Annual Summit Speaker Bios

Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló

Northern New Mexico College

Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Chico State College, and her Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Iowa. Dr. Barceló became President of Northern New Mexico College on July 1, 2010. She has served as Vice President and Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota and for Minority Affairs and Diversity at the University of Washington. Dr. Barceló is recognized nationally for her excellent professional presentations. Dr. Barceló has received many awards; the most recent award is the NACCS 2012 Scholar, a prestigious academic award bestowed by NACCS.

Christi Bell

Executive Director
University Alaska Center for Economic Development

Ms. Christi Bell is the Executive Director of the University Alaska Center for Economic Development. She leads the University’s economic development programs, plans its role, and manages the center’s personnel, and budgets. Ms. Bell also leads technical assistance activities throughout Alaska including: Business Retention and Expansion, Cluster Development, Local Grown, as well as Tourism Planning and Marketing initiatives for communities that are predominantly small remote, rural and strong in indigenous leadership.

Camilla Bustamante

Dean of Community Workforce and Career Technical Education (CW CTE) and Director of the University Center
Northern New Mexico College

Since 1993, Dr. Bustamante has participated in regional and community planning and economic development activities. Through Community and Regional Planning Department at the University of New Mexico, she received “with distinction” recognition for an environmentally based economic development project based in northern New Mexico. She served as part of an accomplished team to research implementation and best practices for energy efficient building standards to include pre-design computer modeling, as well as alternative energy solutions for both the private and public sector. She serves on various community based boards and committees in the interest of community based environmental health.

Ruthann Cage

Director of Industry and Economic Development
East Carolina University

Ms. Cage is the Director of Industry and Economic Development in East Carolina University’s Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development. She identifies priority needs and value-creating partnership opportunities for further design and implementation in the areas of education and training, research and innovation, and resource development. Working with economic developers and industry throughout eastern North Carolina, Ms. Cage calls upon ECU’s resources and UNC system resources to provide assistance where needed. Previously, she has served at NC State University in economic development, and business and industrial extension positions. Ms. Cage holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeast Louisiana University.

Dr. Jim Clements

West Virginia University

Jim Clements is West Virginia University’s 23rd president. WVU is the flagship university of West Virginia, with an internationally diverse student body of more than 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students across approximately 200 degree programs in the University’s 13 constituent colleges, two divisional colleges, and multiple healthcare sites. In addition, Dr. Clements chairs the boards of the WVU Research Corporation, the West Virginia United Health System, and the WVU Hospitals. In total, WVU and its affiliates represent a $2.3 billion enterprise and employ more than 18,000 people. Dr. Clements earned a B.S. in computer science and an M.S. and Ph.D. in operations analysis from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), as well as an M.S. in computer science from Johns Hopkins University.

J. Wayne Cropp

President and CEO
The Enterprise Center

J. Wayne Cropp is the President and CEO of The Enterprise Center, a high-tech economic development entity serving the Chattanooga region. He has more than 30 years diverse C-Suite leadership experience including as an entrepreneur, corporate CEO, environmental attorney, and government director. Cropp has been a leader in Chattanooga’s highly-acclaimed environmental transformation as the former chief executive of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau . He has now committed his time and leadership to growing Chattanooga’s technology-based economic development initiatives and entrepreneurial spirit. Cropp has degrees from Bryan College, Dayton, TN, 1974, and Cumberland School of Law (J.D.), Samford University, Birmingham, AL, 1977.

Chris Daly

Director, Technology Development and Transfer
The Enterprise Center

As the Director, Technology Development and Transfer at The Enterprise Center, Chris is charged with advocating the Enterprise Center’s scientific vision and agenda and advancing economic development in Chattanooga. Chris’s key role is linking local business and industry with the region’s outstanding scientific and technical community to commercialize new technology and inventions. Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Company Lab, Chattanooga’s business accelerator and the Chattanooga Technology Council, where he has also served as Past-President and Chairman.

Dr. Joe DiPietro

University of Tennessee

Dr. Joe DiPietro became 25th president of the University of Tennessee on Jan. 1, 2011, following five years as chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture. As UT president, Dr. DiPietro is the chief executive officer of a statewide university system that includes the flagship campus in Knoxville, campuses in Chattanooga and Martin, the Health Science Center in Memphis, the Space Institute in Tullahoma, and the statewide institutes of agriculture and public service. The president also serves as chairman of the Board of Governors of UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy, and as a member of the UT Board of Trustees.

