President, Dywer Instruments, Michigan City, IN
Mark Fisher currently serves as President of Dwyer Instruments in Michigan City, Indiana. Mark earned a BSME from Valparaiso University in 1987 and an MBA from Cleveland State University in 1995. Mark has been with Dwyer since 1987 and prior to becoming President has had responsibilities including Sales, Marketing, Product Management, Engineering and Quality Control.
Under Marks leadership, International sales have been the main driver of growth which has helped more than double the size of Dwyer under his leadership. The company has also expanded its innovative culture in recent years through releasing products that are “game changers” and have been disruptive to the industry thus fueling the growth and the creative and energetic culture that is ever present in the Dwyer organization.
Mark is also a member of the Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators, Northern Indiana Renaissance Executive Forums, and also serves as an external advisory board member for both Purdue University Northwest and Valparaiso University.Mark makes Valparaiso, Indiana his home with his wife Janet, and their four children; Sarah, Stephanie, Steven, and Scottie.
Site Selector Speakers
Principal, Ryan; Tampa, FL
Allea Newbold, CPA, specializes in Federal and State planning for her clients. She negotiates credits and incentives for new and expanding companies nationwide, helping them maximize return on investment. Her tenacity and creativity have built a record of success in property tax abatement, sales tax refunds, cash grants, and Tax Increment Financing (TIF). In addition, she assists companies with various credits including research and development (R&D), Enterprise Zones and WOTC. While manufacturing and data center space leads her list of specialties, clients of all sizes and industries seek out Ms. Newbold’s over 20 years of professional expertise.
Before joining Ryan, Ms. Newbold was a member of the national tax accounting groups for both Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also participated in a tour of duty with PwC’s Washington, D.C. national tax office, focusing on accounting method issues.
Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance – President (2012-2013) – President-Elect (2011–2012) Institute for Professionals in Taxation
Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, Accounting, University of Georgia
Master of Accountancy Degree (Emphasis in Taxation), University of Georgia
Certified Public Accountant, Licensed in Georgia and Florida
Principal, Spectrum Location Solutions, Cranberry, PA
Joe Vranich, as an impartial and unbiased Site Selection Consultant, helps businesses make critical location decisions driven by growth, consolidation, market changes or a need to improve competitiveness. In an organized and phased process, he assesses potential locations based on labor rates, facility costs, logistics and utility rates. His evaluation of an area’s political climate includes a review of public incentives and its tax and regulatory regime.
Joe routinely issues reports about companies leaving business-hostile California for friendlier states. In his upcoming SiteLink presentation in Michigan City, Indiana, he will provide his latest findings – including why the state’s business environment continues to deteriorate and why economic development officials seeking to recruit business expansions or relocations should consider California fertile ground.
His California migration reports have gained attention from The Economist, Chief Executive Magazine, CNNMoney, Barron's, CFO Magazine, Investor's Business Daily, Commercial Executive Magazine, NewGeography, Reuters, Journal of Commerce, Business Xpansion Journal, The Atlantic, Vital Speeches and The Wall Street Journal.
The research has been cited by the American Enterprise Institute, California Business Roundtable, California Manufacturers & Technology Association, California Small Business Action Committee, Chapman University Center for Demographics and Policy, Small Manufacturers Association of California and the Tax Foundation.
Some know Joe as The Business Relocation Coach because he serves as an Executive Coach, helping leaders make strategic business decisions while recognizing personal and lifestyle preferences. As many as 40% of Fortune 500 companies use Executive Coaches because of the benefits to individual and organizational performance. Joe has had coaching assignments in Google, Northrop Grumman, Alcoa, Electronic Arts, IBM, Burson Marsteller and in privately-held enterprises.
While being introduced on America's highest-rated cable-TV business show, “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” the host said, “Joe Vranich is committed to you and your success.” He has been a guest on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC, NPR and on hundreds of local broadcasts.
He is on LinkedIn and is known on Twitter as @LocationConsult
Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL); Iselin, NJ
Stuart Lipper joined Jones Lang LaSalle as a Vice President in May 2011 and is based in the firm’s Metropark, N.J. office. With over eight years of experience as an institutional trader and seven years of experience managing over 300 people at a $60 million revenue producing supermarket, Mr. Lipper’s diverse background enables him the unique ability to understand the world of corporate finance and business. Drawing upon this career experience, he tailors commercial real estate transactions that are both financially and operationally efficient, producing significant bottom-line results.
