Chris Chmura, PhD
President and Chief Economist
Chmura Economics & Analytics
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.
James C. Collard, PhD
Director of Planning and Economic Development
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
James currently serves as the Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and is developing a rail-anchored industrial park on tribal trust land. His duties also include evaluating and facilitating numerous business development proposals and tribal franchise opportunities and implementing the tribal strategic economic development plan. Previous economic development activities include serving as Chair of the Morgan County, CO Economic Development Corporation and as a member of the Executive Committee for the St. Charles County, MO Economic Development Corporation. He has facilitated and packaged numerous economic development projects and agreements over the last 20+ years and guided the development of a community-based Fiscal Impact Tool and a Computable General Equilibrium Model. He has traveled extensively internationally on business ventures including accompanying the Missouri Governor on a trade mission to Asia. Currently Dr. Collard serves as the Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team. His previous experience includes over seventeen years in city management and five years as an executive in the environmental services industry.
JoAnn Crary, CEcD
Saginaw Future, Inc.
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 was recently elected to be the Chairman of the International Economic Development Council’s Board of Directors, is a member of the Governance Committee and the Economic Development Research Partners. Crary also Chaired the Ethics Committee in 2014 and served as board liaison for the Young Professionals Task Force. IEDC is the foremost international economic development organization with over 4500 members. She has served on the IEDC Board since 2006.
Crary is serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Development Corporation, the Saginaw County Revolving Loan Fund Board, Saginaw Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, FirstMerit Bank Market Area Board and the Saginaw Hospital Finance Authority. Crary also serves on the Board of Fellows at Saginaw Valley State University, Mobile Medical Response Finance Committee and is an ex officio member of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. JoAnn also serves on Dow Chemical Company’s Great Lakes Bay Region Community Advisory Panel.
Crary was recently awarded the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Saginaw Marsh-Princing Award for 2014. She was also recognized in 2013 as one of the Great Women of the Great Lakes Bay and was given the Wally Bronner Community Spirit Award from the Saginaw County Chapter of American Red Cross in 2010. She was also honored with the inaugural Economic Leadership Award from Junior Achievement of Northeast Michigan in 2010. The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce gave Crary its inaugural Athena Award in 2005 and in 2001, the Michigan Economic Developers Association named Crary as the MEDA Medalist Award winner. In 1996, she was honored by Governor Engler as the Economic Developer of the Year for outstanding contributions in economic development.
JoAnn and her two children, KaLynn and Michael reside in Frankenmuth.
The Honorable Mark E. Doms, PhD
Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
U.S. Department of Commerce
The Chief Economist at the Department of Commerce performs many duties including helping oversee the primary economic statistical agencies, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Additionally, the Chief Economist provides advice and analysis to a wide range of agencies within the Commerce Department and to other agencies across the government.
Prior to his appointment as Chief Economist, Dr. Doms worked as a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and was previously in the Research and Statistics Division of the Board of Governors. He has wide experience with economic and policy analysis on a range of topics. His own research has focused on the effects of technology adoption and innovation, on firm productivity, and on housing market changes. Dr. Doms also spent time at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and in the early 1990s worked at the Center for Economic Studies in Census. He holds a Ph.D in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and B.A. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in mathematics and economics.
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.
John Engler is president of the Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations with a combined workforce of nearly 16 million workers and more than $7 trillion in annual revenues.
A former three-term governor of Michigan, Engler assumed the BRT leadership in January 2011 after serving six years as president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
He had previously served for 20 years in the Michigan Legislature, including seven years as Senate majority leader. Elected in 1970, Engler was the youngest person ever elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives.
Engler serves on the board of directors for Universal Forest Products, K12 Inc., and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Born in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., in 1948, Engler graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor of science in agricultural economics. Later, he earned a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. He and his wife, Michelle, are parents of triplet daughters born in 1994 and live in Virginia.
Jeffrey Finkle, CEcD
President & CEO
International Economic Development Council
As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. With the formation of IEDC in 2001 following the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) - where he was president for 15 years - and the American Economic Development Council (AEDC), Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential organization. Today IEDC is the world's largest economic development membership organization and is a $5 million annual operation that is renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development.
Jeff previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has received numerous awards over the years for his commitment to making sustainable economic development a priority in communities of all sizes. Significantly, in 2011 he was lauded by the U.S. Department of Commerce for his 25 years of stewardship over CUED and IEDC. Moreover, as a longtime leader in community service and philanthropy, in 2005 Jeff organized 250 economic development volunteers to work in Gulf Coast communities endeavoring to recover from Hurricane Katrina. In 1989 he also founded the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to children who have lost a parent who worked in the field of economic development.
A frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles, Jeff has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox television and the Journal Report on PBS. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1976 from Ohio University in Athens and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Ohio State University. He maintains a strong connection with Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs.
Stanley H. Gimont
Director, Office of Block Grant Assistance
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Mr. Gimont is the Director of HUD’s Office of Block Grant Assistance (OBGA), which is responsible for administration of all components of the Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program including:
•Entitlement CDBG program;
•State CDBG program;
•Section 108 loan guarantee program;
•CDBG-funded disaster recovery efforts such as those along the Gulf Coast; and
•Neighborhood Stabilization Programs 1, 2 and 3.
Mr. Gimont came to HUD in 1987 as a Presidential Management Intern and initially worked with the State CDBG program. He was a senior financial analyst with the HUD’s Section 108 loan guarantee program from 1993 through 2000 and was actively engaged in implementation of several nationwide initiatives aimed at expanding the use of HUD funds for economic development purposes. He subsequently joined HUD’s Office of Multifamily Development for a brief period before returning to CPD as Deputy Director of the Section 108 program. More recently, Mr. Gimont was Director of the CDBG Entitlement Program and Deputy Director of OBGA before being selected as Director in July 2008. He has twice received the CPD Assistant Secretary’s Award for his work on economic development and CDBG reform initiatives (1998 and 2006, respectively). Mr. Gimont holds masters degrees in public administration (George Washington University) and real estate development (Johns Hopkins University).
The Honorable Dr. Erica Groshen
Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Department of Labor
Erica L. Groshen became the 14th Commissioner of Labor Statistics in January 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal statistical agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making.
Prior to joining BLS, Dr. Groshen was a Vice President in the Research and Statistics Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Her research has focused on labor markets over the business cycle, wage rigidity and dispersion, regional economics, the male-female wage differential, and the role of employers in labor market outcomes. She also served on advisory boards for BLS and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Dr. Groshen has also served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, a visiting assistant professor of economics at Barnard College at Columbia University and a visiting economist at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Groshen earned a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
George Harben, CEcD, CCR
Director, Existing Business
Prince William County Department of Economic Development
In June 2011, George N. Harben joined the Prince William County Department of Economic Development. In his current position, Mr. Harben works with local businesses on retention and expansion issues.
Prior to coming to Prince William County Mr. Harben was the vice president of the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council, KY. In this position he managed new and existing business projects, secured two Delta Regional Authority grants, maintained the site and building database, and developed an aggressive outreach program to site consultants.
Previously Mr. Harben managed the South Carolina Department of Commerce Research Division from 1999-2003. The division housed project research, target marketing, GIS system, sites and buildings database, and site certification. Accomplishments include substantially revising and enhancing the existing labor profile, converting the Industrial Directory from paper to an electronic version, producing in depth target marketing analysis and collateral data.
Mr. Harben served for four and a half years as the Director of Research for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The division housed the project research, sites and building database, and target marketing. During his tenure, the division was reorganized to prioritize project response and initiated a comprehensive target marketing program.
Mr. Harben previously worked for the South Carolina Department of Commerce from 1989-1994 as the Associate Manager of Project Research and later as manager. Mr. Harben was the lead in Research for the BMW and the Mercedes-Benz projects.
In 1997 Mr. Harben earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council. He earned the Council for Community and Economic Research (formerly ACCRA) Certified Community Researcher (CCR) designation in 2003.
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
Michael K. Jackson, MBA, CGBP
Director, City/State Partners
Export-Import Bank of the United States
Mr. Michael K. Jackson currently serves as the Director of City/State Partners at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent agency of the federal government. In this role, he creates and manages marketing partnerships with local, state, and regional economic development organizations across the nation to expand export opportunities for small businesses. He is also responsible for conducting training seminars and participating in various marketing outreach activities to educate U.S. exporters, foreign buyers and multipliers about Ex-Im Bank's programs. In addition to his duties at Ex-Im Bank, the Mr. Jackson is also an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College where he instructs a course on small business exporting.
Immediately prior to joining Ex-Im Bank, Mr. Jackson served as the District International Trade Officer at the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Baltimore District Office where he conducted export-focused training workshops and seminars for SMEs, financial institutions, trade associations and economic development organizations. He also advised and assisted SMEs interested in beginning to export or expanding into new foreign markets.
Prior to beginning his career with the federal government, Mr. Jackson held sales and marketing positions with several large corporations in the banking and ICT industries. He is also a former small business owner. Mr. Jackson is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served in Ramstein, Germany and Warner Robins, Georgia.
Mr. Jackson earned an MBA in International Business from American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, GA and a B.S. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland - University College Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. He also holds the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) international trade certification. Mr. Jackson is a member of NASBITE International, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Regina Lindsey, CEcD
Chief Development Officer and Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs
Regina Lindsey is the chief development officer and vice president of marketing and public affairs for the Greenspoint District in Houston, Texas. The District was created by the State Legislature in 1991 at the request of commercial property owners and is funded through their assessments to provide services and improvements to ensure Greenspoint’s growth and prosperity. Lindsey joined the District in 2009 in the joint role of manager of Greens Bayou projects for the District and executive director of the Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition (GBCC), a 501(c)(3) organization supported by the District. With the Coalition, she led two delegations to Washington, D.C., to advocate funding for crucial flood remediation projects. In 2012, she relinquished her staff position with GBCC to head the District’s newly created Economic Development Department. She now lends her expertise to GBCC as a member of its Board of Directors and Public Policy Committee.
Lindsey led the Greenspoint District’s economic development strategic planning process and now manages the execution of that plan, which includes business attraction efforts focused on energy, logistics and technology. She also works to attract foreign direct investment to Greenspoint. In 2010, Lindsey earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She currently serves as Vice Chair on IEDC’s Public Policy Advisory Committee.
Active in economic development efforts across the region, Lindsey works closely with the Greater Houston Partnership’s economic development team to attract business to the region. She is on the Board of Directors for the North Houston Economic Development Council and a member of
the North Harris Economic Development Alliance.
Previously, Lindsey served as executive director for the Silsbee Economic Development Corporation, with responsibility for developing relationships and marketing strategies to attract business to the area. In addition, she was Silsbee’s mayor from 2003 to 2005. Before her roles in
Silsbee, she was the executive director of the Southeast Texas Arts Council in Beaumont, TX.
Lindsey graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX with a bachelor’s in History. She is also a graduate of Leadership North Houston and serves on the Board of Directors for that organization’s Alumni Association.
Lindsey resides in north Houston with her husband, Tracy. They are proud parents of daughters,
Kayla and Krista.
Associate Legislative Director-Transportation
National Association of Counties
Jessica Monahan is the associate legislative director for transportation policy at the National Association of Counties (NACo). In her current position, Mrs. Monahan handles NACo’s transportation policy portfolio, which encompasses all modes, and she staffs NACo’s Transportation Steering Committee. Prior to joining NACo in 2013, she worked with local governments, universities and transit authorities on an array of federal policy and regulatory matters.
Director of Design Programs, Visual Arts Team Leader
National Endowment for the Arts
Chief, 504 Program Branch, OFA
U.S. Small Business Administration
Derieth Sutton, CEcD, EDFP
Economic Development & Governmental Relations Manager
Niagara Bottling, LLC
Derieth L. Sutton handles Economic Development & Government Relations for Niagara Bottling, LLC, the largest family-owned and operated bottled water manufacturer in the United States. Sutton brings over 22 years of public and private sector experience to that position.
