Christopher J. Burnham, President of the Development Finance Authority of Summit County since 2000 described the various ways the Authority has led creative financing of numerous public and private projects in Ohio. With over 30 year’s experience in economic and community development, Chris has been instrumental in building the DFA into one of the most active economic development financing programs in the State of Ohio. During his tenure at DFA, the Authority has issued $871 million in economic development bonds, leveraging over $803 million in investment to support community and economic development activity in Summit County and Northeast Ohio.
Through the New Markets Tax Credits program, the Development Fund of Western Reserve(DFWR), established in 2011 by the DFA, has allocated $58.25 million federal NMTC plus $11.5 million Ohio NMTC, leveraging $55 million additional federal and state NMTC allocations enabling the DFA to directly or indirectly be associated with the retention and creation of 12,473 jobs including thousands of construction jobs.
Chris was a lead member of the team that retained Goodyear and Bridgestone in Summit County along with the 4000+ local jobs tied to those companies. Chris has been an innovator in regional cooperation guiding the DFA and DFWR to provide economic development finance for 87 projects in eleven Northeast Ohio counties including the Akron Civic Theater, Ramco Associates, LLC, Bridge Park, Arhaus and the Western Reserve Academy.
Recently, Chris established a Targeted Loan Fund that can offer below bank rate loans which are greatly needed in Akron which is a critical hub of Summit County. He has raised $2.2 million out of $4.4 million needed and is looking for additional investors.
In response to questions about activities in Hudson, Chris cited the example of the DFA’s success in Dublin and indicated that they stand ready to partner with Hudson on future projects.
Chris previously served as the Director of Development for Summit County and holds a BA in Education and an MA in Urban Studies from the University of Akron.