2012 PEDA FA CE: SPEA
B ecutive Man
Jay Biggins, Exe ctor, BLS & Company
Jay mana m's
ages the firm national a account corpporate relatio
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uding advisi clients on n
overall inncentives and relocation strategies, m ajor s
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titive strateg (employ ying non-trad ntives such a land
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ives structure to
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organizat entives strate
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was appo ointed Comm national Trad & Comm
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ging the finan ge-
scale devvelopment pr ling more than $1 billion and leadin trade/inv
rojects (total n), ng vestment mis ssions
targeting European and Asian ma arkets.
gins o ial
Mr. Bigg served on the editori advisory boards of CoreNet's Cor l
rporate Real Estate Leadder
e e magazine, an published articles on a wide range of incentive and
magazine and of Site Selection m nd e
Christ orick, Ph.D. Professor of Political Science, Di
topher P. Bo ., l irector,
Institu of Public Opinion, M g
stopher P. Bo
Dr. Chris olitical scient and Dire
orick is a po tist Muhlenberg College Inst
ector of the M titute
of Public Opinion. He is a nationnally recogni ized public oopinion resea has
archer who h conducte ed
over 250 large-scale public opini surveys d ast
during the pa fifteen ye ears. The re se
esults of thes
surveys h ed ous g
have appeare in numero periodicals including Time Maga Wall
azine, The W St Journ nal,
k s mes ost. also
New York Times, Los Angeles Tim and Washington Po He has a provided analysis fo the d or
BBC, Na ws
ational Public Radio, PBS, CBS New and NBC N ws is
Nightly New and had hi survey res sults
aired on, CNN, FOX News and C C-Span. Dur er
ring his caree he has con nducted survveys for a vaariety
nment agenc and orga
of govern cies anizations inncluding the Center for D Disease Conttrol, The Un nited
Way, Wi blic The
isconsin Pub Radio, T Wisconsi Departme of Comm
in ent merce, the Onneida Indian n
Nation, T U.S. Dep partment of Labor, and H Humanity. D Borick cu
Habitat for H Dr. urrently conducts
surveys f the Morn ning Call new wspaper in AAllentown, P a.
Pennsylvania He has ser rved as Presi ident
of the Wi litical Scienc Associatio and as th Director o the St. Norbert Colleg
isconsin Pol ce on, he of ge
Professor Borick received his undergraduate education at The Pennsylvania State University and
a Masters Degree from East Stroudsburg University. He completed his doctoral work at The
State University of New York at Binghamton in the area of public policy analysis. He has
government experience at both the federal and local levels, including positions with the Internal
Revenue Service and Monroe County Pennsylvania Planning Commission. He has published
and presented over thirty articles and four books in the area of public policy and public opinion,
and has held teaching positions at The State University of New York at Cortland, St. Norbert
College, Lehigh University and currently at Muhlenberg College. He has won numerous
teaching awards during his career, most recently receiving The Lindback Distinguished Teaching
Award at Muhlenberg College in 2006. He and his wife Lisa live in Nazareth, Pennsylvania and
have two children: Sam who is thirteen and John who is nine.
James E. Buerger, VP, Senior Director of Lending, Community First Fund
Jim Buerger is the Senior Director of Lending for Community First Fund, a non-profit
Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) headquartered in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. Jim’s role at Community First supports its mission to align capital, knowledge and
advocacy to create sustainable prosperity for individuals in low wealth communities. Now in its
20th year, Community First has provided over $45 million in financing to small business owners,
community organizations and community developers and has helped create or retain over 3,853
jobs throughout the Central Pennsylvania region.
Jim has over 30 years of banking experience in Lancaster, Reading, and the Lehigh Valley and
holds a bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College, an MBA from Shippensburg
University, and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Jim is a current board
member of the Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce, has taught Junior Achievement
classes in Lancaster and Reading for the past 27 years and has a passion for promoting youth
entrepreneurship. He was published in the Journal of Commercial Bank Lending with an article
entitled “What Small Business Owners Want from Their Bank.”
