January 2024

RDA CEO earns historic real estate certification

News Release

Media Contact

Contact: Kirsten Aherron                                  

Tel: 434-791-0210                                                                                                                                

Email: Kirsten@riverdistrictassociation.com

Date: January 9, 2024                                         


Danville VA - On December 1, Diana Schwartz, CEO of the River District Association received certification as a Historic Real Estate Development Finance Professional (HREDFP) from Grow America (formerly National Development Council). HREDFP Certification is a professional credential given to individuals who successfully complete Grow America’s intensive historic real estate development finance training series. The training provides professionals working in the field of historic preservation and economic, housing and community development with essential skills and knowledge in historic real estate development finance, including problem solving and deal structuring.

The two course HREDFP Certification Program courses are five days in length and conclude with an exam. Upon successful completion of both courses, the candidate is awarded HREDFP Certification. 

Schwartz will utilize this certification in her work at the River District Association along with previously earned credentials, such as Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP) and the Duke University Nonprofit Management and Leadership certifications.

“I am thrilled to not only work alongside our property developers and owners in the district, but to be able to understand the minute details of how to make projects come together.  Real estate finance is an interesting field, and historic real estate finance is a unique skill in the field.  I look forward to putting this knowledge to work in the continued revitalization of historic districts” said Schwartz of the certification.

Grow America’s work focuses on HOMES, JOBS and COMMUNITY. Founded as a national nonprofit in 1969, Grow America has worked for 50 years at fulfilling its mission to increase the flow of capital for investment in low-income communities. Grow America directs capital to support the preservation and creation of affordable housing, the creation of jobs through training and small business lending and the promotion of livable communities through investment in social infrastructure. Grow America’s products and services are deployed for the benefit of our municipal and nonprofit partners in both urban and rural low-income communities.

Grow America has provided training to over 75,000 professionals working in the fields of economic and housing development. Participants come from diverse backgrounds including city and state governments, public agencies, community-based organizations, professional organizations, and banks.


Grow America is headquartered in New York City with offices in, Cleveland, OH and Dallas, TX. For more information about Grow America, please visit: www.growamerica.org.

The River District Association was organized in 1999 as the Downtown Danville Association. In May 2015, the organization was renamed the River District Association to complement the City’s River District brand and is an accredited Virginia and National Main Street Community. More information about the River District Association can be found at www.riverdistrictassociation.com.