Dr. Abramo is the Director of Entrepreneurship for the College of Wooster where he collaborates with regional businesses and service providers, assists in the development of student businesses, and teaches courses. His initial involvement in higher education entrepreneurship began as the Executive Director for the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES), a technology business incubator and the economic development arm of Cameron University. CETES worked closely with military contractors, the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, regional businesses, and higher education institutions across Oklahoma. While in that role, he served on the executive committee of the Oklahoma Business Incubator Association, was a member of the Oklahoma Venture Forum, and provided training to incubator executives through the National Business Incubator Association. Dr. Abramo is involved in numerous economic development activities. He currently serves as the Dean of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute and the Chair of the Higher Education Advisory Committee for the International Economic Development Council.
Brent Adams is the Vice President of Policy for the Woodstock Institute. A licensed attorney since 1997, Brent has worked as a litigator, lobbyist, teacher, and policy advocate. Brent began his career as a litigator for one of Chicago’s largest law firms. In 2002, he pursued his passion for not-for-profit advocacy and became a policy associate for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and later, became the Policy Director for Citizen Action/Illinois. At Citizen Action, he authored the Payday Loan Reform Act. Furthering his work within the financial services arena, he became an attorney for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in 2006. In 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn appointed Brent the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. In that capacity, Brent served as the State's top regulator, overseeing much of the state's financial system. In 2012, Brent pursued an interest in teaching and became a teacher and debate coach for a private school in Brooklyn, New York. In 2015, he decided to return to Chicago and resume his work in the financial justice and advocacy arenas.
Tony career spans 25 years in business. Twenty of those years have been in the international arena, where Tony has been travelling regularly to a wide cross section of markets. Tony has thus been able to appreciate the economic development journey and trajectories of the various markets, particularly Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. In the last year alone, Tony travelled to China, India, Australia, South America, North America and Europe to compare how they are coping with the global economic forces at play
Tony’s career includes 8 years in his own start up SME in the clothing sector, before a embarking upon a change of direction, with 4 years in business development with Eaton Corporation of Ohio, where he was involved in JVs and acquisitions in Europe / CIS. After which, Tony has spent the last 12 years in consulting to private and public sector bodies on the impact of globalisation, advising clients on how best to react for economic benefit alongside being involved in the implementation of strategies at a practical level, particularly in the field of trade and investment.
The last six years have been with Kinetic Cubed (www.kinetic3.co.uk) a business development consultancy, specialising in connecting clients to the high growth BRICs markets. Clients include Governments, Investment Promotion and Trade Development Agencies and private companies across Europe and beyond.
Tony holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, Masters in Economic Development from Imperial College London and a Science degree from University College London. Tony is a member of the Council of Manchester University and is a member of the IED in the UK. Tony is also involved with North West of England Chapter of the British American Business Council. Tony lives in Manchester, England with his family.
Rodolfo has a Master degree in Marketing from CETYS University in Mexico , he graduated from The Economic Development Institute of the University Of Oklahoma and from the ESADE (Barcelona, Spain) Small business development program as well as the Lean Launchpad Educators Program from Columbia University and NCIIA .During the last 24 Years he has been Heavily involved in International Marketing and Economic Development activities.
He headed for several years the Industrial Development Commission of Mexicali during his administration over 600 million dollars where invested in the city of Mexicali. Over 8,000 new jobs were created. He served as project director for the soft landing of Driessen Interior Systems important Dutch company specialized in Aircraft and Train Interior Design. Among other International Firms Such as SONY,DAEWOO and GKN. (www.mexicaliindustrial.com)
As Marketing and Projects Director for IVEMSA Shelter Company ( www.ivemsa.com ) , His team attracted and Soft landed over 25 companies throughout Mexico, in diverse sectors such as Aerospace, Automotive and medical, as well as diverse origins such as American, Japanese, Mexican and European.
Rodolfo has done Site Selection studies throughout Mexico for important fortune 500 companies such as ITT corporation and BIC among others.
He has a extensive experience in planning and developing the business model and Marketing strategy for industrial and tourist real estate developments in Northern and Central Mexico.
Rodolfo currently serves actively as CEO of Connect Mexico LLC ( www.connectmexico.net )International Marketing and business connection firm in California and Mexico. He is a partner in Genesis of BC ( www.genesisdebc.com.mx ) a manufacturing service company with clients such as EATON and Bose.
He is founder of the CETYS University/University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute(EDI) and has served as assistant Dean. He is an instructor and speaker of the Mexican and U.S. Economic Development programs certified by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) www.iedc.com.
Rodolfo has served on the board of diverse business chambers and institutions in Mexico. He currently serves as treasurer on the board of trustees of CETYS University(www.cetys.mx)
He is also currently coordinating the Industrial Development Committee of the Mexicali City 2050 Strategic Plan.
For more than 21 years Rodolfo has participated as an invited professor in undergraduate and graduate degree programs related to International Marketing , entrepreneurship and business development , obtained Professor of the Year award twice.
He is currently an invited professor of Business Model and Plan development in the Master Degree programs for CETYS University and the University of San Diego, more than 30 start-Ups have been formed in his course.
TERESA’S practice focuses on public finance, real estate development and financing, new markets tax credits, economic development incentives and tax increment financing. She also counsels clients regarding government relations and legislation and public private partnerships.
Teresa is experienced in bond transactions and has served as bond, underwriter’s, borrower’s as well as placement agent counsel, joint economic development zones and joint economic development districts, project labor agreements and diversity plans. She has represented private entities and local and county governmental agencies, including municipalities, port authorities, healthcare entities and library systems on business, real estate matters, construction and government relations.
In 2015, Teresa has been a speaker at many events including Crain’s Women of Note Summit and Awards where she was also part of the “Women Ignite” motivational program. She spoke at the Flourish Cleveland Conference for Women in Leadership, the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club’s “Ladies Who Lead: Professional Women’s Forum,” Ohio Diversity Council 2015 Women in Leadership Symposium and YWCA Circle of Women Committee. She was the keynote speaker at the Case Western Reserve University Black Law Students Association "Black Ties" event in 2014 and also was the featured speaker at a celebration of International Women's Day 2014 at URS Cleveland.
Teresa is a member of In Counsel With Women, the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Women In Public Finance and the National Bar Association. Teresa has been recognized by a number of regional organizations. She was named a 2016 Honoree in the Eleventh Edition of Who’s Who in Black Cleveland and honored by the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Chapter of the Black Law Students Association. Teresa was selected as a “Woman of Note” by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2014, was named a YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence in 2011 and earned the CREW Cleveland Deborah R. Klausner Leadership Award in 2008. In addition, she is a graduate of the 2007 Class of Leadership Cleveland, was in the 2006 class of the YWCA Women’s Leadership Boot Camp and Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40-40 Club and was also a member of the 2004 Class of Cleveland Bridge Builders.
Teresa is very active in the community. She is a member of the Cleveland Foundation’s board of directors and is a member of the Audit, Finance and Administration Committees and the Grant Making and Community Engagement Committee; serves on the board of trustees and is a member of the governance and executive committees for Laurel School for Girls. She recently completed a six-year term on the board of the Cleveland Botanical Garden and served as the chair of the Committee on Governance for the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
She is active in The Links, Incorporated (Western Reserve Chapter) where she serves as Financial Secretary, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter) and is a former member of Jack and Jill of America Foundation (Cleveland Chapter). Teresa has also been involved with the Sing Out! for Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC), among other volunteer efforts at the CRCC. She is a member of Bluecoats Inc.
In 2012, Teresa’s work was included in an MIT case study on University Hospitals’ Vision 2010 Program, which included a groundbreaking Project Labor Agreement regarding minority participation in University Hospital’s major construction project, which included the construction of two new hospitals, a $1 billion project. The Project Labor Agreement has become a model for many other such projects in and outside of Ohio. The Cleveland Foundation later commissioned the MIT School of Architecture & Planning to conduct the case study. The presentation is titled “Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth: A Community Forum.”
Her experience also includes serving as Director of Law for the City of Cleveland under Mayor Jane Campbell’s administration from 2003 to 2004. Teresa served as a member of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s three-person Special Commission on Missing Persons and Sex Crime Investigations, which developed 26 recommendations that were accepted by the Mayor in 2011.
Teresa was a participant in the 2011 Universal Sisters: Live Younger Longer program and has served on the boards of the Village Capital Corporation, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation, A Cultural Exchange and chaired the African-American Philanthropy Committee of the Cleveland Foundation from 1999 to 2012.
Teresa joined Calfee in 2011. She was named a partner in 2014 and serves as Chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a member of the firm’s Marketing and Client Services Committee.
Angela Glover Blackwell, President and Chief Executive Officer, started PolicyLink in 1999 and continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity. Under Blackwell’s leadership, PolicyLink has become a leading voice in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, education, and infrastructure.
Prior to founding PolicyLink, Blackwell served as Senior Vice President at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s Domestic and Cultural divisions. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Oakland (CA) Urban Strategies Council, where she pioneered new approaches to neighborhood revitalization. From 1977 to 1987, Blackwell was a partner at Public Advocates, a nationally known public interest law firm.
As a leading voice in the movement for equity in America, Blackwell is a frequent commentator for some of the nation’s top news organizations, including The New York Times, the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Salon, CNN and has appeared regularly on such shows as public radio’s Marketplace, The Tavis Smiley Show, Nightline, and PBS’s Now. Blackwell has also been a guest on the PBS series Moyers & Company and PBS’s NewsHour. Blackwell appears in the sixth and final segment of the PBS six-part series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which aired in October and November, 2013.
Blackwell is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), and contributed to Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream (The New Press, 2007) and The Covenant with Black America (Third World Press, 2006). In 2013, Blackwell and PolicyLink collaborated with the Center for American Progress to write and release All In Nation: An America that Works for All. Blackwell earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She serves on numerous boards, including the Children’s Defense Fund and The President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
After graduating from Old Dominion University with a BS in Business and an MA in Economics, Tom Blanchard began his career in urban economic development in 1972 as Economic Development Planner for the City of Norfolk, Va. Model Cities program. Following that, he was Executive Director of the City of Portsmouth, Va. Community Action Organization and in 1976 was appointed Director of The Department of Development for the City of Norfolk, Va.
As City of Norfolk Director of Development he was directly involved in the acquisition and redevelopment of several key parcels of land valued at over $10 million, most on the waterfront.
Reuse of these parcels ranged from beach front residential to deep draft channel ship and barge terminals. As Executive Director of the Norfolk Recreational Facilities Authority, he managed the concept development and feasibility for NAUTICUS, The National Maritime Center, a $52 million themed attraction which opened in 1994 on the downtown Norfolk waterfront.
After serving as Executive Vice President of the Greater Norfolk Corporation from 1985 to 1989, he was appointed as President of the Horizons Waterfront Commission in Buffalo, NY. When the Horizons Commission was merged into Empire State Development Corporation in 1995, he was appointed Director of Research and Planning for the Empire State Development Western NY Region. In that capacity, he was responsible for planning and construction of the Erie Canal Harbor project in downtown Buffalo and various projects in downtown Niagara Falls including concept development and feasibility for the Niagara Experience Center.
