David Berzina is the Executive Vice President of Economic Development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, a 2,200-member organization. He oversees a $1.5 million annual operating budget that funds initiatives designed for recruiting and retaining businesses, creating jobs, securing capital investment and generating tax revenue to support the greater Fort Worth region. Additionally, he interfaces with local, regional and state agencies in coordinating partnerships and facilitating economic incentives that have resulted in successful relocations and expansions of hundreds of companies, including Fortune 500 global leaders.
Berzina has played a pivotal role in building consensus among stakeholders on key issues such as impact fees and has also galvanized support among public and private sector partners on legislation affecting economic development policy and Texas' pro-business environment. He was appointed by the Fort Worth Mayor to serve on an MWBE (Minority/Woman-Owned Business Enterprise) ordinance committee that was responsible for developing Fort Worth's policy on city contracts with MWBE vendors.
Economic development projects that Berzina has recruited and secured have resulted in excess of 16 million square feet of building space, $3.7 billion in capital investment, more than 25,000 jobs, and more than $1.3 billion in annual payroll. Notable company names include General Motors, General Electric, Novartis, Q-Edge, RadioShack, Whirlpool Corporation, Bell Helicopter, and American Airlines.
Prior to joining the Fort Worth Chamber in 2004, Berzina served for 16 years in CEO and executive management positions for chambers of commerce and economic development organizations in Texas, Michigan, and Louisiana.
Berzina is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and also holds the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council. He is also a graduate of the ACCE Institute for Organizational Management at the University of Delaware. He serves on the national Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as well as on the Texas Economic Development Council board.
In 1993, Berzina was named one of the outstanding Leaders in Geo Economics by Site Selection magazine. In 2012 Site Selection magazine recognized the Fort Worth Chamber as one of the nation's "Top 20" economic development organizations for the fifth time in eight years; the Fort Worth Chamber is the second organization under Berzina's leadership to receive this prestigious designation.
Locally, Berzina serves on the executive committee of the Dallas/Fort Worth Marketing Team, which represents 62 communities and a population of 6.6 million people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the nation's fourth-largest MSA. He also serves on the board of Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County and Fort Worth Sister Cities and serves on the Mayor's Commission for the Homeless, the City's Development Advisory Committee, and the City's Minority and Women's Business Advisory Council. He is a past president of the Greater Fort Worth Area Economic Development Association.
Berzina and his wife, Kim, have a 13-year-old son, Christopher, and a 7-year-old daughter, Brooke. He is in his 7th year of coaching football and basketball for the YMCA.
Steven Bradford has more than 20 years of commercial real estate experience. Prior to joining Bandera Ventures in 2011, Mr. Bradford founded a national development and investment initiative for Trammell Crow Company which developed in excess of 11 million sq. ft. of speculative and build-to-suit office and industrial projects at major international cities throughout North America.
Mr. Bradford specializes in industrial multi-modal logistics with emphasis on air and ground transportation. Mr. Bradford was the development principal responsible for the master planning and development of the Air CargoCentres™, AirFreight & LogisticCentres™, and Global Logistics Centres™ at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Houston's Intercontinental Airport, Portland International Airport, Calgary International Airport; as well as the KCI Intermodal Business Centre at Kansas City International Airport.
Mr. Bradford has also served as a master planning development consultant to several major international airports including Seattle Tacoma, Detroit Metropolitan, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh.
Mr. Bradford has been conferred his Doctorate of Jurisprudence, is a Licensed Attorney with specialization in Commercial Real Estate, and holds Real Estate Broker's License from the Texas Real Estate Commission. Mr. Bradford is also Co-Founder and Chairman of the non-profit organization Christ's Family Clinic located in Dallas, Texas.
Charlie Brock has been serving as Launch Tennessee's President and CEO since January 2013. In 1998, Brock helped establish Foxmark Media and grew it into one of the nation's leading mall advertising companies. As the CEO and largest shareholder, he structured three rounds of private financing before selling the company in 2006 to Australia-based EYE Corp., one of the world's leading out-of-home media companies. After selling Foxmark, Brock became an early partner in FourBridges Capital Advisors, a lower-middle market investment bank based in Chattanooga where Brock served as Managing Director. Brock was also a founding general partner of the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, Chattanooga's first organized angel fund. The fund raised $3.2 million to provide mentorship and capital to early-stage companies in the Southeast Tennessee region.
Prior to becoming CEO of Launch Tennessee, Charlie served for a year as the Executive Director of CO.LAB, a Chattanooga accelerator that provides advice and mentoring services to entrepreneurs and runs the summer GIGTANK program. Brock is an organizer and director of CapitalMark Bank and Trust in Chattanooga and also serves as a director of The Dixie Group and Park Media Software.
