News & Press

Executive Director of Douglas County EDA named one of North America’s Top Economic Developers

Author: Consultant Connect

May 15, 2019

KALAMAZOO, Michigan – Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap
between economic developers and site consultants, announces its 2019 list of North America’s Top 50
Economic Developers. The economic development professionals selected for this list were nominated
by their colleagues in both the economic development industry and the site consultant community for
excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve.

Each top 50 economic developer will be featured on the weekly podcast, From The Ground Up: North
America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. These industry leaders will be interviewed on the podcast to
share their expertise in the field of economic development and leadership insights they’ve learned along
the way.

“This annual list recognizing North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers is designed to acknowledge
the hard work of the top leaders in this field and elevate the conversation around economic
development and job creation,” said Ron Kitchens, managing partner of Consultant Connect. “Each of
the leaders represented on this year’s list are beyond deserving of this recognition for their efforts in
building our communities brick by brick and job by job.”

The complete list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers includes:

Adam Gawarecki, Denton Economic Development Partnership
Adrian Cannady, Temple Economic Development Corporation
Alan Tio, Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation
Andrew Nave, Greater Wichita Partnership
Angie Gheesling, Houston County Development Authority
Ashley Savieo, Indiana Michigan Power
Barrett Thomas, Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development
Blair Patacairk, Invest Ottawa
Bo Martinez, City of Miami Beach Economic Development Department
Brad Thomas, Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives
Bryan Brackemyre, Indiana Municipal Power Agency
Charlie Moseley, Georgia Power
Charlie Walker, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation
Chris Moyer, Cecil County Office of Economic Development
Chris Pumphrey, Douglas County Development Authority
Craig Richard, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
Crystal Stiles, Florida Power & Light Company
Dennis Fraise, Lee County Economic Development Group
Jamie Gilbert, Lancaster County Department of Economic Development
Jeff Seymour, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Jennifer Conoley, Gulf Power
Joey Roberts, Mississippi Development Authority
John Lummus, Upstate SC Alliance
John Sampson, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
Justin Bickle, Columbus 2020
Karla Moran, Salt River Project
Kevin Johnson, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
Kiley Miller, Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation
Lara Fritts, Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development
Larry Holt, Greater Portland Inc
Leonard Sledge, City of Richmond Economic Development Authority
Mandy Brawley, South Carolina Department of Commerce
Margaret O’Riley, Duke Energy
Marla Akridge, Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corproation
Matt Buchanan, Pearland Economic Development Corporation
Michael Haley, Wake County Economic Development
Nate Groover, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
Patricia Horvatich, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
Patrick Barker, Frederick County Economic Development Authority
Phil Santer, Ann Arbor SPARK
Quentin L. Messer Jr., New Orleans Business Alliance
Rodney Hitch, Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives
Scott Luth, Florida West Economic Development Authority
Stephen Moret, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Steve Dykes, Charleston County Economic Development
Steve Vierck, New Mexico State Land Office
Steven Pearce, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance
Tammy Nolan, Greater Wichita Partnership
Thomas Tyson, Alabama Department of Commerce
Wendy Dupley, City of Abbotsford Economic Development Department

For more information about North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers or to subscribe to the weekly
podcast, visit The podcast series is also
available via iTunes by searching “From The Ground Up: North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers.”

About Consultant Connect
Consultant Connect is designed to bridge the gap between leading economic developers and location
consultants through exclusive networking events and educational services. Consultant Connect not
only gives economic developers an inside look into the world of site selection – it gives them the
applicable information necessary to propel their communities forward. For more information, please
visit or call 269.207.4982.