Patrick Clasen, Director of Finance, EcoTech, Inc.
Patrick Clasen is the Director of Finance for EcoTech, Inc., a local manufacturing firm started
out of Lehigh University. Patrick hails from St. Louis, Missouri and received his Masters of
Science from Lehigh in 2007 in Materials Science and Engineering. His current focus is on
growing the EcoTech product offerings and expanding the depth of the markets already
penetrated through targeted branding and new market development.
EcoTech, Inc has won a number of awards for growth and entrepreneurship excellence including;
Inc500 Fastest growing companies of 2010, Newsweek College Kids to Millionaires, and Ben
Franklin Tech Partners Innovation Award. EcoTech is now posting revenues of over 1 million
dollars per month and currently employees 35 people in Bethlehem, PA.
Sheri Collins, Executive Director, PA DCED Technology Investment Office
Sheri Collins, recently named as the Executive Director of the Technology Investment Office at
the Department of Community & Economic Development, joined the Department in October
2004 and was responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Keystone Innovation Zone
(KIZ) program. The KIZ program was designed to not only encourage entrepreneurship but
support it through targeted programs and outreach.
In her expanded role at DCED, Sheri oversees an office of 8 professionals who are responsible
for programs and initiatives that support technology-based economic development including, but
not limited to, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Keystone Innovation Network, the
Discovered in PA, Developed in PA grant program and the Department’s venture capital
initiatives through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority and the Commonwealth
A 26 year employee of the commonwealth, Sheri resides in Lower Paxton Township with her
husband, Kevin, and their three children ranging in age from 21 to 3. Sheri has a sincere focus
on helping others and supports a variety of charitable organizations with their fundraising
Don Cunningham, President and CEO, Lehigh Valley Economic
Don Cunningham became president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development
Corporation on July 9th, 2012 after serving six-and-a-half-years as the elected Executive of
Lehigh County, where he restructured the county’s economic development operations to make
economic growth and community regionalization the focus of his administration. Mr.
Cunningham championed a philosophy of regional partnerships with local governments and the
business community to drive economic growth and community development. Despite a national
economic recession during most of his tenure, Lehigh County continued to grow and completed
numerous complicated deals and corporate relocations projects, including Boston Beer’s largest
brewery, the manufacturing operations of nationally-renowned Ocean Spray and the building of
the AAA Philadelphia Phillies minor league baseball stadium, Coca-Cola Park. As county
executive, he was responsible for a workforce of almost 3,000 full- and part-time employees and
a budget of $400 million.
Including his time at Lehigh County, Mr. Cunningham has had a 22-year career in the Lehigh
Valley’s public and private sectors working for or leading some of the most respected
companies, institutions and governments in the region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Along with serving two terms as Mayor of Bethlehem and as a Cabinet Secretary in
Pennsylvania, Cunningham was the director of media and marketing operations at Moravian
College and served a key role in Corporate Communications at PPL, one of the numerous
Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Lehigh Valley. He has been responsible for
managing budgets ranging from $50 million to $4 billion and has overseen economic
development and/or urban growth initiatives, resulting in more than $2 billion in new
investments and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
As mayor he’s credited with authoring the economic renaissance of the City of Bethlehem,
invigorating its two downtowns with strong retail and restaurant districts, and laying the
foundation for re-use of the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. properties. As Secretary of the
Department of General Services, Mr. Cunningham oversaw $4 billion of Pennsylvania’s budget,
using innovation to save money and invest state tax dollars to grow the urban core in cities
across Pennsylvania, including Allentown.
In his new positions with LVEDC, he is responsible for leading an organization charged with
marketing the Lehigh Valley and its three central cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton and
helping businesses to grow and locate in the Lehigh Valley through a one-stop shop, public-
private partnership focused on being a regional information and access broker, connecting
businesses to financial solutions, critical market and site data and helping negotiate the landscape
of state and local government. LVEDC has 314 private-sector investors, along with the
participation from Lehigh and Northampton counties and all three central cities, and a $2.4
Mr. Cunningham earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Government in
1987 from Shippensburg University and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Villanova
University in 1991.
