About C2ER

The Council for Community and Economic Research

2016-2017 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Deidre Myers, CCR
Deidre Myers, CCR - Chair

The Myers Group, LLC
Oklahoma City, OK
Email: deidre@myersgroup.co
Bio Show Details

Deidre Myers is the co-owner and principal of The Myers Group, LLC which provides professional consulting services to industry, non-profit and public organizations. Deidre specializes in economic, community and workforce analysis. Deidre previously served as the Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development, heading the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. The Office managed and administered the Department of Labor WIOA funds for the state of Oklahoma, advised and supported the Governor's Council for Workforce and Economic Development, and led numerous statewide initiatives to grow and upskill the state's workforce. Deidre also managed state economic and community development programs; directed a national project for the Corporation for National and Community Service; administered the state of Massachusetts AmeriCorps program; and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon. Deidre is a certified community researcher and completed her undergraduate studies in History, Religion and French at Oklahoma State University and her graduate work at the University of Oklahoma in Economics and Public Policy.

George Harben, CEcD, CCR
George Harben, CEcD, CCR - Chair Elect

Director, Existing Business
Prince William County Department of Economic Development
Manassas, VA
Email: gharben@pwcgov.org
Bio Show Details

In June 2011, George N. Harben joined the Prince William County Department of Economic Development. In his current position, Mr. Harben works with local businesses on retention and expansion issues.

Prior to coming to Prince William County Mr. Harben was the vice president of the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council, KY. In this position he managed new and existing business projects, secured two Delta Regional Authority grants, maintained the site and building database, and developed an aggressive outreach program to site consultants.

Previously Mr. Harben managed the South Carolina Department of Commerce Research Division from 1999-2003. The division housed project research, target marketing, GIS system, sites and buildings database, and site certification. Accomplishments include substantially revising and enhancing the existing labor profile, converting the Industrial Directory from paper to an electronic version, producing in depth target marketing analysis and collateral data.

Mr. Harben served for four and a half years as the Director of Research for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The division housed the project research, sites and building database, and target marketing. During his tenure, the division was reorganized to prioritize project response and initiated a comprehensive target marketing program.

Mr. Harben previously worked for the South Carolina Department of Commerce from 1989-1994 as the Associate Manager of Project Research and later as manager. Mr. Harben was the lead in Research for the BMW and the Mercedes-Benz projects.

In 1997 Mr. Harben earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council. He earned the Council for Community and Economic Research (formerly ACCRA) Certified Community Researcher (CCR) designation in 2003.

Jennifer Zeller, CCR
Jennifer Zeller, CCR - Vice-Chair

Manager, Engineering, Research & Creative Services
Georgia Power
Atlanta, GA
Email: jzeller@southernco.com
Bio Show Details

As Support Services Manager for Georgia Power's Community & Economic Development organization, Ms. Zeller is responsible for directing the engineering, research and creative teams that support business recruitment, expansion and retention initiatives, and the department's work in helping communities prepare for growth. Jennifer is also responsible for the Georgia Resource Center, a world-renowned multimedia facility for assistance with strategic location decisions.

Jennifer joined the Georgia Power team in 2007. She was formerly Vice President of Research for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where she worked for more than 10 years, and for the Lee County, Florida, Office of Economic Development.

Ms. Zeller serves on the boards of the federal Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC) and the Council for Community & Economic Research (C2ER). She is a member of the National Association of Business Economics and serves on the Brand Awareness Committee of the Technology Association of Georgia.

Jennifer holds a Bachelors degree in Economics and Political Science from Florida State University. She also received a certificate in economic development and Web design from Georgia Tech.

Alan Spell, CCR
Alan Spell, CCR - Secretary-Treasurer

Economic & Workforce Research Manager
Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC)
Jefferson City, MO
Email: alan.spell@ded.mo.gov
Bio Show Details

Alan Spell manages a research team at the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), within the state's economic and workforce development department. Alan and his staff provide economic, industry, and labor analysis to assist policymakers and the public. The center has been recognized with 13 national awards for research excellence since it was formed back in 2001.

Alan has worked in economic development since 1995 in various roles to include site selection, land planning, spatial analysis, impact modeling, and industry research. In addition to traditional economic development activities, Alan's team manages the state's Workforce Information Grant to deliver career and occupational information to a wide variety of stakeholders. Their most recent activities include labor supply and demand studies as well as developing a web-based college scorecard in partnership with the state's community colleges.

Alan holds degrees in Economics and Landscape Architecture, as well as certification as a Community Researcher.

