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White House Council and HUD Invite Husson University Assistant Professor to Speak at Opportunity Zone Webinar Series

Published on: December 11, 2020

Dr. Brien Walton
Dr. Brien Walton is the director of the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business and an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Husson University’s College of Business

BANGOR, MAINE – The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently invited Dr. Brien Walton, the director of the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business and assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Husson University’s College of Business, to speak during the capstone portion of their upcoming Opportunity Zone webinar series called, “Bolstering Growth in Opportunity Zones: Leveraging Public and Private Resources.” 

“I’m honored to be able to be a part of this webinar series,” said Walton. “This presentation to economic development leaders and other stakeholders in communities throughout the nation about federally designated Opportunity Zones will encourage increased economic growth and permanent job creation in low-income communities while providing tax benefits to investors.”

According to the Internal Revenue Service, Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool that allows people to invest in economically distressed areas in the United States.[1] This federal incentive program was created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Public Law No. 115-97).[2] Thousands of low-income communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five US territories are designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.[3] Taxpayers can invest in these zones through Qualified Opportunity Funds.[4] 

Dr. Walton will be one of four expert panelists during a 50-minute session focusing on innovative Opportunity Zone strategies at a local level on December 15, 2020. The December 15 session is part of a webinar that runs from 1-3 p.m. EST. The goal of the three-day webinar series is to provide information to participants that will allow them to develop their own strategic plans to support investment in their communities through Opportunity Zones.

Each of the three days of “Bolstering Growth in Opportunity Zones: Leveraging Public and Private Resources” will be devoted to separate topics. The first day of the webinar series, on December 3, 2020, was devoted to understanding the current environment and the alignment of place-based assets. The next webinar on December 8 was devoted to establish policy tools and incentives, developing partnerships and measuring impacts. The final day of the seminar series on December 15, featuring Dr. Walton, will focus on helping attendees develop their Opportunity Zone action plans so they can build or strengthen their local Opportunity Zone ecosystems.

Dr. Walton is recognized for pioneering a unique, collaborative investment model that prioritizes a family-focused approach to jobs and expedites scalable economic resilience. This has appeal to both traditional and social impact investors. In addition to his expertise in Opportunity Zones, Walton is the director of Husson University’s Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business (CFB). The CFB is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the 30,000+ family-owned businesses in Maine through a variety of innovative seminars on trending topics, as well as customized experiential workshops. 

The Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business is part of Husson University’s prestigious College of Business. It is the largest College of Business in Maine. More students in Maine choose to get their MBA from Husson University than any other college or university in the state.

“We’re very proud of Brien and the work he’s doing here at Husson University,” said Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, SHRM-SCP, dean of the College of Business and the New England School of Communications (NESCom). “The knowledge and insight he possesses has made him one of the nation’s leading experts in his field. Being invited to speak at a White House and the HUD event, is an example of the caliber of faculty we have working in Husson University’s College of Business.”

“In addition to Dr. Brien Walton, we have many talented educators here at Husson University,” said Lynne Coy-Ogan, EdD, Husson University senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Besides having academic expertise, they have professional experience working in the real world that they share with students. That’s why Husson students are so well prepared for career success on day one and why they’re in such demand after graduation. According to our most recent data, 96% of our graduates are employed or in graduate school within one year of graduation. A Husson education leads to career success.”

For more than 120 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education center in Northern Maine both provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit


[1] IRS, “Opportunity Zones,”

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

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