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IEDC 2014 Annual Conference | Fort Worth, TX | October 19-22, 2014  |  Steering Toward the Future: Convergence, Connectivity, and Creativity


Kendall Almerico
Chief Executive Officer
Funding LLC
Tampa, FL

Kendall Almerico is a business attorney and one of the top crowdfunding and JOBS Act experts in the United States. In January, VentureBeat ranked Kendall as the 17th most influential thought leader in the crowdfunding industry. Kendall and his crowdfunding businesses have appeared in USA Today, Forbes, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, Business Insider, Fox Business Network and hundreds of newspaper, blog, radio and television interviews including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX and The Sean Hannity Show. Mr. Almerico writes regular columns on crowdfunding for Entrepreneur.com and Crowdfund Insider. Mr. Almerico is the CEO of FundHub.Biz, a web site that provides compliance services to broker-dealers, issuers, investors, and funding portals for equity crowdfunding and other forms of private equity funding. Mr. Almerico is also the founder of Crowd It Forward, a charity-based crowdfunding site that performs “Random Acts of Crowdfunding” and raises money for people in need through a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. Mr. Almerico is also the host of Crowdfunding Radio Live, a weekly radio show on Blog Talk Radio.

Tony Aggarwal
Kinetic Cubed Ltd
Spinningfields, Manchester, UK

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.

Josh Bays
Site Selection Group, LLC
Dallas, TX

Josh Bays is a principal of Site Selection Group where he manages the company's industrial, education, and economic development business practices. He is a critical part of the company's management team and helps develop and implement strategic plans for SSG. Throughout his career, Bays has been a key contributor in the continued development of new service lines offered by the company. These contributions include the development of various cutting-edge analytical platforms that have enabled clients to optimize their location decisions.

Previously, Bays was an associate at Trammell Crow Company in the Corporate Site Selection Group. There, he supported all location advisory projects through the research of critical site selection variables, including economic incentive and real estate conditions for corporate operations.

Bays has completed more than 250 projects for global clients, including Amazon.com, W.W. Grainger, Novartis, Glanbia Foods, Bimbo Bakeries, Boeing, Harley-Davidson, Lincoln Education Services, Bryant & Stratton College and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition.

Bays received his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Bays holds a bachelor's degree in geography with concentrations in urban geography and geographic information science from The University of Texas at Austin.

Michael J. Berne
MJB Consulting
New York, NY

Michael J. Berne is the President of MJB Consulting, an award-winning, New York City- and San Francisco Bay Area-based retail planning and real estate consulting concern retained by public/non-profit and private sector clients across all of North America to undertake market analyses, devise tenanting strategies and spearhead recruitment efforts.

Michael is one of the nation's foremost experts on traditional Downtown/"Main Street" business districts. He is a frequent speaker at the conferences of the International Downtown Association (IDA) and currently sits on its Board of Directors. He has also presented at the annual gatherings of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the National Main Street Center and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), among numerous others.

Michael has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, written numerous articles for Urban Land and the Journal of Urban Affairs, served on expert advisory panels for ULI and the IEDC, and appeared in high-profile publications such as the Financial Times, the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Michael received a B.A. degree from Columbia University (Columbia College) in New York City and an M.Phil degree from Cambridge University (Gonville and Caius College) in the United Kingdom. He currently splits his time between offices/residences in New York's Union Square and Berkeley's Elmwood neighborhood.

Michael and his firm are active in Pennslyvania, having, for example, worked on recent assignments in Philadelphia's University City and Manayunk as well as Pittsburgh's Downtown and its Main Street Program.

David Berzina, CEcD, FM
Executive Vice President of Economic Development
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Fort Worth, TX

David Berzina is the Executive Vice President of Economic Development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, a 2,200-member organization. He oversees a $1.5 million annual operating budget that funds initiatives designed for recruiting and retaining businesses, creating jobs, securing capital investment and generating tax revenue to support the greater Fort Worth region. Additionally, he interfaces with local, regional and state agencies in coordinating partnerships and facilitating economic incentives that have resulted in successful relocations and expansions of hundreds of companies, including Fortune 500 global leaders.

Berzina has played a pivotal role in building consensus among stakeholders on key issues such as impact fees and has also galvanized support among public and private sector partners on legislation affecting economic development policy and Texas' pro-business environment. He was appointed by the Fort Worth Mayor to serve on an MWBE (Minority/Woman-Owned Business Enterprise) ordinance committee that was responsible for developing Fort Worth's policy on city contracts with MWBE vendors.

Economic development projects that Berzina has recruited and secured have resulted in excess of 16 million square feet of building space, $3.7 billion in capital investment, more than 25,000 jobs, and more than $1.3 billion in annual payroll. Notable company names include General Motors, General Electric, Novartis, Q-Edge, RadioShack, Whirlpool Corporation, Bell Helicopter, and American Airlines.

Prior to joining the Fort Worth Chamber in 2004, Berzina served for 16 years in CEO and executive management positions for chambers of commerce and economic development organizations in Texas, Michigan, and Louisiana.

Berzina is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and also holds the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council. He is also a graduate of the ACCE Institute for Organizational Management at the University of Delaware. He serves on the national Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as well as on the Texas Economic Development Council board.

In 1993, Berzina was named one of the outstanding Leaders in Geo Economics by Site Selection magazine. In 2012 Site Selection magazine recognized the Fort Worth Chamber as one of the nation's "Top 20" economic development organizations for the fifth time in eight years; the Fort Worth Chamber is the second organization under Berzina's leadership to receive this prestigious designation.

Locally, Berzina serves on the executive committee of the Dallas/Fort Worth Marketing Team, which represents 62 communities and a population of 6.6 million people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the nation's fourth-largest MSA. He also serves on the board of Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County and Fort Worth Sister Cities and serves on the Mayor's Commission for the Homeless, the City's Development Advisory Committee, and the City's Minority and Women's Business Advisory Council. He is a past president of the Greater Fort Worth Area Economic Development Association.

Berzina and his wife, Kim, have a 13-year-old son, Christopher, and a 7-year-old daughter, Brooke. He is in his 7th year of coaching football and basketball for the YMCA.

Erin Bodine
Account Director, Talent Attraction
Development Counsellors International
New York, NY

As the director of talent attraction services at Development Counsellors International, a New York-based agency that specializes exclusively in marketing places for economic development, talent and tourism, Erin Bodine is closely tracking the national trends and top talent attraction campaigns going on across the United States. She has also worked on several talent attraction campaigns, including overseeing DCI's role in the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce's “Work in the Triangle” initiative. During her eight years at DCI, Erin has worked for nearly 30 places, ranging from Carrollton, Texas, and San Diego, Calif., to the country of Colombia, the state of Wyoming and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. She has managed numerous projects and initiatives on behalf of her clients, including in-depth strategic marketing plans, lead generation programs, and public relations outreach, regularly placing the communities she serves in outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and FOX News.

Steven Bradford
Bandera Ventures, Ltd.
Dallas, TX

Steven Bradford has more than 20 years of commercial real estate experience. Prior to joining Bandera Ventures in 2011, Mr. Bradford founded a national development and investment initiative for Trammell Crow Company which developed in excess of 11 million sq. ft. of speculative and build-to-suit office and industrial projects at major international cities throughout North America.

Mr. Bradford specializes in industrial multi-modal logistics with emphasis on air and ground transportation. Mr. Bradford was the development principal responsible for the master planning and development of the Air CargoCentres™, AirFreight & LogisticCentres™, and Global Logistics Centres™ at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Houston's Intercontinental Airport, Portland International Airport, Calgary International Airport; as well as the KCI Intermodal Business Centre at Kansas City International Airport.

Mr. Bradford has also served as a master planning development consultant to several major international airports including Seattle Tacoma, Detroit Metropolitan, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh.

Mr. Bradford has been conferred his Doctorate of Jurisprudence, is a Licensed Attorney with specialization in Commercial Real Estate, and holds Real Estate Broker's License from the Texas Real Estate Commission. Mr. Bradford is also Co-Founder and Chairman of the non-profit organization Christ's Family Clinic located in Dallas, Texas.

Charlie Brock
President and CEO
Launch Tennessee
Nashville, TN

Charlie Brock has been serving as Launch Tennessee's President and CEO since January 2013. In 1998, Brock helped establish Foxmark Media and grew it into one of the nation's leading mall advertising companies. As the CEO and largest shareholder, he structured three rounds of private financing before selling the company in 2006 to Australia-based EYE Corp., one of the world's leading out-of-home media companies. After selling Foxmark, Brock became an early partner in FourBridges Capital Advisors, a lower-middle market investment bank based in Chattanooga where Brock served as Managing Director. Brock was also a founding general partner of the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, Chattanooga's first organized angel fund. The fund raised $3.2 million to provide mentorship and capital to early-stage companies in the Southeast Tennessee region.

Prior to becoming CEO of Launch Tennessee, Charlie served for a year as the Executive Director of CO.LAB, a Chattanooga accelerator that provides advice and mentoring services to entrepreneurs and runs the summer GIGTANK program. Brock is an organizer and director of CapitalMark Bank and Trust in Chattanooga and also serves as a director of The Dixie Group and Park Media Software.

Charlie is a graduate of The University of the South, and he and his wife Lisa are the parents of three daughters, Lesley, Taylor and Laura.

Jim Butler
Creative Industries Manager
City of Austin
Austin, TX

Jim Butler was born in Austin, Texas and has lived there the great majority of his life. He attended the University of Texas, where he obtained a BA and MA in government and an MBA. He is also certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional. He has worked on economic development projects for the Texas Governor’s Office and the City of Austin, starting in the early 1990’s. His work has focused on improving the economy of Texas and Austin through the development of technology, entertainment, and arts sectors.

Cheryl Carrier
Program Director, Ford Next Generation Learning
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Dearborn, MI

Cheryl Carrier is the Program Director of Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL), the signature education program of Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.

Cheryl leads the team responsible for developing the innovative Ford NGL program, which is designed to engage educators, employers, and community leaders in the common goal of preparing today's high school students for the careers of tomorrow. Ford NGL aims to graduate students who are college- and career-ready and prepared to compete successfully for jobs in a global economy. Through community engagement, Ford NGL provides a proven framework to develop high school academies that are career-themed and provide students with opportunities to engage in relevant, academically rigorous, real-world learning opportunities.

Currently, there are more than 15 communities across the country that are using the Ford NGL framework and are supported by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Ford NGL reaches 140,000 students each year and continues to grow as the program gains momentum and receives more national attention.

In this work, Cheryl works closely with business executives, government and civic leaders, and workforce development intermediaries to help align education with the skills needed by companies and the local region. Through Cheryl's leadership, Ford NGL is helping to create a culture of shared accountability and excellence by developing a climate of trust that welcomes the perspectives of all stakeholders and maintains a commitment to continuous improvement that benefits students, business, and the entire community.

Cheryl comes from a Ford family. Both her mother and father spent their entire careers at Ford, each retiring with more than 35 years of service. Cheryl joined Ford in 1978 and has held positions in Engineering, Finance, Business Strategy, and Investor Relations. Cheryl assisted Ford Executive Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr., for many years, including a special assignment with the Detroit Lions where she was responsible for developing human resource policy.

Cheryl serves on the boards of the National Association of Workforce Boards, National Career Technical Education Foundation, and the National Career Academy Coalition; and is co-chair of the Ford STEM Advisory Council.

Christine Chmura, PhD
President & Chief Economist
Chmura Economics & Analytics
Richmond, VA

Dr. Chmura's firm has helped many corporate and government clients successfully navigate into and through the Great Recession by providing valuable economic insight and forecasting. Prior to starting her own company, Chris was a senior economist at some of the nation's top banks and the Federal Reserve. Chris has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and her interest rate forecasts have been published in the Blue Chip Financial Forecast for over 20 consecutive years. She serves on the Governor's Economic Advisory Board and the Governor's Commission on Economic Development & Job Creation for the state of Virginia. Dr. Chmura is also an adjunct professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University teaching classes for several years on applied labor economics. She was inducted into the National Leadership Honor Society, a university award for her role as an outstanding professor and for her exemplary campus citizenship.

JoAnn Crary, CEcD
Saginaw Future, Inc.
Saginaw, MI

JoAnn Crary is the President of Saginaw Future, a non-profit economic development organization. She has held that position since 1993 and has been in economic development since the mid 1980's. Crary completed her undergraduate degree from Ferris State University and has a Masters degree from Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a graduate of the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.

Crary is a member of the MEDC Collaborative Development Council, an advisory group representation the 10 economic development regions in Michigan. She is currently on the International Economic Development Council's Board of Directors and serves as Vice Chairman, is a member of the Governance Committee and the Economic Development Research Partners. Crary also Chairs the Ethics Committee and is board liaison for the Young Professionals Task Force. IEDC is the foremost international economic development organization with nearly 4300 members. She has served on the IEDC Board since 2006.

Crary is serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Development Corporation, the Saginaw County Revolving Loan Fund Board, Saginaw Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, FirstMerit Bank Market Area Board and the Saginaw Hospital Finance Authority. Crary also serves on the Board of Fellows at Saginaw Valley State University, Mobile Medical Response Finance Committee and is an ex officio member of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Crary was recognized in 2013 as one of the Great Women of the Great Lakes Bay, was given the Wally Bronner Community Spirit Award from the Saginaw County Chapter of American Red Cross in 2010. She was also honored with the inaugural Economic Leadership Award from Junior Achievement of Northeast Michigan in 2010. The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce gave Crary its inaugural Athena Award in 2005 and in 2001, the Michigan Economic Developers Association named Crary as the MEDA Medalist Award winner. In 1996, she was honored by Governor Engler as the Economic Developer of the Year for outstanding contributions in economic development.

