Instructors


In addition to our advanced curriculum and immersive, hands-on teaching methods, the Advanced Economic Development Leadership Program benefits from the industries best and brightest thinkers and professionals. We have assembled a collection of esteemed economic development educators, consultants, visionaries, and practitioners. They are well-versed in the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the industry and have strategies and solutions to enable you to succeed and lead the way upon completion of this program. Learn more about our instructors below.

John Osborne

John Osborne

President/CEO
Lubbock Texas Economic Development Alliance

Through years of local economic development experience, veteran leader John Osborne is known for his efficient and effective organization and his focus on selecting, mentoring and growing staff for advancement in and outside the agency. With these experiences and his approach to regional economic development, John is uniquely qualified to lead the session "The Local Agency: Yellow Cab or Lyft? Operating on All Eight Cylinders."

Dr. Sydney Rogers

Dr. Sydney Rogers

Founding Director
Alignment Nashville

Following 30 years in academia, Sydney was enlisted to organize Alignment Nashville, an organization whose purpose is to strategically and systemically align non-profit, business, philanthropic, civic and faith organization in support of public education and children’s health for community and economic prosperity. Her experience in helping change Nashville for the better and the lessons learned in the process prepare her to team teach the session "Talent is Today’s Currency."

Dr. Abbie Shipp

Dr. Abbie Shipp

Associate Professor of Management
Texas Christian University

With the first week of the Advanced class focused a lot on professional and personal leadership, Abbie will facilitate the workshop session "Leadership in a Complex World." At TCU, Abbie teaches classes on employee management and leadership with special emphasis on critical thinking initiatives for faculty and students. In addition to academia, she has practical business experience having worked at The Boeing Company and TV Guide prior to teaching stints at Texas A&M, the University of North Carolina and Oklahoma State University.

Robert Hess

Robert Hess

Executive Managing Director, Consulting
Newmark Knight Frank's Global Corporate Services

As a preeminent, sought-after service provider and respected leader in corporate location strategy and site selection, Bob has conducted over 250 assignments around the world. In the Advanced program, Bob will coordinate teaching and project competition exercises during the second week.

Kate McEnroe

Kate McEnroe

Kate McEnroe Consulting

As one of the country's foremost advisors and consultants on geographic and market position strategies/tactics, Kate will lead the team teaching for “Talent is Today’s Currency” session. As an expert in the process of designing high impact business cases for workforce asset, Kate will help the class examine effective education and workforce principles.

Dr. Bill Smith

Dr. Bill Smith

EcD and Marketing Departments Professor Emeritus
University of Southern Mississippi

Well known and loved by graduates from USM's Economic Development Master's program, Bill will team teach the session "Economic Development Marketing, Branding and Using Precious Dollars Effectively."" Bill stresses application and believes in the "back to basics" approach to improve marketing performance.

Melissa Medley

Melissa Medley

Principle
VisionFirst Advisors

Following successful stints as chief marketing officer for Mississippi and Florida, Melissa specializes in EcD strategy, policy and marketing in a rapidly evolving media world. Through exercises, teamwork and debate, Melissa will team teach "EcD Marketing, Branding and Using Precious Dollars Effectively."

David Rumbarger

David Rumbarger

President/CEO
Community Development Foundation, Tupelo/Lee County, MS

With 16 years leading Tupelo (a somewhat Mississippi rural area) to exceptional growth, David has learned unique lessons about leadership in a complex, regional environment. Employing professional and personal lessons, David will teach the session on leadership based on Jim Collins' book, Good to Great. He will also serve as mentor-in-residence for those who want to explore leadership lessons as they apply in their individual situations.

Clark Gillespy

Clark Gillespy

SVP – Economic Development
Duke Energy

With 25 years EcD and site selection experience in the U.S. and Europe, Clark is imminently qualified to lead "The World is Flat: International FDI and Trade in this Changing World" session. His Duke Energy team is responsible for identifying and attracting new and expanding industry to their 7-state service area.

Alex Leath

Alex Leath

Partner
Bradley Law Firm

One of the nation's foremost experts on project financing and incentives, Alex will lead the session "Project Financing Options – Outside the Box Thinking." In addition to a thriving economic development legal practice, Alex has been and is involved in some of the country's major projects—Volkswagen, Tesla, Vanity Fair and Amazon.

Dr. Shannon Campbell

Dr. Shannon Campbell

Director
Trent Lott National Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, The University of Southern Mississippi

With local economic development, private-sector and university broad-based experience, Shannon will team teach the "Talent is Today's Currency" session. As a dean, manufacturing expert and long-time entrepreneur, Shannon knows the importance of education and workforce excellence at the state and local levels.

Dr. David Preston

Dr. David Preston

Professor
Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, Texas Christian University

As an expert in business intelligence and analytics, David will lead the exciting session "Moneyball Economic Development." This session will focus on the increased demand for data and analytics in job creation with a class session based on lessons from the successful low-budget Oakland A's baseball team.

Dr. Rita Kosnik

Dr. Rita Kosnik

Professor
Management and Negotiations, Texas Christian University

With an extensive background in negotiations' strategies, Rita will teach the "Effective Negotiations" session. She has won several awards for excellence in executive teaching and is a trained mediator for the State of Texas and a corporate trainer in dispute resolution and negotiations.

Alexa Chilcutt

Dr. Alexa Chilcutt

Director of Public Speaking
The University of Alabama

Dr. Adam Sharples Brooks

Dr. Adam Sharples Brooks

Assistant Director of Public Speaking
The University of Alabama

Woven into the Advanced program is an interactive session on public speaking, media training and communications. Alexa and Adam are experts in public speaking and will lead the class through an effective communication session featuring short presentations and analysis by the faculty and classmates. Public speaking and presentations are central to today’s successful professional and the Advanced course will focus on delivery, mass communication and rhetoric in the areas of diversity, identity and culture.

Aaron Strickland

Aaron Strickland

Strickland Associates

Aaron Strickland

Sid Strickland

Strickland Associates

Aaron and Sid will begin the Advanced course with powerful behavioral and skill assessment data based on a specifically designed Predictive Index for the economic development professional. Each participant will complete a comprehensive survey that compares individual traits with a definition of economic development leaders as determined by evaluation responses. The session includes discussion, discovery and tailored guidance to enhance your personal brand.

Karl Kelly

Karl Kelly

Director of Operations
Center for Human Genetics, Clemson University

As a successful entrepreneur, professor, consultant and innovation guru, Karl combines his thirty-five years' experience to teach the class session on Thomas L. Friedman’s latest book Thank You for Being Late. This session will examine the impact advanced technology and artificial intelligence has on todays' and future job creation.

2018 Class Sold Out!

Please send us a note if you interested in being added to the class waiting list.