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In her new role as the Director of the newly established Washington Office of the National Development Council (NDC), Jane Campbell is bringing the expertise of NDC’s forty years of experience working to bring capital to underserved communities – both urban and rural- into the federal public policy debate. NDC works in over 100 communities across America building public facilities and creating commercial redevelopment, low income housing, all through public private partnerships and creative use of federal, state and local financing tools.
As the Senior Advisor to Senator Cantwell on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Campbell lead the committee’s work on access to capital and women’s entrepreneurship, while providing guidance to the committee’s Staff Director, a position she held under Senator Landrieu. As Staff Director, Campbell directed policy to support small businesses’ access to capital, federal contracting opportunities, business counseling, and engagement in international trade. From 2009-13, Campbell served as Senator Landrieu’s Chief of Staff leading efforts to recover from both Katerina and the Gulf oil spill.
Campbell’s public service career included serving as the first woman mayor of Cleveland, five years as county commissioner for Ohio’s largest county, and six terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. Her public service focused on economic development, fiscal stability, child welfare, and health and human services policy. After successfully implementing welfare reform, Governing Magazine honored Campbell as 2000 Public Official of the Year.
A seasoned innovation intermediary, Alex Cocoziello brings over 15 years of cross-functional team leadership experience creating strategic partnerships among technology-focused organizations in the public and private sectors. He has held senior level business development and operational positions in both large and small companies in the engineering, software and professional services industries. To date Cocoziello has helped generate over $20 million in new revenues through the creation of strategic partnerships and other collaborative relationships that leverage technology innovation.
Presently Cocoziello serves as Director of Business Development & Program Management at InSitech, Inc., a not-for-profit, federal partnership intermediary that facilitates technology transfer and economic development activity between the US Department of Defense (DoD), other federal agencies and the private sector. Having forged strong working relationships with a broad portfolio of DoD clients, Cocoziello has facilitated dozens of technology collaboration agreements between DoD laboratories and private sector organizations. He has also architected and led numerous outreach programs to make emerging technology companies aware of partnering opportunities with DoD.
In 2012 Cocoziello led an effort to win and execute a US EDA grant to develop a TBED strategy focused on bioproducts for Kern County, CA, in cooperation with the Kern Economic Development Corporation.
As a result, at least one of the region’s major agricultural producers has pursued a strategic relationship with an emerging technology company that converts agricultural waste into marketable products. Cocoziello’s accomplishments also include helping a major US Navy R&D center develop and execute innovative collaborative programs to spur regional economic activity, as well as advising the center on high-stakes licensing negotiations for its portfolio of biofuels IP.
Cocoziello holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering with high honors from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has been a speaker at several DoD and university symposia on dual use technology.
Lenny Eliason has been an Athens County Commissioner since August 1998. He serves on the Board of Directors for County Commissioners Association of Ohio as a Past President. Eliason also serves as President of the CEBCO (County Employee Benefit Consortium) Board. He is serving on the Buckeye Hills Hocking Valley Regional Development Executive Committee, Buckeye Hills Resource Conservation and Development Council, The Appalachian Development Corporation and is a member of HAPCAP Community Action Board.
He is the 1st Vice President of the National Association of Counties and serves on the NACO Membership Committee, the Rural Action Caucus and on the NACo Labor and Employment Steering Committee. A past member of the NACo Finance Committee, NACo Leadership and Governance Committee and the NACo By-Laws Committee. A member of the NACo County Leadership Institute Class of 2006.
Eliason earned a Master’s of Public Administration Degree from Ohio University.
In 2003, Eliason was appointed to serve on the PERRAC (Public Employees Risk Reduction Advisory Committee by Lt. Governor Jeanette Bradley. In 2007 he was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to the Indigent Defense Task Force. Eliason served on the CASA/GAL Study Committee from 2005-2007.
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.
Todd Greene is vice president in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Greene’s responsibilities include providing leadership, strategic direction, and oversight for the community and economic development department. With research, policy, and evidence-based best practices, and a focus on human capital development, small business, housing, and community and economic development finance, the group works to promote community and economic development and sustainable growth for all sectors of the economy.
Before joining the Atlanta Fed in 2008, Greene held leadership roles in the private, government, and education sectors. Most recently, he was a member of the general faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served in various capacities, including center director, and oversaw research and programs related to applied economic development such as the Program in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and the Center for Manufacturing Information Technology.
