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Opening Reception & Fireside Chat With

Ambassador (ret) Bruce Heyman and Vicki Heyman are the co-founders of Uncharted LLC, an organization that convenes and connects a diverse group of Americans and Canadians for impact. There, they work on projects involving creative philanthropy, storytelling, and political activism. They are also the proud authors of The Art of Diplomacy, a journey through Canada and an in-depth look at why diplomacy matters now more than ever.

Ambassador Heyman most recently served as the United States Ambassador to Canada under President Barack Obama from 2014 until 2017. He continues his work strengthening the relationship between Canada and the United States by serving as a strategic advisor to Canada 2020, a Canadian progressive think-tank based in Ottawa; as a co-chair of the advisory board to the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center; and as an honorary patron to the Council of the Great Lakes Region. Prior to Canada, Ambassador Heyman spent 33 years at Goldman Sachs, where he served as partner and managing director in the Chicago office.

Vicki serves on the board of Chicago Media Project, a community of documentary film supporters who believe in the power of media to bring about social change. She is on the board of the Council for Canadian American Relations, an organization that promotes cross-border arts and cultural exchanges and is a member of the international advisory board of C2 Montreal. She is also an adviser to Embarc, a three-year program that provides community-driven, experiential learning opportunities to low-income Chicago high school students. While in Canada, Vicki served as an American cultural envoy, leading cross-border conversations and programs related to the arts, social innovation, and youth engagement. Vicki served on the Obama National Finance committee during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and as an Illinois Finance Co-Chair in the 2012 election.

The Heymans have lived in Chicago for almost 40 years where they dote on their three beautiful grandchildren.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers and moderators include some of the region’s most influential decision makers.

Robert Scott serves as the regional administrator for the Great Lakes Region of the U.S. Small Business Administration, overseeing the delivery of the agency’s financial assistance, technical assistance and government contracting activities throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Prior to the SBA, Scott ran his own consulting firm, practiced law at Oldham & Deitering in Clayton, Ohio, and served as the vice mayor in Kettering, Ohio, where he remains in service as a city councilman. He has worked in the Ohio House of Representatives as a legislative aide and on several major political campaigns in Ohio, including serving as the state director for Donald J. Trump for President. Additionally, Scott wrote for the Dayton Daily News, Dayton City Paper and was a syndicated columnist for Brown Newspapers, Inc.

Scott received a B.S. from Wright State University and an honors juris doctorate degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. He is a member of the Dayton Masonic Lodge, Ohio State Bar Association and Kettering Rotary Club. Scott received a “Forty under 40” award from the American Association of Political Consultants in 2016 and the Dayton Business Journal named him one of the city’s notable “Forty under 40” professionals in 2015.

Dr. Anne Snowdon is a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Academic Chair of the World Health Innovation Network (WIN) and Scientific Director and CEO of SCAN Health, a Networks of Centres of Excellence International Knowledge Translation Platform located at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. Dr. Snowdon leads the work of the first Canadian health innovation centre with formal ties to the U.S., building collaborative partnerships between the two countries to advance the health of populations and accelerate health system innovation in both countries to achieve sustainability, economic value and productivity by providing support for innovators and entrepreneurs to successfully bring their discoveries to the Canadian, U.S. and world markets.

Currently, Dr. Snowdon is leading over 15 innovation research initiatives across seven Canadian provinces that collaborate with government, health professionals, private industry, foundations and families. She is the current Vice Chair of the Board of the Directors for Alberta Innovates, a board member for the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and has recently been appointed to the Health Futures Council of Arizona State University (ASU).

She is also an Associate Professor to the adjunct academic staff of the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University, Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Windsor and Adjunct Faculty at the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University.

Dr. Snowdon has published more than 140 research articles, papers and cases, has received over $22 million in research funding, holds patents and has commercialized a highly successful booster seat product for children traveling in vehicles. She holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Michigan, an MSc from McGill University, and BScN from Western University. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses and received the CIHR Partnership Award for her partnership with the automotive industry focused on injury prevention for children.

Cathy Stepp serves as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 5. Her responsibilities include overseeing environmental protection efforts in the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as 35 federally recognized tribal governments. One of her roles is manager of EPA Great Lakes National Program, in which she leads restoration and protection of the largest freshwater system in the world. Before joining Region 5, she was principal deputy regional administrator for EPA Region 7.

Ms. Stepp served as the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 2011 to 2017. As state cabinet secretary, she led the third largest state agency with about 4,000 employees and was responsible for state enforcement and protection of wildlife, fisheries, state parks, trails, forests and environmental permitting.