Since retiring from Empire State Development in 2007, he has consulted on the following projects;
Tom Blanchard has served on the following boards;
Tom has received the following awards;
Tom holds a US Coast Guard Master Mariner Credential for 50 ton vessels operating in the Great Lakes and US Inland Waters.
Nancy Bowen, CEcD, is an Associate Professor and Field Specialist, Community Economics for Ohio State University Extension. With over 25 years experience working for and a wide range of communities, businesses, and organizations, she specializes in community economic development. Her areas of focus include economic impact analysis, business and community strategic planning, economic sustainability, and energy development. Nancy obtained a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans in 1990.
Alastair has spent the past 30 years living and working in France, Germany and Belgium. His experience with international trade development began in the early 1980s with the Brussels-based European office of the State of Michigan. Creating B&L Associates in 1986, the major part of Alastair's career has been spent helping foreign clients make connections with French speaking markets. Alastair has assisted some 1500 companies from a wide spectrum of industries and market sectors with their business development ambitions in France and other French-speaking countries.
Dyan Brasington brings over 30 years of experience in economic development, entrepreneurship, public policy advocacy and leadership to her role as the Beacon Council’s Executive Vice President for Economic Development. As such, she is leading the team of economic development professionals whose mission is to increase jobs and investment in Miami-Dade County. Brasington has been dedicated to three goals throughout her career: enhancing the economic prosperity of the regions and communities she serves; advocating for inclusion and opportunity; and team building through leading by example with integrity. At the Beacon Council, she is able to cohesively blend these values with the organization’s mission and goals.
With many years of experience in economic development, Brasington brings a broad array of knowledge and skill to the organization. Prior to joining the Beacon Council, Brasington was Vice President of Innovation and Applied Research at Towson University in Maryland where she was responsible for economic development applied research programs, workforce development, community partnerships, and she began many new programs to include the development of the TU incubator, business plan competitions, the Student Launch Pad, and the Professional Leadership Program for Women.
Brasington is also a leader in tech-led economic development having been the President of the Technology Council of Maryland, an organization focused on the integration, expansion, and advancement of technology companies in Maryland. She also served as Director of Economic Development for the State of West Virginia; Howard County, Maryland; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Prince William County, Virginia.
Brasington has dedicated her service to several organizations as a board member. She has served on the Board for the Baltimore Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA), Leadership Maryland, and several charitable organizations. She has had many honors to include induction into the Maryland Economic Development Association’s Hall of Fame, named as one of Maryland’s top 100 Women on three occasions and one of Washington DC’s most influential Women. She is a fellow member and Honorary Life Member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Brasington is a native Floridian and earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and master’s degree in speech communication from Florida State University. She earned a second master’s degree in urban public policy from UMBC. She is a Certified Economic and Community Developer (CEcD), the professional designation in economic development.
Gwendy Brown is Vice President of Research and Policy at Opportunity Fund, California’s leading microfinance organization. In her role, Gwendy works to advance responsible business and consumer lending, college affordability and access to savings opportunities for all Californians. Gwendy was first drawn to development work when she served as a Fulbright Scholar with the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) in Caracas, Venezuela. She holds a BA in Economics & Public Policy from Pomona College and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from New York University. Gwendy is originally from Berkeley, CA.
Bryan is responsible for economic and business development at the City of Vancouver’s Economic Commission. In his role as Director, he is leading a team in charge of several initiatives with respect to the City’s Greenest City Action Plan, Digital Strategy and its Economic Action Strategy. These initiatives include the creation of an innovation hub for technology start-up and social innovators; a clean-tech demonstration program leveraging municipal assets and infrastructure; and supporting the creation of a Green Enterprise Zone and a Digital District. Bryan also heads up the business development team that is responsible for strengthening the key sectors that support the so-called Green, Digital and Innovation Economies. Professionally, Bryan’s key interests lay in the transformation of the local economy to a low-carbon future leveraging innovative technologies, clean energy and sustainable urban design as important tools to achieve that goal. Bryan has an undergraduate degree in Economics (Regional Economic Development), an MBA in IT Strategy and is also a graduate of UBC’s Summer Institute for Sustainability.
Christine is the National Co-Leader of the Global Location and Expansion Services (GLES) Practice and a Tax Managing Director in the State and Local Tax Practice of KPMG LLP, based in Columbus, Ohio. Christine has over 18 years of experience at both the state and local level in economic development, including site selection/location analysis, business incentives and credits.
Mr. Ralph Chow is the Regional Director, Americas of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the statutory organization responsible for promoting and developing Hong Kong's external trade. Mr. Chow is responsible for the formulation and implementation of the Council’s promotion activities in Americas, with a view to fostering the business relationship between Hong Kong and the economies in North America and the Latin America. Mr. Chow joined HKTDC in 1986 and moved up the ranks to his current position. He has extensive experience working both in Hong Kong and overseas, including Japan and Australia. He was the Director of Japan stationed in Tokyo from 2002 to 2005, and Director of Product Promotion at the Head Office in Hong Kong afterwards until July 2014 when he was transferred to the Council’s New York Office as Regional Director, Americas. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Mr. Chow graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor degree of Business and Administration. He also holds a Master of Business and Administration degree from the University of Hull, U.K. and a Master of International and Public Affairs degree from the University of Hong Kong. Mr. Chow is married with twin daughters.
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.
In 2015, Christopher Chung joined the new Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) as Chief Executive Officer. As a public-private partnership, the EDPNC is responsible for a number of economic development functions on behalf of the State of North Carolina, including new business recruitment, existing business support, international trade and export assistance, small business start-up counseling, and tourism, sports, and film promotion. With a staff of more than 60 professionals and an annual operating budget of $19 million, the EDPNC is focused on advancing the economic interests of North Carolina’s 100 counties and 10 million residents.
From 2007 to 2014, Chris served the Missouri Partnership as the public-private, non-profit corporation’s first Chief Executive Officer. In addition to leading the organization through its initial start-up phase, Chris directed the Partnership’s efforts to market Missouri for new business investment and recruit new corporate operations. During his tenure, the Missouri Partnership helped to recruit major facility investments by IBM, CertainTeed, Yanfeng Automotive Systems, Blue Buffalo Pet Foods, KWS Saat AG, and Aviation Technical Services.
Chris also previously served as Manager of the State of Ohio’s Office of Business Development, managing an $80 million annual incentives budget and leading Ohio’s front-line sales force dedicated to attracting new business investment and job creation to the state. Prior to that, Chris held various positions in corporate site selection and special projects management, assisting companies considering Ohio for new facilities.
Chris was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He attended The Ohio State University (OSU), graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a double-major in Japanese and economics, and has completed significant coursework towards a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management from the OSU John Glenn School of Public Affairs.
Chris and his fiancée Emily currently reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Maureen ‘Mo’ Collins is a partner in Entrepreneurial Communities, founder of Wren Technologies and a professional speaker. She trains hundreds of economic development professionals, chamber executives and community leaders each year and regularly speaks throughout North America on topics associated with technology innovation, women’s leadership and entrepreneurship. Before founding her own firm, Collins served in progressive, senior-level roles at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), including UNI’s first director of Technology Transfer and later, Entrepreneurship Outreach. She raised more than $1M annually to support a wide array of entrepreneur support programs and resources including multiple tech- based programs; Dream Big Grow Here, Connections, MyEntre.Net, EntreFest and the Iowa Business Concierge. Collectively, these programs provided more than 2,000 Midwest entrepreneurs grants, access to complex business.
Michelle Comerford develops and implements corporate location strategies for BLS & Co.'s manufacturing and distribution clients. Based in Cleveland, Michelle worked across a range of industries during her 12-year site selection career. She is an expert in transportation/logistics cost analysis, a key variable for industrial and logistics-sensitive projects.
She was formerly with Austin Consulting, the site selection practice within The Austin Company (U.S. subsidiary of Japanese construction conglomerate Kajima), serving most recently as Managing Director of the group. During her tenure there, Michelle directed clients in evaluating supply chain logistics, location strategy, and community/site selection alternatives, as well as due diligence, property acquisition, and other aspects of project implementation. Her clients have included Avon Products, Bimbo Bakeries, Colgate Palmolive, Celebration Foods and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
Michelle led the Austin Consulting team in the development of the state-wide shovel ready site certification program for the State of Tennessee, known as Select Tennessee Certified Sites. Michelle has been a featured speaker at a number of economic development events and meetings, and she is a frequent contributor to industry-specific publications.
Articles she has authored include "Corporate Survey Analysis: Little Business Change, but Glimmers of Hope" (Area Development Winter 2011), "Labor Costs: The Number One Site Location Factor" (Area Development 2010) and "The Art and Science of Incentives Negotiation" (ChiefExecutive.NET).
Emerick joined Fairmount after 38 years at Forest City Enterprises, where he started out in Commercial Leasing and advanced through a series of positions, increasing responsibility and leadership roles. He has been responsible for over 17 million square feet of shopping center development including Victoria Gardens (Rancho Cucamonga, California), Short Pump Town Center (Richmond, Virginia), and Tower City Center (Cleveland, Ohio). In addition, he has been involved with many of Forest City's New York properties as well as Central Station in downtown Chicago. His Real Estate Services Group has consulted for many large scale projects, most notably the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the Orlando International Airport expansion and Oakland California’s Coliseum site to keep the Raider’s and Oakland A’s in Oakland. Emerick has overseen more than $2.5 billion worth of real estate developments. He has also lectured at Cornell, Wharton and University of Southern California on mixed use developments. Mr. Corsi holds a B.S. from Bowling Green State University and a Master in Management from Central Michigan University.
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 served as the Chair of the International Economic Development Council’s Board of Directors in 2015, is a member of the Governance Committee and the Economic Development Research Partners. Crary also Chaired the Ethics Committee in 2014 and served as board liaison for the Young Professionals Task Force. IEDC is the foremost international economic development organization with over 4500 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. JoAnn also serves on Dow Chemical Company’s Great Lakes Bay Region Community Advisory Panel.
Crary was recently awarded the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Saginaw Marsh-Princing Award for 2014. She was also recognized in 2013 as one of the Great Women of the Great Lakes Bay and 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.
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.
Founder and President of PSD Global, Mr. Dine has decades of experience in international economic development and global business, including running the US operations of multiple companies, representing dozens of EDA’s and setting up firms in 40+ countries. He has also won awards in foreign direct investment attraction and is well known as an expert in the field. He is fluent in five languages, including German, Spanish and French. Mr. Dine launched PSD Global in 1999 and has established the company as a leader in economic development, lead generation and global business development for clients from across the world, including Global 1000 companies and various national governments.
Before starting PSD Global, Mr. Dine built up and led the global business development activities of the wireless software firm mPortal. Other professional experience includes heading all international operations and business development for network management company Edge Technologies. At Edge, he successfully established the company's presence in over 30 countries and formed alliances with some of the world's leading companies like Volkswagen, Vodafone, Banco do Brazil, and Dimension Data of South Africa. He also managed the lead generation team of Odell, Simms and Associates and built the company’s German EDA practice. Other past assignments include work for the United Nations, Siemens, Shell and Deutsche Bank, among others.