Mr. Lipper has significant expertise in strategic planning, lease negotiations, and transaction services. He provides consulting and tenant representation services involving leasing and subleasing transactions and has negotiated on behalf of corporations in various industries both locally and nationally.
Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle, Mr. Lipper served as a Vice President at Studley. On behalf of clients, he leverages his extensive knowledge of the marketplace and the trends affecting these markets to negotiate and secure favorable transaction results. Mr. Lipper has been responsible for the following transactions: AEGIS Insurance Services’ 62,000 s.f. sublease in Jersey City, NJ; CMA-CGM (America)’s 45,000 s.f. leases in VA, CA, GA, and NJ; Genta’s 25,000 s.f. lease in Berkeley Heights, NJ; Skoloff & Wolfe, PC’s 16,000 s.f. lease in Livingston, NJ; and Lundbeck Pharmaceutical Services’ 12,000 s.f. lease in Lebanon, NJ.
He has been listed in “Who’s Who” in both the finance and retail industries.
Mr. Lipper graduated from Ramapo College with a Bachelor of Science degree and also completed a semester at the University of Bath in England.Joe Vranich, as an impartial and unbiased Site Selection Consultant, helps businesses make critical location decisions driven by growth, consolidation, market changes or a need to improve competitiveness. In an organized and phased process, he assesses potential locations based on labor rates, facility costs, logistics and utility rates. His evaluation of an area’s political climate includes a review of public incentives and its tax and regulatory regime.
Managing Principal, Foremost Quality Logistics, Dallas, TX
Over 40 years of experience have provided Tim Feemster, Managing Principal of Foremost Quality Logistics, with a variety of hands on problem solving situations in economic development, real estate, transportation, logistics, distribution, and marketing. Tim is quoted frequently in the economic development, real estate & supply chain press and makes over 20 keynote presentations a year to professional organizations.
Before forming Foremost Quality Logistics, Feemster had experience as a senior manager in three manufacturing companies, a general manager, a consultant, an executive in two third party logistics providers, and a practice group leader in two commercial real estate firms. Feemster has been responsible for economic development strategy consulting, building construction management, transportation & warehouse operations; real estate site selection; network optimization; strategic planning; lease management; marketing; inventory planning & deployment; lean systems & quality management; and private fleet management.
Feemster holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and a B.A. in Mathematics from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and is a Six Sigma Green Belt. Feemster is an active member in the Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC.org), where he is a Past President; Council Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP.org), Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC.org), Intermodal Association of North America (IANA.org), International Economic Development Council (IEDCOnline.org), DePauw Alumni Board (DePauw.edu), and a board member of the DePauw DFW Regional Alumni Chapter.
President, Webster Global Site Selectors, Phoenix, AZ
Paige Webster started his firm in 2013. Paige has worked with many projects across many industry sectors including: aerospace, bio tech, geo-thermal, wind & solar, warehouse/distribution, office projects, data centers, corporate centers and the retail sector. Paige has been working in site selection and economic development for twenty years.
Paige has had extensive site selection experience as he was the Western Regional Real Estate Manager for Aaron Rents. Paige was able to facilitate and expand the major retail expansion for Aaron Rents in the Western United States.
Paige has had experience in the Economic Development arena too. He was the former Economic Development Director for the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation. Paige’s experience includes working with back office, warehouse distribution, bio-tech, software development companies and food processing companies for the Yuma area. Paige did extensive work in cross border economic development and was a member of the Border Trade Alliance (BTA) and worked closely with the Arizona Governor’s Office on cross border issues in Mexico. Paige was on the Workforce Development Board and was also a Board Member of the Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED). Paige has also received the CEcD designation during his career in Economic Development.
Paige also worked for the Arizona Department of Commerce as the Northern Arizona Representative, assisting companies to expand or relocate to the State of Arizona with projects related to injection molding, warehouse/distribution, back office, agro-business, bio-tech, high tech, aviation.
Paige has received his BS in Regional Development from University of Arizona and has also received his MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix. Paige resides in Phoenix, AZ and loves to play golf, hunt and scuba dive.
