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

The Finance Authority has provided more than $3 billion in financing and has been awarded an A- 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.

Patty Huddle

Vice President

Patty Huddle comes to us from One Columbus (formerly Columbus 2020), where she served as the Senior Vice President for over nine years, proactively engaging with businesses to develop and strengthen the Columbus Region and leading the “Prepared Communities Win” initiative. With more than 20 years in the economic development arena, she brings a wide range of experience, skills and knowledge to the Finance Authority.

Patty is involved in the economic development community through several organizations and associations, including the MidOhio Development Exchange, the Ohio Economic Development Association and the International Economic Development Council. She received her BS in Business Administration & International Business from The Ohio State University and received her Economic Development Finance Professional Certification.

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.

Board Members

Frank J. Capella

Chair

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.

Darnita Bradley

Vice Chair

Darnita is the local government affairs and engagement manager at JobsOhio, a position responsible for leading engagement, outreach, and collaboration with government officials and other key stakeholders. She assists in strategy execution and plays an instrumental role in helping to increase JobsOhio’s visibility and engagement with all stakeholders.

Prior to joining JobsOhio, Bradley served in various roles in the natural gas utility industry and is a seasoned professional with more than two decades of experience in economic development, public policy, public-private partnerships and government/corporate relations.

Active in the community, she serves on the boards of Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Economic Development Association, Gahanna Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council and Columbus Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee.

Darnita holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and master’s in business administration from Franklin University.

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.

Dr. Joseph A. Alutto

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.

Darci Congrove

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.

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.

Stephen Brooks

Mr. Brooks is the CFO and founding Member of the Physicians First Leasing LLC, a specialty finance company providing lease financing for medical equipment.  Mr. Brooks is accountable for the overall financial performance of Physicians First, including its capital stack, and its overall safety and soundness.  Prior to helping Physicians First, Steve spent 28 years in commercial banking, and 3 years in the private industry.

Steve serves on the Central Ohio Metropolitan YMCA Board and the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Advisory Committee. 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).

Board and Committee Meetings

Next meeting
October
20

Meeting Info

Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
Contact: Jean Carter Ryan
(614) 429-0177
2021 Board Meeting Schedule
January 20
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
February 17
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
March 17
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
April 7
8:00 a.m.
Contact Patty Huddle, [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
May 19
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
June 16
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
July 21
8:00 a.m.
300 Spruce Street - Suite 220
Columbus, Ohio 43215
August 18
8:00 a.m.
300 Spruce Street - Suite 220
Columbus, Ohio 43215
September 15
CANCELLED
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
October 20
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
November 17
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
December 15
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
2021 Finance Committee Meeting Schedule
January 20
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
March 17
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
April 7
8:00 a.m.
Zoom - Contact Patty Huddle, [email protected] for access.
May 19
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.
August 18
8:00 a.m.
300 Spruce Street - Suite 220
Columbus, Ohio 43215
2021 Strategy Committee Schedule
June 9
8:00 a.m.
Contact Marcy Altomare at [email protected] if you would like to join the meeting.

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.