Presenting ideas to inspire innovation and collaboration.
Janet Ady’s passion is business-to-business marketing and economic development. As president of Ady Voltedge, she has led marketing initiatives for a wide range of organizations. Ultimately, her work helps to strengthen existing businesses, enhance the quality of life, attract new and expanding businesses, and retain and attract talent.
Janet’s background is in marketing research and strategy development. In that capacity, she has conducted thousands of in-depth qualitative interviews with business and technical decision-makers across a broad swath of businesses. Her knowledge of multiple industries allows her to provide value to individual businesses as well as communities and regions targeting specific sectors.
She also brings an in-depth knowledge of the site selection process, especially in terms of understanding what factors are evaluated during each step along the decision-making process and how to optimally position places and develop compelling, differentiating messages. In this way, Ady Voltedge brings both the science and the art to economic development marketing.
Janet consults on many aspects of economic development marketing, including website development and design, the evaluation of alternative sites & building mapping solutions, marketing plan development, and trends and implications in economic development marketing.
Kerri Agee, President and CEO of banc-serv PARTNERS, oversees the daily operations and is involved with the strategic vision of the company. Kerri has spent the last 19 years in the SBA lending arena and the last 12 years at banc-serv where she opened the doors as one of the first Lender Service Providers in the industry. Kerri’s dedicated focus has been the driving force behind her original vision and the company’s success over the past 12 years. Kerri has built, trained, and developed a team of 40 in-house employees that have been able to service 200 financial institutions in 32 states and over one billion dollars for over 2,000 small businesses. In effort to provide small businesses and financial institutions the best lending environment, Kerri continues to play a vital role in many facets of the SBA arena, participating on many NAGGL committees and working with political figures on the Capital.
At the WBDC, Craig is responsible for overseeing a $10 million dollar non-profit corporation and all of the economic development projects as well as managing the day to day operations of the corporation.
Mr. Blais’ career began in 1986 at the State House, as Chief of Staff for the House of Representatives. In 1992, Craig became the Assistant Town Manager in Arlington where he prepared a $60 million dollar operating and capital municipal budget, oversaw the management of a 23 town solid waste disposal operation, and implemented a total quality management program.
As a member of the Auburn Board of Selectmen for three consecutive terms, serving as Chair from 1994-1996, Mr. Blais advocated and won the approval of a $50 million regional mall expansion, the acquisition of over 100 acres of open space, the development of a 20 acre industrial park, and implemented an innovative fire service staffing program with Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Craig served as the Deputy Development Officer and Acting Chief Development Officer, becoming the Director of Economic Development. Mr. Blais oversaw a $1 billion dollar economic development agenda that included various major infrastructure enhancement projects throughout the City.
After working in the financial services industry in New York City, Rob entered the planning and economic development field in 1990 as an Intern with the Teton County Planning Department. During graduate school Rob also interned with the New York State Empire Development Corporation and in 1993 began serving as the Director of Community Development for Saranac Lake, NY. In that role, he facilitated the community’s first economic development strategic planning process that led to significant public and private investment in residential and commercial building, streetscape and waterfront improvement projects and was credited with the revitalization of the community’s downtown. Subsequently, Rob served as Managing Director for River Street Planning & Development located in Troy, NY, where he managed staff and firm finances as well as provided consulting services to economic development organizations and municipal clients. Rob started Camoin Associates in 1999 specifically to provide economic development services to Economic Development Organizations (EDOs), municipalities, planning firms, developers, and businesses.
Rob is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), past Chair of IEDC’s Membership Development Advisory Committee and currently serves as the Vice Chair of its Awards in Excellence Task Force. Additionally, he was appointed to the IEDC Board in September 2011 and currently represents New York State on the Northeast Economic Developers’ Association (NEDA) Board of Directors. Rob also serves as a Board member for the NYS Statewide Zone Capital Corporation. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and economics from St. Bonaventure University and a Master of Urban Planning degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Anthony Capece is the 16 year Executive Director for the Central District Management Association, Inc, in Albany, New York. The district exceeds three miles of retail, residential & commercial properties with an assessed value over 230 million dollars which is a long way away from the 160 million in 1998. The BID area was once a disinvested business district with 100 vacant buildings, now has seen a remarkable revival and consists of over 500 businesses & 80 restaurants. Anthony has provided leadership for such recent initiatives as a not for profit Car Sharing program in Albany & also has begun implementation of “ArtTV”, a local arts and cultural multimedia portal being installed into transit stations, where local artist can display works via a community wide digital signage network.
Joined SBA in 1991 as Chief of the Finance Division in the Kentucky District Office and later the Assistant District Director for Economic Development.
Transferred to the Little Rock Servicing Center in June 1995 as a Supervisory Loan Officer. Supervised a loan servicing team until mid-2004 when I assumed responsibility for 504 liquidation function. I continue to work in this capacity.
During the 10 years prior to joining SBA I worked for the Farm Credit Administration, the Farm Credit System and Deposit Guaranty National Bank in Jackson, MS.
BS and MBA from Mississippi State University.
Robert D. Cox, Jr., Esq., is a Partner at Bowditch & Dewey, LLP. Bob Cox counsels clients on environmental compliance and enforcement actions. He regularly advises clients on brownfields development activities and on strategies to limit or shift environmental liability risks in connection with real estate or business transfers. He also represents clients in cost recovery claims and private party litigation under Chapter 21E and CERCLA in state and federal courts.
Mr. Cox is recognized as one of the top environmental lawyers in Massachusetts by Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He has been selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Environmental Law, and since 2004, he has been selected for inclusion in Massachusetts Super Lawyers. He is a frequent speaker on topics relating to environmental law and is a board member of the Environmental Business Council of New England, Inc., and for many years chaired the City of Worcester Mayor’s Brownfields Roundtable.
Mr. Conner has been working in government and government relations since 1988. Mr. Conner has been with GSA since 1997. He began his GSA career in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. Initially, he served as the Senior Advisor for Real Property. Eventually, Bill Ratchford (then Associate Administrator) named him Deputy Associate Administrator for Congressional Affairs.
In the Fall of 2000, Mr. Conner accepted a position with the Public Buildings Service’s (PBS) Office of Real Property Utilization and Disposal. Working out of GSA’s Region 1 office in Boston, he served as the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Commissioner for Real Property. In 2004, Mr. Conner returned to Washington to work in PBS as the Director of Real Property Utilization.
The Office of Real Property Utilization works with all Federal landholding agencies to develop real estate strategies to identify and better manage under-utilized assets. The Utilization program offers federal clients a wide range of realty services, expert guidance and analytical tools. This program has the resources, tools and experience necessary to drive effective real estate outcomes. This service-set includes: due diligence analysis, targeted asset reviews, highest and best use studies, appraisal and marketing reports, environmental and historic assessments, as well as customized products tailored to the individual agency’s needs. These competencies provide the foundation on which dispositions, relocations, acquisitions and sales strategies are based.
Before coming to GSA, Mr. Conner was the Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Tire Dealers Association. There he served as an industry advocate on behalf 4,300 member, small business trade association. Prior to that, Mr. Conner worked for US Representative Brian Donnelly (Boston, MA). Mr. Conner served a Legislative Assistant in the Congressman’s Washington, DC office.