He frequently speaks to executives on topics related to international business and has served as an advisor on international affairs for U.S. presidential campaigns. He holds a number of degrees, including a MA in International Affairs from GW University, a Graduate Certificate in Intl. Business Planning from GMU, and Doctoral Studies in Global Business Management from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is married with children and in his free time teaches scuba diving and is an avid tennis player and ski patroller.
A graduate of Hillsdale College, and Valparaiso University School of Law, Eric Doden champions continuous improvement and higher education. A principal of the boutique private equity firm Domo Ventures since 2011, Eric took a leave of absence to answer the call of Indiana Governor Mike Pence to serve as President of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in January 2013. Doden has been in his role at GFW Inc. since July of 2015 and enjoys his time with wife Maci and four children when he is home.
Karl Dorshimer – Currently Director of Business Development for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) has 20 years of experience in economic development at both the regional and local level. He has been directly involved in many economic projects from small micro-enterprise start-ups to major redevelopment projects including the GM Grand River and Lansing Delta assembly plants and the Accident Fund’s new world headquarters. He started his career in economic development at the Lansing Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. Mr. Dorshimer left Tri-County to go to work for the Capital Area Michigan Works! Agency. He then moved on to be the Vice President and then President and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Dorshimer has earned many honors and professional certifications including: Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), American Institute of Certified Planners and a Graduate of the Economic Development Institute. He is a past president of the Lansing Regional Economic Development Team and currently serves on the Board of the Michigan Economic Developers Association.
Mike Dozier serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) at Fresno State, and is the Lead Executive of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. The Partnership is an 8 county regional collaborative established by the state of California to issues affecting the Valley in 10 areas of focus: Economic Development, Workforce Development/Higher Education, Housing, PreK-12 Education, Broadband, Health and Wellness, Air Quality, Energy, Water Quality/Supply, and Sustainable Communities. OCED also administers the Rural Development Center, San Joaquin Valley Broadband Consortium, the Community and Regional Planning Center, Fresno State SBDC, and the San Joaquin Valley Regional Industry Cluster Initiative. OCED partners with the California Association for Local Economic Development and the International Economic Development Council to conduct the annual Introduction to Economic Development Certificate course. Prior to his current position, Mike was Redevelopment Director with the City of Atwater, California (1987-1992), and Director of Community and Economic Development with the City of Clovis, California (1992 to 2009). Mike is a director on the following: Central Valley Business Incubator, California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED), UC Merced SBDC Advisory Committee, and the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) – President 2014-15.
Doug Eadie is President & CEO of Doug Eadie & Company, a firm specializing in developing high-impact board and CEO leadership and building solid board-CEO partnerships. Doug has provided hands-on consulting assistance to over 500 nonprofit boards and CEOs over the past quarter-century. His clients have included a wide array of nonprofit organizations, such as the International Economic Development Council, Port San Antonio, the Charlotte Regional Partnership, the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the Health Industry Distributors Association, the American Health Information Management Association, the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and the Utah Transit Authority, among many other nonprofits of all shapes and sizes. Doug has also helped to shape the field of nonprofit board and CEO leadership through his 23 books, including his best-selling The Board-Savvy CEO (www.theboardsavvyceo.com), and over 100 articles and his frequent presentations at national conferences of organizations such as IEDC, the American Society of Association Executives, the American Public Transportation Association, and the National School Boards Association. Doug manages and writes for five national blogs, including: www.extraordinaryceo.com; www.boardsavvytransitceo.com; and www.boardsavvysuperintendent.com.
Lee Ann Eager joined the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County in September of 2009. She was hired as the President/CEO in February of 2012. Her responsibilities include oversight of all aspects of the organization. Lee Ann is on numerous boards including the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and was recently appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council on International Trade and Investment. Additionally, Lee Ann serves as chairperson of the California Central Valley EDC, which represents all 8 counties in the Central Valley of California. Lee Ann is also the legislative liaison with local, state, and federal legislators on numerous issues important to economic development including High-Speed Rail.
Lee Ann is a fourth generation Fresnan. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from California State University, Fresno with a degree in Criminology where she was awarded the Dean’s Medal. Lee Ann also graduated from the University of California Davis School of Law, where she earned her JD. Prior to joining the EDC, Lee Ann was an attorney with the law firm of Lang, Richert & Patch where she practiced law in numerous areas including Creditor’s Rights, Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, and Labor and Employment. Before attending law school, Lee Ann was the Executive Director of a large local non-profit agency for ten years.
Since 1984, Tim has been the Executive Director of the Grant County Economic Growth Council, Marion, Indiana. As the Growth Council’s initial director, Tim has been responsible for developing the organizations mission and overseeing its development. During his tenure, the Growth Council has participated in attracting 20 diverse new manufacturers such as automotive wheels, plastic lids manufacturers, and an ethanol plant as well as participated in over 2 billion dollars’ worth of modernization and expansion projects. 2012 saw the Growth Council bring Café Valley’s 283,000 square foot bakery to the community. Café Valley produces muffins and cakes for such leading retailers as Burger King, KFC and others. During his tenure the Growth Council launched several entrepreneurial development projects including the I69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge, Taylor Business Plan Competition, the high school base Young Entrepreneurs Program and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship award.
These projects and many others have garnered national recognition by the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, Site Selection Magazine and Mid America Economic Development Council. Marion was named as one of the Top 100 Small Cities for Economic Development from 1989 to 1999 by CoreNet and as a Top Economic Development Group in 2005 by Site Selection Magazine,
Prior to joining the Growth Council, Tim was Director of Planning and Development of Harvey, Illinois; Assistant Director of City of South Bend, Indiana; Redevelopment Commission and a Planner with the Area Plan Commission of St. Joseph County, Indiana, and the City of Elkhart.
Tim is a Past President of the Indiana Economic Development Association, Northeast Midwest Leadership Council and was named as one of the Top Ten Young Economic Developers in the USA by the Industrial Development Council, as well as several inclusions in Who’s Who in Real Estate Development. In 2008 Tim received an Honorary Secretary of Commerce award from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Governor Mitch Daniels bestowed a Distinguished Hoosier Award in 2009. Tim has been a speaker at the Center for Automotive Research’s prestigious Management Briefing Seminar, as well as for the National Council for Urban Economic Advance Training Seminars, National Association of Counties, Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, Indiana Association of Counties, and other regional organizations.
Tim is a graduate of Indiana University.
Regina Emberton is President & CEO of Michiana Partnership, a collaboration of economic development partners from Elkhart, St. Joseph and Marshall counties in Northern Indiana and Berrien and Cass counties in Southwest Michigan. The organization serves as a single point of contact for regional communication and seeks to create economic opportunities for all partner members through collaborative promotion, marketing and capacity building efforts. Michiana Partnership is also serving as the Administrator for the newly formed Northern Indiana Regional Development Authority – which consists of and leverages the vast experience and services of business, academic, philanthropic and government leaders working to transform the region by improving quality of life and spurring population growth. Prior to this role, Regina was vice president of CBRE | Bradley Co. where she was engaged in a variety of commercial real estate projects, including market research, consulting, brokerage, investment and development. Regina currently serves as board chair for the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County Downtown South Bend, Inc. Regina received her BS and MPA in Community and Economic Development from Indiana University South Bend and earned the CCIM and SIOR designations while working in the commercial real estate industry.
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.
Kurt Foreman, currently serves as head of the Economic Development Division at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, one of the nation’s largest and most successful chambers of commerce. Kurt and the Chamber’s 14-member economic development team focus on job creation and capital investment by attracting new businesses, growing and retaining existing businesses, supporting innovation and entrepreneurial development, and attracting destination retail businesses. He also has either CEO or senior staff level experience at local and regional economic development organizations in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Washington DC and Wisconsin. In addition Kurt has worked as a site selection consultant and an executive recruiter with a leading international search firm. Kurt relishes the opportunity to work with boards and volunteer committees. He developed an interest and passion for working with boards over many years as both an economic developer and community/church volunteer. He has direct experience working on board transformation, particularly in the context of merging economic development groups, and seen firsthand the benefits that come from having a well-organized and properly positioned board. Kurt received his bachelor’s degree at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and his MBA from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Kurt and his wife Julie have four children.
Jay A. Garner, CEcD, CCE is the president and founder of Garner Economics, LLC, an economic development and site location consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. Jay is a leader and innovator in the economic development profession, having served for 36 years as both an award-winning economic development, Chamber of Commerce CEO, and site location professional. His firm assists clients throughout the world on a wide variety of projects, offering innovative, yet real-world solutions to achieve success. Jay often lectures and provides counsel on creating and implementing proactive global business development strategies and tactics. His firm is also a leader in providing assistance to corporate clients in their site selection process, such as Anchor Glass, Academy Sports, Hatfield Quality Meats, Stork Food Systems, Future Pipe Industries and others. His firm is the exclusive provider of site location services for Primus Builders—a global leader in architecture, engineering and construction management specializing in food processing manufacturing, and their worldwide clients. He is a founding member and past vice chair for the Site Selectors Guild, a prestigious group of the top site location consultants globally.
Jay is a graduate of West Virginia University with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration degrees. He is also a graduate of both the Economic Development Course at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, where he is an instructor in international prospecting. Jay has led over 25 trade and business development missions on four continents leading to the creation of thousands of jobs and several billion dollars in capital investment. He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a Fellow Member and an Honorary Life Member, the three highest professional designations awarded to those in the economic development profession by the International Economic Development Council. He is also a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE), a professional designation awarded to Chamber professionals by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association.
In 2009, the readers of Southern Business & Development magazine named Garner Economics as one of the best consulting firms in the U.S. In 2015, the same publication listed Jay as one of the “Ten people who made a difference” in economic development. As a practitioner, Jay was selected as one of ten outstanding leaders in economic development in the United States by Site Selection magazine while leading the economic development program in Mobile, Ala. The same publication also recognized him for running one of the ten best development organizations in the U.S. for six consecutive years. The mayor and city council of Mobile declared July 29, 1994 as “Jay Garner Day” in the city for his nine years of exemplary service as chief economic development officer for the city/county. As CEO of the Asheville, N.C. Chamber of Commerce, the organization became the first Chamber in the U.S. to win a Quality Award by the North Carolina Quality Foundation based on the national Malcolm Baldrige criteria. He was honored in both 2002 and 2003 by his alma mater, West Virginia University with Distinguished Alumnus Awards within the Department of Political Science and College of Arts and Sciences.
Jay is a past chairman for the International Economic Development Council, the largest economic development professional trade organization in the world. An avid jazz drummer, he plays in a big band jazz orchestra in the Atlanta area.
David Ghoris is the Economic Development Officer for the City of Red Deer. In this role he is responsible for business attraction, retention and expansion as well as building the reputation of Red Deer as a world class city to live and work . Previously, David was the Head of Content for dmg :: events, and was primarily responsible for driving cutting edge and innovative content with C-Level Executives and key government figures throughout the event portfolio, as well as leading the conference teams growth into Latin America.
Michael Gilroy serves as the Program Director for Defense Industry Adjustment within the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). As Team Lead, Mr. Gilroy manages the OEA’s Defense Industry Adjustment portfolio of $192 million, and oversees a team of Project Managers providing technical assistance to communities impacted by defense procurement reductions. Additionally, Mr. Gilroy serves as the OEA’s liaison to United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice and the Department of Veterans Affairs through the President’s Economic Adjustment Committee.
