LISC National
Our Work

Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones represent a new tax incentive intended to connect private investment capital to low-income communities nationwide by reinvesting capital gains in federally designated Opportunity Zones. LISC is one of many organizations working towards the successful implementation of this economic development tool. 

Register to Attend the WNY OZ Conference!

The WNY Opportunity Zone Conference, co-hosted by LISC and the WNY Regional Economic Development Council and sponsored by the Ralph Wilson Jr. Foundation, has been rescheduled to Wednesday, August 14 at the Northland Workforce Training Center. Register to attend today!

Register Here

WNY Opportunity Zone Conference

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the WNY Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) invite you to join us for an in-depth conversation about leveraging the federal Opportunity Zone program to support local revitalization efforts. The meeting will feature national OZ experts Bruce Katz of The New Localism, Kevin Boes, President and CEO of LISC's New Markets Support Company (NMSC), George Ashton, LISC Managing Director of Strategic Investments, as well as local economic development leaders. The meeting is being presented through the generous support of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation


8:00 – 8:30 a.m. – Program Registration 

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. – Welcome and Opportunity Zone Overview

  • Kevin Boes, NMSC/LISC & George Ashton, LISC

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. – WNY Opportunity Zone Areas: Existing Conditions & Initiatives

  • Laura Quebral, Director, University at Buffalo Regional Institute 

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. – Local Opportunity Zone Conversations to Date

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. – National Perspectives on Opportunity Zones

  • Bruce Katz, Director, Nowak Metro Finance Lab, Drexel University; and Co-author, “The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism”

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. –  Opportunity Zone Project Typologies and Assembling Capital Stacks

  • Conversation moderated by Kevin Boes & George Ashton with local practitioners 

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch Break

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Key Elements of Successful Programs and Next Steps for WNY

  • Conversation moderated by Bruce Katz

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. – Closing Comments 

2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Technical Session for Advanced Practitioners


Meet Our Keynote Speaker

Bruce Katz is the Co-Founder of New Localism Advisors. The mission of the firm is to help cities design, finance and deliver transformative initiatives that promote inclusive and sustainable growth.

Learn More
Meet Our NMSC Speaker

Kevin Boes has served as the President and CEO of New Markets Support Company (NMSC) since January 2011. He is responsible for the oversight and management of the company and has led the expansion of LISC's New Markets business to include syndication and CDE services.

Learn More
Meet Our LISC Speaker

George Ashton is Managing Director of Strategic Investments with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). George leads LISC’s a multi-dimensional effort pursuing a range of high-impact investments that create jobs, fuel small businesses, revitalize commercial areas, improve housing, expand local incomes and make communities safer and stronger. The Opportunity Zone legislation falls squarely within that mission and will be his first point of focus at LISC.

Learn More about George

Learn more about local groups that are already engaging in Opportunity Zone initiatives. 

Learn More
LISC OZ Resources

Check out some resources and research on Opportunity Zones.

Learn More


Michael Alexander, Economic Development Loan Officer