Opportunity Appalachia Leadership


The Opportunity Appalachia program Steering Committee is comprised of the following regional and national organizations:

  • Appalachian Community Capital (ACC), a 27-member CDFI intermediary whose members and their affiliates manage over $1 billion in assets supporting economic development in Appalachia. ACC is the program lead and is supported by Rural Support Partners and Ray Daffner, as Opportunity Appalachia’s program manager and senior advisor, respectively. Together, they serve as Opportunity Appalachia’s Program Team. Contact Kathryn Coulter-Rhodes, OA Program Manager with questions: oa@acc1.org

Lead State Partners – lead community development state partners:

  • Fahe (KY)– Fahe brings people, organizations, and resources together to build homes, communities, and a thriving Appalachia through expanding economic opportunity and security for all.
  • Mountain BizWorks (NC)– A leading CDFI in Western NC building a vibrant and inclusive entrepreneurial community by helping businesses start, grow, and thrive, engaging community leaders across a 24-county region.
  • OhioSE– The lead regional economic development organization in Eastern and Southern Ohio working in a 25 county area, supported by Jobs Ohio.
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville– Office of Outreach and Economic Development, manages statewide programs, provides seed investments, and supports public-private partnerships with community development leaders.
  • Opportunity Southwest Virginia / UVA – Wise– Pilots the way for 19 counties and scores of communities in Southwest Virginia to support economic and community development efforts to create thriving entrepreneurial communities that accelerate progress for both new and established ventures.
  • West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center– Works across 33 counties and is the lead partner in the WV Downtown Appalachia Redevelopment Initiative which seeks to revitalize small WV communities through provision of technical support and project financing.

National Technical Assistance Providers

  • Main Street America– With a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, MSA works to successfully transform communities and revitalize local economies.
  • Coastal Enterprises Inc– This leading national rural CDFI has deployed over $1.3 billion in financings directly and through its New Markets Tax Credit CDE affiliate.

For more information, contact oa@acc1.org.


State collaborators and planning partners informing activities in each state include:

Kentucky: Kentucky Department of Local Government, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, Mountain Association, SOAR, University of Kentucky CEDIK

North Carolina: North Carolina Department of Commerce, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Dogwood Health Trust, Land of Sky Regional Council, Southwestern Commission, High Country Commission, Foothills Regional Commission, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, Western Carolina University, Mountain West Partnership

Ohio: OhioSE, JobsOhio, Appalachian Partnership Inc, Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs, Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC), Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA) and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.

Tennessee:  University of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, First TN Development District, Southeast TN Development District, Upper Cumberland Development District, East TN Development District, South Central Development District, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Sync Space, Biz Foundry, Pathway Lending, BrightBridge Capital, Three Roots Capital.

Virginia: UVA Wise/Opportunity SWVA, LOCUS, VA Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Tourism Corporation, LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, Mount Rogers Planning District Commission, Thompson Charitable Foundation, People Inc, Virginia Coalfields Economic Development Authority and Virginia Community Capital.

West Virginia: Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU, Partner Community Capital, and WV Community Development Hub.