Check back for further information. Or, to review the 2023 speakers at the Affordable Workforce Housing Symposium event in Columbus, Ohio on October 10, 2023, please see below. 



PANEL 1: Housing Supply for Chips Implementation


Bryan Greene, NAR’s Director of Fair Housing Policy

Bryan Greene

Vice President of Policy Advocacy, National Association of REALTORS®

Bryan's Bio

Bryan Greene is Vice President of Policy Advocacy at the National Association of REALTORS® where he oversees all legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of the association's 1.4 million members. Bryan joined NAR in November 2019, and spent his first year at NAR raising the association's profile in Washington and nationwide on all fair-housing-related policy matters as NAR's first Director of Fair Housing Policy.

Before joining NAR, Bryan served for ten years as the highest-ranking career official in HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), where he oversaw the policy direction and operational management of the 600-person office enforcing the nation's housing anti-discrimination laws. Under Bryan's leadership as FHEO General Deputy Assistant Secretary, HUD pursued large-scale, high-profile cases that addressed systemic discrimination and provided widespread relief. Bryan also managed HUD's Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), which together provide over $70 million to state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations fighting discrimination in local communities.

Bryan has held other senior positions at HUD during his three decades at the agency, including a stint as the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs in HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), where he worked to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing.

Bryan was the 2007 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, the highest federal honor bestowed upon federal senior executives for outstanding service.

Bryan earned his degree in Government from Harvard University.

Focus: Introducing NAR and facilitating the discussion.


Adrienne Elrod

Adrienne Elrod

Director of External Affairs, CHIPS Program, Department of Commerce

Adrienne's Bio

Adrienne Elrod is a seasoned political strategist with over 22 years of experience in government, communications, and campaigns, currently leading External Affairs for the CHIPS program at Commerce.

Prior, she was the President of Elrod Strategies, a communications firm focusing on communications and influencer engagement. Most recently, Elrod was the Director of Surrogate Strategy and Operations for the Biden campaign. She also served as Hillary for America’s Director of Strategic Communications, where oversaw the Clinton Campaign’s wide-ranging surrogate operations, deploying elected officials, civic leaders, celebrities, and other key influencers across the nation and on broadcast and digital platforms.

Elrod has over a decade of experience working on Capitol Hill, including six years as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). Elrod worked with a number of candidates at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the Democrats’ historic takeover of Congress in 2006. She began her political career in President Clinton’s Administration and was a senior spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. She appears regularly as a political commentator and strategist on cable news outlets including CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

She received her B.A. in journalism from Texas Christian University.

Focus: The impact of CHIPS across the country / Highlight the enormous investments that these efforts have brought to Ohio.

Elayne Weiss

Elayne Weiss

Special Policy Advisor, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Elayne's Bio

Elayne Weiss serves as a special policy advisor with the Federal Housing Administration. Prior to joining HUD, Elayne served as the Director of Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Policy with the House Committee on Financial Services under the leadership of Chairwoman Maxine Waters, where her work focused on homelessness and affordable rental housing. Elayne also worked as a senior policy analyst at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, where she advocated for increased funding for federal housing programs and was responsible for NLIHC’s work in the areas of criminal justice reform, homelessness, and fair housing, among other issues. Elayne holds a law degree from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brandeis University.

Focus: The need for affordable workforce housing for employees of these large production facilities / Highlight efforts currently underway in Ohio and across the country.

PANEL 2: Coalition Building to Foster Sustainable Growth


NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn

Shannon McGahn

Chief Advocacy Officer, National Association of REALTORS®

Shannon's Bio

Shannon McGahn is the Chief Advocacy Officer for the National Association of REALTORS®, which represents more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

McGahn is responsible for managing NAR’s Federal Legislative and Political Affairs and Political Representative teams. She provides strategic advice on public policy issues impacting NAR and helps direct its Independent Expenditure and Public Advocacy programs.

Before joining America’s largest trade association, McGahn served as the staff director for the House Financial Services Committee and, prior to that, as a counselor to the United States Treasury Secretary. She also held communications roles for three members of House Leadership during her near 20-year Capitol Hill career.

In addition, McGahn served as Vice President for a D.C.-based public affairs firm and held the same position for a consulting firm focused on grassroots communication in major national media markets.

The first woman to hold the Chief Advocacy and formerly Senior Vice President of Government Affairs positions in NAR’s 110-year history, McGahn brings with her nearly two decades of experience working with or for the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government. As she continues her career at NAR, she is focused on working on behalf of America’s 1.5 million REALTORS® to promote and protect property ownership for people across the United States.

