Richard Anderson 5688 Managing Principal, CQI Associates Richard Anderson is the managing principal with CQI Associates. The firm is located in Columbia, Md., and provides consulting services to assist public and private clients in sixteen states and the District of Columbia. The firm assists clients in improving and developing programs to optimize energy resources, reduce environmental liability, and improve facilities management practices. Richard also works with the Maryland Energy Institute, Association of Energy Engineers, National Association of Environmental Management, and the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation. He has developed a series of on-going training programs to include the national workshop series entitled Creating Business Value Through Strategic Energy Management and the Application of Energy Resource Management Principles professional development course offered at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md. Bradley J. Apland President, American Chamber of Commerce Resources (ACCR) Brad Apland has more than 19 years of experience with chamber of commerce affinity programs, and was mentored and raised by the man who helped define the concept, Dick Apland, who passed away this past January. Brad and his brother Scott, also mentored and raised by Dick, have provided turn-key affinity programs to 44 state chambers of commerce, ranging from office supplies to human resources manuals. For the past three years, they have been working with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the local and metro chambers in Florida, and a current roster of eight affinity partners to leverage the buying power of the combined memberships. Brad received his degree in elementary education from Drake University. Honors and awards include Most Likely to Feed Nieces and Nephews Chocolate Just Before Bedtime, Association of State Chamber Professionals Limbo Co-Champion and Prettiest Eyes (high school sophomore). Brad’s nephew, Justin, just joined ACCR and is currently being mentored. Brad lives in Chicago in a home with no walls, his family of VWs, two shedding cats and a collection of LPs. Peace Dad. Rick Baker President & CEO, Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce Rick Baker is the president and CEO of the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce. He began his career in chamber management in 1988 in Rochester, Minn., later moving to Newton, Iowa before accepting his current position in 1994. Rick is a 1995 graduate of the University of Colorado Institute for Organization Management, an active member of ACCE, a board member for the Illinois Chamber PAC, past chairman of the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, member of the Emerging Technologies Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a former board member of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce. Locally, Rick is chairman of the Rock Island Community Foundation, immediate past chairman of the board of directors for Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health, and serves as a board member for the Workforce Development board, Adler Theater Foundation, and New Ventures Initiative board. Robert (Bob) F. Baldwin Senior Vice President, Member Services, Jacksonville (FL) Regional Chamber of Commerce As senior vice president of member services at the Jacksonville (FL) Regional Chamber of Commerce, Bob uses the chamber’s innovative approach to meeting the needs of small businesses in Jacksonville to help position the Chamber as a national leader in small business assistance. Bob has been with the Chamber for 11 years. Prior to working with the Chamber, Bob and his wife owned and operated a small business for six years. Bob serves as a member of Small Business Administration advisory committee, and chair of the ACCE Small Business Division, and a member of the following boards: First Coast Micro Loan, Enterprise Zone Commission, Enterprise North Florida, Jacksonville Economic Development Commission’s Small Business Committee, and various other volunteer commitments. Bob earned a bachelor’s degree from Stetson University and holds several management certifications. Tara England Barney President & CEO, DavenportOne (IA) Tara Barney is president and CEO of DavenportOne, a 1,200 member organization encompassing the chamber of commerce for Davenport, Iowa, as well as serving as an economic development and downtown redevelopment entity for Davenport. She supervises a staff of 23 and reports to a 37 member board of directors comprised of CEOs representing all sectors of business. In her previous position as senior vice president, Downtown Partnership, Tara led the downtown Davenport revitalization and development initiatives from 2002 to 2007. Highlights of her tenure include: development of the River Music Experience, development of Downtown Davenport Culture and Entertainment District, bringing many creative businesses to downtown Davenport, assistance to various Davenport commercial areas with redevelopment strategies, and RiverVision, the regional bi-state plan for the Mississippi River relationship with the downtown. She currently serves on the board of trustees of the Figge Art Museum and is a member of the ACCE, International Downtown Association, and the International Downtown Association. Tara received her bachelor’s degree in public administration from Miami University, and her master’s in public administration from Ohio State University. She was the recipient of the School of Business Administration Pace Setter Award. Demming Bass Vice President of Marketing and Public Policy, Gwinnett (GA) Chamber of Commerce Demming Bass is the vice president of marketing and public policy for the Gwinnett (GA) Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Demming spearheads the development and implementation of the Chamber’s long-term strategic marketing communications plans and a number of high- profile government affairs, community development, leadership and education initiatives for Georgia’s largest Chamber. Before joining the Gwinnett Chamber in April of 2005, Demming served as the vice president of communications for the Greater Raleigh (NC) Chamber of Commerce. During his tenure as a Chamber executive, his departments have received 33 national Awards for Communications Excellence from ACCE, including three Grand Awards and the Best In Show for the Family of Communities branding campaign in 2004. He currently serves as ACCE’s National Chairman of the 2006 Awards for Communications Excellence and Chair-Elect for the Communications Division. He also serves on the Board of Regents for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Southeastern Institute of Organizational Management at the University of Georgia. Demming graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts in communication from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. He is also a 2000 graduate of Leadership Raleigh and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Organizational Management at the College of Charleston. In 2004 he was selected as a Fellow for the prestigious North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership. Howard C. Benson Chief Executive Officer, National Community Development Services, Inc. Howard Benson is CEO and founder of National Community Development Services, Inc. (NCDS) headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. NCDS is a 50-employee firm that pioneered the trend which enabled local communities to develop and fund strategic initiatives that have propelled most of them into the front ranks of successful communities in their regions. 2007 marks NCDS’ 30th year in business. Before starting NCDS, Howard served five years as a senior executive of the Atlanta (GA) Chamber of Commerce where he directed the very successful Forward Atlanta Program. Howard is a board member of the International Economic Development Council, is active in the American Chamber Executives Association and serves on the board of the American Association of Fundraising Counsel/the Giving Institute. He has written for chamber and economic development journals and is a frequent presenter at economic and community development conferences. Howard is a graduate of Brevard College. Karena D. Boesel Membership Representative, Boise (ID) Metro Chamber of Commerce Karena Boesel has been with the Boise (ID) Metro Chamber of commerce since 1999. As a membership representative, she is responsible for new member sales, member retention and marketing and selling chamber products and services. She has been recognized by the ACCE Circle of Champions several years in a row for the top ten in number of new sales and dollar value of new sales. Prior to working at the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Karena designed and sold telecommunication products. Her client list included the Idaho Air National Guard, the City of Meridian, Mountain Home School District, Oppenheimer Company and Home Federal Savings & Loan. She was ranked second in the U.S. for sales for one of the company’s products. She is currently an officer for the George Fox Toastmaster International Club and the Boise Leaders Networking Group. Karena has a degree in marketing from Boise State University. Jade Boneff-Walsh CEO, Just-a-Click Marketing & Design Jade Boneff-Walsh is the founder and CEO of Just-a-Click Marketing & Design, a marketing consulting and creative agency in Alexandria, Va. In 2003, just one year after the company was founded; it received the Best New Business of the Year award by the Alexandria (VA) Chamber of Commerce. Jade is responsible for all strategic and management decisions, and she also works directly with clients on international branding and multicultural marketing projects. Just-a-Click is proud to include in its list of clients corporations such as Mastercard and Sony Entertainment Television, as well as non-profit organizations such as the American Lung Association, and Scientists and Engineers for America. Prior to founding Just-a-Click, Jade was a regional marketing manager for Comcast, launching and developing broadband products along the East Coast. Jade is a native of Brazil, where she graduated with a degree in journalism at Casper Libero. Following several years in law school, she was accepted into the prestigious Holmes College in Sydney, Australia, where she earned a post-graduate degree in marketing and business communications. Christopher P. Bruhl President & CEO, The Business Council of Fairfield County (CT) Christopher P. Bruhl is the president and CEO of The Business Council of Fairfield County (CT), a private non-profit corporation serving more than 3,100 business, entrepreneurial and professional services members. Chris has been a frequent consultant, speaker and conference moderator. He is a contributing author to two books, and was, for four years, the director of a national training program for non-profit board and staff conducted in affiliation with faculty from Yale University. At The Business Council, he developed a range of programs addressing the issue of effective business leadership, including Leadership Fairfield County, now in its 16th year, which has provided professional leadership development education to more than 300 executives from 60 companies; CEO Dialogues, a peer support group for small