Charlie is a graduate of The University of the South, and he and his wife Lisa are the parents of three daughters, Lesley, Taylor and Laura.
Dr. Chmura's firm has helped many corporate and government clients successfully navigate into and through the Great Recession by providing valuable economic insight and forecasting. Prior to starting her own company, Chris was a senior economist at some of the nation's top banks and the Federal Reserve. Chris has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and her interest rate forecasts have been published in the Blue Chip Financial Forecast for over 20 consecutive years. She serves on the Governor's Economic Advisory Board and the Governor's Commission on Economic Development & Job Creation for the state of Virginia. Dr. Chmura is also an adjunct professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University teaching classes for several years on applied labor economics. She was inducted into the National Leadership Honor Society, a university award for her role as an outstanding professor and for her exemplary campus citizenship.
JoAnn Crary is the President of Saginaw Future, a non-profit economic development organization. She has held that position since 1993 and has been in economic development since the mid 1980's. Crary completed her undergraduate degree from Ferris State University and has a Masters degree from Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a graduate of the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.
Crary is a member of the MEDC Collaborative Development Council, an advisory group representation the 10 economic development regions in Michigan. She is currently on the International Economic Development Council's Board of Directors and serves as Vice Chairman, is a member of the Governance Committee and the Economic Development Research Partners. Crary also Chairs the Ethics Committee and is board liaison for the Young Professionals Task Force. IEDC is the foremost international economic development organization with nearly 4300 members. She has served on the IEDC Board since 2006.
Crary is serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Development Corporation, the Saginaw County Revolving Loan Fund Board, Saginaw Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, FirstMerit Bank Market Area Board and the Saginaw Hospital Finance Authority. Crary also serves on the Board of Fellows at Saginaw Valley State University, Mobile Medical Response Finance Committee and is an ex officio member of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Crary was recognized in 2013 as one of the Great Women of the Great Lakes Bay, was given the Wally Bronner Community Spirit Award from the Saginaw County Chapter of American Red Cross in 2010. She was also honored with the inaugural Economic Leadership Award from Junior Achievement of Northeast Michigan in 2010. The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce gave Crary its inaugural Athena Award in 2005 and in 2001, the Michigan Economic Developers Association named Crary as the MEDA Medalist Award winner. In 1996, she was honored by Governor Engler as the Economic Developer of the Year for outstanding contributions in economic development.
JoAnn and her two children, KaLynn and Michael reside in Frankenmuth.
Julie is an Executive Vice President and Partner at Development Counsellors International (DCI), an economic development marketing firm based in New York City. Since joining DCI in 1994, Julie has worked with dozens of economic development organizations around the globe to help them position their communities for investment through integrated and creative marketing programs. With clients ranging from Dothan, Alabama to San Diego, California and everywhere in between, Julie's passion for "place marketing" has resulted in award-winning campaigns. Articles about her client communities have appeared in media such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek and CNN. Julie has designed social media campaigns for communities around the country that have maximized the changing world of traditional media, and leveraged the power of digital and online influencers.
Julie is a frequent speaker and facilitator for economic development marketing and media workshops around the country. In 1998, Julie opened "DCI West" in Denver, and became a DCI Partner in 2002.
Founding partner of Global Innovation Partners, a group of highly experienced innovation champions assisting businesses, cities and universities to increase their global competitiveness. Recently chief innovation officer for the UK's first comprehensive economic development company. Previously Co-Global and Americas Leader for IBM's Global Location and Economic Development strategies consulting practice, and associate partner in IBM's Strategy & Change practice and IBM's Global Innovation Team, and at PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to IBM's acquisition of PwC's management consulting practice.
Currently also Senior Fellow at the International Economic Development Council, and recipient of the Council's 2011 Chairman's Award for Excellence in Economic Development.
Strategic Advisor--Partnerships to Citiscope, the independent, journalist led website and global news service reporting on innovation best practices in cities around the world.
Over 35 years of advising hundreds of the world's leading organizations to transform their business strategies and where to invest and locate their headquarters, research centres, advanced manufacturing and other major business units. Past clients include Citigroup, Novartis, Merck, Becton Dickinson, P&G/Gillette, Hertz Corporation, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Master Card, VISA and UPS.
Directed competitive economic development strategy for numerous states and city - regions throughout North America and the UK. Clients have included Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Indiana, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, and New Jersey, and metro areas of Phoenix, Toledo, Baltimore, Toronto, and Sheffield and Hull in the UK. Led the development of best practice growth models for universities and technology parks, among them the world class Research Triangle Park.
