About Us

About Us

The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority is a public agency that provides creative and timely financing solutions for economic development projects in Central Ohio. We were established in 2006 by legislative action of the Columbus City Council and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, and are organized as a port authority under Ohio law.
In partnering with economic developers, government entities and banks, the Finance Authority provides creative funding options for projects in the private, non-profit and public sectors. Our portfolio of projects includes:

  • Public improvement projects
  • Mixed-use properties
  • Capital lease
  • Energy efficiency improvements

In 2016, the Finance Authority celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The agency has provided more than a billion in financing and has been awarded a BBB+ bond fund rating from Standard & Poor’s Rating Services for our Central Ohio Bond Fund.

Over
$1,000,000,000
in bond financing projects
Investing over
$1,000,000,000
in Central Ohio

Team

Jean Carter Ryan

President

Jean Carter Ryan joined the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority in January of 2007 as its first employee. Prior to joining the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Ms. Ryan served as the Deputy Director of the Economic Development Division within the Ohio Department of Development for over 11 years. The Economic Development Division had a budget of $275 million and a loan/bond portfolio of $500 million. Under Ms. Ryan’s leadership, one accomplishment was the enhancement of Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund’s rating from A- to   AA-. She has a B.A. in American Studies from Smith College, Northampton, MA and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Marcy Altomare

Director of Operations

Marcy Altomare joined the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority in September of 2007. Prior to joining the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Ms. Altomare was with the Ohio Department of Development’s Economic Development Division for over 30 years.

Jeremy Druhot

Manager of Programming and Projects

Jeremy Druhot joined the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority in May 2017. He holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish from The Ohio State University. Previously, he worked as a Graduate Associate at AEP Economic Development, an economic development intern at Delaware County, Ohio, and a public policy research intern at the Centro de Investigación y Prevención de la Criminalidad Económica in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Board Members

Darci Congrove

Chair

Darci Congrove is the Managing Director of GBQ Partners LLC, Columbus’ largest local public accounting firm. She performs a wide range of tax planning and compliance services, as well as general business consulting, and is a frequent speaker in the community on topics of tax and wealth planning.

Darci is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Columbus, was recognized on the Business First Forty Under 40 list in 2002, and was named as one of the twelve Women You Should Know in 2010 by Women for Economic Leadership & Development.

Dr. Joseph A. Alutto

Vice Chair

Dr. Alutto served as The Ohio State University’s Interim President for the 2013-2014 period. Prior to that he served as Executive Vice President and Provost from 2007-2013.

Dr. Alutto specializes in corporate performance, leadership, and Sino-U.S. joint venture activity. He has been a consultant to banks, manufacturing firms, aerospace companies, health care agencies, and educational institutions. In addition, he is a member of a number of corporate boards and has served in leadership capacities for a wide variety of volunteer organizations. He also serves as a nationally based labor arbitrator.

Greta Russell

Secretary-Treasurer

Ms. Russell retired from The Ohio State University as Controller directing many of the University’s accounting and financial departments. She was the former Comptroller for the State of Ohio Treasurer’s Office and was an Assistant Vice President for nine years with Buckeye Federal Savings and Loan.

Ms. Russell is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Government Financial Manager. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Ohio Dominican University and received a Masters of Taxation from the Capital University Law Center.

Richard A. Barnhart

Richard Barnhart is a Managing Partner of Ice Miller LLP. He focuses his practice on general business transactions, business acquisitions, banking transactions and international business transactions. He has extensive experience counseling clients on an array of legal, financial and practical issues.

Mr. Barnhart graduated from Youngstown State University (B.S.B.A. 1976, cum laude) and received his Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University College of Law (1978, with honors).

Ralph Abbott

Ralph Abbott is the founder and principal manager of Prospera Advisory Group which manages a mortgage fund. Prior to founding Prospera Advisory Group, Ralph formed Premier Commercial Group, Inc. where he currently serves as President.

During his 20 year banking career, Ralph has been a commercial underwriter and lender. He has originated over a half a billion dollars of commercial real estate loans and was a top ten producing National Commercial Lender at Lehman Brothers. Mr. Abbott is the author of a best selling book as well as a number of publications on private mortgage investing.

