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.

Dennis Foldenauer is the Area Director in the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Chicago Regional Office. In this role, Dennis leads a team that processes and manages both construction and non-construction economic development awards throughout the six-state EDA Chicago region. Previously, Dennis served as a Regional Export Finance Manager in the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of International Trade. He began his career at EDA as the agency's Economic Development Representative for Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Chris James has served as the President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development since January of 2017. He is responsible for guiding the organization in its day-to-day operations and implementing its long term strategic initiatives and vision. Prior to joining the National Center, Chris was an Associate Administrator at the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA), worked in Native American Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and managed the Sequoyah Fund – an enterprise of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Mr. James is originally from Cherokee, North Carolina – home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians – and is of Cherokee descent. His family has owned small businesses on the Qualla Boundary for more than 50 years.

From 2011 – 2016, Chris served as Associate Administrator at SBA, where he was a Senior Executive Service (SES) appointee of President Barack Obama overseeing both the Office of Field Operations, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Office of Native American Affairs. His extensive portfolio included Native American outreach, program management, and tribal consultation.

While at SBA, Chris’s responsibilities included representing the SBA at White House events and in state, local, and congressional affairs, as well as serving as a liaison to domestic and international corporate partners and stakeholders. He also established and oversaw SBA’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. As the head of the Office of Field Operations, he managed a workforce of over 800 people with an annual operating budget of over $200 million, and worked on programs and services that affected all 50 states and every U.S. territory. He was also the officer on record for Tribal Consultation, and worked with the White House and senior cabinet officials to craft best practices for accomplishing economic development in Native American communities.

Among his accomplishments at SBA was the creation of Startup in a Day, which worked with cities and Native American communities to create streamlined platforms to allow entrepreneurs to apply for all relevant business permits in an expedited manner. Over 100 communities took a public pledge agreeing to simplify the business formation requirements for entrepreneurs in their areas. He was also the agency lead on the SupplierPay program, which encouraged private companies to quickly reimburse their suppliers. Nearly fifty Fortune 500 companies took the pledge.

While at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2009-2011, Chris acted as liaison between the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, Native American tribal governments, and other federal government agencies and approved over $120 million dollars in funding to deserving applicants. In part thanks to his leadership, the number of certified Native CDFIs increased by 30%, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program saw an increase in applicants.

During his time working in the federal government, Chris was an active member of the White House Council on Native American Affairs, the White House Rural Council, White House Community Solutions Task Force, and the White House Interagency Group on Insular Affairs.

Prior to coming to Washington, DC, Chris was the Associate Director for the Cherokee, NC-based Sequoyah Fund. While there, he was responsible for the daily operations of the fund, which is a Native American CDFI and an enterprise of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He has a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a Master of Entrepreneurship from Western North Carolina University.

Chris, who is based in the Phoenix metro area, is married and has three school-aged children.

Over his nearly 40-year career, Mr. Piñero has worked in the private and public sectors as a consultant to many clients on sustainability, environment, and energy. Mr. Piñero is President of The Piñero Group LLC, providing consulting services to clients in areas of sustainability. Concurrently, he also serves as the Water Programs Director for the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development; as well as the Head of Standards and Assurance for the Alliance for Water Stewardship.

He served as Senior Vice President for Sustainability for Veolia North America (VNA), and liaison to Veolia’s worldwide Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Affairs departments. In this role, Mr. Piñero oversaw all efforts related to sustainability, in regard to outreach, client issues, and internal practices, including the water, energy, and waste business lines. Mr. Piñero represented Veolia on the CEO Water Mandate, the WBCSD Water Group, and the USBCSD Water Synergy Project. He also helped develop and field test the Water Impact index and True Cost of Water methodologies and tools.

He has also served in the public sector at both the Federal and state levels addressing sustainability issues. During his service as the White House Federal Environmental Executive, he focused on developing and implementing sustainability policy and practices within the US Federal government. Mr. Piñero served in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as both the Director of the Bureau of Environmental Sustainability as well as holding the office of Pennsylvania State Energy Director.

Mr. Piñero has been an Adjunct Professor at Duquesne University and the University of Arizona, and is currently a Visiting Scholar with George Washington University’s Environment and Energy Management Institute. He has Bachelors of Science degree in Geology from the State University of New York and Masters of Science degree in Geology from Texas A&M University.

Bryce Phillips is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) - a Canadian Crown corporation - and is responsible for implementing WDBA’s mandate to enable construction and operation of the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. The C$5.7 billion project is being delivered through a public-private partnership. It includes four components: a six-lane cable-stayed bridge; a Canadian port of entry with border inspection and toll facilities; a United States of America port of entry with border inspection; and an interchange with Interstate 75.

Mr. Phillips is accountable to WDBA’s Board of Directors and is responsible to create vision and strategy, mobilize people, uphold integrity and respect, promote innovation and guide change and achieve results. As CEO, he also leads his team in building and maintaining an effective and constructive network with partners, including municipal governments, border inspection agencies, and state and federal agencies, and with stakeholders such as community groups and associations on both sides of the border, to assist in the achievement of WDBA’s organizational objectives.

With 35 years of experience, Mr. Phillips’ career encompasses an increasing scope of responsibility and range of functions, including senior management and executive roles, in both private and public corporations. He has broad expertise in leading technical subject matter experts, from managerial positions to vice presidents of large engineering and operations organizations. Prior to joining WDBA, Mr. Phillips served as vice president of an engineering, testing, inspection, certification and consulting company, where he oversaw major infrastructure projects for a broad range of clients in North America and in Europe. Prior to that, Mr. Phillips was Vice President of Technical Support Services for a multinational consultancy, engineering and project management company. He also served in key leadership positions at two nuclear plants. Mr. Phillips holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor.

Jeannette P. Tamayo serves as the Regional Director of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (“EDA”). The region encompasses the upper Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and two counties in Iowa. She joined the EDA in 2009 as its Regional Counsel and assumed the helm as Regional Director in October 2011.

Ms. Tamayo has spearheaded a number of initiatives to increase EDA’s impact and visibility in the Midwest region. She instituted a University Showcase program to coordinate efforts between the EDA-funded local Economic Development District organizations and University Centers to expand regional economic development delivery capacity and make access to data, research, and resources available publicly. Through these efforts, rural and urban communities receive coordinated technical assistance and applied research assistance. Ms. Tamayo led inter-agency collaboration efforts in Region V, bringing together federal agencies to work simultaneously to address economic development and community development challenges and to find opportunities to share resources and information to the benefit of their respective stakeholders. Ms. Tamayo established the Tri-State Federal Partners Network, which included 11 federal agencies and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to exchange information and identify opportunities for regional collaboration. With the support of The Brookings Institution, the network conducted an asset of Cook County to identify opportunities for smarter federal investments to support innovation in the greater Chicagoland area.

