North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers are Back In A New Way: Consultant Connect Announces Leaders In The Industry

Monday, September 10, 2018

KALAMAZOO, Michigan – Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap
between economic developers and site consultants, announces its 2018 list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. The economic development professionals selected for this list were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development industry and the site consultant community for excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve.

Each top 50 economic developer will be featured in an ebook. These industry leaders will be interviewed for the ebook to share their expertise in the field and leadership insights they’ve learned along the way.
Consultant Connect strives to lift up this industry by recognizing remarkable economic developers for
the entire economic development community to learn from.

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

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

Alex Philips, City of Burleson Economic Development
Amanda Nobles, Kilgore Economic Development Corporation
Brenda Robbins, Georgia Power
Brian Anderson, Wabash Valley Power
Brittany Holtzclaw, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Cathy Chambers, JAXUSA Partnership
Chris Strayer, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Christie Cooper Myers, Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Dale Fowler, Victoria Economic Development Corp. Tx.
Danielle Scheiner, Conroe Economic Development Council
David Griggs, MetroHartford Alliance
Donna Maisel, Marshall Economic Development Corporation
Erin Schneider, Duke Energy
Gary Tonjes, Albuquerque Economic Development
Grady Fitzpatrick, Greater New Orleans Inc.
Greg Hitchin, City of Waynesboro
Greg Wathen, Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana
Greg Word, Greater Jackson Alliance
Gregg Simon, Metro Atlanta Chamber
Heidi Smith, Tennessee Valley Authority
James Chavez, South Carolina Power Team
James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Agency
Jason Ford, Greater Houston Partnership
Jason Giulietti, Connecticut Economic Resource Center
Jay Schwedler, Sumter (SC) Economic Development | The LinkSC Alliance
Jeff Hite, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Jefferson Traywick, Birmingham Business Alliance
Jenna Kavanaugh, Invest Buffalo Niagara
Jeremy Sowders, Hoosier Energy
Jerry Bologna, Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission
Jill Bland, Southwest Michigan First
Keith Norden, Team Volusia Economic Development Corporation
Kelly Violette, Tomball Economic Development Corporation
Lee Crume, JobsOhio
Margaret O’Riley, Duke Energy
Mark Peterson, Intersect Illinois
Marvin Price, Charlotte Regional Partnership
Matt McQuade, Columbus 2020
Matthew Godinez, Chanute Regional Development Authority
Michael Buranyi, County of Brant, Ontario Canada
Michele Boggs, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation
Rachel Pierson Delamain, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
Richard Blackwell, Agracel, Inc.
Rick Byars, Gulf Power Company
Scott Darnell, Paducah Economic Development
Shane Homan, Community Development Foundation of Tupelo Mississippi
Shannon Ogletree, Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office
Sherry Ambrose, Florida Power & Light
Tricia Braun, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Victoria Hirschberg, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

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