Opportunity Zones: Increasing Investment Where It’s Needed Most

June 27th, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – How can Northeast Indiana and Fort Wayne boost development in economically distressed communities?

Many federal incentive programs have been created over the years, including the New Markets Tax Credit, Empowerment Zones and more; however, the newest investment incentive—Opportunity Zones—may have the most significant tax benefits yet.

Check out this great review of the program – be sure to check out the webinar on the opportunity zones hyperlink – it’s a fantastic overview of the program and gives great examples on how public and private partnerships come together to help communities success. We are #bettertogether


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Insights on the Second Set of Qualified Opportunity Zone Regulations

Insights on the Second Set of Qualified Opportunity Zone Regulations

Insights on the Second Set of Qualified Opportunity Zone Regulations
— Read on commercialobserver.com/2019/06/insights-on-the-second-set-of-qualified-opportunity-zone-regulations/

Really good overview of Opportunity Zone program.

Posted in Banking, Business, Opportunity Zones, Tax Shelter, Uncategorized, Vince Liuzzi | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leadership Development

Exploring Johari Window as a tool to improve self awareness. This overview posted on Sarah’s blog describes the four panes.

In the terms of learning how group therapy works in the field of art therapy, it is understood that personalities vary through the individuals in the group you are working with. Getting to know your group and building a relationship with the individuals is one of the main priorities in group therapy. The Johari Window is a model to guide the art therapist to notice different aspects of their individuals and can also help the individuals in realizing areas of themselves that need more assistance than others.

The Johari Window consists of four main “Selfs” or “Areas.” They are labeled Public Self/Open Area, Blind Spots/Blind Area, Hidden Self/Hidden Area, and Unconscious Self/Unknown Area. Each self is different in which what they keep to themselves and reveal to the world. Using the Johari Window is promoting self-awareness and guiding the group be aware of themselves and parts who they are.


  1. Public Self/Open Area – area of the indvidual that is known to themself and others around them. For example, a teenage boy who is aware of his anger problems and knows that others are aware of this too.
  2. Blind Spots/Blind Area – a part of the individual’s personality that others only see but the individual does not notice. For example, a teacher who thinks they present a happy persona, but students see that he/she gives off a mean or scary vibe. The teacher has no idea that she presents a mean persona, but her students do.
  3. Hidden Self/Hidden Area – only the individual knows about this aspect, they do not reveal it to others. For example, a depressed teen who sulks and cries when she is by herself in her bedroom because she does not want to present her feelings in front of others.
  4. Unconscious Self/Unknown Area – this is a part of the individual that absolutely no one knows about or notices. For example, an individual uses an unhealthy coping mechanism without noticing that it is unhealthy and others do not realize that is unhealthy as well.

I never heard of this model beforehand and found it to be extremely helpful. The Johari Window can not only be used when working with groups, but even in self evaluating. This model is one of the few things that can be used for yourself and for clients as well in art therapy. Versatile models like these are so helpful and really eye-opening.

Featured Image: [http://cpmagazine.net/september-is-international-self-awareness-month/]


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Keys to Home Ownership – Welcome Home Grant Program

Important Information for Homebuyers!

Welcome Home Program

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (FHLB Cincinnati) offers grants of up to $7,500 for honorably discharged veterans and active duty military homebuyers and up to $5,000 for all other homebuyers to assist with down payment and closing costs for income eligible homebuyers through the Welcome Home Program (WHP). Homebuyers must apply and qualify for a mortgage loan with one of our Member financial institutions to utilize the grant.

Who are Eligible Homebuyers?

A homebuyer would be eligible for the Welcome Home grant if all of the following guidelines are met:

  • The total income for all occupants who will reside in the home is at or below 80 percent of the Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) limit for the county and state where the property is located;
  • A fully executed (signed by buyer and seller) purchase contract on an eligible property is in hand;
  • The homebuyer has at least $500 of their own funds to contribute towards down payment and/or closing costs; and,
  • If a first-time homebuyer (typically anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years), a satisfactory homebuyer counseling course is completed prior to the loan closing. Note: Applicants do not have to be first-time homebuyers.

What is an Eligible Property?

A property would be eligible if all of the following guidelines are met:

  • The property will be the homebuyer’s primary residence;
  • The property is a single family, townhome, condominium, duplex, multi-unit (up to four family units) or a qualified manufactured home. (Manufactured homes may be eligible if they are taxed as real estate and affixed to a permanent foundation); and,
  • The property is subject to a legally enforceable five-year retention mechanism, included in the Warranty Deed or as a Declaration of Restrictive Covenants to the Warranty Deed, requiring the FHLB Cincinnati be given notice of any refinancing, sale, foreclosure, deed in-lieu of foreclosure, or change in ownership during the five year retention periods.

How Do I Apply?

Only members of the Federal Home Loan Bank can offer this program! Check with your local community banker and ask about their participation in the “Welcome Home” grant program.

For more program information, homebuyers should contact a FHLB Cincinnati Member financial institution. A list of Members is available at https://www.fhlbcin.com/who-we-are/member-directory/.

The Process

  1. Execute a purchase contract on an eligible property
  1. Complete application with FHLB member mortgage banker
  2. Eligibility determined, grant funds reservation request submitted
  3. FHLB reviews and issues an approval letter
  4. Loan closing with member bank.

Congratulations Homeowner!

Information for Homebuyers Page 1 ©2019 Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, all rights reserved. Revised 01/18/2019

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Spring Forward: 4 Fast Ways to Save Time and Money

An hour of sleep might not be the only thing you lose when the clocks spring forward—daylight savings time could cost you money, too.