and mid-sized firm CEO’s which has met monthly for 11 years; and Breakfast with Champions, a career mentoring program which has brought more than 20 Fortune 1000 CEO’s into private dialogues with over 350 younger executives. He is the author of Leadership Networking, a book that offers a strategic approach to business development through community engagement. Prior to joining The Business Council in 1990, he spent a decade as the chief executive of the Westchester Arts Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree, in American civilization, from Brown University, a master’s degree in English from Louisiana State University, and a master’s in business administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Dennis Conaghan Executive Director, San Francisco Center for Economic Development Dennis Conaghan is the executive director for the San Francisco Center for Economic Development. In his role, Dennis is responsible for directing the Center's attraction and retention programs. Previously, Dennis was chief operating officer for the Chamber of Commerce where he was responsible for directing the marketing, membership, financial and facilities operations of the 150-year-old organization. Prior to joining the Chamber in 1999, Dennis spent more than 30 years in the commercial real estate industry. For ten of those years, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of San Francisco's Embarcadero Center, overseeing six office buildings, two hotels, and more than 120 retail stores. He also has been responsible for operations and management at Coca-Cola World Headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., Tenneco in Houston, Texas, and the Bank of America World Headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. He currently serves on the board of directors for Workforce Investment San Francisco, the Bay Area Marketing Partnership, and the advisory board for the San Francisco Senior Center. Dr. Rita C. Cook Executive Director, Smoky Hill Education Service Center Dr. Rita C. Cook currently serves as the executive director of the Smoky Hill Education Service Center, an education organization that provides guidance, support, and services for sixty-five school districts, universities, technical colleges, and private schools located in thirty-three counties in the north central and northwestern regions of Kansas. Rita has served on the board of the Association of Education Service Agencies (AESA), and currently serves on the AESA editorial board, and the AESA governmental relations network. In addition to numerous state educational boards and offices, she has been awarded a Women of Achievement Award by the Girl Scouts of Central Kansas and the YWCA Board of Directors; is a graduate of Leadership Kansas, and is a board member of the North Central Chapter of the Red Cross. Rita has authored one book and numerous articles in national education journals dealing with staff development and education practices. Additionally, she facilitates workshops and discussions on cutting-edge management solutions affecting education and the private sector. She received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Tarleton State University in Texas, and a doctorate in education administration from Kansas State University. William (Bill) Couper President, Mid-Atlantic, Bank of America In his role as president for Bank of America in the Mid-Atlantic region, Bill Couper coordinates and integrates product and service delivery for all lines of business, to bring the full resources of the company to clients and communities in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. He is also the senior leader for the bank’s management team for community and civic activities. In addition, he is the regional market development executive for Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Active in civic affairs throughout his career, Bill serves on the Federal City Council, the Virginia Business Council, the McIntire School of Commerce advisory board and the boards of the Economic Club of Washington, Goucher College, the Virginia Bankers’ Association and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, which he chaired from 2001 to 2003. He served as chairman of United Way of the National Capital Area from 2003 to 2005, as chairman of the Greater Washington Initiative from 2004 to 2006, and is the chair-elect of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. Bill graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in finance. After college he served in the United States Navy. Kristen E. Dalen Small Business Manager, Minneapolis (MN) Regional Chamber of Commerce Kristen Dalen is the small business manager of the Minneapolis (MN) Regional Chamber of Commerce. She started with the Minneapolis Chamber in 2006. Kristen works directly with the small business growth and development committee to offer programs and events that will help small businesses grow and continue to do business in the Twin Cities. She also works with retention committees –Ambassadors & Diplomats – to help connect the Chamber with businesses and also keep member information updated and accurate. Prior to joining the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, Kristen was a teacher, tutor & trainer for standardized tests with The Princeton Review in Amherst, Mass. Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. Pat Dando President & CEO, San Jose (CA) Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Pat Dando, a 30-year resident of San Jose, was appointed president and CEO of the San Jose (CA) Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce in September 2005. Pat has a long and distinguished record of public service, which includes having served as director of local government affairs for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, vice mayor of San Jose and San Jose city council member for nearly a decade. Over the years, she has also served on several professional, policy and community boards and committees, including the Santa Clara County Cities Association, the Valley Transportation Authority and the Stroke Awareness Foundation. Pat graduated from North Texas State University with a double major in elementary education and English. In summer 2003, Pat attended Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government to study public policy for senior executives. Nicole David Director of Special Events, Baton Rouge (LA) Area Chamber Nicole David has served as the Director of Events for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) for more than four years. Her original role with the organization was to plan and execute the Canvas Workshop, a 3-day inter-city visit for 150 Baton Rouge area business and community leaders. The group has visited Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tenn., and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and the trips have resulted in community initiatives that include regional economic development, new downtown development, and education reforms. Nicole has executed these trips successfully each year while simultaneously implementing other events including a legislative reception, an economic forum, an annual event, a holiday party, and multiple membership luncheons and meetings. Nicole’s work has received several ACE awards this year including two Excellence Awards as well as an ACCRA Award for the 2006 Economic Forum: Insights for Action. Before joining BRAC, Nicole spent several years working in the hotel industry in Washington, D.C., for Loew¹s Hotels and Destination Hotels and Resorts. Nicole represents the Chamber on a committee designing hospitality curriculum for Baton Rouge Community College and her insight and expertise are often requested for community events and meetings. David Eads Senior Vice President, Los Angeles (CA) Area Chamber of Commerce David Eads currently serves as the senior vice president of the Los Angeles (CA) Area Chamber of Commerce, the largest business advocacy organization in the Los Angeles area with more than 1,500 member companies. Eads oversees the day-to-day operations of the Chamber, which includes public policy, membership development, programs and events, marketing and communications, international trade, leadership programs, facilities management, finance, IT, administration and human resources. Prior to taking this position in 2005, Eads served as vice president of membership from 2000-2005. As a long-standing community advocate, Eads has participated in both philanthropic and business-related activities. He has served on the board of directors and executive committee for the Wichita State University Alumni Association, the Butler County Community College Hotel and Hospitality Training advisory board, and the Downtown Wichita Business Association. Eads earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree in marketing and his master’s in business administration from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan. John Eisenman Vice President, Abstract & Title Guaranty Company President, Clinton Area Housing Development Corporation John Eisenman is vice president of Abstract & Title Guaranty Company in Clinton, Iowa, and he also serves as president of the Clinton Area Housing Development Corporation. John graduated from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Georges Fischer International Networks Manager, Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Chairman, Worldchambers Network At the Paris CCI, Georges Fischer is the international networks manager, a newly created position, in 2006. Linked to the International Department, this activity aims to improve presence and efficiency of the Paris Chamber inside all networks it leads and/or participates in. Since 1998, he’s been also chairing the Worldchambers Consortium, managing the only official worldwide interconnection of Chambers of Commerce on the web (www.worldchambers.com), a joint initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (World Chambers Federation) and the Paris Chamber. Representing the Paris CCI, Georges is member of the board of ACSEL (the French Association for Electronic Commerce) and of AFNIC (the manager of the .fr domain name). Georges also teaches “entrepreneurship” in HEC, the leading business school in Europe, and another French business school (ISC). He holds a master’s in business administration in economics from Paris University and a diploma of management (MBA) of the Political Science Institute of Paris. Colleen D. Flannery Chief of Special Programs and Training, U.S. Census Bureau’s Marketing Services Office Colleen D. Flannery is chief of special programs and training in the U.S. Census Bureau’s marketing services office. Her focus is marketing, product development and training to provide awareness of and access to the local employment dynamics data and its robust analysis tools, as well as the Census Bureau’s unique web browser, DataFerrett, which accesses an online virtual- networked data library. Colleen serves on the economic development and dislocation team, working to incorporate these two Census Bureau products into customized interactive web reports, called HotReports, for use by communities. In addition she serves as liaison to the Census Advisory Committees Professional Associations for the American Marketing Association. A native of