Ms. Stepp also served as a Wisconsin state senator from 2003 to 2007, where she represented nearly 160,000 constituents and authored and advanced legislation on regulatory reform, job creation and other issues. Prior to entering public service, Ms. Stepp owned a small business, a home-building company.

Bricklin is responsible for developing and delivering differentiated economic and market thought leadership for Mastercard. Synthesizing insights from the billions of transactions Mastercard processes, coupled with survey estimates across different payment forms like cash and check, Bricklin is able to integrate his understanding of global economic, financial markets and policy trends with his knowledge of consumer behavior to advise key decision makers across industries around the world.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Bricklin worked as an economist for more than a decade on a financial markets trading floor. He has wide ranging work experience in both B2B and B2C businesses having worked for global institutions, done field work both domestically as well as internationally at governmental and non-governmental organizations, managed a group of fine dining restaurants, rode the dot-com boom and bust at a startup, and built a computer manufacturing company after working at all levels of the supply chain.

Bricklin was at BNP Paribas for over 10 years where his insights helped institutional, corporate and governmental clients shape their strategic and investment plans, identify areas of growth and manage risk. Most recently he led the US market economics team in developing and delivering economic insights to senior management and clients around the world. In addition, Bricklin was the head of the IHC scenario generation team which developed the economic scenarios for the bank’s regulatory stress tests. Prior to this role, he worked on the Latin America economics desk.

While at the International Monetary Fund he wrote a paper on fiscal policy in the EU and during his time at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris he designed a structural fiscal rule for Mexico for the country’s 2011 Economic Survey.

Retail and technology shaped Bricklin’s early career. He ran a computer manufacturing company and worked his way through the supply chain gaining a deep understanding of customer service & delivery. His understanding of operations deepened when he managed a group of fine dining restaurants in Dallas, Texas. Bricklin’s pre economics experiences are rounded by e-commerce depth having spent time at a dot-com startup – giving him a first hand understanding of consumer needs, managing inventories, logistics & delivery.

Bricklin’s proficiency in economics & excellent communication skills have made him a regular guest on various media outlets including Bloomberg, CNBC, and CNN.

Originally from Austin, TX, Bricklin received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Yale University and a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University.

Rear Admiral Nunan assumed duty as the Ninth Coast Guard District Commander in August 2017. She is the senior Coast Guard Commander for the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway, an area that encompasses eight states, a 1,500 mile international border, and a workforce of over 6,000 Coast Guard active duty, reserve, civilian, and auxiliary men and women.

A Bridgeport, Connecticut native, Rear Admiral Nunan graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987. Her early sea duty was in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Western Pacific before she became the last commanding officer of the WWII era USCGC IRONWOOD in Kodiak, Alaska, and subsequently the first commanding officer of its state of the art replacement, the 225-foot SPAR, which was built in Marinette, Wisconsin. Ashore, she has held senior positions in two different Cabinet offices: Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and Military Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation. In recent years she has been Chief of Staff at the Coast Guard Force Readiness Command, Sector Commander in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Deputy Sector Commander in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Her professional studies range from a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to a Master Merchant Mariner license and fellowship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, DC. She has attended a number of courses on national and international security at Harvard University and the Naval Post Graduate Center. Rear Admiral Nunan’s personal awards include the Secretary of Transportation Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement, DOT Outstanding Public Service Award, two Legion of Merits, three CG Meritorious Service Medals, and selection as the CG’s First Female Elite Athlete of the Year.

Dr. John Hartig is currently a Visiting Scholar at University of Windsor’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research and the Great Lakes Science-Policy Advisor for the International Association for Great Lakes Research. For the past 14 years he served as Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. John has received a number of awards for his work, including the 2017 Community Peacemaker Award from Wayne State University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, the 2016 Edward G. Voss Conservation Science Award from Michigan Nature Association, the 2015 Conservationist of the Year Award from the John Muir Association, and the 2013 Conservation Advocate of the Year Award from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications on the environment, including five books: Waterfront Porch; Bringing Conservation to Cities; Burning Rivers; Honoring Our Detroit River, Caring for Our Home; and Under RAPs: Toward Grassroots Ecological Democracy in the Great Lakes Basin. John’s book titled Bringing Conservation to Cities won a Gold Medal from the Nonfiction Authors Association in the "Sustainable Living" category and a bronze medal from the Living Now Book Awards in the "Green Living" category.

Dr. Patrick A. McLaughlin is the Director of Policy Analytics and a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His research focuses primarily on regulations and the regulatory process.

Dr. McLaughlin created and leads the RegData and QuantGov projects, deploying machine-learning and other tools of data science to quantify governance indicators found in federal and state regulations and other policy documents. The resulting database is freely available at QuantGov.org.