Frank J. Capella

Frank Capella is Principal and Founding Partner of Oxer Capital, Inc. Mr. Capella was formerly a Senior Vice President at Huntington Capital Investment Company and Executive Vice President at Huntington National Bank. He has over 30 years of commercial banking and private equity experience.

Mr. Capella holds an undergraduate degree from the College of Arts and Sciences from The Ohio State University and a MBA from The Ohio State University School of Business. He has previously served as a board member of several Columbus community organizations.

Steve Brooks

Mr. Brooks’ role at First Financial Bank includes leadership of the Bank’s commercial banking, treasury management, private banking and sales functions in the Ohio Metro Markets. Steve is accountable for the Ohio Metro Markets’ credit quality and business development efforts, as well as all areas of the Ohio Metro Markets’ financial performance.

Steve serves on the Central Ohio Metropolitan YMCA Board, the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Advisory Committee, the McConnell Arts Center Board, and the Ohio Cancer Support Community of Central Ohio Board. Steve graduated from Albion College in 1989 with a BA (double major in English and Economics & Management), and the Ohio State University in 1994 (MBA in Finance).

Darnita Bradley

Darnita Bradley is a seasoned professional with more than three decades of experience in economic development, public policy, public-private partnerships and government/corporate relations. Mrs. Bradley currently serves as Columbia Gas of Ohio’s Manager of Economic Development and Governmental Affairs.

Ms. Bradley serves on the board of directors of the International Utility Economic Development Association; Community Shelter Board; Leadership Columbus, Columbus2020 Economic Development Advisory Committee; Gahanna Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council; and serves on United Way’s Impact Committee. Ms. Bradley holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and MBA from Franklin University in Columbus. She received a certificate of completion from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute and Alumna of United Way Project Diversity, Leadership Columbus and JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute.

 

Board and Committee Meetings

Next meeting
October
4

Meeting Info

Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: 350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
Contact: Jean Carter Ryan, President
614.429.0177
2017 Board Meeting Schedule
January 18
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
February 15
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
March 8
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
April 19
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
May 17
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
June 21
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
July 19
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
August 16
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
September 18
8:45 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
October 18
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
November 18
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
December 20
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
2017 Finance Committee Meeting Schedule
January 4
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
February 9
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
March 1
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
April 5
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
May 3
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
June 7
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
July 10
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
August 2
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
September 18
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
October 4
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
November 1
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
December 6
8:00 a.m.
350 E. First Avenue, Suite 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Frequently Asked Questions

In the state of Ohio, a port authority is an organization formed by a local community that can facilitate financing with multiple lenders to support economic development projects. For more information see Ohio Revised Code Section 4582.

Ohio law allows port authorities to construct facilities, issue bonds and make loans. They can also buy or sell land, including the buildings on that land and personal property.

The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority was created by the City of Columbus and Franklin County in 2006 and is organized as a port authority. The Finance Authority is a government entity that focuses on facilitating economic activity, capital investment, job creation and retention in Central Ohio.

A port authority can structure, package and coordinate financing transactions with multiple lenders, including commercial banks, state financing and other public sector financing. Port authorities can also:

  • Own property by holding title to a building under a capital lease
  • Own infrastructure that is essential to a project, i.e. parking structures

One key function a port authority can perform that a city cannot is the sale and lease of publicly-owned property. In most cases, municipalities and counties must sell or lease through public bid. Port authorities are specifically exempted from this requirement and can be a conduit for sale of excess government property for the benefit of economic development.

The City of Columbus and Franklin County appoint members to the agency’s board of directors. These individuals approve projects, determine rules and handle other strategic issues relating to the Finance Authority. The agency is also audited annually.

A port authority bond fund is a financing option that is credit-enhanced. This type of funding is attractive to buyers because of its reduced credit/default risk of debt. The program is supported by a series of reserves that are pledged to support the revenue bonds issued for projects. The Central Ohio Bond Fund is supported by:

  • Additional reserves funded with each series of revenue bonds issued for approved projects
  • The collateral for each loan

A bond fund is a unique and important tool for economic development because it enables a port authority to provide real value to many projects for which it could only otherwise act as a “conduit.” Port authorities also pool the resources of their bond funds and state programs to provide financing for projects of significant size. They also use their bond funds to fill funding gaps on major economic development projects.