Utah, Colleen completed her master's work at Utah State University in land use and environmental planning. Dr. Maury Forman Director, Education and Training, Department of Community Trade and Economic Development Dr. Maury Forman is the director of education and training for the Department of Community Trade and Economic Development. He was voted into the Inland Northwest Partners Hall of Fame for his work with rural communities in 2006. He was the winner of the American Economic Development Council’s Preston Award for outstanding contributions in educational advancement, The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Vision 2000 Award and the ROI Research Institute Award for Innovation in Adult Education. He is a popular speaker and is a well-known educator and humorist. Maury is also one of the best-selling authors in the country on economic development, having written eight practical books for the practitioner, including Learning to Lead, The Washington Entrepreneurs Guide, Community Wisdom, the Ten Commandments of Economic Development and the 25 Immutable Rules of Successful Tourism. Nancy J. Friedman – The Telephone Doctor President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. She has been teaching companies how to communicate better with the customers for over 20 years. Nancy was selected as one of the 25 Most Influential Business Women in St. Louis and she is a frequent guest on top TV and radio talk shows (Oprah, Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, to name a few). She is the author of hundreds of articles in leading newspapers and magazines, including “Manager’s Journal” in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Nancy is also the author of five best selling books on customer service & communication skills. Chambers of commerce from across the country have brought Nancy in to provide a customer service, value added program for their own members, as well as their staff. Jason Gage City Manager, City of Salina, Kansas Jason Gage is city manager for the City of Salina, Kan. He holds a bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern College in Joplin, Mo. He earned his master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. Jay A. Garner, CEcD, CCE President, Competitive Strategies Group, LLC Jay A. Garner is the president and founder of the Competitive Strategies Group, LLC, an economic development consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. He is a frequent lecturer and consultant on strategic planning, organizational analysis and best practice recommendations for economic development organizations and chambers of commerce. He was selected as one of ten outstanding leaders in economic development in the U.S. by Site Selection magazine while leading the economic development program in Mobile, Ala. Jay is a past chairman and a current member of the board of directors for the International Economic Development Council. He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public administration. He is also a graduate of both the Economic Development Course at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, where he is an instructor in international prospecting. Bob Gernert, Jr. Executive Director, Greater Winter Haven (FL) Chamber of Commerce Bob Gernert, Jr. has served as the executive director of the Greater Winter Haven (FL) Chamber of Commerce for the past 11 years. He is responsible for managing a staff of five employees that serve more than 800 members in the Central Florida community. He has received Florida’s highest public relations award recognition, and his Chamber is currently one of eleven in the state with a four star U.S. Chamber accreditation. Prior to joining the Chamber, he owned and operated his own public relations and marketing firm and also managed the Florida Public Relations Association. He has been actively engaged in public relations consulting for more that 30 years. He is Accredited Public Relations nationally and certified as a Public Relations Consultant by the Florida group. He and his wife also founded the Museum of Winter Haven’s History. He is a graduate of Polk Community College and was honored with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998. Michael O. Gordon Senior Vice President, Business Development Services, Columbus (OH) Chamber Of Commerce Michael O. Gordon has approximately 32 years of experience developing and implementing programs for small and emerging businesses. In his position he provides leadership in the development and implementation of a cohesive strategy designed to maximize the coordination and collaboration of economic development resources designated to enhance the capacity of small and emerging businesses. He is currently leading initiatives to develop and implement a comprehensive minority business plan for greater Columbus and the Chamber’s efforts to identify contract opportunities that are available from larger corporations and promoting this information to the small business community. Prior to his current position, he served as executive director of the Columbus Regional Minority Supplier Development Council for ten years. During his tenure as executive director, the Minority Supplier Development Council’s corporate membership grew from 28 members to 125 members and the minority businesses in the organization’s database doubled. He led the team that created and hosted Ohio’s largest minority business trade fair. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree from College of Wooster and he holds a master’s in education from Xavier University. Dennis Grady President, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches (FL) Dennis Grady is president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, a position he has held since 1985. The Chamber is the oldest business organization in Palm Beach County with a membership of over 1,600 businesses. Dennis serves on several state-wide boards and commissions, including the board of directors of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors of the Florida Chamber Federation. In Palm Beach County, Dennis is the treasurer and member of the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau and past- president of SunFest. He is a trustee of the South Florida Fair, a member of the board of governors at Good Samaritan Medical Center, and a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County and Leadership Florida. Dennis is also a past member of the 15th Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and, prior to his current position, served as a three-term mayor of North Canton, Ohio. Julie M. Grice Vice President, Membership, Greater Indianapolis (IN) Chamber of Commerce As vice president of membership, Julie M. Grice is responsible for membership sales and retention, non-dues revenue, communications, and events. She began her career at the Indianapolis Chamber in 1999, in membership sales, and continued in that role for five years. In 2004, Julie stepped into a newly created sponsorship sales role and grew sponsorship revenue from $167,000 in 2004, to $400,000 in 2005, and $700,000 in 2006. In March of 2006, Julie spoke on the topic of sponsorship activation at the IEG International Sponsorship Conference in Chicago, Ill. In her previous position as the Chamber, as manager of corporate partnerships, she developed Business at the Brickyard, which won the ACE Best in Show award in 2006, and assumed oversight for all Chamber events in February 2006. She was promoted to vice president of membership in February 2007. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Ball State University, and a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University. Danny Hearn, CCE, IOM President & CEO, Catawba County (NC) Chamber of Commerce Danny Hearn is a 34 year veteran in the chamber business and followed in his fathers footsteps as a career chamber professional. Danny has been the president and CEO of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce in Hickory, N.C., since 2004 after serving as president of the Greater Statesville (NC) Chamber for 26 years. Hearn was named Chamber Executive of the Year for North Carolina in 1981 and 2000. He was President of the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in 1998 and Chairman of the Georgia Institute Board of Regents in 2000. He continues to serve on the Institute faculty and is a current member of the U.S. Chamber Institute Board of Trustees. He also serves on the ACCE board of directors. Danny is a graduate of Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., as well as a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management at the University of Georgia. After the Georgia Institute he graduated from Post Graduate Study also at Georgia in 1981 and attended the first Invested Leaders Institute in Dallas this past March. Robert Heidt Manager, Membership Development Events, Sponsorships and Customer Service Excellence, Las Vegas (NV) Chamber of Commerce Robert Heidt is the manager of the membership development events, sponsorships and customer service excellence departments for the Las Vegas (NV) Chamber of Commerce. In this capacity, Robert is responsible for producing more than 130 events, and he raises over $600,000 in sponsorships annually. In addition, Robert oversees the Customer Service Excellence Program as well as the Prospector Board. Robert is also the co-creator of Vegas Young Professionals (VYP), a professional development organization designed for up-and-coming business leaders between 21 and 39 years of age. In its first year, VYP attracted more than 500 new members. Prior to his tenure at the Chamber, Robert served as special events manager for both The Venetian and The Mirage Hotel & Casinos. He was also the casino marketing manager for Treasure Island. Robert began his career as a security police officer in the U.S. Air Force. Heidt volunteers his time with the American Red Cross and D.A.R.E., and is a certified EMT and a member of the National Safety Council. He is also a member of WACE and ACCE. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Minot State University and is currently working on his master’s degree in business management. He is entering his third year in the Western Association of Chamber Executives Academy. Dr. Nancy G. Hesser Manager, Commercial Service Trade Missions U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Nancy G. Hesser has served as manager of the Commercial Service Trade Missions program since 2004. She supervises international trade specialists who organize official U.S. business delegations to overseas markets. She also counsels organizations outside the Commerce Department that seek Commerce’s support, or “certification,” of their own trade missions. In her current position, Nancy has received the International Trade Administration’s Outstanding Performance Award for 2006 and the Commercial Service’s Employee of the Month Above and Beyond Award for May 2007. In her previous position, as manager of the Multi-State Catalog Exhibition Program, Nancy worked in partnership with her counterparts in state economic development agencies to develop affordable alternative export marketing programs for small and mid-sized U.S. companies, using the catalog show format in emerging export markets around the world. Nancy holds a doctorate degree in comparative literature. Her earlier studies earned her a bachelor’s degree in English and in French. As a Peace Corps volunteer she taught English language and literature courses at universities in the Congo and Mali. Paul J. Hirsch President, Madison Government Affairs, Inc. As the president and founder of Madison Government Affairs, Paul J. Hirsch provides more than 35 years of professional experience and expertise in representing the public and private-sector in areas of legislative and congressional relations, economic development, defense facility enhancement, technology, public policy issues, and federal installation management and real estate at both the corporate and field levels of the Federal government. His firm, founded in 1996, has assisted local governments, non-governmental organizations, and private sector firms in securing federal funds in support of each organization’s goals and objectives. In addition to his general lobbying activities, Paul has spent the last 16 years working in the area of defense downsizing. He was the director of review and analysis for the 1991 BRAC and directed the efforts of the 30-person technical research activity. As a consultant during the next three BRAC rounds, he has provided counsel and analysis to a significant number of communities and local governments whose bases were targeted for closure. Paul also served on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Fellow utilizing his expertise as a legislative assistant to a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Paul received a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida, and he attended school at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville as well. Charlotte R. Hodel Vice President, Chandler (AZ) Chamber of Commerce Charlotte R. Hodel has served as vice president of business development and public affairs for the Chandler (AZ) Chamber of Commerce since 2005, and is responsible for economic and business development, and public policy. She also manages the Arizona program for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, entitled, When Work Works – the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. Charlotte is the 2000 past president of the metro Phoenix Chapter of the National Association of Woman Business Owners (NAWBO), and has been honored by NAWBO with its 1999 Woman Business Owner Advocate of the Year, and the 2001 Pioneer Awards. In addition, she is a 2000-2001 graduate of Chandler Leadership, and holds a CTM from Toastmasters International. She is a former member of the governing board for the Athena Powerlink Program and has served as a member/judge for the Athena Awards. Charlotte received her bachelor’s degree in speech communications, with a specialization in vocal performance, and began her graduate work in both fields through Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash. Douglas S. Holman Vice President, Membership, San Diego (CA) Regional Chamber of Commerce Doug Holman is the vice president of membership for the San Diego (CA) Regional Chamber of Commerce where he is responsible for generation and collection of over two million dollars in new member and retention revenue. Doug has been with the Chamber for over five years. During his tenure the organization has experienced 190% growth in new membership revenue. He has presented to groups nationally detailing his principles of selling, networking and membership development. His views on this subject matter have been found in The San Diego Business Journal, ACCE Executive Magazine, The San Diego Union Tribune, and other print and Internet media. He also authored the chapter on membership sales for Essentials of Membership Development, where he shared his expertise acquired from over 20 years of sales and sales management experience. Doug sits on the San Diego County Child Care and Development Planning Council, is chairman of ACCE’s education committee and is an Ambassador for the world famous Rock & Roll Marathon. Doug earned his bachelor’s degree in history from San Diego State University. Tim Holverson Executive Vice President, Business Development, Cumberland County Business Council Tim Holverson is the executive vice president for business development for the Cumberland County Business Council, which serves as the chamber and economic development organization for the area. He and his staff have implemented numerous legislative affairs programs to actively engage members, as well as several new initiatives to assist their small business members. Tim has more than 12 years experience working at chambers in various capacities in management and staff in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree from East Carolina University in public administration. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management program at the University of Arizona. Steve Howes Partner, Howes & Jefferies Steve Howes is a partner in Howes & Jefferies, a real estate agency in Clinton, Iowa. He is a past chairman of the board the Clinton (IA) Chamber of Commerce and a board member of Clinton Area Housing Development Corporation. Steve graduated from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Karen Humphrey Member Services and Resource Campaign Manager, Tulsa (OK) Metro Chamber Karen Humphrey has served the Tulsa Metro Chamber for 19 years. She is responsible for managing the Chamber’s annual 10-week resource campaign that generates over 22 percent of the Chamber’s total annual budget. Karen has been campaign manager for nine years and has been involved with 13 resource campaigns, having raised over $15 million in 13 years. She also oversees the chamber’s current affinity programs and researches future affinity programs. Karen has attended the annual IEG sponsorship conference which featured topics such as Justifying Your Fees, Measuring the Return on Sponsorships and Selling More Sponsorships. Ann Hutchison Executive Vice President, Fort Collins (CO) Area Chamber of Commerce As the executive vice president of the Fort Collins (CO) Area Chamber of Commerce, Ann Hutchison directly oversees the communications and event departments, assists the day-to-day operation of the Chamber and manages issues and political advocacy, as well as the Chamber’s Leadership Fort Collins program. Ann started with the Fort Collins Area Chamber in 2003 as the policy committee coordinator and was promoted to her current position in 2004. Ann began her career as a county extension agent for 4-H in Finney County, Kan., and later took a position as the marketing coordinator of a regional CPA firm in Garden City, Kan. Throughout her career, Ann has been very involved in her local communities and has served on a variety of boards and commissions. She is a graduate of the Leadership Garden City and the Leadership Kansas programs and served as a local program chair for Leadership Kansas. Most recently she has been recognized in the Northern Colorado Business Report’s 40 under 40 and was a finalist for the Fort Collins Coloradoan’s Rising Business Star of the Year in 2005. Ann earned a double major bachelor’s degree in speech communication and journalism and mass communications from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Michael Jacobson California Corporate Affairs Manager, Intel Corporation Michael Jacobson manages Intel’s corporate affairs activities, including community and education relations, governmental affairs and communications, in California and Texas. Michael also represents corporate affairs globally on all real estate and site selection teams. Prior to this position, Michael was a manager in Intel’s global site selection and development group in corporate real estate. Michael came to Intel in 1997 from the Fort Worth (TX) Chamber of Commerce where he was a director of business development. He joined the Chamber after serving eight years in Washington D.C. for the Reagan and Bush Administrations. He held positions as assistant to the deputy secretary for management planning and operations for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, special assistant to the commissioner for the Social Security Administration and special assistant to the administrator of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Michael is a graduate of Baylor University with a degree in political science. Victoria Lynn Jensen Director of Events & Programs, TwinWest (MN) Chamber of Commerce Victoria Lynn Jensen is the director of events & programs for the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, where she plans fundraising events for the Chamber and its Foundation. Since arriving to TwinWest in 2005, she has spent time developing the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders program for its younger members. Prior to working at the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, Victoria was the facility rental manager at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. While there, she developed and implemented an external event facility for the Walker Art Center, which opened in 2005. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota – Morris, with a double major in speech communications and psychology. Aleem Kanji, Ec.D Policy Advisor, Economic Development Policy, Toronto (ONT) Board of Trade Aleem Kanji leads the economic development policy unit at the Toronto Board of Trade. In this position he is the key lobbyist on economic development issues to the municipal, provincial and federal governments on behalf of the Board of Trade. Under Aleem’s leadership, the Board has formed an economic development committee, advocating for increased economic growth, commercial development and multi-sectoral investment in Toronto. As part of his role, he provides strategic advice to Toronto’s Mayor, as part of the Mayor’s Economic Competitiveness Advisory Committee and has also led the Board’s work on Toronto’s bid for Expo 2015. Prior to joining the Toronto Board of Trade, Aleem served as senior economist for the Government of Ontario at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade where he advocated for the Province’s technology industry. Aleem holds a bachelor's degree in urban and regional planning and a master’s degree in economic development, both from the University of Waterloo. In October 2003, Aleem attained the Certified Economic Developer 'Ec.D' designation – the youngest Canadian ever to do so. Doug Kinsinger, CCE President & CEO, Greater Topeka (KS) Chamber of Commerce Doug Kinsinger began his chamber career in 1979 as community affairs and membership manager at the Waterloo, Iowa chamber. He then served as executive vice president of the chamber in Beatrice, Neb., president of the chamber in Duncanville, Tex. and then San Angelo, Tex., and president of the chamber in Pensacola, Fla., before assuming his role as the president and CEO of the chamber in Topeka in 2001. The chamber has grown over 30% in membership in the last five years, winning the top ten membership award from ACCE. Doug serves on the boards of several organizations, including ACCE (chairman of the board 2007-08), Kansas Economic Developers Association; Visit Topeka, Inc.; United Way of Greater Topeka; Governor’s Strategic Military Planning Commission. Among Doug’s many honors and awards are Business Communicator of the Year from the International Association of Business