Guest Speaker: John M. Tess

President/Founder - Heritage Consulting Group

John Tess started Heritage Consulting Group in 1982 when the historic preservation field was still in its infancy. Mr. Tess was working at the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, responsible for reviewing historic tax credit (HTC) applications.  He saw that developers and architects were submitting applications where they clearly did not understand the program rules, and also did not put their projects in a favorable light. Mr. Tess believed that, with proper guidance, applicants could secure NPS approvals quicker, achieve an overall better project and, by being efficient, be more profitable.  These were the guiding principles he used to form Heritage. With the firm based in Portland, Ore., Mr. Tess quickly established a reputation as a tenacious advocate for his clients.  Mr. Tess is well regarded as a voice for the private developer in the continuing public debate on how to create a better HTC program.  In addition to frequently speaking at conferences for both public and private sectors, he also has a regular column in Novogradac’s Journal of Tax Credits. Mr. Tess is a board member of Preservation Action, the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association and an active participant in the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, sitting on their Historic Preservation Committee.  Over the years, he has sat on many Governor-appointed boards, appointed by Governor Theodore Kulongoski to Oregon’s Task Force on Historic Property, and was elected its chair.  He currently serves as a Governor-appointed board member of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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