Also served as Vice President of PHH Fantus and as Principal of Fluor Daniel Consulting, and President/CEO of Partnerships DataNet; a Washington DC based national collaborative development initiative formed by the White House with business and association leaders. Earlier was a university director of public affairs and held several marketing communications positions at Eastman Kodak.
Brett Doney is the President & CEO of the Great Falls Development Authority, a public/private economic development partnership serving the Great Falls Montana trade area. GFDA's mission is to grow and diversify the Great Falls economy and support the creation of high wage jobs. GFDA is active in business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship, business attraction, downtown and riverfront revitalization, and workforce development. In 2012, GFDA became the first economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to be accredited by the International Economic Development Council.
GFDA is a Community Development Financial Institution, and hosts a Small Business Development Center and a Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Doney also leads High Plains Financial, a SBA Certified Development Corporation that is affiliated with GFDA, and the Great Falls AgriTech Park LLC, developer of a 1,300 acre rail industrial park.
Doney has 28 years of experience in urban and rural community economic development from the various perspectives of the non-profit, public and private sectors. His prior positions include President & CEO of Enterprise Maine, a family of community economic development organizations dedicated to creating economic opportunity and enhancing the quality of life in rural western Maine, Director of the Ft. Devens Reuse Center, a 9,600 acre army base redevelopment effort in Massachusetts, and President of Doney Associates, a Boston-based consulting firm focused on urban revitalization.
Doney's efforts have won awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the American Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the Finance Authority of Maine. His professional certifications include Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR), Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate (SLCR), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), RMA Credit Risk Certification, LEED Accredited Professional, Federal Grants Management and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. Doney earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Doney has taught and given presentations for a number of state, national and international organizations. He serves on the boards of the Montana Economic Development Association, NeighborWorks Great Falls, the Downtown Great Falls Partnership and Montana Ambassadors. He is an active Rotarian and past President of the Great Falls Rotary Club.
Harry Eadon is an economic development professional with broad experience in business attraction, retention and expansion. Experienced in all aspects of accounting and financial management, Mr. Eadon brings direct experience with real estate, financial consulting and venture capital and he has developed an early-stage venture capital funds. For 11 years, Mr. Eadon served as President and Executive Director of the Economic Development & Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County. The EDFA is a lead Economic Development agency in the county. They manage a 45 acre business park (the Reeves Mill) and 82K SF Public Warehouse (Reeves Mill Logistics Warehouse). In addition the TCPA also owns a 20K SF building in Midvale Ohio and a 15K SF office building in Gnadenhutten Ohio, created a small business incubator, the Business Factory and issued more than $15 million of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds over the last 18 months. Mr. Eadon has successfully recruited major energy projects with Kinder Morgan and MarkWest and leads a multi-county regional economic development group in Eastern Ohio focused on economic development opportunities around the Utica Shale development.
Julie Engel is the President/CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation. In her tenure with Greater Yuma EDC, she has been directly involved in the creation of over 4000 new jobs, over 1 million square feet of new industrial space and a capital investment to the region that surpasses $1.5 Billion. Julie is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED) and has served on multiple committees for AAED. In 2012 Julie was named the Economic Developer of the Year for the State of Arizona.
A native of North Platte, Nebraska, Julie studied accounting and business management while working for the U.S. Postal Service as the payroll/finance manager for all of Western Nebraska and South Central Kansas. In 1996, Julie moved with her family to Yuma Arizona where her husband accepted a position with the Arizona Game & Fish Department.
Julie's career in Economic Development follows five years of local government leadership and eight years of federal government leadership and policy regulations. Julie serves on the Yuma Workforce Investment Board, serves on the Yuma Regional Medical Center Board, Yuma National Heritage Board, serves on the Yuma County Transportation Committee, and the Yuma County Legislative Affairs Committee. Julie was selected by Governor Jan Brewer to serve on the Rural Advisory Council for the State of Arizona.
Julie is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute for Certified Economic Development. She obtained CEcD certification in May 2009. Julie is a member of the Economic Development Research Partners and currently serves on the "Financing EDO's" task force.
Chris Engle is a national thought leader on the topic of economic development analysis and industry trends. He has nearly 20 years of experience as a researcher and strategist. His expertise includes economic analysis, competitive evaluations, real estate feasibility, labor market studies and site selection. He has focused his career on translating the meaning of global trends on regional economic growth. His strong belief in the power of transforming complicated data into easy-to-use decision making resources for communities led him to develop one of the most dynamic economic development software tools available today, www.HeadlightLLC.com.
