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BMD’s Jason Butterworth Quietly Engineers Some of Akron’s Most Impactful Projects

Blog Post

Jason Butterworth, a team member of BMD’s Business & Corporate practice, focuses his practice on finance, real estate, and tax credit law. 

Few people are aware that over the last six years, Jason has been working to ensure that several of the most impactful projects in the greater Akron-Canton region have been realized. Sometimes directing from behind the scenes and occasionally right out in front – Jason has helped shape the complicated, interesting, politically-charged and emotional backstories of several significant projects you may have seen in the news. 

These projects include the revitalization of The Shorb Neighborhood in Canton and the I Promise Housing initiative, along with East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC). 

A major spotlight is on Akron right now and Jason has been an integral part of the process for the past four years. Serving as a community liaison and Akron concierge, if you will, Jason has facilitated communications, connections and partnership between city, county and state governments, the University of Akron and California company, LTA Research and Exploration. The conversation: gain approval from the Development Finance Authority of Summit County to sublease the airdock, a world-class facility unlike any other, from Lockheed Martin. The goal: build full-size airships in Akron again – electric-powered, zero emission ships designed by the U of A’s engineering department.

There were many complex layers to this project, not to mention the nostalgia, history and identity of Akron wrapped up in concept of airships. Jason negotiated the deal to access and eventually acquire the Airdock, and also helped to validate and promote the project as an important investment for Akron. An advocate for Akron, he has helped convince LTA, with its initial operations located in San Francisco, that Akron was the best place to be. And now, this project is coming to fruition in 2023. Last Thursday, LTA unveiled its work on the Pathfinder, the largest airship build in the US since 1932.

The BMD Business Family is honored to call Jason a Member of the firm and is proud of how he has served as an advocate and champion of several noteworthy economic developments for our region.

Read more about this projects in these Akron Beacon Journal articles. Please note that these may require a subscription to view.

See the opinion piece published in the Akron Beacon Journal last year by Gary L. Miller, President of the University of Akron, and Daniel Horrigan, Mayor of Akron regarding the excitement and opportunity around bringing Airdocks back to Akron.

And now, this project is coming to fruition in 2023. Last Thursday, LTA unveiled its work on the Pathfinder, the largest airship build in the US since 1932.

Community Banks: Collaboration, not isolation, is the key to protecting/ enhancing the cannabis business you pioneered

As we prepare for the plenary session of the informal institutional cannabis lenders community announced in my previous article, I am pleased to advise that participants now include 5 of the best-known dedicated loan funds; a select group of commercial banks ranging in size from single state community banks to mid-size regionals making cannabis loans into the mid-8 figures; and, a syndicator of credit union cannabis loans.

Non-compete Agreements are Under Fire: What Employers Need to Know

Non-compete agreements are an ongoing topic of dispute. Employers and their advocates point to the efficacy of non-competes in protecting proprietary information. Employees and their advocates argue about worker mobility and that employers unduly burden workers’ ability to seek better jobs. The Biden administration has put forth its position, and state legislatures have introduced bills addressing the enforceability of non-competes. Here is what you need to know:

Celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month), Brennan Manna and Diamond is proud to recognize the contributions and achievements of our AAPI members.

Fluresh Cannabis’ Bank Loan: Moving Into the Mainstream

The announcement by Fluresh, a vertically integrated Michigan based cannabis business, of the closing of loans from a federally insured commercial bank totaling almost $50 million represents an important landmark for both Fluresh and the cannabis industry writ large. For Fluresh, perhaps as important as the bottom-line benefits of lower cost financing, the fact that its operations and financials passed muster with a substantial commercial bank can be regarded as an important rite of passage. For the industry, it reflects its inexorable movement out of the shadows and into the mainstream. This substantiates the view that, whether or not any of pending the federal legislation is enacted, bank lending to the cannabis industry will continue to accelerate.

Out of the Shadows | An Investor Summit Recap

After a COVID hiatus of more than 2 years, I rejoined the institutional cannabis investment speaker circuit, offering the closing remarks at the Kahner Global Cannabis Private Investment Summit in Coral Gables, Florida. My remarks addressed how banking developments are increasingly impacting cannabis investment, operating and financial strategies and decisions, for both plant touching and the growing array of ancillary businesses serving the industry.