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Ms. Regina Lindsey, CEcD
President & CEO
Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce
Beaumont, TX

Regina Lindsey is the chief executive officer and president of the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce in Beaumont, Texas. Prior to her role as chamber president, Lindsey was the chief development officer and vice president of economic development for the Greenspoint District in Houston, Texas. 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. 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 managed the execution of that plan, which included business attraction efforts focused on energy, logistics and technology. She also worked to attract foreign direct investment to Greenspoint and lead Greenspoint's public policy efforts. In 2010, Lindsey earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She currently serves as Chair on IEDC's Public Policy Advisory Committee. Active in economic development efforts across the region, Lindsey works closely with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Greater Houston Partnership's economic development team to attract business to the region. 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.

Mr. Jeffrey Malehorn
Executive Advisor
World Business Chicago
Chicago, IL

Jeff Malehorn is the President & CEO of World Business Chicago, where is he respondible for the attraction, expansion and retention of companies to Chicago. His role includes the overall implementation of the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, which was produced by WBC at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s request and is the outline for the city’s overarching economic development efforts.

A GE Company Officer since 2001 and 28 year veteran of the company, Jeff spent the majority of his executive career at GE leading global financial services businesses based in Paris, Tokyo, and Chicago.

A graduate of Penn State University, Jeff is passionate about giving back to his community. He was the executive sponsor for GE Capital’s global HealthAhead progrom. He co-chaired the United Way’s Tocqueville Society and serves on the UW campaign cabinet, and co-chaired Workforce Chicago’s Business Leadership Group. He is the outgoing Metropolitan Chicao American Heart Association board chairman and is a board member for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Junior Achievement and was a found Midwest Board member for BuildOn.

Mr. Scott Martinez, CEcD
North Louisiana Economic Partnership
Shreveport, LA

Scott Martinez brings over a decade and a half of economic leadership to his role as President of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP). A native of Laurel, Mississippi, Scott holds a Bachelors degree from Ole Miss as well as a Master of Science degree in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been designated a Certified Economic Developer® by the International Economic Development Council.

During his two and a half years as President of NLEP, over 2,200 information technology jobs have been announced in North Louisiana by such industry leaders as Centurylink, IBM, and Computer Science Corporation. NLEP created a political action committee-The Top of Louisiana PAC; developed and implemented a five year strategic plan; and increased its operating budget by 30%. In May, the NLEP was designated an Accredited Economic Development Organization®.

Prior to joining NLEP, Scott served as Executive Director of the Hutto Economic Development Corporation in the Austin, Texas region. Under Scott's economic development leadership, Hutto has been the fastest growing community in Texas. The Hutto Economic Development Corporation has won seven national, peer judged economic development marketing awards during his tenure a became one of a select group of Accredited Economic Development Organizations® nationally. Martinez also developed and led economic development efforts in Round Rock, Texas and served as Associate Director of the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council in the Houston, Texas MSA for five years. Scott served his home state of Mississippi in the Mississippi Development Authority where he worked in Hurricane Katrina redevelopment efforts as well as in the Global Business division of the agency.

Martinez has served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Economic Development Council Board of Directors and Chaired its Political Action Committee. Scott is active in the International Economic Development Council and serves on its Accredited Economic Development Organization Oversight Committee. He has been a presenter at the Texas Basic Economic Development Course and is currently a presenter at the True South Basic Economic Development Course.

Scott is active in North Louisiana. He serves on the Boards of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, the Minority Supplier Institute, Strategic Action Council, Barksdale (AFB) Forward, lntertech Committee (Biomedical Research Foundation).

Mr. Brian P. McGowan
President and CEO
Atlanta Beltline, Inc
Atlanta, GA

On August 23, 2017, the ABI Board of Directors voted to elect Brian McGowan as President and CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine. Prior to his appointment, Mr. McGowan served as a Principal with the global law firm Dentons. At Dentons, McGowan led a practice area that focused on global economic development initiatives where he engaged with business leaders and elected officials to address community and job growth challenges. Prior to this, Mr. McGowan was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. In 2011, McGowan served as the CEO of Invest Atlanta. In this role, he refocused the organization to be a catalyst for community revitalization, economic growth and competitiveness. During his tenure at Invest Atlanta, he was responsible for programs that facilitated the creation of more than 23,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in investment in the City of Atlanta.