Prior to joining the EDA, Ms. Tamayo held senior executive, legal and management positions in government and non-profit agencies. In these roles, she helped revamp public aid programs to make them relevant, working with community colleges to design specialized curricula to help the long-term unemployed and teen parents to transition from public dependency to self-sufficiency through education and job training. She helped organize an experiential educational tour and college lecture to highlight the economic and developmental challenges faced by low-income communities. She worked with community non-profit organizations by assisting with matters ranging from new venture formation to establishing new programs or expanding programs and diversifying revenues, working with some as an attorney and with others as an executive or board member. In these various roles, Ms. Tamayo identified opportunities for transformative change and both legal and programmatic strategies to make a difference.

Ms. Tamayo started her career as an attorney working in a high poverty area, representing clients in state and federal court as well as before administrative tribunals. She has experience serving as both in-house counsel and litigation counsel, handling litigation and transactional matters for her government and non-profit clients. Ms. Tamayo’s government experience includes employment and training, child welfare and protection, public benefit programs, legislation, agency regulations, and industry licensing.

She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and DePaul University College of Law. Ms. Tamayo serves on the Chicago Federal Executive Board, which she previously chaired, and on Chicago area non-profit boards. Ms. Tamayo co-chaired a process improvement committee that received a national 2016 Gold Award from the US Department of Commerce. In 2017, Ms. Tamayo received the national Federal Executive Board’s Chair of the Year award.

Joe Comartin was appointed as Canada’s Consul General to Detroit in autumn of 2018, and is responsible for the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. His career spans the private and public sectors, and most recently academia.

Mr. Comartin began his career as a civil litigation lawyer in Ontario where he focused on criminal, family, and personal injury law. He was instrumental in founding the Canadian Autoworkers (CAW) legal services plan and served as managing director for the Windsor-Essex region. He also helped establish co-operative housing and the CAW Child Care Centre.

He entered Canadian federal politics in 2000 serving as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 15 years. Highly regarded by fellow MPs from all parties he was thrice recognized as Canada’s most knowledgeable parliamentarian. In Parliament he rose to several leadership positions including Opposition House Leader and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

Upon leaving elected office he became a distinguished political scientist in residence at the University of Windsor where he taught ethics and reform in Canadian Parliament and a constitutional law course.

Mr. Comartin and his wife Maureen have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Todd Smith is Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Craig H. Middlebrook serves as the Deputy Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

A member of the Senior Executive Service and a career employee of the SLSDC since 1995, Mr. Middlebrook was the agency’s Chief of Staff from 1996 to 2000, before becoming Deputy Administrator. He served as the agency’s Acting Chief Counsel from 2004 to 2008, as well as Acting Administrator in 2006 and in 2012-2013.

Prior to coming to the SLSDC, Mr. Middlebrook worked on surface transportation issues at the Interstate Commerce Commission and worked for a merchant bank in the City of London. Mr. Middlebrook holds Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Northwestern University. Mr. Middlebrook was the recipient of a Rotary International Scholarship in 1984 and studied at the University of Münster, Germany (1984-85). In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Service by President Barack Obama.

Todd Smith is Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

In this role, Todd spearheads the government’s strategy to make Ontario open for business and create the conditions where job creators can continue to invest and thrive. Todd’s priorities include cutting red tape, reducing business costs and promoting fair and balanced trade.

First elected as a Member of Provincial Parliament for the Bay of Quinte in 2011, Todd has been a strong advocate at Queen’s Park for people in the Quinte area. He has fought to get funding for small, rural hospitals, to keep demonstration schools open, and to be a voice for businesses in our communities. Todd has also put forward Private Member’s Bills that help local families and businesses, such as Garrett’s Legacy Act and the Raise a Glass to Ontario Act.

Involvement in the local community is very important to Todd. He supports various charitable organizations such as Operation Red Nose and the Alzheimer’s Society, and participates in many local events and initiatives.

Born in New Brunswick, Todd moved to Belleville in the early 1990s and has called the Quinte-area his home ever since. He now lives in the Oak Hills with his wife Tawnya, a local high school teacher, and two daughters, Payton and Reagan.

Marc Garneau has served his country his entire professional career, beginning with the Canadian Navy and then as an astronaut and President of the Canadian Space Agency, and now in political life.

He began his service to Canada as a Navy combat systems engineer. In January 1986, he was promoted to Naval Captain and retired from the Navy in 1989.

Marc Garneau made history by becoming the first Canadian Astronaut to fly in space in October 1984.

In October 2008 he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Westmount—Ville-Marie and, in his first mandate, served as the Liberal critic for Industry, Science and Technology as well as the Leader’s representative for Québec. He was re-elected in Westmount—Ville-Marie in May 2011 and served as House Leader for the Liberal Party and Critic for Foreign Affairs. He was re-elected for a third time in 2015 in the district of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount.

In November 4 2015, he was named Minister of Transport.

In August 2003, Marc Garneau was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour.

Greg Stanford assumed his duties as Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto in August 2018. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the personal rank of Minister-Counselor, he has been a diplomat since 1988.

Greg has had the privilege to hold a number of challenging positions largely in the management and resource spheres both in Washington and overseas. Most recently, Greg was Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Management, a Deputy Assistant Secretary-equivalent position.

His foreign postings include Management Minister-Counselor in Kabul (2013-2015), Tokyo (2012-2013), Bangkok (2009-2012), and Bogota (2007-2009), as well as tours in Hanoi, Manila, London, Dublin and Nouakchott. Greg also worked in the Office of the Executive Director in both the Bureau of Consular Affairs (1990-1992) and Bureau of Diplomatic Security (1994-1996) in Washington.

Greg is the recipient of the Department of State’s 2003 General Services Officer (GSO) of the Year Award and 2012 Equal Employment Opportunity Award. He has also received Senior Performance Pay, Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.

Greg speaks French and is a proud native of Michigan. He is married to Francoise Stanford; they have two children.

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

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.


Chris has been an environment and sustainable development professional for over 20 years and joined the Pollution Probe team in August 2018. Chris has worked in government, consulting, academic and not-for-profit settings and has had an association with Pollution Probe for much of his career.

Known more generally for his public policy and communications experience, he is recognized as a leader in freshwater policy and Great Lakes issues. A Canadian appointee to Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission (IJC), Chris has served as the Canadian Lead on emerging issues for the last 4 years. In 2007, Chris was appointed to the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, where he served as Chair of the Water Programme.

