40 Under 40 in Economic Developemnt DCI logo

2017 40 Under 40 Winners

The wait is over: Introducing a carefully selected group of young leaders within the economic development field that aren’t afraid to disrupt industry standards and always raise the bar for achieving community prosperity. Scroll over each winner to view professional and contact information, and stay tuned as we roll out unique profile pages—including their coveted #econdev career advice—throughout the year!

View all Honorees

View the Honorees
Joe Agostinelli
Joe Agostinelli Southwest Michigan First
Max Ault
Max Ault Columbia River Economic Development Council
Megan Barnett-Livgard
Megan Barnett-Livgard Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (Greater MSP)
Scott Jeffrey Bowles
Scott Jeffrey Bowles City of Provo, Utah
Danielle Casey
Danielle Casey City of Scottsdale, Economic Development
David Colligan
David Colligan City of Austin
Jennifer Conoley
Jennifer Conoley Gulf Power Company
Grant Cothran
Grant Cothran Norfolk Southern Corporation
Ashley Elrod
Ashley Elrod Indy Chamber
Jonathan Ferry
Jonathan Ferry Saint Louis Development Corporation
Peter Frosch
Peter Frosch Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (Greater MSP)
Jeremiah Gracia
Jeremiah Gracia City of Dublin, OH
Cecilia Harry
Cecilia Harry Envision Greater Fond du Lac, Inc.
Justin Horvath
Justin Horvath Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership
Devin Howland
Devin Howland City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
Mike Kamerlander
Mike Kamerlander Greater San Marcos Partnership
Michelle Kauk
Michelle Kauk Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Gord Knowles
Gord Knowles Atikokan Economic Development Corporation
Ana Liss
Ana Liss Greater Rochester Enterprise
Kevin Little
Kevin Little Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
Carmen Lorentz
Carmen Lorentz State of New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
Meridith Marshall
Meridith Marshall Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
Alexander M. McCoy
Alexander M. McCoy Greater Lawrence County (PA) Regional Chamber of Commerce
John McPherson
John McPherson Vancouver Economic Commission
Paul Nguyen
Paul Nguyen City of Hayward
Colin O’Leary
Colin O’Leary Venture Kamploos
Jillian Ochs
Jillian Ochs Greater Zurich Area
Nathan Ohle
Nathan Ohle U.S. Economic Development Administration
Scarlett Phaneuf
Scarlett Phaneuf PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
Scott Poag
Scott Poag Augusta Economic Development Authority
Jake Rishavy
Jake Rishavy Denver South Economic Development Partnership
Jose Romano
Jose Romano Texas Governor's Office of Economic Development & Tourism
Charles Sexton
Charles Sexton One East Kentucky
Crystal Stiles
Crystal Stiles Florida Power & Light Company
Jenna Sudds
Jenna Sudds Kanata North Business Association
Andrew Tate
Andrew Tate Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development
Ben Teague
Ben Teague Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition
Peter Tokar
Peter Tokar City of Alpharetta
Brent Willett
Brent Willett Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor
Gabrielle Zurita
Gabrielle Zurita JAXUSA Partnership

Ed Burghard, Founder, The Strengthening Brand America Project

Ed Burghard HeadshotEd is the nation’s watchdog for Brand America. He started the Strengthening Brand America Project with a belief that teaching economic development professionals to more effectively use community branding would in aggregate help make Brand America more globally competitive.

Hi Strengthening Brand America blog provides coaching on a) the role of branding in community strategy development/deployment, b) how to lead diverse teams for breakthrough results, and c) managing a community’s brand image and identity.

Ed believes the ultimate success measure for both communities and Brand America is enabling residents to achieve their American Dream. In partnership with Xavier University, Ed provides insights into both the nature and health of the American Dream. Annually, he publishes a unique report ranking both state and major MSA performance based on resident perception of their degree of American Dream attainment.

Ed spent 35 years sharpening his branding skills at Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s preeminent branding companies, where he earned the distinguished title of Harley Procter Marketer in recognition for his expertise. Ed also led the development of the Ohio brand playing a key role in the state earning the annual Site Selection Governor’s Cup Award in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Cathy Chambers, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, JAXUSA Partnership

Cathy Chambers, JAXUSA Partnership

Cathy has over 20 years of experience working for Chambers of Commerce, regional economic development organizations and city government in both Jacksonville and Cincinnati. In her role with JAXUSA, Cathy recruits high-wage jobs and private capital investment to Northeast Florida.