Harold DePriest

Electric Power Board of Chattanooga

Harold E. DePriest is the sixth President of EPB (Electric Power Board of Chattanooga); appointed to this position October 1, 1996. A proponent of public power, Harold believes that public utilities exist for the purpose of improving quality of life in the communities they serve. This principle has guided Harold in his leadership at EPB and throughout the industry. Under Harold’s leadership, EPB developed a comprehensive plan to build a fiber optic network to help modernize the Chattanooga area’s electric system, later to be known as a “smart grid”. In 2009, the company was awarded a $111 million matching grant from the Department of Energy to expedite the completion of the Chattanooga area’s smart grid, the largest per capita amount awarded to any utility in the country.

Ann Farris, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Texas A&M University – Central Texas

Dr. Farris is a professor in graduate studies, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. She is chairperson of the Quality of Place Design Committee, Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and of the Killeen Arts Commission, has served as past president of the Killeen-Heights Rotary Club and Co-executive Director of the Food Care Pantry (non-profit that provides groceries to approximately 6000 individuals each month). She has done peacemaking work in India, Ukraine, Romania, South Africa, and Mauritius.

Kenny Flowers

Director of Community and Regional Development
East Carolina University

Mr. Flowers is Director of Community and Regional Development in East Carolina University’s Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development. He provides leadership for the University’s community and regional outreach and engagement programs, including ECU’s Municipal Management and Innovation and the Community Enhancement and Economic Transformation initiatives. Formerly, Mr. Flowers was Executive Director of the NC Rural Development Council at NC Commerce and served as Fiscal Analyst and staff to the Appropriations Subcommittee for Education at the North Carolina General Assembly.

Alex R. Folk

Director, Program Development Office
NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Alex’s team is responsible for developing new service delivery capabilities for the MEP system to assist small manufacturers with the exploitation of innovation and technology for their competitive advantage. Additionally, Alex is responsible for two sustainability-focused, multi-agency partnerships: E3 Economy, Energy, and the Environment and the Green Suppliers Network program. Alex joined the NIST MEP program in late 2000 as a Center Account Manager responsible for the cooperative agreements maintained between NIST MEP and the MEP Center affiliates located throughout the United States. Roles in this position included managing performance, developing and maintaining state and local partner relationships and promoting best business practices throughout the system. Beginning in 2007, Alex served in the role of Center Operations Manager responsible for the oversight of the Federal partnerships and investments.

Hamilton Galloway

Economist/Consulting Manager

Mr. Galloway is an economist and consulting manager with EMSI who specializes in conducting regional economic impact analysis, modeling, regression analysis, forecasting, spatial statistical analysis and time series analysis. In the last year, he has completed several projects focused on career pathway modeling, regional planning, economic impacts and education planning. More recent work has focused on assisting local, regional, state and national organizations in understanding workforce needs, career transition possibilities and education program linkages. Mr. Galloway has further completed independent research on classifying and quantifying regional knowledge and innovation economies through analysis of workforce, education and industry components.

Deborah Jackson

Program Director
National Science Foundation

Deborah is a Program Director with more than 20 years of broad based experience in research and development, project management, strategic planning, and product delivery. Currently at NSF, she leads the Microelectronics, Sensors, and Information Technologies Cluster within the Engineering Research Center’s (ERC) Program office. In that capacity, her near term objective is to foster successful development of the innovation ecosystems supporting the technologies behind each ERC systems vision.

D’Naie Jacobs

Director, Institutional Strategic Initiatives
University of Toledo

As Director of Strategic Initiatives at the University of Toledo, D’Naie Jacobs has been involved in various projects relating to economic engagement and curricular innovation at the University of Toledo. She has led strategic projects involving interdisciplinary degree design, interdisciplinary research, experiential learning, community engagement, and institutional entrepreneurship. Prior to this position, D’Naie worked in UT Innovation Enterprises, where she assisted with economic development relationships and assisted with commercialization strategies for startup businesses.

Paul Jennings

Executive Director
University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services

Paul Jennings serves as Executive Director for the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (UTCIS). UTCIS’ mission is to deliver solutions that help Tennessee businesses grow, succeed and create high quality jobs. CIS solutions leverage university resources, address a wide range of business concerns and opportunities, and produce over $800 million in economic impact annually. Jennings has held positions with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, University of Memphis and Columbia State Community College. He holds a BS from University of Evansville, MPA from Indiana University, and Ph.D. from Tennessee State University.