Drew Conrad, CEcD, CCR
Drew Conrad, CEcD, CCR - Immediate Past Chair

Director - Institute for Decision Making
Special Projects Manager - Business & Community Services
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Email: andrew.conrad@uni.edu
Bio Show Details

Drew Conrad is the Senior Program Manager for the Institute for Decision Making and the Special Projects Manager for the Business and Community Services Division at The University of Northern Iowa. His responsibilities include the design, delivery and follow-up of community and regional-level services including strategic and short-term planning, conducting community assessments, cluster analysis and target industry analysis, regional workforce analysis and strategy development, and conducting other applied research projects. Drew has worked on collaborative projects with Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Department of Economic Development, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). Drew is a Past-President of the Professional Developers of Iowa and currently serves on the C2ER Board of Directors. Additionally, he is an instructor for the C2ER's Training Institute and for the Labor Market Information Training Institute. Drew sits on the Editorial Board of Applied Research in Economic Development and has taught for UNI's Political Science Department. He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and a graduate of the Economic Development Institute (EDI) at the University of Oklahoma. He holds a BA in American History/Pre-Law and a Masters in Public Policy (MPP).

Board of Directors

Terms Expiring June 30, 2017
Adrienne Johnson
Adrienne Johnson

Director, Research
Greater Memphis Chamber
Memphis, TN
Email: ajohnson@memphischamber.com
Bio Show Details

Adrienne M. Johnson is the Director of Research for the Greater Memphis Chamber. She provides business information, economic information and a variety of other research services to the Chamber's economic development team, members of the Chamber, Chamber partners and the general public on variety of topics. Adrienne also works closely with the Chamber's executive team on economic and community development projects and has been tapped by several local organizations such as Memphis BioWorks, Memphis' Air Service Taskforce, CommunityLIFT and TheConsoritumMMT to assist with their data collection and reporting efforts.

Melanie Moore
Melanie Moore

Senior Director of Business Intelligence
JAXUSA Partnership
Jacksonville, FL
Email: mMoore@jaxusa.org
Bio Show Details

As Senior Director of Business Intelligence Melanie provides statistics, data and research for JAXUSA projects. An arts and culture enthusiast, Melanie enjoys theater, photography and travel. Melanie also enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Robert Sharak
Robert Sharak

Senior Business Development Manager
City of Norfolk, Development Department
Norfolk, VA
Email: robert.sharak@norfolk.gov
Bio Show Details

Robert Sharak is the Development and Public Relations Officer for Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads, Virginia, which is the Workforce Development Board responsible for developing workforce policy and administering workforce development initiatives for Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. Opportunity Inc. oversees federally funded workforce development programs, which assist businesses in accessing qualified workers and jobseekers in finding suitable job openings and bolstering their earning power through training. Prior to working for Opportunity Inc., Mr. Sharak held positions with the Hampton Roads Partnership, a regional economic development organization, and with the New York City Housing Authority. He received his MBA in finance from Pace University and a BS in communications from Syracuse Unversity.

Neal Young
Neal Young

Economic Analysis Director
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
St Paul, MN
Email: neal.young@state.mn.us
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Neal Young is the Director of Economic Analysis at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Previously, Neal was an economic analyst at DEED. In addition to DEED, Neal has worked as an analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Iowa Department of Revenue. He has a BA in economics from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and an MA in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.

Terms Expiring June 30, 2018
Laura Coleman
Laura Coleman

Statewide Director
Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research
Sacramento, CA
Email: colemal@losrios.edu

Adrienne Johnston
Adrienne Johnston

Chief, Labor Market Information Bureau
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
Tallahassee, FL
Email: adrienne.johnston@deo.myflorida.com

Carolyn Mitchell
Carolyn Mitchell

Office of Workforce Information and Performance, Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation
Baltimore, MD
Email: carolyn.mitchell@maryland.gov

Bob Potts
Bob Potts

Research Director
Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development
Las Vegas, NV
Email: bpotts@diversifynevada.com
Bio Show Details

Bob Potts is the Research Director for the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development, bringing to the position more than 20 years of experience in data research and analysis. Specializing in data collection and dissemination, economic impact analysis, statistical modeling and survey research, Mr. Potts is considered a leading expert in the business and economic environment for the state of Nevada. In his position, Mr. Potts oversees the collection, analysis and reporting of business, socioeconomic and performance information to aid the GOED in the development and diversification of Nevada's growing economy.

