities seeking to grow and thrive in today’s tough economic environment. After nearly two decades of working with Indiana’s second largest city as its senior executive responsible for directing, developing, and planning the overall housing and neighborhood development strategies for the Fort Wayne area, in 2010 Presley-Cowen created CED Services, an Indiana certified minority-owned women’s business enterprise.


Lunch Keynote: READI 2.0 Funding Update and Next Steps

Nassif Kouton, Indiana Economic Development Corporation

Nassif joined the IEDC in August to oversee redevelopment programs for the northern part of the State, focused on working with regions to address population stagnation and making Indiana a more attractive place to live. He previously worked at the City of Indianapolis as a Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate in community engagement for the near north and northwest parts of the city. Nassif then worked as a project manager focused on community and economic development, working on bond issuance projects, revitalizing neighborhoods, and promoting small businesses. He is a board member of Purdue Extension’s Community Advisory Board and the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority Board. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology from Indiana University Bloomington.

Morning Breakout Session Speakers (10:30-11:30 a.m.):

Best Practices and How Non-profits Can Transform Communities

Joy Rediger: Joy Rediger has been a proud resident of Muncie’s South Central neighborhood for 20 years, alongside her husband James and daughter Emma. For the past 7 years, she has served as the Executive Director of Urban Light Community Development, a nonprofit focused on creating healthy neighborhoods through initiatives like The Lighthouse Recovery for women, Housing Revitalization, and Neighborhood Engagement. Joy is passionate about fostering community engagement and creating spaces for neighbors to develop their dreams and talents. Her personal mission centers on living a life of faith within a supportive community that promotes hope and equality.

Annette Phillips: Annette Phillips has spent 34 years serving her community, initially as a Family Development Specialist at Open Door Community Services where she tackled housing challenges faced by Hoosier families. Her dedication led her to become Muncie’s first Housing Counselor at the Muncie Homeownership and Development Center, where she worked for seven years assisting individuals and families in achieving homeownership goals and resolving housing issues. Since 2001, Annette has served as the Community Development Director for PathStone Housing Corporation of Indiana, overseeing the expansion of affordable housing development and completing over 100 owner-occupied projects, among other accomplishments. Annette’s advocacy extends to farmworkers and marginalized voices, reflecting her commitment to improving lives through her tireless efforts and inspiring enthusiasm.

Jason Haney: In the Fall of 2019, Jason Haney became CEO of ecoREHAB, showcasing his strong belief in second chances for both houses and people. This conviction led him to establish S.T.E.P. (Skilled Trades Education Program) in 2020, inspired by his experiences with Habitat for Humanity where he witnessed the transformative power of collaborative home building. Motivated by this, Jason envisioned creating opportunities in the construction industry for those seeking to improve their lives. Outside of work, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife Stephanie and their two children, Drew and Maliyah (“Nex”), in their historic home in downtown Muncie. He also indulges in hobbies like music, live shows, hiking, kayaking, and avidly supports the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

Frank Baldwin: Frank serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Muncie Mission Ministries, where he holds a pivotal role in providing professional leadership and overseeing the day-to-day management of the organization. His responsibilities encompass managing various aspects of the ministry, such as its programs, administration, and development initiatives. Frank brings a diverse educational background to his position, having pursued studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage, which has enriched his understanding and approach to leadership within the nonprofit sector. His role at Muncie Mission Ministries underscores his commitment to serving the community and making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

Jeb Reece: Jeb Reece is a community development professional, urban planner, and law student. Jeb currently works as the Associate Director of Landbanking & Strategic Planning at Intend Indiana. In his role at Intend, Jeb facilitates project planning, partnership development, property acquisition and disposition, grant writing, and landbank activities. Jeb is an alum of Ball State University’s Urban Planning & Development program. In the evenings, he studies law at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He will earn his Jurisprudence Doctorate in 2025.

Nate Howard (moderator): Nate Howard began serving as Executive Director of the Muncie Land Bank (MLB) in 2022, one of four land banks in the state of Indiana Nate is a Muncie native, who prior to returning to his hometown in 2021, spent 17+ years working in Latin America on a variety of economic development, peacebuilding, advocacy and humanitarian initiatives. He holds two post graduate degrees, a master’s from Eastern University in International Economic Development and a specialization in Solidarity Economy from the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia. In addition to his work with the MLB, Nate serves on multiple non-profit Boards and teaches part-time in Ball State University’s Urban Planning Department.