Janice L. Kleinwort

Director of Economic Affairs
Arizona State University

As Director of Economic Affairs, Janice connects companies into the ASU innovation ecosystem. She also leads the Economic Development and Strategic Alliances team at ASU SkySong and manages ASU’s Education Innovation Network economic development efforts. Janice holds a BA in International Studies from Bradley University and is completing her MNpS at ASU. She is a board member for MBA Women International and speaks fluent German.

Mary Kliewer

Killeen’s Patriot Buick GMC

Mary Kliewer is a native of Killeen and one of its most successful businesswomen, owner of Killeen’s Patriot Buick GMC dealership and partner in Bigham Kliewer Chapman and Watts Insurance Agency. Her experience includes several years as an administrator at Central Texas College, the community college that serves as an active and effective partner with Texas A&M University—Central Texas. Her current community service includes serving as board chairman for the Central Texas Workforce Board, member of the Metroplex Hospital Operating Board, Vice-chairman of the TAMU-CT Foundation, member of Congressman John Carters Small Business Council. Past community service roles are numerous and include serving as board chairman of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce.

Penny Lee

Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Advancement, MS
Indiana University Kokomo

Penny Lee joined Indiana University Kokomo as the Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Advancement in November of 2010. Reporting to her are the Directors of Development, Media and Marketing, and Alumni Relations. Previously, Penny served as the Director of Development at Tipton Hospital; Extension Educator at Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and as District Manager for Purina Mills. Penny attended Purdue University where she earned both her B.S. and M.S. degrees. Penny also received her certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.

Keith Marmer, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research Innovation and Director of the Office of Technology Development
Penn State College of Medicine

Dr. Keith Marmer serves as Associate Dean for Research Innovation and Director of the Office of Technology Development at Penn State College of Medicine where he is responsible for the identification, protection, and commercialization of innovative technologies. As an entrepreneur, Keith was founder and CEO of PhysioMetrics. He led the company to raise multiple rounds of investment funding, was awarded People’s Choice for Outstanding Company at the New Jersey Technology Council Venture Conference and received three patents. Keith has successfully launched four companies. Keith received his MBA and his Masters and Doctorate in Physical Therapy from University of the Sciences.

Mark Mason, Ph.D.

Director, School of Green Chemistry and Engineering
The University of Toledo

Mark Mason is the Founding Director of the School of Green Chemistry and Engineering (SGCE) at The University of Toledo. He provides leadership and vision for the SGCE and is responsible for developing strategies and plans for implementing the research, academic, and commercialization missions of the new school. Dr. Mason is a synthetic chemist specializing in organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis. He received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Iowa State University and served as a postdoctoral associate at Harvard University. He currently collaborates with an industrial sponsor on conversions of biomass to chemicals.

Jim Menke

Military Research Liaison and Project Manager
Operation Re-entry North Carolina

Mr. Jim Menke serves as Military Research Liaison and as Project Manager for Operation Re-entry North Carolina, a research initiative in support of military service personnel, veterans and their families. Through unique university-military partnerships, ORNC addresses the resilience and reintegration concerns of combat veterans and the challenges facing the DOD and VA health providers who care for them. He served on the staff of the Navy Surgeon General at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Washington DC in and was responsible for the plans and policies affecting 27,000 allied health personnel. Menke holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Trident University.

Bruce Mercy

PPA Partners, LLC

Bruce Mercy is a solar industry veteran who has served as the President of several regional integration groups and led and helped establish a national solar funding group. He has also worked with a number of emergent technology manufacturers, helping bring their products to market, performing business development duties, as well as coordinating and originating early adopter deployments. Recently he has headed up a Solar Project Development Company, working with institutional and educational projects nationally, having just completed a 5 MW 5 Technology project in Yuma, AZ at Arizona Western College. This project received numerous national and International awards and is changing the way educational facilities look at having renewables on their campuses.

Gene A. Merrell, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President for Economic Development & Chief Technology Transfer Officer
University of Idaho

Dr. Gene A. Merrell is Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Chief Technology Transfer Officer at the University of Idaho. Gene oversees the Office of Technology Transfer, which is responsible for the management of the University’s intellectual property portfolio. Working with public and private sector parties, he facilitates the University’s collaboration in supporting economic development activities across the State of Idaho. He serves as the university’s representative on several economic development organizations board of directors. Prior to joining the University, he was Vice President for Research at Betz Dearborn, Inc.