Robert J. DeSalvio, President, Sands Hotel and Casino
In late 2006, Mr. DeSalvio joined the Las Vegas Sands Corp team as President of the Sands
Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. His current responsibilities include managing
operations, design, construction and staffing of the integrated casino-hotel project.
Mr. DeSalvio began his extensive career in the hospitality and gaming industry in 1976. He
gained valuable experience in hotel operations at the Denver Hilton Hotel, in Denver, Colorado,
and the Statler Hilton and Sheraton Hotels in New York City.
During the early startup years of New Jersey’s gaming industry, Mr. DeSalvio joined Caesars
Atlantic City as Sales Manager in 1979. After spending two years as National Sales Manager for
Bally’s Atlantic City, he joined the Sands Atlantic City in 1983. While at the Sands for fourteen
years, he held numerous positions, the last of which was Executive Vice President of Marketing.
In 1997, Mr. DeSalvio joined Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut as Executive Vice
President of Marketing. Mr. DeSalvio was responsible for the Marketing, Operations, and
Strategic Planning at the resort and casino. In 2005, Governor Jodi Rell named Mr. DeSalvio
Tourism Industry Person of the Year for the State of Connecticut. Mr. DeSalvio currently serves
as a member on the Board of Directors of Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, the Northampton
Community College Foundation, and the Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mr. DeSalvio is a 1978 graduate of the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management,
University of Denver, Daniels College of Business.
Scott Dunkelberger, Director, Center for Business Financing, DCED
Among other responsibilities, Scott D. Dunkelberger joined the Department of Commerce
following completion of graduate school in March 1985. He started as an Area Development
Representative in the Bureau of Appalachian Development and State Grants. He subsequently
was promoted to a Policy Analyst then a Senior Development Specialist in the Office of
Regional and Community Initiatives. In January, 1992, he was promoted to the position of
Director of the Grants Office, renamed the Economic Development Assistance Office and was
responsible for the administration of six grant and loan programs with FY 2000- 2001
appropriations totaling $167 million.
In February, 2002, Scott was promoted to the position of Director of The Center For Business
Financing which administers the Commonwealth’s grant, loan, and tax credit programs that are
designed to stimulate business expansion and modernization efforts as well as assisting local
economic development efforts. The Center is comprised of a 55 member professional staff that
manages 15 grant, loan, and tax credit programs that assist with the development of
infrastructure at new industrial sites; the assessment, remediation, and redevelopment of blighted
industrial and commercial properties; conducting job training; the construction and renovation of
manufacturing facilities; the acquisition and installation of manufacturing equipment; and
working capital needs. The Center also administers the Educational Improvement Tax Credit
Program that provides tax credits to businesses that make contributions to non-profit
organizations that fund innovative education programs in conjunction with public schools.
Scott is also the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority,
recognized as one of the nation’s oldest economic development programs. Created in 1956,
PIDA is a revolving loan fund that makes loans to benefit Pennsylvania businesses that will
improve the economic base of the Commonwealth. PIDA has made over $2 billion in loans for
land and building projects since 1956.
In February, 2005, Scott also assumed the position of Executive Director for the Commonwealth
Finance Authority (CFA) which oversees 15 financing programs targeted to business
development, infrastructure development, and alternative energy development with over $2
billion in funds.
In July, 2010, Scott was asked to also assume the duties of Acting Deputy Secretary for Business
Development at DCED. He resides in Perry County with his wife Joan and four children.