Chris has created economic development plans and real estate assessments for communities across the US and Europe including: Northeast Florida; Providence, Rhode Island; Gainesville, Florida; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Miami-Dade, Florida; Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; Anniston, AL; North Carolina; Northern Kentucky; Quad Cities, Illinois; San Joaquin County, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; the Czech Republic; and Portugal, to name a few. His corporate clients have included Applied Materials, Dell Computer, Gables Residential, Opus Development and Stratus Properties.
Chris is a frequent speaker at site selection and economic events and is a published writer and commentator in national and local media. He holds an economics degree from the University of Texas and has completed studies at Columbia University-New York City and the Instituto Technologico de Monterrey (ITESM).
Amy Fobes is the founder of geoCommunica, a consultancy dedicated to helping companies connect to the power of geo-technology and drive revenue even in a challenging and complex economic environment. She has twenty years of experience in sales, marketing and business analytics with an emphasis on achieving operational and sales objectives with location intelligence. Amy has served global real estate firms such as Jones Lang LaSalle and many others. She brings to the commercial real estate industry a deep understanding of the challenges and successes that site selectors experience when using GIS and data analytics to rank markets and enhance their decision-making processes. Prior to founding geoCommunica, Amy worked at global technology firms such as ESRI and Sun Microsystems. Amy has a B.A. in Political Science from Hamilton College.
Deane C. Foote is President of Foote Consulting Group, LLC; a development related consulting company located in the Phoenix area. FCG provides real estate, site selection, workforce and economic development services.
Deane has worked on dozens of projects in recent years, including corporate projects for Staples, Simplot, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola and economic development projects for the Arizona Department of Commerce; State of Ohio; the Greater Phoenix Economic Council; Great Falls (MT) Airport Authority; Lee County Transportation Authority in Florida; Iowa City Area Development, Los Alamos, NM and the City of Moraine, OH. He has over 30 years of experience.
Deane was formerly Senior Project Manager for Real Estate and Economic Development with Jacobs (formerly Carter & Burgess) where he directed site selection and economic development projects. Deane was also a Vice President with Paragon Decision Resources, Inc., a full-service relocation company, in charge of site selection and economic development. He was also President of the Greater Urbana-Champaign (IL) Economic Development Corporation.
Deane is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife Jeanne reside in Glendale, Arizona.
James Gandy became president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) in 1996 when Frisco's population was approximately 15,000. Eighteen years later, the population has boomed to more than 138,000.
During his time leading the FEDC, Jim has worked on many projects to enhance the quality-of-life for residents through the attraction of new businesses, generation of quality job opportunities and expansion of the tax base in the City of Frisco.
With population growth of 307% since 2000, Frisco has developed into a thriving city with significant corporate headquarters and destination retail such as Stonebriar Centre (Mall), Centre at Preston Ridge and big retailers like IKEA.
Development of destination sports venues has been a major part of Frisco's economic development strategy since 1997. The Frisco EDC has facilitated the development of several major sports venues including the:
Frisco Superdrome (1998)
Under Jim's leadership, the FEDC was recognized in October 2013 as the Highest Performing Economic Development Organization for cities with populations of 100,001 to 250,000 by Atlas Advertising. The Dallas Business Journal ranked the FEDC number one among North Texas economic development agencies. Both accolades were based on the value of deals facilitated by the FEDC in 2012.
Jim is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council, (IEDC) and a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).
He holds a Bachelor's degree of Business Administration from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas).
Previously, Mr. Gandy was:
As of 2014, JLL is the first firm to create a Global Chief GIS Officer. In this role, all data assets and visualizations are organized across the enterprise through a consistent and standardized analytical mapping system that provides JLL customers with insightful market awareness backed by rigorous scientific methods. Mitigating risk and taking the guesswork out of site selection requires a unique blend of creativity and quantitative skill. The Global Chief GIS Officer ensures quality, integrity and reliability of big data analytics across all JLL advisory services. Dr. Gearey has won three consecutive innovation awards and was recently named as one of JLL's top achievers. Dr. Gearey teaches GIS for Real Estate to undergraduates, masters and PhD students at the University of Texas, Dallas. He also serves as a board member for the National Relief Charities serving American Indian Communities.
Ellen Harpel is the founder and president of Business Development Advisors LLC (BDA), an economic development and market intelligence consulting firm. Dr. Harpel is also the founder of Smart Incentives, which helps communities make sound decisions throughout the economic development incentives process.
