The 2017 C2ER Annual Conference & LMI Institute Annual Forum

June 12-16, 2017 - Denver, CO

Conference Speakers

Speaker List (PDF)

Keynote Speakers
John Hickenlooper
Governor
Colorado
Bio

John Hickenlooper is a lifetime entrepreneur who ran as a "dark horse" to become Mayor of Denver in 2003. He led the campaign to pass FasTracks, the largest regional transportation initiative in U.S. history, and helped convince the 34 metro mayors (2/3 Republican) to unanimously support and pass the 0.4% sales tax increase at the ballot. He recruited top managers to his cabinet from business and wherever he could find them. In eight years he had streamlined the total workforce by 7%, the first such reduction in Denver's history. In 2005 TIME Magazine named him as one of the five top big-city mayors in America. He recently added "author" to his resume with the publication of his forthcoming memoir, The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics.

When he was inaugurated Governor of Colorado in 2011, having run on his history of collaboration for community good, he became the first Denver mayor to be elected governor in 150 years. He also became the first geologist to become a governor in the history of the nation, and the first brewer since Sam Adams in 1792. Again he has recruited talent from all quarters, and is redefining the relationship between a state government and its business and civic communities.

Governor Hickenlooper's goal is to create the most pro-business state government, but with the highest environmental and ethical standards. His administration has already examined more than 16,000 rules and regulations, and either eliminated or streamlined more than half of them. They have created the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) and provided Advanced Manufacturing Grants to accelerate start-ups and early stage technology businesses. They are building an integrated workforce training system, in conjunction with the Markle Foundation and LinkedIn, that will create a single, seamless continuum for education and workforce preparation, from childhood to old age.

Governor Hickenlooper applied his passion to create good government on a national level as well. His 2015 "Chair's Initiative" at the National Governors Association, focusing on hiring, appropriate creation and implementation of regulations, and continuous improvement, was a bipartisan success. He is a great believer that governors, far more than Congress, can revive American democracy.


Eve Rips
Director of Regional Strategy
Young Invincibles
Bio

Eve Rips is the Director of Regional Strategy for Young Invincibles, where she is responsible for leading YI's regional teams, coordinating regional work with national YI teams, and running multi-state campaigns to advance YI priorities.

She initially joined YI as Midwest Director, where she launched the Chicago-based office and built out YI's presence in the region. Before starting with Young Invincibles, Eve was a legal fellow and attorney with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where her work focused primarily on issues of educational equity in Chicago, and included components of impact litigation, direct representation, and policy work.

She received her juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School in 2012 and her BA from Stanford University in philosophy with honors in ethics in society.


Kathleen Brenk
HR Strategist
CareerWise Colorado
Bio

Kathleen Brenk is the HR Strategist for CareerWise and is responsible for understanding our business partner's needs and translating HR expertise across a broad range of sectors to build robust apprenticeship programs with both process tenacity and thoughtful relationship management. Kathleen joined us from Recondo Technology where she served as CHRO. In this role, she built training and a playbook for "Managing @Recondo" aligning leadership practices across the organization. In her previous role at Trust Company of America (TCA), she was Vice President of People and Culture and reduced turnover from 23 percent to 13 percent in two years. While serving as Senior HR Manager of Business HR at Baxa Corporation, she led the company's change management strategy following an acquisition by Baxter Healthcare. Kathleen has also held HR positions at EchoStar/DISH Network and The Home Depot.

In 2014, she was named one of the "Most Powerful and Influential Women" in Colorado by the Colorado Diversity Council. She serves on the board of Rocky Mountain HR People & Strategy and co-chairs DisruptHR Denver. Kathleen holds a degree in psychology and human development from Marymount University and holds a Six Sigma Greenbelt as well as SHRM-SCP and SPHR Certifications.


Betsy Kippenhan
Vice President of Talent Management and Operations
Comcast
Bio

Betsy Kippenhan is the West Division Vice President of Talent Management and Operations. Betsy joined Comcast 5 years ago as Director of Talent Operations. She was promoted to her current role in 2015 as the VP leading Talent for the West Division of Comcast. Since joining she has led the transformation of our field talent acquisition and talent management function and created a strategic channel strategy to drive an optimal and consistent recruiting approach division-wide for key roles. She also helped develop the strategy for hiring directors and above while providing the Division a broader view into talent movement and diversity. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Management from Regis University in Denver.


Conference Speakers
Vic Ahmed
Founder/CEO
Innovation Pavilion
Bio

A serial entrepreneur, Vic is a visionary behind Innovation Pavilion. Vic has built several startup companies from scratch and he has the gift for translating visions and foresight into sizeable business opportunities. A leader that is hands-on, results-oriented, technically skilled and experienced, he is at home in a high-growth, high-tech business environment. He has raised tens of millions of dollars and managed hundreds of employees, with the ability to quickly adjust to market changes by balancing between strategic planning and focused execution. Vic earned BSC degrees in Computer Science and Systems Engineering from Washington University in St Louis, MO, and has participated in numerous management programs including Stanford University's Executive Leadership program.