Earlier in his career, Mr. McGowan was appointed by President Barack Obama to be US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, served as an economic advisor in the White House National Incident Command for the BP oil spill and was appointed US co-chair for the OECD working party on territorial policy for rural areas. Brian was also appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce for the State of California and was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia to serve on the Board of the Fort McPherson Local Redevelopment Authority. He has also supported a USAID funded program to help cities in Bulgaria create economic development programs. Throughout his career, Mr. McGowan has created new economic initiatives including the California iHub program, Start Up Atlanta, SelectUSA and the i6 Challenge. His work has facilitated the creation of 36,000 direct jobs and nearly $5 billion in capital investment working with such private companies as Mercedes Benz, the Atlanta Falcons, Athenahealth, Tyler Perry Studios, PulteHomes, NCR and Carter’s.

Mr. McGowan has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work including the Coast Guard Commanders Award for Civilian Service by the United States Coast Guard, RealShare Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Real Estate Professionals and the Michael and Mary Johnston Fellowship in American Politics. Mr. McGowan also has extensive community involvement including serving as a Board Member of the following organizations: the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, California Technology Council, International Economic Development Council, the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, the Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures Inc., and the University of California, Riverside School of Public Policy. Mr. McGowan has also served as the Chair of the Georgia Foreign Trade Zone.

Mr. McGowan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California Riverside and a Masters of Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University. He is a Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institute.

Ms. Bethany Miller
Vice President of Business Development
The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc.
Richmond, VA

Bethany Miller is a Vice President of Business Development for the Greater Richmond Partnership, the lead economic development organization representing Virginia’s capital area. Having spent the first six years of her career on business retention and expansion, she now focuses exclusively on marketing and attraction and leads domestic and international missions to bring jobs and investment to Greater Richmond. Bethany also oversees the Partnership’s formal outreach to the site selection and commercial real estate communities. Prior to joining the IEDC Board of Directors, Bethany served on the Higher Education Committee and as Vice Chair and Chair of the Membership Development Advisory Committee.

Mr. Rodrick T. Miller
President and CEO
Ascendant Global
Detroit, MI

Rodrick Miller is a seasoned economic developer known for his deep expertise in urban recovery, trade and foreign investment, strategic planning and project finance. He has emerged as one of the foremost economic development leaders in the country, respected globally for his ability to maneuver in extraordinarily complex political and business environments, and craft strategies and structure deals to provide long-term value to communities and investors. His skills as a salesman, negotiator, policy expert, and corporate strategist have been honed in over 10 countries.

Miller is the President & CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the public-private partnership charged with leading the economic revitalization of the city of Detroit. Over Miller’s tenure the organization has significantly expanded its capacity in business attraction, small business, and real estate and finance. The organization’s signature small business program, Motor City Match, aimed at developing and leveraging small businesses to anchor neighborhoods is quickly becoming a national model. Meanwhile, he has pushed a pointed real estate development agenda which is creating the infrastructure to support significant expansion of large scale manufacturing and logistics operations to generate more jobs for Detroiters. Under Miller’s leadership, the DEGC has brought more than $750M in new investments and 6,000 new jobs to Detroit including Adient, Lear Corporation, Sakthi Automotive, Fifth-Third Bank, and Ally Financial. In 2014, Miller supported the city’s exit from bankruptcy through negotiating disposition of key public assets to ease large creditor tensions and jumpstart new development opportunities. Most recently, his team brokered the transaction to bring the Detroit Pistons back to downtown Detroit.

Previously, Miller served as 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 focused the organization’s efforts on lowering barriers to entry in the marketplace, increasing transparency, and developing approaches to drive inclusive economic growth. Results since their founding in 2011 include state legislation allowing for benefit corporations, a policy framework to guide the use of tax incentives in economic development, and the attraction of more than $720 Million in new investment and 7,500 new jobs through proactive attraction and expansion of corporate projects in the New Orleans market. In June of 2013, NOLABA launched ProsperityNOLA, the first ever comprehensive economic development plan for the city of New Orleans. Miller led his team in crafting this 5-year plan with a keen eye on ensuring the plan would diversify the economy and present economic opportunities for all the citizens of New Orleans.

Prior to that position, Miller served as the Executive Vice President of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Vice President of International Economic Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), and held several other positions in the public and private sectors.

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 is a term member of US Council on Foreign Relations, is a board member of the International Economic Development Council, and sits on the Federal Reserve Board’s Community Advisory Council. Miller has received numerous accolades including Ebony Magazine’s 30 under 30, Phoenix Business Journal’s Top 40 under Forty, Top 100 Tech Influencers in the Silicon Bayou, Young Economic Developer of the Year, and numerous others. He enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with his son. Miller is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.

