At the beginning of her career, Miranda rose to achievement as the youngest City Manager and CEO of a multi-million dollar local government entity in the country, where she pursued her passion for urban redevelopment and economic development.
At the beginning of her career, Miranda rose to achievement as the youngest City Manager and CEO of a multi-million dollar local government entity in the country, where she pursued her passion for urban redevelopment and economic development. Miranda currently owns and serves as CEO of a nationally recognized Economic Development firm. Miranda’s efficacious career spans public speaking, professional writings, teaching and years of dedicated public service. With her Masters Degree in Public Administration, Miranda enjoys teaching others her renowned approach to urban redevelopment and community advocacy.
Miranda Braatz, MPA is a Chief Executive Officer who partners with state and local governments to help create and administer innovative economic development programs that serve the communities’ strategic objectives. After nearly a decade of working in economic development and local government, Miranda knows what drives those conversations. Her extensive experience with underrepresented and marginalized communities has taught her to understand their economic needs and desires. Her focus has always been to shepherd the redevelopment process in sync with the community fabric, maintaining historic and cultural integrity while enhancing economic opportunities and viability.
Miranda’s professional experiences has made her an expert in redevelopment of retail shopping centers and ageing large land parcels. In order to facilitate economic growth, Miranda partners with both the public and private sectors; creating Public Private Partnerships (PPP), which in turn provides economic growth within cities. Miranda uses PPP’s because the infusion of private capital enables more efficient procurement of properties and improves the focus on both client satisfaction and life cycle maintenance. When used strategically PPP’s can be an important tool for infrastructure and development. Having grown up in an ageing and declining community, Miranda has always envisioned revitalizing those areas in a way that’s conducive to future growth while avoiding the displacement that often occurs. Her belief is that growth and development must be right for that community and not a disruptive force. Since the beginning, Miranda’s career has been a passionate and purposeful pursuit focused on economic development within low-to-moderate-income areas around the country.
Miranda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from The George Washington University, a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from George Mason University, and a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in State and Local Government, where she graduated with Institutional Honors.
Most recently, Miranda served as the Chief Operating Officer of New American Strategies, Inc., which has been contracted by the Texas General Land Office to administer a $100 Million Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery program. This program is the largest economic development project ever undertaken in the United States and is the only of its kind. Miranda’s collaborative leadership approach and perspicacity led this program to success for Hurricane Harvey victims in the State of Texas, paving the way for similar recovery program efforts across the nation.
Miranda has created and implemented Economic Development departments and programs and Incentive Funds for various local governments across the country. In addition to her economic development work, Miranda has served as a City Manager, City Administrator, and Economic Development Department Founder and Director.
As a City Manager, Miranda modernized the policies, practices and procedures of cities as she implemented her own style and work philosophy. She transformed governments and staff to high-functioning, technologically astute and responsive teams focused on implementing practical ideas. Miranda instituted City Economic Development Departments tasked with providing economic development incentives to local establishments. Following the institution of these Departments, Miranda established Economic Development Incentive Funds within these entities. These Programs managed over $1 Million throughout the Department. In addition to the establishment of these novel Programs, she also sought to repurpose an abandoned 1,000 seat theatre, cultivating Public Private Partnerships (PPP) that utilize the vacant theatre into high-end usable civic space for the community. Miranda built momentum as a City Manager and passed three (3) multi-million-dollar economic development projects that had been stagnant for years prior, while restructuring and implementing multi-million dollar budgets.
As Assistant City Administrator, Miranda founded the Economic Development Department for the City of New Carrollton, Maryland. Within one-year she expanded it to include two full-time employees with a $150,000 budget. As founder of the Economic Development Department, Miranda established a $1 million Fund to incentivize growth, which she used to implement a major revitalization of the commercial district in the City of New Carrollton. As Assistant City Administrator, Miranda harnessed her passion for community revitalization to breathe new life into dying and distressed communities. She has an uncanny ability to write grants, negotiate deals, pursue major development projects and conduct economic development with local and state governments. Miranda’s tenure with the City of New Carrollton molded her into the fearless and dedicated leader she has become. Miranda’s professional drive led her to manage a 5-year capital improvement plan and oversee grant spending for the City. Additionally, Miranda served as Lead Administrator for all insurance matters for the city, developed community endeavors for veterans and promulgated new policies and procedures regarding our environmental inheritance. Her consistent and responsible management of constituent engagement increased citizen participation and fostered community pride.
