Ian Anderson oversees thought leadership initiatives for CBRE’s Mid-Atlantic region to ensure unique, local market insights are being generated to help guide client decision making. He is also the Head of Americas Life Sciences Research, in which he analyzes, identifies, and communicates relevant trends impacting life sciences commercial real estate. Mr. Anderson also Before joining CBRE, Mr. Anderson was the Director of Research for Grosvenor Fund Management in North America. His primary focus was to direct investment strategy by identifying the risks and opportunities of property sectors, metropolitan markets, and macroeconomic trends. Mr. Anderson has a Bachelor’ degree in Business and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and has undertaken significant post-graduate work in Economics at Temple University.
Daphine Barnes is the Director of STEM and Economic Mobility at GNO, Inc., serving 7 parishes in the Greater New Orleans area. Ms. Barnes is responsible for creating and implementing STEM initiatives to advance and create a strong STEM ecosystem, facilitating partnerships between education and industry partners to develop and support a sustainable talent pipeline, and serving as the “voice” of STEM throughout the region and state. Additionally, Ms. Barnes collaborates with the business and workforce development teams to bridge the gap between education and workforce preparedness.
Before joining GNO, Inc., Daphine spent 14 years in secondary science education in Greater New Orleans schools and served in various leadership capacities- ranging from district science curriculum coordinator to assistant principal. She also worked to coach and prepare future educators as a Site Mentor in the Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency Master’s level teacher preparation program at Xavier University of Louisiana. Currently, in her role as Director of STEM and Economic Mobility, leverages her experience in education and workforce development to lead initiatives that promote the collaboration of K-16 students, business and industry partners, and community members such as: the HBCU STEM Connect Internship, the HBCU Startup Internship, and the WISE Women NOLA (Women In the STEM Economy) mentorship program.
Ms. Barnes is a graduate of Nicholls State University and received her Master’s in Teaching with a focus on Biology and Chemistry and Master’s in Educational Leadership degrees from Xavier University of Louisiana. When not engrossed in the latest STEM happenings, she enjoys traveling to foreign countries, is an avid reader, lover of all things science fiction, and cherishes spending time with her family and friends. She has an amazing son, Kingston, and a gregarious Great Dane named Lexi.
Daisha has been a part of the Tulsa Remote team since June of 2021. As the Recruitment Manager, she leads the Recruitment Specialist team and is responsible for all aspects of the application and interview process. She is a proud Tulsa native with Cherokee Indian roots. After graduating from Union High school she attended Oral Roberts University on a cheerleading scholarship, as a first-generation college student.
After graduating with a degree in communications in 2016, she started her career path in nonprofits. She has always had a passion for community-focused organizations and people-facing roles. She thrives off of cultivating relationships, networking, diversity, inclusion, and being an active member of the Tulsa community.
When she is not working you can find her spending time with family, traveling, scuba diving, snowboarding, and cuddling with her dog-child, Meika.
Erika W. Bell is the Community Development regional manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond serving North Carolina and South Carolina. She joined the Bank in January 2020, bringing with her extensive experience in nonprofit management, youth development, community health, and work with low- and moderate-income individuals and families stemming from an 18-year stint in the nonprofit sector and in leading a small business. Prior to joining the Richmond Fed, Bell served as the chief operations officer of a South Carolina YMCA association (Upper Palmetto) with oversight over 16 branches. She holds a degree in mass communication from Winthrop University, is a member of Leadership North Carolina Class of XXVIII and of numerous community organizations.
Tawanna A. Black, Founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion, is a nationally recognized thought-leader known for influencing, inspiring, and equipping cross-sector leaders to transform a personal conviction for equality into actions that produce equitable and thriving communities. For more than 20 years, Tawanna has led multi-sector collaboratives, diversity and inclusion strategy development, and economic revitalization organizations in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. In 2017, Tawanna launched the Center for Economic Inclusion, the nation’s first Black woman-owned and led organization dedicated exclusively to strengthening public- and private-sector civic infrastructures and collective capacity to disrupt systems and influence market forces while advancing an inclusive economy. Under Tawanna’s leadership, the Center is committed to closing racial employment, income, and wealth gaps, and building racially inclusive and equitable regional economies. Tawanna is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and has served on more than 35 nonprofit and philanthropic boards over the past decade. The recipient of many awards and recognitions, most recently Tawanna was recognized by the City of Minneapolis as a 2021 History Maker and named the 2021 Person of the Year by Twin Cities Business magazine. Tawanna resides in the Twin Cities with her husband, Eric Black, and two children.