He is an active volunteer and has served on boards and advisory bodies for numerous organizations including Ryerson University, Pollution Probe, WaterAid Canada, Carleton University’s Global Water Institute, the City of Toronto’s Task Force to Bring Back the Don, Green Living Enterprises, the Vimy Foundation and the George and Helen Vari Foundation.

Jacqueline Klimas is a national security reporter at POLITICO.

Prior to joining POLITICO, she covered defense from Capitol Hill and the Pentagon for the Washington Times and the Washington Examiner, where she was part of the team that launched the Daily on Defense newsletter. She began her journalism career at Navy Times, covering the Navy and Coast Guard.

She’s an alumna of Boston University and holds a masters in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Nick Juliano is POLITICO’s deputy energy editor, helping to oversee coverage of oil and gas, utilities, renewable energy and climate change among other topics. Before joining POLITICO in June 2015, Juliano was a Capitol Hill reporter for Environment & Energy Publishing’s E&E Daily and Greenwire; he previously worked for Platts’ Inside Energy and Inside Washington Publishers’ Inside EPA as well as several local newspapers. An Ohio native, Juliano holds an undergraduate degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and a masters’ in political science from American University’s School of Public Affairs. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and dog.

Luiza Ch. Savage is the editorial director of cross-platform content for POLITICO. She works across the newsroom and with business partners to drive and develop ambitious editorial projects that include digital journalism, video, data research, polling, live events, and thought-leadership series that are supported by outside underwriting.

As executive director for Canada, she is responsible for the creation of POLITICO Pro Canada, a cross-border policy intelligence service, and POLITICO’s expansion north of the border.

Prior to joining POLITICO, Luiza was the Washington bureau chief for Maclean’s, the national weekly news magazine of Canada. In that role, she covered several presidential elections, wrote and produced two television documentaries, and was a regular commentator on television and radio news programs. She previously worked as a reporter for three newspapers.

Luiza was born in Poland and grew up in Canada. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College and a master’s degree from Yale Law School, where she was a Knight Foundation journalism fellow. She is married to New York Times reporter Charlie Savage; they have two children.

Dana Rubinstein is a senior reporter for POLITICO New York. She has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the New York Observer, and the Brooklyn Paper.

Lauren Gardner is a reporter for POLITICO Pro Canada. Before joining POLITICO, she covered energy and environment policy at CQ Roll Call, writing about everything from the EPA's climate change rules to the oil and gas exports debate in Congress. Gardner started her career in Washington as an IRS reporter for BNA.

Gardner, a Philadelphia native, graduated from American University with degrees in journalism and international studies. Outside of the Capitol, you can find her running the trails of Northern Virginia and D.C. or rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles. She lives with her husband and their beagle mix Barkley in Alexandria.

David Adams has more than 30 years of experience in the Canadian automotive industry. He brings a unique perspective to the industry being the only individual to have served in executive roles with both of Canada’s leading automotive industry associations.

David was appointed President of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada – now the Global Automakers of Canada, in March 2005.

David has a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in economics and psychology, from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

He has been at the forefront of the association’s thought leadership on automated and connected vehicles and both the ecosystem and regulatory environment for the advancement of these vehicles. Additionally, David is a past Chair of the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) , a national consumer dispute resolution program, and was involved in the creation of the National Automobile Dealer Arbitration Program (NADAP) for disputes arising between dealers and manufacturers.

Mr. Adams also serves as a director of the Automotive Business School of Canada, at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, and as a director of the Foundation for the Study of Processes of Government in Canada and their key program - Forum for Young Canadians, which endeavors to teach young people from across the country about Canada’s democratic history and the parliamentary process to encourage leaders for the future.

Additionally, David is a regular columnist in Canadian Auto Dealer and past contributor to Canadian Autoworld, both monthly trade magazines for the Canadian automotive industry.

He is an avid cyclist and resides in Toronto with his wife Julie.

Alex Panetta is the editor of POLITICO Pro Canada, which covers Canada-U.S. policy and legislative issues. He previously spent 20 years at The Canadian Press, and got his start there covering major-league baseball and the team formerly known as the Montreal Expos. He then covered politics in Canada, including five elections at the federal level and three at the provincial level. He also covered international issues including the war in Afghanistan, the earthquake in Haiti, and numerous multilateral summits. Alex moved to Washington in 2013 to become CPfs U.S. correspondent, and covered the presidential election as well as Canada-U.S. bilateral issues. Last year, he moved to POLITICO to help start its new Canada venture.

Jamshed Merchant is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario.

Jamshed started his career as a Faculty Lecturer/Research Associate in the Department of Geography at McGill University. Following this, Jamshed joined the Alberta Department of Environment as a soil scientist providing advice to landowners, energy industry staff and other government officials on land reclamation principles and practices across the province.

Whilst still in Alberta, Jamshed joined the federal public service as a Soil Conservationist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). In this capacity he worked with farmers, local decision makers, farm organizations, academia and provincial officials across the Prairie Provinces to promote and implement environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. Jamshed also worked as Director of Communications for a branch of AAFC that was headquartered in Regina, SK.

Jamshed moved to Ottawa and assumed the role of Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister of AAFC and then as AAFC’s Director General of Strategic Business Planning. Jamshed left AAFC to become the Director General of Government on Line and e-Services in the department of Canadian Heritage.

Following this, Jamshed joined the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada. Initially as the Executive Director for Transport, Infrastructure and the Environment and then as Assistant Secretary responsible for Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, the Climate Change Review and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Grants and Contributions.

Jamshed returned to AAFC as Assistant Deputy Minister, Agri-Environment Services Branch. Following this, Jamshed assumed his last position in the federal public service, before retiring, as Consul General for Canada in the US Upper Mid-West, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Jamshed has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia, UK and an MSc in Pedology and Soil Survey from the University of Reading, UK.

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.


John Linder, of Edison, Ohio, serves as a member of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association, a farmer-led trade association with offices in St. Louis and Washington.

Linder, along with his brother, Mike, and wife, Cheryl, run a fifth-generation farm raising corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat and soybeans for seed in central Ohio. In addition to traditional row crop farming, he also has livestock experience.

On the national level, Linder serves as the Corn Board liaison to the Market Access Action Team and chairs the Finance Committee. Additionally, he represents NCGA at the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research.

Previously, he served as chair and vice chair of the Engaging Members Committee. Prior to his election to the Corn Board, Linder chaired the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team.

On the state level, he is a past chair of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program Board of Directors and past member of the Ag Credit Co-op Board.

Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn growers and the interests of more than 300,000 farmers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 49 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to help protect and advance corn growers’ interests.

Cleveland’s 56th Mayor, Frank G. Jackson, took office January 2, 2006. He has since been re-elected three times - in 2009, 2013, and a historic fourth term in 2017.

