bobble3   We’ve tapped into NERETA’s nationwide professional network.

Talk about experience!

Here are just some of the Speakers and Post Conference Course Instructors!

Jeannine Barrett, Program director for Lackawanna College’s School of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Jeannine provides leadership and guidance for the school’s academic offerings, curriculum, and overall administration. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s Chemical Engineering program, Barrett brings technical knowledge and experience to her position, and she has years of experience building courses and programs to help students, displaced workers, and underemployed individuals move through the technical pipeline to succeed in family-sustaining careers in the natural gas industry, both in Northeastern Pennsylvania and nationally.

With experience instructing technical courses such Pipelining and Gas Compression, Gas Well Deliquification, and Field Handling and Processing of Natural Gas, as well as the introductory level Intro to Oil and Gas, Ms. Barrett is able to translate complex theoretical ideas into application and practice.

In addition, Barrett leads the school of PNG’s retention and student support efforts to ensure students have a robust academic and co-curricular support network. Before becoming the school’s sirector, Ms. Barrett served as the program manager for the Petroleum and Natural Gas associate degree program. Prior to working at Lackawanna College, Ms. Barrett had over 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur operating a successful small business, as well as five years of experience working at Dupont Dow.

Paul Bateson, General Manager; Economic Gardening® at Edward Lowe Foundation – Missouri

Paul is responsible for the program’s overall management and strategic growth, including operations, marketing, outreach, training and certification. He also provides strategic direction and support to other programs in the foundation’s entrepreneurship division.

Previously, Bateson served as program manager at the University of Missouri-Extension where he coordinated the state’s Economic Gardening program for second-stage companies and helped faculty and community-based entrepreneurs commercialize new technologies.

With expertise in sales and marketing, international trade and technology development, Bateson also has a long track record of success in the for-profit world. He has held a variety of senior positions at large and small businesses, with an emphasis in the industrial food ingredient industry.

Bateson holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and an MBA degree from the University of Phoenix.


 Eileen Cipriani , Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry – Pennsylvania

Cipriani oversees the state’s workforce system, which includes 23 local workforce areas. She is also responsible for the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis, the office for labor market information and the newly established Apprenticeship Training Office.

Cipriani was instrumental in the planning and drafting of Pennsylvania’s first comprehensive state plan under the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). She served as agency facilitator for the stakeholder performance and accountability work group.

In her current role, she oversees the implementation of WIOA. She coordinates the state’s interagency workgroup, comprised of the WIOA partner agencies, to facilitate collaboration and reduce duplication in workforce service delivery.

Prior to her deputy secretary appointment, Cipriani was acting director for the State Workers Insurance Fund (SWIF) in Scranton where she was managed eight district offices.  She joined Labor & Industry in 2015 as Secretary Manderino’s special assistant for strategic initiatives and from 2013-2014 served as key policy and project advisor to State Representative Phyllis Mundy.

From 2008 to 2016, Eileen served on the West Wyoming Borough Council. She has a Bachelor of Science from Bloomsburg University and a master’s in organizational management from Misericordia University.

Linda Cruz Carnall –Regional Director at U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration – Pennsylvania

Linda Cruz-Carnall was appointed Regional Director of the Philadelphia Regional Office in December 2015. Prior to her appointment, she served as Regional Counsel to the Philadelphia Regional Office providing legal oversight and administrative expertise to the Economic Development Administration Philadelphia Regional Office which covers the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian regions within federal regions I, II and III.  Linda joined EDA in March of 1988, and has acquired broad-ranging experience by working collaboratively with the EDA program staff and regional stakeholders on traditional economic development investments such as industrial parks, incubators and multi-tenant buildings investments as well as complex environmental and financial matters, securitization of revolving loan funds, biotechnology and broadband investments.  Most recently, she has provided legal expertise to assist in implementing EDA’s innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives including the Energy Regional Innovation cluster investment at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, SC2, and the Manufacturing, Trade Adjustment and Jobs Regional Innovation strategies.  Cruz-Carnall is a native Philadelphian, holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law. She is the proud mother of a registered nurse and a financial specialist. 

