Annual Summit Speaker Bios

William Fulton, AICP

Monday Morning Keynote Address
Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University

William Fulton joined Rice after serving as Director of Planning, Neighborhoods, and Economic Development for the City of San Diego, America’s eighth-largest city. A former Mayor of Ventura, California, Bill has experience as an urban planner, author, professor, and politician. He is the author of several important books on urban planning, including The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles; The Regional City: Planning of the End of Sprawl (co-authored with Peter Calthorpe); and the textbook Guide to California Planning. Bill also served as a Principal in the California-based planning firm, The Planning Center | DC&E (now Placeworks) and Vice President & Director of Policy Development & Implementation at the advocacy group Smart Growth America. For 18 years he was Governing magazine’s economic development columnist and his columns were collected in the book Romancing The Smokestack. 

Ryan Baca

Junior, Española Valley High School

Ryan Baca is a Junior at Española Valley High School in Espanola, NM. He was class president last year and was also the student body president. His goal was to unite the school and get everyone excited for college. He wanted to make a difference in his school. He involved all students in every event planned and wanted all students to realize who they are and that they can succeed in whatever it was they wanted to do. Julianna Martinez Barbee America’s SBDC Director at Northern New Mexico College is mentoring Ryan. He is focusing on hands-on experience in broadcasting, video interviews, video production and currently working on starting his own business. He has interviewed our Governor Lt. Governor and several legislators.

Rob Behunin, Ph.D.

Utah State University

Rob Behunin, born in California and raised in Cedar City, is proud to claim Utah as his home. Rob completed his undergraduate work at Southern Utah University and obtained a PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For nine years, Rob was a tenured faculty member at Southern Utah University where he taught Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton. Rob was an active scholar in his field, served on the faculty senate and was awarded SUU’s top two teaching awards in the same year. In January of 2011, President Albrecht invited Rob to serve as the Vice President for Commercialization and Regional Development and to operationalize USU’s USTAR program. In 2013 Rob assumed the responsibility of university advancement in addition to his commercialization responsibilities. The new University Advancement and Commercialization is uniquely poised to leverage university and private resources that will generate new opportunities and new revenue for Utah State.

Christi Bell

Associate Vice Provost, Executive Director, University Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute

Ms. Christi Bell is Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of the University Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute. Through this position she provides leadership to a variety of economic development programs including: the UA Center for Economic Development, the Alaska Small Business Development Center, the Alaska Procurement Technical Center, the Alaska Minority Business Development Business Center, the Alaska Cooperative Development Center, UAA’s Corporate and Professional Development Center and the Applied Environmental Research Center. Prior to this position Bell led the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development. Through this position she provided technical assistance to community-based organizations engaged in economic development activities throughout Alaska.

Sue Bennett

Director, University & Community Relations,
University of Guelph

Sue Bennett has been at the University of Guelph since 1997. Her background in the public service (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food), working to increase the public profile of government programs and resources, enables her to position the University as Canada’s leading comprehensive, research intensive University specializing in agri-food, health, the environment and communities. As Director, University and Community Relations in the President’s Office, Sue is actively involved in further developing strategic relationships with the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, University partners, stakeholders and the broader community. Her community engagement portfolio includes extensive work with the City of Guelph, Chamber of Commerce, Innovation Guelph, and several provincial ministries as well as participation in several economic development consortia local, regional and across south-western Ontario spanning Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) and Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) initiatives.

Mark Bernhard

Associate Provost, Outreach and Engagement, University of Southern Indiana

Mark leads a team of approximately 40 professionals whose programs and initiatives positively impact individuals, organizations and communities. Outreach and Engagement includes the USI-Crane Partnership, Center for Applied Research, USI @ Innovation Pointe, Continuing and Professional Education, Educational Services and Partnerships, ROTC, Service Learning and more. Bernhard chairs the I-69 Innovation Corridor Executive Committee, creating transformational economic development utilizing the new stretch of highway as a catalyst. Through this initiative, over 200 regional leaders have participated on taskforces on brainpower, innovation and entrepreneurship, connected places, branding experiences and civic collaboration.


Buddy Borden

Economic Development Specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, University Center for Economic Development,University of Nevada, Reno

Buddy has over 22 years working as an Economic Development Specialist for Cooperative Extension; 18 years in Nevada and 4 years in Wyoming. He is committed to assisting communities build strong sustainable economies through entrepreneurship, business retention and expansion, and business recruitment. His interests are in community & business economic development processes, analyses and community based education, economic base analysis, small business procurement and regional economic impact modeling and analysis.

LaDene H. Bowen, CEcD, FM, HLM

University Center Director Associate Director, Institute for Decision Making University of Northern Iowa

In a career that has spanned nearly three decades, LaDene Bowen has served in a leadership role in facilitating and creatively implementing economic development programs. As Associate Director for the Institute for Decision Making (IDM) at the University of Northern Iowa, she has consulted hundreds of communities in all aspects of economic development in the Iowa, West and Midwestern states. The impact of IDMs technical assistance, as reported by client communities, has resulted in 1,500-2,000 jobs annually, structured Iowa’s economic development marketing regions in collaboration with PDI, and trained over 1,800 new professionals in economic development. LaDene, additionally, directs UNI’s EDA University Center focusing on assessing and building capacity to enhance Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem regionally throughout Iowa.