Miranda’s other roles include working for the City of District Heights, Maryland, as a Community and Economic Development Fellow, and working for the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory as a Government Programs Manager in Fairfax, Virginia. Additionally, Miranda served as a member for several professional organizations, including serving as President of the Maryland City and County Managers Association, Maryland Municipal League, Maryland Economic Development Association, International Council of Shopping Centers, International City and County Management Association, International Economic Development Council, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Young Government Leaders National Chapter, and Women of Prince Georges. Miranda’s professional conduct has led her to receive the 2005 Wisconsin Volunteer of the Year and the 2013 ICMA Young Professional Award.
Charles J. SlaneGeneral Counsel
Charles is both a lawyer and businessman with more than 40 years of experience in
Charles is both a lawyer and businessman with more than 40 years of experience in both arenas. Charles has been General Counsel for a number of enterprises and CEO for many of his business ventures. He was instrumental in making a drug store grow from a regional chain to the number one retailer in the country during his tenure. He was also successful in developing more than 1.25 million square feet of retail space as part of his business ventures. For decades he navigated local and federal regulations, negotiated commercial property transactions and has advised in major real estate brokerage firms, including in the sale of many commercial properties across the United States exceeding $1 billion per year.
With a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University Law School, Charles has amassed a wide pool of knowledge, skills and abilities. He has worked as Assistant General Counsel, Vice President and Corporate Secretary to the Rite Aid Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange company. He was General Counsel and CEO of his own real estate company that developed over 100 shopping centers and retail stores in the East Coast. He has also worked as General Counsel to Estech USA, LLC, an innovative waste to energy company with international ties in Europe and is General Counsel to Encore Real Estate Investment Services, a leading national brokerage firm. He has founded many other successful business ventures including a telecommunications business in the western United States; a $200 M tower project built for the State Police of Ohio; a major multi-million-dollar audit business involving collection of unclaimed funds for the State of Ohio and a multi-million-dollar lumber business in China. These combined experiences gave him a holistic perspective on the unique legal needs and hurdles in various core industries. He’s used that knowledge as a value-added for his clients and development endeavors. Charles’ performance at Rite Aid Corporation enabled him to progressively be promoted to additional responsibilities and opportunities. His stewardship at the helm of Economic Development Strategies is enriching our entire family. Charles mentors without even realizing it. He’s full of stories and strategies that he’s used in other situations and helps us think innovatively and creatively while still being rooted in previous successes.
Charles is far from just another real estate attorney. Like our CEO he’s also a visionary. He’s put his money and energy behind his heart and values. His interest in sustainable development has led to all kinds of projects to better the world. Charles believes firmly in smart long-term development and is a champion of capitalism being a leader in solving the world’s most intractable problems.
Developing land, industries, concepts and human capital is Charles’s bailiwick. Charles recognizes trends in the current marketplace, but most importantly he senses where the economy is going. The retiring of the Baby Boomers has meant an explosion in senior care services. He is involved with the purchase of nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the United States ranging in price from $15 million to over $100
Charles is always looking for what’s next. It is at the core of his being. That is why Charles has looked to further his interests in economic development strategies and is convinced this will be one of his boldest and most promising ventures yet!
Lynn A. Knight, CEcDSenior Consultant & Economic Development Subject Matter Expert
Lynn A. Knight is a reservoir of institutional knowledge, a fountain of consistent
implementation and a steady stream of new ideas.