Prior to joining the Department of Defense, Mr. Gilroy was the National BRAC Coordinator for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor, where he moved after completing a 21-year Army career. While at ETA, Mr. Gilroy coordinated the Department’s response to BRAC 2005 on a national level, developing policy and ensuring a consistent response on behalf of the Employment and Training Administration’s six regional offices. He also led ETA’s Hurricane Katrina Recovery effort from 2007-2009. Mr. Gilroy served as either Team Lead or Deputy on thirteen holistic economic development projects operated by ETA under the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) program, the BRAC program or the Regional Innovation Grant (RIG) program. He was the instrumental in creating Labor’s RIG program and served as the original author of multiple ETA Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGL) related to the RIG, Katrina and BRAC recovery programs. Mr. Gilroy also provided direct support to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training as the Labor staff lead on the President’s Economic Adjustment Committee.
Mr. Gilroy holds an undergraduate degree in History from Providence College, (Providence, Rhode Island) as well as Masters degrees in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma (Norman., Oklahoma) and in National Security and Strategy from the United States Naval War College (Newport, Rhode Island) where he was also the President’s Honor Graduate. He is a member of the Project Management Institute, the American Society for Training and Development, the International Economic Development Council and the American Planning Association.
Haley Glover is Strategy Director for Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused solely on increasing students’ access to and success in postsecondary education. Haley leads Lumina’s strategy to mobilize communities and employers for higher education attainment. Prior to joining Lumina’s staff, Haley served as Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning Studies at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, where she led the deployment of the Commission’s strategic plan, built accountability models, and helped guide higher education policy for the state. She has also served as the Chief Fiscal Officer of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and as a Fiscal Policy Analyst for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance. Early in her career, Haley served a Researcher for the Center for Economic Competitiveness at the Hudson Institute. Haley holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, English and American History from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. She earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College Graduate Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Haley lives in Indianapolis, IN with her husband, Eric, and daughter Harper.
Todd Greene is vice president in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Greene's responsibilities include providing leadership, strategic direction, and oversight for the community and economic development department. With research, policy, and evidence-based best practices, and a focus on human capital development, small business, housing, and community and economic development finance, the group works to promote community and economic development and sustainable growth for all sectors of the economy.
Before joining the Atlanta Fed in 2008, Greene held leadership roles in the private, government, and education sectors. Most recently, he was a member of the general faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served in various capacities, including center director, and oversaw research and programs related to applied economic development such as the Program in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and the Center for Manufacturing Information Technology.
Currently, Greene is on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council and is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council and the Georgia Economic Developers Association, for which he previously served as chairman. Greene's community engagement includes serving on the Board of Visitors for Georgia Regents University, the board of directors of the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) and a founding member of the Lorde-Rustin Giving Circle.
Greene is a graduate of the 2011 class of Leadership Atlanta, 2009 Leadership Georgia, and 2003 Buckhead Business Association Leadership Development programs. In 2002, he obtained the Certified Economic Developer designation (CEcD). Greene earned a bachelor's degree in English and American literature and language from Harvard University, a master of arts degree in human resources management from Washington University, and a master's degree in public administration from Georgia State University. He has completed executive education programs at Universidad ESAN (Lima, Peru) and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Peter J. Hammer, Professor of Law and Director Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University School of Law, Detroit Michigan, USA. The Keith Center is dedicated to promoting the educational, economic and political empowerment of under-represented communities in urban areas and to ensuring that the phrase equal justice under law applies to all members of society. Professor Hammer was instrumental in editing and compiling Judge Damon J. Keith’s new biography, Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith (2013). Professor Hammer has become a leading voice on the economic and social issues impacting the city of Detroit. He has expertise in the fields of domestic health law and policy, as well as international public health and economic development. He is a recipient of an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and served as lead editor for Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care, a book published by Duke University Press (2003). Combining his training as an economist and a lawyer, his most recent book, Change and Continuity at the World Bank: Reforming Paradoxes of Economic Development (2013), takes on questions of international economic growth and development.
John Hixson serves as the Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing for the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Hixson provides executive leadership in the area of defense business/worker retention and expansion to grow the advanced manufacturing sector. He also coordinates the Partnership’s efforts to retain and expand defense businesses and to improve the advanced manufacturing climate in St. Louis.
Hixson has enjoyed a productive career as a business executive. His first career position was at J.S. Alberici Construction Co., Inc., where he began as a cost accountant and eventually became Manager of the Fabrication Division. Later, Hixson was President and Chief Executive Officer of LaBarge Products, Inc.
He has served three stints at LaBarge Products, operated his own consulting firm and held a variety of executive positions at R&R Steel, Detering Associates and Collins and Hermann, Inc. Hixson's civic affiliations include serving as a member of the Business Development Division Advisory Board of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, member of the Board of Directors of the Health Care Family Credit Union, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Walker Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders.
John’s other civic work includes serving as general campaign chair and campaign finance chair in tax levy and bond issue elections in the Rockwood School District (approx. 20,000 students) in suburban St. Louis. He also served as chair of the finance committee for the district's strategic planning efforts, and was a founding member of the Rockwood School and Student Foundation.
Hixson earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration, Management and Operations from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He also earned a Certificate in Management Studies from the Graduate School of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), a Certified Government Contractor (CGC), and a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). John is originally from Gower, Missouri.
President of the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, John lead the development of a new Growth Strategy for the LA. His team are crafting a new brand and building a creative and innovative business community-- focusing on business expansion and retention. As Director of Community Development in City of Rockland --John set forth clear, concise strategies to implement plans and projects. He leveraged a number of business expansions, small and large, and fostered redevelopment projects in the downtown. As consultant with Eaton Peabody and his own jphCED Consulting, John provided guidance and development for community economic development strategies, focusing on downtown, tax increment financing, and development plans. John worked for USDA Rural Development, University of Maine, and Ohio State University Extension crafting financing, business, and economic development plans and projects. At Eastern Maine Development Corporation he oversaw the implementation of a cultural development project in that led to the formation of The Maine Highlands tourism region. He worked on strategic redevelopment of former naval stations and attracted business to the region. John was a founding board member of the National Folk Festival in Bangor that evolved into the American Folk Festival on the Bangor waterfront.
Dixon has been with Provo City since 1994. Prior to working for Provo City, Dixon worked briefly in Las Vegas for Clarke County Current Planning and Zoning. He has had a variety of job titles in both Community and Economic Development with Provo. Dixon started as a Project Plan Coordinator, then Zoning Administrator before joining Economic Development. He graduated from Brigham Young University, where he received both his undergraduate in Geography/Land Use Planning and Master’s Degree of Public Administration. Dixon is the Deputy Mayor in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development where he leads the focus on enhancing the local quality of life through promoting job growth and increasing the City tax base. Major initiatives include a first ever, city wide economic development strategic plan and retail strategy, developing a 200 acre business park, working with developers on various commercial projects in Provo and assisting in the revitalization of downtown Provo into a high density and intensity place to do business, dine, shop and live. In 2014, Dixon worked with a team of local entrepreneurs and stake holders to organize 1 Million Cups Provo, a Kauffman Labs Foundation initiative to support the startup community.
John Hubbard is the first Executive Director of the Stephenville Economic Development Authority in Stephenville, Texas. John has over 15 years of economic experience in economic development organizations including serving as Director of Economic Development in Balch Springs, Texas. During John’s five-year tenure with the Balch Springs EDC, the organization was involved in the successful completion of over 75 projects that have created over 950 jobs in Balch Springs. Additionally, John is an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas at Dallas and serves as a reflective practitioner at The University of Southern Mississippi.
John is a doctoral candidate in the Human Capital Development Ph.D. Program at The University of Southern Mississippi where he was a Munro Petroleum Scholar. John was recently selected to Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges for 2016. In 2015, John was selected Outstanding Human Capital Development Ph.D. Student at the University. John was also inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key Honor Societies while at Southern Miss. John holds an undergraduate degree from Abilene Christian University and a Master of Science in Economic Development from The University of Southern Mississippi. John also holds certifications as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) and Professional Community Economic Developer (PCED). Currently, John is part of a community team of local stakeholders that is working closely with the University of North Texas at Dallas to create a Center of Logistics and Trade at the University. John’s other professional endeavors currently include: Board memberships on the Methodist Charlton Medical Center Advisory Board in Dallas, the Balch Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Balch Springs Tourism Advisory Committee. Also, John is a board member of the 12-time International Gold Medalist Champions, the Vocal Majority Chorus of Dallas, TX.
Alana Jochum is an attorney and the Managing Director for Equality Ohio. She received her B.A. in English and B.S. in Psychology from Baldwin Wallace University in 2005. She has been passionately engaged in the fight for LGBTQ equality at the local, state, national, and international level for more than a decade. After college, Alana traveled to Mumbai, India to volunteer with the Humsafar Trust, a nongovernmental organization working to advance LGBTQ equality in India. After returning home, she worked at United Way of Greater Cleveland and continued her LGBTQ volunteer work through the Human Rights Campaign. In 2007, Alana attended Cleveland Marshall College of Law where she served as Editor in Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review. She became an Associate at Squire Patton Boggs, LLP in 2010 where she focused her legal practice on complex civil litigation, international law, product liability disputes and other commercial litigation. She also represented clients in habeas proceedings before the Sixth Circuit and at the District court level. Alana left Squire in 2014 to work with Equality Ohio full time where she has the privilege of advocating for LGBTQ equality statewide full time.
Mr. Johns is Director of Economic Development Department for Austin, Texas. In this capacity he is responsible for a nationally recognized team of 53 economic specialists who work together on a fusion of traditional and creative city building. His Department’s mission is to increase the prosperity of all citizens, entrepreneurs, neighborhoods and communities. The Austin Economic Development Department focuses on urban regeneration, business expansion, global commerce, and has the nation’s top small business solutions team, and, music & entertainment, digital media, cultural arts, and technology innovation.
Dr. Janet L. Kavandi serves as Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In this position, she is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the activities required in accomplishing the missions assigned to the center. Glenn is engaged in research, technology, and systems development in support of the nation’s space propulsion, space power, space communications, aeronautical propulsion, microgravity sciences, and materials development programs. The Glenn staff consists of more than 3,200 civil service and support contractor employees and has an annual budget of approximately $625 million. Prior to accepting the director’s position, Dr. Kavandi served as Glenn’s Deputy Director.
Before coming to Glenn, Dr. Kavandi worked at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where she served as the Director of Flight Crew Operations. In this role, she was responsible for the Astronaut Corps and aircraft operations at Ellington Field. Dr. Kavandi also served as the Deputy Director of the Health and Human Performance Directorate, where she was responsible for the NASA flight surgeons and human research investigations on the International Space Station (ISS).
Dr. Kavandi was selected as a NASA astronaut in December 1994 as a member of the fifteenth class of U.S. astronauts. During her time in the Astronaut Office, she supported ISS payload integration, capsule communications, robotics, and served as Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. She is a veteran of three space flights, serving as a mission specialist on STS-91 in 1998, STS-99 in 2000, and STS-104 in 2001. Dr. Kavandi has logged more than 33 days in space, traveling more than 13.1 million miles in 535 Earth orbits.