Rob DeMartini’s strong business-building experience across various industries supports New Balance’s quest to lead the running industry and become a top wellness brand. Prior to joining New Balance, his career at Procter & Gamble spanned 18 years, beginning in their Food & Beverage Division and including management roles with the Gillette Company, North American Snacks, and Millstone Coffee. His small-business experience complements his work in larger environments, such as his most recent term in 2006 as Group Vice President, Consumer Products for Tyson Foods.
Vincent DeVito, a partner in Bowditch & Dewey’s Boston office, representing utilities, corporations, investors, and entrepreneurs in the energy and technology sectors. Mr. DeVito is experienced in issues involving traditional and renewable energy development and corporate governance. Mr. DeVito has conducted briefings with members of the President’s Cabinet, governors, ambassadors, members of Congress, and corporate leaders. Mr DeVito currently serves as Director of the Institute for Energy and Sustainability in Worcester, sits on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Midwest Institute in Washington, DC, and is also a Member of the Board of the Association of Cleantech Incubators of New England. Mr. DeVito has worked in the general counsel’s office of the U. S. Department of Energy and has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs. Mr. DeVito was counsel to the U.S.-Canada Power Outage Task Force that was established as a result of the electricity blackout in August 2003. Mr. DeVito also served as an energy lawyer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts within the legislature and at the Department of Public Utilities. Mr. DeVito is a founding member of the American Bar Association’s State Attorneys General and Department of Justice Issues Committee.
James A. Diossa was born and raised in Central Falls, Rhode Island. He attended Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. His love for Central Falls brought him back to the city, where he coached youth soccer and eventually entered the world of electoral politics, winning a seat on the City Council. Whether fighting to reopen the Adams Library, to keep the post office open or to change opinion leaders’ perception of Central Falls, James distinguished himself as a tireless advocate for the people of Central Falls.
With the city in receivership and a disgraced mayor heading to prison, James announced his candidacy for mayor on September 25, 2012. Less than two months later he swept a four-way primary election with 59% of the vote and went on to earn 62% of the vote in the general election, becoming Central Falls’ first Latino mayor and the youngest mayor in the state’s history. As Central Falls moves forward, James is leading the city towards a new future full of promise and opportunity by working closely with its citizens and all stakeholders to build that brighter future.
Ms. Donohue is an interactive designer and innovation strategist with a passion for mindfulness, communication and collaboration. Her areas of focus are entrepreneurship, tech and healthcare. She has been the founding director of Nami Studios, a full service web, mobile and print marketing and design firm for small businesses and corporate brands, since 2001. She is the co-creative director of the market research and brand portfolio management group, Brand Visionaries. In 2013, Maeve helped to kick-off Rhode Island’s first health tech networking group, MedMates. As the project and strategy coordinator for MedMates, Ms. Donohue strives to galvanize collaboration between health-tech companies, hospitals, universities, sources of capital and governmental partners. In 2014, Ms. Donohue founded Tango, a new technology platform connecting businesses, individuals, and organizations via a central database for all of Rhode Island. Ms. Donohue grew up in Rhode Island, and graduated from RISD with a BFA in illustration. After living and working for several years in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, she returned to Rhode Island in 2001 to start her own business and raise her family.
Derek Ezovski is the President of Outsourced Risk Management Solutions LLC (ORMS), a company dedicated to helping financial and real estate firms manage their environmental risks. As an outsourced risk manager for its clients, ORMS helps them evaluate, develop, implement and monitor their environmental due diligence policies and procedures to manage these risks in a simple and cost-effective manner.
Before founding ORMS, Derek, a civil/environmental engineer with an MBA from the University of Connecticut, served as managing director of Environmental Data Resources (EDR), a national environmental information company. His previous experience includes management positions with Marsh USA, where he was an insurance risk management professional; FleetBoston, where he served as the environmental risk manager for the bank’s Small Business Services Division and oversaw the redesign of their environmental risk management policy; and The Travelers, where, as an engineering manager, he helped resolve complex environmental cases and manage environmental remediation projects.
The author of several articles on environmental due diligence and other property risk management topics, Derek played a lead role in developing desktop environmental products that are simplifying the due diligence process throughout the country. As an advisor to the Small Business Administration, he also used his expertise in the small balance arena to make the due diligence process for SBA loans easier than ever before. He also maintains relationships with regulators and government officials responsible for the development and implementation of environmental due diligence policies.
Jen Faigel is co-founder and principal of Urban Idea Lab, a real estate and community economic development consulting practice focused on developing creative solutions to complex challenges facing the development of space in Massachusetts.
Faigel focuses on using commercial real estate as a means for job creation, small business development, and neighborhood revitalization. Her clients include developers, arts and culture organizations, youth groups, public agencies, and a wide range of non-profits. She works on a mix of retail, office, arts and culture, and industrial space. Signature projects include redevelopment of a former Brewery into a multi-tenant small business center in Jamaica Plain that is home to over 50 businesses, and the transformation of a former meat factory in Dorchester into a wholesale food production small business center and business incubator.
During her career, which has spanned over 20 years, Faigel has been involved in development of over 450 affordable homes, and 200,000 SF of commercial space, with a total investment of well over $200 million.
Deborah Favreau is a senior investment officer at the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) where she has worked for 16 years. She is one of two lead MHIC staff members responsible for designing and implementing MHIC’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. Ms. Favreau works with local partners to identify high impact, high priority community and economic development projects in need of NMTC financing, then works closely with project sponsors to bring them to fruition. She has closed 24 projects totaling $234 million in NMTC financing. Prior to 2003, she was responsible for underwriting construction, permanent, acquisition, bridge, LIHTC, and line of credit financing, specializing in complex, multi-layered, higher-risk housing and community development transactions, a total of 46 projects with $130 million in MHIC financing. Prior to joining MHIC, Ms. Favreau was a Senior Project Manager at Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc., a Cambridge, MA based non-profit where she developed affordable housing. Prior to 1994, she worked at the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership where she developed a program that used the LIHTC to finance limited-equity resident cooperatives in inner city neighborhoods, resulting in 220 new housing units. She received her BA from Wellesley College, her MPPM degree from Yale School of Organization and Management, and an MPA degree from Harvard University. She is a member of the board of directors of Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc. and the loan committee of Common Capital, a small-business loan fund based in Holyoke, MA.
Barbara is a recognized leader in Community and Economic Development, building and maintaining collaborative relationships with a proven history of results. Appointed by President Obama as New England’s Regional Administrator, Barbara liaised with state, local and Federal agencies and agents in private and non-profit sectors to deliver $1.4 billion of results in HUD funding dedicated to outreach, community development, fair housing and homelessness programs. Barbara will transition from HUD August of 2014.
Prior to her HUD appointment, Barbara served as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Local Initiatives Support Corp, (LISC), a non-profit intermediary combining philanthropic and investment dollars to create and sustain community revitalization in marginalized areas. LISC is a National Organization dedicated to building sustainable communities.
After obtaining a BA in Political Science from Tufts, Barbara went on to MIT for her Masters in City Planning in Urban Development and Finance and Economic Development. She began her career as a Project Analyst with Boston Redevelopment Authority, then joined the Massachusettes Government Land Bank, managing diverse projects in residential, commercial and industrial development from loan origination to completion of construction.