Bill Anderson
Chief Economist, Research and Analysis Bureau
Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation
Bio

Sally Avery
Director
Center for Economic Research in Tennessee (CERT), Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Bio

Sally Avery is the founder and director of the Center for Economic Research in Tennessee (CERT), which is a component of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). Sally leads research efforts for business expansion and recruitment in Tennessee. This work includes workforce analysis, industry cluster development, and impact analysis for the Department's discretionary grant program. Sally has extensive experience working with the workforce development community, and also conducts research of Tennessee's rural and economically distressed communities. Sally is a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, with a degree in international economic development.


Bob Ball
Director of Economic Research
Tulsa Regional Chamber
Bio

Dani Barger
Interactive Media Specialist
Metro Denver
Bio

Ofranama Biu
Senior Research Associate
New York City Labor Market Information Service
Bio

Ofronama Biu is a Senior Research Associate at the NYC Labor Market Information Service at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Ms. Biu has over eight years of experience in public and non-profit organizations that provide workforce and career development opportunities to youth and young adults. Ms. Biu is also a PhD candidate at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School.


Ashley Brown
Research Manager, Research Services & Knowledge Management
Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bio

Ashley Brown is the Research Manager at Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, an affiliated Institute of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. At the Institute, Ashley and her team provide a suite of research and data services to support both faculty-led research and practitioner-driven experiential projects in the areas of economic development, entrepreneurship, and global commerce. She holds a Master of Science in Library Science and a Master of Public Administration, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and History from Indiana University.


Tom Bugnitz
CEO
Manufacturer's Edge
Bio

Tom Bugnitz has over 35 years of broad experience in strategic planning, operations and financial oversight. Most recently, Tom was a senior executive for Coolerado, a manufacturer of cutting-edge green air-conditioning systems that grew from five to 60+ employees during his tenure. As founder and president of the Beta Group, Inc., Tom advised corporate and government clients across the globe for over 25 years in business strategy development, cross-organizational team building, and management process and organizational redesign. Tom also co-authored a widely-adopted book on business strategy and capital planning for technology, now in its third edition of printing.


Pamela Chan
Policy Director
Corporation for Enterprise Development
Bio

Pamela Chan is Project Director, Human Insights Initiative, where she draws lessons from marketing research, consumer insights and behavioral economics to create, manage and enhance financial capability and asset-building programs. In this role, she provides theoretical and hands-on guidance to partner organizations and Staff to advance their strategic goals by translating research and theory in consumer finance and behavioral economics into employable practices.

Ms. Chan holds a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law, a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelors of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.


Robert Chestnut
Chief, Communications
Center for Enterprise Dissemination Services and Consumer Innovation (CEDSCI), U.S. Census Bureau
Bio

Dan Cobus
Sales Manager - Education
Geographic Solutions Inc.
Bio

Laura Coleman
Statewide Director
California Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research
Bio

Drew Conrad, CEcD, CCR
Director - Institute for Decision Making, Special Projects Manager - Business & Community Services
University of Northern Iowa
Bio
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).

Tessa Conroy
Assistant Professor and Economic Development Specialist
University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension
Bio

Tessa Conroy is jointly appointed to the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Center for Community and Economic Development with University of Wisconsin-Extension. She earned her PhD in Economics from Colorado State University in 2014.

Her research and outreach focus on community economic growth and development with particular emphasis on small business dynamics. Much of her research is used to directly analyze the challenges and opportunities facing the Wisconsin economy. Her reports on women-owned businesses, job creation, entrepreneurship, and labor market trends have been featured in news articles throughout the state as well as on Wisconsin Public Radio.


Earlene Dowell
Trainer
U.S. Census Bureau
Bio

Earlene Dowell is a Program Analyst for the Center for Economic Studies' Longitudinal-Employer Household Dynamics Program at the U.S. Census Bureau. Dowell travels around the nation promoting and training people on LEHD products. LEHD makes available several online applications for dissemination and visualization to the public through Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI), LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) and Job-to-Job (J2J) data sets. These applications include OnTheMap, OnTheMap for Emergency Management, LED Extraction Tool, QWI Explorer, and Job-to-Job Flows Explorer.

Prior to joining the LEHD Program, Dowell played a key role during the 2010 Census in the Public Information Office and taught communication courses at the College of Southern Maryland.

Dowell received her master's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in public relations from Hawaii Pacific University.


Joshua Eller
Economist
Manager Economic Analysis
Bio

Joshua Eller is a native of North Carolina. He studied Greek and Latin at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and later economics at Florida State University. Prior to his role managing the Economic Analysis and Information Delivery unit in DEO's Bureau of Labor Market statistics, Joshua taught high school for 5 years and worked as a labor consultant for Charles River Associates.


Brittany Fong
Principal
BFongData
Bio

Brittany is a Senior Developer of Visual Analytics at The E.W. Scripps Company. She has done a considerable amount of her own freelance work including Tableau development and Tableau trainings. She is the organizer of the Washington DC Tableau User Group, a member of the Washington DC Data + Women group, and a Tableau User Group Ambassador.