Born in Springfield, Missouri, she earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, a master of science degree in chemistry from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, and her doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Dr. Kavandi has been recognized with a Presidential Rank Award, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, two Exceptional Service Medals and three NASA Space Flight Medals.
Dr. Kavandi and her husband, John, have two adult children.
Thomas A. Kucharski has served as President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara since 2000. Under his leadership, Invest Buffalo Niagara has grown from a start-up initiative to an innovative regional economic development organization that has secured more than 400 successful project wins representing $4.4 billion in investment in the region and over 42,000 jobs created and/or retained. From the onset, Tom helped Invest Buffalo Niagara form strong, enduring partnerships with business, development and academic leaders throughout the Buffalo Niagara region. Today more than 150 organizations work with Invest Buffalo Niagara to provide support and expertise to companies from the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world looking to set up shop in Western New York. Within Invest Buffalo Niagara, Tom has championed initiatives such as compiling business data that is tailored to specific industry sectors within the region and building an advanced research department offering innovative, state-of-the-art data and GIS mapping capabilities through the Buffalo Niagara Commercial Listing System (CLS). The Invest Buffalo Niagara Business Development team has, under Tom’s tutelage, made major strides in improving the economic service delivery system, including a one-stop, client oriented business development system and the first ever Uniform Development Incentives Policy agreed to and applied across the region. The creative Marketing Department at Invest Buffalo Niagara has been recognized nationally, regionally and state-wide for its PR, promotional, industry-based, social media, advertising and web-based marketing by winning over 175 awards including a majority at the Gold and Best of Class level. The pinnacle of these efforts came at the 2014 International Economic Development Council’s annual meeting where Invest Buffalo Niagara was recognized with the inaugural “Best in Show” award for its “Are You Right for Buffalo” video that was selected from over 600 entries world-wide. Tom has been a Certified Economic Developer since 1992. Before joining Invest Buffalo Niagara, he headed up the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation in Eastern Pennsylvania, and prior to that served as executive director of the Horizon Council of Southwest Florida, a regional public/private partnership that included Sarasota, Ft. Myers and Naples. He is recognized nationally for his work in the economic development industry and is often quoted and referenced in national publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Newsweek, as well as numerous trade and industry publications. Tom has participated in several significant initiatives in the states that he has worked. In Florida, he participated in Governor Chiles’ fifteen member commission that eventually privatized economic development, foreign direct investment efforts and tourism into Enterprise Florida. While representing the state on the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), Tom was named the 1990 Florida Economic Developer of the Year. In Pennsylvania, he applied his Florida experience to assist Governor Ridge’s twelve member committee that privatized these same functions into Team Pennsylvania. For those efforts he was gain honored as the 1998 Pennsylvania Economic Developer of the Year. In New York State, he has assisted Governor Cuomo’s administration with the formation of the successful Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) model. He serves as an active member of the Western New York REDC where he Co-Chairs the Global New York Foreign Direct Investment initiative. . His other professional accomplishments include serving as a Board Member and Chair of various committees of the International Economic Development Council for over ten years. He is also an Executive Committee Member of the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) and was selected by his NYSEDC colleagues as the 2014 Economic Developer of the Year. In 2007, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors.
Michael Langley is the founding CEO of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. GREATER MSP leads global promotion, regional strategy, and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region, with over three million residents and a Gross Metropolitan Product of over $200 Billion. He brings years of experience to the role as a widely recognized economic development strategist who has also led successful regional economic development organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania.
Michael’s award winning work as a practitioner includes his leadership as CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, often regarded as a globally leading organizational model for regional economic development, regional advocacy, and public policy research. It also includes the founding of Langley Group, a national economic development consulting firm focused on regional best practices and economic growth strategies, where Michael served as President.
Prior to becoming an economic development practitioner, Michael led a successful corporate career, spent primarily in the technology sector working in leadership positions for a number of Westinghouse/CBS divisions, including serving as President and CEO of Westinghouse Audio Intelligence Devices, Inc., a world leader in wireless surveillance technology.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mike also earned a MS in information systems from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He served as a Navy pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flight and crew time on surveillance and intelligence missions worldwide and as a technology analyst on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities by American Intercontinental University for his work in community improvement.
Susan joined McGuireWoods Consulting’s Infrastructure and Economic Development team in 2000. She has extensive economic development and legislative experience. She specializes in advising national and international corporations with their relocation decisions, site selection and incentive negotiations throughout the United States. Her client list encompasses numerous business sectors with a wide-range of requirements including corporate headquarters relocations, manufacturing, food industry distribution, aerospace, government contracting and international shipping.
Additionally, Susan represents clients’ interest on a wide range of issues with state and local officials. She has been an integral part of the McGuireWoods Consulting team that played a leading role in the development and passage of Virginia’s current legal structure for public-private partnerships and innovative financing. Susan advises clients on project identification and proposal preparation using the Public-Private method for procurement for state and local governments. She has advised client’s that have built hospitals; higher education facilities; parking decks; public education facilities and Rehabilitation of Utility and Wastewater Infrastructure. She also represents clients using her relationships with state and local officials to bring about a successful outcome on land use and zoning issues in Virginia.
Prior to joining McGuireWoods Consulting, she was the director of policy and business development at the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority where she assisted major corporations with their relocation and business expansion requirements. In addition to concentrating on local business retention, she led the business expansion team that successfully marketed Fairfax County in Silicon Valley. Susan also provided the full range of relocation and business expansion services to international companies. Previously, she was the chief of staff for Thomas M. Davis, II, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
As a senior partner with TIP Strategies, Inc., Jeff Marcell leads high profile national consulting engagements. Before joining TIP, Jeff served as president and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County. Jeff joined the Seattle EDC in 2004, and during his tenure, rebuilt the organization’s client-based economic development programs. Under his leadership, the Seattle EDC was recognized by IEDC as the Best Practice Category Winner for programs in Technology-Led Economic Development and Sustainable and Green Development. He received the Outstanding Board Service Award from the Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council in 2012, in 2013 he received the MacArthur Award for Leadership from the Washington State Department of Commerce, and in 2015 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Washington State Economic Development Association. Prior to joining the Seattle EDC, Jeff served as a marketing executive in the Economic Development Division of the Greater Houston Partnership. Jeff has a Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Certificates in Real Estate Development and Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington.
Mr. Marinucci's career encompasses more than 32 years of economic development experience. Mr. Marinucci has expertise in strategic planning, real estate development, business retention and expansion, commercial and retail investment, economic development financing, business development marketing, and regional and national policy development. Mr. Marinucci currently serves as President and CEO of Downtown Cleveland Alliance and oversees numerous programs designed to spur investment in downtown Cleveland, including the staffing of the downtown property owner’s clean and safe programs and major physical development initiatives. In addition, he works closely with developers and businesses seeking to invest in downtown Cleveland. As Vice President of Real Estate Development for Cleveland's Playhouse Square Foundation, Mr. Marinucci directed real estate activities for the country's second largest theater district. Mr. Marinucci served as treasurer for the National Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED), where he was a long time member of the Executive Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the International Economic Development Council - CUED's successor organization.
After a 14 year career in commercial & public radio, I decided to take the lessons learned on the streets covering neighborhoods, arts, & culture, and turn them outward as a way of improving the things I’ve loved all my life. As not only a Patronicity employee but a success story, I know what the platform can do for the individual and the larger community to open opportunity. Beyond my work here, I’m also a huge film and music fan, published my first book in the Fall 2015, and continue to play guitar/bass. I enjoy time with friends, fine food, and my cats.
Barry I. Matherly is a certified economic developer with over 20 years of leadership experience at the city, county, regional and university levels. He also interned 3 years for the United States Department of Commerce.
Currently, Barry is President and CEO at the Greater Richmond Partnership, a public/private regional organization that is the single point of contact for domestic and international businesses looking to locate or expand in the Richmond Virginia Region.
Previously, he was the executive director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association in North Carolina, the Director of Economic Development for the communities of Goochland and Pulaski, Virginia and the Special Projects Manager at the Economic Development Assistance Center at Virginia Tech University.
Mr. Matherly has a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech University. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and a recipient of the Robert B. Cassell Leadership Award.
Barry serves as the Chair of the International Economic Development Council Board and is on the Governance Committee. Barry also serves on the Executive Board of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is chair of the Scholarship and Development Committee.
Locally, Barry serves on the University of Richmond School of Business Executive Advisory Council, the Virginia Commonwealth University Innovation Advisory Board and the Richmond Public Schools Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council. In addition, he is Vice Chair of the Legislative Advisory Committee for the Virginia Economic Developers Association and a member of the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate.
Barry Matherly, a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, was named one of the 40 Leaders Under 40 (2002) by the Charlotte Business Journal, recognized as a North Carolina Main Street Champion, designated as a Fellow Member by IEDC and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.
Tracye McDaniel is the President and CEO of Texas Economic Development Corporation, Inc., an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is dedicated to economic development, business recruitment, and job creation in the State of Texas. Texas Economic Development Corporation operates the TexasOne™ Program which coordinates efforts with the Office of the Governor for strategic marketing and lead generation activities.
Formerly with Choose New Jersey, Inc., McDaniel led global promotion, lead generation and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Garden State and is part of the state’s award-winning economic development organization: The New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA). Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the Partnership serves as the starting point for all initiatives, policies and efforts related to growing New Jersey's economy and creating quality, sustainable jobs.
Ms. McDaniel has more than 30 years of state and regional level experience as a widely recognized strategist in all facets of economic development, including public relations, tourism and international business development. She has led successful economic development organizations in Texas. In 2007, Ms. McDaniel served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), Houston, TX, regarded as a top global location for business.
She holds leadership positions in numerous professional and industry organizations and sits on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s top organization for economic development professionals. She was also named by NJBIZ among New Jersey’s 2014 Best 50 Women in Business, as well as the 100 Most Powerful People in New Jersey Business. McDaniel was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to both the Council on Innovation and the New Jersey Military installation Growth and Development Task Force during her time in New Jersey.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Ms. McDaniel is also a Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development (RSD) Fellow, a program of American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).
Kenny McDonald, CEcD, serves as the primary leader of all economic development and business attraction efforts for the 11-county Columbus Region in his position as chief economic officer of Columbus 2020. McDonald has an extensive background in site selection, regional economic development, community marketing, business recruitment and international business development.
He holds the professional designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and serves as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council. In addition, McDonald serves locally on the boards of Columbus Crew, MidAmerican Global Ventures, NAIOP, SciTech and Transportation Research Center.
Previously, McDonald served as the executive vice president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, a public-private economic development organization covering a 16-county region in North and South Carolina. McDonald's 16 years of economic development experience also include leadership positions at the Albuquerque Economic Development Corporation, Fluor Daniels Global Locations Strategies and the Savannah Economic Development Authority. McDonald received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Dickinson State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.
McDonald writes weekly about economic development and Columbus 2020's activities on the Columbus Region blog, Economic Development Matters.
As the founder and CEO of We Can Code IT, a Crain's Cleveland 2014 Woman of Note, author, software engineer with nearly 20 years of professional experience, and educator, I am humbled to have the opportunity to give back to the community and shepherd new, diverse, programmers into tech careers.