Currently, Greene is on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council and is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council and the Georgia Economic Developers Association, for which he previously served as chairman. Greene’s community engagement includes serving on the Board of Visitors for Georgia Regents University, the board of directors of the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) and a founding member of the Lorde-Rustin Giving Circle.
Greene is a graduate of the 2011 class of Leadership Atlanta, 2009 Leadership Georgia, and 2003 Buckhead Business Association Leadership Development programs. In 2002, he obtained the Certified Economic Developer designation (CEcD). Greene earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature and language from Harvard University, a master of arts degree in human resources management from Washington University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University. He has completed executive education programs at Universidad ESAN (Lima, Peru) and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ms. Joann J. Hill, a native of Columbia, South Carolina is the Chief of the Office of Business Development for the United States Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Ms. Hill has served at MBDA for more than a decade and in her current capacity has oversight of the Office of Business Development. She also serves as the lead federal program officer for the nationwide network of more than 40 Business Centers that generate $4 billion in performance goals annually.
She is responsible for the creation and implementation of strategies for business development in the areas of access to capital, access to contracts, access to emerging domestic and international markets and global supply chains. Additionally, Ms. Hill facilitates stakeholder collaboration with chambers of commerce and trade associations. She engages in international business initiatives both domestically and abroad, designed to promote business to business linkages.
Ms. Hill has served as Conference Director for the National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference, the Nation’s largest federally sponsored conference on minority business enterprise. This Conference is held annually in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Hill holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from EmoryUniversity, Goizueta Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Benedict College. Prior to joining MBDA she worked in the areas of operations management, banking, and finance.
Fred P. Hochberg is Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and one of the highest ranking business leaders in the Obama Administration.
During his six years of leadership, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than 1.3 million American jobs and financed exports with a value exceeding $200 billion, while generating more than $2 billion in surplus revenue for U.S. taxpayers and reducing internal costs by 15 percent. During Hochberg's tenure, the Bank has increased its focus on customers, particularly America's small business exporters, and in each of the last several years, nearly 90 percent of Ex-Im Bank authorizations have directly supported small businesses.
Hochberg has also worked to expand the global footprint of key domestic industries in which U.S. exporters have a comparative advantage, such as renewable energy, space technology, construction and farm machinery, medical technology, agriculture, and avionics. In addition, he has streamlined processes, dramatically cut transaction times, and introduced innovative new financial products to better equip U.S. companies to win sales in an increasingly competitive global economy
From 2004 to 2008, Hochberg was dean of the Milano School of Management and Urban Policy at The New School in New York City. From 1998 through 2001, he served as deputy, and then acting Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), where he helped quadruple lending to minority- and women-owned small businesses.
Prior to his service at SBA, Hochberg was the long-time President and Chief Operating Officer of the Lillian Vernon Corporation, where he led the transformation of a small, family-owned mail order company into an international, publicly traded direct marketing corporation.
Hochberg is a past board member of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Citizens Budget Commission, and FINCA International Micro Finance. He has served as co-Chair of the Human Rights Campaign, and is a founder of the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellows Scholarship at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He was also an appointed representative to the New York State Financial Control Board.
A native of the greater New York metropolitan area, Hochberg received his undergraduate degree from New York University and his MBA from Columbia University. Hochberg's partner is writer Tom Healy.
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).
As Federal Policy Director, Kermit directs the organization's Washington-based efforts to advance a national skills strategy within federal legislation, agency regulation and national funding initiatives. Kermit assists state and local leaders in federal policy advocacy both within Washington and in their home districts and works with National Skills Coalition field staff and partner organizations to help improve state and local implementation of federal programs. Kermit returned to NSC in 2015.
Kermit was previously NSC’s Senior Policy Analyst from 2008-12 before he left to develop his on-the-ground knowledge of workforce development and administration at the Washington DC Workforce Investment Council, where he rose to the position of Executive Director. In addition to helping set workforce development policies for the District of Columbia, Kermit was the primary author of the District’s five-year workforce development strategy. He also helped to develop DC’s first industry-focused workforce intermediary programs, as well as new programming for opportunity youth.
Kermit holds a J.D. and a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary. He is based in Washington, DC.
Michael Langley is the founding CEO of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. GREATER MSP leads global promotion, regional strategy, and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region, with over three million residents and a Gross Metropolitan Product of over $200 Billion. He brings years of experience to the role as a widely recognized economic development strategist who has also led successful regional economic development organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania.
