Consultant Connect Announces North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2019

May 14, 2019

KALAMAZOO, Michigan  – Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants, announces its 2019 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 industry and the site consultant community for excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve.

Each top 50 economic developer will be featured individually starting May 20 through the selected social media channels of LinkedIn and Twitter. Each award winner will share leadership insights and wisdom for other practitioners in the profession. Consultant Connect strives to lift up this industry by recognizing remarkable economic developers for the entire economic development community to learn from. Each recipient will receive their award at Consultant Connect’s ECONOMIX event in Charleston, South Carolina this December.

“This annual list recognizing North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers is designed to acknowledge the hard work of the top leaders in this field and elevate the conversation around economic development and job creation,” said Ron Kitchens, managing partner of Consultant Connect. “Each of the leaders represented on this year’s list are beyond deserving of this recognition for their efforts in building our communities.”

The complete list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2019 includes:

Adam Gawarecki, Denton Economic Development Partnership

Adrian Cannady, Temple Economic Development Corporation

Alan Tio, Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation

Andrew Nave, Greater Wichita Partnership

Angie Gheesling, Houston County Development Authority

Ashley Savieo, Indiana Michigan Power

Barrett Thomas, Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development

Blair Patacairk, Invest Ottawa

Bo Martinez, City of Miami Beach Economic Development Department

Brad Thomas, Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives

Bryan Brackemyre, Indiana Municipal Power Agency

Charlie Moseley, Georgia Power

Charlie Walker, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation

Chris Moyer, Cecil County Office of Economic Development

Chris Pumphrey, Douglas County Development Authority

Craig Richard, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation

Crystal Stiles, Florida Power & Light Company

Dennis Fraise, Lee County Economic Development Group

Jamie Gilbert, Lancaster County Department of Economic Development

Jeff Seymour, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Jennifer Conoley, Gulf Power

Joey Roberts, Mississippi Development Authority

John Lummus, Upstate SC Alliance

John Sampson, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

Justin Bickle, Columbus 2020

Karla Moran, Salt River Project

Kevin Johnson, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

Kiley Miller, Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation

Lara Fritts, Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development

Larry Holt, Greater Portland Inc

Leonard Sledge, Henry County Development Authority

Mandy Brawley, South Carolina Department of Commerce

Margaret O’Riley, Duke Energy

Marla Akridge,  Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation

Matt Buchanan, Pearland Economic Development Corporation

Michael Haley, Wake County Economic Development

Nate Groover, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Patricia Horvatich, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

Patrick Barker, Frederick County Economic Development Authority

Phil Santer,  Ann Arbor SPARK

Quentin L. Messer Jr., New Orleans Business Alliance

Rodney Hitch, Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives

Scott Luth, Florida West Economic Development Authority

Stephen Moret, Virginia Economic Development ,Partnership

Steve Dykes, Charleston County Economic Development

Steve Vierck, New Mexico State Land Office

Steven Pearce, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance

Tammy Nolan, Greater Wichita Partnership

Thomas Tyson, Alabama Department of Commerce

Wendy Dupley, City of Abbotsford Economic Development Department

About Consultant Connect
Consultant Connect is designed to bridge the gap between leading economic developers and 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