Jeffrey Forrest, Vice President – Economic Development, College of the Canyons – California

Jeffrey Forrest is Vice-President of Economic and Workforce Development at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. In his role, Jeffrey oversees the Economic Development Division of the college which offers the following services to support the education and development of Adult Learners:

1) America’s Job Center of California (AJCC): The AJCC has an “Adult Dislocated Worker” Program that provides customized training, job search assistance, and wrap-around services to adults in the Santa Clarita area. Since 2012, the program has reached more than 12,000 individuals seeking to upgrade their skills and find employment.

2) Center of Applied Competitive Technology (CACT): The CACT works with economic development partners such as LACOE/GAIN to recruit, train and place adult learners as CNC Machinists with manufacturers. The program has a placement and retention rate of over 90%, and trains roughly 60 people per year.

3) Fast Track Institute (FTI): FTI provides skills training in an accelerated format for adult learners seeking employment. Hundreds of adults have taken advantage of the courses offered through the FTI over the past few years.

4) Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC): The SBDC provides no-cost counseling, workshops and assessment to small business and those seeking to become entrepreneurs. It has helped companies attract over $25 million dollars in capital since 2005,

5) Employee Training Institute (ETI): Funded in part through the Employment Training Panel, the ETI provides customized, quality training for incumbent workers. Courses include: Six Sigma, Leadership, Sales and Marketing, Team Building, and a range of other topics to help companies develop their workforce.

6) Apprenticeship: College of the Canyons provides Related Technical Instruction in partnership with Goodwill Southern California. Tracy DiFilippis, Sector Strategies Manager of Goodwill oversees the CAMAC-South Apprenticeship Initiative, which has 16 occupations in Advanced Manufacturing approved by the department of Labor. To date, nine companies have signed apprenticeship agreements, and training is scheduled to begin in the Summer 2017.

Jeffrey believes that providing access to education for the Adult Learner is critical to the long-term growth of the United States economy. He has a Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and an MBA from Lindenwood University. He also has graduate training in finance from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He resides in Santa Clarita, CA

 Laurence P. Gottlieb, President & CEO, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation

Laurence P. Gottlieb joined the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation as president and chief executive in early 2013 with more than 25 years of experience serving as a senior advisor to CEOs, government leaders and non-profit executives. His strategic counsel on critical issues regarding communications, public and government relations, marketing, social responsibility, crisis management and social media has helped shape many public and private entities for the better.

He is also co-founder of NY BioHud Valley and Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Alliance, and founder of Hudson Valley 3D Printing (HV3D), Hudson Valley EDs & MEDs, Hudson Valley PLAY and Hudson Valley Talent. He is also a board member of the NYS Economic Development Council and SUNY New Paltz School of Business Food Industry Council, and a past board member of Governor Cuomo’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Council and New York BIO. Gottlieb initiated the Hudson Valley’s first biotech incubator at New York Medical College (BioInc@NYMC), and secured the nation’s first MakerBot 3D Printing Innovation Center and Stratasys SMART Lab at SUNY New Paltz.

In his previous position as director of economic development for Westchester County, New York, Gottlieb was responsible for retaining, attracting and growing businesses in support of Westchester’s $26 billion economy. Before that, Gottlieb was a market leader and managing director the public relations agency Burson-Marsteller, where he successfully executed projects for U.S.-based and global clients.

Before Burson, he was director of communications for Entergy Nuclear, the second largest owner of U.S. nuclear power plants.

Gottlieb has received numerous awards for his professional and volunteer work from organizations such as the Edison Electric Institute, Pattern for Progress, New York State Economic Development Council and American Diabetes Association.

Gottlieb is a Pace University graduate, and completed the Harvard Business School’s first-ever Executive Education Program on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Dr. Patricia Greene, Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies – Massachusetts

Patricia G. Greene is a Professor of Entrepreneurship of Babson College, where she holds the Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies. She previously served as Provost, and before that as the Dean of the Undergraduate School.

Prior to joining Babson, she held the Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Chair in Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (1998-2003) and the New Jersey Chair of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Rutgers University (1996-1998). Greene earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a BS from the Pennsylvania State University.

