DCI 40 Under 40
2019 Econ Dev 40 Under 40 Winners
40 Under 40 is a biennial awards program recognizing the top “rising stars” under 40 years old in the economic development industry. This year, DCI is proud to partner with Jorgenson Consulting, a leading national executive search firm, to find the most innovative, impactful young economic developers around the globe.
After receiving a record number of highly qualified nominations, our selection committee chose the 40 individuals whose leadership, dedication and innovation have had a significant impact on their organizations, communities and the economic development industry itself.
Please join us in congratulating the 2019 Class of Econ Dev 40 Under 40 Winners!
President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
A proven leader with over 10 years in executive management roles, Chris Camacho serves as the President & CEO at one of the longest standing public private partnerships for economic development across the country. He previously served as the organization’s Executive Vice President.
During his tenure, GPEC has led the attraction of more than 322 companies creating 55,617 jobs and $5.6 billion in capital investment. Some of the more notable projects include Apple, Silicon Valley Bank, Zenefits, GoDaddy, Yelp, Amazon, Garmin, General Motors and many others.
He oversees the domestic and international business development and market strategies while serving as GPEC’s executive leader in community interactions. He has particular expertise in emerging technology, tax policy and international economic development. Since 2008, he has taken an active role in addressing the region’s competitiveness position on cost and taxation.
In 2015 and 2016, Chris was named to Consult Connect’s Top 50 U.S. Economic Developers. In 2013, he was named among an international group of “40 Under 40” by Development Counsellors International, a New York-based firm recognizing rising talent in economic development. And in 2012, he also received a “40 Under 40” award from the Phoenix Business Journal, which each year identifies talent throughout Arizona. Camacho is the past president of the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED), the statewide association of economic development practitioners. In 2011, AAED named him Economic Developer of the Year.
Viewed as a dynamic community figure, Camacho was recognized as the Chamber of Commerce Leader of the Year in 2007. In 2006, he served on the Arizona Global Network Board, which was developed to create a foreign-direct investment platform for the State of Arizona. He also developed Yuma’s first Business Retention and Expansion Program to support the local manufacturing and food technology sector.
Camacho graduated from Southern Illinois University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis. He also attended the University of Oklahoma for the Economic Development Institute. He resides in Scottsdale with his wife and three children.
Jeannette T. Goldsmith
Vice President, Strategic Development Group
Jeannette Goldsmith is Vice President of Strategic Development Group, where she specializes in site selection and incentive negotiations for clients worldwide.
Jeannette’s background spans more than 20 years in site location consulting, incentive negotiations, and economic development consulting with McCallum Sweeney and then with her own company, Goldsmith Strategy. Her specific experience includes a heavy focus on manufacturing (specifically, aerospace, logistics, advanced materials and automotive sectors), as well as office sectors. Recent clients include Suntory, Boeing, Nissan North America, Suncoke Energy and Vought Aircraft. Among Jeannette’s most notable projects, are Nissan North America’s headquarter relocation from Los Angeles to Nashville, the Boeing 7E7 Final Assembly siting project and the Vought Aircraft / Alenia Aeronautica 7E7 supplier site project.
Her most recent economic development assignments include evaluating automotive assembly sites for NCRR and developing and implementing a site certification program for Mississippi Power Company. In addition, she recently completed an economic development strategic plan for Transylvania County, NC and Citrus County, FL. Jeannette has designed several site certification programs, including the South Carolina Department of Commerce Certified Site Program, the Mississippi Power Certified Site Program and the site evaluation program for Duke Energy.
Jeannette achieved a Masters of Public Policy from Duke University and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Smith College. She was honored with the Graduate Student of the Year Award from the Terry Sanford Institute in 1995 and is a proud member of the Site Selectors Guild, South Carolina Economic Developers Association, as well as the International Economic Development Council.
Senior Consultant, Global Location Strategies
Over the past 6 years, John has helped numerous clients involved in dozens of industries make sound decisions for the relocation and new investment of large manufacturing operations. He has conducted studies in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. The projects John has worked on in this time have totaled more than $10 billion in investment and over 3000 jobs.
