On May 20th we held our annual Fahe Spring Meeting for the membership. This is one of the two official times of the year that our full membership from all six states gets a chance to come under one roof for fellowship and education. This year’s event was made even more special because we collaborated with two other great organizations and partners, NeighborWorks America and Rural LISC. Our normal one-day event stretched out into a glorious week full of learning, collaboration, and renewal of spirits.
Fahe Spring Meeting
Our meeting started off with a panel discussion about the future of affordable housing. The panel consisted of Don Phoenix from NeighborWorks
America, Moises Loza of Housing Assistance Council (HAC), Peter Carey from Self-Help Enterprises, and Hal Keller from Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.
Our second panel consisted of members that have learned to utilize their resources to gain a competitive advantage in the market place and they shared this knowledge. Panelists included Executive Directors from member organizations including Lindy Turner of Clinch Powell Resource and Development Council, Andy Kegley of HOPE, Inc., Scott McReynolds of Housing Development Alliance, and Karen Jacobson of Randolph County Housing Authority.
We also were honored to have Kentucky Attorney General, Jack Conway during our luncheon. Mr. Conway has proven to be a valuable ally for affordable housing, having recently allied with other Attorney Generals across the country to make sure that money from the Mortgage Settlement Fund was dispersed properly. The Attorney General’s speech can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_VFDTguK8U&feature=youtu.be
After lunch we unveiled several new initiatives from Fahe. This including new ways to work in the secondary market, our new marketing program to help members develop tools and resources to attract revenue, our new work involving the elderly and aging in Appalachia, and our newest works with energy efficiency.
The next speaker was Kevin Flanagan, who went over the importance of the Dodd Frank Act and how it can affect non-profit organizations, especially those that are also Community Development Financial Institutions.
Our three newest members, Garrett County Community Action Committee, Mon County Habitat for Humanity, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham, went through formal introductions to the rest of the membership.
Karen Hoskins of NeighborWorks America spoke about the changes in HUD Counseling and the steps that organizations need to take to prepare if they make use of HUD funds and/or are HUD approved counselors.
Along with the Fahe Spring Meeting, NeighborWorks America hosted one of their weeklong trainings known as NeighborWorks Training Institute (NTI). NTIs provide education across the entire spectrum of affordablehousing for NW’s 300+ organizations. You can learn more from the NeighborWorks site.
On Wednesday there was a special symposium named Telling a Purposeful and Powerful Story. Several skilled storytellers and reporters addressed the issues of how to collect and present stories in the most powerful way. The Keynote Speaker for this event was Dave Isay, former NPR producer and Founder and President of StoryCorps.
We also co-hosted events with Rural LISC including information sessions led by our CEO Jim King and our Executive Vice President of Lending, Jon Rogers. We finished out the week with a tour of Church Hill Downs and a presentation from Allie Bornschein describing her experiences as a young volunteer and how it has shaped her future decisions to dedicate her life to helping others.
The 2014 Spring Meeting was a huge success. Members have already given feedback stating their satisfaction with presentations and the chance to collaborate with other organizations.