William D. Michalerya

Associate Vice President – Government Relations & Economic Development
Lehigh University

William Michalerya has primary responsibility for developing Federal, State and regional programs in research and economic development for Lehigh University and developing strategic alliances and technology partnerships. He has been active in local and statewide economic development initiatives, including an appointment by the Governor to the Board of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), and a statewide appointment as Chair of the Team Pennsylvania Ambassador Committee which includes appointment to the Executive Committee and Board of Team Pennsylvania, co-chaired by Governor Rendell.

Janet Miller, CEcD, FM

Chief Economic Diversity Officer
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Janet M. Miller is Chief Economic Diversity of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Janet has oversight of the team that serves as the 10-county region’s lead agency for economic development and job creation strategies, with oversight of functions including business recruitment, working with existing Nashville-based firms on expansions, entrepreneurship initiatives, and international business. She also has oversight of the Chamber’s marketing and communications team, and is responsible for delivery of all Chamber of Commerce marketing and branding programs. Miller works on a day-to-day basis with corporate executives of relocating and expanding companies to advise on capital investments and site locations.

Ted Morris, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Chancellor
East Carolina University

Dr. Ted Morris serves as associate vice chancellor in charge of ECU’s Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development (OEIED). OEIED is the primary university administrative unit charged with engaging ECU’s resources to foster grow in industry sectors (including the military) that will drive successful and sustainable economic transformation for eastern North Carolina; and provide critically needed resources and direct technical assistance to underserved, limited-capacity communities. Additionally, Morris serves as Principal Investigator for ECU’s Operation Reentry North Carolina program. Morris holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from N.C. State University.

Ed Morrison

Regional Economic Development Advisor
Purdue Center for Regional Development

Mr. Morrison is Regional Economic Development Advisor for the Purdue Center for Regional Development. He is also a member of the faculty of the Purdue College of Technology, where he is engaged in innovation policy. As a part of this work, he has led a team to develop a new strategy discipline, Strategic Doing. This discipline enables civic leaders to form complex collaborations quickly, guide them toward measurable outcomes and adjust along the way. Purdue offers a certification in Strategic Doing and is anchoring a national network of colleges and universities to support the discipline.

Rebecca Moudry

Manager, Select USA
U.S. Department of Commerce

Rebecca Moudry is a Manager at SelectUSA, part of the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. SelectUSA is a government‐wide initiative to attract, retain and grow business investment in the United States. In this role, Rebecca is responsible for working with businesses and managing partnerships with U.S. state, regional and local economic development agencies to support investment promotion in the United States. Prior to SelectUSA, Rebecca served as the Cluster Program Coordinator at the Economic Development Administration. Rebecca has also worked as a Senior Associate at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and a Regional Competitiveness Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank.

Chris Mustain

Vice President
Council on Competitiveness

Chris Mustain is a Vice President at the Council on Competitiveness, an alliance of CEOs,
university presidents and labor leaders. Chris is engaged on initiatives to spur innovation, reinvigorate manufacturing and assess America’s competitiveness. Prior to his current position Chris ran a government relations consultancy, Innovation Advocates, offering analysis on science and technology policy. He served as IBM’s lead U.S. executive for innovation policy and worked closely with Congress to enact the America COMPETES Act. Chris also managed the European-American Business Council and served in the White House budget office. He earned a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg University in Ohio.

Dr. Marc Nigliazzo

Texas A&M University – Central Texas

Dr. Nigliazzo was appointed as the inaugural President of Texas A&M University – Central Texas in April, 2010. He also served as senior vice president at the University of New Mexico and as president of Galveston College, Temple College, and Arizona Western College. In 2002, Dr. Nigliazzo was named one of the nation’s outstanding community college presidents by the Association of Community College Trustees, and in 2008 the Marc A. Nigliazzo Administration Building was named in his honor by the Board of Trustees a Temple College.

John B. Ochs

Director, Integrated Product Development (IPD) Program and Master’s Program in Technical Entrepreneurship (TE)
Lehigh University

Professor Ochs joined the Lehigh faculty in 1979 as an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, was promoted to associate professor in 1983, and to full professor in 1990. He founded and directed of the Computer-Aided Design Labs in the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department from 1980 to 1999. This facility was the first of its kind on campus to integrate CAD/CAM technology into the undergraduate curriculum resulting in 3 new courses, ME 10 Graphics for Engineering Design, ME 240 Manufacturing and ME 348 Computer Aided Design. He won the Dupont Young Faculty Award (1979-1983) and Lehigh’s Outstanding Young Faculty Award (1985). From 1985-1995 Professor Ochs did extensive industry consulting and was involved in the startup of three companies. From 1999 to the present, he has directed the University’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) program.