Dr. McLaughlin has authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies in diverse areas, including regulatory economics, administrative law, industrial organization, and international trade. His book, The Impact of Federal Regulation on the Fifty States (with Oliver Sherouse), is available for download here.

Dr. McLaughlin has given expert testimonies before Congress and state legislatures on topics ranging from the economic implications of regulatory accumulation to the potential impacts of regulatory reform. His research and op-eds have been featured in a wide range of media outlets including The Economist, C-SPAN, WSJ, Politico, and The Hill.

Prior to joining Mercatus, Dr. McLaughlin served as a Senior Economist at the Federal Railroad Administration in the United States Department of Transportation and as a Visiting Scholar at the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Clemson University.

Dr. Barbara Hendrie is the Director of UN Environment North America. She has over two decades experience as a senior international diplomat/negotiator and development/humanitarian professional, working for both the United Kingdom and United States governments. She was a senior official in the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) from 1999 to 2015, and a senior political appointee of President Obama based in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2015-2016. Barbara, a native of New York, has a Ph.D. and Masters in social anthropology from University College, London, UK, and a B.A. in English from Bowdoin College in Maine, USA. She is a dual US-UK citizen.

Steven A. Altman is Senior Research Scholar and Executive Director of the Center for the Globalization of Education and Management at the New York University Stern School of Business. Mr. Altman’s research focuses on international flows of goods and services, capital, information, and people. He measures how these flows change over time, examines how they are shaped by cross-country differences and distances, and discerns implications for business and public policy.

Mr. Altman co-authors the biennial DHL Global Connectedness Index, which tracks globalization worldwide, by region, and at the level of individual countries. His research on globalization has been featured in The Economist, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Strategy & Business, Global Finance, and many other publications.

Mr. Altman brings to his research extensive experience consulting with companies on international and emerging market strategies across a variety of industries and geographic regions. He has also managed the development of several teaching and decision-making tools.

Mr. Altman holds an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School, an MPA from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a B.S. in Economics summa cum laude from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

George Thomas is a thought leader and adviser to public and private sector organizations in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. With more than twenty years of experience, George has held a variety of sales, strategy and consulting roles. A dynamic leader and team builder, George has helped clients develop successful strategies and execute transformational projects in business operations, capital improvement, enterprise processes and applications, organizational change management and strategic planning.

George currently serves as Global Director, Smart Infrastructure, for Hatch Ltd. In this role, he leads Hatch's efforts in helping clients maximize value across all Infrastructure and Urban Solution domains. George also founded New Urban Informatics, a boutique business advisory firm, providing expertise to some of the most innovative companies and governments focused on Public Sector Analytics and Smart Cities. He is based in Washington DC.

George previously served as Global Director of Strategy & Markets for IBM’s Government Industry vertical. In this role, he was responsible for the strategy and execution of new innovations and solutions to assist governments globally in delivering improved services to their citizens. From 2013 to 2014 he was the Director of Smarter Cities for IBM Greater China, based in Beijing, PRC; and from 2010 to 2012, he was the Global Director for Smarter Cities Sales Strategy & Execution. Prior roles have included US Sales Director responsible for IBM’s services portfolio in State & Local Government, Education & Public Healthcare segment and Partner responsible for IBM’s US SAP State, Local and Education Practice. George has successfully delivered several complex, mission-critical transformation consulting engagements in the public sector which include innovative and breakthrough projects in technology, process and people transformation. Prior to joining IBM in 2000, George held senior positions with the management, business consulting and engineering practices of PSINet; Metamor; and Mott MacDonald respectively. In these roles, he was involved in global multi-million dollar engagements covering complex implementations in finance, human resources, supply chain, reengineering, process improvement, and core engineering projects.

George is a recognized industry expert at the intersection of technology and business in areas such as cognitive computing, deep analytics, smarter cities, Blockchain, the API economy, internet of things, and cloud computing. George is a founding member of the Smarter Cities Council, a member of the US NIST Executive Committee for Global City Teams Challenge, a prior resident expert at the IBM Center for Cognitive Government, a Senior Advisor to the Virginia Center of Innovative Technology, leads the Transportation Segment for Governor’s Virginia Smart Communities initiative, and is a mentor, board member and coach to several start-ups and innovative companies. George is a proven thought leader and a regular speaker at conferences and events including at the C40 Mayor’s Conferences, TEDx, Chambers of Commerce, Harvard Club, American Institute of Architects, the World Bank and the United Nations. George holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

State of the Great Lakes Economy Session

Douglas Porter has over 25 years of experience analyzing global economies and financial markets. As Chief Economist at BMO Financial Group, he oversees the macroeconomic and financial market forecasts and co-authors the firm’s weekly flagship publication, Focus. Mr. Porter manages the team that won the prestigious Lawrence Klein award for forecast accuracy of the U.S. economy, and was named by Bloomberg as top Canadian forecaster.