Ms. Mary Ann Moon, CEcD, FM
VP, Economic Development
TICE Engineering, Inc
Ridgeland, MS

Mary Ann Moon, CEcD is VP of Economic Development and Marketing for Tice Engineering Inc., Wiggins and Ridgeland, MS and Slidell, LA. She is responsible for developing new business opportunities for TEI, Inc. and promoting the company's unique and specialized surveying services. Moon is also an Advocate for AECOM, the world's largest engineering firm. Her responsibilities include business development, program management and site development strategies.

Mary Ann recently served as Vice President and Partner of MSED, LLC, a multidisciplinary engineering and economic and community development firm and certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Moon provided Site Selection and Development services, Workforce and SWOT analyses, Community/Economic Development strategies, facilitation and planning of public meetings, Marketing plans, Identification of Project Funding opportunities.

Mary Ann was the Economic Developer Specialist-Business and Economic Expansion-for Entergy Louisiana. Moon was responsible for Project Management and the development of Louisiana Economic Development Certified Sites-a partnership between LED and EntergyLA. She also worked with community groups, establishing networks and assisting with economic development in regions across Northeast Louisiana.

Moon served as the President of the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, West Monroe, LA for five years. During that time, she served as a board member of Louisiana's Next Horizon - a state wide organization dedicated to quality education practices and opportunities for all children, focusing on the socio and economically disadvantaged. Also, during her tenure, Moon authored the Pre-K program for West Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. A public-private partnership, the program was recognized by the International Economic Development Council and Coordinating and Development Council for 'Excellence in Education.' She was also responsible for the implementation of the area's summer reading program for third grade students. Additionally, Moon facilitated West Monroe-West Ouachita's Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan. She has extensive experience in Community Development including facilitation, public meeting organization, outreach, education and program creation and implementation for issues concerning and affecting communities and their residents. She is President/Owner of Competitive Solutions, LLC a company specializing in Community/Public Outreach and Facilitation, Community Development Program Implementation and Advocacy.

Mary Ann was President/Owner of Dixie Bonded Warehouse of Ouachita, Inc. and Dixie Transportation, Inc., (DBWO) West Monroe, LA from 1993 - 2007. DBWO was the largest bonded warehouse and distribution facility for component materials in a tri-state area. Moon possesses extensive experience in and knowledge of the Transportation, Logistics and Distribution industries. She served as a Board Member of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Louisiana's Inter-modal Planning Committee and as a Transportation Committee Member of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Moon also served as President of the Transportation and Traffic Council. She currently serves as a presenter and facilitator at conferences and work shops addressing the role of Transportation in Economic Development and growth.

She is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (OU-EDI) and is a Certified Economic Developer. Moon is a member of the International Economic Development Council Board of Directors. She is a Board Member, Instructor, Mentor and was recently appointed as Assistant Dean for the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. Mary Ann teaches the Certified Economic Developer Exam Prep Course and developed OU-EDI's "Introduction to Transportation and Logistics" course in which she also serves as topic instructor. She is a guest instructor at the University of Southern Mississippi's True South Economic Development program and Louisiana State University's Basic Economic Development Program. She teaches Introduction to Transportation and Professional Economic Development Ethics. Mary Ann is Chairman of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Trade, Transportation and Logistics Advisory Council, a member of the Mississippi Intermodal Council's Board of Directors and President Elect of the Mississippi Transportation Institute. Selected as a representative of Louisiana, by Congressman Rodney Alexander, she graduated from the Delta Regional Authority’s Leadership Institute, served on the Advisory Board and assisted in the development of the Delta Initiative-a program addressing economic development, heath care, transportation and education issues. She served as facilitator of the Delta Regional Authority's Entrepreneur Jump Start program in the Louisiana Delta. Mary Ann is a graduate of Leaderships Louisiana and Mississippi.

Dr. Jonathan Morgan, PhD
Associate Professor
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill- Institute of Government
Chapel Hill, NC

Jonathan Morgan joined the School of Government in 2003. Prior to that, he worked for Regional Technology Strategies, Inc, an economic and workforce development consulting firm located in Carrboro-Chapel Hill. He has also served as director of economic policy director for the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development. Currently Morgan serves as course director for the annual Basic Economic Development Course. His research has appeared in the International Journal of Economic Development and Popular Government. He is a member of the NC Economic Developers Association, ACCRA—The Council for Community and Economic Research, and the International Economic Development Council. Morgan earned a BA from the University of Virginia, and MPA from Clark Atlanta University, and a PhD in public administration from North Carolina State University.