John Findlay, Ph.D., MBA, is a partner in Maverick & Boutique, a consulting firm that helps business, government communities and the military start new initiatives to deal successfully with accelerating change and increasing complexity. A native of Australia, John works in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He brings an international and futures perspective to every project. He is also the developer, founder and CEO of Zing, a technology company that makes complex adaptive learning systems.
His complex adaptive systems model of socio-technological change offers a robust explanation for the hyper-chaotic period currently being experienced in every realm of human activity—technology, markets, economies, jobs, education and politics.
The kinds of clients that John has recently served include the State of Vermont, Monmouth County and the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association (community participation in economic development), the New Jersey State Library and Library Link NJ (strategic planning), the International Center from Complex Project Management (roundtables and new methods creation), UBS, the UK National Audit Office and UK National Health (facilitator training), Australian Deparment of Prime Minister & Cabinet (a strategy for engaging with Asia), BRAC in Bangladesh (community development) and Petrobras in Brazil (stakeholder engagement).
Christa Ouderkirk Franzi is a senior economic development specialist at Camoin Associates of Saratoga Springs, NY. Since joining Camoin in 2010, she has worked with communities throughout the Northeast revitalizing former brownfield properties, facilitating community capacity building campaigns, and retaining manufacturing in our urban cores. Through her work, Christa has come to recognize the importance of strong internal and external communication and the increasing role technology plays in successful economic development. Regardless of what type of project she’s working on, Christa seeks to develop knowledge and capacity around digital communications and web-based applications from social media to “the cloud”. She has written several tech and social media related articles specifically for economic developers including: What the heck is a hashtag? and maintains a growing list of hashtags pertaining to economic development.
Collaborate with Christa:
“We need to change the way we think about our digital stuff.” – Christa Ouderkirk Franzi
Mr. Henry Fredericks, PE has more than 30 years of working experience as an engineer and environmental professional. His experience includes conceptual design, civil and environmental engineering, Brownfields assessment and redevelopment, construction, planning, permitting, NEPA, DOD-BRAC, real estate transactional support and due diligence to include site assessments through remedial actions, and construction management and oversight. Mr. Fredericks has worked in both the public and private sectors as a Client and service provider. His deep understanding of the operational challenges associated with each sector provides a unique perspective to developing solution sets and managing internal and external matters.
His career is almost equally divided between the public and private sectors. His career work has included roles and responsibilities of hard design, field surveying, field inspection (construction/remediation), operations and project management, corporate positions in business development and sole proprietor of his own company. Through-out this career Mr. Fredericks has leveraged the experiences and opportunities to grow professionally and learn. This passion to learn, grow, and process improve intensifies each year.
Mr. Fredericks received his Bachelors degree in Construction Engineering Technology from Central Connecticut State University, attended University of Hartford for his MBA, and also attended University of Maine for coursework in Marine Ecosystems. He is registered Professional Engineer in Connecticut.
Eric Garland is Founder and Managing Director of Competitive Futures. He has been working in the area of strategic analysis for corporations and government agencies for almost twenty years. He is the author of two books on organizational foresight: Future Inc: How Businesses Can Anticipate and Profit from What’s NEXT (AMACOM, 2007) and How to Predict the Future…and WIN!!! (Wallingford, 2011). His books are available in multiple languages and he has trained thousands of executives on four continents in the methods detailed in his work. His clients include a broad range of global organizations: AT&T, 3M, General Motors, Siemens, Eli Lilly, The Coca-Cola Company, the National Lottery of France, and many more. In the economic development space his clients include the Principality of Monaco, the state of South Dakota, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and others. He holds a Masters of International Affairs, Technology Policy from The George Washington University. www.ericgarland.co.
Eric’s Collaboration Stats
Director, Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, designed to create a culture of entrepreneurship across the university, promote innovative thinking, and foster the realization of entrepreneurial ideas in any field. From 2001 to present she has served as Associate Director of Lehigh’s award-winning Integrated Product Development (IPD) program in which business, engineering, and arts & sciences students work together to produce and market new products. Lisa also directs both the EUREKA! student entrepreneurship competitions and the Lehigh Entrepreneurs Network. Along with helping undergraduate students through the early stages of venture creation and product development, Lisa deals with intellectual property issues for student entrepreneurs, and develops assessment tools for student performance in multi-disciplined, team-based, experiential learning environments. The innovative assessment measures she developed for the IPD program have been recognized as best practices in assessment of student performance and have been disseminated and adopted by similar programs across the country through her publications and workshops/presentations at national conferences. These works have been the basis for grant partnerships with peer institutions garnering NSF funding and have been recognized by ABET as a meaningful way to evaluate students in senior capstone design courses.
Scott is the President of The Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island (EDFRI) as well as the President of New England Economic Development Services, Inc. (NEEDS). EDFRI is a nonprofit organization that has a core business of real estate based economic development strategies. NEEDS is a for-profit affiliate of EDFRI that offers economic development advisory services to the private, nonprofit and public sectors.
Scott’s career has spanned thirty-two years in the economic development profession. Scott previously served as the economic development coordinator for the City of Chicopee, MA where he was responsible for the design and implementation of the City’s first economic development program. For the past 30 years, Scott has lead EDFRI and has been directly responsible for over 4 million square feet of industrial and office development. Scott has also assisted various communities in the areas of real estate development, redevelopment and strategic planning.
Scott has a Masters Degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, Masters Degree in Business Administration from Suffolk University, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. Scott is a Certified Economic Developer (International Economic Development Council).
Seth A. Goodall was appointed by President Obama to serve as SBA’s New England Regional Administrator on July 10, 2013. As Regional Administrator, Goodall oversees SBA’s six New England district offices and is responsible for the delivery of the agency’s financial and technical assistance and government contracting activities throughout New England. As an entrepreneur, public servant and attorney, Seth has a long history of working with and on behalf of small businesses in New England. He formerly worked as an attorney at Dyer Goodall, P.A., where he represented small businesses, individuals and municipalities in a variety of matters. In 2008, while practicing law, Seth was elected to the Maine Legislature as State Senator representing Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden in Lincoln County. Seth was re-elected in 2010 and 2012, at which point he began serving as the Senate Majority Leader. Goodall worked on and sponsored legislation on economic development and small business matters in the Legislature, co-chairing the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future and serving as a member on the Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Reform and Fairness. Prior to the Legislature in 2007, Seth was elected to the Selectboard in his hometown of Richmond, Maine, serving one year as Chair of the Board.
Vern Hansen brings 39 years of financial services and commercial lending experience to J.R. Bruno & Associates. He has served in executive positions including president, and executive vice president-chief lending officer at several financial institutions, and has held leadership positions with direct responsibility for lending operations, marketing, and business development. At J.R. Bruno, a nation-wide Lender Service Provider, he is primarily responsible for working with SBA and commercial lenders on all aspects of loan origination, underwriting, packaging, servicing, and 3rd party loan reviews. Vern has co-authored a white paper “Steps in Starting an SBA Program and Department.” He has also led breakout sessions and made presentations on Advantages of SBA Lending Programs, and How to Start an SBA Department at various conferences, including Mid-America Lenders Conference and Credit Union Business Lending Conference. Vern can be reached at email@example.com or cell phone 602-820-1337.