Yvetta Fortova
Senior Research Associate
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Bio

Yvetta Fortova, Senior Data Operation Specialist in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She is responsible for collection, organization, and publication of data found on the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) website. She is also leading the Data Desk's efforts on customer service, efficient operations, and promotion of all FRED related products.


Jim Futrell, CCR
VP Market Research
Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
Bio

James Futrell is Vice President of Market Research and Analysis for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. His major responsibilities include conducting in-depth research on targeted businesses and industries, impact analyses, ensuring data integrity of marketing materials and presentations, and overseeing and updating electronic proprietary data sources. During his tenure, he has developed a proactive lead identification process that resulted in Google establishing its engineering center in the region and launched a major research initiative measuring the impact of international business on the Pittsburgh region. He has been recognized three times by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) at their annual Applied Community and Economic Research Awards, most recently for the study of the Economic Impact of the Oil and Gas Industry in Pennsylvania. He also sits on the executive committee of C2ER, currently serving as treasurer. Before joining the Conference in 2002, Mr. Futrell worked for PNC Financial Services Corporation holding positions as a Loan Underwriter, Credit Analyst, Market Analyst, and Marketing Research Analyst. Specifically, he authored an extensive study of the internet as an emerging retail channel in 1999 that was termed "the definitive work on the subject" by the Director of Research at Simon Property Group. During his time at PNC, he also developed state of the art marketing research methodology in support of the Community Reinvestment Act. Mr. Futrell has also worked in market research and analysis for the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation in Youngstown, Ohio and Sears, Roebuck and Company in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Futrell has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with majors in Marketing and Organizational Administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Futrell is part of a select group to be recognized as a Certified Community Researcher (CCR) by C2ER. He is an avid amusement park enthusiast serving as Historian for the National Amusement Park Historical Association, working with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, publishing four books on the subject and authoring numerous articles on the subject.


Andrew Hait
Program Planning & Data User Outreach Liaison
International Trade Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau
Bio

Mr. Hait is an Economist and serves as the Data Product and Data User Liaison in the International Trade Management Division at the U.S. Census Bureau. With over 29 years of service at the Bureau, Andy advises on Economic data products and conducts data user training for the Economic Census and the Census Bureau's other monthly, quarterly, and annual economic survey programs. He also coordinates the development of innovative new data tools, including the new Census Business Builder suite that presents selected demographic and economic data in a user-friendly, map-based interface. Andy is also the lead geographic specialist in the Economic Programs directorate at the Census Bureau. Mr. Hait holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Syracuse University and has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.


Alexandra Hall
Director, Division of Labor Standards and Statistics
Colorado Department of Labor & Employment
Bio

In January 2016, Alexandra was appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the State of Colorado as director of the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics. As Division director Alex oversees administration of Colorado's wage and hour and workplace conditions laws, Labor Peace Act, and the state's contribution to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics economic series on Colorado labor markets. She also serves as the chief economist of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, a role she has held since May 2002.


Denise Hanna
Research Manager
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Bio

Denise Hanna is the 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.


George Harben, CEcD, CCR
Director, Existing Business
Prince William County Department of Economic Development
Bio

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.


Ellen Harpel
President
Business Development Advisors
Bio

Ellen Harpel is the founder and president of Business Development Advisors LLC (BDA), an economic development and market intelligence consulting firm. Dr. Harpel is also the founder of Smart Incentives, which helps communities make sound decisions throughout the economic development incentives process.

Established in 1999, BDA works with economic development leaders at the local, state and national levels to increase business investment and job growth in their communities by providing insight into the growth drivers of today's economy, establishing data-driven policies and practices, and delivering business intelligence on target industries and companies. Launched in 2013, Smart Incentives serves economic development organizations by using data and analysis to make incentives work better for states and communities. Dr. Harpel is a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and an affiliate with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, an MBA from the University of North Carolina, and a doctoral degree in regional economics from George Mason University's School of Public Policy.


Michael Horrigan
Associate Commissioner, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics (OEUS)
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bio

Since July 2014, Mike Horrigan has served as Associate Commissioner in the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics (OEUS) at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

From 2007 to 2014, Dr. Horrigan was the Associate Commissioner in the BLS Office of Prices and Living Conditions (OPLC), where he oversaw programs for the Consumer Price Index, Producer Price Index, Import and Export Price Indexes, and Consumer Expenditure Survey and a research division that conducts frontier research on price index and consumer expenditure issues. Dr. Horrigan began his career at BLS in 1986 as an economist in the Division of Labor Force Statistics in OEUS.

He has a BA in Mathematics from the College of the Holy Cross and a Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University. Dr. Horrigan is the author of numerous publications, including articles on unemployment duration, earnings inequality, and measuring the demand for skills in the labor force.