Thomas Osha

Managing Director, Innovation and Economic Development
Wexford Equities

Thomas Osha is employed by Wexford Equities as Managing Director, Innovation and Economic Development. In this role, he works with Wexford’s partner Universities and institutions and the economic development stakeholders in each of the regions where Wexford is developing its unique knowledge communities. Additionally, he holds the role, President and CEO of Innovation Research Park @ ODU, where he provides leadership in creating knowledge-led economic development to create companies, expand markets, and attract business opportunities to Hampton Roads.

Jonathan Packer

Director of Marketing
Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Packer designs programs that enhance the City of Killeen’s economic future. He believes that communities need to focus on what makes them unique and not be afraid to use new and creative solutions. He is a leader in the Young Professions organization and is often heard saying, “When you think highly about where you live, you make better decision.” He created the website that hosts our Place Design work at

H. Philip Paradice, Jr.

Regional Director
Economic Development Administration

Phil Paradice has been with the Economic Development Administration since 1998 and was selected Director of the eight-state Atlanta Regional office in 2007. He and his staff develop and manage the agency’s investments to support jobs, private investment, innovation, entrepreneurship and global competitiveness in the region. He is the recipient of three Silver Medal Awards from the US Department of Commerce for his service in response to natural disasters and major economic dislocations. In 2010 and 2011 he served for seven months in Washington, DC as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs where he directed the agency’s six regional offices. During this time he received the Secretary of Commerce’s Performance Excellence Award for leading a team in the development and implementation of innovations in EDA’s grant application process.

Mike Provance

Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Old Dominion University

Mike works with founders and entrepreneurial management teams to help make their businesses smarter, faster, and more competitive. He presents and writes regularly on topics related to entrepreneurship and the vitality of regions and business ecosystems. For 20 years Mike helped build, run, and advise high-potential businesses in software, Internet media, and biotechnology. He taught entrepreneurship and strategy at the Richmond, Old Dominion, George Mason, and Maryland. Along the way he picked up a Ph.D. in technology entrepreneurship from George Washington University, an M.B.A. from Smeal College of Business at Penn State, and a B.S. in management science from MIT Sloan.

Kathay Rennels

Assistant Vice President of Community & Economic Development
Colorado State University

Kathay Rennels, Assistant Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Colorado State University, works with the Office of Engagement, Extension and the Regional Economics Institute to advance collaborative networks across the state and create economic development opportunities. As a former county commissioner and state board representative, she has significant experience fostering public and private partnerships in regional and workforce development. Rennels is currently working with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to enhance the Food & Agriculture Industry for the Governor, and is co-leading a Value Chain Analysis with the Department of Agriculture.

Alice Rolli

Assistant Commissioner, Strategy
Department of Economic & Community Development, State of Tennessee

A native Tennessean, Alice is responsible for the oversight of the Department’s research division and strategic initiatives with particular emphasis on implementing recommendations developed in the Governor’s Top to Bottom Review. Prior to joining ECD, Alice was an owner manager at WorldStrides, the country’s largest student travel organization and a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group. She served as Special Assistant to U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, co-founded an advertising firm and taught in the Los Angeles public school system. She earned a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School.

Susan Sciame-Giesecke

Interim Chancellor
Indiana University – Kokomo

Susan Sciame-Giesecke serves as the Interim Chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo. She received her Ph.D. in speech communication from Indiana University. Susan has a strong commitment to the role of regional campuses in the economic development of the region. Her most recent publication, “The New Economic Reality: Creating a Regional Mindset,” outlines a model developed because of her regional engagement. She led the north central Indiana Regional Leadership Institute Project. As a result of this work, a network of 70 regional leaders was developed, a strategic plan written, and an asset map produced. She facilitated the merger of nine economic development organizations into one organization, the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and she worked to create a regional network of local arts organizations, the Greater Kokomo Arts League.