JoAnn and her two children, KaLynn and Michael reside in Frankenmuth.

Julie Curtin
Executive Vice President & Partner
Development Counsellors International (DCI)
Denver, CO

Julie is an Executive Vice President and Partner at Development Counsellors International (DCI), an economic development marketing firm based in New York City. Since joining DCI in 1994, Julie has worked with dozens of economic development organizations around the globe to help them position their communities for investment through integrated and creative marketing programs. With clients ranging from Dothan, Alabama to San Diego, California and everywhere in between, Julie's passion for "place marketing" has resulted in award-winning campaigns. Articles about her client communities have appeared in media such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek and CNN. Julie has designed social media campaigns for communities around the country that have maximized the changing world of traditional media, and leveraged the power of digital and online influencers.

Julie is a frequent speaker and facilitator for economic development marketing and media workshops around the country. In 1998, Julie opened "DCI West" in Denver, and became a DCI Partner in 2002.

Jim Damicis
Senior Vice President
Camoin Associates
Scarborough, ME

Jim Damicis is currently the Senior Vice President of Camoin Associates. Jim joined Camoin Associates in October 2010 as the result of a merger between Camoin Associates and PolicyOne Research. Jim was founder and president of PolicyOne Research. Jim has more than 20 years experience in economic and business development. With PolicyOne, Jim has worked for numerous states, regions, and communities on evaluation and strategy development for their economic development and industry support efforts. Jim currently is responsible for evaluating all of Maine’s research and development programs for the Maine Office of Innovation. He was a principal investigator on an “Assessment of Maine’s Industry Clusters” in 2008. Jim has also has worked directly for numerous businesses on government relations, securing grants and tax credits, business planning, and market research and analysis. Jim has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Jim is currently a Board Member of the Northeastern Economic Developer’s Association, Technology Association of Maine, and Scarborough Economic Development Corporation.

Aaron S. Demerson
Director – Office of Employer Initiatives
Texas Workforce Commission
Austin, TX

Aaron Demerson currently serves as the Director of the Office of Employer Initiatives at the Texas Workforce Commission. In this position he provides leadership and direction to engage employers, business organizations and the economic development community in the ongoing development of a customer-focused, market-driven workforce system.

Prior to employment at the Texas Workforce Commission he served as a Senior Advisor to Governor Rick Perry and Executive Director of the Economic Development & Tourism Division in the Governor’s Office leading a team that marketed the State of Texas as a premier destination for both business and travel.

He has also served as the Director of Texas Business Development (State of Texas-NAFTA Office in Mexico City, Domestic, Expansion and Recruitment, Research, and International Business Recruitment) and as the Director of Administration ( Human Resources, Information Systems, Contract Management, Accounting/Budget, and Materials Management). In addition he managed the Finance Division (loan programs) and served as a small business consultant for the Texas Economic Development Agency.

Demerson managed the state’s innovative prepaid tuition program (The Texas Tomorrow Fund) at the State Comptroller’s Office and was employed as a Commercial Finance Analyst and Loan Administration Officer with Texas Bank (former name) in San Antonio.

Demerson has a BBA in Finance from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He also received a general banking diploma from the American Institute of Banking, and is a ‘91-‘92 graduate of Leadership Austin.

Gene DePrez
Founder & Partner
Global Innovation Partners
Sparta, NJ

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.

Patrick Dine
PSD Global Inc.
Fairfax, VA

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.

Brett Doney, CEcD
President & CEO
Great Falls Development Authority, Inc.
Great Falls, MT

Brett Doney is the President & CEO of the Great Falls Development Authority, a public/private economic development partnership serving the Great Falls Montana trade area. GFDA's mission is to grow and diversify the Great Falls economy and support the creation of high wage jobs. GFDA is active in business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship, business attraction, downtown and riverfront revitalization, and workforce development. In 2012, GFDA became the first economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to be accredited by the International Economic Development Council.

GFDA is a Community Development Financial Institution, and hosts a Small Business Development Center and a Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Doney also leads High Plains Financial, a SBA Certified Development Corporation that is affiliated with GFDA, and the Great Falls AgriTech Park LLC, developer of a 1,300 acre rail industrial park.

Doney has 28 years of experience in urban and rural community economic development from the various perspectives of the non-profit, public and private sectors. His prior positions include President & CEO of Enterprise Maine, a family of community economic development organizations dedicated to creating economic opportunity and enhancing the quality of life in rural western Maine, Director of the Ft. Devens Reuse Center, a 9,600 acre army base redevelopment effort in Massachusetts, and President of Doney Associates, a Boston-based consulting firm focused on urban revitalization.

Doney's efforts have won awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the American Economic Development Council, the International Economic Development Council, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the Finance Authority of Maine. His professional certifications include Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR), Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate (SLCR), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), RMA Credit Risk Certification, LEED Accredited Professional, Federal Grants Management and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. Doney earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Doney has taught and given presentations for a number of state, national and international organizations. He serves on the boards of the Montana Economic Development Association, NeighborWorks Great Falls, the Downtown Great Falls Partnership and Montana Ambassadors. He is an active Rotarian and past President of the Great Falls Rotary Club.

Harry A. Eadon Jr.
President and Executive Director
The Economic Development & Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County
Dover, OH

Harry Eadon is an economic development professional with broad experience in business attraction, retention and expansion. Experienced in all aspects of accounting and financial management, Mr. Eadon brings direct experience with real estate, financial consulting and venture capital and he has developed an early-stage venture capital funds. For 11 years, Mr. Eadon served as President and Executive Director of the Economic Development & Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County. The EDFA is a lead Economic Development agency in the county. They manage a 45 acre business park (the Reeves Mill) and 82K SF Public Warehouse (Reeves Mill Logistics Warehouse). In addition the TCPA also owns a 20K SF building in Midvale Ohio and a 15K SF office building in Gnadenhutten Ohio, created a small business incubator, the Business Factory and issued more than $15 million of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds over the last 18 months. Mr. Eadon has successfully recruited major energy projects with Kinder Morgan and MarkWest and leads a multi-county regional economic development group in Eastern Ohio focused on economic development opportunities around the Utica Shale development.

Nancy Bowen-Ellzey, CEcD
Assistant Professor and Field Specialist, Community Economics
Ohio State University Extension
Lima, OH

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.

Julie Engel, CEcD
President and CEO
Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation
Yuma, AZ

Julie Engel is the President/CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation. In her tenure with Greater Yuma EDC, she has been directly involved in the creation of over 4000 new jobs, over 1 million square feet of new industrial space and a capital investment to the region that surpasses $1.5 Billion. Julie is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED) and has served on multiple committees for AAED. In 2012 Julie was named the Economic Developer of the Year for the State of Arizona.

A native of North Platte, Nebraska, Julie studied accounting and business management while working for the U.S. Postal Service as the payroll/finance manager for all of Western Nebraska and South Central Kansas. In 1996, Julie moved with her family to Yuma Arizona where her husband accepted a position with the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

Julie's career in Economic Development follows five years of local government leadership and eight years of federal government leadership and policy regulations. Julie serves on the Yuma Workforce Investment Board, serves on the Yuma Regional Medical Center Board, Yuma National Heritage Board, serves on the Yuma County Transportation Committee, and the Yuma County Legislative Affairs Committee. Julie was selected by Governor Jan Brewer to serve on the Rural Advisory Council for the State of Arizona.

Julie is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute for Certified Economic Development. She obtained CEcD certification in May 2009. Julie is a member of the Economic Development Research Partners and currently serves on the "Financing EDO's" task force.

Chris Engle
Vice President & Chief Analyst
Avalanche Consulting
Austin, TX

Chris Engle is a national thought leader on the topic of economic development analysis and industry trends. He has nearly 20 years of experience as a researcher and strategist. His expertise includes economic analysis, competitive evaluations, real estate feasibility, labor market studies and site selection. He has focused his career on translating the meaning of global trends on regional economic growth. His strong belief in the power of transforming complicated data into easy-to-use decision making resources for communities led him to develop one of the most dynamic economic development software tools available today, www.HeadlightLLC.com.

Chris has created economic development plans and real estate assessments for communities across the US and Europe including: Northeast Florida; Providence, Rhode Island; Gainesville, Florida; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Miami-Dade, Florida; Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; Anniston, AL; North Carolina; Northern Kentucky; Quad Cities, Illinois; San Joaquin County, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; the Czech Republic; and Portugal, to name a few. His corporate clients have included Applied Materials, Dell Computer, Gables Residential, Opus Development and Stratus Properties.

Chris is a frequent speaker at site selection and economic events and is a published writer and commentator in national and local media. He holds an economics degree from the University of Texas and has completed studies at Columbia University-New York City and the Instituto Technologico de Monterrey (ITESM).

Connie Evans
Principal & CEO
Association for Enterprise Opportunity
Washington, D.C.

Connie Evans is the President and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) with a strong track record of innovative leadership and a background as a social entrepreneur. Prior to AEO, Connie was the founding president of the Women’s Self-Employment Project in Chicago, the first and largest urban microenterprise development organization in the U. S. and the first adaptation of the Grameen Bank model to a U. S. urban setting. She founded WSEP Ventures, a social enterprise nonprofit that catalyzed new ventures by nonprofit community-based leaders serving disenfranchised communities; and she founded CSolutions, a consulting boutique focused on solutions for social change in the U.S and internationally. She has served on numerous and diverse boards including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Social Venture Network, Ms. Foundation for Women, Global Fund for Women and the CDFI Advisory Board at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Robert Farley
Greyhill Advisors
Austin, TX

With 25 years of experience in economic development and corporate advisory, Bob Farley serves corporate, public sector and real estate industry clients. Bob’s work involves economic development organizational improvement, public sector real estate planning, development consulting, securing public sector grants, project financing, and political advisory assistance.

Prior to joining Greyhill, Mr. Farley served as a Senior Vice President for Hillwood Development, one of the largest real estate developers and investors in the country. He oversaw Hillwood’s pre-development consulting services domestically and internationally. Clients included Fortune 1000 companies, federal governments, and global logistics and transportation firms. Previously, Mr. Farley served as National Practice at Deloitte & Touche, and was a Partner at Fantus Consulting. He worked on corporate site selection and economic development consulting at both firms. Mr. Farley has also held senior staff positions with the Lt. Gov of Texas and the Texas Department of Commerce.

Mr. Farley has spoken and presented to over 200 organizations in his career, including professional forums, universities, government agencies, and visiting dignitaries. He has served as a board member of several organizations, including the International Development Council, Austin Municipal Utility District, and the Reston Neighborhood Association. Mr. Farley has been interviewed by Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and many others.

Mr. Farley is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Syracuse University. He also holds both an MPA and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Robert Fine
Executive Director
Economic Development Commission for the Central Okanagan
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Robert Fine was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After completing a degree in Urban Economics from the University of Toronto and Masters work at York University, Robert brought innovative programming to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario including GASAMO, a $35 million public gas-purchasing program under deregulation. He moved to British Columbia in 1989 where he worked for the Sea to Sky Economic Development Corporation until 1996. His many accomplishments included assisting in the development of Whistler which was named the number one ski resort in North America. In 1998, Mr. Fine was awarded “Economic Developer of the Year” by the Economic Development Association of British Columbia and the Bank of Montreal. He was honoured with an honourary fellow from Okanagan College and was named the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leader Award winner for 2009.

Mr. Fine is currently the Director for the Economic Development Commission for the Central Okanagan Regional District located in Kelowna, British Columbia. He is Past President of the Economic Developers Association of Canada and sits on the Board of the International Economic Development Council, based in Washington, DC. He is a member of the Provincial Small Business Roundtable, a director with Accelerate Okanagan, board member with the John Howard Society and has recently joined the Board of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC – Yukon. He writes a twice monthly column in the Kelowna Daily Courier, The Fine Print. In his spare time he sings the Great American Songbook, and has performed in Japan, the Caribbean, Europe and across Canada and the US. His 5th CD, a live recording with a 15 piece big band raised $20,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation.

Amy Fobes
Principal and Founder
Dallas, TX

Amy Fobes is the founder of geoCommunica, a consultancy dedicated to helping companies connect to the power of geo-technology and drive revenue even in a challenging and complex economic environment. She has twenty years of experience in sales, marketing and business analytics with an emphasis on achieving operational and sales objectives with location intelligence. Amy has served global real estate firms such as Jones Lang LaSalle and many others. She brings to the commercial real estate industry a deep understanding of the challenges and successes that site selectors experience when using GIS and data analytics to rank markets and enhance their decision-making processes. Prior to founding geoCommunica, Amy worked at global technology firms such as ESRI and Sun Microsystems. Amy has a B.A. in Political Science from Hamilton College.

Deane C. Foote, CEcD
Foote Consulting Group, LLC
Glendale, AZ

Deane C. Foote is President of Foote Consulting Group, LLC; a development related consulting company located in the Phoenix area. FCG provides real estate, site selection, workforce and economic development services.

Deane has worked on dozens of projects in recent years, including corporate projects for Staples, Simplot, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola and economic development projects for the Arizona Department of Commerce; State of Ohio; the Greater Phoenix Economic Council; Great Falls (MT) Airport Authority; Lee County Transportation Authority in Florida; Iowa City Area Development, Los Alamos, NM and the City of Moraine, OH. He has over 30 years of experience.