Dr. Harpel speaks and writes frequently on incentive policies and programs. Recent consulting projects have addressed effective incentive use, incentive policy analysis, sustainable economic development, economic impacts of defense and military spending, and economic development program evaluation.
Dr. Harpel is a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and an affiliate with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, an MBA from the University of North Carolina, and a doctoral degree in regional economics from George Mason University's School of Public Policy.
Mignonne Hollis is an accomplished economic development professional with many years of experience in developing and transforming local businesses into sustainable enterprises. Ms. Hollis has developed countless partnerships within the City, County and State business community; making her a valuable commodity to her foundation. Her dynamic focus stimulates economic development by seeking to create sustainability and resources for existing businesses in an effort to promote growth and operation advancement. In addition to Ms. Hollis' dedication to existing businesses, she has successfully fostered an attractive marketing program that illustrates the benefits of making Sierra Vista the next business site for external corporations. SVEDF has evolved into an innovative tool for both local and external businesses and Ms. Hollis' vision of making the EDF a hub of information and resources is well on its way.
Ms. Hollis graduated from the University of Arizona and went on to earn her MBA degree from the University of Phoenix. She has been an effective professional in the community for a number of years and brings a fresh perspective to developing and retaining a healthy economy.
While serving as the Director and Business Analyst of the Cochise College Small Business Development Center, Mignonne counseled startups and existing businesses in all functional areas. She assisted over 3,000 businesses in the area creating over 1,000 jobs and increasing sales by $21,000,000. She assisted in developing business plans and financial reports for presentation to lenders.
Prior to joining the SBDC, Mignonne owned and operated an accounting firm for fifteen years. She provided tax preparation, accounting, auditing, financial reporting, tax research, tax planning and financial advice to small businesses and individuals. In just three years, she grew her client base to over 120 clients.
Mignonne received the 2007 customer satisfaction award from the Arizona Small Business Development Center network. She also co-writes a weekly newspaper advice column for business owners. She serves on the Tri County Workforce Development Board and is an active member of the Ft. Huachuca 50 whose mission is to solely and executively promote the economic welfare of the Sierra Vista area by support the continuing development of Ft Huachuca. She is also a member of the International Shopping Council of Shopping Centers. She is working towards becoming a certified economic developer.
As a member of the Arizona Association for Economic Development, she has been actively involved by serving on Southern AZ membership committee and the Rural Committee.
Nathan Kurtz is a manager in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he focuses on Kansas City entrepreneurship, promoting the Kauffman Foundation's programs to startups, entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders in the community. Kurtz also works to develop and expand the Entrepreneurship team's programs around the region and nation.
Prior to joining Kauffman, Kurtz worked in numerous entrepreneurial capacities. He was the president and chief operating officer at KR Legal Management, where he was instrumental in helping the company grow and scale. He also was the co-founder and chief operating officer at Legal Sonar/National Lawyer Review, a privately held and angel-funded legal resources and marketing company. Earlier, he was the general manager and chief operating officer at The Roasterie, Inc., where he worked in several different positions helping to grow the regional coffee roaster into a Kansas City entrepreneurial success story.
Kurtz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College. He was named to the 2009 class of Ingram's magazine Twenty in their Twenties. He served for two years as president of KC Roundtable and is a volunteer alumni interviewer for Claremont McKenna College.
As Principal of LEO's Economic Consulting Services and Senior Project Manager for LEO, LLC (Leotta-Evers Consulting), Kurtz is responsible for the daily operations of the economic development services group within LEO assisting private, non-profit, and public entities focused on economic development, community development, and site selection needs.
As Senior Project Manager, Kurtz provides consulting to clients in the application of GIS technology in accordance with project objectives, data requirements, and budget constraints. He has expertise in Business Development, Real Estate Development, Economic Development, Deal Structuring, Market Research, Public Finance, Economic Development Incentives, Financial Analysis, Legislative Affairs, Lobbying, Public Policy, Marketing, Sales, Fundraising, and Problem Solving.
Kurtz has more than 19 years experience in the field of economic and community development in the private, non-profit, and governmental sectors and has been involved in the creation of over 10,000 new direct jobs, retention of over 21,000 jobs, and $23B in capital investment from over 100 announced projects over this period in executive management positions with Entergy Corporation, Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Ascension Economic Development Corporation, Greater New Orleans Inc, and the City of New Orleans.
Kurtz was project lead as Executive Director of the Business Retention and Expansion Group (BERG) at LED where he secured the largest foreign direct investment project in US history, the Sasol Ltd. Gas to Liquids project, which created over $16B in capital investment and over 1,200 new jobs in Lake Charles, LA, using state of the art GIS tools to secure a site in record time for the project, the first natural gas to liquids fuel facility in North America.
