Baker Tilly's DevelUP hero image
April 17-18, 2024 | Chicago

Baker Tilly's 2024 DevelUP™

Register by March 1 for early bird pricing

Join us in Chicago from April 17-18, 2024, at the Revel Motor Row

Building an equitable economic development ecosystem that empowers underrepresented stakeholders to thrive. 

At Baker Tilly’s DevelUP, we transcend traditional conference boundaries. More than just an event, we are a dynamic movement that unites professionals and stakeholders from commercial real estate, economic development, and private and public capital. 

With a passion for equity and opportunity, this event goes hand in hand with our underrepresented developer services offering. Our comprehensive set of services directly addresses the barriers to entry that many underrepresented developers face, including limited access to capital, establishing key relationships in the industry and acquiring the necessary education and knowledge to thrive in commercial real estate.  

Join us in Chicago on April 17 and 18 as we redefine the conference experience and inspire transformative change. DevelUP - Building equity from the ground up. 

Early bird pricing ends March 1; $350. Regular pricing begins after March 1; $400.

Check out the agenda | Check out the FAQs

Featured speakers

Don't miss your chance to hear from these industry titans!

LaForce Baker

Vice President, World Business Chicago

Maggie Beckley

Development Executive, Healthcare, Mortenson

Robert Byron

Chairman, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Blue Vista Capital Management

Daryl Carter

CEO, Avanath Capital Management

Collete English Dixon

Executive Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of RE, Roosevelt University

Faron Hill

President, Peregrine Oak

Donahue Peebles III

Executive Vice President, Peebles Corporation

Tia Perry

Executive Director, AEC Unites


1-2 p.m. | Lunch and panel | Building sustainable community: Affordable housing outlook and impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

  • Catherine Evans, Freddie Mac
  • Andrea Ponsor, SAHF
  • Tania Kadakia, Wrought Iron Partners
  • Althea Broughton, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
  • Moderated by Don Bernards, Baker Tilly

2-2:15 p.m. | Break

2:15-2:30 p.m. | Welcome and intro comments

2:30-3:30 p.m. | IRA overview: Investing in the clean energy economy and what diverse stakeholders need to know

  • Carla Walker Miller, Walker Miller Energy Services
  • AJ Patton, 548 Enterprises
  • Joel Laubenstein, Baker Tilly
  • Chris Meister, Illinois Finance Authority
  • Moderated by H.G. Chissell, Advanced Energy Group

3:30-3:45 p.m. | Break

3:45-4:45 p.m. | Energy finance overview: How Projects in the clean energy economy are getting financed

  • Chrystel Cornelius, Oweesta Corporation
  • Erica L. King, Sr., AAACDFI CEO's
  • Alejandra Garcia Earley, Orrick
  • Moderated by Serena Walters, Baker Tilly

4:45-5 p.m. | Closing remarks

5-8 p.m. | Opening reception

8-9 a.m. | Breakfast and registration

8:35-8:45 a.m. | Intro and welcome

  • Matt Paschall, Baker Tilly
  • Shante George, Baker Tilly

8:45-9 a.m. | Opening remarks

9-10 a.m. | State of the market

  • Daryl Carter, Avanath Capital Management
  • Robert G. Byron, Blue Vista
  • Donahue Peebles, III, Legacy Real Estate Development
  • Faron Hill, Peregrine Oak
  • Moderated by Collete English Dixon, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University

10-10:15 a.m. | Break

10:15-11:15 a.m. | Building equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems

  • Paul Wilson, Jr., Innovation & Entrepreneurship Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs
  • Tia Perry, AEC Unites
  • Debra Jennings-Johnson, National Minority Supplier Diversity Council
  • LaForce Baker, World Business Chicago
  • Moderated by Arielle Johnson, Business Leadership Council

11:15 a.m. - noon | Lunch

Noon - 1 p.m. | Breakout sessions

Track 1 (Community development finance track): Impact capital: Intentional approaches to supporting diverse real estate sponsors

  • Moiz Dawoodbhai, Northwestern Mutual
  • Vernon Beckford, Diversified Lending Solutions
  • Victoria Gousse, A. Walker & Co.
  • Moderated by Phillip Sangokoya, U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance

Track 2 (Equitable economic development track): Community impact through resiliency and sustainability

  • Zytha Kock, International Economic Development Council
  • Jolena Presti, Baker Tilly
  • Moderated by Karen Freeman-Wilson, The Chicago Urban League

Track 3 (Sustainability and innovation track): Sustainability, supplier diversity and workforce development in the energy economy

  • Zoar Fulwilder, Mavid Construction
  • Jason Booth, Windward Engineering & Construction
  • Nadir Jones, CBRE
  • Hilary Scott-Ogunrinde, State of Illinois
  • Moderated by Jonathan McGee, Baker Tilly