Ron Jarmin
Associate Director for Economic Programs
U.S. Census Bureau
Bio

Ron Jarmin is the Associate Director for Economic Programs at the U.S. Census Bureau. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Oregon and has published in the areas of industrial organization, business dynamics, entrepreneurship, technology and firm performance, urban economics, Big Data, data access and statistical disclosure avoidance. He oversees dozens of economic measurement programs covering most sectors of the economy, including 12 Principal Economic Indicators, numerous annual business surveys and the Economic Census and Census of Governments for years ending in 2 and 7.


Steven Jast
President
ROI - Research on Investment
Bio

Nadine Jeserich
Vice President, Analytics
ROI - Research on Investment
Bio

Adrienne Johnson
Director, Research
Greater Memphis Chamber
Bio

Adrienne M. Johnson is the Vice President 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, the City of Memphis, Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority, Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau and Memphis EpiCenter to assist with their data collection and reporting efforts.

Adrienne is a graduate of Auburn High School in Rockford, IL and later earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Tennessee Tech University as well as a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Memphis.

Adrienne is an active board member for the Council for Community and Economic Research based in Washington, DC.


Adrienne Johnston
Chief, Labor Market Information Bureau
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
Bio

Since April of 2015, Ms. Johnston has been Chief of the Bureau of Labor Market Statistics. Before joining DEO, Ms. Johnston served as Manager for Evergreen Solutions where she analyzed local labor markets and developed custom compensation and benefits plans for community colleges and local government organizations. Prior to holding that position, she served as Labor Market Research Director for Brandt Information Services where she expanded the service portfolio of the unit beyond data collection to include data visualization tools, survey design, and analysis. Additionally, her experience includes compensation analysis, agile project management and econometric analysis of employment data, managing job vacancy and labor turnover surveys, and local labor market analysis for workforce boards. She holds a Master's degree in Applied Economics from Florida State University.


Jeff Kraft
Director of Business Funding and Incentives
Colorado Department of Economic Development and International Trade
Bio

Jeff Kraft is Director of Business Funding and Incentives at the Office of Economic Development and International Trade which is part of the Governor's Office. The Business Funding and Incentive Division at OEDIT manages a wide range of incentives and access to capital programs across the state of Colorado. Jeff has participated in a number of Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness events for state economic development leaders over the past few years.


Gary Kunkle
CEO/Founder
Outlier LLC
Bio

Gary Kunkle, Ph.D., has managed economic development research, analysis, and technical assistance efforts for more than 30 years. He founded Outlier in 2006 as a boutique research consultancy focused on helping policymakers and corporate leaders use data to better understand how state and regional economies can measure and increase the impact of profitable growing companies. Through Outlier he has designed and led research projects as the Economist in Residence at INC Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Summit Professional Networks, as well as serving corporate clients such as Symantec, Principle Financial Group, and GE Capital. These projects have included analysis of very large datasets as well as executive-level surveys and focus groups.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Regional Economy from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, an MBA in International Management from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a BA in Political Science from Texas A&M University.


Mary LeFebvre
Senior Research Scientist - Workforce Policy
ACT, Inc.
Bio

Mary LeFebvre is a Senior Research Scientist for ACT External Engagement. Her primary focus is national workforce policy issues, competency supply/demand analysis, program evaluation, and K-Career longitudinal data matching. Prior to joining ACT in 2010, Mary was the Workforce Research Manager at the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center within the Missouri Department of Economic Development where she provided occupational research, analysis of talent development systems, policy evaluation, and coordination of public and private organizations for business retention research and planning. Mary has an MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Christopher Newport University and a BS in Psychology from Missouri State University.


Jenna Leventoff
Policy Analyst
Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC)
Bio

Jenna Leventoff is a Policy Analyst for WDQC. She leads WDQC's state policy advocacy, offers technical assistance on state data system development and use, and researches best practices. Jenna joined NSC in 2015.

Before joining WDQC, Jenna was an Associate at Upturn, where she analyzed the civil rights implications of new technologies. Earlier in her career, Jenna served as Manager and Legal Counsel of the International Intellectual Property Institute, leading the organization's efforts to utilize intellectual property for international economic development. Jenna has also held internships with the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office and Senator Sherrod Brown.

Jenna holds a J.D. and a bachelor's degree in political science and English from Case Western Reserve University.


Brian Lewandowski
Associate Director, Business Research Division
Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder
Bio

For the past 11 years, Brian Lewandowski has worked as a researcher with the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado. He studies the economy, generating economic forecast, conducting impact studies, and completing market research projects. During his time at Leeds, his research endeavors have examined employment, industry composition, economic resiliency, mining, housing, and others. A Leeds MBA, Brian worked in the Peace Corps and in private industry before joining Leeds.