Lynn A. Knight is a reservoir of institutional knowledge, a fountain of consistent implementation and a steady stream of new ideas. Serving as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), Lynn uses her more than 25 years of multi-sector experience in 11 countries and 31 U.S. states & territories as a true force multiplier when it comes to community revitalization. She served as Executive Vice President of the Institute for Sustainable Development and Vice President of Knowledge Management for the International Economic Development Council. Lynn is a highly accomplished writer as author or editor of more than 50 publications. Her most recent published work includes; States of Resilience, a study of state-level resiliency initiatives, the Leadership in Times of Crisis Toolkit and The Changing Energy Landscape and its Impact on Economic Development in America. She has also written several CEDS plans. What she brings to the team is a depth and breadth of knowledge that adds value to every one of our endeavors.
Lynn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Double Major in Communications and Psychology from California State University at Chico. Additionally, she has received professional development and specialized training in the following areas; Certified Economic Developer, United Nations World Tourism, Counter Terrorism Preparedness and Earthquake/Tsunami Preparedness. She was pivotal in disaster response in 2020 for communities recovering from hurricanes and fires.
Lynn is a nationally recognized subject matter expert and thought leader on rural economies, tourism development and disaster recovery. Her 5 years spent as Director of Economic Development and Tourism Programs with Management Analysis Inc., equipped her with valuable insights. She managed a national program that deployed hundreds of subject matter experts to disaster areas across the country. She has been an entrepreneur and a business executive of a global firm which operated in a dozen countries. Her international experience led to a previous appointment as Chair of a Comprehensive Economic Development Commission representing a Governor of a U.S. territory.
Brenda Arnold ScottSenior Consultant & Community Development Subject Matter Expert
As a professional Community Development Consultant Brenda Arnold-Scott is dedicated to creating prosperity for the client communities that she serves.
As a professional Community Development Consultant Brenda Arnold-Scott is dedicated to creating prosperity for the client communities that she serves. She’s been blessed to spend her life doing a job she loves. She has acquired a tremendous intellect to complement her enormous faith. That faith is a belief that everyone deserves a community that’s healthy and thriving. Brenda is well at home with our CEO’s vision of economic development that reaches all communities enabling them to grow and prosper. She’s the unique individual who works on brick and mortar infrastructure, as much as the hearts and minds of the occupants.
While spending decades in everything from community and housing development to compliance, planning and grants management, Brenda’s real job has never changed. She’s all about helping people. In previous roles she implemented new Fair Housing strategies that provided education to more than 1 million people. Her employers have recognized her sincere passion for helping others as the strength it is and when HUD found infractions in the City of Houston’s housing policies, they tapped Brenda to work on the remedy. She developed Eligibility Policies & Procedures in response. She designed Uniform Project Assessment and Funding Procedures to combat discriminatory enforcement. Ensuring fairness in the City’s policy implementation she also created Economic Development Guidelines. Brenda has a proven record in effective management and development of people and processes. She provides reliable legal research, analysis, and interpretation of local, state, and federal laws, statutes, and regulations. Additionally, she brings responsible leadership, sound professional judgement, and a positive morale to any team.
Brenda Arnold-Scott, D.Min, has amassed a diverse background of knowledge through her educational pursuits. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Texas Southern University. Her principles and zeal led Brenda to become as concerned with the hearts and minds of others, as she was in them as economic entities. Having an enthusiasm for business and public policy implementation, Brenda decided to follow her faith concurrently. She earned a Master of Divinity from the Houston Graduate School of Theology and later a Doctorate of Ministry from Southern Methodist University. Her Doctoral Dissertation: (Urban Culture w/Honors) “Shadow of Rights of the Disabled: Executing Social Action to Address a Political Theological Dilemma in Housing,” allowed her an opportunity to meld her heart with her occupation and find creative solutions for intractable problems.