As a respected commentator on economic and financial trends, he is regularly quoted in the national press and often interviewed on radio and television.

Before joining BMO, Mr. Porter held the positions of Economist and Country Risk Analyst with other Canadian financial institutions, and also worked at the Bank of Canada.

Mr. Porter has been a member of C.D. Howe’s Monetary Policy Council since 2008 and also serves on the Investment Management Committees of the Bank of Montreal’s Pension Fund Society and Western’s Endowment Fund.

Mr. Porter has been a Chartered Financial Analyst since 1995 and earned a masters degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.

Moderators

Mr. Burrows has been President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce since December 2016.

Mr. Burrows draws on strong advocacy skills and over 35 years of experience in the transportation and industrial sectors, having held progressively senior positions at Canadian Pacific in Canada and Europe, the Railway Association of Canada in Ottawa, and TACTIX Government Relations and Public Affairs - where he led their ‘Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy’ practice.

Mr. Burrows has attained a distinguished list of achievements for the organizations he has represented, including commercial client account expansion, asset acquisitions, regulatory approval for network rationalization, passage of major legislation, tax freezes, capital cost allowance improvements, and federal government funding for capital projects.

In the past he has been a board director of the Transportation Association of Canada, the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council, the Canadian Society of Association Executives (OG) and member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's Transportation and International Affairs committees and the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy’s Advisory Committee. He was co-founder of the Ottawa “Learning Lunches” series for association senior executive development.

Mr. Burrows is active in his community and currently serves on the board of The Vimy Foundation. In 2012, Mr. Burrows was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work to raise awareness of the national importance of Canada’s victory at Vimy Ridge during the First World War.

A graduate of Upper Canada College and Queen's University with a business degree, he is also a credited member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.

He is married to Maria Amalia of the Dominican Republic, and has four children.

Laura Jones is the Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategic Officer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), a non-profit association that advocates for 110,000 independent businesses across Canada on topics of importance to them, including taxes and regulation. Laura is also responsible for the CFIB’s legislative, communications, research, and IT functions.

Since joining CFIB in 2003, Laura has spearheaded several high-profile campaigns on behalf of small businesses, including CFIB’s annual Red Tape Awareness WeekTM. Laura is passionate about red tape and other issues that don’t get the attention they deserve. She has led groundbreaking research on the costs of regulation in Canada and in the United States. Laura has also served on several federal and provincial committees that advise governments on reducing regulatory burden.

Jones has been providing advice to Canadian governments on effective regulatory reform for more than a decade, serving on a number of advisory committees including the Red Tape Advisory Committee for the government of Canada. She has also authored a number of studies estimating the cost and impact of regulation, including studies for the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Mercatus Centre and CFIB. She created Canada’s annual Red Tape Awareness Week, a successful initiative to focus government attention on the red tape problem.

Jones is currently on the board of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and CFIB. Prior to joining CFIB, Jones taught economics at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and worked for the Fraser Institute where she created a Centre for Studies in Risk and Regulation and published several policy studies on resource use and regulation. Jones received her B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and her M.A. in Economics from Simon Fraser University.

Laura and her husband live in Vancouver with their three spirited children.

Jean-François Hould began his term as Québec Government Delegate in Chicago on September 5, 2017. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Hould has held the position of Chief of Staff to the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie since April 2014.

Jean-François Hould graduated from the Université of Montréal and studied at Université Laval and Hautes Études commerciales. He has accumulated a roadmap of public service for Québec dating back to the early 2000s.

He served as a member of various Québec ministers’ offices from 2003 to 2011, in particular as Deputy Chief of Staff and Political Advisor to the Minister of Culture. In 2011, he joined the public service, first as a Socio-Economic Planning Officer at the Ministry of Culture, and then as Cultural Director at the Québec Government Office in New York.

Daniel-Robert Gooch is president of the Canadian Airports Council, where he oversees operations at the Canadian division of Airports Council International-North America. He was promoted to the position after serving five years as director of communications and policy.

Daniel has more than 16 years experience in marketing, public relations, and publishing, particularly in the aviation and technology sectors. Prior to joining the CAC, he was publisher and editor of Commercial Aviation Today, a Montréal-based daily electronic news publication for airline industry executives around the world. After founding the publication in 2003, Daniel built its readership to 8,700 airline industry leaders on nearly every continent. He also was involved in marketing, media relations and event planning for the publication’s parent company.