Barry Broome

President and CEO , GPEC

Broome is at the helm of one of the longest-standing regional public-private partnerships for economic development. A proven leader with nearly 25 years of experience in community building and economic development, new company creation, formation of public-private partnerships and public policy design. Broome’s tenure at GPEC has led to the attraction of 225 companies, creating 40,500 jobs and more than $8 billion in capital investment to Greater Phoenix. Broome recently worked to secure Apple in Mesa, a game-changing project that will create 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in capital investment. He’s also worked to attract investment from many of the region’s notable companies such as Intel, GoDaddy, Yelp, PayPal, Amazon and scores of others.   In 2013, Broome was named Economic Developer of the Year by the Arizona Association of Economic Development and was the recipient of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman Award.

Joseph I. Castro

President, California State University, Fresno

Joseph I. Castro was appointed as the eighth president of California State University, Fresno on August 1, 2013. He is the first Central Valley native to serve in this leadership position. Dr. Castro also serves as Professor of Educational Research and Administration in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. Prior to his appointment at Fresno State, he served as Vice Chancellor, Student Academic Affairs at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) from 2006-13. During that time, he led an array of departments that served the academic needs of UCSF’s talented and diverse student body.

Dr. Rena Cotsones

Associate Vice President, Engagement and Innovation Partnerships, Northern Illinois University

Rena Cotsones, Ph.D., is Associate Vice President of Engagement and Innovation Partnerships for Northern Illinois University. She works with NIU and regional business, community and government leaders to create and implement meaningful initiatives to advance economic development and improve educational attainment in the region. Most recently, Dr. Cotsones convened higher education, economic development and workforce leaders in Rockford, Illinois to create the Rockford Area Aerospace Accelerator Project in support of the region’s aerospace cluster. The project was awarded a federal Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (JIAC) grant to strengthen the community’s engineering workforce pipeline, increase innovation, raise the visibility of the aerospace cluster and encourage entrepreneurship.

Casey DeRaad

Technology Engagement Office Lead, Air Force Research Laboratory

Ms. Casey DeRaad leads Technology Engagement Office for the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico. She leads the laboratory’s industry, academia, and government engagement strategy that includes the Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) education outreach programs, Technology Transfer and Small Business Innovation Research programs, and the Phillips Technology Institute. Ms. DeRaad, having earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1985 and 1992 respectively, is a 25-year employee of the Air Force.

Deborah D. Dewey

President, Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville

Deborah D. Dewey is the President of the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville since September 2010 and is a member of the Board of Directors for Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce.  She has been a small business owner and has worked as a business consultant for large corporations and angel investor groups developing strategic plans and new business plans for energy and transportation related businesses.  For 5 years, Deborah was President of Western Kentucky Energy, a non-regulated power generation subsidiary of LG&E Energy with three coal-fired power plants and over 500 emplyees.

Shawn Escoffery

Director, Strong Local Economies Program at the Surdna Foundation

Shawn Escoffery is the Director of the Strong Local Economies Program at the Surdna Foundation. Previously Shawn served as the deputy director of the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative (NONDC), a community organizing, community planning and development organization, focused on revitalizing the Central City neighborhood.  Shawn has a strong background in community and economic development policy and workforce development. As an experienced urban planner with over 14 years in the field, Shawn has been responsible for designing workforce development programs serving lower income communities, developing financing strategies for affordable housing projects and lead community planning processes aimed at neighborhood revitalization. Throughout his career, he has managed projects and people effectively to produce positive outcomes for communities.

Janyce Fadden

Executive in Residence, University of North Alabama College of Business

Janyce Fadden is Executive in Residence at the University of North Alabama’s College of Business.  Previously Fadden was President of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, responsible for managing business retention and expansion, new business recruitment, business startup and entrepreneurship, and improving the business climate.  Fadden also served in various capacities as President, Vice President, and General Manager for major multinational corporations including Honeywell, General Signal, Applied Power, Pacific Scientific, and Danaher.  Fadden earned her BS in Engineering and Management from Clarkson University, and her MBA from Northern Illinois University.

Jeff Finkle, CEcD

President and CEO, International Economic Development Council

As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. With the formation of IEDC in 2001 following the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) – where he was president for 15 years – and the American Economic Development Council (AEDC), Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential organization. Today IEDC is the world’s largest economic development membership organization and is a $5 million annual operation that is renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development. Jeff previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has received numerous awards over the years for his commitment to making sustainable economic development a priority in communities of all sizes. Significantly, in 2011 he was lauded by the U.S. Department of Commerce for his 25 years of stewardship over CUED and IEDC. Moreover, as a longtime leader in community service and philanthropy, in 2005 Jeff organized 250 economic development volunteers to work in Gulf Coast communities endeavoring to recover from Hurricane Katrina. In 1989 he also founded the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to children who have lost a parent who worked in the field of economic development. A frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles, Jeff has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox television and the Journal Report on PBS. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1976 from Ohio University in Athens and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Ohio State University. He maintains a strong connection with Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs.