1-1:15 p.m. | Break

1:15-2:15 p.m. | Breakout sessions

Track 1 (Community development finance track): Holistic community development: Creative approaches to drive community impact

  • Lionel Lynch, JP Morgan Chase
  • Chris Senegal, Invictus Development Group
  • Phillip Beckam, P3 Markets
  • Susan King, HED Design
  • Moderated by Julia Stevenson, Langdon Park Capital

Track 2 (Equitable economic development track): Keys to building your business sustainably and equitably

  • Cornelius Griggs, GMA Construction
  • D'Angelos Svenkeson, NEOO Partners
  • Malcolm Johnson, Langdon Park Capital
  • Paula Watts, Government Procurement Innovators, LLC
  • Moderated by James Williams, Next Level Financial

Track 3 (Sustainability and innovation track): Building communities for the future

  • Ra'eesa Motala, Evoke Partners
  • Grace Macalino, Baker Tilly
  • Maggie Beckley, Mortenson
  • Christa Stoneham, Houston Land Bank
  • Moderated by Nicole Chavas, Greenprint Partners

2:15-3:15 p.m. | Networking power hour and MBE/WBE vendor showcase

3:15-4:15 pm | Breakout sessions

Track 1 (Community development finance track): Leveraging New Market Tax Credits for community impact and transformation

  • Jason Penn, Baker Tilly
  • Nicholette Cameron, Chicago Neighborhood Initiative
  • Leon Walker, DL3 Realty
  • Kevin Goldsmith, JP Morgan Chase
  • Moderated by Jeff Monge, Monge Capital

Track 2 (Equitable economic development track): Capacity building and capital access best practices for diverse developers

  • Maggie Parker, Innovan Neighborhoods
  • Sandra Dungee Glenn, The Growth Collective
  • Ernst Valery, SAA | EVI
  • Miranda Walker, US Bank Impact Finance
  • Moderated by Andy Hunt, Marquette University

Track 3 (Sustainability and innovation track): Tech-enabled transformation: Empowering MBE/WBE businesses in REC's sustainable future

  • Shane Jefferies, Milhouse
  • Sean McCarthy, Comcast
  • Julieta Moradei, Overlay Capital
  • Vernon Jordan, Equity Platforms
  • Moderated by Eveart Foster, Autodesk

4:15-4:30 p.m. | Break

4:30-5 p.m. | Keynote and closing remarks

5-8 p.m. | Reception

Be part of the change. Our mission is to support underrepresented developers throughout their development projects by leveraging our knowledge, relationships and access to capital within commercial real estate and the affordable housing industry. Reach out to Don Bernards or Nuwandi Trahan for more information regarding sponsoring this one-of-a-kind event.

Why you should attend DevelUP



Gain access to capital and resources.



Build meaningful business development and key industry relationships.



Learn from best-in-class business professionals.

Thank you to our sponsors!

DevelUP sponsors 2024

Frequently asked questions

The event will be held from April 17-18, 2024, at the Revel Motor Row:

2400 S Michigan Ave

Agenda will be announced soon.

Early bird registration is $350 (before March 1) and regular is $400 (after March 1).

We kindly request attendees dress in business professional attire.

Breakfast and lunch are complimentary at the event, but snacks or specific meals are welcome to fit your dietary needs. The receptions on both nights will have hors d'oeuvres.

We do not have hotel room blocks with any hotels. However, we recommend the following hotel options that are near Revel Motor Row:

Hampton Inn Chicago McCormick Place

  • 0.3 mile walking distance
  • 2 minute drive

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

  • 0.5 mile walking distance
  • 3 minute drive

Marriott Marquis

  • 0.5 mile walking distance
  • 3 minute drive

Please contact us if you have specific questions that are not answered above. Please allow two to three business days for a response ahead of the event.

Matt Paschall

"We are shaping the future of our industry by building an inclusive
economic ecosystem that empowers diverse stakeholders across the country."

Matt Paschall, Baker Tilly National Program Manager - DevelUP

Hear what attendees have to say about DevelUP

"Over the years I was looking for resources and developers to learn from and help me get started on my own. Not a lot of people had the time or interest to lend a hand. The DevelUP conference is an amazing resource that you should attend. There are people and resources that are helping and continue to help underserved communities and they'll be there."

"Innovating, inspiring and instrumental. Looking forward to returning next year."

"Baker Tilly is leading on a very important movement. Honored to have been part of the great event."

"Baker Tilly's commitment to advancing racial equity in real estate is clearly making meaningful impact. It was an inspiring event and I was grateful to be a part of it."

"This event has given me a new perspective on the collaborative efforts being made by Baker Tilly and community organizations to change the face of investors in our city."