RSM US LLP (“RSM”) – the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – is pleased to announce that Joel Baxley, financial advisory services director, has been confirmed by the White House as the USDA’s Administrator of Rural Housing Services. Baxley will report to the Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett, effective April 30, 2018.
“On behalf of RSM, I’d like to thank Joel for his outstanding service to our firm and our middle market clients, and to congratulate him on his appointment,” said Joe Adams, managing partner and CEO for RSM US LLP. “While we will miss Joel at RSM, we are proud of what he’s done for our clients and that he has been selected for a unique opportunity to serve our country. It’s exciting to see the impact that our people can have on our clients, their own careers and in the world when they demonstrate what it means to be a first-choice advisor.”
“Under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the USDA is committed to restoring prosperity in rural America, which means addressing the significant challenge of access to quality and affordable housing,” said Hazlett. “Adding Joel Baxley to the team will help us be a better partner to rural communities building their futures. Joel is an expert in financial management, has deep knowledge of Rural Development’s housing programs and portfolio, and possesses an eye for innovation, which is essential to driving change and creating opportunities in our rural communities.”
Baxley’s appointment came about as the result of exceptional work on two RSM projects for the USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS). The projects included assessing the agency’s capital needs and management risks of RHS assets used as collateral in USDA’s loan portfolio. His ability to communicate with RHS leadership and field staff led to an offer to join the USDA, where Baxley will be involved in implementing a number of RSM’s recommendations.
Baxley believes that the team’s focus on understanding the client, looking critically at their unique situation and then developing relevant and actionable recommendations was a differentiator that made RSM stand out.
“We were successful because we truly understood our client’s needs,” said Baxley. “While I’ll miss my RSM friends, clients and colleagues, I’m honored to be able to serve my country through this new role.”
“Joel joined RSM in 2014 when the firm’s Southeast region was starting its real estate valuation and advisory practice, which has grown significantly in volume and technical capability under his leadership,” said Southeast Valuation Services leader Kesh Iyer, who also leads RSM’s national real estate valuation and advisory services (REVAS) practice. “Joel has really taken our practice to the next level because of his credentials, technical experience and First Choice Advisor mindset,” said Iyer. “Through our federal and commercial real estate valuation work, he’s helped position us as a strong competitor with more established real estate valuation firms.”
Baxley’s appraisal assignments have included regional shopping centers, urban and suburban office buildings, medical office buildings, industrial and warehouse facilities, hotels, multi-family residential, senior living facilities, subdivision land, mixed-use properties, churches, and horse-racing tracks. Other appraisal assignments include the valuation of easements for a land trust protecting watersheds, and the valuation of right-of-way easements for an electric utility.
Baxley earned the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute, is an associate member of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the Leadership Development & Advisory Council of the Appraisal Institute in Washington, D.C. (2013), a member of the University of Oxford Business Alumni Network, senior associate member of St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University, and a certified general real property appraiser in multiple states. He has a post-graduation diploma in financial strategy from University of Oxford, Saΐd Business School, Oxford, United Kingdom and an MBA in financial from University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama. In 2017, Joel completed the University of Oxford’s Real Estate Program in Global Property Investment.
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