Adam Lind
Research Economist
Washington Employment Security Department
Bio

Cliff Lipscomb
Vice Chairman and Co-Managing Director
Greenfield Advisors
Bio

Clifford Lipscomb is the Vice Chairman and Co-Managing Director at Greenfield Advisors as well as Managing Director of Bartow Street Capital LLC (Greenfield's capital raising entity). He is a Chartered Valuation Surveyor with more than 20 years of experience in economic and statistical analysis, survey design, consulting, and teaching. He also serves as the Chair of the Technical Advisory Board of the C2ER Cost of Living Index and on the Board of Directors of the Global Diversity Summit for Commercial Real Estate, Inc. Dr. Lipscomb holds baccalaureate degrees in Economics and Sociology from Berry College as well as a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Eric Long
Research Economist
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
Bio

Stephanie McGarrah
Vice President of Public Policy
NC Hospital Association
Bio

As the Vice President for Public Policy for the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA), Stephanie McGarrah analyzes and develops public policy recommendations for North Carolina's hospitals and health systems. She also works with the NCHA's Policy Development Committee to identify, develop and implement a strategy for health care transformation in North Carolina.

Prior to NCHA, Stephanie worked as a Senior Strategy Consultant at UNC Health Care where she worked with customers across the health system. She also served as an Assistant Secretary at the North Carolina Department of Commerce overseeing the Department's economists, researchers, analysts and statisticians who collect and analyze key economic and employment data. Stephanie previously served as the public policy manager at Red Hat, and she has more than 15 years of public policy experience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master in Public Policy from Duke University.


Dawit Mengesha
Founder
Precision Clinical Laboratory
Bio

Alivia Metts
Economist
Emsi
Bio

Scott Miller
General Manager
Galvanize Denver
Bio

Scott is the General Manager of Galvanize Denver. Galvanize is the learning community for technology providing space and resources for entrepreneurs to start, build and grow their businesses and technology education, helping our students build the skills for a career in Software Development and Data Science - the two most in-demand jobs in the U.S. Prior to Galvanize, Scott was the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Tande - a consumer brand analytics software start-up helping companies build brand beloved by their customers. Scott has made his career in the tech industry working with start-ups and fast-growing companies in sales, finance, and operations focused roles.


Carolyn Mitchell
Director, Office of Workforce Information and Performance
Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation
Bio

Troy Mix
Policy Scientist
University of Delaware
Bio

Troy Mix is a Policy Scientist with the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. candidate in Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He delivers data-driven research and analysis, strategic planning, and training services to support the economic development efforts of governments, business groups, and community stakeholders across Delaware and the mid-Atlantic region. His professional experiences include preparing comprehensive plans and economic development strategies; conducting spatial analyses of demographic and development conditions; and organizing an ongoing rural broadband initiative. He managed the data analysis for an Appalachian Regional Commission-funded research project on economic diversity and is completing a dissertation on the development of university research parks. Mr. Mix is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.


Aaron Moore
Colorado Manager
LinkedIn
Bio

Aaron Moore is the Colorado Manager at LinkedIn and is responsible for building relationships, partnerships, and expanding the reach and accessibility of LinkedIn's tools in the state. As part of LinkedIn's vision to create economic opportunity, Aaron is helping to build the densest part of the Economic Graph beginning with the Skillful initiative; a project that will connect policymakers, educators, employers, and job seekers in an effort to close skills gaps in Colorado. A life-long Colorado resident, Aaron graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Colorado Denver and has a background in local policy and politics.


Melanie Moore
Senior Director of Business Intelligence
JAXUSA Partnership
Bio

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.


Brian Moyer
Director
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bio

Brian C. Moyer is Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In his role as Director, Dr. Moyer oversees BEA's production of official economic statistics, which provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the U.S. economy that aids in decision making by businesses, policymakers and households. Before he became Director, he served in several key positions at BEA, including Associate Director for Industry Accounts. Much of his research has focused on improving industry-related statistics. Dr. Moyer holds a Ph.D. in economics from the American University.


Deidre Myers, CCR
Principal
The Myers Group, LLC, C2ER Board Chair
Bio

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.


Jennifer Newcomer
Director of Research
Shift Research Lab
Bio

Jennifer Newcomer is the director of Shift Research Lab, which is a program of The Piton Foundation. She leads Shift's efforts to transform data into actionable information that improves the social sector's ability to serve Colorado's low-income communities. Through its products and services, Shift provides neighborhood-level data and analysis via online platforms like its flagship tool, Community Facts, performs objective research to support community change initiatives, and offers technical assistance that helps organizations build their capacity to use data.


James Orr
Consultant
New York City Labor Market Information Service
Bio

Jim has been a consultant to the New York City Labor Market Information Service. He was formerly a Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where he served as head of the Regional Analysis Function. Jim has co-authored articles and blogs on regional economic topics such as labor market conditions in the New York area, the role of the financial sector in the New York City economy and the impact of the 9/11 attack on the city. He authored a report on foreign investment in New York City while on assignment to the New York City Office of the Deputy Mayor. Prior to working at the New York Fed, Jim was an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and an Assistant Professor of Economics at Manhattan College. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Business Administration from Drexel University.


Jason Palmer
Director
Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives, LMI Institute Board Chair
Bio

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.

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.