McGahn earned her B.A. in History from The George Washington University. A native of Westerville, Ohio, she currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and two sons.

Focus: Introducing NAR and facilitating the discussion.


Michele Reynolds

Michele Reynolds

State Senator, R-Canal Winchester

Michele's Bio

Senator Michele Reynolds is serving her first term in the Ohio Senate. She represents the people of Franklin County in Reynoldsburg, Canal Winchester, Grove City, Westerville, New Albany, Groveport, Lockbourne, Obetz, Gahanna, Galloway, Blacklick, Urbancrest, Prairie Township, Jackson Township, Madison Township, Truro Township, Hamilton Township, Franklin Township, Blendon Township, Plain Township, Jefferson Township and Mifflin Township and portions of Columbus.

As a lifelong resident of Ohio, Senator Reynolds has an extensive background representing the community, including serving on the Madison Township Board of Trustees. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Arts in Public Administration and Urban Studies from the University of Akron, a Master of Law from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from CICA International University, and Seminary, and all but dissertation for her earned doctorate degree in Business Administration from Northcentral University. She attended Hondros College and is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the State of Ohio, specializing in Commercial Real Estate.

Senator Reynolds has received multiple awards for her outreach work and humanitarian efforts. In 2016, she was bestowed with a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from former President Barack Obama. In 2018, she was conferred an honorary Doctorate degree in Humanities from CICA University and International Seminary. In 2019, she was inducted into the Ohio Commodores and received a 2019 Central Ohio Social Justice Award for Outstanding Leadership.

In addition to her public service, Senator Reynolds is a third-generation business owner and non-profit CEO. Senator Reynolds and her husband pastor a church in Franklin County called The Destiny Center. Senator Reynolds and Rick have six children and reside in Canal Winchester.

Focus: Legislative efforts and how the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Housing is working for policies to foster smart residential development.

Kenny McDonald

Kenny McDonald

President and CEO, Columbus Partnership

Kenny's Bio

Kenny McDonald serves as the third president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, a civic organization of Columbus’ top business leaders. The Partnership was founded in 2002 to improve the economic and cultural base of Central Ohio. McDonald is responsible for leading strategies focused on diversity and equity, growth and development, and business and civic innovation, for the Columbus Region to achieve its vision to become the most prosperous metropolitan area in the United States.

He brings more than 25 years of experience working with metropolitan economies in Savannah, Georgia; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Charlotte, North Carolina. He also spent seven years as a global site location advisor for Fluor Corporation.

McDonald has been named one of the Top 50 economic developers by Economix and is a frequent speaker and national thought leader on regional economic development. He was also named Small Nonprofit CEO of the Year by Columbus CEO magazine. McDonald has worked with a variety of industries including automotive, biotechnology, aerospace, pharma, and advanced electronics. He has consulted manufacturing and logistics operations and advised numerous headquarters, research and development, and technology facilities.

He is a Certified Economic Developer and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council. He also serves on numerous local boards of directors and is a frequent speaker on the subject of regional economic competitiveness. McDonald has been named one of the Top 50 economic developers by Economix and is a frequent speaker and national thought leader on regional economic development. He was also named Small Nonprofit CEO of the Year by Columbus CEO magazine.

McDonald resides with his wife and three children in New Albany.

Focus: The Partnership’s role in integrating Intel into the community, the opportunities and challenges it presents, and how the Regional Housing Coalition is poised to tackle them.

Lark Mallory

Lark Mallory

President and CEO, Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County

Lark's Bio

Lark Mallory is the president and chief executive officer of the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County, an organization that provides low-interest-rate loans to developers of affordable housing. In her role, Lark is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s mission, including its private investment fund and its real estate loan portfolio.

Prior to joining Affordable Housing Trust, Lark was a law partner who served the needs of businesses, individuals, and business owners, regarding transactions involving corporate and business law, taxation, financing, and commercial real estate.

Lark is a CPA (inactive) and holds a BSBA in accounting and a JD from the Ohio State University and an LLM in taxation from the University of Florida. She serves on the board of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, cochairing its Community Engagement Committee.

Focus: Central Ohio’s core housing needs stemming from the region’s growth, equitable policies and affordability, the importance of coalition building at a regional level.