As Mayor, Jackson is focused on ensuring that the City offers an excellent quality of life for every resident, business and visitor; and, is addressing every aspect of operations and policy to guarantee that he reaches that goal. He is committed to providing exceptional, quality service and has led positive change throughout his tenure as mayor, particularly in the areas of Public Safety, City Finances and Operations, Education, Sustainability and Development.

Mayor Jackson is a Cleveland Public Schools graduate and Army veteran. He earned an associate’s degree from Cuyahoga Community College and his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and law degree from Cleveland State University. Jackson began his public service career as an Assistant City Prosecutor in the Cleveland Municipal Court Clerk’s Office. From 1990 through 2005, Jackson represented Cleveland’s 5th Ward on Cleveland City Council. From 2002 – 2005, Jackson also served as President of Cleveland City Council.

Dan Sowry currently serves as the Assistant Chief of Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) within the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance. Dan oversees Ohio EPA's sustainability program, Recycling and Litter Prevention grant program, pollution prevention program, compliance assistance program, Ohio Materials Marketplace program and Encouraging Environmental Excellence program. Prior to this, Dan worked as the supervisor in OCAPP's compliance assistance program, as the central district office OCAPP representative, and as the hazardous waste technical assistance representative in Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental Response and Revitalization. He started his Ohio EPA career in the Division of Air Pollution Control’s Mobile Sources Section where he led the state’s vehicle emission anti-tampering program.

Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology in 1996 and has over 19 years of experience working at Ohio EPA.

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.

Dr. Dennis Todey is the Director of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub in Ames. IA. The hub delivers actionable climate information for agriculture in an eight state region over most of the Corn Belt. He was the state climatologist South Dakota and Associate Professor at South Dakota State University. He has worked on regional climate services in the Missouri River Basin and Midwest for over a decade partnering with NOAA, Regional Climate Centers, state climatologists and state extension. He also worked on issues of climate change impacts on all types of Midwest/Plains agriculture.

Andrew Mangan founded the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development, a non-profit association of businesses launched in 1993. The Council combines the capabilities of its members to develop, test and scale sustainability solutions. Current focus areas include energy, water, materials and ecosystems.

Mangan also serves as managing director of Pathway21, LLC, a software development company established in 2016 to scale US BCSD programs that are ready for commercialization.

He received a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and attended the Columbia School of International Affairs as an International Fellow. Prior to organizing the Business Council, he served as deputy commissioner for natural resources with the Texas General Land Office, worked as a congressional correspondent for the Associated Press, and commercially fished salmon in Southeast Alaska.

In August 2017, Ralph Inforzato was appointed Chief Executive Director of JETRO Chicago. As Chief Executive Director, he will oversee JETRO Chicago’s activities designed to facilitate trade and investment between Japan and 12 Midwestern states served by JETRO Chicago.

Prior to his new position, Mr. Inforzato served as Executive Director, Business Development for JETRO Chicago. In this position he worked to implement JETRO’s team based projects to directly engage in assisting US business expansion to Japan. He initiated in-bound and out-bound technology collaboration for US & Japanese small and medium sized companies, which resulted in numerous business agreements. He also sustained the relationships that JETRO Chicago has with business, state government and university leaders.

For the last thirty-four years, Mr. Inforzato has been involved in significant JETRO related business development projects: Japan–US Biotechnology Initiative (2002-2010), which has sent more than 500 representatives from North American life sciences companies, universities and research institutes to Japan, enabling them to initiate research collaboration and business development in the Japanese biotechnology and pharmaceutical communities. He is directly involved in the teams that implement JETRO’s Japan service robotics business development projects and JETRO’s Monozukuri program, a series of seminars focused on Japanese manufacturing philosophies for engineers in North American technology companies.

Price Marr is the Executive Director, Strategy & Business Development at Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) headquartered in Carmel, IN. His responsibilities include facilitating and coordinating development of the MISO strategic plan, researching and monitoring emerging issues and key strategic topics, organizing and managing strategic programs for MISO’s Board and executive team, and ensuring advancement of MISO’s strategic initiatives through the corporate planning process.

Prior to joining MISO in 2016, Price served as the Executive Vice President & General Manager at The Weitz Company, a commercial and industrial construction firm; Director of Corporate Planning & Project Risk Management at Ameren, an investor owned utility; and Senior Manager, Strategy & Operations with Deloitte Consulting.

Price graduated from the United States Military Academy where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Vince Guglielmo has been with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), based in Toronto, Ontario since 2000 and holds the title of Vice President and Secretary to the Board of the Directors.

APMA is Canada’s national association representing original equipment suppliers operating in Canada for the global automotive industry. APMA members account for 90 % of Canada’s $35 Billion plus OE automotive parts and component supply industry, directly employing approximately 96,000 people in Canada.

In his current capacity, Vince is responsible for coordinating with APMA’s President and Board of Directors, public policy and advocacy initiatives as well as overseeing outreach activities of the association including, international trade missions, event management, APMA’s publications, web and social media presence.

In addition to serving on various APMA Committees, Vince is a member of various industry advisory groups including the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council’s (CAPC) Trade and Infrastructure Committee and International Trade Committee, W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology-Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, the Southern Ontario Gateway Council, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Bachelor of Technology-Automotive and Vehicle Engineering offered through McMaster University/Mohawk College. He is also a former Vice Chair of the Council for Automotive Human Resources (CAHR).

Vince is a graduate of McMaster University (DeGroote School of Business) with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing and Finance.

Dr. Michael Tiboris is Global Water Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Global Food and Agriculture Program, and a Lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. His research concerns primary resource stability as a foreign policy objective, water resource policy, agricultural development, and global justice. He has a PhD in applied ethics and political philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, and has been supported by the Spencer Foundation, San Diego State University’s Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs, and the American Council of Learned Societies. His written work is published in numerous academic journals (including Human Rights Quarterly, Social Theory and Practice, and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs), partner publications with the World Bank and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and popular media sources (including The National Interest, Foreign Policy, and The Chicago Tribune). His work was recognized by the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report as among the best work produced in 2016.

Colette Jones joined Destination Cleveland in 2012 as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications. In this role, she oversees integrated marketing campaigns, advertising, brand strategy, digital marketing, social media, visitor publications, public relations/communications and market research.

She came to Destination Cleveland after working as an independent brand strategy consultant for small, local businesses. In addition to her consulting experience, Jones has 15 years of combined brand management/sales experience working for companies such as KeyBank; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; and the Wm. Wrigley Jr., Co.

Born in Shaker Heights, Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in communications education from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and an M.B.A. in marketing from The Ohio State University.