My interest in bringing coding to everyone began nearly as soon as I started my role as a software engineer. Throughout my career, I've found it satisfying to share my love of computer science and engineering subjects with kids, teens, & adults. We Can Code IT was born out of this love and my passion for equity.
As the CEO of We Can Code IT, I bring this mission to life.
At We Can Code IT our goal is to teach people how to code, especially those who don't typically feel invited to the field. Our coding boot camps flip the demographics of a traditional computer science classroom on its head. 80% of our students are women and people of color. My job is to help those in need find a new life, a new career, a new home in the tech community.
Dennis Meseroll is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Tractus Asia Limited a foreign direct investment strategy advisory firm with offices in Shanghai, China; Chennai, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Yangon, Myanmar; Singapore; Bangkok, Thailand and; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Dennis has more than 20 years experience in Asia advising and assisting over 100 companies in the development and implementation of their market entry strategies in a wide variety of industrial sectors. These assignments have included undertaking operational and financial feasibility assessments, site location analysis, real estate and investment incentives negotiations and transactions as well as the management of their corporate entity establishment and investment approvals through to operational start-up. Clients have included Fortune 1000 companies in a wide variety of industrial sectors including: automotive, electronics, semiconductor, textiles and garments, medical devices, chemicals, steel, pharmaceuticals as well as service sectors including: telecommunications, healthcare, legal and professional services.
In addition to his private sector advisory work, he has been an advisor to the investment promotion agencies of the governments of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines and Thailand; the Ministry of Finance of the government of Pakistan; the trade promotion agency of the state of Ohio as well as The World Bank, MIGA and the ASEAN Secretariat on the development of trade promotion and investment attraction strategies.
He writes and speaks frequently at international conferences on the topics of site selection, FDI strategy and economics and has been widely quoted in regional newspapers as well as Businessweek, CNBC, The Asian Wall Street Journal and Asiaweek. He is an active member of the Industrial Asset Management Council's (IAMC) International Advisory Council; the International Economic Development Council (IEDC); the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, where he is Secretary of the Chamber's Myanmar Chapter and Co-Chairman of its Myanmar Task Force. He is a member of the board of directors of several companies in Asia.
Dennis received his BA in geology with a concentration in Southeast Asian Studies from Rutgers University, a certificate in Thai Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MS in applied economics from the Penn State University. He was a Fulbright scholar in Thailand and is fully fluent in the Thai language.
Chad R. Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, is Graduate Coordinator of the Masters of Science of Economic Development program. He is Assistant Director of the Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (CLTT), which is an official U.S. Department of Transportation research center that helps promote economic development through improved freight transportation. He teaches economic development organization management, research methods and theory, real estate development & land use planning and coordinates the International Economic Development (IEDC) True South course. He has managed over $1m in sponsored research projects. He has extensive private and public sector experience including managing shipping and global distribution for American companies based in China and Vietnam. He was also an Army Officer stationed in the Pacific Rim. He first became involved with economic development as a trade specialist in Maryland. Prior to joining USM, he worked for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. Chad has a Ph.D. from the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration & Policy, a MBA from Boston University, and a BA in Government from the College of William & Mary. Chad, his wife Susan, and son Duncan live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Advocate, Business and Economic Development
Mary Ann Moon, CEcD is VP of Economic Development and Marketing for Tice Engineering Inc., Wiggins and Ridgeland, MS and Slidell, LA. She is responsible for developing new business opportunities for TEI, Inc. and promoting the company's unique and specialized surveying services. Moon is also an Advocate for AECOM, the world's largest engineering firm. Her responsibilities include business development, program management and site development strategies.
Mary Ann recently served as Vice President and Partner of MSED, LLC, a multidisciplinary engineering and economic and community development firm and certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Moon provided Site Selection and Development services, Workforce and SWOT analyses, Community/Economic Development strategies, facilitation and planning of public meetings, Marketing plans, Identification of Project Funding opportunities.
Mary Ann was the Economic Developer Specialist-Business and Economic Expansion-for Entergy Louisiana. Moon was responsible for Project Management and the development of Louisiana Economic Development Certified Sites-a partnership between LED and EntergyLA. She also worked with community groups, establishing networks and assisting with economic development in regions across Northeast Louisiana.
Moon served as the President of the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, West Monroe, LA for five years. During that time, she served as a board member of Louisiana's Next Horizon - a state wide organization dedicated to quality education practices and opportunities for all children, focusing on the socio and economically disadvantaged. Also, during her tenure, Moon authored the Pre-K program for West Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. A public-private partnership, the program was recognized by the International Economic Development Council and Coordinating and Development Council for 'Excellence in Education.' She was also responsible for the implementation of the area's summer reading program for third grade students. Additionally, Moon facilitated West Monroe-West Ouachita's Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan. She has extensive experience in Community Development including facilitation, public meeting organization, outreach, education and program creation and implementation for issues concerning and affecting communities and their residents. She is President/Owner of Competitive Solutions, LLC a company specializing in Community/Public Outreach and Facilitation, Community Development Program Implementation and Advocacy.
Mary Ann was President/Owner of Dixie Bonded Warehouse of Ouachita, Inc. and Dixie Transportation, Inc., (DBWO) West Monroe, LA from 1993 - 2007. DBWO was the largest bonded warehouse and distribution facility for component materials in a tri-state area. Moon possesses extensive experience in and knowledge of the Transportation, Logistics and Distribution industries. She served as a Board Member of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Louisiana's Inter-modal Planning Committee and as a Transportation Committee Member of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Moon also served as President of the Transportation and Traffic Council. She currently serves as a presenter and facilitator at conferences and work shops addressing the role of Transportation in Economic Development and growth.
She is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (OU-EDI) and is a Certified Economic Developer. Moon is a member of the International Economic Development Council Board of Directors. She is a Board Member, Instructor, Mentor and was recently appointed as Assistant Dean for the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. Mary Ann teaches the Certified Economic Developer Exam Prep Course and developed OU-EDI's "Introduction to Transportation and Logistics" course in which she also serves as topic instructor. She is a guest instructor at the University of Southern Mississippi's True South Economic Development program and Louisiana State University's Basic Economic Development Program. She teaches Introduction to Transportation and Professional Economic Development Ethics. Mary Ann is Chairman of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Trade, Transportation and Logistics Advisory Council, a member of the Mississippi Intermodal Council's Board of Directors and President Elect of the Mississippi Transportation Institute. Selected as a representative of Louisiana, by Congressman Rodney Alexander, she graduated from the Delta Regional Authority’s Leadership Institute, served on the Advisory Board and assisted in the development of the Delta Initiative-a program addressing economic development, heath care, transportation and education issues. She served as facilitator of the Delta Regional Authority's Entrepreneur Jump Start program in the Louisiana Delta. Mary Ann is a graduate of Leaderships Louisiana and Mississippi.
Greg Moon is the Executive Director of the Wyandot County Office of Economic Development located in Northwest Ohio. His more than 4 years with the public/private partnership organization includes experience in successful new business attraction projects and facilitation of local business expansions. Greg also serves as the Executive Director of the Wyandot County Regional Planning Commission working with local elected officials on efficient land use practices. He is a founder and currently serves as an officer of the Wyandot County Young Professionals, as a member of the local Workforce Investment Board, and as a director of the Upper Sandusky Area Chamber of Commerce. Greg attended collegiate and post-graduate studies in Columbus, Ohio where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Aviation Management from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Business Administration from Franklin University.
Mike Morin has spent his business career building companies as Senior Vice President of Business Development for Mediaguide, and President of Knoware. In addition to starting his own companies, he has been a leader in a wide range of start up initiatives in the region. He served as Mentor Director at Momentum, a West Michigan pre-seed funding & incubation program that provided mentorship, infrastructure, and equity investment to help move web based start-ups forward faster toward more strategic opportunities for growth. With his past in physical product and digital business start-ups he currently works as Chief Operation Officer at Start Garden and is Director at Seamless, an IoT commercialization program. Mike holds BA and MBA degrees from Michigan State University’s, Broad School of Business.
Kathy is a co-founder and Managing Partner at Atlas Insight with over 22 years of combined experience as a management, incentive and site selection consultant. She is widely considered an industry expert in the site selection and incentive negotiation business. Her consulting career has focused on securing incentives for various projects as well as helping site selection clients to select optimal locations for expansion projects.
Kathy has conducted successful negotiations for some of the world’s largest corporations. While the majority of Atlas’ clients are companies in the Fortune 500, Kathy has also assisted small to mid-sized companies with projects in various industries. Kathy has an expertise in working on highly complex real estate development projects, including working with New Markets Tax Credits, Brownfield Tax Credits and various other land use entitlements.
Kathy is a reliable opinion source for trade publications and AP stories and has been a frequent guest of state governments to assist with development of strategic plans to attract business investment. Kathy has also written numerous expert articles for regional and national publications.
Before co-founding Atlas Insight, Kathy was a Regional Practice Leader in the Business Location Incentive and Site Selection group at BDO.
Kathy holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from New York University.
Lindsey Myers is a senior consultant and director of site readiness programs with McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC) where she oversees MSC’s evaluation and certification programs. Based on her experience in site selection consulting and economic development, Ms. Myers assists states, utilities, communities, and private landowners with programs to increase the attractiveness of their property and community to industrial prospects.
She is actively managing evaluation and/or certification programs for American Electric Power (AEP), Dayton Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, and TVA. She is also working on numerous independent evaluations and certifications. She also recently completed a headquarters relocation for BMC.
Ms. Myers has completed numerous certification programs including Gulf Power’s Florida First Sites, Mississippi Power’s Project Ready Program, and Wyoming Business Council’s Certified Sites Program. In addition, she has worked on a feasibility study for a siting project in Europe, completed an incentives evaluation study for Jacksonville, FL, and managed a target competitiveness study for the State of Florida. She also has worked on a headquarters relocation for SunCoke Energy, a manufacturing project for Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, and assisted with the site analysis for the permanent jamboree site for the Boy Scouts of America. She also worked on the target industry studies for the Upstate SC Alliance, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, the Beacon Council (Miami, Florida), and JAXUSA.
Before joining McCallum Sweeney Consulting, Ms. Myers served as a research analyst and tax and incentives consultant for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. There she was responsible for development of marketing and project deliverables and tax and incentives research for the State. Ms. Myers’ professional background also includes positions with Charleston Area Federal Credit Union and Sodexho/Carolina Dining Services as well as an internship with Miller Brewing Company.
Ms. Myers has earned a Masters of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, both from the University of South Carolina (USC). She is currently pursuing a Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) through CoreNet Global as well as a Certificate in Leadership from CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network. In 2016, she received the “Rising Star” award from CREW Upstate where she is currently serving as the President-Elect and a national delegate in addition to serving on the USC Moore School of Business Young Alumni Board. Previously, she has served on the board for the Upstate USC Moore School of Business Alumni, the Greenville MyCarolina Alumni Association, and PULSE (Greenville’s Young Professionals organization). She is also a graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 38 and is a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the South Carolina Economic Developers Association (SCEDA).