Erin Prosser

Erin Prosser

Assistant Director of Housing Strategies, City of Columbus Department of Development

Erin's Bio

In May 2021, Erin Prosser was named the City of Columbus’s first-ever Assistant Director of Housing Strategies. In this position, Prosser leads the City’s efforts to address the lack of affordable housing, encourage the development of mixed-income neighborhoods, and coordinate with community leaders to build a more inclusive and equitable Columbus.

Before joining the City, Prosser served as the Director of Community Development in the Department of Planning, Architecture and Real Estate at The Ohio State University, and as a Planner and Project Manager at MKSK Studios.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University.

Focus: The City’s efforts to address housing access and mixed-income neighborhood development, coordination with community leaders.

PANEL 3: Housing Preparedness for a Growing Workforce


Buffie Patterson

Buffie Patterson

Treasurer, Columbus REALTORS®

Buffie's Bio

Buffie Patterson is a Columbus, Ohio native and a proud graduate of Columbus City Schools, The Ohio State University, and Franklin University. She is a Real Estate Broker at Keller Williams Excel Realty and has experience in Industrial Engineering, Retail Banking, Sales, Training, Management, Process Improvement, and Project Management.

Focus: Introducing panelists and facilitating the discussion.


Jon Melchi

Jon Melchi

Executive Director, Building Industry Association of Central Ohio (BIA)

Jon's Bio

Jon Melchi (Melk-eye) is the Executive Director of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio (BIA). The BIA has served the Central Ohio (BIA). The BIA has served the Central Ohio residential construction community for 80 years by representing nearly 500 builder, developer, and associate member companies. Before joining the BIA, Melchi served as the Vice President of Government and External Affairs with Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). He has served on the Board of Directors for the Family Business Coalition, the Small Business Legislative Council and is currently the Vice Chair of the Ohio Society of Association Professionals.

Focus: The urgency for diverse workforce housing to address Ohio’s high demand and low inventory.

William Murdock

William Murdock

Executive Director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)

William's Bio

William Murdock serves as executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). MORPC is Central Ohio’s regional council for local governments that provides services, funding, tools, and resources to more than 75 member communities comprised of counties, cities, villages, townships, and regional agencies. As the executive director, Murdock oversees innovative planning, services, and policies in transportation, planning, housing, land use, sustainability, and data.

Working with a board of over 140 local leaders and more than 20 community committees, Murdock reorganized MORPC to sharpen its focus on collaborative partnerships, proactive planning, and local government services. He is responsible for the development of MORPC’s long-range transportation plan that coordinates over $20 billion of transportation improvements across the region through 2050. Murdock spearheaded the major regional future scenarios effort known as insight2050 and the recently completed Regional Housing Strategy – both major public/private initiatives to prepare for Central Ohio’s significant growth and development – and innovative efforts such as the Smart Region Task Force and Midwest Connect Hyperloop effort.

Murdock also directed the creation of Central Ohio’s first regional sustainability and data agendas and strengthened MORPC’s advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels. He prioritizes efforts to build inclusion and diversity into regional work whether rural, urban, or suburban communities and to provide opportunities for young people to enter public service. Prior to joining MORPC, Murdock worked for over 15 years in state and local government in planning and economic development.

Murdock is actively involved in several local, state, and national organizations. Notably, he is secretary/treasurer for the Ohio Association of Regional Councils, a governor’s appointee to the DriveOhio Government Advisory Board, past president of The Ohio State University Knowlton School Alumni Society, and past chair of the National Association of Regional Councils’ (NARC) Executive Directors Council (EDC).

Murdock is a longtime resident of Central Ohio and proud Buckeye with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Master of City & Regional Planning, and Master of Science in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Administration all from The Ohio State University.

Focus: Public/private initiatives to prepare for Central Ohio’s growth, including the Insight2050 initiative and the Regional Housing Strategy.

Alexis Fitzsimmons

Alexis Fitzsimmons

Executive Director, GROW Licking County

Alexis's Bio

Alexis Fitzsimmons serves as executive director of Grow Licking County, a public-private community improvement corporation. She was appointed by a unanimous vote in June 2021, serving the third executive director in its nine-year history. Prior to joining GROW Licking County, Fitzsimmons was the director of economic and business development for American Municipal Power in Columbus, Ohio. Previously, she worked for the Ohio Department of Development, Ohio News Network/WBNS-AM/FM, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, and the City of Middletown. She grew up in the Licking County community and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from Ashland University.

Focus: Necessary conditions for sustainable economic development and the role of public/private partnerships.