Scott Powell
Research Director
Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget
Bio

As Director of Research for the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Scott and his team lead state efforts to turn labor market data into actionable information for state and local workforce partners. He has over ten years of experience in workforce research, specializing in longitudinal data systems, program evaluation, and international labor market policy. He previously held appointments at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, where he developed multiple research projects for the State of New Jersey, as well as the University of Tennessee. Scott is a native of Flint, Michigan and holds degrees from Michigan State University and Ohio State University.


Daniel Querejazu
Economic and Technology Policy Analyst
SRI International
Bio

Daniel Querejazu is a senior analyst in SRI International's Center for Innovation Strategy and Policy (CISP), where he works on a range of projects that help organizations, regions, and countries achieve long-term economic and social impact through effective investments in science, technology, and innovation. He has over seven years of experience in technology-based economic development; science, technology, and innovation policy; and energy policy. Prior to joining SRI, Querejazu worked in the Energy Systems Transformations Group at The University of Texas and the Environmental and Energy Studies Institute in Washington, DC. He also has a background in journalism. Querejazu holds an M.A. in Public Affairs from The University of Texas and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas State University.


Shannon Ramaeker
LMI Project Manager
Geographic Solutions Inc.
Bio

Henry Renski
Associate Professor
UMass Amherst
Bio

Dr. Renski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Director of the UMASS Center for Economic Development, and the Associate Director of the Institute for Social Science Research. Dr. Renski teaches courses in state and local economic development policy, quantitative methods, and Geographic Information Systems. His research interests include regional influences on entrepreneurship, the influence of technology on spatial development patterns, changing knowledge and skill requirement in the labor force, industrial cluster analysis, applied analytical methods, and the evaluation of state and local economic development policy.


Andrew Rogers
Director
Skyland Workforce Center
Bio

Andrew Rogers is the Director of the Skyland Workforce Center, a partnership between five nonprofit organizations providing co-located services to District of Columbia residents in a high need section of the city. Prior to joining Skyland Workforce Center, Andrew served as the Senior Director for Workforce Information at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness. During his tenure at CREC he provided leadership to the LMI Institute and the Projections Management Partnership. Andrew served as the Interim Executive Director for the District's Workforce Investment Council, and has also provide leadership as the Associate Director of the Office of Policy and Performance and Interim Associate Director for Labor Market Information at the District's Department of Employment Services. Andrew holds a Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Union University, and will complete an Executive Master's in Leadership from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in the Spring of 2018.


Carol Rogers
Deputy Director and CIO
Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University
Bio

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 national Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) 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.


Martin Romitti
Senior Fellow
Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
Bio

Dr. Marty Romitti serves as a Senior Fellow at CREC, where he manages research projects, leads assessments of state incentive and expenditure programs, and conducts economic impact studies of federal, state and regional programs. Marty has led dozens of studies and has earned multiple national awards for research excellence. Before joining CREC, Marty served as the Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, where he provided New England public, private, and non-profit leaders with analyses of trends, economic impacts, targeted industries, labor market issues, economic development efforts, and policy initiatives, and he also headed the Massachusetts State Data Center. Prior to his time at UMass, Marty worked extensively in the legislative and executive branches of state government, including founding and directing the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center for 12 years.


Rebecca Rust
Assistant Commissioner for Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bio

Rebecca Rust serves as Assistant Commissioner over the Occupational Employment Statistics program (OES); Macro, Industry, and Occupational Projections programs, Occupational Outlook Handbook; and Career Outlook. Ms. Rust has served as a BLS Assistant Commissioner for two and one-half years.

Prior to this position, she served as Chief of Florida's Bureau of Labor Market Statistics for 25 years, overseeing the federal/state cooperative statistical programs with BLS and the Employment and Training Administration. Prior to that she was an Economic Analyst in Florida Labor Statistics for 10 years. Ms. Rust holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in economics from Florida State University.


Carrie Samson
Manager of Programs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Bio

Carrie Samson is the manager of programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Center for Education and Workforce-the nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)3 program dedicated to strengthening the nation's educational standards and the quality of its workforce. Samson's focus is on the Foundation's signature workforce development project, Talent Pipeline Management, a national initiative dedicated to developing demand-driven solutions to the growing national skills gap. In her role, Samson manages the daily operations of the grant, organizes national events, contributes to publications, and is currently leading the development of a suite of web-based workforce tools.

Samson hails from Columbus, Ohio, and graduated summa cum laude from American University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in the interdisciplinary studies of communications, legal institutions, economics, and government. She also has a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


Robert Sharak
Senior Business Development Manager
City of Norfolk, Development Department
Bio

Robert Sienkiewicz
Assistant Center Chief
U.S. Census Bureau
Bio

Rob Sienkiewicz has served as the Assistant Center Chief for the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program since 2012. He directs the work of a diverse group of professionals and sets the direction and goals that shape this award-winning program with data tools that include Quarterly Workforce Indicator Explorer, OnTheMap, and Job-to-Job Explorer. In this capacity, Sienkiewicz co-chairs the national Local Employment Dynamics (LED) partnership. Sienkiewicz also directed the Census Bureau's Dissemination Task Force and was awarded the Department of Commerce's Silver Medal for his work in leading this transformational effort. Prior to joining the Census Bureau, Sienkiewicz was the Deputy Director of the Technology Innovation Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he directed the work of senior scientific and economic professionals and controlled approximately $250M worth of investments in high-risk, high-reward technologies. Sienkiewicz earned his BA in economics from the University of Notre Dame, Ph.D. in economics from the Catholic University of America and his MBA from Georgetown University.