Before joining the GOED, Mr. Potts served as the Assistant Director for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While there, he assisted as the university representative and consultant to the business and government communities on local, state, national and international economic trends and business climate. During his tenure as Assistant Director, Mr. Potts designed and maintained the Center's data warehouse, survey systems and Web sites. In addition, he made regular presentations on the economy and was a resource for media organizations. His work has been published in Las Vegas Perspective, Nevada Business Magazine, Economic Outlook, Southern Nevada Business Directory, Southern Nevada Factbook, Southern Nevada Business Confidence Index and Southern Nevada Index of Leading Economic Indicators.

Mr. Potts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Montana State University and a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. As a graduate assistant at UNLV, Mr. Potts co-authored four professional journal publications and developed six regularly released socioeconomic, statistical and business publications.

Terms Expiring June 30, 2019
Bob Ball
Bob Ball

Economist, Director of Research
Tulsa Regional Chamber
Tulsa, OK
Email: bobball@tulsachamber.com
Bio Show Details

Bob joined the Tulsa Regional Chamber in fall 2002. As economist and director of economic research at the Chamber he writes the annual Economic Profile and assesses the impact of new and expanded business on output, income and employment in Economic Development's effort to grow and market clusters for development of the Tulsa area economy. Bob conducts data and economic impact analysis for special events on behalf of the Tulsa Sports Commission, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Marketing and Government Affairs at the Chamber for press releases, lobbying efforts and the marketing of the Chamber's successful partnership with the Tulsa-area business community. Before coming to work for the Tulsa Regional Chamber, Bob was with American Electric Power, where he was responsible for the development of regional economic forecasts and the assessment of impacts of prospective business development projects for an 11-state region.

His economic research experience includes econometric model development for forecasting petroleum demand and supply and state revenue from energy-related taxes, for assessing trends in statewide water consumption for long-term agency planning and for estimating the long-term movement of city population projections by census tract for transportation planning. Bob consults in economics and pricing strategy with Ball Partis & Breve.

Denise Hanna
Denise Hanna

Research Manager
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Little Rock, AR
Email: dhanna@arkansasedc.com
Bio Show Details

Denise Hanna is the Market Research Manager with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). She is responsible for coordinating agency research efforts to meet the needs of internal and external customer groups, and assisting in the agency's business recruitment efforts. This is Denise's second time to serve in the Research Division. She was initially hired by AEDC as an Associate Research Analyst in 1995. Denise also held the position of Community Development Consultant with AEDC for nine (9) years serving a grand total of 35 counties in central/north central and southwest Arkansas during her tenure. Her experience before AEDC included three years with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. She is a member of the Arkansas Economic Developers and the Community and Economic Research Council. Denise is a graduate of the Henderson State University with a B.A. degree in public administration and received her Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute and the University of Central Arkansas's Community Development Institute.

Jason Palmer
Jason Palmer

Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives
Detroit, MI
Email: palmerj2@michigan.gov
Bio Show Details

Jason Palmer is the Director of the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. In this role he oversees the state's federal-state cooperative programs with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau and directs the state's economic, workforce, and demographic research and analysis. In addition, Palmer is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, where he lectures on topics including labor markets, work and occupations, and occupational safety and health.

Jason Palmer received his bachelor's in economics from Michigan State University and his master's in labor and industrial relations from Wayne State University. He received his Juris Doctorate, with honors, from the Michigan State University College of Law and is a licensed attorney admitted to the State Bar of Michigan and its Sections on Labor and Employment Law and Administrative and Regulatory Law. Palmer is a member of the American Economic Association and the American Sociological Association.

Carol Rogers
Carol Rogers

Deputy Director + CIO
Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN
Email: rogersc@indiana.edu
Bio Show Details

As deputy director and CIO of the Indiana Business Research Center, Carol Rogers directs its information systems and services, overseeing the development of websites, publications, training, research projects and other services. She sits on the boards of the Council for Community and Economic Development and the Indiana Geographic Information Council, and serves as the Governor's Census Liaison.

She works extensively with economic developers, government officials and businesses throughout Indiana and the nation, providing them with economic and demographic information for and about Indiana and its localities. These data are shared through publications produced by the IBRC research staff, web services, training, consultation and analysis.

Under her direction, the Center's award-winning interactive web service, STATS Indiana, has become one of the most-used public data sites in the nation, along with its sister site, STATS America.

There is some life beyond data—Rogers is a mother and mistress to a rescued stray, Ginsberg; avid reader and biker; past PTA president; lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of Indiana (an award given for her volunteer demographic work for that group); and uses her off-time for other volunteer activities to fulfill her need to serve.