Kurtz received an undergraduate degree in Economics from Boston College and a Master Degree in Public Administration from Louisiana State University and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute (EDI) at the University of Oklahoma at Norman.
Maria Meyers is passionate about finding business development resources and getting entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time. In 2003 she crafted a public-private partnership to launch a venture that became known as KCSourceLink. Today KCSourceLink connects a network of more than 200 resources in the Kansas City region that can help small businesses start and grow. Each year KCSourceLink connects entrepreneurs to resources, measures network satisfaction and works to fill identified entrepreneurial ecosystem gaps. The successful launch in Kansas City led Maria and her team to take the network nationwide through U.S.SourceLink. The model has been adopted in many regions across the country as part of the large U.S.SourceLink system, making it America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.
Maria also heads the University of Missouri – Kansas City Innovation Center which organizes a variety of university supported business outreach services into a single organization. With a focus on technology commercialization, the Center connects university researchers with the community to ignite collaborative partnerships leading to new innovations and business growth. The Center also supports thousands of community members every year in starting and growing businesses.
Ioanna Morfessis is the President and Chief Strategist of IO.INC, a worldwide business and economic development consulting firm. With her distinguished track record and reputation as an economic development executive and founder of three best-of-class organizations, Dr. Morfessis has devoted her professional life to helping companies and communities grow and prosper. Based in Phoenix, AZ, IO.INC is a visionary consulting practice that delivers expert strategies and solutions to help leaders, organizations and places grow. Among IO.INC's clients are cities and regions; global and domestic companies, publicly traded and privately held; master planned community developers, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to starting her own company, she was the founding President/CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and the inaugural director of the Montgomery County, MD Department of Economic Development. In these posts, she led efforts to recruit and expand more than 300 firms that combined, invested over $27 billion in private capital and generated more than 250,000 direct new jobs. Dr. Morfessis also served as the Chairman of the International Economic Development Council and is an Honorary Lifetime Member. She is a founding director of the Helios Education Foundation, and serves on numerous civic boards.
Diane Palmintera is founder and President of Innovation Associates. For more than 30 years she has been a national leader in innovation-based economic development, and is best known for leveraging universities and federal labs to stimulate regional economic competitiveness. She has guided national, state and local leaders, university presidents, federal lab directors, and international organizations on innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer and commercialization, public-private partnerships, and federal-state relations.
She has provided services and assessed best practices throughout the U.S. and more than 16 countries. Her clients include the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Connecticut Governor's Office, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Akron, University of Connecticut, Commission of the European Community, French and Swedish governments and others. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, (UK) Financial Times, and other media.
Ms. Palmintera also is a well-known author. Endorsed by national leaders, Technology Transfer and Commercialization Partnerships provides a roadmap for academic institutions to launch technology startups. She is the author of other nationally acclaimed work: Accelerating Economic Development through University Technology Transfer, Developing High-Technology Communities: San Diego, Partners on a Mission: Federal Laboratories Contributing to Economic Development, and Best Practices in U.S., European and Asian Innovation Development.
Prior to founding IA in 1988, Ms. Palmintera held positions with the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and National Alliance of Business, and was an Associate of the Urban Institute. Ms. Palmintera serves on IEDC's Board of Directors, and is former Chair of IEDC's Public Policy Advisory Committee.
David J. Robinson is a Principal of The Montrose Group and an Adjunct Professor at the John Glenn School for Public Affairs at the Ohio State University for an Economic Development class. Mr. Robinson serves customers based upon 20 years of experience as an economic development executive and lawyer before the federal, state and local governments. He teaches Economic Development at OSU's law and public policy schools and worked managing practice groups in large law firms; as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives; as the coordinator for Economic Development of Ameritech Ohio; as Press Secretary for Columbus Mayor Greg Lashutka, and as general counsel of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. David J. Robinson is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, Ohio State University Law School, author of The Electric Company to the Rescue, Saving America's Industrial Heartland Through Electric Rate Incentives, The IEDC Economic Development Journal, Fall, 2009 and Co-Author of Innovation and Transformation in the Buckeye State, The IEDC Economic Development Journal, Spring, 2010. Mr. Robinson has gained built over $100M in public-private-partnerships and works extensively with companies and economic development organizations on retaining and attracting energy companies.
Della Rucker is the author of The Local Economy Revolution: What's Changed and How You Can Help. She is Principal of the Wise Economy Workshop, a consulting firm that focuses on economic revitalization planning and public engagement. She is also the Managing Editor of Engaging Cities, an online magazine focused on the intersection of internet technologies and public involvement in community and government life.