Wade is a global business leader and recovering academic. He has led business units in the education technology space in Asia, South America, and the US. In the logistics sector, he has run operational units across Europe and South Asia. For Drake University, he has taught Globalization and Strategy. Currently, Wade is the Managing Partner for Bâton Global – a strategic advisory and research firm helping clients solve their most complex challenges, transforming organizations and communities worldwide.
Wade earned a Masters of International Business Studies and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina in addition to studies at the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie in Paris.
Sworn in as the 40th Mayor of Tulsa in 2016 and re-elected to a second term as mayor of Tulsa in 2020, Mayor G.T. Bynum is using data and innovation to bring people together and make our city globally competitive. To accomplish this, Mayor Bynum is focused on fiscal responsibility, public safety, equality of opportunity, and community investment.
Under Mayor Bynum’s leadership, Tulsa recruited the two largest new employers in city history, secured the largest private sector investment in Tulsa history, opened the greatest park gift in American history, and became known across the nation for innovative programs such as A Better Way, the New Tulsans Initiative and the Resilient Tulsa Strategy. Mayor Bynum steadily led Tulsa through critical incidents including the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, multiple tornadoes, the 2019 flood and a record-breaking winter snowstorm. Mayor Bynum also continues to seek justice and truth through the on-going search for victims of the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa’s Greenwood community.
In a career engrained in public service, Bynum has worked in the United States Senate for two Oklahoma Senators and served eight years as a Tulsa City Councilor prior to his election for mayor. As a native Tulsan, Bynum and his wife, Susan, are the proud parents of Robert and Annabel – the sixth generation of the Bynums to call Tulsa home.
In 2015, Christopher Chung joined the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) as Chief Executive Officer and brings more than 25 years of state-level economic development experience to the role. 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 70 professionals and an annual operating budget of more than $25 million, the EDPNC is focused on improving the economic well-being and quality of life for North Carolina’s more than 10 million residents. Since 2015, the EDPNC has helped North Carolina win nearly 1,100 corporate expansion projects, resulting in more than 154,000 announced new jobs and $44 billion in announced new investment across the state.
Dominique was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, and moved to Tulsa, OK in 2007 with her parents and 2 siblings. As a first-generation student, she attended college at Northeastern State University to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice /Legal studies and moved back to Tulsa in 2012 .
During her career in Tulsa, she started with Family & Children Services as a Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager providing services to those suffering from mental illness and homelessness, and then moved on to oversee operations in the Tulsa Workforce system for 5 years, focusing on community access to career services and employee development.
After Workforce, Dominique joined Tulsa Remote as a Community Manager in 2020 and now serves as the Director for Members and Alumni experience driving community initiatives for retention of new Tulsa’s and serving as a bridge to the broader community.
She is passionate about building genuine relationships with others and loves helping people meet their goals professionally or personally. She believes in treating people with the utmost respect and is always advocating for more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace cultures. She currently serves on the TYPROS Foundation board, is the Founder of the Black Tulsa Network Facebook group, and has been the founder of businesses based on her entrepreneurship background and passion for community building.
When she isn’t working, you can find her enjoying the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, being a hairstylist, binge-watching series, or traveling.
Bramley Crisco is the Director of Talent Development for Action Greensboro. Having worked with private sector, higher education and community organizations, her focus is on building innovative professional development and business partnerships, experiential learning engagements, and employment opportunities for students and young professionals in Greensboro. Bramley believes Greensboro is an amazing place to live, work and learn and is excited to showcase all that the city has to offer.
