Nine prominent economic development leaders, including past and present members of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) board of directors, were appointed earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to the Investment Advisory Council (IAC).
IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle, CEcD, board member Chris Camacho, and 2016 board chair Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM, HLM were appointed to the 25-member body, with Finkle and Camacho both serving their second term.
“We’re pleased to see the field of economic development well represented on the IAC,” said IEDC President & CEO, Jeff Finkle, CEcD. “The inclusion of these nine influential practitioners with decades of experience in the field will be a great asset to help the U.S. Department of Commerce attract and expand international investment here at home.”
The IAC was established in 2016 to advise the Secretary of Commerce on the development and implementation of policies and programs to attract and retain foreign direct investment (FDI) into the United States. The IAC makes recommendations on issues that affect FDI including infrastructure investment priorities, improving workforce development initiatives, and creating and improving digital tools to support economic development. Other members of the IAC represent prominent global businesses and research institutions.
Finkle, a recognized authority on economic development, has led IEDC and its predecessor organization for more than 30 years. IEDC, the world’s largest non-profit economic development membership organization, has grown to include more than 5,000 members under Finkle’s leadership, renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development.
Matherly, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership, served as IEDC board chair in 2016, formerly serving as vice-chair and secretary/treasurer. Prior to his work in Detroit, Matherly led the Greater Richmond Partnership in Virginia and was credited for $1 billion in wealth creation, $643 million in wages and 10,962 jobs created in the Richmond area during his tenure. In 2012, he was awarded Fellow Member (FM) status by IEDC for attaining prominent stature in the field of economic development and closely related disciplines.
Camacho, an IEDC board member and President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council has more than 10 years of experience in executive management roles. During his tenure, Camacho has attracted more than 322 companies creating 55,617 jobs and $5.6 billion in capital investment to the greater Phoenix area. In 2018, Camacho was named a Most Admired Leader by the Phoenix Business Journal, and in 2015 and 2016, he was named to Consult Connect’s Top 50 U.S. Economic Developers.
“We’re eager to get down to work on developing, adapting, and expanding policies that create high-quality jobs, vibrant communities, and improving the quality of life for all Americans,” said Finkle. “We’re also looking forward to continuing the collaborative relationship between SelectUSA and the economic development profession. Brian Lenihan, Executive Director of SelectUSA and the Hon. Gilbert Kaplan, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, will both be speakers at our upcoming 2019 Annual Conference in Indianapolis.”
The nine economic developers appointed to the IAC include:
- Chris Camacho, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
- Frank DiBello, President and CEO, Space Florida
- Jeff Finkle, CEcD, President and CEO, International Economic Development Council
- Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM, HLM, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Partnership
- Don Pierson, Secretary of Commerce, Louisiana Economic Development
- Signe Pringle, Assistant Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce
- James Schellinger, Secretary of Commerce, Indiana Economic Development Corp.
- Jennifer Springer, Director, Int’ Trade & Foreign Investment, OK Dept. of Commerce
- Jennifer Verdon, Int’l Business Manager, ID Department of Commerce
FDI into the U.S. is valued at more than $4 trillion, supports nearly 14 million American jobs, and was responsible for $370 billion in U.S. goods exports in 2016.