Previously, Daniel was vice president of strategic planning for Atlanta-based Gelignite Communications. In this position, he managed the firm’s public relations and interactive marketing efforts for its U.S. and Canadian clients in the financial, healthcare and business-to-business technology sectors. He also has held a series of successively senior positions in marketing and media relations for firms in Atlanta, Coral Gables, Fla. and Montréal. Daniel is an honours graduate in political science and history from Concordia University in Montréal.

Panelists

Scott MacKenzie, Senior National Manager of External Affairs is responsible for all External Affairs functions for Toyota’s Manufacturing and Sales operations in Canada. Prior to assuming this position, MacKenzie held various positions in both technical and administrative roles across the company. MacKenzie joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) in 1999 in Manufacturing Operations, before moving to a position in Quality Control. Since then, he has held roles in Supplier Preparation and Development (Purchasing), Corporate Planning, and Government Affairs for TMMC. He recently assumed all External Affairs responsibilities for both TMMC and Toyota Canada, including Government Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Public Relations, and Corporate Communications. His role in Government Affairs has seen him at the frontline of several key policy negotiations, most notably as a trusted advisor to the Federal Government on its successful negotiation of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). MacKenzie was born and raised in Kitchener, and holds a xx degree from the University of Waterloo. He resides in Waterloo with his wife and two children.

Dr. Murray McLaughlin is President of McLaughlin Consultants and an Advisor to Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) and to Forest Products Innovation(FPI). From 2010 to 2016 he was the Executive Director of BIC and the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance in Sarnia, Ontario, with a focus on a Sustainable Bioeconomy. Also through BIC he managed the AgSci Cluster, a national Bioproducts cluster supported by AAFC. Dr. McLaughlin has held various positions in the private, government and non-profit sectors such as Director of Business Development for the Canadian Light Source, President of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, and President of Ag-West Biotech Inc. He was the founder of the ABIC conferences which started in 1996. He managed a Venture Capital Fund, Foragen, for agriculture investments and also had 15 years with ELANCO, division of Eli Lily in R and D and marketing. His career has focused on bioindustrial and agricultural technologies including research, development and product management and marketing and commercialization as well as economic development and cluster building. He has been and is a member of numerous Boards of Directors and Advisory Committees, including, BioNB and BC Research Institute(BCRI). He co-chairs the Industrial Bioproducts Value Chain Roundtable which is a partnership between Industry and AAFC for the bioeconomy. He is a graduate of Nova Scotia Agricultural College, McGill (B. Sc. Agr.) and Cornell (MSC and PhD). He has an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Dalhousie University and has received several awards including Alumni of the Year for NSAC: LSO Community Service Award; the GoldLeaf award from BioteCanada and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was recipient of the LSO Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 , and CIC International Award 2017 and also recognized in the top 100 global leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy at Biofuels Digest Conference in Washington, 2016.

Dustin Chambers is a Professor of Economics in the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University, a Senior Affiliated Scholar for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a Policy Advisor at the Heartland Institute. Dr. Chambers is an applied econometrician who has published widely on the topics of income inequality, poverty, and economic growth. His most recent research, for which he testified before Congress, focuses on the regressive effects of government regulations, including their unintended impact on consumer prices, entrepreneurship, and social mobility vis-a-vis income inequality and poverty. He earned his MA in economics from UCLA and his PhD in economics from the University of California at Riverside.

Ed Brzytwa is the American Chemistry Council’s Director for International Trade and leads the ACC’s trade policy and advocacy work, with a strong focus on influencing U.S. trade negotiation and policy initiatives to strengthen the business of chemistry.

Ed previously served as a director for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), where he led initiatives on trade, cross-border data flows, and multilateral affairs. Prior to joining ITI, Ed Brzytwa served as the director for APEC affairs at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the lead policy advisor for USTR on issues arising in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC). From 2005-2012, Ed was a U.S. negotiator on non-tariff barrier to trade issues in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), first at the Department of Commerce and then at USTR. He has worked on a wide array of policy issues related to digital trade, localization barriers to trade, investment, technical barriers to trade, export restraints, trade facilitation, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

As a Fulbright fellow in 2003-2004, Ed earned a Master’s degree at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria. He also has a Master’s degree in Commercial Diplomacy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and a Bachelor’s degree in The Classics from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Ed, his wife, and their two daughters reside happily in Bethesda, Maryland.