Dr. Jose Z. Garcia

Secretary of Higher Education, State of New Mexico

Dr. Jose Z. Garcia has been Secretary of Higher Education in New Mexico since his appointment to that position by Governor Susana Martinez following her election in late 2010. Prior to this he was a faculty member at New Mexico State University for more than three decades, specializing in Latin American politics. He has lectured in every Spanish-speaking country in Latin America and written extensively on Latin American militaries, civil wars, coups, and the U.S.-Mexico border. He has received numerous grants to conduct research and administer programs, including awards from the Ford, Hewlett, and Wilson Foundations, and the federal government. He directed the Title VI Latin American program for 13 years at NMSU, as part of a nationally ranked UNM-NMSU consortium.


Michael Gilroy

Program Director, Defense Industry Adjustment Program

Michael Gilroy is the Program Director for the Defense Industry Adjustment program within the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. He is responsible for program management and policy direction and also directly manages several projects in Virginia, New England, New Jersey, and Ohio. Prior to joining OEA, Michael served as the National Base Realignment and Closure Coordinator for the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. During that time he developed policies and approaches to address workforce development needs specific to defense communities impacted by the 2005 BRAC round, and managed the BRAC response activities of ETA’s six regional offices. A U.S. Army combat veteran, he holds Masters degrees in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, and in National Security and Strategy from the U.S. Naval War College.

Scott A. Gordon

Dean, Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education

Dr. Scott A. Gordon has been serving as Dean of the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education since spring, 2005. As Dean, he provides leadership for the College and is responsible for all aspects of College operations including: guiding the acquisition and use of College resources; providing leadership in formulating and executing College policies; making decisions and recommendations on all College appointment, tenure, and promotion matters; evaluating the effectiveness of the College’s curriculum and programs; and serving as official College spokesperson both inside and outside the University. Dr. Gordon served as Associate Dean from 2001 until spring 2005.

Randy Grissom

Interim President, Santa Fe Community College

Joining Santa Fe Community College in its inaugural year of 1983, Randy Grissom taught classes in the Business and Occupations Division. Soon thereafter, he wrote the successful proposal to create the New Mexico Small Business Development Center, which continues to be headquartered on the college campus today. Grissom left SFCC in 1994 to work in management positions in private industry, but returned to the college in 2003 for a year-long appointment as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Administrative Services. In 2008, Grissom once again returned to his roots at SFCC campus, this time to start green technology and workforce programs as Dean of Economic and Workforce Development/Director of the Sustainable Technologies Center. In 2013, Grissom was named Vice President for Academic Affairs. He was appointed Interim President by the Governing Board on January 28, 2014, for a term of 18 months. His academic background includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

Tom Harris

Professor of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno

Tom Harris is a Foundation Professor in the Department of Economics, Director of the University Center for Economic Development, and State Extension Specialists for Community and Economic Development at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Harris’s areas of research and extension are rural economic development, fiscal analysis, and impact modeling.

Jim Heck

Executive Director, GSIW

Jim Heck has been the Executive Director for Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce (GSIW) since July 2009 and worked as the Business Services Manager since November 2007. GSIW manages and implements: innovative employment programs for Hoosiers, unemployment insurance systems, and facilitates regional workforce development initiatives for Southwest Indiana. Jim consults regularly with Elected Officials throughout Indiana Economic Growth Region #11. Jim also works with businesses, Educators, Economic Development officials and Chambers of Commerce to help with the regional workforce needs.

Jeremy Hegle

Senior Director of Program Operation, U.S.SourceLink, University of Missouri Kansas City

In 2003 Jeremy helped establish a resource network which connects entrepreneurs with more than 200 business building organizations throughout the 18-county Kansas City region. The KCSourceLink program, originally funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, served as a pilot which has been adopted by communities stretching from Virginia to Alaska. Today Jeremy assists communities in implementing their SourceLink programs. The technical tools are important, but it’s the relationship building and collaborations that bring about long-term, sustainable change. In more than 20 communities today, U.S.SourceLink has become the nation’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.

Jeff Horon

Consultant, Elsevier Research Intelligence

Jeff Horon, MBA, is a Consultant at Elsevier Research Intelligence, where he helps research institutions spark new scientific collaborations and implement solutions for strategic planning and performance measurement. Jeff specializes in facilitating research networking events, adoption of research networking tools, and team formation ranging from mentor-mentee dyads to large research centers. He is a frequent speaker at team science, research networking, research development, and research administration conferences, and offers workshops on network analysis, forecasting, and metric design. He has an MBA with distinction from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with emphases in Strategy and Finance and a BA with honors in Economics, a dual major in Business, and a minor in Philosophy from Calvin College.

Glenda Humiston

California State Director for USDA Rural Development

Dr. Glenda Humiston was appointed by President Obama in 2009 to serve as California State Director for USDA Rural Development—administering a more than $6 billion portfolio and 47 programs. Her career focuses on public policy and program implementation supporting sustainability; experience includes Peace Corps, nonprofit executive, and consulting on rural issues. She served as Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA 1998–2001 and managed the Sustainable Development Institute at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in South Africa. Humiston’s Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley looked at sustainability and farm policy. Recently she produced a widely acclaimed guidebook on “Access to Capital.”