Patricia Silverstein
President
Development Research Partners
Bio
Patricia Silverstein is the president of Development Research Partners, a Jefferson County, Colorado-based real estate analysis and economic development research company founded in 1994. Ms. Silverstein's expertise is in economic research and economic development, including industry cluster studies and strategic economic development planning. She has extensive experience in preparing economic impact and fiscal impact analysis for community development purposes. In addition, she serves as the consulting chief economist for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. In these roles, she compiles, interprets, and forecasts economic and demographic data for the Denver metropolitan area and performs in-depth research on issues and proposed developments impacting the region. Ms. Silverstein received a bachelor's degree in economics from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska (1983) and a master's degree in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder (1986). Ms. Silverstein is active in a number of business and professional organizations, including chair of the manufacturing committee of the University of Colorado Business Economic Outlook Forum and member of the Governor's Revenue Estimating Advisory Committee, the Economic Development Council of Colorado, and the Denver Association of Business Economists.

Tim Slaper
Director of Economic Analysis
Indiana Business Research Center
Bio

Timothy Slaper {slay-per} leads a research team engaged in industry and workforce analysis, economic impact studies, regional economic analyses, demographic estimates and projections, trade and foreign investment analysis, measuring innovation and educational performance and the drivers of regional economic growth.

The team has recently launched The Innovation Index 2.0. National in scope. The Innovation Index is a county-based dataset and web tool for economic development practitioners as well as policy makers and researchers to assess a region's innovative capacity and economic performance.

All the work that Timothy oversees puts analytical tools and practical research into the hands of economic development practitioners to help them address the challenges of economic development in today's rapidly changing world.

Before the IBRC, Timothy served as Senior Economist on the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. He cut his teeth as an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Timothy earned his doctorate in economics at The American University in Washington DC and is an alumnus of Miami University (Ohio).


Kate Snyder
Principal Strategist
Piper and Gold Public Relations
Bio

Daniel Sopdie
Senior Project Manager
University of Minnesota Office of University Economic Development
Bio

Daniel Sopdie is the Senior Program Manager at the Office of University Economic Development at the University of Minnesota. In his position at the UED, Daniel advances the office's business- and community-centered economic development initiatives, works with the Executive Director to develop a strategy for business and nonprofit engagement; plans and evaluates collaborative programs that connect the University with both Twin Cities and greater Minnesota community and economic development partners. Daniel received Bachelor's degrees in Economics, Political Science, and International Relations from Wartburg College in Iowa, and his MBA at the Opus College of Business, University of St Thomas.


Alan Spell, CCR
Economic & Workforce Research Manager
Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC)
Bio

Alan Spell manages a research team at the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), in the state's economic development department. He and his staff provide economic and workforce analysis to policymakers, planners, and the public. The center has been recognized with 14 national awards for research excellence since it was formed in 2001.

Alan has worked in economic development for over 20 years in various roles to include site selection, economic impact modeling, spatial analysis, and policy research. He holds degrees in Economics and Landscape Architecture, as well as certification as a Community Researcher from C2ER.


Mark Troppe
Senior Vice President
Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
Bio

Mark Troppe joined CREC last month as Senior Vice President after spending his entire career in the world of economic and workforce development.

Mark worked for 15 years at the U.S. Department of Commerce's NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership program. For the last year, he was on a temporary assignment as ASME Fellow in the Office of Senator Chris Coons (2016-2017) working on manufacturing, technology, and innovation issues. Before that, Mark worked at the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) as director of economic and workforce development, working on collaboration between workforce and economic development organizations. He started his career and worked for ten years with the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.


Jeffrey van Hulten
Legislative and Planning Coordinator
Governor's Office of Economic Development, Utah
Bio

Jeff graduated from the University of Utah Law School in 2013 and continued working for a small law firm in the private sector doing appeals before joining the public sector with the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Dev. (a.k.a. GOED). In GOED Jeff wears several hats including drafting and negotiating the contracts for all tax credits and grants issued by the office as well as legislative planning coordinating and tracking. In his spare time, you can find him binge watching Netflix or Hulu, outside hiking, or reading something nerdy.