Michael's award winning work as a practitioner includes his leadership as CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, often regarded as a globally leading organizational model for regional economic development, regional advocacy, and public policy research. It also includes the founding of Langley Group, a national economic development consulting firm focused on regional best practices and economic growth strategies, where Michael served as President.
Prior to becoming an economic development practitioner, Michael led a successful corporate career, spent primarily in the technology sector working in leadership positions for a number of Westinghouse/CBS divisions, including serving as President and CEO of Westinghouse Audio Intelligence Devices, Inc., a world leader in wireless surveillance technology.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mike also earned a MS in information systems from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He served as a Navy pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flight and crew time on surveillance and intelligence missions worldwide and as a technology analyst on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities by American Intercontinental University for his work in community improvement.
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 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 and leads 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 Vice 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.
Barry I. Matherly is a certified economic developer with over 20 years of leadership experience at the city, county, regional and university levels. He also interned 3 years for the United States Department of Commerce.
Currently, Barry is President and CEO at the Greater Richmond Partnership, a public/private regional organization that is the single point of contact for domestic and international businesses looking to locate or expand in the Richmond Virginia Region.
Previously, he was the executive director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association in North Carolina, the Director of Economic Development for the communities of Goochland and Pulaski, Virginia and the Special Projects Manager at the Economic Development Assistance Center at Virginia Tech University.
Mr. Matherly has a bachelor's degree from James Madison University and a master's degree from Virginia Tech University. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and a recipient of the Robert B. Cassell Leadership Award.
Barry serves as the Vice Chair of the International Economic Development Council Board and is on the Governance Committee. Barry also serves on the Executive Board of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is chair of the Scholarship and Development Committee.
Locally, Barry serves on the University of Richmond School of Business Executive Advisory Council, the Virginia Commonwealth University Innovation Advisory Board and the Richmond Public Schools Superintendent's Business Advisory Council. In addition, he is Vice Chair of the Legislative Advisory Committee for the Virginia Economic Developers Association and a member of the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate.
Barry Matherly, a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, was named one of the 40 Leaders Under 40 (2002) by the Charlotte Business Journal, recognized as a North Carolina Main Street Champion, designated as a Fellow Member by IEDC and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.
Tracye McDaniel is the President and CEO of Texas Economic Development Corporation, Inc., an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is dedicated to economic development, business recruitment, and job creation in the State of Texas. Texas Economic Development Corporation operates the TexasOne™ Program which coordinates efforts with the Office of the Governor for strategic marketing and lead generation activities.
Formerly with Choose New Jersey, Inc., McDaniel led global promotion, lead generation and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Garden State and is part of the state’s award-winning economic development organization: The New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA). Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the Partnership serves as the starting point for all initiatives, policies and efforts related to growing New Jersey's economy and creating quality, sustainable jobs.
Ms. McDaniel has more than 30 years of state and regional level experience as a widely recognized strategist in all facets of economic development, including public relations, tourism and international business development. She has led successful economic development organizations in Texas. In 2007, Ms. McDaniel served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), Houston, TX, regarded as a top global location for business.
She holds leadership positions in numerous professional and industry organizations and sits on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s top organization for economic development professionals. She was also named by NJBIZ among New Jersey’s 2014 Best 50 Women in Business, as well as the 100 Most Powerful People in New Jersey Business. McDaniel was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to both the Council on Innovation and the New Jersey Military installation Growth and Development Task Force during her time in New Jersey.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Ms. McDaniel is also a Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development (RSD) Fellow, a program of American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).
Kenny McDonald, CEcD, serves as the primary leader of all economic development and business attraction efforts for the 11-county Columbus Region in his position as chief economic officer of Columbus 2020. McDonald has an extensive background in site selection, regional economic development, community marketing, business recruitment and international business development.
He holds the professional designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and serves as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council. In addition, McDonald serves locally on the boards of Columbus Crew, MidAmerican Global Ventures, NAIOP, SciTech and Transportation Research Center.
Previously, McDonald served as the executive vice president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, a public-private economic development organization covering a 16-county region in North and South Carolina. McDonald's 16 years of economic development experience also include leadership positions at the Albuquerque Economic Development Corporation, Fluor Daniels Global Locations Strategies and the Savannah Economic Development Authority. McDonald received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Dickinson State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.