Communicators in 2006, ACCE’s Chairman’s Leadership Award in 2004, Chamber Executive of the Year in 1996 from the Chamber of Commerce Executives Association of West Texas and the 2001 Economic Development Deal of the Year. Doug earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management and the Academy for Advanced Organizational Management at Notre Dame University, the Economic Development Institute, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the National Security Forum. David R. Kreider, CPA Vice President, Operations & Treasurer, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry David R. Kreider is vice president, operations and treasurer for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. Dave was previously vice president, finance and administration and has worked at the Chamber since 2002. In his current position, he is responsible for all Chamber activities outside of government affairs and lobbying. Dave also serves as an officer of various other Chamber subsidiaries; including PCI Insurance. Prior to joining the Chamber, Dave served in various financial capacities with the Lancaster General Health System over a fifteen year period. He currently serves as board president of Accessing Independence, a subsidiary of United Disabilities Services in Lancaster, Pa., is a member of the finance committee of the Lancaster County Community Foundation, and serves on the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. Dave is also very active in youth sports in the Millersville, Pa. area; and has served as a coach for the past eleven years. Dave is a summa cum laude graduate of York College of Pa. Candace LaForge, APR IOM President, Newnan-Coweta (GA) Chamber of Commerce Candace LaForge currently serves as the president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. In this role since 2003, Candace leads an 800-member business organization that serves as the voice of business that works to ensure the area’s economic prosperity. Her innovative ideas have brought increased value to members through a variety of new programs and benefits such as Vision 2020, Entrepreneurs Thrive in Coweta, Prosperity Happens Here, and Network from Sunup to Sundown. A native Texan, Candace’s 20 year career features experiences working with three chambers of commerce, a state technical college, a Baptist hospital, a public school system, and a community non profit. A Georgia resident for 18 years, Candace has won numerous state and national awards for her communications efforts and has presented at many state and national conferences. In 2002 Candace received her accreditation in public relations and in 2005 she graduated from the Institute for Organization Management. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Dennis W. Lauver President & CEO, Salina (KS) Area Chamber of Commerce Dennis W. Lauver is president and CEO of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce. His previous chamber service includes president of Clinton (IA); Sarpy County (NE) and South Sioux City (NE) Chamber of Commerce. Dennis also served as director of government and community relations at the Sioux City (IA) Chamber of Commerce. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and a master’s degree in business from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb. Lars- Kåre Legernes Managing Director, Oslo (Norway) Chamber of Commerce Lars-Kåre Legernes is the managing director of the Oslo Chamber of Commerce in Norway. Previous to his current position, Lars-Kåre worked at the software company Oracle in Norway where he was director of human resources. He also has 15 years’ experience in consulting, training, marketing and sales positions with multinational companies. His previous professional positions include: senior consultant at Clarion IMP, an American consulting company; division training and development manager with Coca-Cola Nordic and Northern Eurasia Division; marketing manager for Coca-Cola Norway and Iceland; and sales director for L'Oréal in Norway. He has a degree from Sweden’s Stockholm University in French and a bachelor’s degree in economics, specializing in marketing, from University of Karlstad in Sweden. He is a member of Rotary and several other organizations. Michelle Lemmons-Poscente Chairman, ISB Global, LLC & CEO of International Speakers Bureau, LLC Michelle Lemmons-Poscente is the chairman of ISB Global, LLC, a diversified leadership and educational services firm providing organizations worldwide with unparalleled access to the world’s best thinkers, educational programs, and corporate training offerings. She is also founder and CEO of its flagship company, International Speakers Bureau, a full-service speaker’s agency specializing in business, contemporary thought leadership, and entertainment headquartered in Dallas, Texas. ISB’s international business is growing significantly representing over 20% of total operations. The Company recently opened offices in Dubai, and plans to have a presence in Asia and India by year-end 2007. International Speakers Bureau has become one of the largest and most respected bureaus in the world, having been dubbed as one of the Top Female-Owned Businesses in the U.S. by Bank One and recognized as one of the top-managed companies in the United States, winning the Sprint #1 Small Business Award (sweeping the categories Customer Service, Marketing and Innovation). Recently, Michelle was featured on ABC’s, The American Inventor, as the presentation coach for the top 12 contestants. Michelle majored in communications at Southern Methodist University. Michael (Mike) J. Manning Chief Financial Officer, Charlotte (NC) Chamber of Commerce In April 2005, Mike Manning returned to the Charlotte (NC) Chamber of Commerce to serve as its chief financial officer. He held the same position at the Chamber from 1994 to 1999. Currently, he oversees the Chamber’s financial and administrative functions, overall operations of the total revenue campaign, all employee benefit programs, as well as technology, print shop, and building management. He has worked on five chamber campaigns which have totaled in over $18 million in revenue, including a national one year record of $5.1 million. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Carolina, a master’s degree in business from Queens College in Charlotte, N.C., and a CPA in the State of North Carolina. Evelynn Y. Martin Design Director, Greater Raleigh (NC) Chamber of Commerce Evelynn’s professional design career spans over 21 years of organizational image management, combining strategic planning and innovative design solutions. She joined the staff of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce in 1993 and is responsible for the management of its graphic identity and all aspects of the publication process—from concept through production, printing and fulfillment. Prior to working at the Chamber, Evelynn operated a freelance design business, worked in an in-house design/printing department for an international manufacturer, and illustrated as an editorial artist for the Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer. She has received numerous ACE Awards for her publications as well as five Best of Category Printing Industry of the Carolinas (PICA) Awards in collaboration with several of her printing vendors. Evelynn is a member of The American Institute of Graphic Arts and channels her creativity in the off hours by singing in a jazz quintet and designing handcrafted jewelry. Suzanne Moser Massey Vice President, Special Services and Events, Greater Dallas (TX) Chamber As vice president of special services and events at the Greater Dallas Chamber, Suzanne Moser Massey is responsible for the development and management of programs and initiatives that focus on minority economic development, small/mid-size business development and women’s business issues. She is also responsible for the implementation of the Greater Dallas Chamber’s annual signature events including: annual meeting, golf classic, and the Women’s Business Conference which hosts over 2,000 attendees. Most recently, her team executed a luncheon hosting the United States Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert M. Gates. Suzanne joined the Chamber in 2000 after spending several months working in Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s office in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Junior League of Dallas, Dallas Women’s Council, advisory board member of Southern Methodist University’s Women’s Symposium and a past participant of MENTTIUM 100. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Austin College, and has completed coursework toward her master’s in Mass Communications. Don McEachern CEO, North Star Destination Strategies Don McEachern, CEO of North Star Destination Strategies, is the recognized expert in the exploding field of community branding. He is a sought-after speaker on all topics related to community branding and the formation of private-public partnerships to fund branding. Using a process that combines research, strategy and creative, Don has helped create unique and effective brands for big-name cities like Anchorage, Alaska; Monterey, Calif. and Williamsburg, Va. Don has been growing brands and leading teams for more than 20 years. His experience includes working for multi-national advertising agencies as well as nationally recognized creative boutiques. During his time in the ad world, Don put his stamp on some of the world’s most famous brands including Goldkist, Hawaiian Tropic, Suntory Bottled Water Group, Trump Plaza, Panasonic and Lanier Worldwide. For his efforts he received numerous awards, including a prestigious national Effie for marketing effectiveness and a Clio for excellent creativity. Don is a graduate of the University of Tennessee where he received his degree in communications with an emphasis in advertising. Kate McEnroe President, Kate McEnroe Consulting Kate McEnroe Consulting is a sole proprietorship founded in 1993 as a full-service location selection and economic development consulting firm whose corporate clients have included, Aetna, Sprint, Charles Schwab, UnitedHealth Group, Duracell, and many others. Among Kate McEnroe Consulting’s economic development clients are The New York State Economic Development Commission, the City of Nashville, the Southeastern North Carolina Regional Economic Development Commission, the Spartanburg (SC) Chamber of Commerce, and the Mobile (AL) Chamber of Commerce. Prior to starting this practice, Kate was a vice president and principal with PHH Fantus Consulting (now Deloitte Touche Fantus) and has over 17 years of experience in advising corporations on location selection issues, implementing relocation and expansion plans, and assisting economic development organizations in planning and managing effective programs. Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Kalamazoo College and a master’s in business administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Lori Melancon Director of Communications and Special Projects, Baton Rouge (LA) Area Chamber Lori Melancon has been with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) for two and a half years and has been its director of communications and special projects for a little over a year. In her current role, she manages the BRAC brand and its collateral, provides creative direction for all publications, as well as manages public relations and media exposure for the organization. In addition to winning several ACE awards this year (including one Grand Award), Lori¹s creative work has received a national Telly Award for the film Revolution, a Horizon Award (BRAC web site), and a Southern Economic Development Council Award (Revolution). Before leading BRAC¹s communications program, Lori managed the organization¹s small business programs in addition to several events. Lori serves on the Leadership Louisiana State University (LSU) Alumni board of directors as well as the Arden O. French Leadership Academy board of directors at LSU. She received her undergraduate degree from LSU where she graduated both Phi Beta Kappa and as the most outstanding student leader of her class. In 2002, she received her master¹s degree in training and development from the University of Houston. Susan G. Miller Director of Publications and Information Systems, Eugene (OR) Area Chamber Of Commerce As director of publications and information systems at the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Susan G. Miller coordinates all printed materials produced by the Chamber, including its business magazine, maps, business resource/membership directories, community magazines and event promotional materials. Susan is the lead person for the both the Eugene Chamber and the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce Web sites and e-newsletters. In addition, she purchases and maintains the Chamber’s computer hardware and software. Susan’s career at the Eugene Chamber began in 1989, and she has been in her current position since 1999. During her tenure at the Chamber, the Chamber has won three ACE Awards (one for the Web site). The Web site also won first place in competition at Western Association of Chamber Executives. She is a member of the advisory board for ACCE’s Communications Division. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in romance languages (Spanish and Italian) and a secondary teaching certificate from the University of Oregon. She also earned a certificate from the electronic publishing program at the University of Oregon. John Myrland Pastor, McCordsville United Methodist Church John Myrland is pastor of McCordsville United Methodist Church in McCordsville, Ind. It is his first ministerial appointment. Prior to going into the ministry, John was president of the Greater Indianapolis (IN) Chamber of Commerce from 1991 through 2005. John serves on a number of community and civic boards, including: the board of trustees of the University of Indianapolis, the president’s advisory group of the Church Federation, the Indianapolis Indians, the United Christmas Service, Metro Ministries and The Oaks Academy (chairman of the board). He is an honorary advisor to the board of the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School, a charter high school, and an honorary member of the Indiana Chamber Executives Association. In 2005, Governor Mitch Daniels awarded him a Sagamore of the Wabash. He has been a trained Stephen Ministry since 2002 and was a leader in that lay care giving ministry at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church from 2005-2006. John is graduate of Indiana University with a degree in radio and television. Michael S. Neal, CCE, CCD President & CEO, Tulsa (OK) Metro Chamber Michael S. Neal is in his first year as president and CEO of the Tulsa (OK) Metro Chamber. He leads the Chamber’s full-time professional staff of 48 in the areas of economic development, convention and visitor development, government affairs, community betterment, small business and membership services. Neal most recently served as the president and CEO of the Nashville (TN) Area Chamber of Commerce for four years. Prior to joining the Nashville Area Chamber, Neal spent 12 years as president and CEO of the Monroe (LA) Chamber of Commerce. Neal is very active with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and serves on their Transportation Infrastructure & Logistics Committee, Chamber of Commerce Committee, and Committee of 100. Also an active member of ACCE, Neal is a member of the ACCE board of directors and finance committee, and is chairman of the certification commission. He has received the prestigious Chairman’s Award, the highest national award given by ACCE. Robert D. Noonan Attorney & founder, Robert Noonan and Associates\ EmpACTS of New England Robert D. Noonan is an attorney and founder of Robert Noonan and Associates\ EmpACTS of New England - a legal services and human resources consulting firm that advises more than 8,000 Connecticut employers and several trade associations on employer-employee issues. Prior to joining the firm, Bob served as vice president and counsel for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. He is a recognized conference speaker and has lectured both nationally and internationally on workplace issues and is frequently asked to conduct training sessions for some of the largest companies throughout the U.S. Bob is the author of An Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act and The HIPAA Privacy Rule: Understanding the Compliance Obligations of Group Health Plans and Health Care Providers, and he has appeared on several television programs concerning workplace issues. Bob holds a juris doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law as well as a master's degree in industrial relations and a master's degree in sociology. Brian Oates Brian has been producing podcasts for a chamber for over a year. With a background in computers and radio, this media form is perfect for him. Thomas Officer Program Manager, Disadvantage Business Enterprise, Greater Topeka (KS) Chamber of Commerce Thomas Officer is the program manager for the Disadvantage Business Enterprise as part of the Greater Topeka (KS) Chamber of Commerce. He is responsible for the development and education of future and current small business owners, helping them understand how HUD and SBA rules and regulations will affect them as a disadvantage business owner. He also promotes business development among entrepreneurs, as well as existing business in the creation of new jobs. Thomas has been recognized as one of the top 100 African-American male leaders and role models in Topeka. Thomas attended the University of Kansas, majoring in marketing and human services. He is also a graduate of the Kansas School of Banking. Thomas is currently attending Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., to further his education in the fields of banking and technology. Lisa Paglaiccetti Director, Programs & Events, Greater Philadelphia (PA) Chamber of Commerce Lisa Paglaiccetti has served as the director of programs and events since 2004. In this role, she is responsible for managing an event staff, creating and maintaining event budgets, coordinating event logistics and executing the events. Lisa has been at the Chamber for over eight years and has served in many roles. Prior to moving to the programs and events department in 2002, she was the manager of member services and focused on member satisfaction and retention. Part of her responsibilities were to oversee the Chamber’s volunteer program as well as the its new member orientation, and helping small businesses grow—which she continues to do in her new role. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in communications media and journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She was part of the National Multiple Sclerosis Leadership Class in 2002, served on the class advisory board in 2003, and continues to support the National MS Society. P. Timothy Phelps Vice President, The Main Line Chamber of Commerce In May of 2006, Tim Phelps joined the Main Line Chamber of Commerce as a vice president. Tim is responsible for managing the chamber’s government affairs program, membership development and retention and event/ program sponsorships. He is an active member, presenter and former board member of Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Executives. Prior to joining Main Line, Tim was the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater West Chester (PA). There, he helped rebuild the community based brand of the Chamber, reinvigorated the membership and grew the chamber from 625 members to 850 members. As the secretary and a board member of the West Chester Business Improvement District he built a coalition of local government, downtown retailers and the regional business community. He also spent two tours with Junior Achievement, Southeast Texas (Houston) and Philadelphia, in roles of development. Tim is a 2005 U.S. Chamber Institute graduate from Villanova University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Penn., with an emphasis in social and cultural history with a minor in archaeology. Eileen Pickett Senior Vice President of Community and Economic Development, Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) Eileen Pickett, as senior vice president of community and economic development, leads a team of professionals who help existing companies expand in the Greater Louisville area and work to attract new business to the region. Key to the team’s work in economic development is the collaborative effort to raise the community’s educational attainment levels – Eileen leads GLI’s efforts related to education in program and policy development from GED to PhD. From 1993 to 1999, Eileen was vice president of operations and chief financial officer for Ohio Aerospace Institute - a non-profit consortium of government, university, and industry partners. And, throughout her 12-year career at General Electric, Eileen held a variety of management positions within the consumer appliance division. Eileen holds a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in business and psychology and has completed additional graduate work in business and organizational structure. She is a therapeutic horseback riding instructor and volunteers at The Luci Center in Shelbyville, Ky., providing therapeutic riding and equine-assisted growth and learning activities. Robert Powelson President, Chester County (PA) Chamber of Business & Industry Robert Powelson is president of the Chester County (PA) Chamber of Business & Industry which is a 1,600 member business organization located in Malvern, Penn. Since joining the Chamber in 1993, Robert has increased the organizations “net cash assets” over 135 percent, while at the same time increasing membership by 800 members. Prior to joining the Chamber, Robert was the director of government relations with for the Delaware County (PA) Chamber. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Penn State Great Valley Campus, the United Way of Chester County, Transportation Management Association of Chester County and the Stroud Water Research Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Delaware County Community College advisory board, the Chester County Historical Society, the First Financial Bank advisory board, and he serves as secretary of the board of Lincoln University. In 2005, he was selected by the Eisenhower Presidential Fellows to be a U.S. fellow in Singapore and Australia. During his visit to Singapore and Australia, he helped establish trade linkages for regional businesses and dialogue with area elected officials. Robert holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s University, where he majored in political science. He also holds a master of government administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in public finance. Robert (Rob) A. Radcliff Principal Officer, Resource Development Group Robert A. Radcliff is a principal officer of Resource Development Group. He has personally managed dozens of economic development funding campaigns that have generated over $200 million for client organizations in markets as diverse as Atlanta, Ga., Washington D.C, Rocky Mount, N.C., and Fort Worth, Texas. Rob’s expertise includes economic development, government relations and corporate giving. He was senior partner at The Suddes Group for six years prior to launching Capital Funding Strategies, now Resource Development Group. Earlier in his career he served as vice president of government affairs for The Columbus (OH) Area Chamber of Commerce, as executive assistant to the president at Bank One and as staff director of the Ohio Senate’s Economic Development and Small Business Committee. Rob was awarded his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, majoring in political science with a minor in economics. He received his juris doctor from The Capital University School of Law. Robb Rice Executive Vice President, DAVIES Public Affairs Robb Rice is executive vice president for DAVIES Public Affairs, the 31st largest public affairs/public relations firm in the U.S. Rice joined DAVIES in 2002 and manages community relations and grassroots programs for the agency’s real estate, healthcare, and energy & natural resources clients. Robb is also the director of DAVIES’ new business development practice across all industries. Among his accomplishments at DAVIES, Robb conducted a community and media relations program in Beverly Hills, Calif., for Venoco Oil in response to Erin Brockovich’s claims that oil wells next to Beverly Hills High School were the cause of high cancer rates affecting the high school’s alumni. Robb has more than 21-years of public affairs, community relations, grassroots, and media relations experience. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Public Relations Society of America - Los Angeles. He is USAF veteran and a former USCG licensed yacht captain. Robb is an alumnus of University of Hawaii with a bachelor’s degree in communications. Art Roberts Senior Vice President for Chamber Relations, Texas Association of Business Art Roberts has served 37 years in the chamber profession, the last eighteen years as the senior vice president for chamber relations of the Texas Association of Business. He manages the division that works with chambers throughout Texas concerning business issues facing their members or concerning the operation of the chamber organization. He also serves as the CEO of the state execs association, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives. Art has served 19 years in the chamber profession as the chief executive officer of four Texas chambers of commerce. He was one of two U.S. chamber executives selected to serve as the first instructors at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Central and South America, taught in San Jose Costa Rica. He taught graduate level courses in association management at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and was chairman of the board of regents of the Institute for Organization Management at SMU. He was a founding member of the board of the Center for Chamber of Commerce Excellence, an education program for chamber executives in the South Central U.S. operated through the University of Oklahoma. In March of 2007, Art facilitated his 358th Planning Retreat for a local chamber board and delivered more than 150 banquet speeches in 23 states. He is the author of Operating the Volunteer Organization. Art attended Odessa College, the University of Texas, the Institute of Organization Management at SMU, and the Academy of Organization Management at Notre Dame University. George E. Robinson II Director, Minority Contractors and Business Assistance Program (MCBAP) of Toledo (OH) George E. Robinson II serves as the director of the Minority Contractors and Business Assistance Program (MCBAP) of Toledo, housed at the Toledo (OH) Regional Chamber of Commerce. As director, he provides in-depth assessment and counseling and technical assistance to clients on general business practices, particularly in the construction industry. Through an affiliation with the Kauffman Foundation, George is a FastTrac® Certified Facilitator. Prior to becoming director at MCBAP, George spent three years working with the City of Toledo as an engineering associate with the Division of Water Reclamation and as an environmental specialist with the Division of Environmental Services. While working toward his degree in engineering, he also completed four internships with Pilkington North America. An active member of the community, George is a member of the Greater Toledo Urban League Young Professional Association, Aspiring Minds of Toledo and a board member at 3D Academy. George is a graduate of the University of Toledo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical and environmental engineering and a master’s in business administration. He also studied patent paw. Greg Roth Senior Manager, Workforce and Education Programs, Institute for a Competitive Workforce Greg Roth joined Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) in 2006 as senior manager, workforce and education programs and currently oversees a number of initiatives aimed at improving the development and improvement of the American workforce and education systems. Currently, he leads ICW’s Multigenerational Workforce working group, a member-driven council dedicated to examining the major issues of today’s four-generation workforce. Greg also leads the Career and Technical Education working group, a consortium of leaders dedicated to solving the workforce needs across a spectrum of technical industries. In addition, he is responsible for promoting opportunities for the business community to develop the frontline workforce, most notable through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), in partnership with the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the Internal Revenue Service. The EITC is the nation’s largest and most successful anti-poverty program, and a proven workforce development strategy. Finally, Greg is researching and planning to present a report examining best coalition practices between chambers of commerce and realtor groups to develop more attractive workforce housing solutions through the nation’s communities. Prior to joining ICW, Greg was the manager of communications and network development at ACCE. Roth holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Millersville University. Richard (Dick) Rush, CCE President & CEO, State Chamber, Oklahoma’s Association of Business & Industry Richard Rush’s 35-year chamber career began at the San Francisco (CA) Chamber of Commerce. He later became executive vice president for the San Rafael (CA) Chamber of Commerce. For six years, Dick also served as regional manager of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Southwestern Regional Office, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and spent four years with the California State Chamber of Commerce as a specialist in developing a legislative action program for small business. In 1986, Dick began his tenure as president and CEO of Oklahoma’s state chamber of commerce. He holds numerous positions on local, regional and national boards of directors in the U.S. He currently serves on the National Committee on U.S./China Relations – New York and has led or participated in six delegations to China, addressed members of the Jamaican Parliament in 2004 and has traveled to Africa, Japan, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile promoting trade for Oklahoma businesses. The Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives Association named him Executive of the Year in 1999, and in 2006 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Juli Schatz Vice President and Executive Editor, VillageProfile.com, Inc. As executive editor, Juli oversees all print and online editorial for Village Profile publications, Lifestyle magazines and Chicagoland Business Elite magazine. She also manages marketing communications, and Village Profile's Chamber Convergence Network, an online webcast that provides a forum for executive directors to share ideas and suggestions about communications technology for chambers of commerce. Juli has been associated with Village Profile since 1992, starting out as a freelance writer/photographer for the publisher and joining the staff full-time in 1999 as production manager. She has a bachelor's degree in marketing with a minor in journalism from Northern Illinois University. Debbie L. Schebe Director of Development, Greater Richmond (VA) Chamber As director of development, Debbie is responsible for generating one third of the revenue for the Chamber. She began working for the Chamber in 2000 and has successfully led the past six total resource campaigns to victory, with the Greater Richmond Chamber’s campaign as being one of the largest in the nation with almost $2,000,000 in sales. Prior to her current position, Debbie held the title of district director for Spherion, a staffing company. For two consecutive years, Debbie was awarded a national sales award for greatest business growth. Debbie is extremely active with outside organizations including co-chairing a fundraiser for the Richmond Ballet, presiding as president of the James Madison University Duke Club which raises athletic scholarship dollars, chairs a fundraiser for Hayes Hitzeman which increases SIDS awareness, as well as volunteers for the Arthritis Foundation. Debbie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, concentrating in industrial organizational psychology, with a minor in Spanish from James Madison University. She also studied abroad at the University of Salamanca, Spain, for a semester. Mark S. Schweiker President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia (PA) Chamber of Commerce Mark S. Schweiker became president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in 2003 and set an aggressive economy-building agenda. One of his early successful efforts was to raise an initial $16 million investment from the region’s business leaders to create Select Greater Philadelphia, an economic development marketing affiliate. Select is governed by the CEO Council for Growth and Mark is its chairman. Select launched the region’s first large- scale, comprehensive effort to brand and market Greater Philadelphia to a national and international audience as a first-tier place to do business. Through Mark’s leadership, the Chamber finished the 2006 program year as the best ever financially in its 205-year history. Prior to joining the Chamber, Mark served as the 44th Governor of Pennsylvania. Before serving as governor, Mark was elected lieutenant governor twice, first in 1994 and then again in 1998. Mark earned a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University, and he holds a master's degree in