Scott Hutcheson

Purdue University

Scott’s teaching, research, and university engagement work focuses on economic development strategy and innovation policy. He has worked with local and regional communities across the U.S. and internationally helping civic leaders develop and implement strategies to grow their economy. Prior to his work in economic development he held leadership positions with American Airlines and United Way. He currently helps lead Purdue University’s local and regional economic efforts. Scott has an undergraduate degree in communication, a master’s in public administration, and a Ph.D. in public policy.

Elizabeth Inmen

Purple Adobe Lavender Farm

Purple Adobe Lavender Farm is located in the beautiful Chama River Valley of Abiquiu, New Mexico. They are dedicated to growing organically, support sustainable communities, promote agri-tourism and eco-agriculture. They currently offer farm tours, demonstrations, crafts, and specialty classes. They have a green house, lavender distillation that produces a sweet grade of lavender essential oil and The Lavender Apothecary Shoppe that offers a full line of natural lavender bath and body products, seasonal fresh and dried fruit, lavender bites and lavender beverages. Product lines can be found in stores in New Mexico, Colorado and California. They have expanded to include a tea house, new event pavilion, lavender labyrinth, u-pick field, and new classes.

Dion Jackson

Associate, USC Center for Economic Development in the Sol Price School of Public Policy

CED is a clinical forum and outreach arm for the school, engaging the energy, enthusiasm, and talent of students, faculty, and staff to provide a wide range of services to public, private, and nonprofit entities in the 12 counties of Central and Southern California. Specializing in community outreach and economic development strategic planning, Dion is responsible for grant writing, grants management, report writing, and oversight of graduate students on economic development projects for local communities. Her most recent projects have been on the federal initiative, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership which is aimed at doing nothing less than reinventing how economic development is done in manufacturing.

Maarten Jacobs

Executive Director, Near Westside Initiative

Maarten Jacobs, MSW, is the Director of the Near Westside Initiative (NWSI), a nonprofit organization working to combine the power of art, technology, and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to revitalize Syracuse’s Near Westside. In that role over the past four years, Maarten has worked diligently to ensure that the neighborhood residents of the Near Westside are actively engaged in the revitalization taking place in their neighborhood and ensuring that the community’s best interests are always represented. Similarly, with a personal passion for the arts, Maarten has pushed the Near Westside Initiative to be a truly place-based initiative with a focus on implementing create placemaking as a fundamental strategy for economic and community development. In addition to his work with the Near Westside Initiative, he teaches Community Economic Development at the Syracuse University School of Social Work.

Winthrop Jeanfreau

Director, Business Resource Center, Utah Valley University

Winthrop Jeanfreau brings over twenty years of experience to his current post as director of the UVU Business Resource Center. Win has founded and sold eight successful businesses and has mentored a multitude of C-level managers. In his current role, Win connects entrepreneurs with critical resources, training, and guidance. Win holds a B.S. in Organizational Communications from the University of Utah and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

Mohammed Khayum

Professor of Economics & Dean, Romain College of Business, University of Southern Indiana

Mohammed Khayum is a professor of Economics and Dean of the Romain College of Business at the University of Southern Indiana. He received his doctorate in 1990 from Temple University, joined the University of Southern Indiana in 1991 and has served as Dean of the Romain College of Business since 2006. His research interests include innovative approaches to strategic planning and the impact of communication and information technologies on entrepreneurship in the 21st century. He regularly shares his perspectives about the economic development prospects for the Evansville region including presentations at an Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon in Evansville, Indiana.

Elizabeth J. (Lisa) Kuuttila

CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer, STC.UNM

Ms. Kuuttila joined STC.UNM (STC), the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer program, as President & CEO in 2003. She works with the STC.UNM Board of Directors in developing strategies for implementing STC’s vision to play a vital role in New Mexico’s economic development and to be a leader in technology commercialization. Under her leadership, STC.UNM is substantially growing its program using the Rainforest model to develop an innovation ecosystem in New Mexico. In 2013, STC.UNM was tasked by the University with implementing its economic development initiatives under Ms. Kuuttila’s leadership as CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer.

Christine Mackay

Economic Development Director, City of Chandler, Arizona

Christine Mackay has served as the City of Chandler’s Economic Development Director since May 2008. After coming on board as a Research Assistant 15 years ago, Mackay quickly worked her way up to Specialist, and then Director. Mackay has received many local and statewide awards during her tenure, including “Leader of the Year for Economic Development” in 2010 by the Arizona Capitol Times, “50 Most Influential Women” in 2012 by the Arizona Business Journal, and named one of Chandler Republic’s “2013 People of the Year.” Mackay’s tenure as Director has seen the attraction and retention of many high-wage jobs within the city.

Cameron K. Martin

Vice President, University Relations, Utah Valley University

Dr. Cameron K. Martin is the Vice President for University Relations at Utah Valley University with responsibility for state and federal legislative affairs, economic development, community engagement, campus events, and public relations and marketing. Dr. Martin rejoined the UVU administrative team in October 2012, after working four years for the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) as the Associate Commissioner for Economic Development and Planning. While at USHE, Dr. Martin had stewardship for economic development, strategic planning, presidential searches and evaluations, policy administration, system student affairs coordination, and special projects, initiatives and events for USHE.