Focused on growing the financial services industry, Cathy has helped recruit more than 11,000 jobs to Jacksonville, including projects with Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Fidelity National Financial, Macquarie Group, Fidelity Investments and Adecco. Cathy also oversees the Partnership’s strategic planning, marketing and research initiatives and coordinates partner activities for the seven-county Northeast Florida region.

Cathy currently serves on several state and local Boards, including her role as Vice Chair of Finance for the Florida Economic Development Council. She also serves on the Visit Jacksonville Board and is an Advisory Council member for the North Florida chapter of the Urban Land Institute.

Cathy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Miami University (OH) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Xavier University. She is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council and is an active member of CoreNet Global and the International Economic Development Council.

Chris Chung, CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Chris Chung, CEO, North Carolina Economic DevelopmentIn 2015, Christopher Chung joined the new Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) as Chief Executive Officer, bringing more than 17 years of economic development experience at the state level.

As a public-private partnership, the EDPNC is responsible for a number of economic development functions on behalf of the State of North Carolina, including new business recruitment, existing business support, international trade and export assistance, small business start-up counseling, and tourism, sports, and film promotion. With a staff of more than 60 professionals and an annual operating budget of $19 million, the EDPNC is focused on advancing the economic interests of North Carolina’s 100 counties and 10 million residents.

Chris attended The Ohio State University (OSU), graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a double-major in Japanese and economics. He and his wife Emily reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Todd Jorgenson, Managing Partner & Principal, Jorgenson Consulting, Inc.

Jorgensen Consulting - Todd JorgensenTodd Jorgenson serves as Managing Partner and Principal of Jorgenson Consulting, Inc.  Todd specializes in executive searches for nonprofit, community and economic development entities throughout the United States.  Since 2002, Todd has worked closely with Joan Jorgenson to grow JCI into a dynamic executive search firm with offices in Colorado, Maryland and North Carolina.

Todd’s experience includes non-profit executive searches, information technology searches, executive compensation, sales operation management, business development and sales.

Todd began his career recruiting software engineers from the Department of Defense and National Security agencies to work on classified government contractor projects.  Todd also worked in the field of information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, working for successful technology based companies like U.S. Robotics, 3Com and Universal Access. Todd’s experience ranges from business development to running the Middle East and Africa sale operations out of Paris, France.

Todd has a communications degree from Jacksonville University and is currently a member of the International Economic Development Council, American Chamber of Commerce Executive and International Downtown Association.

Kathy Mussio, Managing Partner, Atlas Insight

Kathy Mussio Site Selection at Atlas InsightKathy has almost 25 years of combined experience as a management, incentive and site selection consultant. She is widely considered an industry expert in the site selection and incentive negotiation business. Her consulting career has focused on securing incentives for various projects as well as helping site selection clients to select optimal locations for expansion projects.

Kathy has conducted successful negotiations for some of the world’s largest corporations. While the majority of Atlas’ clients are companies in the Fortune 500, Kathy has also assisted small to mid-sized companies with projects in various industries.

Kathy has an expertise in working on highly complex real estate development projects, including working with New Markets Tax Credits, Brownfield Tax Credits and various other land use entitlements.

Kathy is a reliable opinion source for trade publications and AP stories and has been a frequent guest of state governments to assist with development of strategic plans to attract business investment. Kathy has also written numerous expert articles for international publications.

Kathy holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from New York University.

Zach Patton, Executive Editor, Governing Magazine

Zach Patton Governing MagazineZach Patton is the Executive Editor of Governing magazine. He joined the magazine as a staff writer in 2004, and has received accolades for his writing, including the 2011 Jesse H. Neal Award for Outstanding Journalism for his story on economic cutbacks in Colorado Springs and other cities. He has been a Governing editor since 2010. Prior to his time at Governing, Zach covered Congressional politics for National Journal’s CongressDaily, and helped produce National Journal’s Almanac of American Politics. A native of Tennessee, Zach is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Development Counsellors International’s “40 Under 40” Award?