Deane was formerly Senior Project Manager for Real Estate and Economic Development with Jacobs (formerly Carter & Burgess) where he directed site selection and economic development projects. Deane was also a Vice President with Paragon Decision Resources, Inc., a full-service relocation company, in charge of site selection and economic development. He was also President of the Greater Urbana-Champaign (IL) Economic Development Corporation.

Deane is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife Jeanne reside in Glendale, Arizona.

James L. Gandy, CEcD, CCIM
Frisco Economic Development Corporation
Frisco, TX

James Gandy became president of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) in 1996 when Frisco's population was approximately 15,000. Eighteen years later, the population has boomed to more than 138,000.

During his time leading the FEDC, Jim has worked on many projects to enhance the quality-of-life for residents through the attraction of new businesses, generation of quality job opportunities and expansion of the tax base in the City of Frisco.

With population growth of 307% since 2000, Frisco has developed into a thriving city with significant corporate headquarters and destination retail such as Stonebriar Centre (Mall), Centre at Preston Ridge and big retailers like IKEA.

Development of destination sports venues has been a major part of Frisco's economic development strategy since 1997. The Frisco EDC has facilitated the development of several major sports venues including the:

• Frisco Superdrome (1998)
• Dr Pepper Ballpark (2003)
• Dr Pepper Arena (2003)
• Toyota Stadium (2005)
• FieldhouseUSA (2009), and most recently the
• Dallas Cowboys World Corporate Headquarters and the city-owned, multi-purpose event center (opening 2016)

Under Jim's leadership, the FEDC was recognized in October 2013 as the Highest Performing Economic Development Organization for cities with populations of 100,001 to 250,000 by Atlas Advertising. The Dallas Business Journal ranked the FEDC number one among North Texas economic development agencies. Both accolades were based on the value of deals facilitated by the FEDC in 2012.

Jim is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council, (IEDC) and a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).

He holds a Bachelor's degree of Business Administration from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas).

Previously, Mr. Gandy was:
• Director of Economic Development for the City of Seguin (near San Antonio)
• President of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, City of San Marcos (near Austin)
• Jackson County Chamber of Commerce in the City of Edna, Texas

Sean Garretson, AICP
Pegasus Planning and Development

Sean is an Economic Developer, Land Strategist, Strategic Planner, Facilitator, and Revitalization Expert. He leads a team of planners, analysts and creatives in providing strategic advice and direction to public and private sector clients. A transformational experience in Africa with the Peace Corps as well as hands-on development and revitalization experience at home in East Austin, Texas has helped shape Sean and Pegasus to become a mission-driven firm focused on making a difference in our communities. Several of his projects have been awarded Project of the Year by the American Planning Association – Texas Chapter. Sean currently sits on the board of the YMCA of Austin and is the Board President of the Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Authority, a local CDC involved in developing mixed-use projects in East Austin. He holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Texas at Austin, with a specialization in Economic Development.

Wayne Gearey, PhD
Global Chief GIS Officer
Jones Lang LaSalle
Dallas, TX

As of 2014, JLL is the first firm to create a Global Chief GIS Officer. In this role, all data assets and visualizations are organized across the enterprise through a consistent and standardized analytical mapping system that provides JLL customers with insightful market awareness backed by rigorous scientific methods. Mitigating risk and taking the guesswork out of site selection requires a unique blend of creativity and quantitative skill. The Global Chief GIS Officer ensures quality, integrity and reliability of big data analytics across all JLL advisory services. Dr. Gearey has won three consecutive innovation awards and was recently named as one of JLL's top achievers. Dr. Gearey teaches GIS for Real Estate to undergraduates, masters and PhD students at the University of Texas, Dallas. He also serves as a board member for the National Relief Charities serving American Indian Communities.

Mary Graham, CCR, IOM, CCE
Senior Vice President
Metro Charleston Chamber of Commerce
North Charleston, SC

Mary Graham is the Chamber's Senior Vice President for Business Advocacy. The Business Advocacy Division advocates on behalf of the Chamber's 1,850+ members at the local, state and federal levels to ensure members operate within a positive business climate to support their growth. Areas of focus include local regulation, state and federal legislation, military base retention, transportation, regional planning and other issues impacting the business climate in the region.

Graham has been with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce since 1989 working in Business Advocacy and the Center for Business Research. Prior to joining the Charleston Metro Chamber she worked with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the SC Department of Commerce.

She is past chair (twice) of the Council for Community and Economic Research. Formed in 1961, the Council for Community and Economic Research is a national membership organization of organizations concerned about understanding and improving regional economies. Members include representatives from state and local development organizations, chambers of commerce, local governments, federal agencies, applied academic research centers, and many other types of institutions.

Graham is both a Certified Community Researcher and a Certified Chamber Executive. Graham is a graduate of Converse College in Spartanburg SC with a degree in Economics.

The Honorable Kay Granger
United States Representative
State of Texas

Lynn-Ann Gries
Chief Investment Officer
JumpStart Inc.
Cleveland, OH

Lynn-Ann manages JumpStart’s process of investing in companies, from intake to due diligence to document review to post-investment governance and monitoring.

Lynn-Ann joined the team at JumpStart Inc. after working as the Fund Manager for JumpStart LLC, a venture capital fund dedicated to making investments in startup companies in Northeast Ohio. Prior to joining JumpStart in August 2001, Lynn-Ann worked in the investment banking division of McDonald Investments where she had extensive experience with public equity issuance and worked on stock offerings for many McDonald clients. Before McDonald, Lynn-Ann worked for Morgan Stanley in institutional equity sales, and prior to that, for Smith Barney in project finance.

She serves on the board of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross, Summer On The Cuyahoga (a summer internship program for college students) and the Ohio Venture Association.

Lynn-Ann received her MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business in 1990 and graduated from Smith College in 1984 with a BA in Economics.

Leann Hackman-Carty
Economic Developers Alberta

Leann has a unique ability to establish partnerships across various sectors, industries and borders; anticipate emerging and ongoing business needs; design new ways of providing goods and/or services; as well as conceptualize, plan and implement innovative initiatives. Her broad network of contacts locally, regionally, nationally and internationally is a real asset in her work. Expertise includes community economic development, identification of strategic business opportunities, business & market development, government relations, international trade and marketing communications.

Leann’s leadership abilities were identified early on in her career when she was nominated and selected to participate in the United States International Visitors Program. This program involved future leaders from 20 different countries, 19 of which were in Europe. The focus of the program was Trade and Economic Development. It included meetings with government, unions, community organizations and corporate America. Participants traveled to Washington DC; San Diego, California; Jackson, Mississippi and New York, NY.

In addition, Leann has provided business development services to the State of Georgia and State of Mississippi; provided leadership for the Organization of Women in International Trade in various capacities; organized and hosted numerous international trade delegations; worked with economic developers and elected officials throughout the province of Alberta; established working relationships with other provincial and international economic development groups; developed business and marketing plans for small-medium sized enterprises; and worked on a number of high profile community investment projects.

For the past five years, Leann has been the CEO of Economic Developers Alberta (EDA). As a professional organization for economic developers, EDA organizes conferences, seminars and webinars; provides a scholarship program; organizes an annual awards program; oversees the AlbertaBusinessCounts program; and runs a Community Economic Development Training Program. In June 2013, Leann conceptualized and spearheaded the Economic Disaster Recovery Project (EDRP) in response to major flooding in Southern Alberta. It was designed to be a practical and theoretical training exercise for 10 communities most impacted by the disaster. Organizational partners included EDA, BCEDA and IEDC; and funding partners included the Government of Alberta, RBC Foundation, Shell Canada Ltd., US Consulate General (Calgary) and the Canadian Red Cross.

Ellen D. Harpel, PhD
Business Development Advisors
Arlington, VA

Ellen Harpel is the founder and president of Business Development Advisors LLC (BDA), an economic development and market intelligence consulting firm. Dr. Harpel is also the founder of Smart Incentives, which helps communities make sound decisions throughout the economic development incentives process.

Dr. Harpel speaks and writes frequently on incentive policies and programs. Recent consulting projects have addressed effective incentive use, incentive policy analysis, sustainable economic development, economic impacts of defense and military spending, and economic development program evaluation.

Dr. Harpel is a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and an affiliate with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, an MBA from the University of North Carolina, and a doctoral degree in regional economics from George Mason University's School of Public Policy.

Cecilia Harry
Executive Director
Greater Fremont Development Council
Fremont, NE

Cecilia joined the Greater Fremont Development Council and the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership on August 26, 2013. She is responsible for the promotion of economic development activities in Fremont and Dodge County. Prior to this appointment, Cecilia was with Leavenworth County Development Corporation in Leavenworth, Kan. as the economic development coordinator where she was highly successful in expanding their business retention and expansion program. She excels at building relationships with business leaders and has experience working on workforce development initiatives, marketing and project management.

Cecilia currently serves on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), an organization that today has over 4,500 members. Her community involvement has included serving as a member of the board of United Way of Leavenworth County and as President of Young Professionals of Leavenworth County.

Mark Hays
Market Intelligence Expert
SizeUp for Local Business Intelligence (LBI)
San Francisco, CA

Mark spent four years in Economic Development with the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce after receiving his Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Austin Peay State University. During his time at the chamber he received certifications for completing a two-year Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives program and for graduating the US Chamber of Commerce Institute. Mark believes it’s critical for chambers to embrace technology and evolve with the digital world by helping small businesses using technology. When Mark isn’t working he enjoys Florida Gator games with his wife and stressing himself out on the golf course.

Mignonne Hollis
Executive Director
Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation
Sierra Vista AZ

Mignonne Hollis is an accomplished economic development professional with many years of experience in developing and transforming local businesses into sustainable enterprises. Ms. Hollis has developed countless partnerships within the City, County and State business community; making her a valuable commodity to her foundation. Her dynamic focus stimulates economic development by seeking to create sustainability and resources for existing businesses in an effort to promote growth and operation advancement. In addition to Ms. Hollis' dedication to existing businesses, she has successfully fostered an attractive marketing program that illustrates the benefits of making Sierra Vista the next business site for external corporations. SVEDF has evolved into an innovative tool for both local and external businesses and Ms. Hollis' vision of making the EDF a hub of information and resources is well on its way.

Ms. Hollis graduated from the University of Arizona and went on to earn her MBA degree from the University of Phoenix. She has been an effective professional in the community for a number of years and brings a fresh perspective to developing and retaining a healthy economy.

While serving as the Director and Business Analyst of the Cochise College Small Business Development Center, Mignonne counseled startups and existing businesses in all functional areas. She assisted over 3,000 businesses in the area creating over 1,000 jobs and increasing sales by $21,000,000. She assisted in developing business plans and financial reports for presentation to lenders.

Prior to joining the SBDC, Mignonne owned and operated an accounting firm for fifteen years. She provided tax preparation, accounting, auditing, financial reporting, tax research, tax planning and financial advice to small businesses and individuals. In just three years, she grew her client base to over 120 clients.

Mignonne received the 2007 customer satisfaction award from the Arizona Small Business Development Center network. She also co-writes a weekly newspaper advice column for business owners. She serves on the Tri County Workforce Development Board and is an active member of the Ft. Huachuca 50 whose mission is to solely and executively promote the economic welfare of the Sierra Vista area by support the continuing development of Ft Huachuca. She is also a member of the International Shopping Council of Shopping Centers. She is working towards becoming a certified economic developer.

As a member of the Arizona Association for Economic Development, she has been actively involved by serving on Southern AZ membership committee and the Rural Committee.

Stephen Hourigan
Chief Executive Officer
Elevate Ventures, Inc.
Indianapolis, IN

Mr. Hourigan serves as CEO of Elevate Ventures, Inc. and oversees the management of investment and outreach programs, and has served as a primary resource for entrepreneurs with high-growth, high-technology innovation.

With a strong background in finance and entrepreneurship, Mr. Hourigan brings experience to his new role as the state's chief entrepreneurial consultant. He most recently worked as the Managing Director of the 21 Fund. Previously, Mr. Hourigan worked as the chief strategic officer for debt mediation firm, Preferred Financial Solutions. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Hourigan served as a business development consultant for Chart Logic, a Utah-based electronic health record firm that Mr. Hourigan turned around in less than 9 months to profitability. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hourigan co-founded and served as a senior executive of a technology solutions company before executing a successful sale of the firm. He has also served in various senior trading and finance positions with New York City investment firms including First Boston Corporation, UBS Securities and AMT Capital.

Mr. Hourigan sits on the Board of PDS Biotechnology Corporation, Policystat, Wellfount, and Vocare. He is a co-author of a patent in automated loan-risk assessment and holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Sara Hudson
Community Development Project Manager
Big Sky Economic Development
Billings, MT

Sara Hudson works as a Community Development Project Manager for Big Sky Economic Development in Billings, Montana. In this position, she plans and initiates programs, projects, and partnerships that stimulate public and private investment, provide a better quality of place, and enhance the community’s economic wellbeing. She holds a Master in Public Administration and has completed her doctoral coursework in urban and public administration. She has more than 13 years of experience with grants and projects management and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in urban administration, policy and law. After serving under the Dallas City Manager as the lead financial analyst in the Office of Intergovernmental Services, she worked as a research associate in the Center for Economic Development Research and Service (CEDRAS) and the Center for International Research, Education and Development (CIRED), both of which are housed in the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs. She is a professionally trained strategic planner and most recently facilitated the strategic planning processes for the Billings Public Library Board of Trustees and the Billings Livability Partnership, www.livablebillings.com. Ms. Hudson is a fourth-generation Montanan and owns her own consulting business, Hudson Consulting, L.L.C.

