2018 Housing Innovation Marketplace

The annual Housing Innovation Marketplace conference brings together more than 400 community leaders and housing partners from across Nebraska and the country to discuss affordable housing and community development. Attend educational sessions, receive continuing education credits, network with colleagues and visit an array of great exhibitors all in one location. 
This year’s conference theme is Agents of Change. “Pitch Your Project” gives you the opportunity to be an Agent of Change and help create workforce housing opportunities across the state. We encourage all attendees to submit a workforce housing project for your community or neighborhood and “Pitch Your Project” prior to the conference through either the NIFA Facebook (NIFAHousing) or Twitter (@NIFAHousing) pages using the phrase #NIFApitchyourproject in the post. You can also email “Pitch Your Project” to nifa@nifa.org. Attendees submitting a “Pitch Your Project” will receive a discount on their conference registration fee. Just let us know at the time of registration if you will “Pitch Your Project” on our Facebook or Twitter page or send via email.
Conference brochure is coming soon…
View the DRAFT Agenda
To register click here
WHEN:  March 13-14, 2018
WHERE:  La Vista Conference Center, 12560 Westport Parkway
                Reservations (866) 634-7155 or (402) 339-4900
NIFA has secured a block of rooms at the Courtyard Marriott for conference attendees at a special discounted rate of $114 for a single or double room.  To reserve a room, please call the reservation line and identify yourself as a NIFA Housing Innovation Marketplace conference attendee or click here.  Reservations must be made by February 22, 2018 to receive the discounted room rate.
EARLY REGISTRATION FEE: $150 (Remember if you “Pitch Your Project” you will receive a discount!)
REGISTRATION DRAWING:  Attendees with paid registrations received by February 16th, 2018 will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card (must be present to win). The winner will be randomly drawn at the networking reception on March 13th, 2018.  
REGISTRATION FEE after 2/16/18:  $200
CONTINUING EDUCATION:  Continuing education credits are pending approval with the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, the Nebraska Board of Accountancy, the Nebraska Board of Mental Health Practice and the Nebraska Judicial Branch.


This is a great opportunity for you to be an Exhibitor and showcase your product or service to a large number of people within the housing industry.  Expand your peer network, meet new business contacts and explore new client opportunities by signing up to be an Exhibitor!  
Exhibitors are provided a 6’ table and access to electricity in our Innovation Hall.  
We encourage exhibitors to provide a logo and brief description of their organization prior to the conference so it can be distributed in all conference materials.  Exhibitors will also be included on the BINGO card that attendees will need to have stamped by each exhibitor in order to be eligible for the giveaway prize drawing on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018. 
For more information or to sign up to become an exhibitor: http://tiny.cc/2018Exhibitor


Are you interested in becoming a sponsor?  We have a variety of opportunities for sponsorship available.  http://tiny.cc/2018Sponsor 
For information about the sponsorship levels and benefits click here


2017 Conference Brochure

2017 Speakers and Presentations

Keynote - Brett Culp

Brett Culp is an acclaimed filmmaker whose work has inspired audiences around the world.  He is the personal cinematographer for Hollywood stars, music icons, beloved authors, hall of fame athletes, and royal families.  His films have been featured on Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and other top digital platforms.  

With his uplifting documentary film Legends of the Knight, Brett pioneered a ground-breaking approach to building and relationship-driven engagement.  Rather than launching this feature film through normal distribution channels, he offered anyone in the world the opportunity to screen it in their local movie theater with proceeds benefiting the charity of their choice.  This unique plan gave individuals the freedom to use the movie as an open-source tool for bringing people together to make a positive impact. 

Without a single dollar spent on marketing or advertising and no paid staff, the feature film successfully screened in theaters in over 100 cities across the globe raising nearly $100,000 for charity.  Each showing was hosted by local volunteers who took the initiative to organize and promote the event.  Brett inspired thousands of people, many of whom had never planned a community event, to become leaders engaged in a passionate mission.

Brett’s work as a filmmaker has built MORE than a fan base of followers.  He empowers people to find their own path to leadership. He has been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Tonight, WIRED, The LA Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Lifetime, WEtv, and many more.  He is co-founder of The Rising Heroes Project, a 501(c)(3) that supports charitable organizations and empowers community leaders.