She was a founding member of the Rutgers Center for Entrepreneurial Management and the coordinator of the Rutgers Entrepreneurship Curriculum. At UMKC she helped to found a variety of entrepreneurship programs. At Babson, her current assignment is to serve as the Global Academic Director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative.

Greene’s research focuses on the identification, acquisition, and combination of entrepreneurial resources, particularly by women and minority entrepreneurs. She is a founding member of the Diana Project, a research group focusing on women and the venture capital industry. She is also a co-editor (with Mark Rice) of the book,

Entrepreneurship Education, and with Mark Rice, Michael Fetters, & John Butler co-editor of The Development of University-Based Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Global Practices. Her latest book (with Heidi Neck and Candy Brush) is Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice Based Approach.

Greene is a federally appointed member of the national advisory board for the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center program. She is a fellow of the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

Nelse Grundvig,  Center on Education and Work, University of Wisconsin – Wisconsin

Nelse Grundvig works as researcher for Wisconsin’s Center on Education and Work, home of the career information system, CareerLocker.

Prior to this position, Grundvig served as a Policy Initiatives Advisor for the Department of Workforce Development and the Labor Market Information (LMI) Director for the state of Wisconsin, where he was involved in implementing data systems and creating performance measures for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. He served on several committees and policy councils for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

He has overseen labor research for the states of North Carolina and North Dakota. As the principal trainer for the LMI Institute, he taught researchers, analysts, economists, counselors and administrators to do program evaluation, needs analysis, report on economic conditions and projections of labor supply and demand. Grundvig has been involved in federal and state interagency and interdisciplinary collaborations creating pragmatic solutions when measuring, analyzing or reporting on a wide spectrum of issues concerning education, training and the changing needs of employers.

His research experiences include building survey instruments using a variety of delivery systems to gather the needed information, qualitative analysis and systemic reviews, mathematical modeling demographics and program evaluation. He is a recipient of the Charles Benefield award, an award for advancing both the art and science of labor market information using his background in sociology, economics and psychology.


Kevin Hively, Founder, Ninigret Partners – Rhode Island

Kevin Hively is the founder and President of Ninigret Partners (NP). Ninigret Partners is a business advisory & economic development consulting firm.

On the corporate side, Hively has worked on business and product strategy in flexible polymers, photonics, building materials, defense electronics, marine trades, medical devices and biopharmaceuticals. His economic development experience includes projects in Youngstown, Muncie, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Stamford, Pittsburgh, Boston, New Haven, Providence and Philadelphia.

Somewhat unique among economic development firms, NP believes the talent question is the overriding issue facing communities seeking to grow their economies. NP sees two major questions as communities’ grapple with technological change. The first is creating and attracting the right types of talent. The second is how to give current residents a shot at the emerging opportunities whether they are tech-related or becoming neighborhood entrepreneurs.

Before forming NP, Hively was a member of the Global Leadership Management Team for Telesis, the strategy consulting arm of Towers Perrin. Prior to Telesis, Hively was Director of Policy for the Governor of Rhode Island. He is a graduate of Brown University.

William Holstein, Author  – New York
Job Creation Summit “event moderator”

William J. Holstein is an author, journalist, consultant, and speaker. He has spent decades criss-crossing the United States and the world to understand who’s winning and who’s losing in the global economy. (

He was early in recognizing the role that technology hot spots, or “clusters,” played in transforming the American economy as it competes against emerging East Asian powerhouses. As international editor at Business Week in 1992, he managed a team of correspondents to produce a cover story called, “Hot Spots,” which identified 10 emerging technology centers. In subsequent years, writing mostly for Chief Executive magazine, he concentrated on the different components of these hot spots such as technology transfer from universities and research institutes, incubators, angel and venture capital, relations between small startups and large companies such as Intel and Johnson & Johnson, global strategies, and the roles of different levels of government in spurring technology-based economic growth.

His 2011 book, “The Next American Economy: Blueprint For a Real Recovery,” included case studies of clusters in Boston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, San Diego and upstate New York; the export-promotion efforts of the North Carolina state government; training and retraining initiative in Cleveland; and Georgia’s efforts to persuade companies to “reshore” manufacturing.

