The HAND network is hard at work to address the growing housing affordability challenge across the Capital Region. Five Minutes With is a series highlighting these members and other stakeholders. This informal conversation delves into their recent projects, the affordable housing industry and more. In the latest edition, we have a conversation with SC&H Group‘s Ron Causey (CEO) and Travis Daniel (Director). Causey & Daniel chat with us about the launch of the firm’s Affordable Housing Real Estate Service, which welcomed several team members from Hertzbach & Co. Check out our dialogue below:
HAND: A number of team members from Hertzbach & Co. have joined SC&H Group, launching an affordable housing real estate service at that firm. Can you share more details about this exciting move?
TD: Yes, we are very excited that our entire affordable housing real estate team joined SC&H Group. SC&H is a well-respected firm, and a great fit for our team and our clients – not only with respect to the diversity in services offered but also the company culture. The leadership of this group includes Andrea Hartman, Jeff Kleeman, Debbie Norris and me. Our group will be based in Sparks, MD.
RC: I’ll certainly echo Travis’ sentiments, and add that we are always looking toward the future, identifying new ways to expand our expertise to meet client needs, and reach new clients. In this case, it meant the opportunity to bring in many new team members that deepen our expertise in real estate and development tax issues and broaden our services to this industry. It was a no-brainer for us.
HAND: What is the affordable housing real estate team bring to the SC&H family? What can clients expect in the coming weeks and months?
TD: Our group encompasses a full-service team of tax, assurance and consulting professionals which focus on affordable housing. We have experience with all aspects of a project’s life cycle from pre-construction to exit strategies. We are very excited about the impact this will provide to bolster SC&H’s existing real estate capabilities. Our goal as a result of this transition was to continue to service our clients in the same manner but also expand our service offerings to our clients. With our move to SC&H Group we feel we will be able to meet this goal. Clients should expect to receive the same high level of service with the same group of professionals that have serviced their accounts for years.
RC: At SC&H, we are keenly focused on how we are serving our clients, colleagues, and communities. After spending time with Travis and the team and understanding their vision and values, we knew we were a perfect match. We are excited to welcome a new group of clients to the SC&H family that will continue to be led by a very talented group of professionals that is intimately in touch with their businesses and needs.
HAND: Can you tell us about your professional journey and how you landed in the affordable housing space?
TD: My professional experience started in the tax group at Hertzbach & Co. In that role I worked with many of the firm’s affordable housing clients. As our affordable housing client base grew it allowed me to spend 100% of my time in this space. I enjoyed the complexity of the industry and helping our developer clients meet this critical need.
HAND: What are you most looking forward to over the coming months?
TD: This transition was a long time in the making. I am looking forward to serving our clients from our new platform at SC&H Group and looking forward to expanding our group with several new team members. From a personal standpoint, I was at Hertzbach & Co. for 20 years and built many long-lasting friendships, and I hope to continue this relationship-building from my new home at SC&H. Thus far, everyone has been very welcoming and helpful. From day one, we knew we made the right choice.
RC: This was one of the most attractive parts of this opportunity for us – the ability to bring in folks that were just as passionate about their professional pursuits as their personal relationships. Throughout the process, and since the team has started, it has been clear they are good people who fit right into SC&H’s culture.
HAND: What is the most important takeaway(s) from your experience thus far that you’re bringing into your new role?
TD: I have learned that you can accomplish amazing things if you venture outside of your comfort zone. As a CPA we like our bubbles, but this transaction has helped me to get outside of that bubble. My goal is to continue with this mentality in my new role.
RC: There is no shortage of unique personalities and background at SC&H—it is part of what makes us special and enables us to challenge one another to do great work. We, too, like to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and it is always a positive when your colleagues are self-aware enough to recognize the importance of this.
HAND: What do you think is the largest hurdle when it comes to creating and preserving affordable housing across our region?
TD: The level of need.
HAND: Do you believe there is a “secret sauce” to addressing housing affordability? If so, what do you think that is?
TD: I am not personally sold on the “secret sauce” concept. From my vantage point I see a lot of people trying to address housing affordability in different ways. It seems every solution is somewhat unique.
HAND: If you weren’t working in this space, what might you be doing?
TD: If I wasn’t a CPA in this space, I would likely still be working in the industry but as a real estate developer.