Julianna Martinez-Barbee

Director, SBDC New Mexico

Julianna Martinez-Barbee is America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) New Mexico Director at Northern New Mexico College and Business Owner of Barbee Training & Consulting Nationwide. With 25 years of TV Broadcasting/Marketing/Media, YouTube Vide Production and advertising experience, Julianna is very knowledgeable on how to thrive as a small business. She can help you learn how to promote your business or university with new online marketing skills.

William 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. Prior to the Government Relations post, Mr. Michalerya served as Associate Vice Provost for Research at Lehigh. Previously he held the position of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Competitive Technologies of PA, Inc., a firm partly owned by Lehigh University with a mission of new company formation and intellectual property management. Other duties at Lehigh University included the position of Manager of Industry Liaison and Technology Transfer for the Center for Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) the first Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA), a state-funded initiative with Lehigh University and Carnegie Mellon.

Mitzi M. Montoya

Vice President, University Dean of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Arizona State University

Mitzi M. Montoya is Vice President and University Dean of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Arizona State University. She is a Professor in the Management Department of the W.P. Carey School of Business and serves on the board of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Dr. Montoya received her Ph.D. in Marketing and Statistics and a B.S. in Applied Engineering Science, both from Michigan State University. Dr. Montoya is responsible for advancing ASU as a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation, including supporting student and faculty entrepreneurship, enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and driving innovative collaborative initiatives across ASU. Previously at ASU, Dr. Montoya served as Dean of the College of Technology & Innovation and Vice Provost of the ASU Polytechnic campus. Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Montoya spent 15 years at North Carolina State University where she held the Zelnak Chair in Marketing & Innovation in the Poole College of Management. At NC State University, she founded and led the Innovation Lab, a collaborative research and education initiative involving the management, design, engineering and textiles colleges in partnership with corporate sponsors.

Jackie Kerby Moore

Manager, Technology and Economic Development, Sandia National Laboratories

Jackie Kerby Moore leads economic development for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In this role she oversees several programs that leverage the assets of Sandia to create jobs and economic wealth in the region. Jackie helped launch the Sandia Science & Technology Park, where she has served as Executive Director since its inception in 1998. She also directs the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, as well as the Entrepreneurial Separation to Transfer Technology program. Jackie is widely recognized for her activities. She has been honored with a Distinguished Alumna Award from New Mexico State University; Career Achievement Award from AURP; Small Business Advocate of the Year Award; Woman on the Move Award; Woman Sustaining the American Spirit Award; and Smart, Savvy, and Successful Woman Award. She is regularly selected as one of New Mexico’s Power Brokers, was honored for Who’s Who in Technology in New Mexico, and has appeared on the cover of New Mexico Woman Magazine. Jackie has been featured on CNBC Television and has spoken regularly on local Radio and Television Shows in New Mexico. In addition, she regularly speaks on the topic of Research Parks at conferences and events throughout the world, including China, Taiwan, Finland, France, Spain, Mexico, Canada, and Ireland.

Edward F. Morrison

Regional Economic Development Advisor, Purdue Center for Regional Development

Ed 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. For the past ten years, he has been developing new approaches to strategy in open, loosely joined networks. As a part of this work, he has developed a new strategy discipline, called 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.

Eric Muschler

Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation

Eric Muschler has been a Program Officer with the Region and Communities Program at The McKnight Foundation based in Minneapolis, MN since 2006. He, with his wife Karen and children Jordan and Ryan, moved back to MN after 16 years work in community economic development in Cincinnati, Washington DC, Atlanta and Detroit. Eric has worked to advance the field of community economic development throughout his career as an affordable housing developer, managing a national initiative at United Way of America, Director of Community Economic Development for the United Way of Metro Atlanta, and as the Director of the Asset Building Policy Project and Michigan IDA Partnership (MIDAP) in Michigan from 2001 to 2006.

Norma Naranjo

Owner, The Feasting Place

The Feasting Place is located in Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico. North of Española, Ohkay Owingeh is one of the Eight Northern Pueblos found along the Rio Grande. In this Pueblo is where you find Norma’s business, her home, The Feasting Place. For hundreds of years Pueblo traditions invite people during feast days and special dances to eat at their native homes together with people from all over. Norma created her business by applying her culture and traditions. She is an SBDC client of Northern New Mexico College. Norma’s mission or philosophy is “Food is much more than just eating.” Food is a necessity that brings families together. “Back when most people raised their own food and had the time to cook, we were healthier people, physically, mentally and spiritually.”

Giovanna Paponetti


This celebrated Taos artist, author, and photographer finds inspiration in the world of nature and in the traditions, history and stories of Native American and Hispanic cultures that have been the subject of her paintings for the last 24 years. She characterizes her art as a search for life’s roots and meaning which led her to return to her own roots in the province of L’Aquila, Italy. Giovanna is also an adjunct professor of art at the University of New Mexico-Taos branch. Her paintings are published in numerous history books and featured in PBS documentaries.