As described on Amazon: “At a time when debate is raging about how to create jobs and revive the American economy, veteran business writer William J. Holstein argues that the best way for us to recover our economic footing is to do what Americans do best–innovate and create new industries. Contrary to the perception that the American economy has run out of inspiration and new ideas, Holstein uses compelling case studies to celebrate the innovation and business success being experienced in many industries, from technology and energy to retraining and exporting, across the country.

With Japan and China pursuing conscious national strategies, Holstein argues that Americans must find new avenues of cooperation among universities, business, and government to create the kind of sustainable growth we need. The Next American Economy is essential reading for business leaders, politicians, strategists, and anyone who cares about our future.”

Holstein is the author of seven books. He started his career as a correspondent in Hong Kong and Beijing for United Press International and has written or worked for Business Week, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, Fortune, Business 2.0, Strategy & Business and Chief Executive. He resides in Cortlandt Manor, New York.


Japanese Power Game (1990)

Rags to Riches (2002)

Manage the Media (2007)

Why GM Matters (2009)

The Next American Economy (2011)

Has American Media Misjudged China (2014)

How the ThinkPad Changed the World (2017)

Michael Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Pepperjam, – PennsylvaniaAs chief executive officer of Pepperjam since 2015, based in Scranton, PA, Michael Jones is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Pepperjam as well as driving product innovation.

With over 15 years of experience in both digital and performance marketing, Jones, along with Pepperjam’s COO, Aaron Baker, were founding leaders within the original ecommerce company in 1999.

It was then that Jones launched one of the first and fastest-growing affiliate networks in the country before being acquired by GSI in 2009.

Jones’ focus on the power of performance marketing was rewarded when eBay Inc. acquired the network in 2011.


Drew Kearny, Chief Executive Officer, Signallamp Health – Pennsylvania

Based in Wilke-Barre, Pennsylvania, Drew Kearney, is a lawyer by training and is the co-founder and CEO of Signallamp Health.

The company attempts to improve the health care provided to Medicare recipients.

Prior to starting Signallamp, Kearny provided in-depth policy and business analysis and working with clients to assess, develop, and implement strategies that respond to a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

He has expertise identifying reimbursement trends, regulatory and legislative risks, federal and state-level policy developments, and shifts in industry outlook.

Drew’s primary focus is population health and payment reform.

 Greg Leroy, Executive Director,  Good Jobs First – New York

Dubbed “the leading national watchdog of state and local economic development subsidies” and “God’s witness to corporate welfare,”

Greg LeRoy @GregLeRoy4 founded and directs Good Jobs First a national resource center promoting accountability in the more than $70 billion spent annually by states and cities on economic development.

Good Jobs First is home to Subsidy Tracker, the only national database of subsidy awards (480,000 state, local and federal deals).

He is the author of The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation (2005) and No More Candy Store: States and Cities Making Job Subsidies Accountable (1994). Good Jobs First was recently honored by State Tax Notes magazine as one of two organizations of the year in 2015 for its victory winning a new accounting rule from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

Alice Li , Executive Director, Center for Technology Licensing, Cornell University – New York

Alice Li is the Executive Director of the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) at Cornell University. She oversees all aspects of technology management, marketing, license negotiation, outreach, and other activities to facilitate new venture creation. CTL manages technologies from Cornell’s Ithaca, N.Y., campus, Weill Cornell Medicine, the new Cornell Tech in New York City, and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.

Cornell’s inventions range from disciplines such as chemistry, engineering, information technologies, and material science, to medicine, plant science, and veterinary medicine.

Alice has 14 years of experience in university technology transfer. She was the Director of Licensing of the Ithaca office from 2011 to 2014, providing mentorship for licensing professionals in intellectual property protection, license negotiation, and spearheading new commercialization initiatives. Alice joined CTL in 2002 and started with hands-on management of invention portfolios, negotiations of complex deals and engagement with startup companies.