John is a graduate of Clemson University’s Civil Engineering undergraduate program, as well as their master’s program for City and Regional Planning. When not performing site selection work, John enjoys spending time with his two munchkins, Mills and Maggie. He is also heavily involved at Bridgeway Church in helping out his wife, Jessica, where she serves as the Children’s Pastor.
President, Lakeshore Advantage
Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens delivers direct business attraction, expansion and retention services while providing overall leadership to the organization. Since joining the organization in 2013, she has helped various major business expansion and attraction projects. She has more than 15 years of leadership experience in business retention, expansion and attraction working at various state and local economic development positions throughout Michigan.
Prior to joining the Lakeshore Advantage team, Jennifer held the positions of vice president at Southwest Michigan First and principal of Consultant Connect, an organization that cultivates relationships between economic developers and location consultants. At Southwest Michigan First, Jennifer led the firm’s new business attraction efforts. In addition, Jennifer held key positions at Ann Arbor SPARK and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Her accomplishments also led her to various awards and recognition, such as being named an Athena Award Finalist (2017), Grand Rapids Business Journal Newsmaker of the Year Finalist (2015 & 2016), Corp Magazine Most Valuable Professional (2017) and Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan (2018). In her free time, Jennifer and her husband Mike enjoy spending time with their three action-packed and athletic sons.
Peter Tokar III
President and CEO, McKinney EDC
Creativity and Innovation have always been a passion for Peter Tokar. Earning his degree in advertising and graphic design, Peter planned on winning Addy awards for a big NY Ad firm. However, his career path took a creative turn of its own during the great recession. Working odd jobs in hospitality, sales and whatever freelance work he could find, Peter went back to school to get his Masters of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University who offered the degree with a specialization in Entrepreneurship.
After graduating, Peter found himself working of all places, in the economic development department of a local government. Economic Development was different though. If there is a creative sliver of government, it is economic development. In the 13 years since, Peter has been crafting community outreach programs, business assistance programs for local businesses, launching innovation centers for start-up tech entrepreneurs, sponsored kids coding programs in the local community and help bring life and vibrancy to the cities he has been a servant to.
Peter is passionate about what he does and is always trying to find that innovative element that will bring positive change and growth to a community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Candidates must be under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2019.
Of course! As long as they are still under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2019.
Nominations must be filled in completely and submitted by midnight October 12, 2018.
Absolutely! A nominee can either self-nominate or be nominated by a third party.
Fill out and submit the nomination form by October 12th, 2018.
We’re looking for young leaders who have raised the bar in economic development: those who have brought innovation, creativity, high standards, strong character and a track record of success to their community and the profession. Candidates must be under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2019. For this particular award, service providers to the economic development industry are not eligible.
No. Judges will not know who nominated who, they will just see the name of the nominee.
No, however, the nominee must hold a career within the economic development industry.
Having this accreditation may give the nominee a boost, but it’s completely up to each judge on how they’ll rate or grade each entry.
Email the name and contact information directly to Susan Brake at [email protected]. We’ll be sure to follow up with each person directly letting them know that someone thought they would be a good fit for the award.
Winners, and all others who submitted an application, will be notified of the status of their nomination in early December 2018.
DCI will officially announce and recognize winners at the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
No. We will release the award every two years. After the 2019 awards, the next round of nominations will open for our 2021 class in late summer 2020.
Our selection committee represents a broad mix of representatives from the economic development industry including recruiters, economic developers and site selectors. For more information on the individuals on the 2019 panel, visit the Selection Committee tab.
After we receive the nominations, the selection committee will review and rank each nominee. DCI will compile all rankings and use an averaging system to determine the top 40.
Candidates who are selected are required to send us a photo to include in the website, as well as complete a quick questionnaire. In addition, if available, we’d love for them to attend a special recognition dinner during IEDC’s Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in January 2019.