Selected Publications

Regional Clusters and Jobs for Inner City Workers: The Case of Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics. 2012. Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society vol. 43, no. 4:492-511.

State-of-the-Art Measures in Economic Development (with David Ammons). Public Management (PM), vol. 93, no. 5, June 2011.

Governance, Policy Innovation, and Local Economic Development in North Carolina. 2010.

Mr. Mike Neal, CCE, CEcD, HLM
President & CEO
Tulsa Regional Chamber
Tulsa, OK

Michael S. Neal, CCE, CCD, HLM, IOM, is in his 11th year as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. The American Chamber of Commerce Executives named the then Tulsa Metro Chamber as the Nation’s Best Chamber for a record three consecutive years of eligibility, being named the National Chamber of the Year in 2010, 2008 and 2005.

Tulsa People named Mike the 2011 Tulsan of the Year for his limitless energy, can-do optimism and tireless efforts toward making Tulsa a better place. They called him Mr. Tulsa. Southern Business and Development in 2011 recognized him as one of the Top 10 Economic Developers in the South. The Southern Economic Development Council named Mike an Honorary Life Member (HLM) in 2012. In 2010 he was named the Chamber Executive of the Year by the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives. And the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Executives named him their Chamber Executive of the Year in 1998 and 2000.

Under his leadership, the Tulsa Regional Chamber is the only Chamber in America to earn three accreditations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s highest recognition, five-star accreditation, the International Economic Development Council’s prestigious Accredited Economic Development Organization distinction, and the Destination Marketing Association International’s Destination Marketing Accreditation Program. In 2013, the Chamber earned the Oklahoma Quality Foundation Quality Award for Commitment based on Malcolm Baldrige criteria. In 2015, the Tulsa Regional Chamber also received the American Society of Association Executives’ Summit Award.

He leads the Chamber’s full-time professional staff of 75 in the areas of regional economic development, convention and visitor development, government affairs, education, workforce development, small business, sports, young professionals, downtown and river development, political action and membership services, while managing a $17.25 million budget. Through 3,100 member organizations, the Chamber represents more than 180,000 regional employees and utilizes 3,500 volunteers to achieve its mission. He led the creation of the Tulsa Regional Chamber Coalition and their OneVoice Regional State and Federal legislative agendas.

An active member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), Neal has earned several professional designations, including the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation and the Certified Community Developer (CCD). He received the prestigious Chairman’s Award, the highest national award given by ACCE. Neal was a long-time member of the ACCE Board of Directors and is currently Chairman-elect of the ACCE Benefits Trust, a member of the Metro Cities Council, Economic & Community Development Committee and Past Chairman of the CCE Certification Commission. He is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership and Aspen Institute.

Ms. Tracey Nichols
Director of Financial Services
Project Management Consultants
Cleveland, OH

Tracey Nichols joined the City of Cleveland in February 2008 after serving seventeen years at Cuyahoga County, where she was the Assistant Director of Economic Development for her last four years.

Since joining the City, Nichols has led her team to complete over 560 projects that will create over 11,800 new jobs and retain over 8,000 jobs. Her efforts have resulted in $146.8 million in new grants or pass-through loan funding. Her team has been recognized for innovative projects both locally and nationally with awards from Inside Business, Housing and Urban Development, International Economic Development Council and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. She has been invited to speak at national conferences including the Clinton Global Initiative, National League of Cities, National Brownfields Conference, International Economic Development Council and the Initiative for Competitive Inner Cities Conference.

Nichols is well known for creating new, innovative programs, such as the Vacant Property Initiative, which has resulted in over 2.6 million square feet of space in vacant buildings and 85 acres of vacant land being returned to productive use, creating and retaining over 5,900 jobs.

Nichols has a degree in Business Management, concentrating in Accounting and Finance, from Case Western Reserve University and has the National Development Council’s certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional. In 2010, she was presented with the Cleveland Foundation’s Homer Wadsworth Awardfor excellence in public service. As a member of Mayor Frank Jackson’s cabinet, she continues to work on the City’s cluster based and place based economic development strategies to bring new investment and jobs to the City of Cleveland.

Mr. Mark O'Connell
OCO Global
Belfast, Antrim, United Kingdom

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.