Deborah leads the Anchor Economy initiative at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. This high priority initiative explores the impact “eds and meds” have on their regional economies. Through research and practitioner partnerships, the Anchor Economy initiative advances the goal of creating equitable economic opportunity in communities.
Prior to joining the Federal Reserve in June 2021, Deborah led the nonprofit organization, Campus Philly, the national model for college student engagement and retention in cities. Deborah expanded Campus Philly’s partnerships, programs, and student retention impact and consulted with cities across the country on launching similar talent retention initiatives. She has led projects for Richmond, Rochester, Tulsa, Norfolk and Hartford, among others, helping those cities create programs to engage and retain their college students.
With her co-founder, Cecelia Thompson from Action Greensboro, Deborah created Young Smart and Local, a national learning network of more than 50 cities that share best practices, build connection and improve strategies for talent cultivation and retention in cities.
Deborah started her career as an academic, receiving her PhD in political science from the University of Chicago, followed by a Mellon Post-Doctoral fellowship in the Society of Fellows at Columbia University and teaching at Bryn Mawr College, where she received her undergraduate degree. The focus of her academic work was in political philosophy, specifically on the question of how much we need to have in common in order to tolerate our differences.
As President and Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for the overall strategic positioning of IDA as a world leader and champion for vital and livable urban centers. Prior to joining IDA, David served as the Managing Director for the American Institute of Architects’ Urban Design Center and as Executive Director for the Michigan Chapter of the American Planning Association. David has been a city advocate since 1980s having received his degree in Architecture and Design with a focus on Urban Design. He speaks frequently throughout North America and has delivered talks in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, El Salvador and Japan. David has served on numerous not for profit boards over his career including recently for the Golden Triangle Business Improvement Dirtrict in Washington and the Responsible Hospitality Institute in California. David is currenlty on the Mobility Innovation District Advisory Board in Southwest Washington DC.
Cory Dulaney is the Assistant Director at the Center for Male Engagement – a program a part of the Community College of Philadelphia that provides holistic support and resources to Men of Color at the College. His work also assists returning citizens at the College through the I Am More Program that serves folks who have been formerly incarcerated and looking to complete their degree at CCP. Moving from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in 2012, Cory attended graduate school at Temple University where his focus was Afrocentric Education. His work centers on Black male achievement in post-secondary school education and has worked in higher education for over ten years. His goal is to create a safe space for Black young folk to cultivate their passions and skills, enhance them, and then attach them to the greater purpose of helping their community thrive.
Patience is Vice President, Brand & Digital Strategy at DCI, where she specializes in bringing destination brands to life in digital spaces. She has spearheaded more than a dozen economic development, tourism and talent attraction brands and websites designed to drive leads, visitation and relocation. Patience also serves as co-chair of DCI’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) initiative.
Kyle Farmbry, J.D., Ph.D., began serving as the 10th President of Guilford College on January 1, 2022. Previously, Kyle served as a professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark. From August 2013 to July 2019, he was Dean of the Graduate School at Rutgers University-Newark. Prior to joining the faculty of Rutgers, he taught at The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Diego State University, and Grand Valley State University.
Kyle’s research and programmatic work has been supported by the Open Society Foundations, the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, the United States Fulbright Commission, and the United States Embassy in South Africa. He is currently working on a project entitled Building a Pipeline for Executive-Level Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies, which is funded by the IBM Center for the Business of Government. He also launched the United States-South African Higher Education Network, an effort aimed at building enhanced collaboration between higher education institutions in South Africa and the United States. Kyle received his B.A., M.P.A., and Ph.D. degrees from The George Washington University. He completed his J.D. degree at the Rutgers University School of Law.
The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina elected Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., as the eleventh Chancellor of UNC Greensboro (UNCG) on May 22, 2015. Chancellor Gilliam brings to UNCG and the UNC System a wealth of experience from a career that spans more than 30 years in higher education. He took office on September 8, 2015.