Her academic achievement earned her Life Membership admission into Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Administration National Honor Society) and Delta Mu Delta (Business Administration National Honor Society). Additionally, she is a current member of a variety of organizations including; the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, Golden Key International Honour Society, and the Academy of American Poets. One of her initial forays into dealing with local government, planning, development and housing came from the invaluable experience she garnered in her role as CEO of her neighborhood community board (Candlelight Oaks Village Neighborhood Association). She also serves as an Active Board Member for; Elnita McClain Women’s Center, And God Said Ministries, Inc., IMPACT CDC, Crossroads Community Development Corporation, and the Same 24 advisory board. Brenda has always believed in remaining close to the communities you serve and her new role will give her an opportunity to build in that layer of accountability and intimacy with detail into the services we offer. She’s most proud of her philanthropic efforts in contributing to the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum.
In addition to her professional degrees she holds several certifications; including a Paralegal Certificate, certification for Federal HOME Program Administrator, the City of Houston’s Accreditation Program for Supervisors and Managers, City of Houston’s Leadership Institute Program certification, Harvard media training from Rice University and SAP Training from the City of Houston. Always growing and learning, Brenda has completed extensive training, conferences and programs in areas from compliance and federal procurement to program management and grant administration.
Finding her knowledge, skills and abilities in high demand, Brenda’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to found her own consultancy, EagleEase, LLC. Prior to that over the last few decades Dr. Brenda Arnold-Scott, D.Min, has garnered a lot of valuable work experience. In recent years she worked for the City of Houston in a variety of roles since 1988. She served as both the Deputy Assistant Director, Deputy Director and retired as Acting Director for the Housing and Community Development Department from 2012 to 2017. Prior to that, she served as the division manager for the Planning and Grants Management Division, the Administration Manager for the Grants Management and Compliance Division, the Management Analyst (III and IV) for the Program Management Division and Director’s Office respectively, and as a paralegal (I and II) for the Corporate Division of the Legal Department. She has a remarkable and demonstrated history of getting promoted to more and more responsibilities within any organization she works for. We’re pleased that the next stage of her career has brought her to Economic Development Strategies, Inc.
Some of her noteworthy accomplishments include the following. She was a major player in approving proposals and expenditures resulting in the rehabilitation and construction of more than 1,000 new public facilities. She was a major player in approving proposals and expenditures resulting in the creation of more than 100,000 units of affordable housing. Brenda implemented a new Fair Housing strategy that provided education to more than 1 million Houstonians. She negotiated and cleared federal findings of non-compliance; mitigating a $500 million liability for the City of Houston. Brenda has received numerous awards for her work. In 2009 she was selected for the Executive of the Year Award from the Department of Housing and Community Development. In 2017, upon retirement Brenda Arnold-Scott, D.Min, received the highest honor in the City when she was selected to receive the coveted “Bravo Award” for distinguished service.
Brenda Arnold-Scott, D.Min, has a proven ability to set up processes and then analyze their performance. She’s a life-long learner who completely immerses herself in the subject matter until she finds the best way to complete her task. She’s a disciplined task-master and consistent motivator. We look forward to her applying her skills to the innovative programs and economic development strategies that we’ll be pursuing.
Roxana JohnsonSenior Project Manager & Federal Government Subject Matter Expert
Economic Development Strategies, LLC. is enhanced manyfold with the presence of Roxana Johnson, an outgoing senior professional with 22 years experience and knowledge in Defense, Federal and commercial consulting
Economic Development Strategies, LLC. is enhanced manyfold with the presence of Roxana Johnson, an outgoing senior professional with 22 years experience and knowledge in Defense, Federal and commercial consulting. She brings a unique understanding of a very particular niche product in the development arena. Roxana has provided high level support for the Department of Homeland Security (USCG CG-912, USCG /BASE NCR C4IT, TSA/ NEDCTP/OSO/OLE/FAMS, & US-VISIT) and Department of Defense (WHS, OIG,& DOA). Her extensive work on these projects has included project management; knowledge management; risk management; change management; human capital; budget management; resource management; acquisition & procurement; base procurement analysis, event planning & management; physical security; information assurance; COOP contingency plans; organizational assessment, design, and development; performance management; and business process improvement & mapping, process engineering (implementation & requirements generation). Her areas of expertise are highly valued at Economic Development Strategies, LLC. and enable our services to extend into an entirely new realm.