Ms. 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 technology-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 provides wide-ranging economic development services including identifying, evaluating and applying best practices throughout the U.S. and more than 16 countries. Ms. Palmintera also is a well-known author and her work is featured in national media such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, etc. 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. She is a recent Chair of IEDC’s Public Policy Advisory Committee.

Ms. Suzi Pegg
Director of Economic Development
City of Concord
Concord, NH

Suzi Pegg recently moved to the City of Concord, New Hampshire to accept the position of Economic Development Director. Her role is to develop a robust economic development plan for the Greater Concord region. The focus of which will aim to support and enhance the current business base in addition to attracting new businesses from target sectors. She is very excited about this new role and hopes that this activity will become a model of best economic development practices for other similar regions across the United States.

Mr. Lyneir Richardson
Executive Director, Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
Rutgers Business School
Newark, NJ

Lyneir Richardson is the Executive Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), a research and practitioner oriented center at Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ. He oversees the implementation of CUEED programs and manages partnerships, staff, affiliated faculty and fellows. Lyneir is also consultant to RW Ventures, LLC on the Chicago TREND project, a MacArthur Foundation funded initiative aiming to stimulate retail development to accelerate neighborhood transformation.

Lyneir is the former Chief Executive Officer of Brick City Development Corporation, where he had overall responsibility for real estate development, small business services and business attraction in Newark, NJ. Before Brick City, he was Vice President of Urban Development at General Growth Properties, Inc. where he led the national initiative to bring quality shopping centers to ethnic neighborhoods in large U.S. cities. Prior to General Growth, Lyneir founded Lakeshore Development & Construction Company and was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as "Illinois Young Entrepreneur of the Year". Lyneir started his career as an attorney for the First National Bank of Chicago.

Lyneir is a graduate of Bradley University and the University of Chicago Law School. He member of Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers and International Economic Development Council. He has served on numerous non-profit and civic boards, committees and commissions, including the Chicago Plan Commission, Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board, Newark Workforce Investment Board, Newark Arts Council and the Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Ms. Jan Rogers
Regional Economic Development Corporation for Eastern Idaho
Idaho Falls, ID

An expert on rural and regional economic development, Jan Rogers has spent the last 15 years developing the economies of southern and eastern Idaho – attracting 35 businesses, over $1 billion in capital investments and 5,000 jobs. Currently, Jan serves as CEO of the Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), and she served as the Executive Director of the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) for 14 years.

As CEO of REDI, Ms. Rogers works closely with community partners to promote economic development through expansion of existing business and by implementing a focused, consistent marketing program to attract new businesses and talent to the Eastern Idaho region.

Ms. Rogers is a frequent speaker at national and regional economic development conferences, and serves on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She served as a panelist at the 2015 Select USA Academy, and is past president of the Idaho Economic Development Association (IEDA).

Mr. Gilberto Salinas
Executive Director, Interim
Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation
Brownsville, TX

Gilberto Salinas is the Executive Vice President of the Brownsville Economic Development Council, an international group dedicated to corporate recruitment and economic growth for the Greater Brownsville-Matamoros Borderplex, which currently has a development pipeline worth more than $13 billion in capital investment in heavy manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and energy sectors.

Mr. Salinas had the distinctive opportunity to work a project of significant impact for the region with Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, and its founder Elon Musk, who in 2014 announced the construction of the world’s first commercial rocket launch site and command center at Brownsville’s Boca Chica Beach.

In addition to domestic corporate recruitment, Mr. Salinas seeks and creates opportunities for foreign direct investment with a strong emphasis in Latin America, and particularly in South America where he manages an economic development office.

In 2013, Mr. Salinas received the prestigious nod of one of DCI’s 40-Under-40 Rising Stars in Economic Development in the United States. Mr. Salinas has been featured in different major news media, including the Univision morning show ‘Despierta America’ where he discussed border economic trends and has appeared numerous times on air with Senior Correspondent Maria Antonieta Collins.

Mr. Salinas holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Communication from the University of Texas Pan-American.

In his off time, Mr. Salinas has been casted to play “bad guy” roles in Texas-based films, with his most recent being in the Robert Rodriguez’s cult classic ‘From Dusk Till Dawn–The Series’.

Mr. John B. Sternlicht, JD, CEcD, FM
Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County
Mt. Vernon, WA

John Sternlicht, attorney and certified economic developer, brings senior executive expertise in law, economic development, community relations, public policy, finance, and government relations with a domestic and international focus (John speaks French, German and Spanish). John has over 20 years high-level experience negotiating and executing multi-billion dollar business locations and expansions involving public and private sector financing, higher education, infrastructure including all modes of transportation and legislative initiatives.