She sits on the LAND Studio Board of Trustees, Karamu House Board of Directors, Expedia Select Media Partner Board and the Campus International Advisory Board.

Geoffrey Wilson is an international business leader with more than 25 years in the multimodal transportation, shipping, infrastructure and aviation businesses. Having held senior executive roles throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, with companies such as Triton Container International Inc., Budget Car and Truck Rental, and Kerr Steamship Agency Inc., Mr. Wilson brings a unique skill set and global perspective to his role as CEO of PortsToronto. A government business enterprise, PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada’s ninth busiest airport, the marine Port of Toronto, the Outer Harbour Marina, and several commercial properties along Toronto’s waterfront.

Mr. Wilson’s professional experience includes global infrastructure and asset management, international market development and strategic alliances. Prior to his current role, Mr. Wilson served as Chief Operating Officer of Cartel Communications Systems Inc., Canada's leading wireless equipment distributor and integrator.

Mr. Wilson holds his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors through the Rotman School of Management. He serves on the advisory board of Toronto Global Forum, associated with the International Global Economic Forums of the Americas, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Empire Club of Canada, the Council of the Great Lakes Region, and Neuchâtel Junior College.

Kevin M. Burke joined Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) as President and Chief Executive Officer in January of 2014. Since he joined ACI-NA, Burke has expanded ACI-NA’s reach and influence as the Voice of Airports® in North America by amplifying the important role airports play in our everyday lives, unifying the industry behind shared priorities, and advancing a common cause with non-traditional allies.

In addition to his proven government relations background and immense experience managing associations, Burke is a visionary leader who serves the airport industry as a passionate advocate for legislative and regulatory policies that strengthen the ability for airports to serve their passengers, customers, and communities.

Prior to joining ACI-NA, he served for 13 years as President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). Growing its member programs, its financial position, its standing on Capitol Hill and around the world are among his many accomplishments at AAFA.

Burke began his career in 1979 at the Republican National Committee and later the Reagan-Bush Presidential Campaign, where he served as Outreach Director for the campaign’s Nationalities Division. Following the campaign, he moved to Capitol Hill to work as a legislative assistant and later press secretary to Representative Norm Lent (R-NY). Burke has more than 30 years of experience as a government relations professional, having previously led government affairs efforts for Food Distributors International, the American Bakers Association, and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Burke is a graduate of American University in Washington D.C., with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from the State University of New York at Brockport. Kevin and his wife Barbara Ianniello reside in Great Falls, Virginia.

Andy Herriott joined the privately-owned Halterm Container Terminal in 2013 as Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for Sales, Marketing and Business Development. The role is focused on the development of Halterm's value proposition for global shipping lines and for beneficial cargo owners in North America - the goal is to bring new business through the terminal and to engage the Halterm team in recognizing and delivering on the needs of current and future customers.

In five years Halterm has seen mainline services develop from 5500TEU ships to 11,400TEU ships and delivered strong growth in its Regional Short-Sea business, providing global carriers with ever more diverse options from Halifax. Halterm looks forward to developing the potential of Coastal and Inland waterway opportunities in association with key supply-chain partners.

Previously with Hutchison Port Holdings for 18 years and based in the United Kingdom, Andy worked across Europe and the Indian sub-Continent in Business Development, Operations and latterly as part of Hutchison's commercial team. Enjoying key client management responsibility for European and Asian customers engaged in mainline and feeder operations, with commercial development responsibilities across UK and Mediterranean business units. With more than 26 years in the industry Andy has built on a Maritime degree with executive training from Ivey Business School and Harvard Business School.

A graduate in Social Communications from the Institut des Hautes Études des Communications Sociales in Brussels (Belgium), Yves Gilson has been Director, Marketing & Cruises at the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) since February 2016. After joining the MPA in November 2008 as Communications Advisor, he successively held the positions of Communications Manager and Marketing Manager.

Prior to joining the MPA, Mr. Gilson worked in the journalism and communications fields: as a freelance journalist in Washington D.C., journalist for Affaires+ magazine in Montreal; Academic Director at the Robert Schuman Institute of Journalism in Brussels; Program Director at the European Journalism Centre in Maastricht; Head of the International Department at the Institut des Hautes Études des Communications Sociales in Brussels; and European Advisor for a EU-funded media program in Algeria.

His responsibilities with the MPA include developing marketing tools and strategies to position the Port of Montreal as a major North American hub in the cargo and cruise sectors.

Dr. Nohara founded Accipiter Radar Technologies Inc. 25 years ago. Under his direction, Accipiter has successfully pioneered user-friendly, radar-based, collaborative, decision support solutions that allow safety & security practitioners along with business stakeholders to understand what is happening in their outdoor environments, be it on water, in the air, or on land. This collaborative, all domain awareness supports better decision making and smarter operations in numerous applications.

In the Great Lakes region, Accipiter’s vision with Radar as a Service (RaaS) has already started to allow all stakeholders to leverage bi-national radar infrastructure and user-customized decision support, in the same way that everyone can leverage North American cellular telephone radio infrastructure with smart phones and user-specific apps. Shared maritime domain awareness (MDA) infrastructure will help USCG and CCG in search and rescue operations, bi-national law enforcement agencies in border enforcement, ports, terminal operators, shipping companies and seaway authorities in smarter shipping operations, hydro-electric power generation agencies with mitigating hazards to human safety and the impacts of adverse ice conditions, and provide environmental awareness in support of measuring and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

Tim received the B.Eng degree from McMaster University, followed by the M.Eng and Ph.D degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr Nohara is an internationally recognised radar expert, a licensed professional engineer and a member of the IEEE. He is the author of numerous peer reviewed technical publications, reports and patents in radar.

Terry Young is Vice President of Policy, Engagement and Innovation. He is responsible for developing and aligning IESO policy to reflect the broader objectives of the organization and Ontario’s electricity sector, including the need to foster innovation.

Mr. Young’s responsibilities include stakeholder and community engagement, communications, regulatory affairs, Indigenous relations, conservation, and other programs necessary for the implementation of effective energy policy.

A well-known spokesperson with 30 years of experience in the electricity industry, Mr. Young started his career as a journalist with Canadian Press-Broadcast News. He also served as President, Ontario Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Mr. Young has been with the IESO since 2002.

Rick Ebert has been serving as Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s eighth President since November 2014.

As president, Ebert also chairs the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, a charitable organization supported by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

Prior to his election as President, Ebert served as Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Vice President for 10 years.

Ebert operates a dairy farm in Blairsville, Westmoreland County milking 80 Holsteins and growing alfalfa, corn and soybeans. Ebert is working to bring his three sons into the farm operation.

Ebert was elected to the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors in January 2016 to represent the Northeast Region. He was also selected to serve on AFBF’s Trade Advisory Committee.

