Opportunity Appalachia Investor Convening 2023

  • May 31, 2023 – June 1, 2023


Opportunity Appalachia brings new investment to underserved Central Appalachian communities, creating new jobs and businesses that support sustainable growth. Our portfolio of high impact projects provides both robust social return as well as an attractive financial return. The Investor Convening will feature 33 Opportunity Appalachia projects seeking to develop relationships with investment partners. Our 2023 Portfolio is seeking $252 million in financing and is anticipated to create 3,000 jobs – including jobs for individuals in addiction recovery, the long-term unemployed (such as former coal industry workers), and minorities and women. Increased investment in minority/women – Owned Business Enterprises, including minority developers and TA providers, is also a priority. Our investment focus includes downtown development, manufacturing, IT, healthcare, education, food systems, clean energy, and heritage tourism and recreation – primarily in rural communities.

Intended Audience:

  • Banks, CDFIs, New Markets Tax Credit CDEs, Historic Tax Credit investors, Opportunity Funds (QOFs), crowd funding platforms, and federal and state grant makers, and philanthropy.
  • Community and economic development leaders, business owners and developers, and elected officials from Appalachia.

The event will include:

  • Remarks from national leaders of federal agencies, private investors, and development finance institutions.
  • Investment pitches from participating Opportunity Appalachia communities/project sponsors.
  • BluDot Platform which hosts project prospectus to support investor review pre-event.
  • Investor panel featuring CDFIs, banks, New Markets Tax Credit investors, OZ Investors, funding platforms, as well as federal and state grantmakers.
  • Community Panel Discussion on ‘Challenges Faced/What We’ve Learned’.
  • Private virtual ‘rooms’ for investor meetings; cocktail hour!
  • Leading national sponsors – including banks, federal agencies and regulators, philanthropy, others.
  • Participation from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s – Investment Connection program

2023 Project Portfolio
Our 2023 Project Portfolio is available online and as a PDF document. Investment priorities include downtown development, manufacturing, IT, healthcare, education, food systems, clean energy, and heritage tourism and recreation – primarily in rural communities.

Speakers Include:

Tom Barkin

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Gayle Manchin

Appalachian Regional Commission

Senator Shelley Moore Capito

United States Senate (R-WV)

Senator Joe Manchin

United States Senate (D-WV)

Senator Mark Warner

United States Senate (D-VA)

Karama Neal, PhD

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA Rural Development

Ellen Fitzsimmons

Truist Financial Corporation

Donna Gambrell

Appalachian Community Capital

Brian Anderson, PhD

Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization

Arlisa Armstrong

USDA Rural Development (TN)

Monica Blanton

BrightBridge Capital

Shannon Blevins

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Amanda Bloomberg

National Trust Community Investment Corporation

Dave Clark

Woodlands Development and Lending

Carrie Cook

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Kathryn Coulter Rhodes

Ray Daffner

Katy Farber


Tamarah Holmes, PhD

Virginia Dept of Housing and Community Development

Monica Miller, EDFP

Main Street America

Sara Morgan


Jonny Price


Lamont Price

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

Matt Raker

Mountain BizWorks

Karen Sorber

Micronic Technologies

Susan Spielberger

EPA Region 3

Carrie Staton

Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU

Daniel Wallace

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)

Courtney Watson

Chestnut Funds

Thomas Watson

Rural Support Partners