Prior to joining CTL, Alice was an R&D manager at BioArray Solutions, a New Jersey-based biotech company in diagnostic and drug discovery. Alice obtained her Ph.D. from Cornell University and B.S. from Tsinghua University. She is also an inventor and patent holder.


maria meyers

Maria Meyers, Vice Provost of Economic Development, University of Missouri – Kansas City,  Director, UMKC Innovation Center – Missouri

Maria Meyers is passionate about building environments that make it easier to be an entrepreneur by identifying, assessing and strengthening resource networks and getting entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time. She heads the University of Missouri’s Kansas City Innovation Center, which provides counseling, training and access to resources for entrepreneurs and Main Street companies.

In Kansas City, Meyers has led a number of community-wide initiatives to develop new resources for entrepreneurs including: founding KCSourceLink, a network of more than 240 resources in the Kansas City region that can help small businesses start and grow. Her work brings together the entire ecosystem of academic researchers, large and small corporations, entrepreneurs and entrepreneur support organizations in an extraordinary collaboration to create new businesses for the region. All told, the Center supports thousands of community members every year in starting and growing businesses.

As founder of SourceLink, Meyers has supported hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs across the country helping communities from Seattle to San Juan build vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, and has been awarded the Excellence in Economic Development Award for Enhancing Regional Competitiveness by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Missouri Women’s Council Award of Distinction by the Governor of Missouri.

Kenneth G. Okrepkie, Regional Manager, Ben Franklin Technology Partners NEP – Pennsylvania

Mr. Okrepkie serves as the Regional Manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners where he oversees investments in a portfolio of Northeastern PA companies that in 2016 generated more than $1B in revenue in the region. At Ben Franklin Technology Partners he also connects manufacturing companies to college and university resources.

Ken Okrepkie’s career blends a variety of experiences from higher education to the world of the entrepreneur. He started his career at the University of Scranton ultimately serving as Assistant Dean of Admissions followed by Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania where he held the position of President leading an organization that teaches life skills and the American free enterprise system to 12,000 young people a year. Ken then transitioned to founding member of an internet start-up company,, where he led the sales and strategic initiatives. Prior to Ben Franklin in 2004, he joined the Great Valley Technology Alliance now TecBridge as a Vice-President.

He is credited with creating the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Program that generates more than $2M each year for technology companies, now totaling $17.4M since the inception of the program. In support of regional economic development and local nonprofits, he continues to serve the community as Chairman of the Boards for SLIBCO- the Scranton Chamber’s Economic Development arm and Scranton Tomorrow, an organization that is leading the revitalization of downtown Scranton. Mr. Okrepkie also serves as Treasurer for United Neighborhood Centers and Chairs the Hazleton based CAN BE Business Incubator and Penn State University Wilkes-Barre Engineering Advisory Committee. He serves as Vice-President for the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center’s Board while participating on the Wilkes University Engineering Advisory Board, Wilkes-Barre Connect and all 9 Business Incubator Boards in the region. He has been both Commissioner and/or Coach for girls’ basketball and soccer in the Abington Youth programs and coached his daughter’s Holy Cross High School winter and summer league girls’ soccer team.

A graduate of the University of Scranton, Ken holds an undergraduate degree in marketing and a master’s degree in human resources. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Scranton Kania School of Management teaching in the Entrepreneurship program while being recognized as the 2013 TecBridge Bill McNally Mentor of the Year Award and a Wilkes University Allan P. Kirby Center Mentor of the Year recipient.


Erik R. Pages, President of EntreWorks Consulting – Virginia

Entreworks is an economic development consulting and policy development firm focused on helping communities and organizations achieve their entrepreneurial potential. EntreWorks works with a diverse base of clients including state and local governments, Chambers of Commerce, business leaders, educational institutions, and non-profits.

These customers all share a commitment to innovative economic development strategies that build wealth and build communities. Since its founding, EntreWorks has worked with customers in 40 states and overseas locations. Recent strategic planning engagements include projects for the Pacific Mountain Alliance for Innovation, the Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance, and Virginia’s Region 2000 Partnership.