Rachel Vilsack
Agency Performance Manager
Department of Employment and Economic Development, State of Minnesota
Bio

Rachel Vilsack oversees the Performance Management unit at the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), which serves those who use, deliver, and fund Minnesota's economic and workforce development systems through its support to program staff and decision-makers. Rachel is also the workforce representative to the multi-agency Minnesota Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, or SLEDS. Rachel has a bachelor's degree in economics from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota and a master's degree in economics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


Stephan Weiler
Director
Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI), Colorado State University
Bio

Stephan Weiler holds the William E. Morgan Endowed Chair as Professor of Economics at Colorado State University. He received his BA (Honors) in Economics and MA in Development Economics from Stanford University in 1988, and his Economics PhD from UC-Berkeley in 1994 where he studied with eventual 2001 Nobel Laureate George Akerlof. His current work focuses on regional economic growth and development, particularly in rural and inner-city areas, combining theoretical, empirical, and policy analyses on topics such as information, innovation, industrial restructuring, land use, public/private partnerships, immigration, entrepreneurship, and the environment. He is distilling these three decades of experience into the Regional Economic Development Institute (http://redi.colostate.edu/), partnering with the City-Region Economic Development Institute (City-REDI) at the Birmingham Business School in the UK to provide fresh, timely, and cutting-edge information to enhance economic growth and development prospects for regions across the globe.


Kyle West
Managing Director of Sales
Chmura Economics & Analytics
Bio

Mark White
Deputy Director
Center for Regional Analysis, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University
Bio

Mark C. White is the Deputy Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. Dr. White joined the Center in January 2016. During this period, he has worked on a variety of projects including a workforce analysis of Arlington and Alexandria, an examination of middle skills jobs opportunities in the Washington metro area, and economic impact analyses of the Virginia Housing industry and the Northern Virginia Parks Authority. Prior to joining the Center for Regional Analysis, Dr. White was the Vice President for Research at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) in Arlington, VA. During his 11 years at CREC, Dr. White managed a wide variety of economic and workforce development research and technical assistance projects across the United States and Canada.

Dr. White received a Doctor of Philosophy in International Studies with a focus on Economic Development from the University of Miami, a Master's of Arts in Geography from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor's of Arts in Geography from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.


Richard Wobbekind
Executive Director of the Business Research Division and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs
University of Colorado Boulder
Bio

Richard L. Wobbekind is Executive Director of the Business Research Division, Associate Professor of Business Economics and Finance, and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

He participates annually in the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Regional Economic Roundtable and is a contributor to the Western Blue Chip forecast newsletter and the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) economic outlook and policy surveys. He is a member of the Governor's Revenue Estimating Advisory Committee and the Boulder Economic Council. Rich is past President of the NABE and was a member of the inaugural class of Certified Business Economists in October 2015.

Dr. Wobbekind teaches MBA students in macroeconomics, public policy, and entrepreneurship. He has received four awards for teaching excellence from the students of the Leeds School of Business.

Richard Wobbekind has lived in Colorado for 40 years and has spent much of his time studying the development of the Colorado and regional economies. Dr. Wobbekind received a BA in Economics from Bucknell University and an MA and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado-Boulder.


Michael Wolf
Branch Chief
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bio

Michael Wolf is the Division Chief for Occupational Employment Projections at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). He leads the development of the National Employment Matrix, the data source for ten-year projections of employment by industry and occupation, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a career information resource. He also conducts research on labor market and workforce topics, having published studies on offshore outsourcing, high tech industry employment, and the job outlook by education. His current research focuses on labor market flows and measuring the demand for education.


Erol Yildirim
Council for Community and Economic Research
Bio

Erol Yildirim currently serves as the Senior Vice President for New Product Development for the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) and its sister nonprofit, the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). He serves as CREC's Chief Economist and also oversees the Center's web and database infrastructure. Before taking over his current roles, Mr. Yildirim managed the Cost of Living Index (COLI) project for several years.

Mr. Yildirim oversees all of the program development activities of the C2ER. Mr. Yildirim's primary responsibilities include: managing new product development and dissemination activities for C2ER, enhancing existing data products, managing customer relations with data subscribers and licensees, responding to media inquiries, staffing C2ER's Cost of Living Index Technical Advisory Board.

Mr. Yildirim teaches Advanced Excel Data Analysis, Relational Database Design, and Data Visualization classes for preparing and analyzing socioeconomic data.

Erol Yildirim holds a Master's degree in Economics from George Mason University, specializing in Public Finance and Monetary Economics, and a Master's degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Financial Economics. He has completed all of the courses towards a Doctorate in Economics.


Ed Young
Deputy Director
Tallahassee/Leon County Office of Economic Vitality (OEV)
Bio

Ed serves as Deputy Director, Research & Business Analytics, for the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality (OEV), leading the research and analysis efforts in support of the organization's Strategic Plan.

Prior to joining OEV in 2016, Ed served as Division Manager for Planning Research and GIS for the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department for twelve years.

Mr. Young is also a practiced economic development professional with ten years of state and local economic development experience in research working for the former Florida Department of Commerce and its successor agency, Enterprise Florida as well as business recruitment positions in Jacksonville and Tallahassee.

Mr. Young earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Demography from Florida State University.


Neal Young
Economic Analysis Director
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Bio

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.


Jennifer Zeller, CCR
Manager, Engineering, Research & Creative Services
Georgia Power Company
Bio

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.