Roxana has cut her teeth garnering life experience in various industries. Along the way she’s enhanced her education in niche areas with study in defense acquisition, project management and strategic entrepreneurial management. She’s a results-driven professional with strong analytic, planning and process improvement skills. In her most recent position as a Senior Business Consultant & Organizational Change Management, Project Manager (DOD), she has an ability to interpret client needs and apply them to operational requirements resulting in increased customer satisfaction, enhanced processes, and reduced costs. Roxana really honed her skills in qualitative analysis of operations, policies and procedures during implementation in order to take corrective actions. Her facility with metrics led to her having direct responsibilities to conduct analysis and improvement initiatives, develop methods for measuring initiative effectiveness and to work with stakeholders to collect feedback and redefine messaging.
Roxana Johnson has earned effective human resources experience as well. As a former Human Resources Director; she’s done everything from directing the development and implementation of organizational development programs, employee orientation, training programs to establishing benefit plans, policies & guidelines and so much more. Roxana brings a fresh new perspective on the human capital processes organizations engage in and thinks creatively about achieving similar or better outcomes through more focused and streamlined efforts. Roxana is the rare ‘people person’ that also has a talent with metrics, and loves information. She would instantly be the person selected to measure the human side of an equation and to provide vital feedback.
Roxana is an expert at information management and analysis. She created a database for management procedures & equal opportunity employment programs, employee records and documentation policies in her previous employment. She assisted in every aspect from HR metrics to business development research & tracking. She has a solid background in program, project, and team management; organizing workflow, client relationship management; and quality assurance support (including vendor resource management). Roxana understands that knowledge is power, and she’s made a career of accumulating, analyzing and responding to data about the most complicated system of all… human beings.
William ColeCommunity Development Subject Matter Expert
If Economic Development Strategies, LLC had a Director of Community Wellness Programs, it would be inspired by William Cole.
If Economic Development Strategies, LLC had a Director of Community Wellness Programs, it would be inspired by William Cole. Whether he is sharing his infectious energy for athleticism during one of his acclaimed community-wide Fitness Events, where hundreds of residents can experience high end fitness activities free of charge; or designing astute standard meal plans for government officials, officers and commanders in both the Navy and U.S. Marines at the Navy Yard military facility in the District of Columbia… William Cole always keeps his eyes on the ball. William isn’t shy about his desire for a global paradigmatic shift in how we internalize and actualize reasonable health and fitness outcomes. By working with local grocery stores to make healthy food accessible & affordable in underserved communities, William works to transform a community’s relationship to sustenance and their bodies. He has spent a lifetime in the area of health and fitness, all the while developing systems and processes that improve community vitality. His addition to our Team and family of services enhances and affirms our deeper commitment to building truly sustainable communities across this great nation. While William Cole is developing programs city by city and county by county to strengthen minds & bodies, other New American Strategies, Inc. divisions will be focused on economic growth and the health of local economies.
Long before he founded Gymjonez Global Fitness, William Cole has been thinking globally, not about sustainable development (like the rest of the team), but about sustainable lives, food delivery systems and larger sustainable communities through reduced healthcare cost and more positive outcomes. For William the word vitality can encompass an entire society, but first must mean something in individual lives. Even early in his career he was carving a path as he planned fitness programs using bike and hiking trails at the county level. One of the central tenets of William’s philosophy is ‘using your space’. Whether it’s partnering with neighborhood high schools to open up available school athletic facilities for residents to take advantage of, or spreading awareness of local health food stores and their offerings to residents, allowing them to utilize resources available they were unaware of. William Cole wants to change how we live, eat, exercise and design our communities with vitality as the core objective.
“What you do for the least of these, you do for Me”. This quote from the good book has really been a way of life for so many of the Economic Development Strategies. Team, and William is no different. When the need arose, he created specific programs geared towards the health of Latino residents in a specific Maryland community. He contracted with Prince Georges County in Hyattsville, Maryland to provide fitness classes for minority communities. He also implemented programs for Prince George’s County that made health and fitness services affordable for one on one training and meal prep services.