EntreWorks has also helped design statewide entrepreneurship and business development programs in Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Recent program evaluation projects include work for the Appalachian Regional Commission, Georgia’s Centers of Innovation program, the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing, the Kauffman Foundation, and Maine’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

Previously, Pages served as Policy Director for the National Commission on Entrepreneurship (NCOE), where he directed the Commission’s research and policy operations. Before joining NCOE, he served as Vice President for Policy and Programs at Business Executives for National Security (BENS). Pages has also held several positions in government— most recently, as the first Director of the Office of Economic Conversion Information (OECI) at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic

Development Administration (EDA). In this position, he helped lead efforts to assist communities affected by military base closings and defense plant shutdowns. He has also worked on Capitol Hill and as an analyst for the Congressional Research Service.

Pages also has served as an official advisor to the White House Conference on Small Business, and has testified before Congress on numerous occasions. Several foundations have funded his work. In 1998, the Rockefeller Foundation selected him as one of 24 national “Next Generation Leaders.” He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and serves on the Arlington County (VA) Economic Development Commission and the Alexandria/Arlington Workforce Investment Board.

He also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council and Global Entrepreneurship Week. He received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He is a graduate of Dickinson College (Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He has written and published widely on business trends, economic development, technology policy, and national security policy. His publications include the book, Responding to Defense Dependence, and more than 60 reports and journal articles.


Paul Raetsch,  Northeast Region Director for the Economic Development Administration (retired) – New Jersey

Paul Raetsch began his career working for the Corps of Engineers, the Baltimore Regional Planning Council, and for a member of Congress. However, he spent most of his career with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration serving his last eight years as Regional Director of the Philadelphia Regional Office.

EDA has been implementing economic development programs for 45 years. The agency has been consistently received strong political support from Congress and local elected officials. Before becoming EDA regional director, Paul served as the Chief of the Planning and New England Divisions. Under his leadership, the agency assisted in the development and implementation of economic development strategies, technology-led initiatives, and workforce related projects in partnership with manage organizations throughout the northeast United States.

Raetsch began his career with EDA as an economic development planner. From his first visit to an Economic Development District (the Mohawk Valley in New York) in 1971, when he witnessed 40 local elected officials cast aside partisan and local parochial issues to set regional economic development priorities, he has been a strong supporter of the economic development planning process. Raetsch retired in 2007.

Since then, he has developed and managed a new unique scholarship program for members of the Guard and Reserves from the Delaware Valley and served as a member of the Board of Directors of three organizations: Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA) (an Economic Development District), Workforce Wayne, and the Lakeland Colony

Corporation, a Property Owners Association. He has also worked as an adjunct Professor of Political Science and Public Administration for various colleges and universities and has volunteered as a docent for the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Pam Shupp, President of Pennsylvania Economic Development Association – Pennsylvania

Shupp is responsible for managing the economic development strategy for the Greater Reading Economic Partnership.  Her team attempts to provide the best possible business support to prospects considering Berks County as a location and to existing businesses that need to grow and expand. She manages several regional and state partnerships and initiatives to ensure that Berks County has access to economic development resources.  She has more than 30 years of experience in economic, housing, and community development with various private companies and government agencies including 12 years with the City of Reading where she served as Community and Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority Director.

Shupp has earned two professional certifications – the AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) from the American Planning Association and the CEcD (Certified Economic Developer) designation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

A native of Berks County, she received a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning from Bloomsburg University.

Her other professional affiliations include:

  • Team Pennsylvania Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Northeastern Economic Development Association, Board of Directors
  • Business Opportunity Committee, Reading Downtown Improvement District
  • Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry Government Affairs Committee
  • Foreign Trade Zone Corp of Southern PA, President
  • World Trade Center of Harrisburg, Board of Directors
  • Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, Executive Committee

Jeff Turgeon, Executive Director, Central Massachusetts Workforce investment Board – Massachusetts

Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (CMWIB) is the entity responsible for overseeing the public workforce system in the City of Worcester and 37 surrounding communities.

