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!  



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Maggie Gunther
Maggie Gunther Director, Communications and Programs Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance LinkedIn Twitter

Maggie Gunther is the Director of Communications and Programs for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development. In this role she is responsible for using a variety of communications channels to tell the story of Broward County’s preeminence as a business destination. She also manages community relations, and serves as staff lead to the organization’s board of directors and emerging leaders council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with honors from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University.

Maggie is currently an active volunteer leader for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Ghost Light Society; the Historic Stranahan House Museum, the Village Square at Broward College, Walk Like MADD/MADD Dash 5K, Leadership Florida and the United Way of Broward County Mayors’ Gala.

In 2016, Maggie was named to the South Florida Business Journal’s region-wide 40 Under 40 list. She is a graduate of the Leadership Florida Connect leadership institute Class VI.

When she’s not working or volunteering, Maggie enjoys exploring new countries, learning about history, and taking in live entertainment including concerts and theater.


We asked: Which non-work related accomplishment are you most proud of?

Maggie said: Though not part of our work at the Alliance, over the past year, the issue of homelessness became an economic development concern in Fort Lauderdale. My CEO, Bob Swindell, was a catalyst in getting the business community involved in the issue and was instrumental in the success of the Homelessness Collaborative in Broward and new Broward Business Council on Homelessness which the Alliance and United Way formed. I am most proud of Co-Chairing the communications committee for the Collaborative, which recently abated of a homeless encampment in downtown Fort Lauderdale that had been there for more than two years. The team assisted 80 people living in the encampment to get on the path to permanent housing through the nationally recognized Housing First approach to assisting individuals experiencing homelessness. Being a small part of helping people have homes and hope for the holidays, and helping tell this positive story for our community is incredible.

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2019 Selection Committee

We’ve teamed up with leaders who have a broad range of expertise, including previous 40 Under 40 winners, site selectors and industry leaders. Learn more about their backgrounds below.


Chris Camacho, 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.


John Longshore, 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.



Jennifer Owens, 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.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Economic Development “40 Under 40” Award?

The Economic Development 40 Under 40 is a list of 40 individuals who have achieved success in economic development before turning 40 years old. The 2019 awards are co-hosted by Jorgenson Consulting and Development Counsellors International.


Who’s eligible to win?

Candidates must be under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2019.


Can former 40 Under 40 winners be nominated again?

Of course! As long as they are still under the age of 40 as of January 1, 2019.


When is the nomination deadline?

Nominations must be filled in completely and submitted by midnight October 12, 2018.


Can a person self-nominate?

Absolutely! A nominee can either self-nominate or be nominated by a third party.


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

Fill out and submit the nomination form by October 12th, 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, 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.


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.


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 each judge on how they’ll rate or grade each entry.


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.


When will winners be notified?

Winners, and all others who submitted an application, will be notified of the status of their nomination in early December 2018.


When will the 2019 40 Under 40 winners be officially announced?

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


Is 40 Under 40 an annual award?

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.


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. For more information on the individuals on the 2019 panel, visit the Selection Committee tab.


How are the winners chosen?

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.


What is required of those who are selected?

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.


Have a question that wasn’t answered above? Please reach out to Susan Brake.

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2017 40 Under 40 Winners

1. Joe Agostinelli, Southwest Michigan First, Michigan

2. Max Ault, Columbia River Economic Development Council, Washington

3. Megan Barnett-Livgard, Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (Greater MSP), Minnesota

4. Scott Jeffrey Bowles, City of Provo, Utah

5. Danielle Casey, City of Scottsdale, Economic Development, Arizona

6. David Colligan, City of Austin, Texas

7. Jennifer Conoley, Gulf Power Company, Florida

8. Grant Cothran, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Virginia

9. Ashley Elrod, Indy Chamber, Indiana

10. Jonathan Ferry, Saint Louis Development Corporation, Missouri

11. Peter Frosch, Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (Greater MSP), Minnesota

12. Jeremiah Gracia, City of Dublin, Ohio

13. Cecilia Harry, Envision Greater Fond du Lac Inc., Wisconsin

14. Justin Horvath, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Michigan

15. Devin Howland, City of Fayetteville, Arkansas

16. Mike Kamerlander, Greater San Marcos Partnership, Texas

17. Michelle Kauk, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona

18. Gord Knowles, Atikokan Economic Development Corporation, Canada

19. Ana Liss, Greater Rochester Enterprise, New York

20. Kevin Little, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin

21. Carmen Lorentz, State of New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, New Hampshire

22. Meridith Marshall, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Colorado

23. Alexander M. McCoy, Greater Lawrence County (PA) Regional Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania

24. John McPherson, Vancouver Economic Commission, Canada

25. Paul Nguyen, City of Hayward, California

26. Colin O’Leary, Venture Kamploos, Canada

27. Jillian Ochs, Greater Zurich Area, Switzerland

28. Nathan Ohle, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Washington D.C.

29. Scarlett Phaneuf, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, Alabama

30. Scott Poag, Augusta Economic Development Authority, Georgia

31. Jake Rishavy, Denver South Economic Development Partnership, Colorado

32. Jose Romano, Texas Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism, Texas

33. Charles Sexton, One East Kentucky, Kentucky

34. Crystal Stiles, Florida Power & Light Company, Florida

35. Jenna Studds, Kanata North Business Association, Canada

36. Andrew Tate, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, North Carolina

37. Ben Teague, Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition, North Carolina

38. Peter Tokar, City of Alpharetta, Georgia

39. Brent Willett, Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor, Iowa

40. Gabrielle Zurita, JAXUSA Partnership, Florida

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

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The 2019 Econ Dev 40 Under 40 Awards are brought to you by Jorgenson Consulting and Development Counsellors International.


With over 25 years’ of experience, Jorgenson Consulting is a leading national executive search firm serving organizations in non-profit, economic and community development.

We work in partnership with each client to lead them in the identification and recruitment of leaders and top tier executives. We understand the requirements for finding the right executive that yields economic benefits and contributes to a community’s competitive advantage.

Learn More About Jorgenson Consulting




Development Counsellors International (DCI) is the leader in marketing places. Since 1960, we have worked with more than 450 cities, regions, states and countries, helping them attract both investors and visitors. We specialize exclusively in all phases of economic development and travel marketing.

But we’re also much more than this. We are a firm deeply committed to our clients’ success, because we share a fundamental value with them: a passion for places. By telling our clients’ stories in the national and international media, as well as in the digital space, we believe we can help create prosperity and growth in their communities, ultimately benefiting the lives of thousands of people who call these places home.

Learn more about DCI


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