Appointed in February 2008, Nichols has completed over 625 projects that will create and retain over 25,000 jobs and has attracted $90 million in funding. Nichols is known for creating innovative programs, including the Vacant Property Initiative, which has resulted in the development of 3.6 million square feet in vacant buildings and 105 acres of vacant land, creating and retaining over 6,900 jobs.
Nichols has a degree in Business Management from Case Western Reserve University and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional. She has presented to the Clinton Global Initiative, National League of Cities, National Brownfields Conference, and the International Economic Development Council on topics including economic inclusion, transit-oriented development and redevelopment. She has received the Cleveland Foundation’s Homer Wadsworth Award and was recognized by the Journal of Tax Credits as Public Executive of the Year. She is a Board Member of the International Economic Development Council.
Eric Osth, AIA is Vice Chairman and a Managing Principal with Urban Design Associates (UDA), an urban design firm dedicated to the enrichment and restoration of cities and urban life. UDA has completed well over 2,000 projects in it’s fifty-year history, specifically focusing on the mission of community involvement in the planning and design process. At UDA, Eric serves as Principal-in-Charge on architecture and urban design projects across the United States and beyond. In addition to his responsibilities at UDA, Eric has served as the President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, currently serves on the Board of Directors at Riverlife, an non-profit organization that serves as a steward of activating the Pittsburgh riverfronts. Eric has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami and a Master of Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens delivers direct business attraction, expansion and retention services, while providing overall leadership to the organization. She has more than 15 years of leadership experience in business retention, expansion and attraction working at various state and local economic development positions throughout Michigan. Prior to joining the Lakeshore Advantage team, Jennifer held the position of vice president at Southwest Michigan First and principal of Consultant Connect, an organization that cultivates relationships between economic developers and location consultants. At Southwest Michigan First, Jennifer led the firm's new business attraction efforts, leading to investments from companies such as General Mills, Hark Orchids and Newell Rubbermaid. Her accomplishments also led her to be named one of the nation's Top Economic Developers Under 40 in 2013. In addition, Jennifer held key positions at Ann Arbor SPARK and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In her free time, Jennifer and her husband Mike enjoying chasing after their three action-packed athletic sons.
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.
Since joining the CAEL team in 2015, James has worked in several communities on issues ranging from comprehensive supply/demand analysis, to career pathway mapping, to alignment between educational assets and economic growth. Prior to joining CAEL, James served as Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development for Greater Louisville Inc., where he led the organization’s program of work within economic development as well as education and workforce development. In 2014, James guided GLI through a fundamental redesign of its economic and workforce development efforts, creating a new approach to regional economic development which included fifteen counties across two states. In his time at GLI, James played a leadership role in several significant community initiatives including the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Business Plan for Louisville/Lexington as well as co-chairing the certification of Jefferson County Public Schools as a Ford Next Generation Learning community. As a project manager, James assisted 86 companies who combined to invest over $1.4 billion dollars in new capital and add nearly 5,000 new jobs within the region. A native of the Washington, DC metro area, James holds a bachelor of science degree from James Madison University and a master’s of arts degree from the University of Louisville.
Craig J. Richard serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the International Economic Development Council's (IEDC) Governance Committee.
He has previously served as the president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. He is a seasoned economic development professional of nearly 20 years and is regarded as a collaborative leader with strengths in marketing, business development, entrepreneurial development, workforce development, global commerce, strategic planning and managing talented teams to achieve desired results. His economic development experiences range from neighborhood-level community development and regional chambers of commerce to state economic development.
He previously served as the president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), the regional chamber of commerce. Prior to GLI, Richard was chief economic development officer for the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). Under his leadership, GHP was recognized as a best in class economic development group for four consecutive years by Site Selection magazine. He has also held leadership positions at Hawes Hill Calderon LLC, Arlington (Texas) Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Regional Chamber, Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the City of Richmond, Va. Prior to his economic development career, Richard enjoyed a successful career as a district executive with the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Highlights of Richard's career include the announcements of more than 156 projects representing over 134,000 jobs and $7.6 billion in capital investment. Some of his notable projects include Gazelle.com service center, ExxonMobil North American headquarters consolidation, Dow refinery expansion, Toshiba manufacturing plant expansion, Vestas Technology R&D Americas, AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys), Siemens Postal Dematic headquarters, General Motors plant expansion and Rooms To Go regional distribution center. Richard has led or participated in foreign trade and investment missions to China, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
Richard earned his Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree, with a concentration in economic development, from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Houston-Downtown. He is a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council, a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma and has attended executive education programs at Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He serves as an officer of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council.
Richard is married with two children. In his spare time he enjoys golf, hunting and cycling.
Anne Roise, MCP, CEcD BIO Anne Roise is an Instructor of Urban Studies and Planning at Savannah State University and the CEO of Roise & Associates in Savannah, GA. She specializes in strategic planning, project development and organizational coaching for small businesses and non-profit organizations. For several years, Anne served in senior management positions with municipal governments where she was responsible for community revitalization and economic development initiatives. She is a former Director of Economic Development for the City Savannah and also served as the Interim Director of the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority. Her areas of expertise are micro-business development, leadership training, and facilitating coalitions to reduce poverty and stimulate economic opportunities for disenfranchised communities. Anne has a Masters Degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After graduating from MIT, she worked as a planner for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was later employed as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts. Anne is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and has provided course instruction for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) since 2002.
Jim Rokakis is Vice President of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Director of its Thriving Communities program, where he has helped to establish 35 County Land Banks throughout Ohio. Rokakis served for 19 years on Cleveland City Council where he chaired the finance committee. In 1997, Rokakis took office as Cuyahoga County Treasurer where he was among the first public, nationally-recognized officials to warn of the foreclosure crisis – in 2001. He helped write and pass SB 353 which allowed for the creation of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank – and ultimately County Land Banks for other eligible counties. He has written for the Washington Post and was on “60 Minutes” discussing the need to fund demolition in distressed urban areas. He was the driving force behind the Ohio Attorney General’s decision to allocate $75 million from the robo-signing settlement for demolition, the Department of Treasury’s decision to allow for the reallocation of $79 million in Hardest Hit Funds for demolition, Cuyahoga County’s decision to float a $50 million demolition bond, and the most recent decision by Treasury to allocate an additional $192 million to County Land Banks in Ohio.
Don Schjeldahl is founder of DSG Advisors, a consulting practice that assists corporate clients in developing location strategy and site selection for manufacturing, distribution, and office facilities. Prior to this, Don served for 27 years as a site consultant and practice leader for The Austin Company, Cleveland, OH. Don recently spent 18 months working for Sierra Nevada Brewing on their Mills River, NC brewery construction project where he supported sustainability initiatives. Mr. Schjeldahl has for more than a decade focused on markets associated with the new energy economy and corporate sustainability. Mr. Schjeldahl has performed or directed nearly 300 location strategy assignments, working throughout North America, Mexico, and Europe.
Kevin S. Schmotzer is the Executive of Small Business Development with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development, where he is responsible for creating and implementing programs, financial incentives, and economic development tools to attract entrepreneurship and small business development to the City of Cleveland. In April 2006, the Executive of Small Business Development position was created by Mayor Frank Jackson to focus on the attraction, growth and expansion of small businesses which includes: commercial, retail, locally-owned cafés, food trucks, urban farming, and technology businesses while creating jobs. Upon acceptance of the position, he streamlined the process involved with providing capital to small businesses including start-ups in collaboration with other partners including government agencies, non-profits, foundations, developers, and local banks.
The portfolio of small business projects include a pipeline worth more than $20 million in public-private financing for retail, commercial office, mixed-use development, urban farming in the neighborhoods and Downtown Cleveland since the recession. Recent projects in Downtown Cleveland and the neighborhoods include: Secured funding for the expansion of the Free Trolleys in the Central Business District; drafted legislation authorizing food trucks to operate throughout the City; secured a $135,000 grant to fund urban gardening on vacant lots through the “Gardening for Greenbacks Program;” assembled a team that put together a bid that secured the license to host the 2014 Gay Games to be held in Cleveland & Akron; and collaborated with local foundations, banks and other government agencies to recruit and fund Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), a non-profit economic development organization that specializes with filling a gap by providing financial assistance to underserved micro-entrepreneurs that would not be able to secure financing.
Prior to becoming Executive of Small Business Development, Mr. Schmotzer worked for the City of Avon Lake in the Planning Department. A key project included securing and administering an $820,000 State grant for design of a $1.1 million bicycle/pedestrian trail system.
Christian Schock to the position of Economic Development Manager. Christian comes to Wausau from Clinton County, Ohio where since 2007 he served as Executive Director of the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC). During his tenure the CCRPC won local, state and national recognition including the 2013 National Planning Achievement Award from the American Planning Association for innovative economic development. Christian Schock serves as Economic Development Manager for the City of Wausau, WI- the primary city of northern and central Wisconsin and brings over 15 years of expertise in both the built and natural environments including roles with the City of Los Angeles, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and served as an expert economic development consultant for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
A native of Cleveland, Ohio he holds bachelor and master degrees in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati- College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) where he served as University Student Body President and a master degree in development economics from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom.
Chris' professional experience has involved every level of public administration: local, county, regional, state, federal, and international through the many facets of the development process including: planner, economist, environmental regulator, developer, public administrator and consultant.
Chris Steele is COO/President for Investment Consulting Associates NA. His 25 years of experience in location consulting, site selection, and economic development have resulted in a unique perspective on how the concept of place impacts business and community success. Past clients include The Boeing Company, BlueCross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Lenovo, Morgan Stanley, Club Med, Becton Dickinson, the US Transportation Research Board (of the National Science Foundation), Olympus, and Biogen IDEC. He also frequently advises the public sector on business attraction and economic development efforts. In this capacity, Chris has led the State of Maine’s efforts to fully evaluate the effectiveness of its business development incentive programs and develop more effective measures. Chris has written on location strategy and real estate topics for Area Development, Business Expansion Journal, Site Selection Online Insider, and the Journal of Corporate Real Estate, served as an editor for Ernst & Young's United States Investment Monitor, and is a frequent presenter at CoreNet’s global summits, at Cargo Logistics Canada, and at the World Forum for FDI. Mr. Steele holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with specific concentrations in land use planning and real estate development.
John Sternlicht, attorney and certified economic developer, brings senior executive expertise in law, economic development, community relations, public policy, finance, and government relations with a domestic and international focus (John speaks French, German and Spanish). John has over 20 years high-level experience negotiating and executing multi-billion dollar business locations and expansions involving public and private sector financing, higher education, infrastructure including all modes of transportation and legislative initiatives.
On August 12, 2015, John began his tenure as CEO of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (WA). At EDASC, John takes the helm of an organization at an inflection point, having not changed leadership for nearly three decades. With the full cooperation of the board and community, John will lead through a period of strategic planning, innovation and change. Most recently, John served as Economic Development Policy Advisor to King County Executive Dow Constantine, where he worked to bring a regional focus to economic development in the nation’s 13th most populous county. While Senior Director of Strategic Projects for SRI International, a leading nonprofit research institute, John conceived and executed greenfield bioscience projects in Virginia and Michigan involving a total of nearly $50 million in state, local and private financing. John’s careful and strategic oversight ensured that the funding would be sufficient to launch these new ventures. Previously, after ten years in private and public law practice in North Carolina and Virginia, John served eleven years as the first General Counsel and Legislative Director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), acted as Secretary to the VEDP Board of Directors, and also created a statewide program of certification and assistance for rural communities and regions to improve their business attraction and expansion practice.
