National Land Bank Network Summit

Cleveland, Ohio  |  October 16 - 17, 2023


Full session descriptions can be found below the agenda. Click here or scroll down.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Registration Open 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
A Tour of Cleveland Neighborhood Revitalization 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dinner on Your Own 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Exhibition Hall 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Keynote Welcome Reception 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Continental Breakfast - General 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Continental Breakfast - Georgia 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Continental Breakfast - Michigan 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Continental Breakfast - New York 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Continental Breakfast - Ohio 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Continental Breakfast - Pennsylvania 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Registration & Exhibition Hall 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Break / Exhibition Hall 9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
Track 301: State Policy 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Track 201: Local Government Partnerships 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Track 101: Community Engagement 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Break / Exhibition Hall 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Vendor Tech Pop-Up 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Awards Luncheon 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM
Cleveland Sightseeing 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Supreme Court Discussion (optional) 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Track 101: Strategic Planning 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Track 201: Rehab & Repair Programs 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Track 301: Commercial Property Revitalization 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Break / Exhibition Hall 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
Track 101: Communicating Impact 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Track 201: Affordable Housing 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Track 301: Occupied Structures 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Session Descriptions

A Tour of Cleveland Revitalization

On this immersive mobile tour, attendees will see firsthand the transformation taking place in Cleveland through initiatives led by the Cuyahoga Land Bank. By visiting projects showcasing innovations in housing construction, vacant lot stewardship, placemaking, maintenance, and more, attendees will come away understanding the importance of taking a collaborative approach to community development and the positive impact of land banks on a community.  

Vendor Tech Pop-Up

Want to learn about the latest technologies that can help land banks address vacant properties? Check out the Vendor Tech Pop-Up, a platform for vendors and exhibitors at the NLBN summit to showcase innovative products and services.  

Vendors include DAWGS Vacant Property Security, JurisDeed, Musco Lighting, Regrid, and more! 

Track 101

Track 101: Communicating Impact

Being able to explain what a land bank is and what it does for your community is just as important as the work itself. Effectively communicating your land bank’s mission and impact helps build community trust, generate momentum for policy change, and secure funding. In this session, you will learn some communications basics, like identifying and tailoring messages to different audiences, and how to prioritize your external outreach efforts with a small team. This session will showcase examples of how to track and communicate your impact through data-driven, highly visual impact reporting.


  • Maria Elkin, Director, Communications, Center for Community Progress
  • Christa Stoneham, Chief Executive Officer and President, Houston Land Bank


Track 101: Community Engagement

Every land bank knows community engagement is central to success. But no two cities are identical, and no single approach to community engagement will work everywhere. In this session, you will learn about specific, authentic, community engagement programs land banks across the country have implemented. Land bank leaders on the panel will discuss how they have facilitated monthly property abandonment and housing development meetings; built partnerships with local universities; created neighborhood advisory committees; and advanced ambassador programs to deepen relationships with community stakeholders. You will come away with a better understanding of how to see your community as different collections of people rather than one static group.


  • Nate Howard, Executive Director, Muncie Land Bank
  • Leslie Smith, Executive Director, Omaha Municipal Land Bank
  • Krista Trout-Edwards, Executive Director, Calhoun County Land Bank


Track 101: Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is an important step to determine where your land bank is going and how you will measure success. Developing a strategic plan that animates an organization, versus a strategic plan that merely sits on a shelf, however, can be a challenge. In this session, leaders of the Detroit Land Bank Authority and Tri-COG Land Bank will speak to their experience in the strategic planning process—when they knew they needed a strategic plan, the differences between an action plan and a strategic plan, and the steps to developing a transparent strategic planning process.


  • Robert Linn, Director of Planning and Analysis, Detroit Land Bank Authority
  • An Lewis, Executive Director, Tri-COG Land Bank


Track 201

Track 201: Affordable Housing

Housing affordability is an increasingly important priority that land banks are trying to address through their programs and inventory. This session will dive into case studies from land banks that have implemented innovative pathways to homeownership and the funding partnerships that made them possible. You will learn about a program to transfer section 8 rental vouchers to mortgage vouchers; tools to develop rehab financing for first-time homebuyers; and other ways that land banks are leveraging their unique role to help meet the urgent need for affordable housing in every community.


  • Will Sikula, Planning and Projects Coordinator, Albany County Land Bank
  • Jeb Reece, Land Bank Manager, Intend Indiana
  • Martha Baez, Senior Vice President of Land Banking Operations, Invest Newark


Track 201: Local Government Partnerships

Building partnerships with local governments can help a land bank move beyond single transactions and toward fostering long-term community revitalization. In this session, land bank leaders will share ways they have engaged their local governments so that the land banks become essential tools for the government in community revitalization. Building trust with political leaders positions land banks to reform political systems and practices that make their work possible.


  • David Mann, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lucas County Land Bank
  • Christopher Norman, Executive Director, Metro Atlanta Land Bank


Track 201: Rehab & Repair Programs

Everyone hopes to save a property before it is too far gone, and instead rehabilitate it so it can be put back to productive use. But cobbling together the funds for rehab and repair programs is challenging. In this session, land bank leaders will share how they navigate appraisal gaps; build relationships with trusted developers, contractors, and investors; and even how they have designed programs where the land bank does the initial renovations to bring the home up to code. Join this session to learn more how land banks can work to improve properties before they leave their inventory or how they can guarantee rehabilitation after a sale.


  • Dennis Roberts, Director of Real Estate Development, Cuyahoga Land Bank
  • Gary Hitchins, Property Development Manager, Tri-COG Land Bank
  • Jud Knapp, Land Bank Manager, Wyandotte County Land Bank


Track 301

Track 301: Commercial Property Revitalization

Land banks can address more than just residential properties; they can play a role in commercial and large-scale property revitalization. Commercial and industrial properties pose unique challenges but can catalyze local economic development. In this session, panelists will cover the important strategy of deciding which commercial properties to acquire; how to create partnerships for different types of funding; and how to design with community goals and end uses in mind.


  • Jessica Caffrey, Executive Director, Cook County Land Bank Authority
  • Darlene Dugo, Deputy Director, Cook County Land Bank Authority
  • Jill Weyer, Board Chair, Sullivan County Land Bank


Track 301: Occupied Structures

Dealing with occupied properties requires an enormous amount of sensitivity, and it is an area many land banks steer clear of. However, there are a range of ways that land banks can play a role in equitably addressing occupied, tax-delinquent structures to keep people in their homes and those homes out of a land bank’s inventory. In this session, panelists will cover examples including helping owner-occupants make essential repairs; programs to convert tenants to homeowners; and how to delicately balance the unique factors of each set of circumstances.


  • Elizabeth Benton, Senior Counsel, Center for Community Progress
  • Katelyn Wright, Executive Director, Greater Syracuse Land Bank
  • Michael Freeman, Executive Director, Genesee County Land Bank
  • Amy Turim, Real Estate Development Services Manager, City of Milwaukee


Track 301: State Policy

Changing policy at the state level can supercharge a land bank’s impact. Policy changes can increase land bank funding, strengthen a land bank’s powers, and bolster supporting systems like code and property tax enforcement. In this session, land bank and land bank association leaders with proven successes will share their strategies for changing state policies to strengthen land bank operations; how they built partnerships and coalitions; and how to determine if a state policy advocacy strategy is right for your land bank.


  • Katelyn Wright, Executive Director, Greater Syracuse Land Bank
  • Shawn Carvin, Executive Director, Ohio Land Bank Association
  • Taylor Bennett, Executive Directorm West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation


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Questions about the Summit?
Please email Christina Carter-Grant at [email protected] »