Single Family

Heroes for Homebuyers
Resource Opportunities for Homebuyers
Moderator - Sara Tichota, Nebraska Housing Developer’s Association
Mike Borcher, Federal Home Loan Bank-Topeka
Kristi McClung, Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development
Krista Mettscher, USDA-Rural Development
Jacki Young, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority

Single Family Roundtable
A guided discussion of the most current issues in single family housing
Moderator - Mike Fecht, First National Bank

New Nebraskans in Today’s World
Providing support and homeownership options to first-generation Nebraskans
Moderator - Roberta Reed, Charter West Bank
Dana Jelinek, Habitat for Humanity-Grand Island
Audrey Lutz, Multicultural Coalition
Amy Otto, Charter West Bank
Hector Rubio, Century 21

Heroes in Financial Education
Education homebuyers to be prepared borrowers
Moderator - Craig Larabee, NeighborWorks® Lincoln
Julia Craig, Family Housing Advisory Services
Melissa Hardenberger, Southeast Nebraska Community Action
Kim Vicars, Blue Valley Community Action Partnership

Superhero Powers at Work
Purchase, rehab, resale and owner-occupied rehab opportunities
Moderator - Megan Weaver, Wayne Community Housing Development Corp. 
Mitch Borst, NeighborWorks® Northeast Nebraska
Michelle Callahan, Housing Development Corporation
Rita Horse, High Plains Community Development Corporation
Pamela Thomsen, Three Rivers Housing Development Corp. 

New Construction 
Utilizing and/or creating affordable subdivisions and lots in your community
Moderator - Dan Kubr, Vantage Pointe Homes
Amanda Brewer, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha
Shawn McGuire, Celebrity Homes
Steve Peregrine, Nebraska Housing Resource


Successful Project Showcase
A showcase of successful multifamily projects
Moderator - Thomas Judds, Lincoln Housing Authority
Ross Freeman, Pioneer Group, Inc. 
Greg Thompson, The Salvation Army Western Division
Darin Smith, Arch Icon Development

LIHTC 101: Roundtable
A guided discussion of the LIHTC program and application process
Moderator - Rob Woodling, Foundations Development, LLC
Teresa Kile, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority

Nebraska Affordable Housing Tax Credits
An open discussion on the sue of Nebraska State Tax Credits
Moderator - Tim Kenny, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority
Jim Rieker, Advantage Capital
John Wiechmann, Midwest Housing Equity Group
Brent Williams, Excel Development Group

Heroes Hurdling the Gap 
Multifamily resource providers 
Moderator - Ann Burge, Midwest Housing Equity Group 
Tammy Daniels, USDA-Rural Development
Mark Heap, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development 
Pamela Otto, Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development
Trina Stewart, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

The Incredibles
Mixed-use developments
Moderator - George Achola, Burlington Capital Real Estate
Marty Fortney, Fortney Development
Michael Maroney, OEDC
Tom McLeay, Clarity Development Company

Qualified Contract Process: Roundtable
An open discussion on properties reaching year 15 and the qualified contract process
Moderator - Kelly Schultze
Mercedes Dahlquist, Kutak Rock, LLP


 Fair Housing Update
Equal access to housing - final rule discussion
Moderator - Liliana Shannon, Legal Aid of Nebraska
Joe Garcia, The Fair Housing Center of Nebraska and Iowa 
Stan Odenthal, Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission 
Ben Watson, Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission 

Economic Update 
Prominent economists will discuss the current state of Nebraska’s regional economy for 2017 
Moderator - Ted Simpson, NIFA 
Kelly Edmiston, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City 
Eric Thompson, University of Nebraska – Lincoln 

 2017 Profile of Nebraska Dashboard 
Annual update on the latest demographics and key statistical information for Nebraska and a review of enhancements to the Nebraska Dashboard 
Moderator - Royce Sheibal, NIFA 
Tim Gottgetreu, Western Economic Services 

 Washington Update - Housing and Legislative Initiatives 
An update from the National Association of Home Builders senior economist 
Moderator - Fred Hoppe, Hoppe Law Firm/Hoppe Homes
Michael Neal, National Association of Home Builders

Place-Based Development
Creating walkable/usable spaces within your community
Moderator - Amy Haase, RDG Planning & Design
Holly Barrett, Omaha Downtown Improvement District
Mike Moylan, Shamrock Development
Matt Schoell-Schafter, studioINSITE 