Christopher Hudock, Director, Rising Tide Community Loan Fund
Christopher Hudock is the Director of The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund. With more than
twenty years of lending experience, six of which have been at the Rising Tide, Mr. Hudock is
skilled in business plan development, financial analysis, loan packaging, organizational
budgeting, policy development, and employee supervision. Prior to joining the Rising Tide, he
was a Financial Specialist for Wachovia Bank, a Loan Officer for Waypoint Bank, and the
Lending Manager for People First Federal Credit Union. The Director provides leadership,
direction, and administration of the Fund. Mr. Hudock is responsible for all day-to-day activities
of the Rising Tide, including providing technical assistance to potential and current borrowers,
packaging and processing applications, servicing loan accounts, managing the portfolio,
marketing the Loan Fund, and achieving the goals of the Annual Work Plan. Chris holds an
Associates Degree in Applied Science with an Accounting concentration from Northampton
Community College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
Stephen C. Kalamar, III, VP – Commercial Lending, TD Bank
Stephen C. Kalamar III is a Vice President of Community Banking for TD Bank. In this role, he
serves the banking needs of businesses throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Prior to joining TD Bank, Kalamar was Vice President, Business Banking for Wachovia Bank.
He has 22 years of banking and lending experience. Kalamar serves as an officer of the
Northampton County New Jobs Corp, and chairs the Lehigh Valley Regional Loan Pool. He was
named Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s Volunteer of the year in 2010.
A Hanover Township resident, Kalamar is a member of Bethlehem Rotary. He is a 1983
graduate of Moravian College and a 1978 graduate of Freedom High School.
Michael T. Kane, Economic Development Specialist, US Small Business
Michael T. Kane joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2007 and serves as an
Economic Development Specialist for the Philadelphia District Office. He is responsible for
marketing, outreach, and education of SBA Programs and Services to small businesses, resource
partners, community organizations, and lending organizations in an eight county territory.
Michael also serves as the backup Public Information Officer for the Philadelphia District Office,
responsible for the design and publication of SBA media material in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Michael has over 10 years of experience in business management and sales and marketing.
Before joining the SBA, Michael held positions as an Analyst for the Department of Defense:
Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, Business Sales Representative for Alltel
Telecommunications, and Branch Rental Manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Michael holds a
Master of Management and Leadership: Public Administration degree from East Stroudsburg
University, East Stroudsburg, PA and Bachelor of Science: Business Administration degree from
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ.
Ed Konjoyan, Vice President, Majestic Realty Company
Ed Konjoyan is Vice President of Majestic Realty Co., the nation’s largest privately held
developer and owner of master planned business parks. Among other duties, Mr. Konjoyan is
responsible for Majestic’s expansion into the northeast US, which includes the Majestic
Bethlehem Center, an adaptive re-use development that is revitalizing 441 acres of former
Bethlehem Steel Co. property into an 8 million square foot, $500 million state-of-the-art business
Mr. Konjoyan is also actively involved in the National Association of Industrial and Office
Properties. Ed served as the 2011 President of NAIOP Inland Empire and the 2007-2010
Chairman of its Legislative Affairs Committee. Under his leadership, NAIOP IE received the
2011 and 2009 Chapter Merit Awards for Legislative / Governmental Affairs.
Mr. Konjoyan is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of California and a member of the
State Bar of California. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University as well as a BA in
Philosophy and a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate Development
and Finance from the University of Southern California.
Michael A. MacDowell, President, Misericordia University
Michael A. MacDowell became Misericordia University's twelfth president in July of 1998. A
native of Santa Monica, California, Dr. MacDowell previously served for nine years as a vice
president at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York (1989-1998). Before joining Hartwick, he
was president of the National Council on Economic Education in New York City for twelve
years. In addition to his presidency at Misericordia, Dr. MacDowell is a professor of economics.
Mike is the past vice chairman of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry,
where he remains on the Board. He served as Chair of the Great Valley Technology Alliance.
Mike is the past chair of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Consortium of Colleges and Universities
(NEPACU), a network of 13 public and private institutions. He also chaired the Council of
Presidents (COPs), a collaborative effort of Luzerne County's five public and private colleges
and universities, and is a past vice president of the Northeast Pennsylvania Boy Scout Council.
Dr. MacDowell works in support of thoughtful planning and economic growth in region. He was
instrumental in establishing the Back Mountain Historical Association, an affiliate of the
Luzerne County Historical Society.
In August 2007, Misericordia became a university, reflecting among many accomplishments, its
growth in undergraduate fields of study and two graduate programs. This transition does not
change the personalized approach to education offered at Misericordia nor its tradition of service.
For instance, the Women with Children Program, allows single women to live in special
university housing for free, along with subsidizing their tuition and child care.
Dr. MacDowell is married to the former Tina Johnson, a retired teacher who is also very active
in the community.
Misericordia University is founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and is the oldest
traditional four-year institution in Luzerne County. It focuses on academic excellence,
professional preparation, and service leadership. Misericordia University enrolls about 2,350
students in 31 majors.
Jeffrey A. Parks, President, ArtsQuest
Jeffrey A. Parks is the President of ArtsQuest, a nonprofit community-based arts organization in
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mr. Parks is the principal founder of Musikfest, a 10-day music
festival that features more than 500 live musical performances on 14 stages each August. The
festival has become internationally known for its variety of musical styles and its quality of
presentation. With more than one million attending, the event is one of the largest music
festivals in the United States.
In addition to Musikfest, ArtsQuest presents Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem each holiday season.
This event is patterned after medieval German Christmas markets and features juried crafts, retail
gifts, entertainment and childrens activities. Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem attracts about 60,000
visitors per year, over one-half of whom are from outside of the Lehigh Valley, and contributes
substantially to the Christmas tourism program in the region.
In January 1998 ArtsQuest, then known as the Bethlehem Musikfest Association, opened the
Banana Factory community arts and cultural center, which presents numerous programs in the
visual arts. It is also a gathering place for numerous community organizations to celebrate arts
and culture. Located in a former banana distribution warehouse, this facility has become a
regional arts center and home for the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, ArtsQuest and 25 regional
visual artists. The Banana Factory provides resources for arts related activities for many
nonprofit youth organizations servicing diverse clientele, including at-risk youth. It also serves as
a resource for the education community.
In April 2011, ArtsQuest opened the ArtsQuest at SteelStacks, a contemporary performing arts
center presenting world-class live musical entertainment 150 nights a year, as well as the best in
independent and foreign films, stand-up and improv comedy by national and regional comedians,
and more. All four floors of the 67,000 square foot ArtsQuest Center feature floor-to-ceiling
glass walls, providing guests with a view of the Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces, the iconic
structures from which SteelStacks takes its name.
The SteelStacks campus also includes the Levitt Pavilion, an outdoor music venue with lawn
seating for 2,500; the Air Products Town Square, an outdoor venue adjacent to the ArtsQuest
Center that features a stage for live performances; the Bethlehem Visitors Center, which will
open in Spring 2012; and PNC Plaza, which is home to Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem, the
Musikfest Sands Steel Stage and Oktoberfest at SteelStacks.
Mr. Parks is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Performing Arts
Presenters, an organization that serves performing arts organizations, artists and agents
throughout the United States and Canada. He has served on the Board of Directors of Discover
Lehigh Valley, the Historic Bethlehem Partnership, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of
Commerce and the Bethlehem Historic District Association, as well as the advisory board of the
Donegan Community Center and the Boards of the Sun Inn Preservation Association and
Historic Bethlehem Incorporated. He also represented the Lehigh Valley in the 1995 White
House conference on tourism, and he represents ArtsQuest in its membership with Americans for
the Arts and Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania. Mr. Parks is a frequent speaker on the topics
of heritage tourism, community revitalization and special events.
Mr. Parks graduated from Lehigh University, magna cum laude, majoring in government, and
the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He resides in Bethlehem with his wife, Susan.
Ed Pawlowski, Mayor, City of Allentown
Ed Pawlowski is a leader with skills honed by experience. A center-city Allentown resident for
over a decade, Ed knows first-hand both the struggle and the potential Allentown faces. He cares
passionately about the future of the city he chose to make his home.