“Researchers have estimated the economic cost of that one lost hour at $434 million per year, with effects including higher rates of workplace injuries, lost productivity and sleep-impaired bad judgment.”

Myelle Lansat from grow.acorns.com shares 4 ways to get that lost hour back:


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The Truth About Millennials and Retirement

We all know millennials get a bad reputation for spending too much on avocado toast. The truth is, millennials are not only spending beyond their means, but also not saving for their futures. recent study from the National Institute for Retirement Security states that about two-thirds of millennials have nothing saved for retirement

So why is this?

A report from the National Institute on Retirement Security titled “Millennials and Retirement: Already Falling Short”, the Great Recession caused this financial insecurity for millennials. The Millennial generation earns 20% less in wages and have accumulated about half of the wealth of their parents at the same stage in their lives.

Of the millennials that have some money saved up in a retirement fund, the median amount is just $19,100. Experts suggest contributing at least 15% of your paycheck to some sort of a 401K retirement plan. The average amount contributed by millennials is about half that. 

Millennials have an average debt burden of $42,000, most of the debt coming from student loans.  Grant Sabatier of the Millennial Money blog states that retiring early for millennials will not be an easy journey. Millennials will be able to reach retirement, but maybe not the same luxurious retirement their parents have. But many millennials are hustling and putting in the work now, working 50+ hours a week at a corporate job, maxing out a 401K, and supplementing their income with a side hustle or two.

Start with the people you are hanging out with – the people that are influencing you the most. People who are also hustling in second jobs, following the markets, and looking for promotions and raises are the people who are going to help you in your financial independence journey. 

I have a friend in LA who is currently working at a corporate job 50+ hours a week, doing freelance graphic design, babysitting, launching a company and website, and even squeezes in time for modeling. My goal for 2019 is to max out my company’s 401K plan at $19,000 (up from $18,500 in 2018). My take-home paycheck will be a little lower than last years, so to supplement that, I plan to generate at least two more sources of income.

My second piece of advice is to start throwing what ever you can into your employer’s 401K plan. Most employer’s will match your contribution around 2-4%. 

The earlier you can start stocking money into your 401K account of choice, the better. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how much faster your money will grow.

Say you are just starting to save for retirement at age 45 into an individual Roth retirement account (tax-free). Let’s also say you are contributing $400. Historically, you can assume you will generate a 7% return on your 401K contributions. By age 70, this account will have $326,000.

If you started contributing $400 at age 35, this account would be worth $725,000.

If you are lucky enough to start saving $400 a month at age 25, by the time you are 70, you will have more than $1.5 million in your retirement account. And this doesn’t even take into account what ever 401k matching options your employer offers (*dollar signs for eyes emoji*).

If you are reading this thinking “Oh my god I am so far behind already”, don’t worry. A recent study fro LendEDU shows that 37 percent of millennials are contributing no money at all to any form of retirement savings plan.

If you are lost, or just curious about your retirement plan options, I would suggest starting small:

  • Play around with a Roth IRA calculator
  • Ask your HR department what savings plans your employer has to offer, and what percent your company matches
  • Ask around people you trust what kind of savings plan they are currently contributing to
  • Do your own research to find out what options are best for you
  • Just dive into contributing! Even if you can squeeze in $50 a month for now, it is better than nothing!

via The Truth About Millennials and Retirement

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How to Create Organizational Impact with Leadership Development | CCL

What factors increase the odds of success in organizational leadership development initiatives? These 7 things can make or break your investment’s impact.

How to Create Organizational Impact Through Leadership Development

  1. Involve
  2. Clarify
  3. Partner
  4. Prioritize
  5. Focus
  6. Think
  7. Share

In the world of leadership development, if you can demonstrate an impact, you can influence the organization in very important ways. Begin with the end in mind and be clear about what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your leadership development efforts.

Source: How to Create Organizational Impact with Leadership Development | CCL

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Top Workplaces 2018: Panda Restaurant Group’s ‘whole person’ approach helps employees move up — Orange County Register

“At Panda Express, we seek candidates who are values-driven, team-oriented and hungry to learn,” she said. “We offer internal programs such as one-on-one coaching, mentorship programs and leadership courses through the University of Panda to help our associates develop both personally and professionally.”

The company touts its “whole person” approach to employee health, which entails physical, mental and emotional well-being.  #culture #leadership #wholeperson

Panda Restaurant Group, parent company of the fast-casual Panda Express restaurant chain, has forged a culture based on respect and the opportunity to move up in the organization.

via Top Workplaces 2018: Panda Restaurant Group’s ‘whole person’ approach helps employees move up — Orange County Register

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Stimulating engagement through respect — HERCULEAN, that’s how I feel today

Treating employees with dignity and respect – fundamental performance and engagement drivers.  Check out the attached Harvard Business Review article:

Do your employees feel respected?

“When you ask workers what matters most to them, feeling respected by superiors often tops the list.” That’s Kristie Rogers’ opening statement in her latest article on Harvard Business Review. Though hardly shocking for any contemporary leader or executive, it seems the business world hasn’t yet fully grasped the impact of it. As Kristie goes […]

via Stimulating engagement through respect — HERCULEAN, that’s how I feel today

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Starting early: Educating teenagers to make savvy financial choices — On the level

Recently, a study on standard high school curriculum was conducted.  Students interviewed were asked to share what they felt was necessary for productive living, but currently missing from available classes.  Courses centered around financial education and the effective use of traditional banking products and services topped the list.

Insufficient savings and bad financial decision-making present a major challenge for people as the financial world becomes more complex and financial responsibility for old age provision shifts towards the individual.

via Starting early: Educating teenagers to make savvy financial choices — On the level

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