McDonald writes weekly about economic development and Columbus 2020's activities on the Columbus Region blog, Economic Development Matters.
Michael S. Neal, CCE, CCD, HLM, IOM, is in his 10th 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.
Mike received the Distinguished Graduate Award from Leadership Oklahoma in 2013. A graduate of Class XXI, Mike was recognized for the significant impact he has made locally, statewide and nationally in his post at the Chamber, and the many volunteer roles he fills in the Tulsa community. Leadership Oklahoma recognized Neal for exemplifying the highest standards of the organization, whose activities have achieved results and has set an example of statewide significance.
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 73 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 $15.6 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.
Neal previously served as the president and CEO of the Nashville, Tenn., Area Chamber of Commerce for four years. Prior to that, Neal spent 12 years as president and CEO of the Monroe, La., Chamber of Commerce in his hometown.
Mike served as the 2013-2014 Chairman of the Oklahoma Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team.
Neal is heavily involved in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and serves on its Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 and Transportation Infrastructure & Logistics Committee. He is a graduate of the Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management at Southern Methodist University and spent six years on the faculty, at six different University Institute locations.
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.
In addition to those, Neal currently serves on the boards of the Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Southern Economic Development Council, The State Chamber of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Oklahoma Academy for State Goals (Salute Committee Chairman and Town Hall Co-Chair), Oklahoma Business & Education Coalition, the Tulsa Area United Way, the Salvation Army, Friends of the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Foundation, VisitTulsa (Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau), Tulsa Sports Commission, Tulsa’s Future II, TulsaBizPac and OklahomaBizPac. He was Vice President of Programs and Golf Tournament Chairman of the Foundation for Tulsa Public Schools.
Mike was appointed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to her Oklahoma Task Force on Economic Development. He is a graduate and Life Member of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Louisiana, serves as a member of the Governor’s International Team, International Economic Development Council, Oklahoma Economic Development Council, Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives, Oklahoma Conference for Community and Justice, American Highway Users Alliance, TRUST – Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation, INCOG Transportation Advisory Council and Economic Development District Board, Research Institute for Economic Development and Oklahoma Historical Society.
Neal was recently appointed by Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. and the Tulsa City Council to the Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force, charged with formalizing plans for river development.
He serves on the Advisory Council for the Tulsa Young Professional’s (TYPros), the Urban League of Metropolitan Tulsa and the Junior League of Tulsa. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, The University of Tulsa Friends of Finance, Golden Hurricane Club, Center for Legislative Excellence, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa Country Club, Patriot Golf Club, Summit Club, Tulsa Press Club, First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, Folds of Honor Foundation, Philbrook Museum, Cascia Hall Parent Faculty Association and Athletic Boosters Club, University of Louisiana Monroe Alumni Association, Athletic Scholarship Foundation and Letterman’s Club, and Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. He is a former board member of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited and i2E. Mike was the founder of and charter graduate of Leadership Monroe/Ouachita Parish, and graduate of Leadership Nashville and Leadership Music.
Neal and his wife Jana have two daughters, Cambridge, age 20, a junior at Ole Miss, and Caroline, age 17, a senior at Cascia Hall Preparatory School.
Craig J. Richard was selected to serve as the president and CEO of Invest Atlanta in December 2014. He is a seasoned economic development professional of nearly 20 years and is regarded as a collaborative leader with strengths in marketing, business development, entrepreneurial development, workforce development, global commerce, strategic planning and managing talented teams to achieve desired results. His economic development experiences range from neighborhood-level community development and regional chambers of commerce to state economic development.
He previously served as the president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), the regional chamber of commerce. Prior to GLI, Richard was chief economic development officer for the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). Under his leadership, GHP was recognized as a best in class economic development group for four consecutive years by Site Selection magazine. He has also held leadership positions at Hawes Hill Calderon LLC, Arlington (Texas) Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Regional Chamber, Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the City of Richmond, Va. Prior to his economic development career, Richard enjoyed a successful career as a district executive with the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Highlights of Richard’s career include the announcements of more than 156 projects representing over 134,000 jobs and $7.6 billion in capital investment. Some of his notable projects include Gazelle.com service center, ExxonMobil North American headquarters consolidation, Dow refinery expansion, Toshiba manufacturing plant expansion, Vestas Technology R&D Americas, AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys), Siemens Postal Dematic headquarters, General Motors plant expansion and Rooms To Go regional distribution center. Richard has led or participated in foreign trade and investment missions to China, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
Richard earned his Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree, with a concentration in economic development, from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Houston-Downtown. He is a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council, a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma and has attended executive education programs at Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He serves as an officer of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council.