William D. Friedman became president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in June, 2010. Under Mr. Friedman’s leadership, the Port of Cleveland has experienced a resurgence in maritime trade and long-sought diversification of cargo types. In 2014, the Port launched the Cleveland-Europe Express service, revitalizing shipping via the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system and solidifying Cleveland’s position as its leading international hub.

Mr. Friedman has more than 25 years experience in port management, real estate development, the international supply chain and multimodal distribution. He served as vice president, ports and logistics for Duke Realty Corp. from 2004 to 2009, helping the company expand to key port and inland logistics hubs including the Port of Savannah and the Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park in Columbus, Ohio.

Before joining Duke Realty, Mr. Friedman was CEO of the Ports of Indiana from 2000 to 2004, where he improved financial results, increased cargo volumes, and secured more private investment, resulting in a record $1.5 billion annual economic impact statewide.

Prior to that, Mr. Friedman spent 10 years with the Port of Seattle serving in a variety of management roles including director of seaport strategic planning, general manager of cargo piers and industrial properties, and senior harbor development planner. Mr. Friedman’s work in Seattle enabled a $600 million expansion of one of the nation’s primary container ports.

Mr. Friedman is President of the American Great Lakes Ports Association and serves on numerous industry and civic boards including the Executive Committee of the American Association of Port Authorities, Green Marine, the Northeast Ohio Development Fund, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, and the Cuyahoga County Economic Development Commission.

Mr. Friedman holds two degrees from Indiana University -- a bachelor’s degree in history, and a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in urban and regional planning.

Sworn into office on Jan. 1, 2008, Mayor Dyster is in the midst of his third term in office - the first

Mayor elected to three consecutive terms in more than 30 years.

Throughout his tenure, Mayor Dyster has worked to revitalize the city’s economy with a a greater focus on tourism and green-collar jobs. Over the course of the past decade, a business-friendly environment has attracted the attention of developers, with the opening of a $43 million Intermodal Transportation Center and the Civil War-era customs house which now includes the Underground Railroad Interpretive Center; the removal of the south end of the former Robert Moses Parkway in order to reconnect the City with its waterfront, with work to remove the north-end to begin this summer; the opening of 9 new downtown hotels, not including a full-historic renovation of a the former Hotel Niagara at the gateway to Niagara Falls; the development of incubator space for burgeoning tech-centric businesses and much, much more.

On the green front, more than 26 parks have been renovated or created throughout the city - many thanks to the direct input of city residents throughout the planning process. Many have been upgraded to provide waterfront access and outdoor recreational opportunities for the visitors and the city’s youth. Mayor Dyster also served as Chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, and is a member of the New York Conference of Mayors, and the United States Conference of Mayors.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University at Buffalo, a master’s degree in political science and a doctorate in international relations and international law from Johns Hopkins University. After serving as a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, he was appointed assistant professor of politics at the Catholic University of America, where he also served as director of the graduate program in international affairs at the Pentagon. During this period, he worked on arms control negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, for the United States State Department.

Mayor Dyster is happily married to his wife Rebecca, with whom he shares two grown sons, Bert and Ian. He currently serves as a silent partner in Niagara Traditions, a family-owned distributor of supplies for wine and beer making.

Jeffrey Leonard is a native of Defiance Ohio graduating from Defiance High School in 1975. Jeff earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University in 1981. Jeff joined the City of Defiance in 1992 as the Finance Director, having worked previously for State of Ohio Auditor’s Office and the City of Bryan Finance Division. In 2004, Jeff was appointed as the City Administrator and continues to serve in that capacity.

Jim Stifler has been the Chief Economic Officer for the City of Hudson since June 2016. Stifler brings 34 years of business experience to the position, including his expertise in developing strategic partnerships, relationship building and retention. Most recently, he was head of client retention with Empower Retirement out of Denver, Colorado. Prior to that, he was managing director at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood is a principal in Dentons' Public Policy and Regulation group and co-leader of the practice's Advocacy and Government Affairs team. A former American diplomat to Canada and a frequent media commentator and public speaker, Scotty serves as a business and public policy advocate, communications expert and political strategist to Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. Chief executive officer of the Canadian-American Business Council, she has repeatedly been recognized by Canadian newsweekly The Hill Times, which has named her one of the country's "Top 100 Lobbyists" (2017), "Top 100 People Influencing Canadian Foreign Policy" (2014) and "Top 100 Most Influential People in Government and Politics" (2010). Resident in Dentons' Washington, DC, office, Scotty also assists clients with their legislative and public policy challenges in the United States. Dentons operates in more than 173 locations serving 77 countries, and Scotty regularly provides corporations, industry associations and nonprofit organizations across the globe with US federal, state and local government relations services on US and transnational policy matters. Her experience cuts across sectors, including energy, transportation, life sciences, professional sports and others.

In addition to promoting her clients' policy needs and priorities by engaging in a wide range of education and advocacy activities, including traditional and new media campaigns, direct outreach to policy-makers, coalitionbuilding and grassroots organizing, an area of increasing focus for Scotty has been assisting clients in dealing with disruptive and unexpected events that threaten to harm their organization, its stakeholders or the general public. From a customer data breach to a high-profile firing, an environmental accident to a government antitrust probe, Scotty helps companies develop and implement a strategy to minimize and mitigate potential damage.

Immediately before joining Dentons in 2001, Scotty spent four years as chief of staff of the US Embassy in Canada, having been offered the diplomatic posting by President Clinton. During this time, she received the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award for her innovative outreach program to US governors and Canada's premiers to foster cooperation on issues of mutual concern. From 1993 to 1997, Scotty was director of intergovernmental affairs for the city of Atlanta, handling state and federal relations, including serving on the White House Interagency Task Force on Olympic Security and working on various other projects related to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in that city. Prior to that position, Scotty was executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia. She has worked on the state's Democratic primary and presidential campaigns since 1988.

Beth Potter took over the reins as President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) in January 2011. Beth leads the advocacy efforts for the tourism industry – promoting the importance of tourism as an economic driver and job creator for Ontario – by working with business owners, tourism organizations and governments. Collectively, TIAO represents the 186,000 businesses and 389,000 employees that are dedicated to promoting and operating the Province’s tourism infrastructure.

With more than 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit and tourism sectors, Beth has worked with a variety of boards, committees and volunteers across the tourism industry and from all walks of life. She currently serves on the boards for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Ryerson University.

Chris Steele is Vice President, Advisory of Conway Inc. His 28 years of experience in location consulting, site selection, and economic development have resulted in a unique perspective on how the concept of place impacts business and community success around the globe.

Past clients include The Boeing Company, BlueCross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Serologicals, Lenovo, Morgan Stanley, Club Med, Becton Dickinson, the US Transportation Research Board (of the National Science Foundation), Olympus, Atlas Copco and Biogen IDEC make location decisions across Europe, North America, and Asia.

Chris also frequently advises governments and public sector agencies on business attraction and economic development efforts. In this capacity, Chris has led the State of Maine’s efforts to fully evaluate the effectiveness of its business development incentive programs and develop more effective measures. He has also helped governments such as the province of British Columbia and their partners to better understand their regions’ natural strengths and to build more effective strategies for attracting inward investment. Likewise, he has helped the States of Michigan and Florida develop strategies for leveraging freight movement into permanent direct investment.

Mr. Steele holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with specific concentrations in land use planning and real estate development. He previously led Investment Consulting Associates in the US for 10 years, and held positions as president, real estate consulting with TranSystems and director of location advisory services with ADP Mintax. He also spent 11 years in Ernst & Young’s real estate advisory service practice. Chris has also taught real estate development and economic development at UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston.

For Tony Vernaci, the opportunity to establish the Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM) is a culmination of more than 30 years of experience and passion for aerospace.

Tony joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2014, as Vice President for Global Business Development. He recognized the potential synergies of the automotive and aerospace industries and soon the team discovered there were nearly 600 companies and organizations in Michigan conducting aerospace business. In 2015, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) concluded their annual aerospace manufacturing attractiveness study and ranked Michigan as #2 in the nation. This generated a great deal of excitement from the Governor’s office and economic development organizations throughout the state, setting off a chain of events over the next 2 years raising global awareness for Michigan’s aerospace industry.

It is because of these great accomplishments, a vision for the future aerospace opportunities and a conversation with Governor Snyder, Tony decided to launch AIAM to advance Michigan’s place in the industry.

Prior to joining the MEDC Tony held executive positions at Global Advantages, Doncasters, and Textron. He held positions as Senior Vice President of International, Director of Global Integrated Supply Chain, Director of Six Sigma, General Manager of Manufacturing, and Regional Director of Distribution. Before joining Textron, Tony spent 10 years in the automotive industry at both an OEM and a Tier-one supplier.

Guillaume Lacroix became Consul General of France in Chicago on August 29th, 2017.

He holds diplomas from Institut d'études politiques de Paris and Université Panthéon-Assas. He speaks Swahili, a language he studied at Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales in Paris and in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

He started his diplomatic career in 1997. He was assigned to the Department of African and Indian Ocean Affairs in Paris, then to the French Embassy in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and to the French Embassy in Washington.

He was also posted in two other diplomatic institutions: at the U.S. State Department as part of the Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow program and at the European External Action Service in Brussels.

From 2013 until 2017, he served in the cabinets of French Foreign Affairs Ministers Laurent Fabius and Jean-Marc Ayrault as Counsellor for African Affairs.

Guillaume Lacroix was born in 1971 in Auxerre (Burgundy). He is married and has two children.

Michael Robinet was promoted to Executive Director of IHS Markit Automotive Advisory Services in December 2018 – driving industry thought leadership in the field of light vehicle automotive market dynamics and supplier strategy. From December 2011 to November 2018, Michael was the Managing Director leading the North American Automotive Advisory Team. Until late 2011, he served as the Director of Global Vehicle Production Forecasts for IHS Automotive from 1996.

In his role as Executive Director in the global automotive advisory practice, Michael builds upon his experience as a leader and innovator in automotive research. He works with decisionmakers at suppliers and OEMs in the fields of supplier strategy, global production forecasting, tracking future product programs (FPPs), analyzing sourcing and production strategies to serve OEM, supplier and government entities throughout the global industry.

Michael has over three decades of experience in automotive forecasting, strategic analysis and manufacturing finance. Prior to joining CSM Worldwide/IHS Markit, he worked at several research companies and was schooled in finance at a Tier 1 supplier. He regularly consults with industry executives and presents at global OEM and supplier conferences/ symposiums - being widely quoted by worldwide media on a variety of critical industry topics.

Michael holds an undergraduate degree in economics and an MBA – both from the University of Windsor, Canada. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Automotive Press Association (APA), Detroit Economic Club (DEC) and the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA). He is a founding director of the Canada-US Business Association (CUSBA) and a board member of the Original Equipment Supplier Association (OESA). Michael also pens a monthly column called ‘Supplier Eye’ for SAE’s Automotive Engineering Magazine.

Peter Plumeau is President and CEO of EDR Group. With almost 30 years’ experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, he is a national expert in multimodal transportation policy and planning, regional economic development, and organizational development and strategic management. Peter leads execution of EDR Group's business strategy as well as the firm's overall business development and client relations.

Mr. Plumeau’s experience includes helping planners integrate multi-modal mobility needs, including goods movement and non-motorized modes, into complete streets plans and advising policy-makers on the relationship of transportation efficiency to community economic vitality. He has led development of multimodal transportation studies, plans, and strategies for MPOs, state DOTS, municipalities, and authorities across the US, Canada, Europe, and China. Mr. Plumeau has also authored or co-authored numerous research reports and guidebooks on transportation planning, policy analysis, and goods movement for the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the US Department of Transportation, the Canadian Trucking Association, the American Planning Association, and Transport Canada. In addition, he is a sought-after speaker on transportation planning topics and has presented to audiences around the world on metropolitan planning, urban freight movement and sustainability, and megaregion impacts on transportation investment needs.

Prior to joining EDR Group, Peter’s career included positions as Senior Director with RSG, Inc., Executive Director of the Chittenden County MPO (now merged with Chittenden County RPC), state legislative staff, and staff to the U.S. Congress. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University at Albany and a BA from the University of Vermont. He is a member of several TRB standing committees, the APA Transportation Planning Division, and the Urban Land Institute.

Ryan is the Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), a volunteer led not-for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in the Province of Ontario. The mission of the OFSC is to provide leadership to member organizations in our commitment to enable exceptional snowmobile trails and rider experiences throughout the province.

Before the OFSC, Ryan was the Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy with the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), the recognized authority on franchising in Canada. Ryan was responsible for increasing the influence of the CFA and advocating for favourable public policy to support franchising in the marketplace through government relations, strategic public policy partnerships and advocacy at the federal and provincial levels. Prior to CFA, Ryan was the Senior Director, Public Affairs at GS1 Canada, the world’s leading supply chain standards organization. Prior to joining GS1 Canada, Ryan was the Director, Government Relations & Policy at the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac), where he helped lead the commercial real estate sector through proactive and reactive advocacy campaigns. Ryan was also an Associate at the political consulting firm Greener and Hook, LLC where he worked on both the political and corporate side of the company.

Before Greener and Hook, Ryan was a research assistant at The Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS) where his deliverables helped formulate the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), now the largest open source intelligence database in the world. In the fall of 2007, Ryan accepted a key staff position within United States Senator Fred Thompson’s Presidential Campaign.

Academically, Ryan has earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in political science from New England College, a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from The American University School of Public Affairs, a Master of Law (LL.M) at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and an Executive Master of Business Administration (E.M.B.A) at the University of Fredericton’s Sandermoen School of Business.