Della has spent over 20 years providing economic development planning, downtown revitalization strategies, fiscal impact analysis, public engagement and other services throughout the United States. She is one of less than 20 people in the United States who carry industry-standard certifications in both planning (AICP) and economic development (CEcD).
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Della holds a Masters in Community Planning with a concentration in economic development from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Northwestern University. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Sklar is a recognized expert in economic development communication, marketing, and social media. As the Director of Marketing for GIS Planning, she works directly with clients to develop and fine-tune marketing campaigns to promote their use of ZoomProspector Enterprise and SizeUpLBI. Using the customized, collaborative approach that has always distinguished GIS Planning's relationship with its clients, Dr. Sklar works to expand and fine-tune the reach of location brands in the highly competitive field of economic development. With a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication and Cultural Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Sklar has worked extensively in both private and academic sectors, serving as a a social media consultant for economic development agencies, full time faculty member at Concordia University's Department of Communication Studies, a research consultant at McGill University, blogger, and multiple award-winning journalist. The focus of Dr. Sklar's research and writing has been on information and communication technologies and community cultures. She believes that using these technologies thoughtfully and effectively requires a skillful combination of knowledge, critique and creativity. Dr. Sklar has provided strategic teaching, consultation and training in educational, cultural and business settings for a variety of audiences across North America, synthesizing and presenting complex information in accessible and practical ways.
William Sproull is President and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce (RCC), Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) and the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP). This unique and complex set of organizations he runs has two separate Board of Directors and a City Council to whom he reports.
He has led the revitalization of Richardson's telecom based economy through a focus on industry and technology diversification . He built the MTBC into the state of Texas's largest trade association for technology companies. He led the RCC in 2010 through the rigorous US Chamber Accreditation program successfully, earning the highest 5 Star rating conferred by the US Chamber for accreditation. Sproull and his REDP team are credited with bringing two catalyst economic development projects to Richardson: a 3,000 employee Bank of America operation in 2004, and a $3 billion Texas Instruments semiconductor factory in 2003.
In 2005, he helped lead a statewide coalition that got legislation passed in Texas to create the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a half-billion investment fund. Governor Rick Perry of Texas has appointed him to three consecutive two-year terms on the Fund's Advisory Committee, and appointed him as Chairman in 2010.
Previously he held senior economic development positions at the Greater Dallas Chamber, the McKinney Economic Development Corporation and at the EDC of Kansas City, Missouri. Sproull is a graduate of Baylor University, where he received a BA degree with a double major in Economics and Political Science.
Sproull is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council, and serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Texas at Dallas, the North Texas Regional Center for Innovation & Commercialization, the North Texas Commission, and the Technology Councils of North America.
Sproull's economic development accomplishments were recognized by the editors of Site Selection magazine when they selected the $3 billion Texas Instruments project as the Top Development Deal nationally of 2003; his economic development teams have been selected three times by Site Selection as one of the top 10 development groups in the U.S. in 1994, 1997 and 2004. He is a two-time recipient of the American Economic Development Council's "Best of Class" marketing award. In 2010, the International Economic Development Council designated him with the distinction of being a Fellow Member.
The Metroplex Technology Business Council inducted Sproull as the inaugural member of their Hall of Fame in 2010 by declaring him a Tech Titan.
John C. Terrell serves as the Vice President of Commercial Development of the world's fourth-busiest airport – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
In this position, Mr. Terrell is responsible for the strategic direction in development, acquisition, leasing, property management and natural gas exploration/production on over 18,000 acres of land.
He leads the strategic planning, marketing and implementation of business initiatives for commercial land development, redevelopment and business development as well as provides direction and oversight of the airports Land Use Analysis and Land Use Master Planning processes outside the central terminal areas.
Mr. Terrell has over 30 years of real estate and development experience and an extensive background and knowledge in real estate development, sales, marketing, property management, leasing, economic development and government relations in both the public and private sectors.
Prior to coming to DFW Airport, Mr. Terrell served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Development of the Christon Company in Dallas where he was responsible for the development and marketing of the award winning 1000 acre, mixed-use development, Pinnacle Park. Awards of "Best Development" and "Development with Most Economic Impact in North Texas" as well as the national Phoenix Award for outstanding environmental and community revitalization, were among the many recognitions received. He also held the position of Assistant Vice President of Real Estate for Southern Pacific Transportation Company in San Francisco, California and had several years with Union Pacific Railroad.