Working with that same county, he instituted free high end fitness services for various recreation centers, as well as drafted meal guides and hosted community town halls on food sustainability. William created Youth Fitness Programs in underserved areas for disadvantaged young people. In every aspect of his life, and every adventure he’s had… William wants to build better people and thereby better neighborhoods and towns.
Part of William’s affinity with Economic Development Strategies, is that he’s always understood the business component in the health of a society. A vital network of community-based businesses is necessary to decisions being made on the local level with buy-in from the members of that neighborhood toward a shared vision. William has partnered with smaller minority businesses to form teaming agreements and develop local businesses. William worked with local grocery stores to make healthy food accessible for underserved communities. He spearheaded an arrangement with Capital One to heighten diversity and inclusion through health and fitness by having community events at various Capital One Cafes throughout the city of Washington, D.C..
William Cole has worked with other lucrative high end clients as well as making his sought after services available to the community at large. In addition he assisted the Washington Football Team (formerly Redskins) in strengthening community engagement in underserved communities. He also influenced the city of Washington, D.C. to restrict corner stores full of alcohol, fast food and junk food from opening in communities where there isn’t accessible produce and healthy food inventory. For a community to grow and be vital, their economic development must also involve healthy choices.
William was born for Economic Development Strategies. because he also recognizes the inherent value built into Public Private Partnerships. William served as Mayor Muriel Bowser’s lead on health and fitness in Washington, D.C.. He partnered with the District of Columbia to provide free workout classes and high level nutrition consultations free of charge to residents in impoverished communities. Pro Bono is a way of life and inculcating his values into the communities he serves is William’s way of living. He works from the heart to improve the minds and bodies of others.
William hasn’t just given his services to our Nation’s Capital, he has given back to those who serve our nation. He led the Walter Reed community fitness project for Washington, D.C.. William programmed Navy and civilian workouts geared towards meeting U.S. military guidelines. He conducted official Naval Fitness assessments and prescribed workouts and nutrition plans that were tailored to the needs of each command. His success in that area allowed him to go on to administer Navy PT (physical training) testing that prepared troops for deployment. At another D.C. area military base Navy Yard, he assisted in drafting installation health and fitness protocols and amended outdated policy that was in place. William Cole designed standard meal plans for government officials, officers and commanders on base. He was such a trusted Advisor that he coordinated programming for group fitness for the entire Washington Navy Yard installation.
Even though he’s made more than over 30 national and local television and radio appearances speaking on health and wellness access for underserved communities in America, and he was an Official Ambassador for the NBC health and fitness expo, William never forgets that everybody in a community needs to learn to live better and he is constantly reaching for those without opportunities. To that end, he started a mentorship program where the Navy recruited fitness professionals from underserved communities. He assisted USO community initiatives as they tried to bridge the gap between military and impoverished communities. Always the one to try and transform the vitality of entire cities at once, he was a catalyst for Navy initiatives that engaged the southeast Washington DC community in healthy lifestyle choices. William wants all of us to develop sustainable communities… from the inside out.
William TaylorEconomic Development Consultant
Around the office we call him our Emissary of Engagement, because William Taylor’s client relations skills are legendary.
Around the office we call him our Emissary of Engagement, because William Taylor’s client relations skills are legendary. He serves as an Economic Development Consultant for Economic Development Strategies, LLC., where he collaborates with local, state, and federal governments to provide economic development opportunities for communities across the United States and its territories. William’s five years of service as an Infantry Squad Leader in the United States Marine Corps, honed not only his leadership abilities but more importantly taught him valuable lessons about team-building and using synergy to accomplish difficult tasks. Whether it’s a small business receiving a disaster recovery grant after a horrendous hurricane or an American embassy operating in far flung places around the world… all offer praise and recognition where William Taylor is concerned. He is often beloved by our clients for his keen listening skills, professional mentoring, and analytical abilities.