As Director of Transformative Development for Mass Development Finance Agency, Anne leads a new initiative for the agency to spur accelerated redevelopment in the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts. In partnership with locally-driven plans, this new cross-divisional systems-based approach for the agency will deploy targeted investments in strategic districts, while coordinating the investments of other public and non-profit agencies, in order to leverage follow on private investments and activity.
Prior to this post, she was the CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven, where she initiated and oversaw numerous planning, marketing, financing and innovation economy incubation efforts. Her planning work in the Medical District, and Mill River Industrial District has led to new development activity in previously underutilized areas adjacent to downtown. Additionally, she helped design and garner new funds from the State of Connecticut in order to better support innovation economy programming and facilities such as a retail pop-up district, a co-working space, makerspace, and initiate planning work for a shared commercial kitchen.
Previously, Anne worked in New York Mayor Bloomberg’s office advising the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and directing design, planning and financing of major capital projects, coordinating city, state, and federal agencies on projects such as The World Trade Center, Penn Station, Javits Center, and Hunters Point South Workforce Housing in Queens. Anne’s career started with 15 years as an Architect for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and IM Pei and Partners. During this time she co-founded CitySeed, a non-profit that manages 5 farmers markets in New Haven and works on local/state food policy.
Anne holds architectural degrees from the University of Virginia and Yale, and was a 2013 Sloan Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management, earning an MBA. At MIT her thesis considered new economic development strategies for smaller city innovation economies titled “Connective Development: Recognizing the Networked City in Forming Progressive Urban Development Strategies.”
Meri Jenkins is Manager of the Adams Arts Program for the Creative Economy and the Massachusetts Cultural Districts Initiative, programs of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the state arts agency. The programs are designed to promote the use of cultural assets in economic development efforts in communities throughout the Commonwealth. Jenkins has worked at the Council since 2000, and was the architect of the Massachusetts Cultural Districts Initiative. She has cultivated numerous dialogues among diverse stakeholders on the topics of creative place-making, sector capacity, and tourism; developed educational programs, symposium, and conferences; and designed technical assistance initiatives to support the development of the field. During her tenure at the Council, she has had responsibility for the dispersal of more than $13 million in grant awards to more than 100 projects involving 1200 organizations. Prior to moving to the United States, Jenkins was the Principal Manager of Business in the Arts South UK – an organization that developed mutually beneficial relationships between the commercial and cultural sectors. She has 25 years of experience managing a wide variety of cultural organizations both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. A through line in all her work has been to reach under-served populations. She believes that government – be it federal, state or local – support for cultural organizations, artists and entrepreneurs is an investment that enables access for all, improves quality of life, allows for economic growth, and has far reaching consequences for the well-being of a community.
John Joyce represents the Small Business Administration (SBA) at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Boston, a position he has held since the inception of the Boston USEAC in 1995. He is responsible for directing SBA’s international trade assistance program in the six New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. As a member of the U.S. Export Assistance Center, John adds export finance assistance to the extensive export marketing programs offered by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Previous to joining SBA, John served as an International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce and worked in international sales and marketing for several corporations including three years working in Europe. A native of the Boston area, John is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and holds an M.B.A. from the Boston University Graduate School of Management.
Since joining the fundraising industry in 1996, Rick has provided fundraising counsel for in dozens of communities throughout the nation. His expertise has resulted in raising more than $100 million for nonprofits including economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and community organizations like YMCAs, historic theaters, entrepreneurial support organizations, community centers, and the Boy Scouts of America. This diverse assortment of fundraising experience provides Rick with a rare, well-rounded understanding of all aspects of community fundraising – both economic and community development.
His specialty is working with economic development organizations to create and/or grow true public / private partnerships that make their communities better places to live, work, and play. EDOs in communities like Portland, ME, Wellsboro, PA, Ithaca, NY, Henderson, KY, Fremont, OH, Burlington, IA, Elmira, NY, and Seattle, WA have all benefited from his assistance.
Rick has graduated from numerous leadership and training initiatives including Leadership Raleigh (2002), Leadership MetroWest (2006), Boston Chamber’s Future Leaders (2007), and the US Chamber’s Institute for Organizational Management (2014).
He earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and a BA in Business Management from North Carolina State University.
Colleen LaRose has 20 years experience in workforce development serving as Project Coordinator for the Cumberland/Salem Workforce Investment Board and Executive Director of the Greater Raritan Workforce Investment Board, both in New Jersey. In 2012, she founded the North East Regional Employment and Training Association (nereta.org). NERETA is opening lines of communication between economic development, workforce development, education and business professionals from Maine to the Virginias through Linked In groups and professional development webinars NERETA provides nationally. Colleen consults as a strategic planner and is a public speaker and facilitator/trainer on the topics of “Using social media and new technologies by public administrators”, “creating collaboration between economic development and workforce development to support business development,” “community inclusion in public decision-making” and “the future of the workforce.” She is also an entrepreneur creating a website called Tempfolio that will help to facilitate local temp work job matching and has developed an online directory of women-owned businesses (pinklinkpages.com) as well as establishing a women’s empowerment movement called FemmeSpeak! (femmespeak.com) Colleen holds masters degrees in public relations and higher education administration from Rowan University and has taught graduate and undergraduate coursework in communications for the Public Administration Department of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Dr. Marnie LaVigne has spent more than 25 years in both the private and public sectors creating new products and start-up businesses, driving innovation and economic growth in high-tech industries, such as life sciences, informatics, and advanced manufacturing. In July, 2014, she became the President and CEO of Launch NY, a venture development organization she co-founded and whose mission is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-
impact companies and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York. Previously, she led economic development efforts at UB as Associate Vice President for Economic Development from 2012 to 2014 and Director of Business Development from 2005 until 2012 at the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences and the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology. Her private sector experience includes co-founder and executive roles in two start-ups and initial public offerings, as well as new product development in larger corporations in managed care (e.g., Aetna), pharmaceuticals (Bristol-Myers Squibb), medical devices (Welch Allyn), and medical informatics (Medscape/MedicaLofic, now GE and WebMD). Dr. LaVigne has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a doctorate in clinical psychology, both from the University of Rochester. She services on numerous boards for private, public, profit, and non-profit organizations.
Robert has 43 years of experience organizing over 750 projects for clients across the country. As a teacher, he helped found Boston College’s Leadership for Change graduate program, bringing a generation of leaders into the world of “systems thinking”. As a social entrepreneur, he helped develop many long-standing organizations, including the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). As a convener and facilitator, he has led thousands of groups on the journey from confusion to clarity, managing each group’s unique dynamic to help them generate their best thinking, identify requisite connections and implement a clear plan of action. He is a community psychologist by profession.
He is the convener of New Commons –- a whole new kind of think tank — one that goes beyond analysis and reporting. Our clients need tangible results, so we help them move from thought to action by helping them build a network with the right know-how, and then mobilize that network of know-how to get the job done. Think…Link…Do.
Robert focuses on the future of organizations, communities, and places by using a Whole Systems approach. The work often takes the form of a strategic plan, a community-driven plan for the economy, a dynamic organizational structure, a more fully developed leader, or a more engaged public. Robert founded New Commons in 1982.