Carol Parker

Senior Vice Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of New Mexico

Parker currently serves as UNM’s Senior Vice Provost in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Parker’s portfolio of duties include academic personnel administration which entails policy development and oversight of faculty recruitment, hiring, contracting, compensation and benefits, and promotion and tenure, in addition to responding to individual faculty and administrator requests for personnel support and guidance. She also provides strategic leadership for special academic initiatives including Innovation Academy, the academic component of the InnovateABQ initiative, an economic development effort led by UNM and the City of Albuquerque.

Regis Pecos

Chief of Staff to the New Mexico Speaker of the House

Regis Pecos is from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy at Princeton University, where he recently finished a term as Trustee for the University. He is completing his doctorate degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He served as both Lt. Governor and Governor and is a lifetime member of the Tribal Council at Cochiti Pueblo. Regis served for 16 years as Executive Director of the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs under four administrations. He is now Chief of Staff to the New Mexico Speaker of the House and co-founded the Leadership Institute.

Davis Pesiri

Division Leader, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation

David Pesiri is currently the Division Leader of the Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His main objectives include forming strategic partnerships, promoting collaborations to enhance innovation, developing technologies for technology spinouts and promoting regional economic development. Prior to 2005, David was co-founder and president of SDC Materials, a successful nanomaterials discovery company in Tempe, Arizona. He also served as managing partner of the Essex Technology Group, LLC, a leading nanotechnology consulting firm in Aliso Viejo, California. In addition to founding or co-founding several successful technology and manufacturing startup companies, David was a senior scientist at Technanogy, LLC where he focused on nanomaterials scale up, manufacturing and application development as well as nanopowder dispersion technology. He also served as a principal at Technanogy Materials Development, a product-based nanomaterials producer in Santa Ana, California. David holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Luke Peterson

Director, Office of New Urban Mechanics, Utah Valley University

The Office of New Urban Mechanics at Utah Valley University is a partnership between UVU, the City of Boston, the City of Philadelphia, and over twenty local cities that spurs cross-sector innovation to advance civic and public policy goals. Luke has been with UVU since 2011. Prior to coming to UVU, he served as the director of tourism and economic development for Wasatch County, Utah, and before that worked in local government in Rhode Island, Iowa, and Massachusetts. He is a graduate of UVU and of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where his interests first turned toward government innovation.

Julia Potter

California State University, Northridge

Julia Potter serves as the external programs lead for California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Her responsibilities include establishing partnerships with businesses and industries for contracted applied research, customized workforce development programs, and regional economic development initiatives. She also serves as the CSU5 Guide for CSUN. Julia has worked for CSUN in various capacities for over eight years. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University.

John Pyrovolakis

Founder, Innovation Accelerator

John Pyrovolakis is the founder and CEO of Innovation Accelerator, the private side of a public private partnership with the National Science Foundation. Innovation Accelerator has developed a new innovation model that has been credited in the 2012 PCAST report for attracting $200M into IA’s portfolio of companies. John is also the Managing General Partner of the National Innovation Fund (NIF), an early stage venture capital fund with ties to Nebraska. NIF’s investors include three billionaires, as well as two Fortune 500 corporations (Mutual of Omaha and Kiewit). Subsequently, John founded the Innovation Accelerator Foundation (IAF), a non-profit organization committed to nourishing innovation beyond the lab. The IAF is home to iBridge, the world’s largest university intellectual property marketplace, with over 170 participating universities and 18,000 innovations. John is a graduate of New York University with a triple major in mathematics, philosophy, and computer science. He proceeded to the doctoral program on teaching fellowship and scholarship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a focus on mathematical logic.

Ronald J. Radil

Executive Director, Western Nevada Development District

Radil has been with WNDD since October 2012 and was appointed Executive Director in February 2005. Since 1982, he has worked for multi-jurisdictional organizations in Nebraska, Kansas, and Nevada. WNDD provides technical assistance to public and private sectors regarding economic and community development with a primary focus on diversifying the economic and tax base of the nine county WNDD region: Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Humboldt, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and Washoe. WNDD utilized the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program, including a regional SET Team, to complete its 2014 WNDD Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

Steve Radley

President and CEO, Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship DBA NetWork Kansas

Steve Radley is the President and CEO of the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship DBA NetWork Kansas. NetWork Kansas was created in 2004 through the Kansas Economic Growth Act in partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce and two Kansas universities, Fort Hays State University and Wichita State University.  Since the launch in March of 2006, NetWork Kansas has created a resource partner network of more than five hundred (500) partners. In addition, NetWork Kansas has launched multiple loan programs and an investment fund that has provided more than $20 million in loans and investments to more than four hundred (400) businesses. These businesses have created and retained more than 3,300 jobs. A resident of Wichita, Steve began his career in the private sector as the 28th employee of a business startup technology company, Brite Voice Systems in Wichita. The company grew from $6 million to more than $175 million during the nine years Steve worked for Kansas entrepreneur Stan Brannan. Since then, Steve has co-owned two businesses including a manufactured housing dealership that was sold to the largest manufacturer in the country, Champion Enterprises. Steve’s work experience centers on business development and taking products and businesses from startup to maturity. Steve has an MBA from the Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, an MA in Christian Ministry from Friends University, and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma. 