William’s passion for economic development grew while serving as an Economic Development & Public Policy Assistant with New American Strategies, Inc., where he headed the Narrative Writing Department. He has a substantial background in legal research and writing. As the Department Head, William conducted financial and policy analyses on small business applicants in order to write comprehensive narratives for a $100M Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program intended to help small businesses recover from the second-most costly hurricane in U.S. history. William’s unique ability to empathize with the human toll and explain the plight of the affected entrepreneur with a well penned portrait of their situation, enabled grant opportunities for disadvantaged groups to access the capital they so desperately needed. His myriad of life experiences has trained him to assess a situation and assist clients with solutions so they can reemerge a viable business.
William holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics & Law from The University of Texas at San Antonio, where he graduated with institutional honors; Magna Cum Laude. Currently he is pursuing his master’s degree in Public Administration & Policy and a certificate in Public Management from American University. William also served as a Congressional Intern for Texas’ 20th Congressional District. As a congressional intern, William courteously represented the Congressman’s office to constituents and conducted constituent casework. It was here that he developed an ear for the concerns of everyday folks and learned how to use the levers of power to achieve results. In his downtime, he would read, analyze and debate the pending legislation with his colleagues. He developed a
reputation as someone who was detail-oriented and understood the minutiae of what was before him. In addition, he assisted staff with event planning and outreach for local businesses, schools, and communities within the congressional district.
At the age of 18, William left home to pursue public service as the newest recruit for the United States Marines Corps. William’s first post was Norfolk, Virginia, where he served as a Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team member for Charlie Company, Second Platoon. William also conducted two deployments with his unit, one security mission to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and one deployment to the Kingdom of Bahrain in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. William earned numerous professional promotions throughout his military career, each bringing more responsibility and requiring more of him as a Team Leader. The Corps taught him the power of cohesion and shared vision. The esprit de corps that he brings to the New American Strategies team and infuses in our clients is irreplaceable.
William was deployed to Kuwait to serve as the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft & Personnel and Quick Reaction Force in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. William’s dependability as a squad leader earned him professional accolades; such as a Commanders Cup, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for superior leadership in austere conditions.
Michelle ThompsonEconomic Development Research and Writing Specialist
Michelle Thompson’s commitment to making a difference has fueled her dedication to uplifting people and communities while creating systemic change.
Michelle Thompson’s commitment to making a difference has fueled her dedication to uplifting people and communities while creating systemic change. Michelle’s upbringing has imbued her with an ability to relate to diverse audiences across cultures and backgrounds. Her affection for at-risk youth, distressed communities, and marginalized groups has led to a lifetime of service to enhance the lives of those that need a champion most. To that end, she’s spent most of her career in the nonprofit and government sectors promulgating ideas that support lower and middle income communities. With a mission to help the disenfranchised and dispossessed, Michelle strives to promote the attainment of economic and social prosperity for all. Her considerable professional experience in community and economic development, program management, grants administration, and stakeholder relations is just the tip of the iceberg. She’s been described as an energetic Change Agent with the ability to approach matters holistically. Michelle’s leadership skills coupled with her cooperative team player attitude has led to a steady progression of promotion, action, and results. Economic Development Strategies is fortunate to have someone as well-versed in the business as Michelle Thompson.
Michelle began her scholastic career at Baylor University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She later attended the University of Houston where she earned her Master of Social Work and Master of Business Administration. Her accomplished resume reflects studious academic pursuits as well as extensive industry experience.
Prior to joining the Economic Development Strategies team, Michelle served as a Project Director for ArcSource Group, Inc. where she successfully managed grant competitions for the U.S. Department of Education. She was instrumental in leading peer review teams and overseeing the budgeting and execution of task orders. Michelle was also heavily involved in the development of technical assistance products, including training materials, presentations, and a newly created electronic information exchange system. Throughout her career, Michelle has been counted on to rise to the occasion, regardless of the assignment.
In her years with the renowned International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in Washington, D.C., Michelle was technically classified as an Economic Development Associate but was routinely brought in on different projects and given escalating responsibility. Michelle provided project management for IEDC’s disaster economic recovery efforts which were grant funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. She was integral to the planning and coordination of technical assistance assignments to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and charged with maintaining government, partner, and member relationships. Additionally, Michelle directed IEDC’s webinar program and managed the Clearinghouse Information & Research Services Program, which provides research services to member organizations in both the U.S. and abroad.