Neighborhood Heroes 
Strategies for facilitating neighborhood change 
Moderator - Shawn Ryba, South of Downtown Development Organization 
Willie Barney, The Empowerment Network
Oscar Duran, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of Fremont
Alyssa Silhacek, Dakota City

Housing the Homeless

Coming to the Rescue
Challenges of young adult homelessness 
Erin Aliano, Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers
Ivy Bloom, Dept. of Health and Human Services
Anna Brewer, Woman’s Fund of Omaha

Heroes for the Homeless
Update on the statewide plan to end homelessness
Lee Heflebower, Community Action Partnership
John Turner, Region V Systems
Lisa Vukov, Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless

Re-Entry Housing
Housing opportunities for those recently released from correction facilities
Moderator - Monica Zinke, Fresh Start 
Kimberly Cappellano, Douglas County Corrections
Denise Davidson, York Women’s Correctional Facility 
Ruth Karlson, Released and Restored
Rhonda Mattingly, Bridges to Hope 

Superhuman Feats
Challenges for the newly-housed - support and expectations
Moderator - Dennis Hoffman, Centerpointe
Denise Packard, UNL Center on Children, Families and the Law
Bridget Thompson, Region V Systems

The Real Heroes
Ending veteran homelessness
Moderator - Lisa Vukov, Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless
Cheryl Dixon, Together, Inc. 
Leaanne Peterson, U.S. Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs
Linda Twomey, U.S. Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs

Opportunities for the Next Step
Job training programs for incarcerated persons
Moderator - Stephanie Huddle, Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Jeremy Bouman, Defy Ventures
Diane Good-Collins, Metropolitan Community College
Mark Wentz, Prairie Gold Homes

Workforce Housing 
Hometown Heroes
Big things in small towns
Moderator - Judy Petersen, Central Nebraska Economic Development District
Chris Anderson, City of Central City
Doug Koch, Boone County Development Agency, Inc. 
Patty Plugge, Burt County Economic Development Corp. - Demolition Permit, New Demolition Guidelines

Recruiting Community Heroes
Making the case for housing in your community
Moderator - Beckie Cromer, Fall City Economic Development Growth and Enterprise, Inc. 
Dan Hoesing, Schuyler Community Schools
Jen McKeone, Dawson Area Development

Financial Heroes
Financing workforce housing - a banker’s perspective 
Moderator - Alex Gorynski, First National Bank
Stuart Fox, Nebraska State Bank
Mark Hansen, Westgate Bank
Ty Lucas, Nebraskaland National Bank 

Builders and Workforce Housing
What does it take to build workforce housing in your community
Moderator - Walker Zulkowski, Ngage - Gage County Economic Development
Kelby Herman, Progressive Builder
Dan Kubr, Vantage Pointe Homes
Drew Page, Kutak Rock

The Employer’s Role
Creating workforce housing for your employees
Moderator - Lara Huskey, Midwest Housing Development Fund
Megan Hanefeldt, Knox County Development Agency
Dan Mauk, Nebraska City Area Economic Development Corp. 
Ron Schilling, City of Columbus - Nebraska

Best Practices in Workforce Housing
Learning from other states’ workforce housing programs
Moderator - Garry Clark, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority
Carolann Jensen, Iowa Finance Authority
Jeremy LaCroix, Minnesota

2017 Award Winners

  • Housing Champion Award - DiAna Schimek
  • Housing Hall of Fame Awards - Beverly Fleming and Kem Cavanah
  • Top Real Estate Professional (Rural) - Hector Rubio
  • Top Real Estate Professional (Urban) - Melvin Melendez Sorto
  • Real Estate Agent Life Time Achievement - Jose Correa
  • Property Manager of the Year - Jamie Wilson
  • Innovative Project of the Year - Lofts on 24th
  • Making a Difference Award - J Paul McIntosh

2016 Housing Innovation Marketplace -

'Hometown Nebraska: Celebrate Success - Embrace Opportunities'

NIFA hosted it's 14th annual affordable housing conference on March 22 & 23 2016 at the La Vista Conference Center located at 12560 Westport Pkwy.

Housing Innovation Marketplace

Our annual conference brings together more than 400 community leaders and housing partners from across Nebraska and the country to discuss affordable housing and community development.