In 2005, Ed was encouraged to run for mayor by business and community leaders. His supporters
were quick to point out that Ed’s leadership and experience were the only hope for a city that had
been so recklessly managed for years. Voters in Allentown elected Ed and then showed renewed
confidence by re-electing him by a nearly 3-1 margin in November 2009, winning every single
voting district in the city for a second term.
The tenure of the Pawlowski administration has been characterized by action, purpose, a strong
sense of urgency, and endless energy.
Over the past few years, Ed has worked tirelessly to improve Allentown. No less than a half a
billion dollars in new development projects have sprung up in every section of our city.
Since his first day as mayor, Ed Pawlowski promised that he would “build a better Allentown”
by making City Hall a catalyst for change. He has worked hard to fulfill that promise. The
incidence of violent crime has decreased nearly 30% in the past few years.
Ed received his master’s degree in urban planning and public policy from the University of
Illinois and his bachelor’s degree from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he met his
wife, Lisa. They have two children, Mercy and Alex, who both attend Allentown public schools.
Mike Rossman, Director, Governor’s Action Team, DCED
As Executive Director of the Governor’s Action Team, Michael Rossman leads a team of more
than two dozen economic development professionals working on the front line of Pennsylvania’s
business attraction and retention activities. The primary mission of the Governor’s Action Team
is to foster economic growth throughout the Commonwealth by attracting new businesses,
helping existing Pennsylvania businesses expand, and working to retain the Commonwealth’s
Michael has been an economic development professional with the Commonwealth for over
twenty-five years and, in that time, has served under six Pennsylvania governors. He previously
served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Action Team.
Prior to joining the Commonwealth’s economic development team, Michael was an accountant
with Pullman Power Products, an international construction firm based in Kansas City, Missouri.
He attended the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Missouri, majoring in
finance. Michael is a member of the International Economic Development Council and has
received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National
Michael resides in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with his wife, Eleanor. He enjoys golfing, kayaking
Pamela Shupp, AICP, CEcD, Vice President, Greater Reading Economic
Pamela is the Vice President of Greater Reading Economic Partnership, a 501 c (3) corporation
promoting the Greater Reading region of Pennsylvania for business attraction and economic
growth. The community of over 400,000 is located about an hour from Philadelphia and is a
diverse mix of cultures, industry, and land use.
Pamela has more than 25 years of experience in housing, economic, and community
development with various private development companies and public organizations, including
several years with the City of Reading, Pennsylvania working in Planning and Community
Development, Housing Rehabilitation, Economic Development, and Redevelopment. During
this time, she championed several collaborative initiatives between neighborhoods, non-profits,
and the business sector.
A native of Pennsylvania, Pamela is a graduate of Bloomsburg University and received
certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is also a Certified
Economic Developer (CEcD). Pamela is on the Board of the Pennsylvania Economic
Development Association (PEDA) and is actively involved in several local non-profit boards.
Michael Stershic, Executive Director, Discover Lehigh Valley
Michael Stershic is currently the President of Discover Lehigh Valley, a position he has held
since 2004. He was also the first executive director of the bureau when the organization was
founded in 1984. He is passionate about marketing Lehigh Valley, PA to visitors.
Mike has more than thirty years experience in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors.
He has served twenty of them in senior level positions in areas of management, marketing,
planning, community relations, coalition building and development.
In addition to his wide variety of work experience, he has served on the boards of more than 20
organizations, most in leadership positions. He was recognized by former Pennsylvania First
Lady Katherine Schweiker and the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children as the outstanding
board member of 2002. He currently serves on the executive committees of PA Association of
Convention and Visitor Bureaus, where he is vice-chairman, PA Tourism and Lodging
Association, where he is vice chairman and Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.
He also serves on the boards of, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lehigh Valley
Community Foundation, Lehigh Valley Chapter of PA Restaurant Association, Allentown Ahead
and the Renew Lehigh Valley Leadership Council.