Michelle also worked at the nationally acclaimed AARP Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. While there, Michelle developed a new Livability Index Training Module to support AARP state offices, elected officials, and community leaders with their use of the Livability Index, an online tool which measures community livability. She engaged in the research and analysis of information and policies related to livable communities. Her past role at AARP is invaluable to us at EDS because we approach community and economic development from a comprehensive lens. Michelle’s background in measuring and quantifying the components of a “livable community” will be significant to EDS as we seek to inculcate those values throughout our client communities.
Michelle’s grounding in community building and grant programs management has been enabled through many experiences. At the City of Thornton, Colorado, she was a Neighborhood Services Programs Specialist who administered neighborhood revitalization and housing programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, Michelle co-directed the Thornton Assistance Funds Program to provide City Council grant funds to local nonprofits which serve low- to moderate-income families. Michelle spent considerable time developing new program opportunities by establishing partnerships with businesses, nonprofits, churches, and community groups. Her public sector foundation of government service and stakeholder engagement prepared her well to share her insights when building private sector relationships.
Michelle values her faith and community service as much as she does the work of her profession. Her volunteerism with hunger relief programs, homeless shelters, youth outreach, and missions ministry reflect her heart to meet community needs on both micro and macro levels. Michelle was also a member of the Washington, D.C. chapters of UNICEF USA and the United Nations Association, spreading awareness and advocating for legislation in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Economic Development Strategies is proud of Michelle’s dedication to communities across America and commitment to expanding opportunities for all people. We’re excited to see what the next chapter will bring and positive that Michelle Thompson will continue making an impact through EDS’ community and economic development initiatives.
Teresa Nortillo, CEcDSenior Consultant & Site Selection Subject Matter Expert
With over 30 years of proven industry experience, Teresa’s vast knowledge and expertise in economic development greatly benefits our team capabilities in a myriad of areas.
We are very excited to introduce you to Teresa Nortillo, CEcD. With over 30 years of proven industry experience, Teresa’s vast knowledge and expertise in economic development greatly benefits our team capabilities in a myriad of areas. Teresa’s prior experiences have focused on: business retention and recruitment, strategic planning, target industry analysis, labor and workforce analysis and marketing strategies.
Teresa’s previous leadership role in her consulting firm enabled her to specialize in corporate site selection practices with expertise in real estate and land use needs for manufacturing, food processing, call center, logistics and warehouse/distribution projects. Additionally, her research and analytical analyses have focused on labor market/workforce analysis, business attraction and retention, fiscal impact analysis, GASB 77 compliance, industrial cost modeling, and incentive negotiations. Teresa is an accomplished and respected professional who has been innovating in this field. Her work has been utilized and recognized by several Fortune 500 companies.
Teresa’s career has seen a steady and consistent rise as she increased her expertise in various niche areas. When she was the Vice President of Business Development and Consulting Services with StateBook International, she developed the consulting practice focusing on site selection projects using the StateBook data platform.
Prior to Teresa’s joining StateBook, she served as a manager in EY’s Location Investment Services tax practice. There, she focused primarily on corporate expansion and relocations, including discretionary credits and incentives on a multi-state basis. In this capacity, she assisted Fortune 500 companies with their direct and indirect tax needs and implemented economic development practices, including labor and commute patterns analysis. An understanding of tax policy, incentives and public-private partnerships are crucial in the economic development industry and Teresa Nortillo, CEcD, is a subject matter expert.
Teresa accumulated experience in the public sector as well. Like many folks at Economic Development Strategies, she’s been on both sides of the table for these issues. Contributing to her well rounded approach are the seven years she was the Business Recruitment Consultant for the Kansas Department of Commerce, Great Lakes Office. That office comprises a nine-state territory, where she managed and closed over $1 billion in capital investment projects resulting in the addition of over 20,000 jobs.