Ed Ireland, PhD
Executive Director
Barnett Shale Energy Education Council
Fort Worth, TX

When a consortium of leading Barnett Shale production companies founded the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council in 2007, it selected Ed Ireland as executive director. Ireland and the BSEEC are dedicated to promoting energy education and best practices as they relate to oil and gas leasing, drilling, production, transportation and marketing in the Barnett Shale.

Ireland’s executive management experience, operational expertise and 20-year oil and gas career made him the ideal candidate to oversee the activities of the BSEEC, and implement educational and outreach programs in the 24-county area that makes up the Barnett Shale. An industry expert, he also acts as spokesperson for the Barnett Shale, as well as a community and media representative on behalf of BSEEC members. He serves on the Board of Directors of the TCU Energy Institute and was a co-founder of the Metroplex Natural Gas Vehicle Consortium.

Ireland started his career in the energy industry as an energy economist at United Gas Pipeline in Houston. He founded Energy Planning Associates and GasMark, Inc, a natural gas supplier and pipeline company, and later became president of GeoSource, Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration company. Ireland also served as Alderman of the City of Southside Place, Texas, for three terms.

Prior to his corporate work, Ireland served as assistant professor and head of the Economics Department at Clemson University in South Carolina. Ireland holds a B.S. in economics from Midwestern State University, a Ph.D. in economics and statistics from Texas Tech University and did post-doctoral work at the University of Chicago.

Aleem Kanji
Manager of Government Affairs and Stakeholder Relations
Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Toronto, ON, Canada

Mr. Aleem Kanji is the Manager of Government Affairs & Stakeholder Relations for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. In this role, he manages proposals and positions regarding policy, legislative and regulatory changes and issues of interest to the GTAA. In addition, he identifies new economic development opportunities for collaboration with stakeholder groups as it relates to the GTAA’s interests.

Previously, Mr. Kanji led policy and public affairs work at the Toronto Board of Trade, Canada’s largest Chamber of Commerce. In this position he was the key lobbyist on economic development and planning and development issues to the municipal, provincial and federal governments on behalf of the Board of Trade. He has also worked as a freelance consultant to Dr. Richard Florida and the Creative Class Group.

Before joining the Toronto Board of Trade, Mr. Kanji served as Senior Economist for the Government of Ontario at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Mr. Kanji holds a Masters Degree in Economic Development and a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, both from the University of Waterloo. In October 2003, Mr. Kanji attained the Certified Economic Developer ‘Ec.D’ designation - recognizing both industry and academic qualifications of Economic Developers and became the youngest Canadian ever to do so.

In February 2009, Mr. Kanji was appointed by Toronto City Council as a founding member on the Board of Directors for Invest Toronto, a new business corporation established by The City of Toronto focused on engaging the private sector in marketing and promotion activities to increase business investment, employment and prosperity in Toronto. Through this role, Mr. Kanji provides advice to the Mayor and other top city officials on ways to enhance Toronto's economic competitiveness.

In his spare time, Mr. Kanji teaches economic development at York University.

Specialties:Government Relations, Lobbying, Advocacy and Policy, Issues Management, Communications, Economic Development, Urban & Regional Planning

Christopher Knight
International Sales Manager
FDI Intelligence
London, UK

Chris Knight heads the fDi Benchmark division of fDi Intelligence -- in addition to serving as a business development executive focusing on the US and UK markets -- and is an expert in the benchmarking of locations. He has been working on benchmarking projects for more than four years and has worked with some of the largest economic development organisations globally to help them promote themselves to foreign investors and assess their competitiveness for investment.

Chris develops bimonthly rankings for various sectors using inhouse data which are published in fDi Magazine; the most recent of these were rankings identifying the best locations globally for attracting renewable energy FDI projects. As well as benchmarking, Chris works on a variety of different reports comparing market and sectoral performance in terms of FDI.

fDi Intelligence is a specialist division from the Financial Times Ltd established to provide industry leading insight into globalization with a portfolio of world-class products, services and business tools that allow both companies and economic development organizations alike to make informed decisions regarding foreign direct investment and investment attraction. The fDi Intelligence portfolio includes fDi Atlas, fDi Benchmark, fDi Markets, fDi Magazine and fDi Reports.

Nathan Kurtz
Manager in Entrepreneurship
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Kansas City, MO

Nathan Kurtz is a manager in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he focuses on Kansas City entrepreneurship, promoting the Kauffman Foundation's programs to startups, entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders in the community. Kurtz also works to develop and expand the Entrepreneurship team's programs around the region and nation.

Prior to joining Kauffman, Kurtz worked in numerous entrepreneurial capacities. He was the president and chief operating officer at KR Legal Management, where he was instrumental in helping the company grow and scale. He also was the co-founder and chief operating officer at Legal Sonar/National Lawyer Review, a privately held and angel-funded legal resources and marketing company. Earlier, he was the general manager and chief operating officer at The Roasterie, Inc., where he worked in several different positions helping to grow the regional coffee roaster into a Kansas City entrepreneurial success story.

Kurtz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College. He was named to the 2009 class of Ingram's magazine Twenty in their Twenties. He served for two years as president of KC Roundtable and is a volunteer alumni interviewer for Claremont McKenna College.

Tommy Kurtz, CEcD, MPA
Principal, Economic Consulting Services
Baton Rouge, LA

As Principal of LEO's Economic Consulting Services and Senior Project Manager for LEO, LLC (Leotta-Evers Consulting), Kurtz is responsible for the daily operations of the economic development services group within LEO assisting private, non-profit, and public entities focused on economic development, community development, and site selection needs.

As Senior Project Manager, Kurtz provides consulting to clients in the application of GIS technology in accordance with project objectives, data requirements, and budget constraints. He has expertise in Business Development, Real Estate Development, Economic Development, Deal Structuring, Market Research, Public Finance, Economic Development Incentives, Financial Analysis, Legislative Affairs, Lobbying, Public Policy, Marketing, Sales, Fundraising, and Problem Solving.

Kurtz has more than 19 years experience in the field of economic and community development in the private, non-profit, and governmental sectors and has been involved in the creation of over 10,000 new direct jobs, retention of over 21,000 jobs, and $23B in capital investment from over 100 announced projects over this period in executive management positions with Entergy Corporation, Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Ascension Economic Development Corporation, Greater New Orleans Inc, and the City of New Orleans.

Kurtz was project lead as Executive Director of the Business Retention and Expansion Group (BERG) at LED where he secured the largest foreign direct investment project in US history, the Sasol Ltd. Gas to Liquids project, which created over $16B in capital investment and over 1,200 new jobs in Lake Charles, LA, using state of the art GIS tools to secure a site in record time for the project, the first natural gas to liquids fuel facility in North America.

Kurtz received an undergraduate degree in Economics from Boston College and a Master Degree in Public Administration from Louisiana State University and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute (EDI) at the University of Oklahoma at Norman.

Kimber Lanning
Executive Director
Local First Arizona
Phoenix, AZ

Kimber Lanning is an entrepreneur and economic specialist who works to cultivate strong, vibrant, creative communities and inspire a higher quality of life across the state of Arizona. Lanning owns three small businesses: Stinkweeds, Modified Arts, and SilverPlatter, and in addition, Lanning founded Local First Arizona, a statewide organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the economic and cultural benefits provided by locally owned businesses. Along with an advisory board of dedicated, local business owners and civic leaders, Lanning pursues the dual goal of establishing vibrant and culturally unique businesses at the forefront of the state's identity, as well as creating a sustainable and healthy region through the implementation of diverse local economies. She works to inform, educate, and motivate consumers to support local enterprises, and encourages public policy that enables locally owned and operated businesses to thrive.

Erik Lee
Executive Director
North American Research Partnership
San Diego, CA

Erik Lee is Executive Director of the North American Research Partnership, an independent, non-profit networked think-tank that conducts strategic applied research and outreach on how the United States, Mexico and Canada can better position themselves for success in the 21st century.

Lee is co-editor and author of The U.S.-Mexico Border Economy in Transition (forthcoming summer 2014), the State of the Border Report: A Comprehensive Analysis of the U.S.-Mexico Border Region (2013) and “Realizing the Strategic National Value of Our Trade, Tourism and Ports of Entry with Mexico” (2013). He is also co-editor of Latino Politics and Arizona's Immigration Law SB 1070 (2013) and The U.S.-Mexican Border Environment: Progress and Challenges for Sustainability (2012) and served as managing editor for North America Next: A Report to President Obama on Building Sustainable Security and Competitiveness (2009). His work and commentary on U.S.-Mexico relations and border management has been featured by media outlets such as the Associated Press, the New York Times, The Economist, Canal 11 (Mexican public television), Reforma, CNN Latino, the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Daily Star, the Calgary Herald, the El Paso Times, Fronteras: A Changing Americas Desk (public radio), and the San Diego Union Tribune, among other outlets.

Lee is a frequent speaker in the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Institute as well as the Arizona Civic Leadership Academy. He serves on advisory boards for the journal Latin American Policy, the Cali-Baja Innovation Study, the International Metropolis Project, and the Latino Public Policy Center of the Morrison Institute.

From 2007-2013 Lee served as Associate Director at the North American Center for Transborder Studies (NACTS) at Arizona State University. From 2006-2007, Mr. Lee was program officer for the Merage Foundation for the American Dream in Newport Beach, California. He was assistant director at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego from 2002-2006. Before that, Lee served as assistant managing director at the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy at San Diego State University.

Before completing his master's degree in Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego in 2000, Lee worked as a university administrator and instructor in Hermosillo, Sonora for two and a half years. He received his bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Arizona.

Susan Liberty
Vice President, Infrastructure & Economic Development
McGuire Woods Consulting
McLean, VA

Susan Liberty has extensive economic development and legislative experience. 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 has successfully marketed Fairfax County in Silicon Valley. She also has experience providing the full range of relocation and business expansion services to international companies. Previously, she was the Chief of Staff for Thomas M. Davis, III during his term as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff tof Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman John F. (Jack) Herrity. Susan has campaign experience at the national, state and local level. Additionally, she is involved in fundraising efforts for several major charities serving her community.

Susan is a member of the infrastructure and economic development team specializing in incentive negotiations for corporations as well as representing clients' interests on a variety of issues with state and local officials. Additionally, Susan represents clients on a number of public-private partnership initiatives and she is part of several teams pursuing projects using this innovative procurement method for transportation and other infrastructure needs. She also works closely with clients using her contacts with state and local officials to bring about a successful outcome on land use and zoning issues throughout Virginia.

Henry Loewendahl, PhD
Founder & CEO
Toronto, ON Canada

Henry has nearly 20 years of industry and academic experience and has worked with over 100 economic development organizations and global corporations in 60 countries. Henry started his career in PwC's International Investment Group before becoming Manager of Inward Investment in IBM-Plant Location International.

Henry sold his first FDI business to Financial Times Ltd in 2008 and he founded WAVTEQ in 2010, which has become the fastest growing FDI technology and consulting company with its trading company in Hong Kong, Global Technology Centre in Ireland and Centre of Excellence in UK. WAVTEQ has nearly 50 full and part time consultants and a network of offices around the world, with six offices in China, India, Japan and Korea providing lead generation solutions. WAVTEQ also covers Asia, Canada and the Middle East for fDi Intelligence data services and supports the Financial Times Ltd in tracking FDI to and from China.

Henry has specialized in Asia, with a Masters and PhD on Asian outward FDI. He has a very strong track record managing lead generation contracts across Asia for clients including Invest Canada, Loudon County, Marketing Birmingham, Province of Ontario, State of Louisiana, SW Ontario and UK Trade and Investment. He has given key note presentations on FDI at major international conferences in Asia including at APEC Annual Summits, ASEAN and UNESCAP Regional Meetings and at the First International Meeting of the Pacific Basin.

Henry is one the leading global experts in FDI strategy, marketing & lead generation and he has pioneered the development of FDI data, incentives and benchmarking tools and mobile apps for attracting FDI.

Henry's publications on FDI are widely considered the authoritative guides for how to attract FDI and include “Bargaining with Multinationals” published by Palgrave, “Framework for Investment Promotion” published by UNCTAD, and “Handbook for Investment Promotion” published by Columbia University. Henry has over 50 publications and conference presentations on FDI.

Henry has a First Class Honors BA degree in Economics & Politics, a MA degree with Distinction in International Political Economic (with full scholarship) and a PhD in FDI (with full Volkswagen Scholarship).

Barry I. Matherly, CEcD
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Greater Richmond Partnership
Richmond, VA

Barry I. Matherly is a certified economic developer with over 20 years of leadership experience at the city, county, regional and university levels.

Currently, Barry is Senior Vice President 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 on the Governance Committee of the International Economic Development Council Board and is the chair of its Planning and Business Development Committee. Barry also serves of the Executive Board of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is chair of the Special Projects and International Committee.

Barry Matherly 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.

Guillermo Mazier, MBA
Director of Strategic Accounts
Atlas Advertising
Denver, CO

Guillermo Mazier is the Director Strategic Accounts for Atlas Advertising, niche economic development marketing and technology firm that helps economic developers effectively reach site selection and prospect audiences while generating the greatest gains in economic development recruitment, retention, and investor activity for the lowest cost.