Developer Panel – The Real Costs and Challenges of Housing Development

Rebekah Hanna: Rebekah has been a resident of Delaware County for 22 years.  She has been a Realtor at RE/MAX in Muncie for 18 years.  When she is not selling homes, she loves hosting guests in her AirBNBs, attending her children’s sporting events, and attending events Downtown.  Along with her husband, she has renovated multiple properties, both residential and commercial, in the Old West End and Downtown.  She is a happy resident of Downtown and loves all that this community has to offer.

Scott Alexander: State Sen. Scott Alexander was elected in 2022 to represent Senate District 26, which serves Delaware and Randolph counties. Alexander serves on the Senate Committees on Agriculture; Judiciary; Local Government; and Natural Resources. Alexander is a graduate of Delta High School and studied at Vincennes University and Ball State University. He is the owner and operator of Alexander & Company Real Estate Appraisers Inc. Before becoming a state senator, he served as President of the Delaware County Council. He and his wife, Valerie, live in Delaware County with their two children.

Ryan Kelley: Ryan Kelly, CPA, CGMA, joined TWG in 2017 and acts as the Vice President of Tax Credit Development. He oversees TWG’s LIHTC development efforts and is responsible for sourcing new tax credit opportunities nationwide through building market relationships, networking, and his familiarity with market specific factors and state agency considerations. Mr. Kelly spent ten years in public accounting with a focus in the real estate industry. TWG has been in the Top 5 of the affordable housing developers in the country for the past several years. 

Prior to joining TWG, Mr. Kelly was the CFO of affordable housing developer with a focus on Indiana and Colorado. In this role, Ryan structured and negotiated with debt and equity partners for all real estate transactions. He belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and served on the Indiana CPA Society Leadership Cabinet.

Mr. Kelly graduated from Ball State University in 2005 earning his B.A. in Accounting. Ryan is active in his community and serves on various boards.

Moderator: Garret Doan, First Merchants Bank

Afternoon Breakout Session Speakers: (12:45-1:45 p.m.)

Cooke Medical – A Model for Mid-High Income Housing Development
Legislative Panel – Local Codes and State Legislation: Impact on Successful Housing Development

Mark Shublak: Mark is a partner in Taft’s Public Affairs Strategies Group. He has a multidimensional federal, state, and local government relations practice that combines public policy advocacy with traditional legal skills. He represents clients in a wide range of legislative, regulatory, and procurement matters at all levels of government. Executives of companies, leaders of business associations, public sector entities, and important non-profit organizations regularly turn to him for his high-level strategic advice, legal counsel, and abilities to assist their organizations with solving challenges posed by the government. (READ MORE)

Jim Pressel: Indiana State Representative Jim Pressel was first elected to the General Assembly representing parts of Laporte and Stark Counties in 2016. He has served as chairman of the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee and has been chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee for the last four years.

He has also served as the Governor’s appointment to the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and the non-emergency transportation commission. 

Jim is a Laporte County native and was raised in southern Laporte County on the family farm. When Jim left the family farm he was a cross country truck driver for 10 years before starting a construction company focused on home building for the past 32 years. He has been married to his wife, Becky, for 41 years and they share two children and three grandchildren.

His community involvement has included serving on the Laporte County Plan Commission, Habitat for Humanity board, New Prairie Building Trades board, past president of the Laporte County Builders Association and served as president of the Indiana Builders Association.

Rick Wajda: Rick is the CEO for the Indiana Builders Association, a trade association representing over 2,600 member companies across the state. The Indiana Builders Association is the state affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders, based in Washington, DC. As the IBA’s chief lobbyist, Rick works with members of the Indiana General Assembly and Indiana’s regulatory agencies to insure housing affordability is taken into consideration when policy makers craft laws and regulations for Indiana’s citizens and serves as a spokesperson for the industry on housing related issues. Rick is a past President of the Governmental Affairs Society of Indiana and past board member for Habitat for Humanity of Indiana.

Moderator: Jeff Scott, Chancellor, Ivy Tech

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Brought to you by:

Muncie Sanitary District logo
Ivy Tech Community College logo

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