Ebert has given years of service to Farm Bureau at the state and local level. Ebert served as on PFB’s State Board of Director for District 16 from 1996 to 2004. He was also president of Westmoreland County Farm Bureau and vice chair of PFB’s Young Farmer and Rancher Committee.

Ebert also led PFB’s Dairy Committee, and presented testimony before the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board on behalf of dairy farmers across the state.

In 2009, Ebert received the Mid-Atlantic “Master Farmer” Award, in recognition of his farm success and civic engagement.

In 2008, Ebert was honored with the Charles E. Cowan Memorial Award, from the Professional Dairy Manager of Pennsylvania. The award is given in recognition to a farmer who has shown superior management on their farm, and outstanding leadership within the dairy industry.

Ebert was named 2007 Country Folks Keystone Farm Show "Farmer of the Year.” He was recognized for his involvement and accomplishments in the dairy industry and his involvement in social and agricultural organizations, such as Farm Bureau.

The farm’s conservation work was recognized with the Westmoreland County Conservation Award in 1983.

His community activities include serving as a Westmoreland County 4-H leader and superintendent for the Westmoreland County Fair Association.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Dairy Science from Penn State.

He and his wife, Diane, have four children and four grandchildren. He is a member of the St. James Catholic Church of New Alexandria.

October, 2018 Consul-General
Consulate General of Japan in Detroit

2016-2018 Deputy Director-General for International Trade Policy, Trade Policy Bureau,
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

2014-2016 Minister, Head of Political Division
Embassy of Japan in India
2011-2014 Minister, Head of Chancery Embassy of Japan in Thailand

2009-2011 Director, Second Middle East Division (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, GCC and Yemen),
Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau

2007-2009 Director, Cultural Affairs Division
Public Diplomacy Department

2006-2007 Director, Policy Planning Division
Foreign Policy Bureau

MGus Frangos graduated with honors from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1982 whereupon he served as an associate attorney at the law firm of Ulmer & Berne from 1982 to 1986 concentrating in business law and litigation. From 1986 to 1993, Mr. Frangos served as the 13th Ward Cleveland City Councilman where he sponsored and passed an array of community development legislation.

In 1993, Mr. Frangos was appointed as a Magistrate Judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court where he served with distinction in the Court’s Small Claims Division.

In September 2004, Mr. Frangos was retained by the Cuyahoga County Treasurer to craft legislation to help expedite the tax foreclosure process, specifically on vacant and abandoned properties. These efforts resulted in the passage of H.B. 293, H.B. 294 which Mr. Frangos drafted. He was also the primary drafter of S.B. 353 which established hybrid “County Land Reutilization Corporations.” H.B. 293 provides real estate tax assistance to seniors through a link deposit program; H.B. 294 authorized expedited administrative tax foreclosures of abandoned land through the County Boards of Revision; and S.B. 353 enables the establishment of County Land Reutilization Corporations with enhanced capabilities for the reclamation of distressed properties.

Since 2008, Mr. Frangos has served as the President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation. His areas of legal concentration include land-related issues, Constitutional, commercial real estate, zoning, administrative and business transactional law. Mr. Frangos is a life-long northeast Ohio resident.

Marco Salomone is the Interim Executive Director of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corporation, a four-community, two-county public-private partnership, driving corporate expansion and new investment around Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run Airports.

He is responsible for the strategic development and day-to-day operations of the organization and reports to the Aerotropolis Corporation Board. In addition, Salomone is responsible for generating and responding to business development leads and inquiries, along with for managing corporate expansion projects.

He is a member of the Michigan Economic Developers Association, along with numerous foreign chambers of commerce and business associations in Southeast Michigan. Before joining the Aerotropolis in 2015, Salomone worked in marketing and sales at Search Optics, an automotive-focused digital marketing company. Salomone holds a degree in Public Administration & Public Policy from Michigan State University.

Yves Desjardins is a professor at the Plant Science department and he is affiliated with the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods at Laval University, Québec Canada. He was recently appointed Dianafood-NSERC Industrial Chair on prebiotic effects of fruits and vegetables (PhenoBio). Trained in plant physiology, he is conducting research on phytochemistry and functionality of bioactive compounds from plants. He is PI or collaborator on many major preclinical and clinical studies on type-2 diabetes, cognitive decline, low-grade inflammation, urinary tract infection, skin diseases, and oral infections. Over the years, he has accompanied many horticultural and food processing companies in the development and the validation of the health benefits of horticultural commodities (e.g. Glucophenol, Neurophenol). At the international scene, he is recognized for his innovative research program on health effects of fruits and vegetables. He was the Chair first International Symposium on Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables in Québec City (FAVHEALTH 2005) and the OECD Symposium - "Emerging Topics in Health Effects Fruit and Vegetables" in Lisbon, Portugal (2010). He was nominated in 2005 as Chair of the ISHS Commission Fruit and Vegetable and Health a position he occupied until 2010 after being elected on the Board of ISHS. He organized in 2016 the International Strawberry Symposium (750 participants), which made a large place to health effects of this fruit. Recently (October 2017), he also organized the leading International Congress on Polyphenols and Health (www.ICPH2017-Qué (>350 world renowned participants). His leadership in the field is recognized worldwide; he has been invited on numerous occasions to give keynote lectures at international meetings over the last few years (>20). He is involved in many international research projects in France, Mexico, Italy, and Belgium. Dr. Desjardins has written more than 120 publications (Normalized H-index of 23.5) and has trained many graduate students at the Master (29), at the Ph. D. (10) and the Postdoctoral level (12) since the beginning of his career. He sat on numerous master and Ph.D. thesis review (more than 67) and has participated as an examiner on more than 21 Ph.D. thesis evaluation committee in Canada and internationally. Since 2013, he filed 3 patents.

Jim Frey co-founded RRS in 1986 and has served as CEO since its inception. Jim has been providing technical and strategic consulting in developing sustainable systems for more than 30 years including cost/benefit analyses, risk assessments, system planning, project justification, and problem-solving action strategies. His current focus is the development of green supply chain infrastructure in both public and private sectors through corporate sustainability initiatives, zero waste strategies, and public/private partnerships.

Dr. Mike Witt currently serves as Corporate Director, Plastics Circular Economy, for The Dow Chemical Company. In this role, he has corporate management and strategy responsibility for driving a plastics circular economy, in addition to leading Dow’s effort for strategic implementation of a value chain coalition aimed at ending plastic waste in the environment. Mike serves as leadership group chair within the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) where global industry advocacy is forged and implemented. Mike also serves as the management sponsor for the Disability Employee Network (DEN) within Dow, and was elected Chair of Dow’s political action committee, DowPAC.