George Raudenbush

Executive Director,Research Analytics, Arizona State University Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

George Raudenbush is the Executive Director of Research Analytics at Arizona State University’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. In this role, Raudenbush is responsible for all internal and external reporting, forecasting and other analyses related to ASU’s research and sponsored projects enterprise, as well as the development, procurement and management of analytical and decision support systems used to advance the institution’s research initiatives. Prior to joining ASU, Raudenbush spent 12 years in financial services where he worked at one of the world largest broker dealers, one of the largest US mutual fund complexes, and boutique equity hedge fund manager.

Dr. Carmel Ruffolo

Director, Corporate Engagement and Regional Development, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Dr. Carmel Ruffolo, is the Director for Corporate Engagement and Regional Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Currently, Dr. Ruffolo is also the Director of the Wisconsin Center for Commercialization Resources (WCCR), a joint collaboration with Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside and UW- Whitewater that is supported by the Economic Development Administration. She is actively involved in tri-state initiatives in WI, IL and IN, focusing on manufacturing and workforce development and was integrally engaged with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Tri-State Territorial Review and served as a Wisconsin delegate to the OECD. She now serves as the Wisconsin Chair of the Operational Committee for the Alliance for Regional Development. Dr. Ruffolo has collaborated with Purdue University in applying Strategic Doing in a number of regional initiatives.

Stacy Sacco

UNM Anderson School of Management

Stacy Sacco teaches entrepreneurial studies at UNM Anderson School of Management; and serves as the Director of the UNM Small Business Institute and the Parker Center for Family Business, and Faculty Advisor for the UNM CEO Student Entrepreneur Club. Stacy publishes NM, an online portal with 2,000+ links to jobs and business resources, and hosts the annual MARCOM Mixer for the 20+ marketing associations statewide. Stacy previously held senior management positions at several Fortune 500 corporations; and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University, BS in Marketing from the University of Arizona and toured two years with the global leadership program Up With People.

Liana Sanchez

CEO, AVANYU General Contracting LLC

AVANYU focuses on Custom Home Building, Remodeling, Adobe Restorations, Rehabilitation/Modernization and Handicap Accessibility Projects. Services include weatherization, Historic Preservation, and Avanyu Energy Services. AVANYU LLC general contracting is a Native American, Woman-owned Construction Company. Their top priority is their customers, offering quality service to all their clients. The company has been incorporated since May of 2004. Since then, they have had the opportunity to work with several tribal entities as well as private projects. Leana has an Associate in Business Administration and is working towards a BA. She handles all office management, support and financials of the company.

Dr. Sharlini Sankaran

Executive Director, Research, Engagement, and Capabilities Hub of North Carolina (REACH NC)

Dr. Sharlini Sankaran is an experienced leader with public policy, economic development, and data management experience. She uses her multidisciplinary engineering and biomedical academic background to execute technically demanding projects, forge effective relationships with diverse partners, and create productive outcomes while managing complex initiatives for university, government, and nonprofit entities. She is Executive Director of the Research, Engagement, and Capabilities Hub of North Carolina (REACH NC), an award- winning statewide, comprehensive web portal of expertise and assets at the state’s universities and research institutions. She is also co-PI on a National Science Foundation Big Data grant, Databridge, which explores and links large numbers of diverse small datasets into an easily discoverable and reusable network. Dr. Sankaran holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Ohio University and a Doctorate in biomedical engineering from UNC Chapel Hill. In addition to serving on the University Economic Development Association’s Communications committee, the North Carolina Center for Innovation Advisory Council, and the Piedmont Triad Biotechnology Advisory Council, Dr. Sankaran is committed to inclusivity in STEM fields. She is an active and dedicated volunteer with NC FIRST Robotics, NC Women in Bio, and a regular speaker and mentor at various graduate student and postdoctoral professional events.

Tom Sharbaugh

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Tom is a partner in the Business & Finance Practice Group of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, based in the Philadelphia office. Morgan Lewis is a global law firm of about 1,400 lawyers in 25 offices and 10 countries. Tom represents investors and companies in diverse corporate transactions, with a particular interest in startup companies and the seed, angel and venture capital investors in these emerging growth companies. Tom has published a number of articles on the developing securities laws that relate to crowdfunding and has also given presentations to several groups on this topic. Tom has also met with several universities regarding their possible use of crowdfunding as a means of funding startups that are generated by these institutions.

Dr. Marie Talnack

Director of Technology Transfer Office and Industry Clinic, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Marie Talnack has worked in both public programs and private industry. Her major interest is in the transfer of technologies from publicly funded research to small businesses in order to commercialize technology, thus creating new business opportunities. Dr. Talnack’s career in Technology Transfer and Business Development has spanned over 25 years as a Technology Transfer and Commercialization Specialist. She holds a Doctorate in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Southern California, MBA in Finance and Marketing, and Masters in International Management. Her professional career in technology transfer includes four research universities and two national research laboratories as well as her own consulting firm established in 1991. Dr. Talnack is committed to university/industry collaborations and was a co-author of the National Academies’ recent publication, The Researcher’s Handbook.