An innate passion for places, culture and economic development has afforded Guillermo the opportunity to traverse the globe and view the world through different lenses. With a strong background in international business and development, Guillermo has developed tactical marketing programs, corporate communication strategies and messaging across multiple campaign engagements in various parts of North America and throughout the continental US. His work on marketing engagements for both public and private sector organizations has been recognized by various University organizations, The Ministry of Tourism for the State of Limon, Costa Rica and the American Lung Association in Colorado where he currently serves on the Board of Directors.

Tracye McDaniel
President & CEO
Choose New Jersey, Inc.
Princeton, NJ

Tracye McDaniel is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Choose New Jersey, Inc., an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 2010 to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout the state of New Jersey.

Ms. McDaniel has more than 26 years of leadership experience in economic development, public relations, tourism and international business development. Prior to assuming her current post, McDaniel served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). She has held cabinet-level positions in three gubernatorial administrations and is a Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development (RSD) Fellow. Ms. McDaniel serves on the Board of Directors of the IEDC and holds leadership positions in numerous professional and industry organizations.

Ms. McDaniel is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.

Michel Merleau
Elected Reeve
Gatineau Valley Regional Municipal Council
Gracefield, QC, Canada

Michel Merleau currently serves as Elected Reeve for the Regional Municipal Council of La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau in Québec, Canada. His career in economic development dates to 1979, when he left a journalism career behind to become the co-founder and first Executive Director of the Upper Gatineau Economic Development Corporation in Maniwaki, Québec. In 1992, he became a member of the Council for Urban Economic Development, later a part of the merger to form IEDC.

After serving in multiple economic development roles and municipal leadership roles throughout Québec during the 1980s and 1990s, Merleau became Director of Development, Partners, and International Affiliates for Montreal International in 2001. In 2003 he become Greater Montreal Economic Development Coordinator for the Montreal Metropolitan Community.

Elected to his current position in November 2013, Merleau brings rich economic development expertise to his role as the chief public official for his region. Prior to this position, Merleau spent the last five years consulting over 30 different municipalities, regional governments, and metropolitan communities on issues related to economic development strategic planning, sustainable development, and environmental policy.

Dennis Meseroll
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Tractus Asia Ltd.
Bangkok, Thailand

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.

Maria Meyers
Director, University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center, Network Builder
US SourceLink
Kansas City, MO

Maria Meyers is passionate about finding business development resources and getting entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time. In 2003 she crafted a public-private partnership to launch a venture that became known as KCSourceLink. Today KCSourceLink connects a network of more than 200 resources in the Kansas City region that can help small businesses start and grow. Each year KCSourceLink connects entrepreneurs to resources, measures network satisfaction and works to fill identified entrepreneurial ecosystem gaps. The successful launch in Kansas City led Maria and her team to take the network nationwide through U.S.SourceLink. The model has been adopted in many regions across the country as part of the large U.S.SourceLink system, making it America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.

Maria also heads the University of Missouri – Kansas City Innovation Center which organizes a variety of university supported business outreach services into a single organization. With a focus on technology commercialization, the Center connects university researchers with the community to ignite collaborative partnerships leading to new innovations and business growth. The Center also supports thousands of community members every year in starting and growing businesses.

Janet M. Miller, CEcD, FM
Chief Economic Development & Marketing Officer
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Nashville, TN

Janet M. Miller is Chief Economic Development and Marketing Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Janet has oversight of the team that serves as the 10-county region's lead agency for economic development and job creation strategies, with oversight of functions including business recruitment, working with existing Nashville-based firms on expansions, entrepreneurship initiatives, and international business. She also has oversight of the Chamber's marketing and communications team, and is responsible for delivery of all Chamber of Commerce marketing and branding programs. Miller works on a day-to-day basis with corporate executives of relocating and expanding companies to advise on capital investments and site locations. Successful relocation projects in which Miller has been involved include Nissan's North American headquarters, Dell Computer Corporation, Caremark Rx, Asurion, Louisiana-Pacific, HCA, PRIMUS/Ford Motor Credit, Mars Pet Care, and numerous others. Since she took on the departmental leadership role at the Chamber in 2002, over 93,000 jobs have been created in the Nashville region and over 275 companies recruited.

Miller was named the local Sales and Marketing Executive Association's National Salesperson of the Year for 2006, and was named one of three “Women of Influence” in the “Inspiration” category by the Nashville Business Journal in July 2007. She was named a Fellow Member of the International Economic Development Council in recognition of exceptional contributions to the field of economic development in America in Fall of 2007. She was named in 2009 to the International Economic Development Council's board of directors, after chairing the organization's awards section in 2009. She is a past-President of the Tennessee Economic Development Council, a past Tennessee director for the Southern Economic Development Council Board, and a board member and past chairman for the Tennessee Economic Partnership. She is also a Tennessee board member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP); a member of AAA Auto Club's Tennessee advisory board; an associate member of CoreNet Global; past membership recruitment chair, program chair and a current board member for Nashville's Downtown Rotary Club; a member of the United Way of Nashville board of directors and serves on the campaign cabinet for United Way for 2010; and serves on numerous other boards. She is a graduate of the 2001 class of Leadership Nashville, and a 2008 graduate of Leadership Music. Miller is a frequent lecturer at economic development classes around the country, including engagements as an instructor at Basic Economic Development Courses at Georgia Tech, the University of Kentucky, and the Tennessee Basic Course.

Miller did her undergraduate work at the University of Tennessee, and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, where she received the Certified Economic Developer designation, the industry's highest achievement, in 2000. Prior to her tenure at the Nashville Chamber, she served as Director of Research and Marketing for Grubb & Ellis/Centennial, Inc.

Rodrick T. Miller
President & CEO
New Orleans Business Alliance
New Orleans, LA

Rodrick T. Miller is a results-oriented leader with nearly 10 years of experience in economic development, strategic planning, trade and foreign investment, and project finance. Rodrick is the founding president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), the official economic development organization responsible for ensuring the long-term economic vitality and driving job growth for the City of New Orleans. As the chief economist and thought leader on economic recovery, Miller has focused the organization’s efforts on lowering barriers to entry in the marketplace, increasing transparency, and developing strategies for urban economic growth.

Previously, Miller served as the Executive Vice President of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber where he managed day-to-day operations, developed strategic initiatives, and helped deliver on the firm’s $20M capital campaign. He also served as Vice President of International Economic Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) where he managed international development activities.

Miller holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science degree in international business from St. Augustine’s College. He also gained a Graduate Diploma in Finance from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) in Mexico while completing a Fulbright Fellowship.

A scholar practitioner, he is a sought after lecturer and contributes to various publications. He enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with his son.

Sarah Miller
Associate Director
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
Chicago, IL

Sarah Miller is an Associate Director for Public Sector Services for CAEL with 10 years experience working in with the public sector through the K-12 education system, post-secondary education stakeholders and regional, statewide and community initiatives. Joining CAEL in 2009, Sarah has worked with both the public and private sector to assist in workforce and economic strategy development, analysis and recommendations as well as program planning. She has led key initiatives with CAEL through regional education and workforce alignment strategies; employer, workforce organization and economic development engagement; development and delivery of training modules; and capacity building for various sector strategies, non-profit organizations and consortia of college partners – specifically through Department of Labor grant programs including: TAACCCT, State Energy Sector Partnerships, High Growth Grants and Community Based Job Training Grants.

Prior to joining CAEL Sarah was a high school teacher of social studies in Toledo, Ohio and spent several years as a Business Consultant in the Private Sector where she worked directly with independent school districts, multi-district cooperatives and statewide initiatives to streamline special education planning and Medicaid programming per local and Federal guidelines. During this time Sarah worked with clients around the country to incorporate special education best practice models into administrative plans. Sarah earned her Bachelor's of Science degree in Secondary Education from Bowling Green State University.

Fred Morley
Executive Vice President & Chief Economist
Greater Halifax Partnership
Halifax, NS, Canada

Fred Morley is Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of the Greater Halifax Partnership, a position he has held since 2003. Prior to this, Mr. Morley held positions as Senior Director, Business Retention Expansion and Research at Nova Scotia Business Inc., Director of Marketing and Research for Nova Scotia Economic Development, Senior Economic Advisor to the Province of Nova Scotia, Research Coordinator for the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, and has taught in the Department of Economics at Saint Mary’s University.

Fred designed and drove many of the high profile economic and business initiatives in Nova Scotia of the last dozen years. Fred wrote Halifax’s first economic strategy, and co-wrote Nova Scotia’s first economic strategy in a decade. He has worked with dozens of companies to establish new operations in Nova Scotia that have created more than 2000 high wage jobs. Fred developed the business centered concept of economic development that became Nova Scotia Business Inc., and designed the province’s first investment attraction framework creating innovations in business attraction and retention still in use today. Teams lead by Fred, have won over a dozen national and international marketing awards.

Mr. Morley has current board appointments to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, the International Economic Development Council in Washington DC, the Acadia Centre for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (Chair), and the Saint Mary’s Business Development Centre. Fred also Chairs Halifax’s Regional Planning Advisory Committee and is past president of Business Retention Expansion International and the Atlantic Association of Applied Economists

Mr. Morley is the author more than 100 articles on economic issues and his views are sought by dozens of organizations, companies and governments around the world. In 2008 Fred was recognized by Business Retention and Expansion International with its prestigious Distinguished Service Award for his work at spreading new economic concepts across Canada and around the world.

Ioanna T. Morfessis, PhD, HLM
President & Chief Strategist
Phoenix, AZ

Ioanna Morfessis is the President and Chief Strategist of IO.INC, a worldwide business and economic development consulting firm. With her distinguished track record and reputation as an economic development executive and founder of three best-of-class organizations, Dr. Morfessis has devoted her professional life to helping companies and communities grow and prosper. Based in Phoenix, AZ, IO.INC is a visionary consulting practice that delivers expert strategies and solutions to help leaders, organizations and places grow. Among IO.INC's clients are cities and regions; global and domestic companies, publicly traded and privately held; master planned community developers, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to starting her own company, she was the founding President/CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and the inaugural director of the Montgomery County, MD Department of Economic Development. In these posts, she led efforts to recruit and expand more than 300 firms that combined, invested over $27 billion in private capital and generated more than 250,000 direct new jobs. Dr. Morfessis also served as the Chairman of the International Economic Development Council and is an Honorary Lifetime Member. She is a founding director of the Helios Education Foundation, and serves on numerous civic boards.

Mary Scott Nabers
President & CEO
Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Austin, TX

Mary Scott Nabers is President/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a unique public affairs firm that specializes in procurement consulting, market research, government affairs and public- private partnerships (P3s). Mary is also co-founder of the Gemini Global Group (G3), a firm that works with national and international clients on business development, P3s and other types of government objectives.

A recognized expert regarding P3s, Mary is the author of Collaboration Nation - How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government. Her book explores this growing trend and describes a number of best practices for successful projects as well as the importance for both parties to respect the cultural differences of the other.

Because of her experience in both the public and private sectors and her recent book, Mary was invited to participate in a Clinton Global Initiative -- a task force called Infrastructure Financing for Cities. She is active on the professional speaking circuit and keynotes both business conferences and conferences for government executives. Her articles have been published by media outlets including Forbes, CNBC.com, CEO-Read and Change This. Mary is a regular contributor to business journals and industry publications.

Before entering government, Mary was the President and General Manager of two media firms. In government, she served as the Commissioner representing Business at the Texas Employment Commission. In that position, she was a high-profile, proactive business advocate who founded The Texas Business Council. Then Commissioner Nabers moved to the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s regulatory agency for the oil and gas industry. She was active on both the state and federal level of government and represented Texas on numerous national boards.

Currently, in addition to her work with Strategic Partnerships and the Gemini Global Group, Mary is a partner at Capital Factory, an incubator and ecosystem for technology start-up firms. She is also a trustee for the Long Center Performing Arts, a board member for the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and a member of the board at St David’s Healthcare Foundation.

Mary holds a BS degree from Howard Payne University and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. She also holds an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree and was named a Distinguished Alumnae of Howard Payne University.

Mark O'Connell
OCO Global
Belfast, N. Ireland

At the start of his career Mark gained a First Class Honours degree from University of Ulster in Business Studies and French and a Masters degree in Marketing Management from Lancaster University. Mark was also awarded a Licence in Sciences Economiques from Universite de Caen and speaks French.

Mark's industry experience includes two years at IMES UK an economic development consultancy firm where he worked as a consultant in international trade, four years with Alrumaih Corporation, a Saudi investment firm where he managed a portfolio of retail and consumer goods clients ranging from Bally Shoes to Mexx apparel. This was followed by two years with Enterprise Ireland in London, the Irish government export agency. Prior to establishing OCO in 2001 Mark spent the last six years of his career in the management consultancy division of Price Waterhouse Coopers.

In the last decade Mark has established OCO Global, a leading boutique consultancy firm which specialises in FDI and International trade. OCO clients include private firms, government agencies and international organisations.

Mark is retained by a number of leading private clients to advise them on international expansion and corporate location decisions. He also has participated on the Boards of Government Agencies such as UK Trade and Investment, Invest Sweden Agency, Enterprise Ireland, Italian Trade Commission, Invest Hong Kong, Enterprise Florida and the State of California. Mark is also regularly cited as an FDI expert in leading publications such as the Economist, Wall St Journal and Financial Times.

Mark has published a wide range of thought leadership pieces on FDI including OCO's Annual Report and is widely quoted in international media. Mark is an accomplished public speaker and regularly participates in international conferences on investment including WAIPA, UNCTAD, IEDC, MIPIM, La Baule and UK's Global Investment Conference.

