Speakers

Mark Beattie is a principal with Hickey & Associates, LLC, a global site selection and public incentives firm based in Minneapolis, Minn. Mark has more than 35 years of experience working in the corporate sector managing real estate, facilities, purchasing and staff management operations. He has extensive experience in long-range strategic planning for the acquisition, usage and disposition of domestic and international real estate assets, site selection and public incentives management.
Patrick Cannon was elected mayor of Charlotte in 2013. He started his public service career by winning the District 3 council seat in 1993. In 2001, he was elected to citywide office as an at-large member of City Council, and served as mayor pro-tem during four of those terms. Having been a district representative and at-large council member, Cannon has a rare perspective and lengthy record of team accomplishments with his fellow elected officials and numerous partners throughout the Charlotte community.
Diane Cherry is the environments policy manager for the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI). She works collaboratively with individuals from all sectors and areas of North Carolina to build capacity for collective action in this issue space. Prior to joining IEI, she worked as a budget and management analyst for the City of Raleigh. Diane has also worked as an environmental policy analyst at both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In addition, she spent time in Washington D.C., at Resources for the Future, Inc. and at ABT Associates.
Dan DiMicco is the chairman emeritus for Nucor Corporation, where he served as president and chief executive officer from 2000 until December 31, 2012. Dan serves on the board of directors for Duke Energy Corporation, the National Association of Manufacturers and the World Steel Association.
Trevor Fuller is the chairman of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. As an at-large member, he is serving his first term. Trevor is a former member of the board of directors of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and currently serves on its audit committee. He is also a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association Foundation, the John S. Leary Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and is a former member of the board of directors of Community Link.

Jeff Heller is the vice president of intermodal and automotive marketing for Norfolk Southern Corporation. Jeff joined Norfolk Southern’s International Intermodal group in 1994 at the corporate headquarters in Norfolk, Va. Since beginning his career in 1980, Jeff has held various sales and marketing management positions in container shipping and intermodal, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

David Hollars is the executive director of the Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB). In his role, he provides the expertise and resources to support the work of the Board, partnering with economic development, education and businesses to create innovative strategies that serve job seekers and employers, and to invest in the future of the community. The Centralina WBD, with its home office in Charlotte, serves Anson, Cabarrus, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly, and Union Counties.
Michael Manis is the director of community and economic development (CED) for the Greater Charlotte nine-county Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG). He has more than 36 years of experience in management and coordination on federal, state and local levels in a variety of municipal and private development arenas. As CED director, Michael facilitates access and support of multiple federal agencies and State of North Carolina funding opportunities, grants and administrative resources for the regional units of government and economic agencies.
Pat McCrory is the 74th and current governor of North Carolina and a former long-time mayor of Charlotte. In his first State of the State address in early 2013, he laid out his vision for prosperity in North Carolina with a commitment to focus on three key areas: the economy, education and efficiency. To that end, the governor quickly launched economic development reforms that concentrate on private-sector job creation and retention.

Jeff Merrifield is the senior vice president, Global Business Development - Power, for CB&I. He joined Shaw (now CB&I) in 2007 as SVP in its Power Group, directing Shaw’s nuclear and plant services business development activities, as well as its external relations, government relations, marketing communications and community relations. Jeff served two terms (1998 to 2007) as a U.S. Senate-confirmed commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Bush, he served as one of five individuals overseeing this independent commission that regulates the safety and security of the 104 operating nuclear power plants in the U.S.

Kevin Pitts is the president and publisher of the Charlotte Business Journal, overseeing total operations for the paper, which include editorial, advertising, circulation, marketing, production and finance. Prior to overseeing the Charlotte Business Journal, he served as vice president for the Philadelphia Business Journal and publisher of the East Bay Business Times in California. Both newspapers are owned by American City Business Journals.

Mark Pringle is the vice president for Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub in North Carolina. In this capacity, Mark has complete business responsibility for Siemens’ Electrical Generator Manufacturing and Service activities in Charlotte, as well as the company's feeder plant in Fort Payne, Ala. He also has responsibility for all key support functions at the Charlotte site.
Eric Spiegel is the president and CEO of Siemens USA and is responsible for growing the U.S. business in the company’s largest market. With $19.2 billion in revenue, $6 billion in exports and approximately 53,000 employees in the U.S., Siemens provides solutions for more affordable and efficient health care, the growing demands of cities and the nation's infrastructure needs, cleaner sources of energy production, and industrial productivity. Siemens has more than 130 manufacturing sites across the U.S. and is represented in all 50 states.
Clifton Vann is the president of Livingston & Haven, where he oversees the 66-year-old industrial technology provider, which boasts $70 million in annual sales. Clifton has served as president of Livingston & Haven for 14 years, after serving in several other capacities within the company since 1982. He is currently a member of several advisory boards for market-leading manufacturers, including Bosch Rexroth. Clifton serves on the advisory board for Olympic High School’s Energy Career Academy of Engineering, the MeckEd board of directors, and was appointed to North Carolina’s Education and Workforce Innovation Commission.

Chris William has been an executive in the Private Client Group at Wells Fargo for the past 25 years. He is also the moderator and executive producer for the long-running, syndicated PBS television program “Carolina Business Review,” which is seen each week in 22 markets throughout North and South Carolina. As a finance professional and broadcast moderator, he has been uniquely qualified to observe and comment on business and industry for more than two decades. Chris authors and participates annually in numerous business and industry panels and conferences across the Carolinas.

Dr. Tony Zeiss is the third president of CPCC, one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina. During his 20-year career at CPCC, Dr. Zeiss has grown the college from one campus to six, expanding the institution’s operating budget from $47.6 million to more than $176 million a year. Dr. Zeiss holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Indiana State University and a doctorate in community college administration from Nova Southeastern University.