DCI’s 40 Under 40 is a list of 40 people who have achieved success in economic development before turning 40 years old.

Who’s eligible to win?

Candidates must be 40 years or age or under 40 years old as of January 1, 2017.

Can former 40 Under 40 winners be nominated again?

Yes, as long as they are under 40 years old or younger as of January 1, 2017.

When is the nomination deadline?

Nominations must be filled in completely and submitted by October 15, 2016.

Will the judges know who filled out a form?

No. Judges will not know who nominated who, they will just see the name of the nominee.

Can a person self-nominate?

Yes, a nominee can either self-nominate or be nominated by a third party.

Does the nominee need to be a “Certified Economic Developer” to qualify as a 40 under 40 candidate?

No, however, the nominee must hold a career within the economic development industry.

Will a CEcD help the nominee during the judging process? Having this accreditation may give the nominee a boost, but it’s completely up to teach judge on how they’ll rate or grade someone.

I have someone who is a perfect fit, but I don’t know the exact details on their success. What should I do?

Email the name and contact information directly to Susan Brake at susan.brake@aboutdci.com. 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.

How can I nominate someone for DCI’s 40 Under 40?

Nominations must be submitted online.

When will winners be notified?

Winners, and all others who submitted an application, will be notified of the status of their nomination, the first week of December 2016.

When will DCI announce its 40 Under 40 winners?

DCI will announce and recognize winners at the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Summit in Jacksonville, FL.

Is 40 Under 40 an annual award?

No. We will release the award every two years. The next round of nominations will open for our 2019 class in late summer 2018.

What are the qualifications for DCI’s 40 Under 40?

We’re looking for young leaders who have raised the bar in economic development: those who have brought innovation, high standards, strong character and a track record of success to their community and the profession. Candidates must be under 40 years old as of January 1, 2017. For this particular award, service providers to the economic development industry are not eligible.

Who decides who will be in DCI’s 40 Under 40?

Our selection committee represents a broad mix of representatives from the economic development industry including recruiters, economic developers and site selectors.

How are the winners chosen?

After we receive the nominations, the selection committee will review and rank each nominee. DCI will compile all rankings to determine the top 40.

What is required of those who are selected?

Candidates who are selected must make themselves available for an interview with our digital team. They are also required to send us a photo to include in the website. In addition, if available, we’d love for them to attend a special recognition dinner during IEDC’s Leadership Summit in Jacksonville, Florida in January.

I never received a notification about my or my nominee’s status?

We sent an email to all applicants regarding their status during the first week of December 2016. We have received feedback that some notification emails got filtered through, so if you never received this email, please check your “spam” box.  If you have questions regarding the status of your nomination, please contact brianna.ragland@aboutdci.com.

DCI 40 Under 40 Selection Committees are comprised of industry thought leaders with a broad range of expertise, including recruiters who specializes in economic development, previous 40 Under 40 winners, site selectors and industry leaders. Check out our committees from the previous years below.

2015 Selection Committee

Barry Matherly, President & CEO, Greater Richmond Partnership

Cathy Chambers, JAX USA Partnership

Eric Peterson, Waverly Partners, LLC

Gilberto Salinas, Executive Vice President, Brownsville Economic Development Council