In 2002, Governor Mark Warner appointed John to serve concurrently as Virginia's Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, as a key member of the team that planned and executed on strategies to establish Virginia as the top state for business for its economic development, transportation (primarily port and logistics), legal, commercial and regulatory climate. As Deputy Secretary, Sternlicht orchestrated the development and execution of the statewide economic development strategic plan, oversaw all 15 agency budgets totaling more than $800 million, and directed all agency legislative and regulatory programs. While serving in these positions, Sternlicht provided his expertise in a broad base of activities including human resources, open records, board relations, public finance, procurement, and community relations, and advised most of the 140 cities and counties in Virginia on the best structure for their economic development programs. In the mid-1990s, John made Virginia the first state in the US to require legally enforceable performance agreements to protect every discretionary dollar of state and local incentives to companies. He also designed many of the new incentive programs directed at particular regional needs or industry sectors such as manufacturing (everything from semiconductor chips to corn chips), logistics/distribution, financial services, headquarters, biosciences and IT.
John, who currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), speaks and writes nationally and abroad on various topics in economic development, including the design, protection and assessment of incentives, economic development practices in the US, the process of negotiation, building public consensus, strategic planning, commercialization and innovation, and others. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and studied journalism and communications at the Université de Fribourg in Switzerland on a Rotary International Graduate Fellowship before earning his Juris Doctor at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. He earned his certification in economic development from the International Economic Development Council in 2001.
Taylor Stuckert serves as the Planning Director and staff consultant for the 20-member regional planning commission, and leads planning efforts across the County and nine political jurisdictions. Mr. Stuckert’s role involves regularly meeting and engaging with diverse stakeholders in communities throughout Clinton County and at the state and national level on a variety of projects and initiatives related to planning, physical, economic and community development. Mr. Stuckert is also the Co-Founder of Energize Clinton County (ECC), a non-profit organization founded to lead a community driven response to the economic crisis with support from the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC). The efforts of the CCRPC and ECC, following the 2008 DHL Crisis, have led to a portfolio of community and economic development programs, which were awarded the 2013 National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and Development by the American Planning Association. Mr. Stuckert holds a Master Degree in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati- College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Butler University. Mr. Stuckert works in his hometown of Wilmington, OH was a Wilmington High School graduate, and is an 8th generation Clinton Countian.
David C. Sweet After a decade of service, Dr. Sweet retired in 2010 as President Emeritus of Youngstown State University. During his tenure, he provided leadership for the university’s major enrollment growth reaching 15,000 students, expansion of academic programs including the state's first College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as well as successful fund raising initiatives. His priorities also included construction of new facilities including a College of Business Administration building, student dormitories, a student recreation center and other enhancements to the campus in a downtown setting. One of his major goals was the formation of university-community partnerships. These efforts were recognized by the American Planning Association with their Excellence Award for Public Outreach. During his career, he was the founding Dean and a Professor of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, Commissioner of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, and Director of the Ohio Department of Development, responsible for the State’s economic and community development programs. His career started as a regional economist at Battelle Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Sweet joined AIDC in 1964 and served in numerous roles becoming Chair of the American Economic Development Council in 1983-84, the first academic to serve in this position. Upon retirement he and his wife, Pat, retired to Charlotte to be closer to family.
Michael J. Taylor is senior vice president, West Territory Executive, for PNC Bank. He is responsible for community and economic development activities for Northern Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. Prior to this he was the president and executive director of the National City Community Development Corporation, the first community development corporation founded by a financial services company. The Community Development Corporation invested more than $1.5 billion in revitalizing neighborhoods.
Mr. Taylor has experience in both private and public sector community and economic development, as well as twenty-five years of banking experience. He has held the position of senior vice president and executive director of Michigan Multi-Cities Community Development Association. He has served as community development specialist for the National City CDC, and commercial/community development manager for National City Bank – Southeast Michigan. His responsibilities included expanding the CDC investment and loan portfolio in Illinois and Indiana, and coordinating the corporation’s commercial community development lending activities for the Southeast Michigan Region. He directed bank commercial loan activities in the Detroit Empowerment Zone and other targeted markets, and functioned as product manager for the Initiative Small Business Loan Product. From 1986 to 1990, he served as executive director for the Saginaw Economic Development Corporation in Saginaw, Michigan.
Michael Taylor is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Administration. He is also a graduate of Robert M. Perry School of Banking. During his career, he has received numerous awards and recognition for outstanding contributions and service to the community.
Allison Thompson has been in economic development for over 17 years and has worked with the City of Cedar Hill, Texas since April of 2007. Currently she is Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the City as well as Executive Director for the Cedar Hill Economic Development Corporation.
Allison has earned professional certifications from both the International Economic Development Council (CEcD) and the National Development Council (EDFP). A graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma (OU/EDI), she also holds an MA in Urban Affairs from the University of Texas of Arlington and a BS in Criminal Justice from Texas Christian University.
Ms. Thompson sits on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council and is the current Chair of the Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP). She is also on the boards of the Texas Economic Development Council, the Industrial Asset Management Council, the Southwest Chapter of CoreNet Global, the North Texas Commission, the Best Southwest Partnership, and the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce.
Catherine has more than 25 years of experience in economic and real estate marketing. More than just promises of success, Catherine delivers demonstrated success in positioning communities and local economies to effectively compete. Her work is transformative, influencing the restructuring of community economies, consumer and market perception and resulting in significant new investment. She has developed a reputation for her analytical approach and ability to connect communities, capital and companies. Catherine has completed retail marketing analyses and attraction assignments for almost every major market on the east coast including Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Miami. This has resulted in the attraction of more than 350 businesses and over 5 million square feet of new retail, including the first new Bloomingdales Outlet in Philadelphia, DC USA a 1.2 million square foot mixed-use project in DC, and the first two full service grocers in Newark including Whole Foods. She has continuously been supporting Philadelphia, Stafford and Atlanta on retail attraction for more than three years.
Catherine She is widely published on issues related to real estate and economic development and business attraction. Catherine is a frequent presenter on best practices and has been a guest lecturer at several masters programs in real estate including at the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers Business School and the University of Maryland. Catherine has a degree in Urban Studies from the graduate schools of Economics, Sociology, Geography and Political Science from the University of Delaware. She serves as the Senior Advisor for Retail to Econsult Solutions, advising on retail, commercial revitalization, and downtown development projects. Catherine is the former Dean for Economic Development for ICSC Institute for Shopping Centers and is centrally active in many key, industry organizations including DCBIA, IDA, IEDC, ICSC, and ULI.
Peter Tokar III is the Economic Development Director for the City of Alpharetta, one of Georgia’s prominent cities in North Fulton County. He began his work in Economic Development in 2006 after completing his Master’s degree. His natural leadership, aptitude and work ethic has catapulted him into leadership positions within the industry at an early age, being recruited to his first Director level position in economic development for Broward County Florida, where he managed projects for a county of 31 municipalities and over 2 million people.
Peter’s versatile and diversified background sets him apart from other economic development professionals. Having earned a Bachelor’s of Science in graphic arts from Liberty University and his Masters of Business Administration from the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University, he has been able to serve as both the creative mind as well as the business mind behind his projects and initiatives. This creative thinking led him to develop such programs as the first ever business assistance television series which begins broadcast in the South Florida Area in October of 2012. He has managed not only financial incentives plans for recruitment projects, but complete marketing and branding campaigns, print and web designs and business and strategic plan development.
Since 2006, Peter has been lead economic development projects resulting in over 4,000,000 square feet of new business space, close to $3 Billion in capital investment, job creation of over 3500 new jobs and job retention of over 7000 jobs. Together with Alpharetta City and Elected leadership, he is leading recruitment, retention and expansion initiatives for the city which include the $600 Million Avalon development project by North American Properties, 40 acre Alpharetta City Center development, the newly created Alpharetta Technology Commission, Alpharetta Development Authority and city wide branding campaign for Alpharetta. In addition to project management, he represents Alpharetta in national and local recruitment efforts, conferences, civic and professional organizations.
In addition to multiple community and industry professional organizations, Peter also enjoys a background in community involvement and leadership, having served as a volunteer to community organizations, chambers of commerce, and professional development organizations. Peter is a graduate of Leadership Broward, Class XXVII and 2013 North Fulton Leadership Class and is an active member in the Alpharetta Rotary Club.
Through all these professional achievements, Peter has reserved time to give back to his community and be a servant leader. He is committed to his faith and for the past two years has served on short term missions teams to the Joshua Children’s Mission, in Vrygrond, South Africa. An avid golfer, he has served on the board of directors for First Tee, which brings the values and fundamentals of golf to urban youth.
As Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Jennifer manages the strategic marketing and communications efforts of the organization, including providing counsel to the organization's executives and board officers. She also is managing the new regional business branding initiative. Jennifer has fifteen years of experience in marketing and communications and holds her accreditation of public relations (APR), which signifies a high level of professional experience, competence and ethical standards. She has extensive experience in strategic communications planning, executive consulting, proactive issues management and media relations and is recognized as a thought leader in developing marketing strategies for economic development.
Paige Webster has been working in the site selection and economic development consulting area for twelve years. Paige has had extensive site selection experience as he was the Western Regional Real Estate Manager for Aaron Rents. Paige was able to facilitate and expand the major retail expansion for Aaron Rents in the Western United States. Paige has also worked for a few development companies specializing in retail, office, and industrial properties. Paige has worked with industrial, food processing, customer call centers, renewable energy, aviation and warehouse distribution clients.
In addition to his site selection expertise, Paige also has had experience in the economic development arena. He was the former Economic Development Director for the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, and worked for the Arizona Department of Commerce as the Northern Arizona Representative, assisting companies to expand or relocate to the State of Arizona.
Paige also worked for the Arizona Department of Commerce as the Northern Arizona Representative, assisting companies to expand or relocate to the State of Arizona with projects related to injection molding, warehouse/distribution, back office, agro-business, inter tribal companies, bio-tech, high tech, aviation.
Paige resides in Phoenix, AZ and has two children and loves to play golf and scuba dive.
Mike joined the City of Toronto in 2009. His main responsibilities include the implementation of the City’s Economic Development Strategy, Collaborating for Competitiveness, and its Culture Plan, Creative Capital Gains. He also sits on the boards of a number of local agencies connected to the City of Toronto, and in a volunteer capacity, the board of George Brown College. Mike has spent the majority of his career in general management, research, marketing and consulting, locally and internationally.
Mike has an M.A. in Urban Geography and is a Certified Management Consultant (C.M.C.).
Mike can be contacted at email@example.com
Kara Wood leads the City’s economic development efforts and guides community business leaders in the advancement of the city’s economic growth through public private partnerships, and assists developers in implementing a variety of development finance programs. She has worked collaboratively with other public and private partners to negotiate urban redevelopment projects and financial incentives related to the projects. She has worked with tax incentives, grants and tax increment financing to leverage private investment and the creation of jobs. In addition, she advocates for legislative issues to support economic development in the West Michigan region.