On August 12, 2015, John began his tenure as CEO of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (WA). At EDASC, John takes the helm of an organization at an inflection point, having not changed leadership for nearly three decades. With the full cooperation of the board and community, John will lead through a period of strategic planning, innovation and change. Most recently, John served as Economic Development Policy Advisor to King County Executive Dow Constantine, where he worked to bring a regional focus to economic development in the nation’s 13th most populous county. While Senior Director of Strategic Projects for SRI International, a leading nonprofit research institute, John conceived and executed greenfield bioscience projects in Virginia and Michigan involving a total of nearly $50 million in state, local and private financing. John’s careful and strategic oversight ensured that the funding would be sufficient to launch these new ventures. Previously, after ten years in private and public law practice in North Carolina and Virginia, John served eleven years as the first General Counsel and Legislative Director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), acted as Secretary to the VEDP Board of Directors, and also created a statewide program of certification and assistance for rural communities and regions to improve their business attraction and expansion practice.

In 2002, Governor Mark Warner appointed John to serve concurrently as Virginia's Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, as a key member of the team that planned and executed on strategies to establish Virginia as the top state for business for its economic development, transportation (primarily port and logistics), legal, commercial and regulatory climate. As Deputy Secretary, Sternlicht orchestrated the development and execution of the statewide economic development strategic plan, oversaw all 15 agency budgets totaling more than $800 million, and directed all agency legislative and regulatory programs. While serving in these positions, Sternlicht provided his expertise in a broad base of activities including human resources, open records, board relations, public finance, procurement, and community relations, and advised most of the 140 cities and counties in Virginia on the best structure for their economic development programs. In the mid-1990s, John made Virginia the first state in the US to require legally enforceable performance agreements to protect every discretionary dollar of state and local incentives to companies. He also designed many of the new incentive programs directed at particular regional needs or industry sectors such as manufacturing (everything from semiconductor chips to corn chips), logistics/distribution, financial services, headquarters, biosciences and IT.

John, who currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), speaks and writes nationally and abroad on various topics in economic development, including the design, protection and assessment of incentives, economic development practices in the US, the process of negotiation, building public consensus, strategic planning, commercialization and innovation, and others. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and studied journalism and communications at the Université de Fribourg in Switzerland on a Rotary International Graduate Fellowship before earning his Juris Doctor at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. He earned his certification in economic development from the International Economic Development Council in 2001.

Mr. Michael J. Taylor
Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking
Cleveland, OH

Michael J. Taylor is senior vice president, West Territory Executive, for PNC Bank. He is responsible for community and economic development activities for Northern Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. An Economic Development Professional with over thirty-years of cumulative private and public sector experience in economic, community and business development. Holds a broad background and understanding of various private and public capital sources to promote economic development and community revitalization.

Mr. Martin K. Vanags, CEcD
Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership
Malta, NY

Marty Vanags a graduate of Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University (MPA) and has over 25 years of experience in community and economic development, private commercial real estate development and business management. He has served as Chairman of the Illinois Development Council, Chair of IEDC Public Policy Advisory Committee, and member of the Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP). He is an active alumnus of Illinois State University serving on their Alumni Board and Alternative Energy Major Advisory Board, and the Means Center for Entrepreneurship at ISU’s College of Business. Marty also is a co-founder and creator of the Center for Emerging Entrepreneurs. He also serves on the Board of the Illinois Green Business Association. He is as co-founder of the @Midwest Social Media Conference, and speaks and provides seminars on social media and its impact on economic development and non-profits. Under Vanags’ leadership, the Bloomington Normal EDC has received numerous accolades and awards for marketing, communication and economic development best practices.

Mr. Ben Wright
Atlas Advertising
Denver, CO

As CEO of Atlas Advertising and Community Systems, Ben Wright is obsessed with helping economic developers grow the vitality in their communities. In the twelve years since he started his Denver, Colorado based company, the company has grown to serve over 140 different economic development clients, in 43+ states and 6 countries, including the Greater Rhode Island Economic Development Partnership, Charleston County Economic Development, Tennessee Valley Authority, Jobs Ohio, Alabama Power, and dozens more.

Ben started his career in economic development as the Chief Economist for the Metro Denver EDC, in Colorado in the early 1990s. 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.

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. He has finished three triathlons, and to do so learned to swim for distance for the first time at age 40.