Jason Hickey, President, Hickey & Associates


2013 Selection Committee

Kathy Mussio, Co-founder & Managing Partner, Atlas Insight

Larry Gigerich, Managing Director, Ginovus

Kenny McDonald, President & CEO, Columbus 2020

Todd W.S. Jorgenson, Managing Director & Principal, Jorgenson Consulting

Janet Miller, CEO and Market Leader, Coillers International

2015 40 Under 40 Winners

1. Joel Akason, Greater MSP, Minnesota

2. Jake Austin, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Florida

3. Jason M. Ball, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, Kansas

4. Patrick E.W. Barker, Frederick County Economic Development Authority, Virginia

5. Todd Battle, Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Wisconsin

6. Jamie N. Beier Grant, Ottawa County Improvement Corporation, Ohio

7. Jonathan S. Bittner, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Alaska

8. Emily J. Brown, International Economic Development Council, Washington, D.C.

9. Lisa Corcoran, Calgary Economic Development, Alberta

10. Andrew Duffell, Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, Florida

11. Thomas Ashley Edwards, Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, Mississippi

12. Matt Forshee, Georgia Power, Georgia

13. David Gilford, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York

14. Heather Gramm, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland

15. Broderick Green, JAXUSA Partnership, Florida

16. Michelle Hadwiger, Colorado Office of Economic Development, Colorado

17. Liz Hayden, City of Hamilton, Ohio

18. Jennifer R. Hernandez, The Beacon Council, Florida

19. Amy Jauron, Economic Development Officer, Corvallis Benton County Economic Development Office, Oregon

20. Mandy Lambert, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky

21. Chris Lawson, The Hamilton Mill, Ohio

22. Ann Marie Miller, Buda Economic Development Corporation, Texas

23. Mark Morrissey, City of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

24. Tim Mroz, The Right Place, Inc., Michigan

25. Katie Perry, Southwest Michigan First, Michigan

26. Chris Petroff, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona

27. Jeremiah Quarles, DeSoto Economic Development Corporation, Texas

28. Matt Rookard, Greater New Orleans, Inc., Louisiana

29. Paul Rumler, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Illinois

30. Janet Scott, Enterprise Saint John, New Brunswick

31. Madison C. Silvert, Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, Kentucky

32. Christina Stimpson, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Alabama

33. Angela Talbot, Greater Phoenix Economic Development Council, Arizona

34. Timothy Terrentine, Executive Vice President, Southwest Michigan First, Michigan

35. Nicholas T. Terzulli, Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, New York

36. Stephen Thompson, Ontario International Marketing Centre, Ontario

37. Alan Tio, Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, Indiana

38. Jefferson Traywick, Birmingham Business Alliance, Alabama

39. Jennifer Wakefield, APR, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Florida

40. Kara L. Wood, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan

2013 40 Under 40 Winners

1. Jon Baggett, Dorchester County Economic Development, South Carolina

2. Clay Banks, State of Tennessee Economic & Community Development, Tennessee

3. Charles Beasley, Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, Mississippi

4. Jerry Bologna, Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission, Louisiana

5. Kendra Borgen, Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta (EDA), Alberta

6. Jennifer Bosser, Wake County Economic Development, North Carolina

7. Dan Bowman, Allen Economic Development Corporation, Texas

8. Lisa Bradley, City of Gulfport, Mississippi

9. Edward Calvesbert, Government of Puerto Rico

10. Chris Camacho, Greater Phoenix Economic Development Council, Arizona

11. Steven Ceulemans, Birmingham Business Alliance, Alabama

12. Cathy Chambers, JAXUSA Partnership, Florida

13. Chris Chung, Missouri Partnership, Missouri

14. Dusty Duistermars, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan

15. Amber Egnor Martin, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma

16. Kelly Flenniken, Grand Junction Economic Partnership, Colorado

17. Kristen Fletcher, Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership, North Carolina

18. Matt Forshee, Fayette Economic Development, Alabama

19. Steve Fritsch, Team NEO, Ohio

20. Chris Gahl, Visit Indy, Indiana

21. Ken Harris, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Michigan

22. Victoria Hirschberg, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, Tennessee

23. Kevin Hughes, City of Suffolk, Virginia

24. Mohammed Khudhier, Anbar Economic Development Council, Afghanistan

25. Cameron McCoy, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma

26. Roderick Miller, New Orleans Business Alliance, Louisiana

27. Kim Moore, City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, Texas

28. Jennifer Owens, Southwest Michigan First, Michigan

29. Trevor Pawl, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan

30. Jonas Peterson, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, California

31. Harold Pettigrew, DC Department of Small & Local Business Development, Washington, D.C.

32. Scott Resnick, City of Madison, Wisconsin

33. Joel Richardson, Government of New Brunswick

34. Sarah Roberts, Greater Waco Chamber

35. Gilberto Salinas, Brownsville Economic Development, Texas

36. Shelby Schneider, Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, New York

37. Jay Schwedler, Sumter Economic Development, South Carolina

38. Joshua Smith, City of Hamilton, Ohio

39. Kadie Ward, London Economic Development Corporation, Ontario

40. Claudia Zimmermann, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Alabama