During his tenure, UNCG has surpassed a record 20,000 students; grown its endowment, research enterprise, and overall facilities and campus infrastructure; significantly increased its fundraising; and elevated the presence, reputation, and real-world impact of the largest university in the North Carolina Triad region.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Gilliam served as Dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs for seven years and was a longtime UCLA Professor of Public Policy and Political Science. His research focused on strategic communications, public policy, electoral politics, and racial and ethnic politics.
Executive Director, Next City
Lucas is the former President of Pride Media and led LGBTQ brands The Advocate, Out magazine, PRIDE.com, Out Traveler, Chill magazine and Plus magazine. Grindley was also editor in chief of The Advocate, the longest running LGBTQ magazine in the country. In both 2016 and 2018, NLGJA honored Grindley as “LGBT Journalist of the Year” with its Sarah Pettit Memorial Award. From 2008 through 2011, he was managing editor for online at National Journal magazine, covering politics and policymaking in Washington, D.C. He now lives in Philadelphia with his husband and twin daughters. He also serves on the board of directors for Extraordinary Families, a nonprofit helping create more families like his through foster-adoption. Follow him on Twitter @lucasgrindley.
Patrick T. Harker took office on July 1, 2015, as the 11th president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He was reappointed for his second five-year term effective March 1, 2021. In this role, Harker participates on the Federal Open Market Committee, which formulates the nation’s monetary policy.
As an engineer by training, Harker has continued to apply his research and receive patents throughout his career. He considers the effect of automation on the labor force as “the perfect intersection” of engineering and economics. Other technological influences, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, are also playing a part in the Third District’s and the nation’s economy. By focusing on economic mobility, one of the Bank’s research priorities, the Bank’s researchers are looking for ways to create sustained, inclusive growth through practical applications. Targeting such research to the employment field can help workers, communities, and industries plan for inevitable disruptions by connecting workers to training programs while encouraging discussions on the skills that are vital to a constantly changing market.
Before taking office at the Philadelphia Fed, Harker was the 26th president of the University of Delaware. He was also a professor of business administration at the university’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the College of Engineering.
Before joining the University of Delaware in 2007, Harker was dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to being appointed dean in 2000, Harker was the Wharton School’s interim dean and deputy dean as well as the chair of its Operations and Information Management Department. In 1991, he was the youngest faculty member in Wharton’s history to be awarded an endowed professorship as UPS Transportation Professor of the Private Sector. He has published/edited nine books and more than 100 professional articles. From 1996 to 1999, he served as editor-in-chief of the journal Operations Research.
In 2012, Harker was named a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He was also named a White House fellow by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and was a special assistant to FBI Director William S. Sessions from 1991 to 1992.
Harker is a board member of both the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and its Select Greater Philadelphia Council. He is also a board member at the Science Center in Philadelphia. Previously, he was on the boards of Catholic Relief Services, Pepco Holdings, Inc., and Huntsman Corporation and was a founding member of the board of advisors for Decision Lens, Inc. He was also a nonbanking Class B director of the Philadelphia Fed from 2012 to 2015. Harker has a Ph.D. in civil and urban engineering, an M.A. in economics, and an M.S.E. and B.S.E. in civil engineering, all from the University of Pennsylvania.
Justin Harlan joined the Tulsa Remote team in April 2021 as the Chief Operating Officer and was named the Managing Director in December 2021. Justin has dedicated his career to educational equity and entrepreneurialism. Before joining Tulsa Remote, he served as Senior Executive Director for Reading Partners Tulsa. During his three and a half years at Reading Partners, the organization worked with over 5,000 Tulsa area students, annually engaging over 1,500 community volunteers each program year. He launched his career with Teach For America when it opened in Tulsa in 2009, and quickly rose through the organization as it expanded across the state. In his various roles, Justin raised more than $7.5 million for Teach For America and secured funding from the State of Oklahoma. Justin also managed operations for the Teach For America Oklahoma City Institute, which trained more than 260 teachers, staffed over 100 people, and provided free summer school to more than 2,000 students. Justin earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa. Justin and his wife Megan have two children, Landon and Payton, and run two fitness studios in Tulsa – Pure Barre South Tulsa and Row House South Tulsa.