Mark is also a founder and shareholder of Loco Software who together with OCO Global developed the well-known database tools fDi Markets and fDi Benchmark before their acquisition by the Financial Times in 2008. Mark serves on the Board of the IEDC.

Nadia Osman
Director of Revitalization & Business Initiatives
College Hill Alliance
Macon, GA

Nadia Osman is the director of revitalization and business initiatives for the College Hill Alliance, an economic and community development organization based in Macon, Georgia, that focuses on business recruitment and retention, lifestyle enhancement, and catalyzing commercial and residential real estate development in the historic College Hill Corridor neighborhood. She joined the Alliance in 2009 and is currently responsible for planning and implementing projects designed to advance the goals of the College Hill Corridor Master Plan, attract new business investment, and encourage entrepreneurship in the College Hill Corridor and Downtown Macon areas.

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Osman witnessed the revitalization of its downtown area, led by an innovative private institution with sincere interest in change and invested residents and businesses. She moved to Macon in 2005 and focused her volunteer efforts on reinvigorating Downtown Macon, including program planning at a historic theatre and helping craft the College Hill Corridor Master Plan.

Osman has participated in both academic and professional sessions devoted to the unique ways Macon's College Hill Corridor has been revitalized. Currently, she is a member of the International Economic Development Council, American Planning Association, Technology Association of Georgia and plays an active role in rejuvenating Macon's Historic Riverside Cemetery.

Osman graduated from Mercer University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, is a 2010 graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and is pursuing her master's degree in business administration at Mercer.

Jennifer Owens
Lakeshore Advantage
Zeeland, MI

Jennifer Owens, joined the Lakeshore Advantage team in early May as the new President. Jennifer brings outstanding experience in business retention, expansion and attraction. Her insight and understanding of economic development make her ideal to support or develop initiatives that help businesses thrive in our community. In her capacity, Jennifer will deliver direct business attraction, expansion and retention services, while providing overall leadership to the organization. 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 is an avid runner. She has run many road races and competed in several half and full marathons. She and her husband Mike have three sons who are always up for a race!

Diane Palmintera
Innovation Associates
Reston, VA

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.

Nitin Pangam
Managing Director
Maeflower Consulting
Pune, Maharashtra, India

Nitin is the Managing Director of Maeflower Consulting, a leading Foreign Investment and Trade advisory firm based in India. Nitin has worked closely with Global Economic Development Organisations on inward investment strategies, Investor targeting and lead generation. Similarly, Indian clients include companies seeking advice on global location selection & dynamics of location analysis. He is the India Director of Missouri State Investment & Trade, and represents Cincinnati USA Partnership, Promo Madrid, AWEX Wallonia and Pro Barranquilla in India.

Nitin has helped create India entry strategies for multinational companies like Helical Technology, RM Plc, and PoliFilm Gmbh and managed their operations set-up & transition into India. As an India specialist, Nitin has a strong network with government, Industry associations (NASSCOM, CII, ESC, ACMA...), and leaders in business.

Nitin is currently on the board of four companies, both Limited Indian companies and subsidiaries of multinationals. He has earlier founded and headed two technology companies, in Data Storage and Procurement services, which were acquired by leading business groups in 1997 and 2001 respectively.

He has been a speaker at several FDI & Outsourcing forums such as the World Investment Conference in France, Outsource World in New York, Policy conference in South Africa and the NASSCOM BPO Summit in India.

Ajarin Pattanapanchai
Deputy Secretary General, and Senior Executive Investment Advisor
Thailand Board of Investment
New York, NY

Khnn Ajarin is also involved in formulating Thailand's investment promotion policy for many target sectors including the policy to promote hi-tech industries in Thailand such as biotechnology, R&D, transportation (rail & aviation/aerospace), software, advanced manufacturing and others.

Ajarin Pattanapanchai spent her career at Office of the Board of Investment since 1984. During this period, she was involved in many high profile projects including developments in the petroleum & petrochemical sector, chemical sector, energy and alternative energy sector, transportation, aviation and high technology.

Her major positions include Director of Planning and Development Division, Director of Chemical Division, Director of Services and Public Utilities Division, Director of Management Information System Division, Executive Investment Advisor, and Deputy Secretary General. Currently, she is a Senior Executive Investment Advisor of BOI and travels extensively meeting international companies, speaking on behalf of the BOI and addressing FDI issues. She looks forward to the opportunity to meet with participants at the IEDC Conference.

James Johnson-Piett
Principal and CEO
Urbane Development, LLC
New York, NY

An expert in neighborhood scale development and the revitalization of urban commercial and retail assets, James Johnson-Piett is Principal and CEO of Urbane Development, which provides technical assistance, program development, and thought leadership to a wide range of clients and partners working to strengthen underserved communities. Urbane Development is a community development venture that cultivates innovative solutions to build dynamic neighborhoods and positively impact underserved communities. During his tenure, Urbane has worked with over 150 retailers and other institutions throughout the US and abroad. Currently, James serves on the board of directors of the Community Food Security Coalition, is a co-convener of the Healthy Corner Stores Network, and is an advisory council member for the USDA Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development program.

Scott Polikov, AICP, CNU
Vialta Group
Dallas, TX

Scott Polikov is a national leader advancing the New Economics of Place. He is well known for his work in unlocking the true value of land, focusing on public-private partnerships to fund lasting design.

President of Vialta Group, Scott is a town planner and innovative finance consultant who started his professional life with Patton Boggs, practicing law in Washington, D.C. Returning to Texas, he became director of the State’s Alternative Fuels Program, while also serving on the Board of Directors respectively of transit authority, Capital Metro, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Central Texas Region. Alarmed that the MPO’s regional transportation plan ignored development patterns and land use in a sustainable way, Scott changed careers and established Gateway Planning Group, a national town planning practice focusing on the marriage of urbanism and the economics of transportation.

In 2013, Gateway Planning Group formed a joint venture with Balfour Beatty to create Vialta Group. Vialta Group builds on the award-winning town planning and implementation practice of Gateway Planning and the strong culture of collaboration of Balfour Beatty.

Known for leading the design and implementation of walkable urban neighborhoods in rural and suburban communities as well as downtowns, Scott’s design and town planning practice also fully integrates transportation. His extensive transportation work includes serving as deputy project man- ager for the City of Fort Worth for the Chisholm Trail Tollroad, a sensitively designed urban parkway;as well as supporting the creation of the Austin-San Antonio Intercity Rail District (Lone Star Rail). He is currently creating the innovative funding strategy for the Cotton Belt Rail Project in DFW with develop- ment partners Balfour Beatty and Odebrecht.

Scott serves asan associate of the CitiStates Group and is on the National Board of Directors of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU).

Matthew Raker
Vice President, Entrepreneurship & AdvantageGreen
AdvantageWest Economic Development Group
Fletcher, NC

Matthew Raker serves as the Vice President of Entrepreneurship and AdvantageGreen at AdvantageWest, a regional economic development partnership in western North Carolina. As director of AW's entrepreneurship efforts, Matt works closely with regional partners to ensure WNC is home to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Building on his considerable work at the intersection of economy and environment, Matt also heads the AdvantageGreen program, an initiative to capitalize on WNC's exceptional natural assets and opportunity to be a leader in sustainable industries. Through AdvantageGreen, Matt works with startups, existing industry and regional partners to advance WNC economic clusters in clean energy, green building technologies, natural products, sustainable agriculture, outdoor sports and climate science. Matt holds degrees in Economics and Natural Resources Management from UNC Asheville.

James Reddish
Vice President
Economic & Workforce Development
Greater Louisville, Inc.
Louisville, KY

James Reddish is Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development for Greater Louisville Inc, managing all business expansion and retention efforts as well as education and workforce development. James leads GLI's existing business growth strategy and is involved in several regional initiatives including the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement and the Jefferson County Public Schools Ford Next Generation Learning certification. In his time at GLI, James has assisted 76 companies who have combined to invest nearly half a billion dollars in new capital and add over 3,400 new jobs to the region.

Prior to joining GLI, James worked for Learfield Sports at the new KFC Yum! Center located in the heart of downtown Louisville. At Learfield James was responsible for the fulfillment and implementation of over $48 million in partnership agreements including the naming rights and all of the cornerstone level partners.

James currently serves on the Boards of the Louisville Sports Commission, Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana and the Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Network.

A native of the Washington, DC metro area, James has a bachelor of science degree in sport management from James Madison University and a master’s in sport administration from the University of Louisville.

David Robinson
The Montrose Group, LLC
Columbus, OH

David J. Robinson is a Principal of The Montrose Group and an Adjunct Professor at the John Glenn School for Public Affairs at the Ohio State University for an Economic Development class. Mr. Robinson serves customers based upon 20 years of experience as an economic development executive and lawyer before the federal, state and local governments. He teaches Economic Development at OSU's law and public policy schools and worked managing practice groups in large law firms; as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives; as the coordinator for Economic Development of Ameritech Ohio; as Press Secretary for Columbus Mayor Greg Lashutka, and as general counsel of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. David J. Robinson is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, Ohio State University Law School, author of The Electric Company to the Rescue, Saving America's Industrial Heartland Through Electric Rate Incentives, The IEDC Economic Development Journal, Fall, 2009 and Co-Author of Innovation and Transformation in the Buckeye State, The IEDC Economic Development Journal, Spring, 2010. Mr. Robinson has gained built over $100M in public-private-partnerships and works extensively with companies and economic development organizations on retaining and attracting energy companies.

Eric Romich
Assistant Professor & Extension Field Specialist, Energy Development
Ohio State University Extension
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Department of Extension
Marion, OH

Eric Romich is an Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist for Energy Development. His background in renewable energy began during his former assignment as an OSU Extension Educator in Wyandot County. In this position he served as the Director of Wyandot County Office of Economic Development and was deeply involved in the details of finalizing the PSEG Wyandot Solar Project. The PSEG Wyandot Solar Project is a 12 MW 85 acre solar generation facility that is the largest solar facility in Ohio and one of the largest in the Midwest. Romich focuses his Extension efforts in the areas of renewable energy development, energy policy, wind energy, solar energy, and bioenergy resources. He works with elected officials, community planners, community residents, OSU faculty and Extension Educators, and state and federal government agencies to deliver educational programs.

Della G. Rucker, CEcD, AICP
Wise Economy Workshop
Cincinnati, OH

Della Rucker is the author of The Local Economy Revolution: What's Changed and How You Can Help. She is Principal of the Wise Economy Workshop, a consulting firm that focuses on economic revitalization planning and public engagement. She is also the Managing Editor of Engaging Cities, an online magazine focused on the intersection of internet technologies and public involvement in community and government life.

Della has spent over 20 years providing economic development planning, downtown revitalization strategies, fiscal impact analysis, public engagement and other services throughout the United States. She is one of less than 20 people in the United States who carry industry-standard certifications in both planning (AICP) and economic development (CEcD).

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Della holds a Masters in Community Planning with a concentration in economic development from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Northwestern University. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Christian Saublens
European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA)
Brussels, Belgium

Christian SAUBLENS is Belgian and has an experience of more than 30 years in lobbying the European Community authorities.

He is the Executive Manager of EURADA, the European association of Development Agencies. The association has 140 members operating in more than 25 countries.

Christian helped the creation of EBAN, the European network promoting the stimulation of informal venture capital at regional or national level. He is currently supporting the network of Innovating Regions in Europe.

Christian has written several papers regarding the impact of EU regulations on regional development and the role of development agencies in Europe.

Craig Settles
Gigabit Nation
Oakland, CA

Craig Settles is an industry analyst and business strategist who helps private and public sector organizations use broadband to improve local economies, education and healthcare delivery. Author of “Building the Gigabit City,” as well as two other broadband strategy guides, blogs and many in-depth analysis reports, Mr. Settles is a prominent national thought leader on executing appropriate broadband strategies. He also hosts the radio talk show Gigabit Nation, and is Director of Communities United for Broadband, a national grass roots effort to assist communities in launching their networks.

Ellen Shepard
Executive Director
Andersonville Chamber of Commerce and Andersonville Development Corporation
Chicago, Illinois

Ellen Shepard has been executive director of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce and Andersonville Development Corporation in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood since 1999. Under Ellen’s leadership, Andersonville has become one of the foremost communities in the United States using localization and environmental sustainability as economic development strategies. As a longtime board member and Local Economies Fellow of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), Ellen occupies a unique niche of working on the ground in economic development as well as collaborating with regional and national thought leaders on economic policy issues. Prior to Andersonville, Ellen was a consultant for organizations including the Chicago Department of Housing and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Her experience with small businesses began at the League of Chicago Theatres, where she provided technical assistance to arts organizations. She spent a decade before that as a stage manager and technician on assorted Chicago stages. She has an MA in Urban Studies from Loyola University.

Kevin Schmotzer
Executive, Small Business Development
City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development
Cleveland, OH

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.

Bill Shelton, CEcD
CommunityID® Division
Fort Worth, TX

Joining the company in 2002, Bill Shelton is a founding partner of CommunityID®, Buxton’s retail development program for communities. Shelton worked for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, serving 16 years as its president. He is a Certified Economic Developer and is past chair of the American Economic Development Council. As a founding member of the Texas Economic Development Council, he served as the organization’s president and is a fellow member of the International Economic Development Council. Shelton’s professional service also includes an instructor for 37 sessions and serving six years as dean of the Basic Economic Development Course at Texas A&M University as well as instructing 16 sessions at the Economic Development Institute. Shelton’s extensive knowledge assists Buxton’s CommunityID® retail recruitment division which has worked with more than 600 communities nationwide, helping to recruit over 30 million square feet of retail space. Shelton holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin and completed post-graduate studies at Texas A&M University.