Richard is married with two children. In his spare time he enjoys golf, hunting and cycling.
Jeff Stout is the Director of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, a program that funds state efforts to support private sector financing of small businesses. Prior to joining Treasury in 2011, Jeff was the Senior Vice President and Director of Business Development for City First Bank of DC, a CDFI bank. Jeff spent his early career leading two start-up companies. He earned undergraduate degrees in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Iowa and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University.
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.
Denise Turner Roth assumed office on August 5, 2015 and is the 21st Senate-confirmed Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Drawing on 18 years of public service, Roth continues GSA’s efforts to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people.
Roth arrived at GSA in March 2014 as Deputy Administrator, providing overall organization management that helped improve performance throughout the agency. As Deputy, she worked at every level of GSA to support the mission and goals of the agency through the use of strategic and performance planning, measurement and analysis, and regular assessment of progress and performance data.
Roth’s dedication to public service began on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman Jim Moran. Later, she served as a special assistant for legislative affairs in the office of District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams and the public space manager for D.C.’s Department of Transportation, implementing and overseeing a $36 million revenue stream and managing public space access for major utility and telecommunication companies.
Before joining GSA, Roth served as the City Manager for the City of Greensboro, N.C., where her leadership helped pave the way for several new and creative management changes in the city, including the reorganization of city departments and divisions to promote efficiency and improve service delivery.
Roth also helped establish the district office of North Carolina Congressman Brad Miller and served as district liaison. In her capacity as Vice President for Governmental Affairs at the Greensboro Partnership, Roth successfully advocated for $60 million in state funds to establish the North Carolina A&T State and UNC Greensboro Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.
During her career, she has received a variety of accolades, most recently being named one of D.C.’s “Top 50 Women in Tech” by FedScoop for her use of technology as a force multiplier to push government and industry to the next level. She also received the Young Alumni Achievement Award from the Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia for her significant accomplishments in her business life.
Denise Turner Roth received her Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Politics from the George Mason University, which also awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2015. She is a graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Denise lives in the District of Columbia with her husband Chip Roth and their son.
Ms. Carroll A. Thomas, Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) leads a nationwide network of centers focused on helping U.S. manufacturers strengthen their supply chain integration and access new technology thereby helping them to compete globally. MEP is a $300 million public-private partnership program leveraging federal support by teaming with industry as well as state and local organizations. With over 400 manufacturing extension offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, MEP provides companies with services and access to resources that enhance growth, improve productivity and expand capacity.
Prior to being selected as the MEP Director, Ms. Thomas was appointed as the Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in November 2012. At SBA, Ms. Thomas was responsible for program and policy development, implementation and oversight of the $113 million grants program that funds the Small Business Development Centers located in every state plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands in more than 900 service locations.
From 2000–2012, when Ms. Thomas was initially employed by MEP, she served as Program Manager for Supplier Scouting and as the Partnership Catalyst to help government service providers seamlessly assist small manufacturers. She implemented pilots to support Buy America procurement provisions by matching U.S. manufacturers with opportunities from publically-funded projects and co-founded the Interagency Network of Enterprise Assistance Providers. Earlier in her career, Ms. Thomas was a small business manufacturer/retail franchise owner; negotiated product deals with over 23,000 U.S. inventors and small manufacturers for electronic retailer QVC and directed marketing efforts for the National Gallery of Art’s vast reproduction portfolio.
With more than 30 years of entrepreneurial and small business development experience, her accomplished public/ private sector career demonstrate her leadership expertise as a catalyst for creating innovative partnerships and advocating economic development by supporting dynamic innovation ecosystems.
Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Leadership Washington and a former Regional Director of the Fashion Group International of Greater Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University in Design and a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University in International Business.
Vinai Thummalapally serves as Executive Director of SelectUSA, part of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Established by Executive Order of the President, SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide initiative to attract and retain business investment in the United States. As Executive Director, Ambassador Thummalapally manages the strategy and implementation of SelectUSA as it works to create jobs, spur economic growth, and promote American competitiveness. He also co-chairs, with the Director of the White House National Economic Council, the SelectUSA Interagency Investment Working Group to coordinate existing resources across the federal government to promote business investment and address federal regulatory barriers.
