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Investing in Rural Virginia's Infrastructure



Moderator:  Basil I. Gooden, Ph.D., Virginia State Director, USDA


In May 2014, President Obama appointed Dr. Basil I. Gooden to serve as the State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Basil brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in addressing housing, community and economic development issues in rural Virginia.


Basil’s primary educational and professional background is in the areas of housing, community and economic development, family financial management and consumer-related issues. He has worked to improve the quality of living for people and communities by addressing issues related to family financial management, inter-generational wealth development and wealth retention strategies. He works with national experts in housing and economic development to advance wealth building strategies within limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged populations.


Prior to joining USDA – Rural Development, Basil served as the Chief Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for twelve years. His primary administrative responsibilities included strategic management, technology advancement, and community development initiatives in economically distressed communities. Before DHCD, Basil worked at Virginia Tech where he served as the Coordinator of Outreach and Community Relations. Additionally, Basil worked with Virginia Cooperative Extension as an Extension Specialist where he designed and implemented a statewide research project to assess community issues impacting localities across Virginia. Some of his previous professional experiences include working as a Legislative Assistant to a former U.S Congressman from the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia and a Legislative Aide to a former U.S. Senator from Virginia. He is an active board member of several statewide organizations such as the Council for Rural Virginia, Housing Virginia, EarthCraft Virginia, Preservation Virginia, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension State Extension Leadership Council. He previously served as an Advisor on the Buckingham/Cumberland County FSA County Committee.


Basil is a native of Buckingham County, Virginia where he and his family own and operate a cattle farm, raising Black Angus beef. His family farm also participates in tree farming and land conversation efforts. As a youth, Basil was actively involved in many Virginia Cooperative Extension related activities that focused on crop production, livestock and 4-H activities.

Basil graduated from Buckingham County High School and attended Virginia Tech where he received a B.A. in Political Science. He earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Syracuse University in 1995. Additionally, he is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Ph.D. in 1998.


Basil currently resides in Henrico County with his wife, Dr. Susan T. Gooden, who is a professor of public policy at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. They have one daughter, Caper, who is currently a student at the College of William and Mary.


Andrew D. Jacob, Executive Vice President, Regulatory, Legislative and Compliance, CoBank


Andrew Jacob is responsible for all regulatory, government relations, compliance and security programs at CoBank. In that role, he oversees the bank’s relationship with elected officials in Washington, D.C., and the bank’s regulator, the Farm Credit Administration. In his compliance capacity, Mr. Jacob is charged with oversight of policies, procedures and controls that ensure the bank continues to conduct business with integrity and in accordance with the highest ethical standards. He is a member of CoBank’s Operating Committee and Senior Leadership Team.


Before joining CoBank in 2010, Mr. Jacob spent almost 25 years with the Farm Credit Administration, where he served in a variety of leadership roles within the agency’s Office of Examination, Office of Policy and Analysis, and Office of Secondary Market Oversight. Most recently, he was director of the Office of Regulatory Policy, which on behalf of the FCA Board is responsible for developing and implementing its regulatory and policy-making agenda, evaluating all statutory and regulatory approval requests from Farm Credit System institutions, assessing systemic risk exposures, and other programs.


Mr. Jacob earned a bachelor’s degree in managerial and agricultural economics from the University of California at Davis and a master’s degree in business administration from George Mason University. Mr. Jacob also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation, which the CFA Institute awarded him in 2000.


Alfred J. Puchala, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Capitol Peak Asset Management





Alfred J. Puchala, Jr. is Chief Executive Officer of Capitol Peak Asset Management. Throughout his 30-year finance career, Mr. Puchala has been an alternative investment fund investor, strategic financial advisor and creator of various market based government related partnership initiatives. He has worked directly with the U.S. federal government, state and local entities as well as international bodies on a number of strategic financial assignments including loan portfolio monitoring, infrastructure finance, securitization policy and credit portfolio risk management.


Until January 2014, Mr. Puchala served as Managing Director for Moelis & Company in New York, overseeing Public Sector initiatives and advising private sector clients, governmental entities, and policy makers at the international, federal, state, and local levels.


Prior to this, he served as a co-founder and Managing Director of Signal Equity Partners where he managed private equity funds, including PE middle-market buy-out funds. He began his career in 1983 in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and subsequently Lazard Freres, completing mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance assignments in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors. While at Lazard in the early 1990s, he advised on the establishment of the U.S. Russia Investment Fund for the U.S. Treasury.


Mr. Puchala holds a B.A. cum laude from Yale University, a J.D. From Georgetown University and an M.A. in Economics from New York University. He has lectured on public/private partnerships and maintains a variety of civic volunteer activities at the board and personal levels. He is a member of the New York Bar Association.



Timothy W. Hassler, Principal, Advantage Capital Partners


Timothy W. Hassler joined Advantage Capital Partners in 2011. As a principal in the St. Louis office, Mr. Hassler identifies and screens potential new investment opportunities, conducts due diligence, and negotiates and closes transactions in addition to managing existing investments and developing exit opportunities.


Mr. Hassler is a seasoned financial professional with more than 20 years of banking and equity investing experience. Prior to joining Advantage Capital, Mr. Hassler worked as a vice president and special assets manager for U.S. Bank. Mr. Hassler is also a co-founder and former managing director of Patriot Capital Funding, where he raised $150 million in private investment capital.


Mr. Hassler earned a bachelor’s degree in finance with highest honors from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.



Tad Deriso, President and CEO, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative





Tad Deriso is the President & CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) with offices in South Boston, Richmond and Santa Clara, California. Over the past 20 years, Tad has helped rural, under-served communities and telecommunications companies with planning and coordinating broadband telecommunications networks. He has developed technology-based economic development strategies as well as performance based management structures and viable operational business models.


In 2003, Tad helped form MBC, a not-for-profit organization that has built an advanced open-access fiber optic network in Southern Virginia. The network, which is now in it’s 4th full year of operations, is cash flow positive, is helping to generate new jobs and investments in the region, and is a successful model of how public/private partnerships can work to extend advanced fiber optic middle-mile networks to under-served communities.


Prior to forming MBC, Tad was a senior consultant with expertise in telecommunications infrastructure design and deployment for rural regions, ICT assessments, middle-mile and last-mile broadband planning, business plan development, and financial modeling for open-access fiber network planning.


Tad has spoken at many Local, State, National and International conferences on the importance of open-access fiber networks, the role those networks play in economic development for data center recruitment, and how national and regional governing bodies can implement similar models to boost broadband access and enhance economic dividends for rural communities.

Tad holds a BBA in Management and International Business from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

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