Jared Stout, Policy Advisor, Venable LLP, advises clients on a wide array of interdisciplinary aerospace issues, including the civil, commercial, and national security space sectors. Jared has extensive experience working with federal departments and agencies, as well as research, science, and technology development programs within the federal government. Throughout his career, he has focused on the nexus between government policy, implementation, and industry development. He maintains an extensive network of academic, policy, government, and industry professionals and pulls together these various stakeholders to bring policy goals to fruition.

In his various roles throughout his career in the public sector, Jared has worked on multiple legislative initiatives, including various NASA Authorization Acts and the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act. While at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation, he built new strategies on engagement with the public and Congress to achieve significant advances in commercial space policy, and provided policy guidance and direction for various legislative, communications, management, and industry priorities.

While Jared was at the National Space Council, he organized, managed, developed, and implemented national space policy initiatives and provided policy analysis and advice to senior leaders of the administration, including the chair of the National Space Council Vice President Pence, the executive secretary of the National Space Council, and the policy leadership of the White House. These efforts led to President Trump signing three significant Space Policy Directives over the span of 12 months, covering NASA's human spaceflight program, commercial space regulatory reform, and the most comprehensive national space traffic management policy in the nation's history.

Ms. Nolan is the Chief Aerospace Strategist for the Wisconsin Aerospace Partners housed at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She is also the CEO of Towers Nolan Consulting, providing tech-led solutions for strategic industry growth using public-private partnerships. In that capacity Ms. Nolan is the economic advisor to Milwaukee 7 on the Midwest Industry Exchange project, a collaborative agreement with the Ohio Aerospace Space Institute and the Federal Economic Development Administration. Prior to that Ms. Nolan worked 10 years for the State of Wisconsin, most recently as The Director of Aerospace and IT strategies where she specialized in aligning regional assets to global market needs and creating unique competitive positions. She was also the state’s lead economic disaster recovery specialist, serving as the Chair of the Economic Subcommittee for the Governor’s Emergency Task Force and on the Governor’s Wisconsin Emergency Strategy Team. This provides her a unique insight into using distressed economic circumstances as an opportunity to transition toward technology-based, collaboratively fueled, globally competitive, growth. Ms. Nolan is a Certified Economic Professional recognized by the International Economic Development Council.

Following almost 20 years with the World Bank, including as Lead Advisor overseeing Sustainable Cities and Climate Change programs, Dan returned to Ontario in 2012. He is now Associate Professor and Richard Marceau Chair at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Dan's academic background includes degrees in Earth Sciences (University of Waterloo), a Masters in Environmental Engineering (Guelph) and a PhD in Civil (Sustainability) Engineering (University of Toronto, 2015). Dan researches energy and material flows of cities and urban systems.

Dan is also the Chief Safety and Risk Officer for the Province of Ontario (Technical Standards and Safety Authority, TSSA).

Brian leads the Council’s work on international trade, investment, fiscal and monetary policy issues. In this role he manages CEO engagement with India, Japan, Brazil and China, the Council’s tax policy advisory network and the annual Total Tax Contribution report.

About the Business Council of Canada

The Business Council of Canada is the senior voice of Canada’s business community on issues of national importance to the economic and social fabric of the country. The Council represents a membership of leading entrepreneurs and CEOs of companies that collectively employ 1.5 million Canadians and are responsible for most of Canada’s private sector investments, exports, R&D and workplace training.

Bob has a uniquely broad experience in all aspects of regulatory matters, having advanced his way through Government of Canada regulatory agencies from a technician level to a senior executive. Over his 37 yearsin public service he worked in laboratories, field inspection offices, district and regional specialist and managerial positions and over the last 15 years of his career in senior executive positions in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as Vice-President and in Assistant Secretary positions at the Privy Council Office and Treasury Board Secretariat in Canada. He is recognized internationally as a regulatory systems and regulatory cooperation expert and as the driving force and chief strategist for the Canada-US regulatory cooperation effort between 2011 and 2016. He is recognized for 20 years of leading market access negotiation for Canada with over 40 countries, and for his significant success at advancing relationships and achieving results with the USA. He has a BScA (Food Science) from the University of Manitoba, an MBA from the University of Ottawa for which he was the recipient of the award of Academic Excellence, and is a Certified Management Consultant. He was recently made a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. He founded Carberry Insights and Associates Inc in 2016 which specializes in regulatory cooperation, regulatory modernization and public service renewal.

Ann Wilson serves as the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs for the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). In this position she acts as the chief lobbyist for motor vehicle suppliers and MEMA’s four market segment associations including AASA, HDMA, MERA, and OESA.

Ms. Wilson is a graduate of Washington University School of Law. She has represented various industry groups before Congress and state legislatures including the Louisiana Municipal Association, the American Trucking Associations, the American Moving and Storage Association, and six years as the chief lobbyist for the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) representing the major U.S. tire manufacturers.

Tim Heney has been Chief Executive Officer of the Thunder Bay Port Authority since 2005. Tim leads the Port Authority’s efforts to increase marine cargo, raise the profile of the port and seek strategic capital investment opportunities to improve port competitiveness. Recent successes include establishing the port as a project cargo gateway to Western Canada and the acquisition of strategic waterfront property in Thunder Bay including an operational grain terminal. Potential uses for the grain terminal include the transshipment and storage of wood pellets and grain related to biofuel production.

Prior to joining the Port Authority, Tim was Manager of Corporate Accounting for Great Lakes Forest Products. Tim is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of Lakehead University with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree.

Tim is currently a member of the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers Advisory Committee, member of the Executive Committee of the Western Transportation Advisory Council, and member of the Ontario Ministry of Transport Marine Advisory Panel. He is Past President of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities. Tim has given presentations to government and logistics groups throughout North America on issues affecting Great Lakes marine transportation.

Larry Obhof serves as President of the Ohio Senate for the 133rd General Assembly. As the presiding officer of the 33-member Senate, he is responsible for leading the Senate's Majority Caucus as it sets the policy agenda for the two-year legislative cycle. He is also responsible for the formal organization of the chamber, including recognizing members in debate, preserving order and decorum, calling for votes and signing all acts.

President Obhof proudly represents the people of the 22nd Senate District, which includes Medina, Ashland and Richland counties, as well as portions of Holmes County. He is focused on improving Ohio’s economy, and has been a staunch advocate of fiscal responsibility, smaller and more efficient government, and lower taxes. As a member of the Senate, President Obhof has sponsored legislation covering a wide range of issues including education, civil and criminal law, election administration, and taxation. He has been described by newspapers as someone who has earned “a reputation as a lawmaker with a willingness to work across party lines.” Prior to his election as President of the Senate, he served as both President Pro Tempore and as Majority Whip.