Managing Director, Navigator Consulting, LLC; Atlanta, GA
Mr. James Blair is the Founder and Managing Director of Navigator Consulting, a specialized interna-tional consulting firm providing site selection services to European companies looking to expand their business operations into the U.S. market by establishing manufacturing locations in the United States.
During his 25 years working for the State of Georgia in site selection, Mr. Blair worked with over 175 companies whose U.S. subsidiaries currently employ more than 15,000 people. These parent companies include global brands like JCB (UK), Porsche (Germany), UCB (Belgium), Randstad (Netherlands) and Saint Gobain (France), as well as mid-sized companies like ATEX (Italy), Balta (Belgium), Brugg Cable (Switzerland), Hansgrohe (Germany), Knapp Logistics (Austria), Perkins Engines (UK), Terma (Denmark) and WIKA Instruments (Germany).
Prior to founding Navigator Consulting, Mr. Blair was Managing Director of GACC South Services, the site selection services consulting division of the German American Chamber of Commerce (Atlanta). From 2012-2014 Mr. Blair and his team assisted eight German companies from various industry sectors in successfully locating manufacturing operations into the U.S. These eight companies announced total capital investment of over US$100 million and more than 600 new jobs.
From 2010 through 2012, Mr. Blair was Director of Foreign Direct Investment for the Department of Economic Development at the State of Georgia. In that role, Mr. Blair coordinated all of the business recruitment efforts of Georgia’s international offices in Europe, Japan, Korea and China, leading a specialized team of experienced project managers located in Atlanta who worked with international executives seeking to locate new business operations in the United States.
Mr. Blair began his career at Georgia Economic Development in 1987 as Executive Director of the state’s European Office in Brussels. He promoted Georgia as a business location, while also serving as the primary contact for European headquartered companies with existing U.S. business operations. Mr. Blair also served as Chairman of the Council of American States in Europe, the official organization of U.S. states with full-time Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) offices in Europe. Mr. Blair was a regular presenter of informative FDI-related presentations at a number of prestigious U.S. investment confer-ences organized, for example, by “Capital” magazine (Germany), KBC Bank (Belgium), the German Chambers of Commerce (Germany), the Paris Chamber of Commerce (France), the Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom) and Confindustia (Italy).
Before working with the State of Georgia, Mr. Blair was a Vice President in the international banking department at what is now Bank of America from 1983-1987. As Account Manager for German, Austrian, Swiss and northern European subsidiary companies, he provided these companies with a wide range of financial services, including account management, lending and cash management.
Mr. Blair has served on the Emory University Advisory Board for German Language Study since 2012, a volunteer role helping to promote the study of German at colleges and universities throughout the region. Mr. Blair was also awarded the prestigious “Officer of the National Order of Merit” medal by the French government in 2012 in recognition of his service in promoting French-American business and cultural relations.
Mr. Blair received his international MBA degree in 1983 from the University of South Carolina with a specialization in Finance and Marketing.
He speaks fluent German and French, and is proficient in Dutch.
Executive Managing Director- Business Incentives Practice, Cushman & Wakefield, Atlanta, GA
Amy Gerber brings over 19 years of industry experience and is an Executive Managing Director in our Business Incentives Practice at Cushman & Wakefield. The practice helps companies negotiate with state and local governments to mitigate both up-front costs and on-going taxes and expenses. Ms. Gerber specializes in state incentive and tax negotiation and implementation. Ms. Gerber utilizes her state and local tax background when working with economic development teams to interpret and amend tax statutes that generate significant operating and tax savings for her clients.
Amy has led and managed numerous multi-state incentive negotiation engagements for both office and industrial projects for clients and has also led the efforts to modify state incentive legislation on behalf of her clients.
Amy came to Cushman & Wakefield from Jones Lang LaSalle. Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle, Ms. Gerber worked at KPMG, LLP with the State and Local Tax Practice/Strategic Relocation and Expansion Services Division. Ms. Gerber possesses over nineteen years of state and local incentives negotiation.
Amy has worked with many companies including: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Under Armour, HCL, Fiserv, Superion, TSYS, Harris Corporation, Summit Racing, Destination Maternity, Sallie Mae, ABB and Owens Corning.
Amy Gerber holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Montana State University. Amy is a Board member with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and was a member of Leadership Georgia class of 2016. Amy is also a member of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers.