You may contact the IEDC at the following address and telephone/fax numbers:
734 15th Street NW / Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: (202) 223-7800
Fax: (202) 223-4745
Payments should be addressed to:
P.O. Box 759219
Baltimore, MD 21275-9219
Individual staff may be contacted directly at their corresponding telephone numbers and email addresses.
IEDC Staff Biographies and Contact Information
Comprised of recognized leaders in economic development and professionals skilled in association management, our staff dedicates itself to supporting the endeavors of our members and advancing the profession and discipline of economic development as a whole.
Jeff Finkle, CEcD
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.
Executive Assistant to the President/CEO
Direct Line: (202) 942-9476
Kaylan Levie joined IEDC as the Executive Assistant to the president in April 2014. Prior to that, she worked at the Solar Electric Power Association. Kaylan graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History.
Lee A. Allen
Chief Administrative Officer
Vice President of Marketing, Member Services and Meetings
Direct Line: (301) 693-6513
Lee Allen is IEDC's Vice President of Marketing, Member Services and Meetings. He also serves as the organization’s Chief Administrative Officer. As a collaborative, mission-driven marketing and business operations executive, he joins IEDC with a solid 20+ year background in association and nonprofit organizational leadership, brand development, and fiscal oversight. At IEDC, he is charged with further building organizational strengths across all departments and guiding teams through completion of top-priority goals and strategic plans.
Mr. Allen comes to IEDC after five years at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), where he served as Chief Operating Officer. He has held various executive positions in association, non-profit and corporate communications and marketing since leaving military service in 1998. Prior to VVMF, Allen served as Vice President of Communications at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and as Vice President of Communications and Policy for the National Council For Adoption. He has been involved in advocacy, public policy and media relations at the local, national and international levels.
Allen served eight years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence analyst and unit commander.
He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute and holds a Master of Science degree in mass communications from the University of Maryland, University College. Allen lives with his two sons in Indian Head, MD.
Senior Director of Public Policy & Strategic Engagement
Direct line: (202) 942-9482
Matthew Mullin manages the public policy portfolio at IEDC, which includes legislative tracking, policy analysis and general government affairs. He is responsible for daily monitoring of Congressional activity, as well as keeping tabs on happenings at relevant federal agencies. He also maintains connections with complimentary organizations in Washington that share an interest in economic development policy. Matt keeps members up-to-date on what’s happening in Washington through legislative alerts and the Federal Update portion of the IEDC newsletter. Matt produces the IEDC annual policy document, the Federal Review, and facilitates the production of the Federal Agenda, a document that highlights economic development policy priorities for Congress and the administration. Matt is the project manager for the Federal Economic Development Forum, IEDC’s annual federal public policy conference.
Prior to joining IEDC, Matt worked in various public policy roles at the National Foreign Trade Council and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Matt is from Cleveland, OH, and a graduate of Ohio Northern University.
Lynn A. Knight, CEcD
Vice President of Knowledge Management and Development
Direct Line: (202) 942-9460
Lynn Knight is IEDC's Vice President of Knowledge Management and Development. A Certified Economic Developer with broad experience in the field, her roles and responsibilities include managing a team of professional researchers, project managers, and content developers who are tasked with staying on top of the latest trends in economic development. In this position she works closely with the IEDC leadership and the Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP), a high level membership think tank, manages the organization's newsletter and research publications, develops conference and webinar content, reviews publications for the IEDC's ever-expanding library and bookstore, oversees federally-sponsored economic development projects, technical assistance and cooperative projects that are undertaken with partner organizations.
Knight has more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international business management and economic development. Prior to joining IEDC, she served as the Director of Economic Development Programs for Management Analysis, Incorporated, providing economic development and tourism consulting for local and federal government clients in six states. She served as the representative of a territorial Governor in Washington D.C., chaired two economic development commissions, a hotel association, and the Chamber of Commerce for the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For 8 years she was the vice president of an award-winning international holding company which operated businesses in a dozen industries. In this capacity she managed a corporate affairs department, the company's charitable foundation, a daily newspaper, and served on the executive committee of a group of resort and boutique hotels. Early in her career she was a television anchorwoman and then became an entrepreneur, founding a business incubator and a full service advertising agency, which she operated for 14 years. Knight earned a double major in Communications and Psychology from California State University, Chico.
Senior Associate, Managing Editor
Direct line: (828) 350-8855
Ms. Anderson is a Senior Associate and Managing Editor for IEDC's Knowledge Management team. She edits IEDC's newsletter, Economic Development Now, and works on research and technical assistance projects.
Ms. Anderson formerly edited a quarterly magazine, Economic Development America, on contract for the U.S. Economic Development Administration, coordinated IEDC's work on brownfields-related projects with the Environmental Protection Agency. She also has worked on numerous state and local economic development planning projects. Prior to joining IEDC, Ms. Anderson worked in growth management, historic preservation, public relations and nonprofit management. She obtained master's degrees in regional planning (with a focus on economic development) and public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds bachelor of arts degrees in journalism and English literature from Indiana University at Bloomington.
Senior Economic Development Associate
Dana works on a variety of research and advisory service projects in IEDC's knowledge management and development department. Additionally, she manages the content development of IEDC‘s conferences and web seminars. Her work experience prior to joining IEDC includes logistics management, market research, coordination of an international trade mission and youth programming. In 2009, Dana was a part of team that consulted on a redevelopment of a 27 hector development in St. Petersburg, Russia. She holds a Masters of Community Planning specialization in economic development from the University of Maryland, College Park with coursework in real estate and entrepreneurial finance; economic development, environmental, and land use planning; and planning law. Dana possesses a B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park in Government and Politics with significant coursework international relations, development, French and economics.
Direct Line: (202) 942-9488
Eli Dile is the Newsletter Coordinator for Economic Development Now, IEDC's bimonthly newsletter. He writes, edits, and conducts research on newsletter content concerning pertinent topics and trends in economic development. He holds a master's degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also received his BA in History and Political Science. During his studies, Eli gained extensive experience in writing and editing while working as a reporter for his undergraduate newspaper and as an editor for his graduate school's student journal. Prior to joining IEDC, he worked as a substitute teacher and managed a model congress program for students visiting Washington, D.C
Economic Development and Research Associate
Direct line: (202) 942-9450
Tye Libby serves as a Research Associate and Special Projects Coordinator at IEDC. Originally from Columbia, SC, Tye earned a BA in International Affairs from the University of Georgia. He subsequently attended graduate school at the University of Denver and is currently finishing his master’s thesis in order to earn a MA in International Security. His graduate studies focused on U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East.
During his time at IEDC, Tye has led efforts to research and document the history of the organization and its predecessors. He currently manages IEDC’s Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) program and the Clearinghouse Information and Research Service (CIRS). In addition, Tye contributes research, writing, and editing to other IEDC projects when needed.
Economic Development Associate
Direct Line: (202) 942-9473
Mishka Parkins works on various research and technical assistance projects for IEDC’s Knowledge Management and Development (KMD) department and Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP) program. Mishka is also a contributing author to IEDC’s ED Now blog, Economic Development Now, and provides content support for IEDC’s professional development education courses. Mishka recently earned a MA in Public Administration from Washington Adventist University. She holds a bachelors degree in marketing from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
Conferences Content Manager
Direct line: (202) 942-9470
Marie Plishka is the Conferences Content Manager and is responsible for developing the agenda and recruiting speakers for conferences focused on economic development issues. Prior to IEDC, Marie worked at Nathan Associates Inc., an international economic development consulting firm in Arlington, VA. There she focused on projects that supported regional integration efforts in Southeast Asia and trade and investment projects. She also worked at the Council on Competitiveness, where she supported initiatives aimed at increasing innovation, advanced manufacturing and energy efficiency. Marie has a Master of Science with Honours – Merit in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs and a minor in Italian.
Director of Membership Services
Direct line: (202) 639-9106
Phil Goodwin works in the membership department, providing support for member services such as maintaining IEDC's affinity program and consultant database. Other responsibilities focus on the recruitment of new prospects and the retention of existing members. Phil graduated with a bachelors in economics, with a focus in international economics from the University of Washington.
Member Services Coordinator
Direct line: (202) 942-9485
Chris Collins is the Member Services Coordinator at IEDC. In this role, he handles member recruitment and retention, maintains the membership database, and assists members in resolving their questions and concerns. Chris graduated from American University with a B.A. in Public Communication, and has a background supporting non-profit associations, small businesses and political campaigns with their marketing and outreach efforts.
Senior Director, Professional Development
Direct line: (202) 942-9452
Emily Bell oversees IEDC’s professional development portfolio, including training courses and the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) program. Before stepping into the Director of Professional Development role, Emily held the Member Services Coordinator and External Affairs Associate positions at IEDC. Prior to joining IEDC, Emily served in the Peace Corps as a youth development volunteer in Ukraine. Emily holds a BA in Social Science from St. Bonaventure University, where she was a 3 year starter on the women's soccer team.
Akia (Garnett) Ashmond Brew, MBA
Direct line: (202) 545-7323
Akia Garnett has over 18 years experience as a marketing, branding and communications practitioner. She has branded and rebranded dozens of organizations. Akia’s experience spans the commercial, nonprofit and government sectors. Across several industries, Akia has held such positions as Marketing Coordinator for the Smithsonian Institution, Marketing Manager and Minority Business Enterprise Liaison for Integrated Systems Analysts, Inc; Marketing Chair of the Virginia Business Opportunity Fair; Regional Director for the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council; and Sr. Marketing Manager and Director of Operations and Business Development for ICMA Consulting Services, a division of the International City/County Management Association. She is an entrepreneur, having launched and run Washington, DC based company, Brandbuilder, where she built and branded several online communities for corporate and personal branding.
Akia is coauthor of Seen and Sustained - Best Practices in Communication for Small Businesses and is creator of the Brandbuilder Continuous Improvement Process™ model, a communication tool. Akia is a four year Adjunct Professor of marketing, consumer behavior and business at Trinity University of Washington, DC. She co-created a women’s entrepreneurship program for inner-city high school students, and she mentors dozens of rising, and accomplished entrepreneurs and aspiring marketers. She has served on numerous international, domestic and regional boards of directors. Akia is a columnist for Minority Business Entrepreneur Magazine, an international publication. Her column is called “Master Your Brand.” She holds an MBA in International Business from Trinity University, where she focused on African, Asian and European economies, and a bachelors of Communication from Marymount University. She is the proud mother two adult daughters Faith and Hope, and one son, high school freshman, Grayson.
Professional Development Coordinator
Direct line: (202) 942-9458
Marjorie Rose is the Professional Development Coordinator for IEDC. Marjorie program manages the certification program and is the point of contact for Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs). She holds a B.A in Political Science with minors in French and Spanish from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining IEDC Marjorie was an English teacher for the Spanish Ministry of Education in Valladolid, Spain.
Database Manager/Conference Registrar
Direct Line: (202) 942-9463
Cherrika Gordon serves two roles at IEDC: Conference Registrar and Database Manager. As Conference Registrar, she provides assistance in all aspects of conference planning, execution, and follow-up, including managing all conference registration and billing concerns. As the Database Manager, she works closely with the Membership department in maintaining the organization's membership records, preparing membership activity reports, and overseeing membership dues. In addition, Cherrika is responsible for coordinating office services and related activities.
Vice President of Finance & CFO
Sharon Coy serves as the Vice President of Finance & CFO for IEDC. In her role with IEDC, she ensures efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness within the organization's daily accounting operations. Ms. Coy is responsible for providing accurate financial information to each organization's Board of Directors and President/CEO.
Sharon Coy graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a B.S.B.A. in Accounting. Ms. Coy brings 12 years of professional experience to each organization. She has served as an auditor for Reznick, Fedder & Silverman CPAs. She has managed the monthly close and executive reporting for a publicly traded telecommunications company which also included a foreign subsidiary. Ms. Coy has also served as a Principal Accountant for America Online where she provided contract review support for the Shared Services Department. At AOL, her duties included reviewing and providing the specific payment terms of all Partnership Agreements as well as the proposed accounting treatment of these bounty and royalty contracts.
Senior Director of IT
Direct line: (202) 942-9456
Jason manages the design and development of IEDC's information technology infrastructure, including its internal network, databases, and websites, the last for which he won a WebAward. He has also developed websites with partners such as Forbes and the Economic Development Administration.
Prior to joining IEDC, Jason served as Project Manager of Web Design for FIRSTLINK, where he managed the online integration of the nation's largest community information services database. He holds a BA in Technical Communications, with a minor in Japanese, from the Ohio State University.