President Obhof chairs the Ohio Senate’s Rules and Reference Committee, which determines which bills, resolutions and appointments are considered by the full Senate. He is Vice Chair of the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, and Chair of the Legislative Service Commission, which oversees a staff that is responsible for providing members of the General Assembly with impartial and accurate information and reports concerning legislative issues. President Obhof also serves on the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade (IGPAC), which provides policy advice to the U.S. Trade Representative on issues involving trade and development, including the impact and implementation of trade agreements.

President Obhof has received numerous honors in recognition of his work, including several “Legislator of the Year” awards. Among others, these include being named Watchdog of the Treasury by the United Conservatives of Ohio; Friend of Agriculture by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation; Legislator of the Year by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio; Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business; and Small Business Advocate of the Year by the Greater Cleveland Partnership/Council of Smaller Enterprises. In 2015, he received the Outstanding Legislator Award from the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 2018, President Obhof received the Ohio State Bar Association’s Lawyer-Legislator Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to his legislative duties, President Obhof is an attorney, and he has taught courses on civil procedure and legislation as an adjunct law professor. He graduated with degrees in Economics, History, and Political Science from The Ohio State University and earned his law degree from Yale Law School.

President Obhof resides in Medina with his wife, Nicole, and their three daughters.

John Austin, 56, just completed 16 years elected service on the Michigan State Board of Education, serving the past 6 years as President. Austin directs the Michigan Economic Center a center for ideas and network-building to advance Michigan’s economic transformation. He serves as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs leading efforts to support economic transformation in the American Midwest. Mr. Austin also Lectures on the Economy at the University of Michigan.

With the Michigan Economic Center Austin has spurred work to transform Michigan’s economy, and make Michigan a leader in the coming “Green and Blue” sustainable economy of the future. The Center’s 2017 report Jobs, Michigan and Leadership in the Economy of Tomorrow ( provides a blueprint for how Michigan can create new jobs and businesses in New Agriculture, Clean Energy, Smart Water, New Mobility, Health Care and IT solutions--all fast growing, globally pressing areas of work and market opportunity. Also in 2017 the Michigan Economic Center’s report Michigan: We Are All Migrants Here ( ) detailed the outsize contributions of legal immigrants to Michigan’s economic and population growth, and the damage done to Michigan’s economy by the current Administration’s anti-immigrant policies.

In partnership with the Michigan College Access Network, Mr. Austin facilitates the Michigan Higher Education Attainment Roundtable (MIHEART) bringing together the state’s business, education, higher education State Administration in strategies to increase Michigan citizen’s attainment of postsecondary credentials, and reduce higher education cost. MiHEART’s 2015 blueprint for action ( has been largely implemented, and an updated “Total Talent” agenda ( was just released in September 2018.

Austin spearheaded the “Michigan Dream Restored” initiative ( ) to develop citizen-informed strategies for better supporting investment in Michigan’s foundational assets that drive Michigan’s economy: strong education and higher education institutions, improved transportation and communications infrastructure, vital and attractive cities and communities; protection of our lakes, waters and outdoor recreation assets. He also coined the term “Blue Economy” to describe the way our waters, and water innovation contribute to economic growth, and created the “Growing Michigan’s Blue Economy” Initiative, ( )to support stakeholders in leveraging Michigan’s natural water, and water research, education and innovation assets for economic development and new business and job growth.

In 2006 Austin created and directed the Great Lakes Economic Initiative for the Brookings Institution where he authored key Brookings reports that directly shaped the region’s economic development agenda: “The Vital Center: A Federal-State Compact to Renew the Great Lakes Region;” “The Vital Connection: Reclaiming Great Lakes Economic Leadership in the Bi-National Great Lakes Region;” and “Healthy Waters, Strong Economy” which led to federal support for Great Lakes clean-up and restoration, and regional understanding and actions to build on our Great Lakes and water resources as an economic asset. Austin’s Tales of Two Rust Belts series published for Brookings Institution’s The Avenue ( ) updates the economic opportunities and challenges facing the politically important swing states of the Upper Midwest.

Mr. Austin also served in 2004 as Policy Director for Michigan’s Governor-appointed Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth, and was principal author of the Commission’s influential report. He also was the chief architect of Governor Granholm’s urban strategy; and helped stand-up her newly created Department of Labor, Energy and Economic Growth and a state workforce development strategy He was the founding Director of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan—a $100 million effort by the region’s philanthropies to aid in the area’s economic transformation, and initiated the Global Detroit program to welcome immigrants as a source of economic strength and renewal.

Austin received his Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelors from Swarthmore College in Economics & Political Science, with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Austin has been married 30 years to his wife Terese. They have three children and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Janice Benson has been an advocate for the agriculture industry in Michigan for the past fourteen years. She presently serves as the Executive Director of Michigan Agritourism, a nonprofit association that supports the agritourism industry through promotion, education, advocacy, problem resolution, and networking, with the aim of keeping family farms sustainable, supporting local economic growth, and providing rich and unique experiences for visitors to make lasting memories.

She produces the annual publication and website, Discover Michigan Farm Fun, Michigan’s Agricultural Tourism Directory and supports farmers with the many challenges of operating an agricultural business that welcomes visitors. She has connected farmers and customers through a regional food campaign, organized numerous local food events, and promoted farmers and their compelling stories through feature articles and biographies.

Janice is also a freelance writer/journalist and she holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University. Earlier in her career, she worked in human resources and the arts, and gained a love of storytelling from her experience as an outreach worker in Appalachia.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger was born in Amsterdam and came to Canada with his family when he was eight years old, settling in Hamilton.

Fred is currently serving his third four-year term as mayor. Previously, he served as a member of Hamilton council, as chair of the Hamilton Port Authority, and as president and chief executive of the Canadian Urban Institute, where he was involved in the development of leading-edge, progressive urban policy.

During Fred’s tenure as mayor, Hamilton was named by the Conference Board of Canada for having Canada’s most-diversified economy and in 2018 the Intelligent Community Forum named Hamilton one of the World’s Top7 Intelligent communities. Hamilton’s transformation has been notable. A national advanced manufacturing hub, with burgeoning life sciences and food processing sectors; strong education and research institutions; and creative industries that are attracting new economic investment and vitality to the city.

Fred is focused on achieving continued growth and prosperity as well as protecting our environment. He was instrumental in landing a $1-billion Light Rail Transit initiative for Hamilton, for ensuring Syrian refugees were welcomed and settled in the city, and for putting forward a $50-million proposal to improve affordable housing and reduce poverty.

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 Bachelor of Environmental Studies 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.