Charrise Hart is the Chief Executive Officer of Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready), a collaborative effort to build a connected, innovative system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families. In this role, Charrise works with over 100 partner organizations to improve early childhood development outcomes for children at every stage, starting with prenatal care and continuing through school entry. Charrise leads Ready Ready’s close partnerships with other initiatives, which confront institutional and systemic inequity by building an early childhood system that offers targeted high-quality interventions and provides ongoing support to all young children born in Guilford County. Charrise serves on the boards for Teach for America of the Charlotte-Piedmont Triad and the United Way of Greater Greensboro. She is recipient of the Triad Business Journal’s C-Suite Award and the UNC School of Social Work’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Ms. Hendricson has 20 years of experience as a local economic developer with expertise in commercial real estate and business retention and attraction. Passionate about local government and its direct impact on residents and business, she oversees AdvanceCT’s service to partners, including economic and land-use support with municipalities and regions and targeted business retention and recruitment strategies. Prior to joining AdvanceCT, Ms. Hendricson served as Assistant Town Manager in Enfield, CT, revitalizing the town’s Thompsonville section and developing a business incubator, and as Economic Development Director in Farmington, CT, targeting bioscience industry growth through strategic partnerships. She also was the director of community development for Connecticut Main Street Center. She began her career in Austin, Texas, working on large scale economic development projects. She received a bachelor’s in government and sociology from Connecticut College and a master’s in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Hendricson is the past board president of the Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) and of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW CT). She regularly presents at conferences, such as the International Economic Development Council and the Northeastern Economic Development Association – and is committed to the advancement of women in economic development, local government and commercial real estate.
Lark Jackson is the Gender Equity Center Associate Director at Chicago Women in Trades’ National Center for Women’s Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment and is a recognized leader in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for women working in the skilled trades, including but not limited to the manufacturing, construction, and transit sectors. She facilitates the national center’s technical assistance work throughout the country and has facilitated the launch of the Women in Nontraditional Careers Initiative, (WINC), in Philadelphia. Lark is also a subject matter expert with expertise in providing Anti-Harassment Policy, Bystander Intervention, Intersectionality, and Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Women in the Trades, trainings. Lark graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts, Major in English.
Living in a total of four states, Rebekah found her way back to Tulsa in 2018 working for the community she was born and raised in. Not only is Tulsa “home,” but it’s starting to fall higher on the radar for more and more people who appreciate the lifestyle the city has to offer. Rebekah enjoys helping her hometown and Jewish community dream bigger than it ever has before. Even though Rebekah spends much of her time serving the Jewish community both professionally and not, she enjoys spending time with her Corgi, Dexter, family, and friends. Pet obsessed; Rebekah also co-owns a small pet boutique with her lifelong best friend. Not only do they specialize in their own handmade pet toys, but they also offer all sorts of curated goods for dogs, cats, and pet people. If you can’t find her at a local event, you’ll be sure to catch Rebekah crafting or tie dying something for her shop. Rebekah is a travel enthusiast who dedicates “finding herself” to the 14+ countries she’s traveled to in her lifetime. Through her travels, she’s developed a passion for all-things dessert related. Feeding her foodie-fixes, she enjoys trying new restaurants and searching for the best ice cream.
Susan Koehn is the Vice President of Talent and Industry Partnerships for MMAC and the Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Partnership, focused on aligning workforce with opportunities in high-growth industries. She consults with member employers on their talent pipeline strategy – recommends solutions, and connects to local resources that can help address talent acquisition, retention, and development needs. The Talent and Industry Partnerships division regularly convenes Chief Human Resources Officers, recruiters, learning and development specialists, as well as regional partners – including educational institutions and workforce agencies – to ensure that regional programming aligns with both current and future industry needs. Koehn has more than 25 years of experience in strategic and program planning, evaluation, research, and professional writing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marquette University and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jonathan Long is a catalyst; not a complainer who is facilitating progress in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, community leadership, economic equity and attracting and retaining talent.
