Meet the Participants: Economic Development District Training Program

Posted on: September 24th, 2015 by Brett Schwartz

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation is pleased to announce selections for its first-ever one-year Economic Development District Training Program, funded by the Austin Regional Office of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.  “The NADO Research Foundation would like to thank EDA for its generous support of this new training program,” said Joe McKinney, Executive Director of NADO. “These ten participants are among the best EDD planners in the country, and will be well-positioned after going through this program to continue their careers as future leaders of regional development organizations.”

AdaireAmanda Adaire, Program Manager
Central Arkansas Planning and Development District
Lonoke, Arkansas

Amanda Adaire began her career at Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (CAPDD) in 2010 after managing FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs at the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management for over 2 years. She has a Bachelor’s of Science from Arkansas Tech University (May 2008) Magna Cum Laude in Emergency Administration and Management with a minor in Sociology; and she’s a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) since May 2009. She also earned her Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED) Certification in November 2012. She currently administers $46,385,000 in grant funds for Community and Economic Development projects throughout CAPDD’s six-county area. She and her husband Brandon reside in Beebe, Arkansas.

bel2Virginia Belew, Regional Services Director
Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission
Midland, Texas

Obtained Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Texas El Paso, and a Master of Public Administration Degree from Texas Tech University.  She currently serves in Director of Regional Services capacity, managing the operations for the Economic Development District, the Solid Waste and environment related programs, as well as directs other community development related services to the jurisdictions of the Permian Basin region of Texas.  She previously served as Director of Workforce Development for the PBRPC which gave her the opportunity to work closely with the business and community leadership.  Virginia lives in Big Spring with her husband Richard.  She has two sons, Allan who is serving in the US Navy, and Lane, a trauma center BSN.

BouletMonique Boulet, Regional Administrator
Acadiana Planning Commission
Lafayette, Louisiana

Monique Boulet serves as the Regional Administrator for the eight-parish, Acadiana Planning Commission, APC, Louisiana Planning District 4. She is employed by the South Central Planning and Development Commission, SCPDC, out of Louisiana Planning District 3, while SCPDC is being funded to facilitate the creation of the neighboring commission. Joining SCPDC at the beginning of 2014, Boulet worked closely with elected leaders, the parish (county) administers and the SCPDC leadership to enable the legal formation of APC on February 23, 2015. In the spring of 2015, Boulet was instrumental in initiating the transfer of the local MPO technical staff to the new commission. Working through numerous legal and political hurdles, 13 employees transferred over to the APC on July 1, 2015. As the APC administrator, Boulet’s primary responsibility is to establish a new planning commission footprint in the region bringing new jurisdictions to both the commission and the MPO while also identifying new services and funding for the region. Boulet received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She earned her Masters of Business Administration after participating in the University of Louisiana Executive MBA program. She is married to David Boulet and is the mother of 4 children, Kathleen (18), David (15), Zachary (13) and Sam (11).

GonzalesRaul Antonio Gonzalez Jr., Regional Services Coordinator II
Rio Grande Council of Governments
El Paso, Texas

Mr. Raul Gonzalez is the Regional Services Coordinator II for the Rio Grande Council of Governments. Prior to serving at his current position, Mr. Gonzalez interned for the RGCOG and worked with the El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation in providing an economic strategic plan for the Town of Anthony, the Town of Clint, the Town of Horizon City, the City of Socorro and the Village of Vinton in El Paso County. For over four years, Mr. Gonzalez has overseen the West Texas Economic Development District, a federally designated organization charged with the maintenance and implementation of the comprehensive economic development strategy plan for the six-county region in Far West Texas. Mr. Gonzalez also has project management experience through his work with formulating the City of Anthony’s five year strategic plan as well as overseeing the Far West Texas Water Planning Group.

GoolsbyTiffany Goolsby, AICP, Senior Planner
South Central Council of Governments
Mesilla, New Mexico

Tiffany Goolsby, AICP is the Senior Planner for New Mexico’s South Central Council of Governments. She is responsible for creating her region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and she assists communities with economic development projects, capital improvement planning, grant writing, and grant administration. Ms. Goolsby has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University. She resides in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area with her husband and young son.

