Consultant Connect Announces North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2023

May 26, 2023

Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants, announces its 2023 list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. The economic development professionals selected for this list were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development and site location consulting industries for excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve. Each Top 50 Economic Developer will be featured starting June 1st through the selected social media channels of LinkedIn and Twitter, where each award recipient will have the opportunity to share
industry knowledge, leadership insights and career wisdoms with fellow industry professionals. Consultant Connect strives to lift up the economic development industry by recognizing remarkable economic developers. Recipients will be presented their award at Consultant Connect’s ECONOMIX event in Atlanta, GA November 30.

“The Consultant Connect team looks forward to releasing the Top 50 list every year because we believe that the work of economic developers is not only transformative to communities, but it is deeper than that. Each year jobs are created that impact individuals and their families. We are truly honored to provide a platform for North America’s top economic developers to be recognized for the passionate commitment they have made to the communities they serve.

The complete list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2023 includes:

Alba Penate-Johnson
Sugar Land Office of Economic Development

Alex Patrick
Birmingham Business Alliance

Ashley Richardson
Charleston County Economic Development

Barton Lowery
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Bob Kosek
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Bradley Harris
Georgia EMC

Brent Case
The Right Place, Inc.

Carl Rees, CecD
ElectriCities of North Carolina

Casey Gilchrist
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Chad Matheson
Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance

Chris Caves
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

Chris Gutierrez
Kansas City Area Development Council

Chris Masingill
St. Tammany Corporation

Clyde Higgs
Atlanta Beltline

Coleman Peiffer
Alliant Energy

Corky Peek
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Daniel Silverman
Investissement Québec International

David Rodgers, CEcD
Mobile Chamber of Commerce

David P. Rumbarger Jr. CEcD
Community Development Foundation Tupelo

Diana Velazquez EDFP, PCED
Greater Irving Chamber of Commerce

Douglas E. Berry
Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce

Elaine Middleton
Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board

Dr. Eloisa Klementich, CEcD
Invest Atlanta

Harold Gutzwiller
Hoosier Energy

James Bateman
Greenwood County

James Kohnstamm, CEcD
Miami-Dade Beacon Council

Jason Ford, CEcD
Frisco Economic Development Corporation

Jennifer Martin
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Joe Wallace
Coachella Valley Economic Partnership

John M. Hull
Roanoke Regional Partnership

Katherine O’Neill
One Spartanburg, Inc.

Katie Hogan
FPL Office of Economic Development

Kevin Carter, EDFP
Amarillo Economic Development

Kim Allen
Purdue Research Foundation

Lawrence McKinney CCE, CEcD, IOM
Norman Economic Development Coalition

Lee Crume
BE NKY Growth Partnership

Liberty A. Boyd CEcD, EDFP
American Electric Power

Mandy White
Greater Jackson Chamber

Meghan Welch
Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Nathan Zipper
Williamson, Inc.

Ralph Garcia
McAllen Economic Development Corporation

RJ Ball
Empire State Development

Ron Maloney
Northwest Arkansas Council

Sharon H. Barnard
Victoria Economic Development Corporation

Shawn Welcome
Louisiana Economic Development

Tami Petsche
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

Tyler Chaffee
Tennessee Valley Authority

Valerie Christofferson, EDFP
Consumers Energy

Valerie M. Pianta, MEDP
Hernando County Office of Economic Development

Veronica Crock
Alabama Department of Commerce

Consultant Connect works to bridge the gap between leading economic developers and site location consultants through exclusive networking events, educational services and leadership development. Consultant Connect not only gives economic developers an inside look into the world of site selection – it gives them the applicable information necessary to propel their careers and communities forward. For more information, please visit