Long serves as the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Tulsa Regional Chamber. Prior to that, he held the Director of Community Advancement and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion positions at the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. In both roles, he focused on helping to create transformational change and foster an atmosphere where individuals have the opportunity to live their best life.
He has been recognized locally and nationally. Some of his accolades include the following:
• 40 Under 40 (Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives)
• 40 Under 40 (Wichita Business Journal)
• Leaders in Diversity (Wichita Business Journal)
• Distinguished Young Professional (Young Professionals of Wichita)
• Twyla J. McFall Young Achiever (Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Gamma Chi Sigma Chapter)
Long received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN and has earned a Mini MPA Certificate from the Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs from Wichita State University.
Stephanie Luster-Teasley, Ph.D., serves as the interim dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Before her current role, she served as the vice provost for undergraduate education from 2020 – 2022 and professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering from 2016 – 2020. She graduated from North Carolina A&T in 1996 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and continued her graduate studies at Michigan State University (MSU) where she received her M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. She joined the faculty at N.C. A&T in 2004, after working in private industry as an environmental engineer. Her research specializations include environmental remediation, water sustainability and engineering education. Over the last 18 years, she has been driven by a deep commitment and care for her students and lauded for bringing the excitement of real-world, hands-on experience into all her engineering courses and mentoring activities.
Allie is Manager, Talent Attraction at DCI, where she serves as a specialist on talent attraction trends, research and strategies. In this role, she manages a broad away of branding, messaging and marketing strategies for talent attraction clients across the country.
Allie graduated from Penn State University, where she majored in Public Relations with minors in international studies and communication arts and sciences.
Kathy Manning represents North Carolina’s Sixth Congressional District which includes all of Guilford County and parts of Forsyth County — an area known as the Triad. Kathy graduated from Harvard University and the University of Michigan Law School before moving to Greensboro, NC in 1987, where she and her husband raised their three children. After serving as a partner at a major law firm for 15 years, she left to start her own immigration law firm.
Before her election to Congress, Kathy worked to expand access to early childhood education, college scholarships, workforce development, and assistance to those in need through nonprofit organizations including the United Way, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has also worked tirelessly on major projects to revitalize downtown Greensboro and spur economic development. Kathy was the first woman to chair the Board of the Jewish Federations of North America, one of the largest charitable, faith-based organizations in the world, which provides assistance to communities in need around the world.
In Congress, Kathy is a proud member of the Education and Labor and the Foreign Affairs Committees. In North Carolina, Kathy is a strong advocate for affordable health care and prescription drug prices, a quality education for every student, economic opportunity and equal justice for all.
Kenneth Mayes is the Employer Relations Manager at Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families. In this role, he provides strategic direction, thought leadership, and business development essentials to establish, build, and sustain diverse offramps to family-sustaining employment for America’s transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and members of the reserve component of all branches of service. Kenneth is a steadfast champion for Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workplace and an active member of Syracuse University’s Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Council. He is a certified human resource professional with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP), Certified Diversity Recruiter, and is the NC Society for Human Resource Management Military Liaison Director for the state council. He is a retired senior non-commissioned officer of the US Army, serving 26 years of honorable, active, military service and has an MBA with emphasis in Human Resource Management.
Brittany Mercado is an Assistant Professor and Associate Chair of the Management and Entrepreneurship Department in the Love School of Business at Elon University. Her research centers on understanding, assessing, and minimizing counterproductive work behaviors, as well as optimizing employment decisions. Recent projects focus on employees’ counterproductive use of technology (e.g., cyberloafing), police misconduct, and the influence of hair appearance on hiring decisions. Her applied work takes two main forms. First, she supports organizations’ selection and assessment efforts, most notably with the development, adaptation, and validation of psychometric and biometric measures (i.e., she makes sure personnel measures work). She has conducted this work in nine countries and seven languages so far. Second, she designs and manages large-scale, multimodal, and longitudinal data collections (sometimes yielding millions of responses). Her data management consulting has been funded by multinational organizations, as well as research projects sponsored by the Department of National Intelligence and the Department of Defense. Dr. Mercado holds an international MBA from Florida International University, a Ph.D. from the Zicklin School of Business of Baruch College, City University of New York, and SHRM-SCP certification.