administration from Rider University. Anne Marie Smith President, 60 Minute Strategic Plan Anne Marie Smith has more than 22 years experience as a successful consultant, manager, and business owner. After spending ten years in communication roles in the computer technology industry, including at Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel Corporation, Anne Marie started a business communications company in 1995. Over the course of 10 years, she built her firm into a high-growth, successful venture with over 50 employees. The company was a Sacramento Fastest-Growing Company for three years and on Inc magazine’s 500 Fastest-Growing Privately- Held Companies list for two years. In 2006, Anne Marie joined 60 Minute Strategic Plan, Inc. as a partner. She is co-author of the book 60 Minute Strategic Plan: Stages, 12 Steps, 300 Words…Better Decisions Faster. She has been a frequent speaker at both national- and local-level conferences on various topics including writing, communications, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Anne Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. Kathleen “Casey” Steinbacher, CCE President & CEO, North Palm Beach County (FL) Chamber of Commerce Casey Steinbacher became president and CEO of the North Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce in 2001. Prior to her current position, she served as president and CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming (PA) Chamber of Commerce for 13 years. In addition to her many leadership positions in organizations in her community, Casey also serves on the ACCE board of directors, the Board of Regents for the U.S. Chamber’s Institute program, the Chamber of Commerce Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and on the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals. In 2006 was named by FLORIDA CEO MAGAZINE one of the top 50 business leaders in Southeast Florida. Casey earned her bachelor’s degree from the Penn State University in urban planning, and she also completed the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organizational Management at the University of Delaware Steve Thacker President, Gateway State Bank Steve Thacker is president of Gateway State Bank in Clinton, Iowa. He is a past chairman of the board of the Clinton (IA) Chamber of Commerce and a past board member of Clinton Area Housing Development Corporation. He graduated from Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. Mark A. Waligorski California Acquisitions Manager, Village Profile.com Mark is responsible for Village Profile’s project acquisitions for California’s chambers of commerce and has been associated with the company for more than seven years. In 2006, he was recognized as the National Acquisitioner of The Year for Village Profile for creating and developing such programs for the publisher as the R.S.V.P. scholarship program for chamber executives and their staffs; lenticular (3D) covers for community profiles and membership directories; and developing and maintaining the first and only Western Association of Chamber Executives’ Platinum Chairman's Circle sponsorship. He has a 15-year background in the print industry and thorough knowledge of today’s communication technology. Laith Wardi, CEcD President, ExecutivePulse, Inc., Laith Wardi, CEcD, is president of ExecutivePulse, Inc., an economic development consulting firm specializing in business retention based in Erie, Pa. With more than 15 years experience in economic development, Laith helped to pioneer the most advanced and comprehensive business retention system in North America that later formed the basis for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s state-wide business retention program. His experience includes three years in the field as business retention manager for Erie County Pa., conducting hundreds of face-to-face visits with business owners. As a principal of ExecutivePulse Inc., Laith provides skills training, survey development, database systems and management consultation to clients seeking to implement a systematic, sustainable business retention program. He is a regular instructor on business retention for the professional certification program sponsored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Laith is a graduate of Mercyhurst College and received his economic development certification through IEDC in 2002.conducting and sustaining successful, results-oriented business retention programs. Laurie White, CCE President, Greater Providence (RI) Chamber of Commerce Laurie White is president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. From 2003 to 2004, Laurie served as executive counselor to the Governor for policy and communications. Prior to her 18 months of service in the executive branch of state government, Laurie was senior vice president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. In that role, she directed the Chamber’s internal and external communications and oversaw general programming, policy and events. Laurie is a member of the President’s Council at Providence College, a member of the board of trustees of Memorial Hospital, a member of the board of governors of the Rhode Island Commodores, a member of the board of governors of the University Club in Providence, a member of the board of directors of the Business Development Company of Rhode Island and a trustee of the University of Rhode Island Foundation. Laurie is an honors graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is also a 1995 graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C. Roy H. Williams President & CEO, Greater Oklahoma City (OK) Chamber Roy became the president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City (OK) Chamber in 2004, after having served as executive vice president of economic development since mid-2002. Roy was partner, co-founder, and president of The Economic Development Group, Inc., an international economic development consulting firm with offices in Ohio and Arizona. Roy also has served on the faculty for several professional certification programs including the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management and the International Economic Development Council’s Economic Development Institute. Nationally, Roy serves on ACCE’s board of directors. Statewide and locally, Roy serves on numerous boards, some of which include the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation, Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives, Oklahoma Industries Authority, and several others. Roy has a bachelor’s degree in business administration degree from Texas Lutheran University and pursued his master’s in business administration at Sam Houston State University. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management at Southern Methodist University, successfully completed ACCE’s Leadership Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina, and he is a graduate of the Governor’s Center Strategic Leadership for State Executives program at Duke University. Martha Willits President & CEO, Greater Des Moines (IA) Partnership Martha Willits joined the Greater Des Moines Partnership in 2004 as president and chief executive officer. Martha is responsible for the operational oversight of the Partnership’s $7 million annual budget which supports economic development programs growing the metropolitan area, downtown development and attractions, member business development and networking programs, government policy and legislative strategies at local, state and federal levels, as well as program support for 21 affiliated chambers of commerce. Prior to joining the Partnership, Martha was president and chief professional officer of the United Way of Central Iowa. She served 12 years as an elected member of the Polk County Board of Supervisors and has been an active volunteer throughout her life, earning recognitions including YWCA’s Woman of Achievement award, Leadership Iowa Alumni Award, and the Drake University Medal of Service. Martha received her bachelor’s degree in music education, a master’s of teaching arts, and a master’s degree in business administration from Drake University. When earning her master’s of teaching arts, she was selected as a member of the Teachers Corps—a graduate degree focused on diversity, community involvement and education for at-risk populations. Brian Willms Director of Member Services, Portland (OR) Business Alliance Brian Willms is the director of member services for the Portland Business Alliance. He joined the Alliance in 2006, bringing with him over 20 years of experience in sales training and execution. Most recently, Willms has been lauded for his work in revamping the Alliance’s membership dues structure, taking it from a fair share model to a new value-based tiered membership approach, providing Portland’s 350,000 businesses with greater opportunity to increase visibility and connect to valuable partners. He also serves on Portland’s Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC), an advocacy group that helps small businesses succeed – and profit – driving results for the region’s economy. Willms joined the SBAC during his tenure as the Alliance’s small business development manager, the role he assumed prior to becoming the director of member services. Mark Wilson, CCE Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce Mark Wilson currently serves as executive vice president for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida’s largest business federation, representing companies, associations, state and local chambers. Under Mark’s leadership, the Florida Chamber created the Florida Chamber Federation, single-handedly increasing the Chamber’s statewide grassroots network from 5,000 employers to more than 139,000 grassroots employers. Prior to joining the Florida Chamber in 1998, Mark served four years as vice president of the Chicagoland (IL) Chamber where he was responsible for small business programs, membership programs, development, and non-dues revenue. Before joining the Chicagoland Chamber, Mark served two years with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s midwestern grassroots office in Oakbrook, Ill. He is a member of ACCE, the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists and currently serves on the board of the Association of State Chamber Professionals. Mark received his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Georgia in Athens. Marcia L. Woodbury Sales Manager, Boise (ID) Metro Chamber of Commerce Marcia Woodbury has been with the Boise (ID) Metro Chamber of Commerce since 1997. As the sales manager, she is responsible for new member sales, member retention, marketing and selling chamber products and services and managing their sales team. She was awarded the Gold Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and has been on the Circle of Champions top 10 list for member sales numerous times since the inception of the program. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, she was the marketing director for Trend Corporation, a beauty supply distributor located in Boise, Idaho. Her volunteer work includes the following boards: Gracie’s List PAC (a political action committee for women’s rights), Capitol City Networking and The American Heart Association.
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