Thummalapally brings a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors. President Obama appointed him ambassador to Belize in 2009, where he served until 2013. In his role as Chief of Mission, Ambassador Thummalapally helped strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Belize in the areas of citizen security, economic development, education, and health care. In addition, he found innovative ways to engage regional and international organizations and other embassies to promote the same.
Ambassador Thummalapally has had a distinguished 31-year career in the private sector. Prior to joining the foreign service, Ambassador Thummalapally served as President of MAM-A Inc., formerly Mitsui Advanced Media. MAM-A Inc. was the nation's leading manufacturer and distributor of archival recordable optical discs. During his fourteen year tenure the company became the benchmark of the optical disc manufacturing industry.
Ambassador Thummalapally also served as the plant manager of WEA Manufacturing Inc., a division of Time Warner Inc.; the Managing Director for Clines Printing and Office Products; and Manufacturing Manager of Disc Manufacturing, Inc. In addition to holding two U.S. patents for design of optical disc manufacturing, he has received several Outstanding Service awards for his professional accomplishments.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, Ambassador Thummalapally moved to the United States in 1974 to pursue his engineering studies. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University in 1977 and completed post graduate Business Administration courses from Cal State University in 1980 and University of Tennessee in 1995. He is also fluent in Telugu, Hindi and Urdu.
Ambassador Thummalapally and his wife Barbara have two children.
Jason A. Tyszko is senior director of education and workforce policy and programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation where he advances policies and programs that preserve America’s competitiveness and enhance the career readiness of youth and adult learners. This includes launching the Talent Pipeline Management initiative, the Foundation’s signature workforce development strategy.
Tyszko’s prior experience focused on coordinating interagency education, workforce, and economic development initiatives. In 2009, he served as a policy adviser to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration. In addition, Tyszko was deputy chief of staff and senior policy adviser to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Tyszko received his Master of Arts from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University. He is a certified teacher in the state of Illinois.
In May of 2015 Marty Vanags assumed the position of President of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, the official economic development organization for Saratoga County, New York. As President, Marty is responsible for creating a new economic development organization that will be proactive, and aggressive in seeking out new investment for Saratoga County. Previously Vanags was the Vice President for Regional Economic Development and Executive Director of the Indy Partnership a business unit of the Indy Chamber. Starting in February 2013 Vanags lead a group of professional economic developers whose mission was to market and promote the nine-county Indianapolis region as a place to invest and grow business. While in Indy Vanags lead an effort that has consistently produced well over 10,000 jobs each year with over $2 billion in capital investment.
Vanags has also held economic development leadership positions in Bloomington-Normal, Freeport, and Rockford, all communities in Illinois. He also has experience in private sector real estate development and city management.
Vanags is 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 currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He has served as Chairman of the Illinois Development Council, Chair of International Economic Development Council Public Policy Advisory Committee, and member of the same organization’s Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP). He has served two terms on the Illinois State University Alumni Board, and the Board of Advisors for the Means Center for Entrepreneurship at ISU’s College of Business. Vanags also is a co-founder and creator of the Center for Emerging Entrepreneurs, a business incubation and development program at Illinois State University.
Jay Williams was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and was sworn into office on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
As the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA), Williams is charged with leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy.
Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Jay served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. In this capacity, he worked directly with state and local stakeholders in areas affected by the changing American automotive industry to deliver federal support to ensure they returned to better economic condition.
He also served in the White House as Deputy Director for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this position, he led efforts to engage mayors, city council members, and county officials around the country.
Williams served as the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio from 2006 to August 1, 2011. During his tenure as Mayor of Youngstown, Williams led efforts that had a direct impact on improving the quality of life for the citizens of Youngstown.
Williams is the recipient of the 2007 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award. The JFK Library Foundation, in conjunction with the Harvard University Institute of Politics, annually recognizes two exceptional young Americans- under the age of 40, whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of President John F. Kennedy.
Prior to being elected, Williams spent five years as the Director of Community Development for the city. Before transitioning into public service, Williams enjoyed a distinguished career in banking, which included stints at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and First Place Bank, as a vice president.
Assistant Secretary Williams was born and raised in Youngstown. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.S.B.A., majoring in finance.