Brandon Oldham serves as a Senior Program Officer on the Vibrant and Inclusive Tulsa team working at the intersection of economic and community development. Prior to joining the foundation, Brandon served the City of Tulsa as the Mayoral Aide to Mayor G.T. Bynum. He is a first generation college graduate and member of Leadership Tulsa and Oklahoma. Brandon is a self-diagnosed and self-medicating sneakerhead who loves spending time with his wife and daughter.
Kate Pangallo began her career in talent on accident as an intern at a fashion house. Tasked with the goal of sourcing talent from around the country in a few short weeks, she quickly fell into the world of talent acquisition and management. 12 years later, she has worked and led talent teams and focused on building talent strategies for Fortune 500, private, and non-profit organizations. She has a passion for developing and growing others and believes her greatest professional success has been watching those from her teams thrive in bigger and better roles. In her role at the Indy Chamber, Kate focuses on building unique talent attraction strategies and supporting key workforce partnerships as the Director of Talent Partnerships on the Regional Economic Development team. Kate has a passion for people and loves to help connect people to opportunities, passions, and new experiences. She serves by leading and leads by serving. Kate is a wife and mom of two daughters plus her golden retriever. She is a mix between homebody and adventurer and believes in the power of a great latte, glass of wine, or beer.
HR professional at Inmar Intelligence with a focus on analytics and process improvement. I graduated from UNCG in 2020 with a BA in Psychology and International Honors, as well as participated in the Campus Greensboro Fellows Program in 2019.
With these experiences, I have found my way as an HR professional and have loved every moment of it. My day to day mantra is to strive for 1% better – to continuously improve, have a growth mindset, and care for the people you work with. The combination of this is a force that will always be valued at any workplace!
Jessica Raby has worked at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council leading regional initiatives and grants since 2018, where she now holds the position of Workforce and Economic Development Assistant Director. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and returned to her alma mater where she completed a Masters in Public Affairs. She is a second year doctoral student in Public Administration and Policy at Old Dominion University. As a committed member of her community, Jessica served as a Founders’ Fellow for the American Society for Public Administration in 2021. She currently serves as a member of the Young Professionals Advisory Committee for IEDC.
David is a Milwaukee native who, upon graduation, began a tech career that moved him around the U.S. and for the past 16 years in Silicon Valley before recently moving back home 1.5 years ago. David has held Senior Executive roles for PTC (a $12B software company out of Boston). Zuora, where he led the subscription start-up in revenue during its peak growth years and ultimately an IPO and a 2B valuation. David’s recent role was the President of OpenGov, where he led the cloud software company from $2M in revenue to over 530 employees and a 1Billion dollar valuation. David hired 50 people for OpenGov last year alone in the new office he put in MKE. After stepping down in January from OpenGov, David is helping the Marquette Business School, and MKE as an Executive in Residence, as well as is busy with advisory work for Private Equity and start up companies. David is also an investor in Character, a new Venture Capital firm, a Board member for Journey House, and an active member in the MKE Tech Hub, dedicated to bringing more technology jobs to our city.
Bob Ross, joined Greater Topeka Partnership as the senior vice president of marketing and communications in 2019. The organization encompasses Go Topeka, Visit Topeka, the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and other Shawnee County-centric organizations. He previously worked for Payless ShoeSource, and has been an outspoken advocate for Topeka’s revitalization efforts. In his role, Ross has helped to launch the Choose Topeka talent attraction program which has captured worldwide attention and attracted residents to the capitol city of Kansas.
Meka Sales serves as Director of Special Initiatives at The Duke Endowment, a private foundation located in Charlotte, NC. Her strategic oversight aids the development of community-based initiatives that remove barriers so that children and families can thrive and enjoy health and well-being. Ms. Sales joined the Endowment in 2007 as a health care program officer where she assisted in the development of the Endowment’s first advancing prevention and health equity portfolio. In her current role, Ms. Sales directs the Endowment’s multi-year place-based early childhood improvement initiative in Guilford County. In 2018, Sales was appointed by N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper to serve on the state’s Early Childhood Advisory Council.
Perry Sholes – SPHR is a certified talent optimization and human resources entrepreneur and native of New Orleans, LA. His career has taken him through seven states and eleven cities throughout the US where he worked from hourly employee to executive team. He’s worked leading teams and projects at some well know hospitality, retail, and consumer product companies both domestically and internationally. Perry has a BS from Tampa College in Marketing and Management and an Executive MBA from University of South Florida. He holds human resources certifications from SHRM and HRCI along with DISC, Myers Briggs, and Predictive Index.
Mr. Sholes is involved in leadership roles in several community and business organizations: Board Chairman Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, Diversity Director Louisiana SHRM, Board Director Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, and Success at Thurgood Marshall.
In 2019, Perry attended New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute where the idea to develop an internship program focused on developing BIPOC College students began. Since 2021’s first Cohort at the award winning Tenth Institute, the program has engaged with 70+ students assisting them with the critical career skills and fundamentals necessary to succeed. Mr. Sholes is actively engaged in coaching and mentoring Tenth Institute Fellows.
Cecelia Thompson serves as Executive Director of Action Greensboro. Action Greensboro, together with the Chamber of Commerce, serves as the city’s primary economic and community development agency. Formed in 2001, Action Greensboro is a collaborative effort of six local charitable foundations working to leverage local philanthropic impact. In collaboration with business, higher education, and municipal government, Action Greensboro works to strengthen Greensboro’s economy and ensure the continuation of its excellent quality of life. In her role, Thompson leads a variety of efforts from talent and workforce development, K-20 education, urban livability, advocacy campaigns and city marketing efforts. Thompson is a native of Gainesville, FL and holds a BA from Elon University in sociology, political science and public administration.
A long-time Greensboro civic leader, Nancy Vaughan is a tireless grassroots organizer dedicated to building stronger neighborhoods for the betterment of the community at large. The emphasis in both her private and public lives has always been on economic development and public safety.
In 1997, Nancy was elected to the Greensboro City Council from District 4. After serving two terms on City Council, she retired from governmental service in 2001. She then ran successfully for a third term in 2009 and continued to serve as an At-Large representative until 2013. Nancy entered the race for mayor in 2013 on the platform of the “vision to change Greensboro and the honesty to do it right.”
Key areas of focus for the mayor now are economic development, public safety, and enhanced infrastructure, as well as governmental honesty, integrity and accountability.
Always a champion for the under-represented, the mayor continues working for your family, your future and you.
CHARLIE WARZEL writes the newsletter, Galaxy Brain for The Atlantic, where he is a Contributing Writer. Before that he was a writer-at-large for the New York Times Opinion page, and a senior technology writer at BuzzFeed News. He was the lead writer of the Times‘ Privacy Project and co-author of ‘One Nation Tracked,’ a seven-part investigative series on smartphone location tracking, for which he was named a finalist for the 2020 Livingston Award for National Reporting. Before the Times, Warzel was a senior technology writer at BuzzFeed News, covering technology’s biggest platforms, disinformation, and information warfare. He was the recipient of a 2019 Mirror Award for his reporting on Facebook’s privacy struggles. He lives on an island off the coast of Washington state.
Paris Woods brings more than 15 years of education leadership experience in public and private high school, college, and nonprofit settings to her role as Chief of Programs at YouthForce NOLA. She relocated to New Orleans in 2013 to launch the alumni support program for New Orleans College Prep and later co-founded and served as executive director of College Beyond. As a nonprofit leader, Paris raised more than $1 million to support New Orleans youth. During that time, she garnered numerous awards, including the Gambit’s 40 under 40, the Millennial Award in education, and recognition as a Tulane Hometown Hero and YLC Role Model. Paris earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University and is currently a doctoral student in the Executive EdD program at the University of Texas at Austin. She also is the author of The Black Girl’s Guide to Financial Freedom: Build Wealth, Retire Early, and Live the Life of Your Dreams (2021).