Brenda Sherwood
Economic Development
City of Meridian, ID

Brenda Sherwood has almost 16 years of experience in public and private partnerships specializing in the execution of economic development strategies engaged in business attraction, business retention, community investment and public policy advocacy. Brenda is focused on fostering the public/private partnerships that can quickly advance opportunities to secure significant resources for job creation, municipal infrastructure, workforce training, and research and development. Brenda’s Master studies are in Urban Planning specializing in Economic development. Prior to her position with the City of Meridian, Brenda held management positions with the State of Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and was the Executive Director of a delegate agency of the City of Chicago. At the Illinois Department of Commerce Brenda’s team launched a statewide technology based economic development initiative (first of its kind) in the Homeland Security arena.

Madison Silvert, JD, AICP
President and CEO
Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation
Owensboro, KY

Madison Silvert is the President and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. Previously at the EDC, Madison was the Executive Vice President for six years, focusing on small business development and high tech startups. Prior to joining the EDC, he was in private legal practice for six years; first in Louisville, and then in Owensboro. Madison has a degree in Economics from Centre College and his Juris Doctor from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, where he also received a special certification in Regulatory Law and Policy. Madison is also a certified business incubation manager by the National Business Incubation Association, a certified urban planner by the American Planning Association where he holds the designation of AICP, and is a certified facilitator by the Kauffman Institute for entrepreneurship. Madison has spoken nationally on issues regarding start-up formation and community economic development strategies. He and his wife Amy have three children, Emma, Lilly and John Crawford.

Alissa Sklar, PhD
Director of Marketing
GIS Planning, Inc.
Montreal, QC, Canada

Dr. Sklar is a recognized expert in economic development communication, marketing, and social media. As the Director of Marketing for GIS Planning, she works directly with clients to develop and fine-tune marketing campaigns to promote their use of ZoomProspector Enterprise and SizeUpLBI. Using the customized, collaborative approach that has always distinguished GIS Planning's relationship with its clients, Dr. Sklar works to expand and fine-tune the reach of location brands in the highly competitive field of economic development. With a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication and Cultural Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Sklar has worked extensively in both private and academic sectors, serving as a a social media consultant for economic development agencies, full time faculty member at Concordia University's Department of Communication Studies, a research consultant at McGill University, blogger, and multiple award-winning journalist. The focus of Dr. Sklar's research and writing has been on information and communication technologies and community cultures. She believes that using these technologies thoughtfully and effectively requires a skillful combination of knowledge, critique and creativity. Dr. Sklar has provided strategic teaching, consultation and training in educational, cultural and business settings for a variety of audiences across North America, synthesizing and presenting complex information in accessible and practical ways.

William C. Sproull, FM
President & CEO
Richardson Economic Development Partnership
Richardson, TX

William Sproull is President and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce (RCC), Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) and the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP). This unique and complex set of organizations he runs has two separate Board of Directors and a City Council to whom he reports.

He has led the revitalization of Richardson's telecom based economy through a focus on industry and technology diversification . He built the MTBC into the state of Texas's largest trade association for technology companies. He led the RCC in 2010 through the rigorous US Chamber Accreditation program successfully, earning the highest 5 Star rating conferred by the US Chamber for accreditation. Sproull and his REDP team are credited with bringing two catalyst economic development projects to Richardson: a 3,000 employee Bank of America operation in 2004, and a $3 billion Texas Instruments semiconductor factory in 2003.

In 2005, he helped lead a statewide coalition that got legislation passed in Texas to create the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a half-billion investment fund. Governor Rick Perry of Texas has appointed him to three consecutive two-year terms on the Fund's Advisory Committee, and appointed him as Chairman in 2010.

Previously he held senior economic development positions at the Greater Dallas Chamber, the McKinney Economic Development Corporation and at the EDC of Kansas City, Missouri. Sproull is a graduate of Baylor University, where he received a BA degree with a double major in Economics and Political Science.

Sproull is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council, and serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Texas at Dallas, the North Texas Regional Center for Innovation & Commercialization, the North Texas Commission, and the Technology Councils of North America.

Sproull's economic development accomplishments were recognized by the editors of Site Selection magazine when they selected the $3 billion Texas Instruments project as the Top Development Deal nationally of 2003; his economic development teams have been selected three times by Site Selection as one of the top 10 development groups in the U.S. in 1994, 1997 and 2004. He is a two-time recipient of the American Economic Development Council's "Best of Class" marketing award. In 2010, the International Economic Development Council designated him with the distinction of being a Fellow Member.

The Metroplex Technology Business Council inducted Sproull as the inaugural member of their Hall of Fame in 2010 by declaring him a Tech Titan.

Ron Starner
General Manager
Conway Data Inc.
Norcross, GA

Ron Starner is the General Manager and Executive Vice President of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection magazine, an international corporate real estate publication based in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree Corners. The official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) and the Foreign Direct Investment Association, Site Selection reaches 44,000 high-level decision-makers six times a year with timely news, analysis and perspective on key events and trends impacting corporate real estate and economic development. The magazine also publishes SiteSelection.com, the online Web portal for corporate real estate and economic development news and data, and severalemail newsletters including Site Selection Dispatch, Site Selection Impact Report, Site Selection International, The Site Selection Aerospace Report, The Site Selection Life Sciences Report and The Site Selection Energy Report.

Ron also serves as the Executive Editor of two other Conway Data publications – The FDI Report and The Trust Belt.

Ron previously served as Executive Director of IAMC, a corporate real estate and economic development association with 500-plus members. Also based in Georgia, IAMC serves the needs of corporate real estate directors of leading Fortune 500 companies such as BASF, Pfizer, Honeywell and Campbell's Soup.

A journalism graduate of Virginia's Liberty University, Ron holds a master's degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Prior to coming to Site Selection in August of 2000, he spent six years in various editorial roles with Florida Real Estate Journal, where he ultimately became editor and then publisher. Ron has eight years of experience at a daily newspaper in Florida, where he led the Winter Haven News Chief to several statewide awards in journalism. At the newspaper, Ron served as a reporter, opinion page editor and city editor.

Ron is also the author of the book, The Ten Standards of Successful Leaders, published in 2011 by Conway Publishing and Net Publications Inc.

Ron is a member of the Magazine Association of the Southeast. He resides in Buford, Ga., with his wife Mary and four children.

Chris Stelly
Executive Director
Louisiana Entertainment
Baton Rouge, LA

Wayne Sterling, CEcD, FM, HLM
Sterling Economic Development Consultants
Paducah, KY

During his 35-plus years in economic development, teams he led have reported more than $61 Billion in investment and more than 300,000 jobs. His professional experience has produced groundbreaking results. Some of his favorite projects were the Western Currency Production Facility of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing when he was Vice President of Economic Development for the Fort Worth Chamber; the BMW plant in Greer, South Carolina; the Hoffman LaRoche Pharmaceutical campus in Florence, South Carolina; and the Fuji Photo Film Campus in Greenwood, South Carolina; and there are many more.

As Chief of Staff at the South Carolina Department of Commerce from 1999-2001, he achieved the highest level of investment results in SC history: over $12 billion in two years. During that time 65,000 jobs were created.

As Executive Director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Mr. Sterling generated a 500% increase in the number of active projects. The announcement of three semiconductor wafer fabrication plants in the state changed the perception and economic structure of Virginia. Big names were convinced to make big investments: Gateway, America Online, Frito-Lay, Volvo, MCI WorldCom, Chaparral Steel, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, IBM, Siemens, Toshiba, and many others.

A graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma, Mr. Sterling is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and is a Fellow Member, Honorary Life Member and the past Chairman of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council, the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC), the Mississippi Bar Association, and is a former board member of the International Development Research Council (IDRC), now known as CoreNet Global.

John B. Sternlicht, Esq., CEcD
Economic Development Policy Advisor
Office of King County Executive Dow Constantine
Seattle, WA

Amy Taylor
Chief Operating Officer
Columbus Downtown Development Corporation and Capitol South
Columbus, OH

Amy Edwards Taylor has 20 years of experience in the field of operations, public policy and communications. Currently, she serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation and Capitol South. In her role, she is responsible for the internal operations of the two organizations, leading multiple lines of business including parking garage management, strategic plan execution and park operations and programming. She has played a lead role in city-changing projects, such as the Scioto Mile, Columbus Commons and the Scioto Greenways river revitalization project.

Ms. Taylor held previous positions as the Vice President of Public Affairs at the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board of Franklin County, Director of Communications with the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and Community Relations Specialist with the City of Dublin.

She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from The Ohio State University.

John C. Terrell
Vice President for Commercial Development
DFW International Airport
Commercial Development
DFW Airport, TX

John C. Terrell serves as the Vice President of Commercial Development of the world's fourth-busiest airport – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

In this position, Mr. Terrell is responsible for the strategic direction in development, acquisition, leasing, property management and natural gas exploration/production on over 18,000 acres of land.

He leads the strategic planning, marketing and implementation of business initiatives for commercial land development, redevelopment and business development as well as provides direction and oversight of the airports Land Use Analysis and Land Use Master Planning processes outside the central terminal areas.

Mr. Terrell has over 30 years of real estate and development experience and an extensive background and knowledge in real estate development, sales, marketing, property management, leasing, economic development and government relations in both the public and private sectors.

Prior to coming to DFW Airport, Mr. Terrell served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Development of the Christon Company in Dallas where he was responsible for the development and marketing of the award winning 1000 acre, mixed-use development, Pinnacle Park. Awards of "Best Development" and "Development with Most Economic Impact in North Texas" as well as the national Phoenix Award for outstanding environmental and community revitalization, were among the many recognitions received. He also held the position of Assistant Vice President of Real Estate for Southern Pacific Transportation Company in San Francisco, California and had several years with Union Pacific Railroad.

Mr. Terrell holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration with a certificate in Asian Business Studies. He holds an International Airport Professional (IAP) designation, being recognized by ACI and ICAO as having achieved highly rigorous standards for expertise in the field of airport management. Mr. Terrell has been a real estate instructor for several universities and was previously named National Real Estate Executive of the Year by Site Selection Magazine.

Mr. Terrell has served in the capacity of an elected or appointed official for 14 years, the last five as Mayor of the City of Southlake, Texas. He is currently a board member of the Northeast Leadership Forum, North Texas Commission board member and Management Committee & Advisory Board member for the Urban Land Institute's Vision North Texas. He is a member of Forth Worth Chamber Economic Development Committee, Metroport Cities Partnership, Texas High Speed Rail Advisory Board, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Urban Land institute (ULI) as well as numerous other local and national real estate/professional organizations.

Mr. Terrell has been married for 27 years and has two children.

Peter Tokar, lll, MBA
Economic Development Director
City of Alpharetta
Alpharetta, GA

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.

Mickie Valente
Valente Strategic Advisers LLC

Mickie Valente is the president of Valente Strategic Advisers LLC, a Florida-based, consulting firm that focuses on economic development and post-disaster redevelopment planning. She is internationally known as a strategic planner who assists community business leaders in developing critical business recovery and long-term economic redevelopment strategies. She has been at the forefront of groundbreaking initiatives to integrate economic development principles and engage private sector stakeholders in planning that enhances community resiliency and accelerates economic revitalization following a major economic disruption

Recently, she has served as a team leader in post-disaster economic recovery initiatives in response to the Alaska 2013 (Yukon River Flood) and New York (Hurricane Sandy). In both cases, she worked with the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) team, which is led by the US Economic Development Administration (EDA), as one of six RSFs mobilized following major disaster events under the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

Mickie also was contracted as an expert adviser with the Economic Developers Alberta (Canada) to assess the economic impact of major flooding in 10 Alberta communities in the June 2013. She participated as a subject matter expert on a team that visited each community and made recommendations for economic recovery to local, provincial and federal leaders.

Mickie also served as the initial investigator to develop a national report featuring the best practices in private sector collaborations with emergency management at the local, state and regional levels. The web site development is a collaborative initiative of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and the National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She also served as the Government-Industry Partnerships Coordinator for the NIMSAT Institute, where she was a principal liaison to engage economic development organizations and industry partners in development of the Louisiana Business Emergency Operation Center.

She has facilitated stakeholder groups and drafted the economic restoration action plans for the Tampa Bay Catastrophic Disaster Recovery Plan, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan and the Seminole County (FL) Business Recovery Plan.

She regularly participates as an adviser for the development and implementation of national economic and business recovery initiatives with the (EDA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). In the last five years, she has served as a subject matter expert on economic assessment teams deployed by EDA and IEDC. Mickie spearheaded the development and implementation of Emergency Support Function 18 for “Business, Industry and Economic Stabilization” at Florida’s State Emergency Operations Center. This national model integrates public agencies, private sector businesses and non-profit organizations with Florida’s disaster preparedness, response and recovery programs. She also worked with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to develop the Standard Operating Procedures for ESF 18.

Prior to launching her consulting business, Mickie served as the Director of Partner Relations for Enterprise Florida, Florida’s lead economic development organization, serving as the agency’s liaison with all of Florida’s local and regional economic development, regional workforce development and business support organizations. She also served as a director with the Florida Council of 100 – Florida’s CEO roundtable organization – collaborating with other business leadership organizations to develop economic, education and growth leadership strategies.

She holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a Master's in Business Administration from Florida State University. She serves on the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Community Resiliency Working Group and Florida’s State Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning Initiative Workgroup. Mickie is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the Florida Economic Development Council and the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association

Steve Vierck, CEcD
President and CEO
New Mexico Partnership
Albuquerque, NM

Steve Vierck, CEcD, has served since February, 2012 as President and CEO of the New Mexico Economic Development Corporation (New Mexico Partnership). Vierck is a long-time economic development professional with a consistently strong record of achievement earned over 30 years with economic development organizations in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. He and the teams he has been associated with successfully assisted in the recruitment or expansion of over 300 companies generating more than 25,000 new jobs.

He was previously employed from 2008-2012 as the President of the Economic Development Division at Angelou Economics in Austin, TX, one of the largest economic development and site selection consulting firms in the U.S. Prior to that, he served as President/CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance in southern New Mexico. His key work experience also includes over 20 years in Arizona where he served as Senior Vice President of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and National Marketing Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce and directed business attraction/expansion marketing programs that attained record results. Other prior positions include Vice President/Economic Development for the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.

Vierck earned his Master's degree in Geography with a specialization in Economic Geography and Bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Regional Development from the University of Arizona. He is a recipient of the "William W. Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development" and "Economic Developer of the Year" awards in both New Mexico and Arizona. He earned his Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation in 1991 and has served on numerous economic and workforce development boards.

Jerry G. Walker
Principal and Economist
Impact DataSource
Austin, TX

Jerry Walker, Impact DataSource Principal, is an economist. Over the past 20 years, he has conducted economic and fiscal impact analyses of numerous individual firms, facilities, projects and economic development activities. He has also developed several economic and fiscal impact analysis computer programs for clients.

He also has a background in government accounting and auditing.

Prior to his economic development consulting career, he had a fifteen-year career as a supervisory auditor with two federal departments – the US Department of Education and the US Department of Health and Human Services. He reviewed federal programs operated by states, local governments, colleges and universities, local education agencies, and nonprofit organizations in a six state area. He performed financial audits and operational reviews. During the operational reviews, the operations of the federal programs were reviewed for economy, efficiency and effectiveness. This included:

• Determining what the federal program, project or activity should be doing,
• Reviewing to determine what the program was doing,
• Determining if the program was operating as funded, and
• Recommending actions, if needed, that should be taken to improve the program's operations.

He has Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees in accounting and economics from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana.

David Wallace
Chief Executive Officer
Wallace Bajjali Development Partners
Sugarland, TX

Mr. Wallace serves as Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of General Partner and Chairman of the Investment Committee for Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, L.P. Mr. Wallace has a background in the acquisition and/or formation of over 200 companies and/or partnerships, and has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in equity and debt. As a result of the numerous portfolio holdings, he has served on the boards for several private and public companies. In addition to numerous projects across the country, Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is currently the Master Developer hired by the city of Joplin to redevelop the community following the devastating EF-5 tornado that struck on May 22, 2011.

Mr. Wallace served as a partner and Chief Executive Officer of Wallace & Associates Investment, Inc., formerly The Markpoint Company, a venture capital and merchant banking operation and also, the Grantham Company, a private investment-banking firm.

Prior to becoming a member of the Wallace Bajjali Development Partners management team, Mr. Wallace served as the Chief Financial Officer for Asset Plus and Asset Campus Housing. In such capacity, he was actively involved in the transactional structuring, investment banking and capital market activities.

Early in his career, Mr. Wallace served as the Vice President of Equity Management Corporation, a private real estate syndication firm. In this capacity, Mr. Wallace was responsible for the acquisition and/or sale of over $250 million of income producing properties. In connection with such real estate activities, he was a charter member of the North Texas Association of Real Estate Professionals, a former member of the Real Estate Securities and Syndication Institute (RESSI) and a former member of the American Association of Financial Planners.

Mr. Wallace considers charitable works of great importance, as reflected by his extensive efforts in both the Dallas and Houston communities. Mr. Wallace served three terms as Mayor of the City of Sugar Land, Texas, where he previously served on city council representing the Single Member District Number 4. In such capacity, Mr. Wallace played a leadership role at the United States Conference of Mayors where he served on the Executive Committee and as Co-Chairman of the National Homeland Security Task Force and the Urban Water Council. Mr. Wallace served on the U. S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council-State and Local Officials Senior Advisory Committee and on the Board of Directors as Vice President of the TexasOne Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Wallace also served on the Advisory Board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Mr. Wallace serves as Emeritus Research Scholar for Economic Development of the International Council of Shopping Centers and is the author of Retail Development Through Public-Private Partnerships (ICSC).

Mr. Wallace received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate Finance from the University of North Texas. In addition to this schooling, Mr. Wallace attended Union College in Schenectady, New York and received a scholarship to study International Real Estate, International Finance and International Law at the University of Reading located in Reading, England.

Jean Wallace
Vice President, Human Resources
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

Jean Wallace is Vice President, Human Resources, for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. She is responsible for the 26,000 employees working in Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Aeronautics business area. She assumed her current position in January 2011.

In this position, she is responsible for continuing to shape a performance-based company culture, attracting, developing and retaining the best talent in the aerospace industry while leading HR strategies that enable profitable, long-term growth of the business. Her responsibilities include a range of areas including Staffing, Compensation & Rewards, Performance Management, Learning and Development, Workforce and Diversity Planning, and Labor Relations. In this role, she also leads organizational effectiveness efforts across Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Ms. Wallace joined Lockheed Martin in February 2010 as Vice President, Human Resources, for the Electronic Systems business area. She has more than 25 years of Human Resources leadership experience in the manufacturing, technology, services, aerospace and logistics industries.

Previously, she was Vice President of Human Resources for ITT Corporation, Commercial Business Areas for five years. Before joining ITT, she served in various human resources leadership positions at Microsoft Corporation; she worked at several divisions of Allied Signal and Honeywell International; and also at Ryder System Inc. During her career, she has built extensive experience in ethics and diversity, leadership and workforce development, organizational design, and international HR.

Ms. Wallace is active in numerous organizations, including Lockheed Martin’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender employee resource group, where she serves as an executive sponsor for Aeronautics. She is a member of the United Way Board of Directors for Tarrant County serving as the chair for the Compensation Committee and a member of the Community Development Cabinet. She is the chair for the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Regional Aerospace Cluster, which works to build the future workforce within the DFW area and across the state of Texas with community constituents. In addition, she is a board member of North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity (LEAD), which supports diversity hiring efforts across the DFW area. She is also an executive sponsor of the Alliance for Leadership, Mentorship, and Advanced (ALMA) group, which fosters the development of Hispanic professionals in Aeronautics.

A native of South Bend, Indiana, Ms. Wallace graduated from Indiana University, where she received a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing. She has two daughters.

Laith A.Wardi, CEcD
ExecutivePulse, Inc.
Erie, PA

Laith Wardi, CEcD, is President of ExecutivePulse, Inc. He has worked in the economic development profession for over 20 years.

Laith has comprehensive experience in business retention & expansion that includes outreach to hundreds of value-added client companies, work as a resource provider, and 15 years of regional program management.

In 1994-95, Laith pioneered the first web based system for business retention. Today, the ExecutivePulse™ Business Intelligence System is the most widely used database for business retention & expansion in North America.

As a founder and President of ExecutivePulse Inc., Laith provides skills training, survey development, technology development and management consultation to clients seeking to implement a systematic and sustainable customer outreach program.

He is a regular instructor on business retention for the professional certification program sponsored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Laith also speaks to community, economic and workforce development audiences throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe on customer retention, one-to-one database marketing and technology assimilation.

Laith is a graduate of Mercyhurst College and received his economic development certification through IEDC in 2002.

In addition to his work in the field of economic development, Laith has experience in real estate management, media sales, and as a strategic planning consultant for both public and private-sector clients.

Keith Watkins
Senior Vice President
Arizona Commerce Authority
Phoenix, AZ

Keith Watkins brings 25 years of experience to the Arizona Commerce Authority. He has spent his career leading and supporting high-performance economic and real estate development teams in Arizona and Maryland. His experience with all facets of the economic development continuum has provided a wide array of knowledge, which he utilizes to lead the ACA's Economic and Rural Development efforts. Mr. Watkins is a results-driven executive with solid operations management and leadership experience, facilitating strong cross-functional relationships across diverse stakeholders. He serves on several boards and commissions throughout Arizona. Mr. Watkins is a third generation Arizonan with a degree in Regional Development from the University of Arizona.

C. Paige Webster
Owner/Site Selection Consultant
Webster Global Site Selectors
Phoenix, AZ

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 small children and loves to play golf and scuba dive.

Jacqueline Davis-Wellington
Executive Vice President
St. Louis County Economic Council
St. Louis, MO

Ms. Wellington has been with the St. Louis County Economic Council for 16 years and currently is responsible for management and operations. She possesses over thirty years of construction, environmental and redevelopment project management experience, in both the public and private sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, a Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis from Southern Illinois University and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.

Marty Wieder, AICP
Director of Economic Development
City of Colleyville
Colleyville, TX

Marty grew up in Arlington, Texas—where he observed the work (and later got the opportunity to work with) historic Mayor Tom Vandergriff. Marty attended the University of Texas at Arlington, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Communication and later a Masters Degree in Urban Affairs. After serving as Assistant to the Executive Director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments in the late 1980s, Marty held economic development positions with the Arlington and Northeast Tarrant Chambers of Commerce and the City of North Richland Hills before he joined GSBS Architects in January, 2000. In August 2009, Marty returned to the public sector as Director of Economic Development with the City of Colleyville, Texas—where he's teamed with his Mayor and City Council in negotiating and executing a public/private partnership, leading Whole Foods Market to open in a redeveloped shopping center this July.

Karen Winton
Chief Marketing Officer
Invest Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Karen Winton is the Chief Marketing Officer of Invest Hong Kong, one of the world’s leading investment promotion agencies. She is responsible for providing strategic steer in developing and implementing the organisation’s global branding, advertising, marketing, public relations and events strategies. She also directs the provision of IT support across the organisation, including network infrastructure, websites, social media and the CRM.

Ms Winton began her career in business and financial journalism in London in 1987 and moved to Hong Kong in 1990, where she held editorial managerial positions with the Australian Chamber of Commerce, publishing group Fairfax Media Ltd and The Economist Group until 2003. In that year, she set up an independent publishing company. As the head of its content and events division, she worked with various corporates and professional organisations to promote their objectives through a range of publications, events and marketing initiatives.

Ms Winton holds a Bachelor's Degree with Honours in History from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in the UK, and is a full member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK.

Dale Wheeldon
President & CEO
Economic Development Association of British Columbia
Chilliwack, BC, Canada

Dale has over 22 years of economic development experience and has worked in both rural and urban communities creating and implementing various economic development programs including an award winning Business Retention and Expansion program. Six years ago Dale co-founded EDCD Consulting, a specialized economic development focus consulting firm. Since its inception the firm has been contracted to manage the Economic Development Association of BC and LinxBC. EDABC is a membership-based association representing over 260 municipal, provincial, federal and private sector organizations. LinxBC is an investment attraction agency representing 18 BC communities and the provincial ministry. Dale and his partner, Colleen Bond, have recently completed delivering fifteen workshops focused on economic development essentials for local leaders. These workshops were held throughout the Province of BC. In addition to workshop delivery the firm has provided strategic planning, investment readiness assessments, business retention and expansion training, organizational development and other economic development services to municipalities throughout BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Ben Wright
Chief Executive Officer
Atlas Advertising
Denver, CO

Ben Wright is one of the foremost experts in economic development marketing, with over 18 years of experience, working primarily in North America. In the ten years since he started U.S. based Atlas Advertising, the company has grown to serve more than 70 different economic development clients, in 40+ states and 6 countries.

Ben started his career in economic development as the Chief Economist for the Metro Denver EDC, in Colorado in the early 1990s. He brings a wealth of branding, digital marketing, and GIS experience into every client engagement. Ben helps clients develop and execute innovative marketing strategies, and is a frequent speaker with the International Economic Development Council, Georgia Tech Innovation Institute, and various state and regional economic development conferences.

Having worked all over North America, Ben understands how economic development agencies must compete in a global marketplace. He applies this passion for places and knowledge of people into Atlas Advertising’s very core, and, thus, into every project.

Ben is a graduate of Stanford University in California with a degree in economics, with emphasis on urban studies. Ben lives in Denver, CO with his wife and three adventurous daughters.

D. Paul Zito
Vice President of International Development
Regional Growth Partnership
Toledo, OH

Paul has over 20 years of international business development experience and has worked with companies around the world to help grow their overseas markets. For ten years he was an international sales executive and for 13 years Paul served as Managing Director of the State of Ohio European Office (Brussels, Belgium), one of the overseas offices of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD). He generated tens of millions of dollars per year of European investment into Ohio and exports from Ohio working with companies such as BMW, Siemens, Reed-Elsevier, CAP Gemini, ThyssenKrup, Groupe Danone, Kuka, Siemens, Daimler AG, ArcelorMittal and many small and medium-sized companies.

He joined the Regional Growth Partnership in 2011 to promote foreign direct investment into the Toledo region and Northwest Ohio. The region has some 40 Asian-owned facilities employing over 8500 people.

Paul holds an MBA in International Management degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio University. He speaks German and French fluently.