Prior to joining Niagara, Sutton served as the Lake County Regional Director for the Metro Orlando EDC where she worked recruitment, expansion and retention projects within the Orlando region. Her experience in economic development can be traced back to positions held with the Kansas Lottery, the Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing, and the City of Kansas City, KS. She has also worked as the Economic Development Specialist for the City of Palm Bay, the Business Development Coordinator for the City of Fort Pierce and Director of Economic Development for Worcester County (MD) Government.
In her current position, Sutton is responsible for both new and existing domestic and international plant expansions, establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships with governmental partners and the implementation of incentive opportunities that ultimately position the company for growth while reducing operational costs. She also coordinates community initiatives for 13 plants across the country which help introduce the company to the respective communities and allow the Niagara to give back to those with the greatest need. Her work at Niagara has led to the expansion of nine of the company’s 13 plants—which equates to a capital investment of over $650 million and the creation of over 600 jobs since 2008.
Sutton has earned a bachelor of art degree in electronic journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a master of science in public administration from Lacrosse University. Her commitment to the process of economic development is evident through her active membership in the industry’s leading professional association—the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Sutton is a member of IEDC’s Public Policy Advisory Committee (PPAC), PPAC’s Workforce Development sub-committee and IEDC’s Mentoring Program. She has also served as a volunteer through IEDC’s Economic Recovery Volunteer Program which provided counseling and technical assistance to businesses adversely impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She is an avid supporter of IEDC’s Certification Process and serves as an instructor for IEDC’s Certification Prep Course which is taught at OU EDI.
Sutton is a Leadership Lake County class of 2002 graduate and has worked over the years with the Greater Umatilla Historical Society, the Umatilla Community Development Block Grant Review Committee, the Lake-Sumter Community College Cooperative Education Advisory Board and the Lake County Advisory Board for Community, Secondary and Vo-Tech Education. She is also one of four individuals instrumental in the creation of a Business Assistance Center that serves entrepreneurs and growing businesses in Lake and Sumter counties. She also participates in the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire and is committed to supporting programs that invest in the enhancement of skill sets for employees.
Melanie Jones Totman
Senior Advisor for Export Policy, Promotion and Strategy
International Trade Administrations, U.S. Department of Commerce
Ashley Zuelke serves as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and leads policy development and promotion efforts to help more U.S. businesses export and reach international customers. Ashley coordinates Commerce and government-wide efforts to help more U.S. businesses increase exports, expand into new markets, and compete globally. Efforts Ashley leads on include the President's National Export Initiative, announced in 2010, and its next phase, “NEI/NEXT”, a strategy to help more U.S. businesses start exporting and expand exports through the delivery of focused assistance and information.
Ashley works closely with public and private sector partners across the United States to promote the benefits of exports and raise awareness of opportunities and services for exporters. Ashley also directs Commerce efforts under the “Made in Rural America” export and investment initiative, announced by President Obama in February 2014 as a charge for the Administration to bring together federal resources to help more rural businesses and leaders access new customers and markets abroad.
Ashley has served as a Presidential appointee at the Department of Commerce since 2010, starting as a legislative assistant in the Office of the Secretary and serving as a liaison for Congressional members and staff on trade promotion and policy. Prior to joining Commerce, Ashley served as an international trade associate at the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance under then-Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). While at the Senate, she authored and designed a guide for rural Montana exporters. Ashley also has served in the economic section at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
In addition to her government experience, Ashley has previously held several news editing and design positions, working as a copy editor for the Tacoma News Tribune through the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and establishing the design concept for a startup magazine promoting history and conservation efforts in Glacier National Park and surrounding areas. Born in Helena, Montana, Ashley graduated summa cum laude from the University of Montana with degrees in journalism, international relations, and comparative politics. She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.