Michael Thissen

Innovation Corridor Manager, Interstate 69

Michael Thissen currently serves as the Interstate 69 Innovation Corridor Manager by building collaborative strategic partnerships in the greater Southwest Indiana region. The I-69 Innovation Corridor is a consortium of stakeholders striving to build a regional economy in a globally competitive market. Previously, Michael was the Director of Community Affairs for the State of Indiana by assisting communities in capacity building and their quality of place initiatives. Michael’s educational background includes a B.S. from Washington University in St. Louis and a Certification from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

Cathi Ulrich

Director of Global Business Development, U.S.SourceLink, University of Missouri Kansas City

Cathi Ulrich is passionate about connecting community- bringing leaders from academic, business, government, and nonprofits together to build thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems. She joined U.S.SourceLink 18 months ago to become the director of global business development with a focus of expanding the global footprint of the already successful U.S.SourceLink platform. Cathi understands the uniqueness of the global entrepreneur, as her career has spanned 30 years in diverse industries. From publishing to investment banking, she has been involved with academics, Fortune 500 companies, family owned entrepreneurial firms, and served on the board of numerous nonprofits. Prior to joining U.S.SourceLink she lived in Costa Rica while establishing companies in Panama and Brazil.

Dr. Ashish Vaidya

Special Advisor to the President for Regional Economic Development, Cal State Los Angeles

Dr. Ashish Vaidya is Special Advisor to the President for Regional Economic Development at Cal State LA. Working with business and industry, government and non-profits, he connects the university’s intellectual and creative resources to stimulate LA’s economic growth and development. He also represents Cal State L.A. on the CSU5 initiative – a regional consortium among the LA Basin CSU campuses to facilitate regional economic prosperity. Dr. Vaidya was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cal State L.A. and served as Dean of the Faculty at California State University Channel Islands. Dr. Vaidya received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Davis.

Daniela Vidal

Director, Center for Applied Research and Economic Development, University of Southern Indiana

Daniela Vidal is Director of the Center for Applied Research and Economic Development at the University of Southern Indiana. She has a diverse background that has ranged from R&D, Manufacturing, Corporate Training, Academia, and Economic and Community Development. Daniela is passionate about developing strategies to strengthen the regional economy through innovation and technology, as well as diversity and community development. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a Master in Business Administration. Work experience includes Procter & Gamble, Mead Johnson Nutrition, GE Plastics, Berry Plastics and USI, previously as Coordinator of the Advanced Manufacturing Program. She is also a founding member and vice-president for HOLA, a non-profit organization that assists Latinos.

Eileen Walker

MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Association of University Research Parks (AURP)

Eileen Walker leads the Association of University Research Parks (AURP), which fosters innovation, commercialization and economic growth in a global economy through university, industry and government partnerships. The organization is comprised of university research, science and tech parks from all around the world. Walker regularly consults with universities and their research parks regarding best practices. In 2011, Walker was tapped by the State Department’s Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to serve as a Fulbright Specialist, and advise foreign universities on their university research park initiatives. Her initial assignment was the Universidad de Antonio Nariño in Bogota, on planning for a new research park near Usme, Colombia. Prior to her current role with AURP, Walker directed the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, for many years.

Mary Walshok

Associate Vice Chancellor, Public Programs; Dean of Extension, UCSD

Mary Walshok, Ph.D. is associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She oversees a $45 million division that educates 57,000 enrollees annually, plus UCSD-TV and UCTV, which reach 22 million households and millions more through the web. A thought leader on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth, she is the author of Blue Collar Women, Knowledge Without Boundaries, Closing America’s Job Gap and Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy, Serendipity and Symbiosis: UCSD and the Local Wireless Industry in The Oxford Handbook of Local Competitiveness and co-editor of Creating Competitiveness: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth and. She has also authored more than 100 reports and articles on the regional competencies and social dynamics essential to building knowledge-based clusters and high-wage jobs.

Steve Wilson

The Boeing Company

Steve Wilson has over 35 years of business operations experience including product and business development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and purchasing while on an executive rotation at Boeing. Steve has consulted to C-level management for over 14 years, worked with over 15 universities in technology and commercialization assistance, and mentored and coached over 40 startups in a multitude of industries. Steve has a Bachelor degree in Engineering from Cal Poly and a MBA from Pepperdine.

James K. Woodell

Assistant Vice President, Innovation and Technology Policy, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)

James K. Woodell, is Assistant Vice President, Innovation and Technology Policy at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), where he works closely with member institutions to develop tools and resources to enhance their regional engagement and economic development efforts. Serving as lead staff member for APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), Jim advances APLU’s economic engagement agenda, and the public university role in innovation and economic development. Jim holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Higher Education at the Pennsylvania State University.

Kim Zeuli

Senior Vice President, Director of the Research and Advisory Practice, ICIC

Kim Zeuli, Ph.D., is the Senior Vice President and Director of the Research and Advisory Practice at ICIC. Kim defines and implements ICIC’s research agenda that explores economic development issues in U.S. inner cities. She also directs the advisory services practice that works with clients across the U.S. Kim received her Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota and has over 15-years of experience researching and advising on economic development issues. She has published dozens of academic and professional articles and is co-editor of the book Revitalizing American Cities (2013), which explores the historical, regional, and political factors that have allowed some industrial cities to regain their footing in a changing economy. Prior to joining ICIC, Kim was Vice President and Community Development Officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, VA. Kim has also held academic positions at the College of William and Mary, the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and the University of Kentucky.

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