InghamKyle G. Ingham, Local Government Services Director
Panhandle Regional Planning Commission
Amarillo, Texas

Kyle G. Ingham is a dual graduate from West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas with an undergraduate degree in General Business and a Master’s Degree in Political Science.  Kyle began his career with the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission in 2000 as an intern and has held positions responsible for criminal justice, hazard mitigation, solid waste management, Community Development Block Grants, contract City Management, regional water planning, regional transportation planning, and economic development planning.  Since 2008 Kyle has served as the Local Government Services Director overseeing both the Economic Development and Local Government Services Departments of the PRPC.  Kyle has two children, Allison and Kahlon, with his wife of 15 years, Lesley.  He spends as much time as possible enjoying outdoor adventure activities and soccer with his family.  Kyle’s general philosophy on Economic Development is that as the fundamental needs of a community and/or region are met there are ever increasing opportunities for economic development and diversification if the entities involved are willing to explore them.

Picture1Jeremy Ragland, Assistant Director/EDA Planner
Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District
Harrison, Arkansas

As Assistant Executive Director/EDA Planner at the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District I serve as the primary contact for EDA & Delta Regional Authority Projects. I also coordinate the District’s General Improvement Fund Grant Program, along with assisting in the day to day management of the organization. Prior to joining the NWAEDD staff in October of 2014, I spent nine years in the transportation Industry where I began my career as a Fleet Manager with J.B. Hunt Inc. in Lowell, AR. After nearly three years at J.B. Hunt I accepted the position of Transportation Coordinator at FedEx Freight in Harrison, AR. During my time at FedEx Freight I also held the title Purchased Transportation Advisor, where I helped launch the company’s new rail program, and then finished my time there as a Project Manager. I am a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History/Political Science. My hobbies include cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Dallas Cowboys. I have been married to my beautiful wife Laura for six years and we have three children: Trenton (5), Cason (3), and Reagan (2).

RyburnMichael Ryburn, Director of Business Development and Finance
South Western Oklahoma Development Authority
Burns Flat, Oklahoma

Michael Ryburn has been with South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) since 1997.  SWODA serves eight counties, 48 municipalities, and nine conservation districts in rural southwest Oklahoma. As Director of Finance, Mr. Ryburn Provides administrative, financial, and technical oversight to all programmatic divisions. Oversight includes budgeting, financial reporting, record keeping, and compliance with federal and state regulations. Michael has a background in public accounting as an Auditor working with various types of entities including non-profits, government agencies, banks, electric cooperatives, and private industry.  This experience provides a unique view and understanding of financial operations and in-depth understanding of regulations balanced with a comprehension of sound financial practices. As Director of Business Development, Mr. Ryburn is responsible for seeking out new business opportunities, developing, coordinating, and implementing plans designed to increase existing business and capture new opportunities that benefit regional markets.  Mr. Ryburn has served as a Board member to the Southwest Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board.  He is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional. Mr. Ryburn developed SWODA’s internally funded housing development program working with Counties, Cities & Towns, and other partners that helps meet the demand for new housing and addresses the clean-up of substandard housing units throughout SWODA’s eight county region.

WilliamsEvan Williams, Deputy Director
Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments
Gallup, New Mexico

Evan Williams is Deputy Director of the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments (NWNMCOG) and brings 13 years of knowledge and experience.  Prior to this position, Evan served as the Senior Planner and has led the development and implementation our regional CEDS for many years.  Evan arrived in the Southwest as an Americorps*VISTA, helping the NWNMCOG develop its Adventure Gallup & Beyond initiative, which focused on harnessing adventure tourism an economic driver and which received the 2002 NADO Pioneer Award. Evan earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.  At BC, he participated on the wrestling team.  He lives in Gallup, the Adventure Capital of New Mexico.

wilVickie Williamson, Special Projects Coordinator
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
Texarkana, Texas

Vickie Williamson became the Special Projects Coordinator at Ark-Tex Council of Governments in February of this year.  Previous to that, she had been the Economic Development Specialist.  In her position, she writes and administers both community and economic development grants, assists in the SBA 504 loan program and three revolving loan funds, and will begin generating the CEDS for the Northeast Texas Economic Development District.  In addition, she is currently collaborating on three regional projects – a regional agricultural co-op, improved rural broadband service, and a plan to mitigate the impact of coal industry closures. Previously, Vickie has worked in banking, insurance, and education.  While in education, she developed a technology curriculum and software for industrial and trade students that won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education in Arkansas.  She has participated in the Little River County Leadership program, Twin City Toastmasters, and various civic organizations. Vickie earned her BS in Business Education and Marketing from Southern Arkansas University.  She has been a lifelong learner and sought additional training in the various fields in which she’s been employed. Vickie lives just outside of Texarkana with her husband, Steve.  They have four children and four grandchildren, which she assists in spoiling.  She is also a Representative with Signature Homestyles and operates her business from her home.  She actively works with and supports her church and various non-profits.

Click here for more information about the Economic Development District Training Program, funded by the Austin Regional Office of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

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