His capabilities and current areas of practice are developing local and regional community and place-based economies; retrofitting cities for resilience; fostering city and soul; building organizations and networks of the future; forging the digitally connected city; using technology to shape learning; creating the library of the future.
Leaver is the former director of University without Walls (UWW) at Roger Williams College in Providence, RI. He worked in workforce development for A.L Nellum and Associates where he led Arts Work – a three-year national effort, by the Department of Labor, to deepen the role of the arts to shape places of work and community. He was a founding business partner and faculty member for Leadership for Change at Boston College. He is an Eagle Scout.
Pat Llodra has lengthy experience in both the public and private sectors and a proven record of leadership.
Pat moved to Newtown in 1970 and became involved in local issues through her active membership in the Sandy Hook PTA, the PTA Council, the St. Rose Parish Council, the League of Women Voters, and the Republican Town Committee. She was elected to a six year term on the Board of Education in 1976.
On the board, Pat focused on building a strong community with excellent educational
programs, recreational opportunities, and sound fiscal planning. In 1977, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for the Outstanding Young Woman of the Year.
Her professional career as an educator, like her public service, was marked by achievement. In 1978 Pat became a National Science Foundation Fellow in the study of mathematics and then received the Scholar’s Award for original study in applied psychology. She was a PIMMS Fellow (Project to Increase the Mastery of Math and Science) in 1984 and 1985 and was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Educational Leaders. Pat was selected by her peers as Connecticut’s Principal of the Year in 2001.
Pat later served as the Leader-in-Residence with the State Department of Education under a grant funded by the Wallace Foundation. Her focus was on building the capacity of school leaders to improve student achievement. After serving as interim principal of Newtown High School for six months, Pat returned to the state department to design a statewide program of leadership development focused on districts and schools not meeting federal standards.
First elected to Newtown’s Legislative Council in 2005, Pat won re-election in 2007 and was elected First Selectman in 2009.
Carmen served as Senior Economic Development Specialist at the consulting firm Camoin Associates of Saratoga Springs, New York from 2006 to 2011. At Camoin, she worked with more than 50 communities across the Northeast crafting economic development strategies, raising millions of dollars for revitalization programs, and analyzing the return on investment for large-scale development projects. In 2011, Carmen returned home to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire to serve as executive director of the Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC), where she helped the organization find its niche in the post-recession landscape and collaborated on several new programs, including www.lakesregioninternships.com, which will help the area retain its young talent. In January 2014, Carmen was appointed by Governor Maggie Hassan to serve as Director of the NH Division of Economic Development where she oversees the state’s economic development programs. Carmen is known for building partnerships and is a firm believer in the power of collective impact.
John has been the Executive Director of the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation since March 2010. Prior to that he was the Director of the Incubator Without Walls program at Lyndon State College and was briefly the President of Northern Community Management Corp., a property management firm specializing in affordable housing for low income families, senior citizens and the disabled. John served as the Area Business Advisor for the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont as well as for Lamoille County for the VtSBDC for two years. He was also an executive for the New England Culinary Institute for five years after moving to Vermont with his family in July 2000. Prior to moving to Vermont he served as the Managing Director/COO for the European subsidiary of an American company and lived in England for seven years. He has also owned two businesses; a business consulting firm in Manhattan for seven years and the Central California Region for international franchisor, Decorating Den, Inc. for five.
Mary Mansfield is a Senior Vice President with Bay Colony Development Corp., in Waltham, MA. She oversees the Eligibility and Closing Departments for the CDC’s portfolio of roughly 525 active SBA-504 loans. Mary has been with Bay Colony since 1985, initially working in the Servicing Dept. She is a graduate of Assumption College in Worcester, MA and is also a licensed real estate broker. In addition to her responsibilities at Bay Colony, Mary is the Vice Chair for NADCO, the industry’s trade association. Ms. Mansfield also teaches the Intro to 504 and 504 Loan Closing Courses for NADCO.
Thomas Marano is the economic development specialist for the City of Middletown, CT, having started in June, 2014. He has more than 22 years in economic development in various positions.
He started his economic development career in 1992 as a loaned executive from Yankee Gas to the Connecticut Department of Economic Development, where he served for three years. During his tenure, he completed more than a dozen projects with national companies such as CUNO (now 3M) Inc. and local companies.
In 1995, he was loaned to the Greater Waterbury (CT) Chamber of Commerce where he was the economic development expert for a city-wide planning effort, “Waterbury Partnership 2000.” This was 21 point action plan, much of which has been implemented.
In 2001, he joined the economic development department of Northeast Utilities where he worked with businesses and communities in northern and eastern Connecticut. He also ran a three time award winning economic development training program called “Community Builders Institute.”
He started a consulting practice in 2012 where he worked with communities on economic development strategies. Marano holds a B.S. and M.A. in economics. Marano has served on numerous boards and commissions.
Rafael Mata is the President of GAMBIT Services, a consulting firm that assists small businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, and State/Local government with Strategic Planning, Business Development/Social Enterprise, and Administrative Support related to implementation and startup of special projects. GAMBIT Services is especially adept at identifying solutions to immediate problems and providing pragmatic, “hands-on” support that ensures the success of our client’s projects.
Prior to starting GAMBIT Services in 2009, Rafael was a Senior Associate at JANUS Solutions, a well-respected Human Services Consulting firm in New Jersey that served various non-profits and State/Municipal governments both in and out of New Jersey. He has also worked as the Administrator for a growing Home Health Aide company in Hudson County; served as Director of Program Development for Goodwill Industries of Northern New Jersey; and, owned and operated a successful construction company that provided repairs and renovations to commercial and residential clients throughout New Jersey. Rafael’s experiences with government, non-profits, and small business have led to the firm’s ability to bridge gaps between business needs and social impact—creating a common language for improved coordination between government and the private sector. Rafael is a graduate of the City University of New York.
Lynne McCormack serves as the director of Art, Culture + Tourism for the City of Providence, Rhode Island. In her 16-year tenure as a city arts administrator she has moved through the ranks, from production coordinator to a trusted member of the mayor’s cabinet. Since assuming the director position in 2006, Ms. McCormack has successfully transitioned the department from an office of cultural affairs focused on public programming to a community and economic development agency. She forged a series of partnerships that have resulted in a destination branding campaign, a summer workforce development program for youth, citywide arts festivals and increased funding for artists and organizations through CDBG, HUD, transit and city economic development funds. Recognized as a leader in the field of creative economic development, she is regularly invited to speak about the City of Providence’s cultural infrastructure at conferences across the country, regularly participates in Americans for the Arts Local Arts Leadership gatherings, led a session at the 2013ArtPlace meeting in Miami, and has served on the Local Arts Agency panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a member of the Mayor’s Economic Development Cabinet and serves on the board of the Providence-Warwick Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Ms. McCormack earned her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design.
Ray has been with the U.S. Small Business Administration since January 1999.
In his role as Assistant District Director, Ray is responsible for the effective delivery of SBA’s management and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, small businesses and economic development organizations in Massachusetts.
Ray is a graduate Northeastern University School of Law (Class of 1998). He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Mr. O’Brien is the District Counsel in the Maine District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is a member of SBA’s Environmental Committee.