Mr. Terrell holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration with a certificate in Asian Business Studies. He holds an International Airport Professional (IAP) designation, being recognized by ACI and ICAO as having achieved highly rigorous standards for expertise in the field of airport management. Mr. Terrell has been a real estate instructor for several universities and was previously named National Real Estate Executive of the Year by Site Selection Magazine.
Mr. Terrell has served in the capacity of an elected or appointed official for 14 years, the last five as Mayor of the City of Southlake, Texas. He is currently a board member of the Northeast Leadership Forum, North Texas Commission board member and Management Committee & Advisory Board member for the Urban Land Institute's Vision North Texas. He is a member of Forth Worth Chamber Economic Development Committee, Metroport Cities Partnership, Texas High Speed Rail Advisory Board, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Urban Land institute (ULI) as well as numerous other local and national real estate/professional organizations.
Mr. Terrell has been married for 27 years and has two children.
Steve Vierck, CEcD, has served since February, 2012 as President and CEO of the New Mexico Economic Development Corporation (New Mexico Partnership). Vierck is a long-time economic development professional with a consistently strong record of achievement earned over 30 years with economic development organizations in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. He and the teams he has been associated with successfully assisted in the recruitment or expansion of over 300 companies generating more than 25,000 new jobs.
He was previously employed from 2008-2012 as the President of the Economic Development Division at Angelou Economics in Austin, TX, one of the largest economic development and site selection consulting firms in the U.S. Prior to that, he served as President/CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance in southern New Mexico. His key work experience also includes over 20 years in Arizona where he served as Senior Vice President of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and National Marketing Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce and directed business attraction/expansion marketing programs that attained record results. Other prior positions include Vice President/Economic Development for the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.
Vierck earned his Master's degree in Geography with a specialization in Economic Geography and Bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Regional Development from the University of Arizona. He is a recipient of the "William W. Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development" and "Economic Developer of the Year" awards in both New Mexico and Arizona. He earned his Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation in 1991 and has served on numerous economic and workforce development boards.
Jerry Walker, Impact DataSource Principal, is an economist. Over the past 20 years, he has conducted economic and fiscal impact analyses of numerous individual firms, facilities, projects and economic development activities. He has also developed several economic and fiscal impact analysis computer programs for clients.
He also has a background in government accounting and auditing.
Prior to his economic development consulting career, he had a fifteen-year career as a supervisory auditor with two federal departments – the US Department of Education and the US Department of Health and Human Services. He reviewed federal programs operated by states, local governments, colleges and universities, local education agencies, and nonprofit organizations in a six state area. He performed financial audits and operational reviews. During the operational reviews, the operations of the federal programs were reviewed for economy, efficiency and effectiveness. This included:
Determining what the federal program, project or activity should be doing,
He has Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees in accounting and economics from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana.
Laith Wardi, CEcD, is President of ExecutivePulse, Inc. He has worked in the economic development profession for over 20 years.
Laith has comprehensive experience in business retention & expansion that includes outreach to hundreds of value-added client companies, work as a resource provider, and 15 years of regional program management.
In 1994-95, Laith pioneered the first web based system for business retention. Today, the ExecutivePulse™ Business Intelligence System is the most widely used database for business retention & expansion in North America.
As a founder and President of ExecutivePulse Inc., Laith provides skills training, survey development, technology development and management consultation to clients seeking to implement a systematic and sustainable customer outreach program.
He is a regular instructor on business retention for the professional certification program sponsored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Laith also speaks to community, economic and workforce development audiences throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe on customer retention, one-to-one database marketing and technology assimilation.
Laith is a graduate of Mercyhurst College and received his economic development certification through IEDC in 2002.
In addition to his work in the field of economic development, Laith has experience in real estate management, media sales, and as a strategic planning consultant for both public and private-sector clients.
Dale has over 22 years of economic development experience and has worked in both rural and urban communities creating and implementing various economic development programs including an award winning Business Retention and Expansion program. Six years ago Dale co-founded EDCD Consulting, a specialized economic development focus consulting firm. Since its inception the firm has been contracted to manage the Economic Development Association of BC and LinxBC. EDABC is a membership-based association representing over 260 municipal, provincial, federal and private sector organizations. LinxBC is an investment attraction agency representing 18 BC communities and the provincial ministry. Dale and his partner, Colleen Bond, have recently completed delivering fifteen workshops focused on economic development essentials for local leaders. These workshops were held throughout the Province of BC. In addition to workshop delivery the firm has provided strategic planning, investment readiness assessments, business retention and expansion training, organizational development and other economic development services to municipalities throughout BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.