Turgeon holds a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University, a master’s degree from Georgia Southern University, and a non-profit management certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

His professional experience prior to the CMWIB includes senior management positions at the YMCA of Greater Worcester, the Shriver Job Corps Center, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

In his spare time, Jeff is an executive officer with the Worcester Sports Foundation, and the co-founder and Managing Partner of Elevated Training LLC, an obstacle race fitness facility in Central Massachusetts.



chuck-vollmerChuck Vollmer, Author and Founder of Jobenomics – Maryland


Charles D. Vollmer is an author and founder of Jobenomics, which deals with the economics of business and job creation. The Jobenomics National Grassroots Movement’s goal is to facilitate creation of 20 million net new U.S. jobs within a decade.

Jobenomics has published six books and produces quarterly employment and unemployment reports on economic, business and workforce development. Jobenomics national-level initiatives include the Energy Technology Revolution, Network Technology Revolution, Urban Mining and Urban Agriculture.

More than a dozen cities and states have started Jobenomics initiatives led by local community leaders. These initiatives focus on people at the base of America’s socioeconomic pyramid with emphasis on women, minorities, youth, veterans and citizens who want to work or start a business.

Vollmer is also the CEO of eCyclingUSA, which is part of Jobenomics Urban Mining to reclaim high-value materials from electronic waste items and use the proceeds to finance highly scalable startup businesses. He is the Vice Chairman of ACTS Freedom Farms Advisory Board, an organization dedicated to producing 25,000 veteran-owned U.S. micro-farms employing 100,000 people in the next five years.

Another piece of his portfolio is VII Inc., a strategic planning, systems engineering and investment capital firm specializing in government and business initiatives. VII’s clients include major domestic and international government agencies and corporations. Vollmer regularly works with U.S. Congress, Department of Defense and government officials.

From 1999 to 2007, Vollmer was under contract to the U.S. Central Command to assist moderate Arab leaders to develop strategies and operational concepts for coalition building against terrorism. In this capacity, he developed several hundred strategy and policy documents and led 12 symposia in the Middle East attended by officials in the Arab Gulf, Europe and the United States.

From 1991 to 1996, Vollmer was a partner at Booz Allen & Hamilton. He organized and managed one of the largest U.S. consortiums involved with industry privatization in the former Soviet Union. These consortiums accomplished the largest privatization effort in history converting over 70 percent of state-owned industries to private enterprises.

From 1985 to 1991, he founded and was the Vice President/General Manager for General Dynamics’ new business and high-technology organization, called the Defense Initiatives Organization.

Vollmer served 10 years active duty in the U.S. Air Force and 13 years with the Air National Guard. He accumulated over 3,000 hours in various fighter aircraft, flew 175 combat missions in Southeast Asia, and received six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eleven Air Medals.

Vollmer received a B.S. degree in Engineering Management from the USAF Academy, a Masters Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University and attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management for Senior Executives.

Mary Wright, Senior Director for Demand Side Engagement and Analytics,  Jobs for the Future – Massacusetts
Mary V.L. Wright is Jobs for the Future’s Senior Director for Demand Side Engagement and Analytics. She helps low-skilled adults move into and through postsecondary education and on to careers that pay family-sustaining wages. Specifically, she focuses on how to better link employer demands to the outcomes of training initiatives. She and her staff provide technical assistance to community colleges, workforce boards, and other entities to use labor market information to better align investments in education and training with the needs of the economy. She also spearheads the College Employer Collaborative, which takes employer created online content to community colleges and helps match the employer demand for skills to the supply of educated talent. In addition, she is JFF’s lead for the Job Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center, a project funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the Department of Education and managed by the Institute for Community Inclusion.
Ms. Wright has more than 20 years of experience connecting the public and private sectors in municipal finance, government affairs, and workforce development. Prior to joining JFF, she served as director at The Conference Board in New York City, driving its work in workforce readiness, business, and education partnerships, as well as improving the employment outcomes for people with disabilities through research and convenings. Ms. Wright co-authored or acted as project director on several key reports on workforce readiness skills including, Are They Really Ready to Work, The Ill-Prepared Workforce. Her non-profit board experience includes organizations that support educational opportunities for underrepresented youth, housing options for low-income families, and the arts. Ms. Wright has an MBA in public/nonprofit management from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in urban affairs from Connecticut College.

Stay Tuned…More to be announced soon!