He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maine in 1981 and his J.D. degree from the University of Maine School of Law in 1984. Prior to joining the SBA in 1987, he was in private practice with the firm of Sanborn, Moreshead, Schade & Gifford in Augusta, Maine.
Mr. O’Brien is admitted to practice in the State of Maine, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
He is appointed as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for litigating SBA matters. He is also a member of SBA’s Authorization and 504 Streamlining committees.
Samuel Ortiz, Commercial Lender – Mr. Ortiz brings over 30 years of banking, accounting and business lending experience. Mr. Ortiz has been involved with business financing and technical assistance during the last 25 years. After a very successful banking career, Mr. Ortiz established a business consulting practice providing professional services in the areas of business planning, business financing, tax, accounting, management consulting, and real estate sales. Mr. Ortiz has been a licensed Realtor in MA since 1986. He worked for the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Tax Technician and is a registered tax practitioner with the IRS. Mr. Ortiz provides loan underwriting, portfolio management and technical support to existing and new loan applicants at Common Capital in Holyoke, MA.
Kevin is the President and CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, a private economic development organization that promotes the growth and expansion of the Biotechnology, Medical Device and Bioinformatics industry. MBI operates four life science business incubator facilities in Worcester home to over twenty companies with approximately 100 employees, providing cost effective laboratory space and high quality business development and commercialization services. He previously served as Vice President and Director of Marketing in a combined public/private partnership position with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City of Worcester where he instituted a comprehensive business and industry development and recruitment plan and was also charged with the opening of the new Convention Center at the DCU Center.
Rich is a nationally known thought leader in the economic development field and has served in diverse roles in the nation’s economic development community. Rich is currently President and CEO of Fourth Economy Consulting, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. The Fourth Economy team is working with clients throughout the country to develop new economic and community development strategies to support sustainable futures through innovation and collaboration. Rich has launched several public private partnerships and is currently supporting the development of the Water Economy Network. He is also working with clients in Indiana and Rhode Island to develop new partnerships that seize economic opportunities for community development.
Rich is also serving as the Executive Director of the University Economic Development Association, an organization of higher education and supporting firms that is defining new models for economic impact in their host communities. Previously, Rich has served in Pennsylvania State Government as the Deputy Secretary for Technology Investment, managing a portfolio of over $1B in investments and an annual appropriation of over $89m. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Poland is a human geographer and professional planner with twenty years’ experience in land use planning, community development, and executive level management. He has worked in public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors as a municipal planning director, planning consultant, executive director/CEO, and as a university lecturer in human geography and urban planning.
Mr. Poland is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a Certified Zoning Enforcement Official. Mr. Poland is accepted as an expert witness in the areas of land use planning, neighborhood redevelopment, and community development in the United States District Court. Mr. Poland operates a nationally recognized planning consulting business and has been working with St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana on post-Katrina planning, land use, and redevelopment strategies since 2008, include his ongoing work on their Comprehensive Plan for St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana with MIG/Winston and CZB.
Mr. Poland, as a university lecturer, has taught introduction to geography and urban geography at Manchester Community College and urban and regional planning at the University of Connecticut. He is a part-time member of the faculty in the Geography Department at CCSU, teaching a variety of topics and courses in human geography and urban planning. Mr. Poland is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, Cities and Urbanization program at University College London, London, England and will defend his dissertation early next year. He was awarded the Connecticut Homebuilders 2003 Outstanding Land Use Official Award and is an alumnus of the Hartford Business Journal’s Forty Under Forty business and community leaders, 2004. Mr. Poland is a licensed private pilot and lives in the city of Hartford.
Karen Pollard has been in New Hampshire since 2003, where she has transitioned the City of Rochester from a community struggling with 1 million square feet of vacant tech and manufacturing space into an energized economy with a targeted focus on industry development. During the economic recession she was able to surpass traditional boundaries and engage a program to retain and grow innovative and entrepreneurial companies, notably, the Albany International and Safran USA aerospace projects beginning in 2010. She served on the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority and is currently on the Great Bay Community College Advisory Board. Karen is named an Outstanding Woman in Business by the New Hampshire Business Review, a member of the 2014 Influencer Index in Business NH Magazine and a U.S. Small Business Administration District Champion Award Winner. Karen has worked in Economic Development since 1998 in New York, the Midwest and in New England, and holds certifications from the International Economic Developers Council (IEDC) and the Northeast Economic Developer’s Association (NEDA), and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute (EDI) with the Ruffin Award for Economic Development Scholarship. She has been recognized for significant accomplishments in Community Leadership, Targeted Industry Development, Community Marketing Strategies, Workforce Development and Business Retention and Expansion. She lives in the Seacoast Region and enjoys every minute of it.
Brandon Rutz is a disciplined yet innovative thinker whose passion for data and research is complemented by a background in marketing, farming, and strategy. He serves as day-to-day manager of research at Ady Voltedge, where he cultivates popular as well as lesser- known sources of data to support clients in marketing discovery, planning, and implementation.
His responsibilities also include managing large and complex projects, especially data-rich projects such as economic development websites, sector research, and marketing plan development. He has fine-tuned critical-thinking skills which provide clients with well thought-out, effective recommendations. He is also a public speaker on current topics in marketing and market research. Brandon also has a background in agriculture, as he is the 4th generation of a family farm in south central Wisconsin where he is still actively involved.
Brandon excels at both qualitative and quantitative research, as effective leading a focus group, stakeholder input session, or diving into spreadsheets of data. His analytical skills are unmatched, and he has an approachable, understandable presentation style.
Linda Reilly joined SBA in 2010 and was promoted as Chief of the 504 Program Branch in 2012. Since joining SBA she has worked on 504 program updates announced March 21, 2014 for the Final Rule and previously worked on the Jobs Act Debt Refi program. She recently worked on SOP 50 10 5 (G) and the 504 Authorization Boilerplate and coordinated webinars for the national rollout of the Final Rule. Linda supervises the Financial Analysts in the 504 unit of OFA, and coordinates with the Sacramento Loan Processing Center, the Little Rock and Fresno Commercial Loan Processing Centers, the Office of Credit Risk Management, the Office of Field Operations, the Office of General Counsel and the Central Serving agent and COTR. In addition to policy and program updates and training, the 504 program office reviews loan reconsiderations, exception to policy requests, new CDC applications, ALP applications, annual reports, bylaws, multi-state applications, local area expansion requests, and CDC contracts for professional services. Linda coordinates with the Office of Congressional Affairs and the CFO’s subsidy modeling team and is the 504 liaison with SBA’s federal partners.
Linda began working on the 504 loan program in 1984 as a loan packager while on staff at a regional planning and development commission. She later worked at a state CDC, the Southern Development Council marketing, packaging, servicing and preparing loan packages for closings. She was the NADCO Director of Regulatory Affairs from 2005 to 2010 coordinating technical issue memos, webinars and conferences to provide updates on SBA’s 504 policies and program updates to CDC across the US.
Karl F. Seidman is an economic development consultant and Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His MIT courses have completed over 60 technical assistance projects for development finance organizations, 20 economic development plans, and Main Street revitalization plans, including award-winning revitalization plans for New Orleans’ St. Claude Avenue and Boston’s Hyde Park, Egleston Square, and Hyde-Jackson Square commercial districts. He previously served as Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer for Mass Development, a state agency that finances and manages redevelopment projects. His experience includes the preparation of economic development and commercial district plans and strategies, the design, management, and evaluation of development finance and economic development programs, and the financing and supervision of complex development projects. Mr. Seidman’s accomplishments include:
– Building a $120 million state real estate finance and development authority
– Preparing over 20 local and regional economic development plans
– Authoring laws that established two Massachusetts economic development agencies
– Participating in national evaluations of federal and foundation economic and community development programs.
Mr. Seidman holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Amherst College. He is the author of Coming Home to New Orleans: Neighborhood Rebuilding after Katrina, Economic Development Finance and Revitalizing Commerce for American Cities: A Practitioner’s Guide to Urban Main Street Programs, and numerous consulting reports.
Amy Shapiro is the Business Development Director for the Franklin County Community Development Corporation. At the FCCDC for 13 years, Amy is responsible for business counseling and training to small business owners and manages community economic development projects throughout the western MA region. Amy has over 25 years of business experience and holds an MBA from UMASS Amherst.
John Shemo has spent more than 25 years in municipal and regional planning and economic development in Connecticut. He served as Town Planner for East Hartford for eight years and as Economic Development Director for South Windsor for eight years. He then served as the first executive director of the Corporation for Regional Economic Development, serving southeastern Connecticut. John joined the Connecticut Capital Region Growth Council as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and currently serves as the Vice President for Economic Development for the MetroHartford Alliance.
His community work includes serving as a Director of Capital Workforce Partners and a member of the Capital Community College Foundation Board. He served as a member of the Governor’s Aquifer Protection Task Force which established statewide regulations governing the protection of aquifers. He is currently a member of the State Legislature’s Planning Commission for Higher Education charged with creating a strategic plan for higher education in Connecticut.
Mr. Shemo earned his B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Connecticut, and his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Hartford.
He is a Past President of the Connecticut Economic Development Association as well as the Northeastern Economic Developers Association. In 2006 Mr. Shemo received the NEDA Member of the Year Award and in 2010 received the CEDAS Member of the Year Award.
Ethan W. Smith is a partner in the law firm of Starfield & Smith, P.C., where his areas of practice focus on government guaranteed lending, commercial lending, banking, real estate and commercial law. Mr. Smith has closed thousands of government guaranteed loans on behalf of his lender clients, assists lenders nationwide with SBA guaranty purchase issues and has been retained as an expert witness on SBA related litigation matters. Mr. Smith is a licensed title insurance agent for Chicago Title and Fidelity National Title in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is a member of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL) and is a frequent speaker and serves as a member of its Associate Member Committee. Mr. Smith is also an affiliate member of the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) and is qualified as a designated closing attorney under the SBA 504 Program. During the years 2005-2011, Mr. Smith was honored by being named a Pennsylvania “Rising Star” by Philadelphia Magazine and is rated by Martindale Hubbell as an “AV Preeminent” attorney. He earned his B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland and J.D. degree from the College of William and Mary School of Law.
H. Curtis “Curt” Spalding has extensive experience in the environmental protection field as an advocate, policy analyst and administrator. For almost 20 years, he served as Executive Director of Save the Bay in Rhode Island, a nationally recognized, 20,000-member environmental advocacy and education organization. There, he helped build an advocacy and education program that helped restore the Bay and educates 15,000 children year. He also oversaw the construction of the Save the Bay Center at Fields Point in Providence, Rhode Island. Winning the Phoenix Award for development of the Save The Bay Center is a highlight of Curt’s leadership tenure. But according to Curt, getting a Green Infrastructure project permitted on a brownfield back in 2003, may well be his greatest achievement.
Since joining the EPA leadership team in February 2010, Spalding has been leading a holistic approach to finding environmental solutions in New England. He’s emphasized efforts in community engagement, sustainability, environmental justice and green economy. Spalding has focused our efforts in the region on three cross-cutting initiatives: climate change, stormwater and community prosperity.
Spalding has been heavily engaged in resilience planning efforts for Climate Change in New England. He has also been involved in a number of pilot projects working on sustainability in communities around the region. Urban revitalization is a priority for Spalding, and you can see it coming to fruition in places like Holyoke, MA and Bridgeport, CT.
Spalding received his bachelor’s degree from Hobart College and an M.P.A. from SUNY at Albany in Albany, NY.
Jennifer has worked in community economic development since 1993, working with small business owners in the United States, Guatemala (as a Peace Corps Volunteer) and Paraguay. At CEI, she coordinates the delivery of the microloan program and oversees the Women’s Business Center and StartSmart business counseling programs.
Jennifer serves on the board of the Portland Development Corporation (treasurer) and the CA$H Coalition of Greater Portland, volunteers as a tax preparer for CA$H and is a coach for her daughter’s soccer team. In 2008 she was named co-recipient of the SBA Minority Small Business Champion in Maine. She has a BS in Business Administration, Finance, from the University of Vermont and an EdM from Harvard University. She is a Leadership Maine alumna (Upsilon Class) and an Aspen Institute Fellow in the first class of Emerging Leaders in Microenterprise (ELM2).
Vicky joined Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), as the Director of Strategic Partnerships in 2011. CRF is a national nonprofit financial institution that uses innovative financing to improve the lives of disadvantaged people and strengthen distressed communities. In her current capacity, Vicky is responsible for building relationships with mission-aligned lenders to deliver CRF’s products and services, including the SBA 7(a). She also oversees CRF’s policy development and advocacy activities.
Prior to joining CRF, Vicky spent more than 20 years consulting to nonprofit and community development organizations across the country. To this work, she brings a wide range of experience in public policy, financial services and nonprofit advocacy. As a Senior Policy Associate at Robert A. Rapoza Associates, she represented the interests of nonprofit organizations before Congress and federal agencies. She played an active role in the legislative process that led to the establishment of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Vicky also has deep legislative experience as a former staff member of the House Banking Committee and in several other posts on Capitol Hill. She began her career as an analyst in the banking and financial services industry and later served in a regulatory capacity at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Vicky holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s from Middlebury College.
Abby is a pioneer in the field of strategy and leadership for complex environments. She partners with individuals, communities and organization systems as a facilitator, workshop leader and coach, helping people develop plans of action and methods of interaction to collectively create a more successful future.
Organizations that have benefited through collaboration with Abby include the New Jersey State Library, United Way, the Cleveland Clinic, Eli Lilly, Dun and Bradstreet, the International Center for Complex Project Management, UBS, and the National Education Association.
She has co-developed a cadre of practical, systems-based tools that support her clients in proactively leveraging possibility and creating their preferred futures in the midst of complexity, ambiguity and rapid change. With Maverick & Boutique partner, John Findlay, she has developed applications of the science of complexity that provide both a context and processes for innovation and collaboration across the boundaries of professional disciplines, world views, cultures and organizational structures.
Abby holds a BA in cultural anthropology and a master’s degree in divinity. She is the proud mother of a twenty-one-year-old son, an avid yoga practitioner, hiker and gardener. She lives in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts.
Attorney George Tetler is a partner at Bowditch & Dewey LLP and has extensive experience representing business and real estate entities in a wide range of business planning and transactional matters with emphasis on mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and restructurings. He represents corporate, non-profit, educational, healthcare and financial institution clients in a variety of financings, including asset-based and mortgage financing, project and construction financing, bond financing, and credit enhancement.
Mr. Tetler also represents several financial institutions with respect to general corporate and regulatory compliance issues, formation of bank holding companies, national banking associations, and bank subsidiaries, as well as acquisitions of financial institutions. He also counsels secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees and debtors in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
He is involved with numerous community organizations, serving as Chairman of the Worcester Business Development Corporation, Chairman of the Worcester Education Collaborative, Treasurer and Trustee of the American Antiquarian Society, Corporator of the Worcester Art Museum, and former Chairman of Worcester Regional Research Bureau, Worcester State University, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Central Massachusetts.
Mr. Daniel T. Titus is the Vice President of HRP Associates, Inc. and has been with the firm for 17 years. He oversees the operations of the Connecticut and Massachusetts offices. In this capacity, he is responsible for operational general management, financial performance, business development and is the Principal-in-Charge responsible for the office’s work product. Dan’s areas of expertise include Subsurface Investigations, Hydrogeology, Remedial Actions, Litigation Support, and RCRA Corrective Action Investigations.
Dan has an M.S., Business Management from the Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Geology/Hydrogeology from Michigan State University and a B.S., Environmental Earth Science from Eastern Connecticut State University. Dan is also a United States Army Combat Veteran having served with the 800th Military Police Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Hafar al Batin, Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War.
Jeff Turgeon is the Executive Director of the Central MA Workforce Investment Board, the entity responsible for overseeing the public workforce system in the City of Worcester and 37 surrounding communities. Jeff holds a Bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University, a Master’s degree from Georgia Southern University, and a non-
profit management certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Jeff’s professional experience prior to the CMWIB includes senior management positions at the YMCA of Greater Worcester, the Shriver Job Corps Center, and the US Dept of Labor. In his spare time, Jeff is an executive officer with the Worcester Sports Foundation, and the co-founder and Managing Partner of Elevated Training LLC, an obstacle race fitness facility in Central MA.
John Wadsworth’s practice combines environmental and energy experience. He represents developers and financers of projects in permitting, regulatory and environmental risk allocation issues and represents energy companies in connection with acquisitions, permitting, regulatory approvals, and development work. John has extensive experience in hazardous waste remediation projects; renewable energy projects, including solar projects in Connecticut and Massachusetts; and large scale development projects.
The range of environmental issues that John has dealt with is nearly comprehensive: Endangered Species Act compliance; solid waste facilities siting and permitting; Board of Health siting hearings; carbon trading and RGGI; wetlands permitting; air compliance issues; Brownfields Redevelopment and tax credit creation; zoning; renewable energy certificates including SRECs and ZRECs; Chapter 91 tideland licensing; Chapter 21E issues including filings of RAOs, AULs, responding to DEP audits, and dealing with PCB issues under Federal law; all aspects of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA); environmental insurance; and general review of environmental reports in connection with corporate and real estate transactions.
John is on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Business Council and is Vice Chair of the Renewable Energy Committee. He has conducted seminars on solar initiatives in Massachusetts and Connecticut, dealing with SRECs and ZRECs/LRECs respectively. He is also an Associate Member of the Planning Board for the Town of Natick, Massachusetts.
Michael S. Walker is a Senior Project manager with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI). He was hired in 1994 by the then Rhode Island Port Authority and Economic Development Corporation.
During Michael’s tenure, he has worked on and managed projects ranging from the disposition and subsequent acquisition of surplus Navy property, brownfields cleanup, commercial and industrial real estate redevelopment, state and local planning projects and state-wide regulatory reform initiatives
Current assignments fall under three main areas – Planning activities, Operations activities, and Project Management. Michael represents Commerce RI on the Transportation Advisory Committee; the State Technical Committee; the East Providence Waterfront Commission; The Water Resources Board and its Board Corporate; the Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination Team; the RIPTA Strategic Planning Committee; the Sustainable Seafood Marketing Collaborative; the Port of Galilee Task Force and the Sustainable Communities Consortium.
Michael’s project support is varied and is represented by the work done to organize and establish the I-195 Commission; a legislatively created public entity tasked with the disposition of 40 acres of land in Providence. Additionally, Michael manages the activity of the EPA-funded Brownfields Loan Fund Grant, and oversees Commerce RI’s obligations for performance reporting of taxpayer supported incentives to business.
Operations duties include managing the contracts for professional services and purchasing of capital equipment and supplies related to Commerce RI’s Information Technology needs, as well as identifying and leasing the Commerce RI office space.
Prior to coming to Commerce RI, Michael worked work for General Dynamics Corporation, Electric Boat Division for over 12 years. During that employment period, Michael worked in Engineering Administration, R&D and Strategic Planning departments. Duties included estimating contract changes, performing administrative functions related to a dedicated Research and Development facility; identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, and preparing Strategic Program Plans for major product lines of business.
Michael has earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Masters of Public Administration, Both from the University of Rhode Island. Michael also holds a RI Real Estate Sales License.
Amy is the Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at Clark University. As Director, she is responsible for providing curriculum oversight and assessment, hiring and supervision of adjunct faculty, advising and mentoring of undergraduate students, monitoring on-campus student ventures and managing a campus-wide Big Idea competition.
Erin I. Williams is the Cultural Development Officer for the City of Worcester, MA and the Executive Director of the Worcester Cultural Coalition, the unified voice of the Greater Worcester, MA creative community. The Coalition is a unique public private partnership which shines a spotlight on the creative activity produced in the region and supports creative placemaking through such initiatives as the WOOcard, Worcester Wayfinding signage program and Creative Confabs. With Erin’s leadership, the Worcester Cultural Coalition was presented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts highest award, as the Creative Economy Catalyst. In July, 2012 Richard Florida named Worcester as one of the top 20 creative cities in the U.S in The Rise of the Creative Class.She orchestrated a city wide residency with Charles Landry to engage the City of Worcester in a Creative Citymaking exploration which resulted in a creative city making plan known as the Worcester Way.Ms Williams currently serves on Governor Patrick’s Creative Economy Council, is a founding director of MASSCreative, board member of Destination Worcester, National Science Foundation Art of Science Learning Incubator National Advisory Committee and a participant in Americans for the Arts Local Arts Agency Executive Leadership Forum, in conjunction with the National Arts Policy Roundtable; in addition to many local community organization boards. Ms. Williams was previously employed by the Massachusetts Cultural Council where she provided oversight and technical assistance to 90 local cultural councils in Central Massachusetts. She assisted in strategic planning and capacity building efforts for the Communities Department and is a consultant in the area of creative placemaking. She has received numerous grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council programs: Organizational Support, YouthReach, Local Cultural Councils, Artist in Residence; local and regional foundations for non-profit cultural programming, arts education and capital projects. Erin was the founding director and trustee of the 1794 Meetinghouse performing arts and cultural center in New Salem, Massachusetts and the founding director of the Big Small Theater in Philadelphia. She is a playwright, theater director and dramaturg. She holds a Smith Scholar degree, graduating magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College. She also studied as a Theater for Social Change major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Erin is a frequent speaker on the role of arts and culture in community building and is a firm believer that creativity sparks the economy and builds community.