Mike was born in Baltimore and lived there until he attended Lehigh University, upon graduation
he and his wife, Sybil, adopted Lehigh Valley as their home and have lived here ever since,
except for a time spent in the far reaches of Northeast PA.
Andrew J. Twiggar, Principal, Owner & Co-founder of Dunn Twiggar
Andrew is a Principal, owner and co-founder of Dunn Twiggar. He is directly involved with all
aspects of the company, including company management, strategic planning, marketing, investor
relations and each service provided by Dunn Twiggar.
Andrew started in real estate with J.G. Petrucci Company, a regional industrial real estate
development company, where his responsibilities included all aspects of new project
management, as well as, property management. He then joined Dunn-Noble Development
Company, LLC as a Development Manager, overseeing the development and management of the
company’s retail centers.
Prior to his real estate career, Andrew worked at QuestOne, a business consulting firm which
specialized in constraints based management consulting to Fortune 500 clients, and the Small
Business Development Center, which focuses on business consulting to small business clients.
Andrew worked as a manufacturing engineer and as a design engineer for Follett Corporation
(Easton, PA). Andrew frequently draws on the wide breadth of his work experience in his service
to his clients.
Andrew received a Masters of Business Administration degree from Lehigh University. Andrew
also received a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh, where he served
in several student leadership positions.
Outside of Dunn Twiggar, Andrew serves as an Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University’s
College of Business and Economics. Andrew’s volunteer activities include serving on City of
Bethlehem’s Planning Commission (Chair 2005-2008), serving as a member of the Lehigh
Valley Planning Commission, and serving as a Sunday School teacher at his church, First
Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem.
Andrew resides with his family in Bethlehem, PA.
Sharon K. Ward, Chair, IEDC Accredited Economic Development
Organization (AEDO) Advisory Committee
Sharon Ward, CEcD, has been an economic development professional for more than 28 years.
Initially she worked as research director for a new economic development organization in
Northeastern PA, the Committee for Economic Growth. She reviewed and synthesized the
findings of community-wide task force studies into a marketing package and worked with local
stakeholders and staff to address the SWOT findings. Sharon then assumed responsibility for
both research and marketing and worked directly over the next 12 years on 88 company
While working at the community economic development level, Sharon chaired the regional
initiative to combine the marketing efforts of nine counties in Northeastern PA and form what is
now Penn’s Northeast.
In 1998, she moved to utility economic development. Working with 29 counties in central
eastern Pennsylvania, Sharon directed marketing activities and managed community partnership
programs for PPL Corporation to bring jobs and economic prosperity to the region. From June,
2009 until September 2012, Sharon chaired the International Economic Development Council’s
Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) committee and has lead 15 national
accreditations. She led the initiatives to expand the program by developing guidelines for
accrediting both utilities and state-level economic development programs.
She is the author of “Company Relocation Handbook: Making the Right Move” and numerous
professional articles. Sharon has earned a B.S. and M.B.A. from Oklahoma State University.
Todd Watkins, PhD, Executive Director, Baker Institute for
Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, Lehigh University
Dr. Watkins, author of more than 50 publications, focuses his research and teaching on the
intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, public policy, and economic development. He has
led Lehigh’s efforts in developing entrepreneurship curricula and a support infrastructure for
student technology startups that recently received the University Economic Development
Association’s national Excellence in Technology Commercialization Award. He’s served as
principal advisor for dozens of entrepreneurial startup companies and international development-
oriented social entrepreneurial organizations started by students. Dr. Watkins was a consultant to
the U.S. Department of Commerce's NIST Advanced Technology Program, the U.S.
Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and a member of The National Academies’
Committee on Innovation Models for Aerospace Technologies, to advise NASA on improving
their innovation processes. He serves as President of the Board of the Rising Tide Community
Loan Fund, which targets the business development credit needs of low-to moderate income
communities in the Lehigh Valley. Watkins earned a BS in Optics from the University of
Rochester and his PhD and Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University.