Chuck Shoopman

Assistant Vice President, Institute for Public Service (IPS)
University of Tennessee

Chuck Shoopman is Assistant Vice President of the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service (IPS). The Institute is composed of five outreach organizations that connect people and solutions to improve the efficiency and performance of businesses and governments across Tennessee. Chuck leads the organization’s efforts to help business and government leaders improve job retention, promote job growth and build stronger communities. Before rejoining UT in 2004, Shoopman worked over ten years with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Economic Development organization. While at TVA he served in a variety of leadership roles, including Acting Vice President of Economic Development. Program responsibilities ranged from managing the organization’s revolving loan programs and small business assistance efforts to international industrial development activities.

Dan Tripodi, Ph.D.

Founding Principal
The Sage Group

Throughout his career Dr. Tripodi has interfaced between emerging technologies and their translation into business opportunities. He is presently a founding principal of The Sage Group, a health care consulting group. His prior experience has been with Johnson and Johnson, New England Nuclear, Becton-Dickenson and has served as a Trustee for the FTC. He has also held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and the University of Delaware. During the last 20 years he also has started up several companies in the biopharmaceutical arena. He has also assisted many universities over his career in evaluating their research programs for commercial opportunities.

Mark Troppe

Manager of Strategic Partnerships
NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program

Mark is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships at the US Department of Commerce’s NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program. In this role, he leads a team that is responsible for developing and nurturing MEPs relationships with other Federal agencies, Governors and state agencies, industry trade associations, and other partners. He plays an important role in MEP’s collaborations with other federal, state, and private programs to provide leverage for transforming small manufacturers and aligning with state strategies. Mark has held a variety of positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In 2009-2010, Mark was assigned to the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers. From 2000-2007, Mark worked at the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) as Director of Economic and Workforce Development where he wrote about, developed courses, and delivered training on the nature of and opportunities for effective relationships between workforce and economic development organizations.

Bob Velasquez

Director, Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center
University of Texas – San Antonio

Robert Velasquez has thirty years of experience in the area of Economic/Business Development working at the federal, state, and local levels. He worked for seven years on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He completed his tenure in Washington as the Community Development Director for the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations and moved to Austin to work as the liaison between the OSFR office and the State Legislature. As a member of the Texas Governor’s staff in 1986, he co-founded the Governor’s Conference on Small Business. He continued as the Acting Director of the Small Business Division at the Texas Department of Commerce and the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He has held the position of Director of the Southwest TAAC at UTSA since 1990 and is presently the Board Chairman of the American Business Council, Inc., the TAAC association.

Roy L. Vanderford

Director of Strategic Solutions
Center of Workforce Innovations

Roy serves as CWI’s lead staff person for providing consulting and technical assistance services to states and local regions in workforce development. He is a recognized leader in working with regional workforce boards on strategies that connect workforce development, economic development, and education. Roy has served as CEO of three different workforce boards: Indianapolis (IN); Louisville (KY); and Evansville (IN). For the past 16 years, he has provided consulting assistance in over 35 states. Roy has served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Employment and Training Council, President of the Indiana Association of Local Workforce Boards, Co-Chair of the Enterprise Council (USDOL quality initiative), and a member of numerous national, state, and local workforce development leadership groups.

Wayne Watkins

Associate Vice President for Research
University of Akron

Wayne Watkins is Associate Vice President for Research at The University of Akron and Adjunct Professor and Intellectual Property Fellow at The University of Akron School of Law. He serves as Vice President and directs the operations of the University of Akron Research Foundation, a regional innovation and wealth creation services organization. Watkins directs The University of Akron programs in intellectual property management, emerging enterprise creation and support, technology-based economic development, and university/industry collaborations. Watkins is the immediate past President of the University Economic Development Association, a national organization supporting universities in economic development and innovation. Prior to his roles at The University of Akron in Ohio, Watkins served as Director of the Research and Technology Park and the Office of Technology Commercialization at Utah State University. He served as Vice President and Corporate Counsel of a diversified business holding company and was the administrator of the Utah Innovation Center. He currently serves on several boards of directors of technology and agricultural related companies.

Kimberly Zeuli, Ph.D.

Vice President and Community Development Officer
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Kimberly is a vice president, with responsibility for Economic Education and Community Development, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond serves the Fifth District, which includes Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, most of West Virginia, and North and South Carolinas. The Economic Education function promotes financial literacy and education about the role of the Federal Reserve in the nation’s economy. The Community Development department identifies and addresses a broad spectrum of challenges confronting low- and moderate-income communities. The department partners with nonprofits, financial institutions, government agencies and academic institutions. Kimberly has diverse experience in international and domestic community development issues.

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