Andrea Schruijer

Andrea Schruijer

Andrea Schruijer is the executive director for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority (VLCDA). Before joining the VLCDA, Andrea was senior vice president for the Albany-Dougherty County Economic Development Commission. Her primary responsibilities were business retention and expansion, operations and development of industrial parks.

She spent ten years with The Ritz- Carlton Company LLC, serving in different roles. She completed several different levels of training to include: The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Course, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Mastering Sales and Presentations and customer service training. Andrea was part of the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award Team and Sales Team of the Year, and she was nominated for Leader of the Year.

Andrea has been a member of Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) since 2007. She served as GEDA’s chair for the Special Awards Committee in 2010 and 2011. Andrea was appointed to the 2014 GEDA Board of Directors to serve a second three year term. She is an alumnus of Leadership Georgia and Leadership Lowndes.

Andrea is a native of Cordele, Georgia and a graduate of Georgia Southern University.  She is married to Raymond. They are the proud parents of three children: Justin, Emma, and Willem.



Bob MarcusseBob Marcusse joined the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) in 1991 as president and chief executive officer. During his tenure, KCADC along with its state and local partners, have attracted companies and helped expand and create companies that have created more than 40,000 direct new jobs and added more than $8.0 billion in capital investment to the 18-county, bi-state Kansas City region.

Bob has an extensive background in domestic and international corporate attraction, business growth and retention, and regional marketing. He has spear­headed major growth initiatives in the region such as the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, KC Animal Health Corridor, KC SmartPort, and KCnext–The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City.

Bob’s community involvement extends well beyond his role at KCADC. Bob serves on the executive committees of KC SmartPort, KCnext, KC Animal Health Corridor and Central Exchange.  He is a member of the University of Kansas Edwards Campus Advisory Board, and University of Missouri Economic Development Cabinet and the board of the KU Endowment.  He is a past chair­man of the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute and is a member of the listing review committee for BATS, the country’s third largest stock exchange.  Bob is also a member of the national Alumni Board of Calvin College.

Bob has also held leadership positions with the Columbus (OH) Area Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Council for the Peoria area, Battle Creek (MI) Unlimited and the Inland Port Authority of South Central Michigan and Foreign Trade Zone #43.

Bob graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He received his Master of Science from Purdue University.

Cecilia Harry

Cecilia Harry Cecilia Harry is a master level economic development professional. Cecilia is active in promoting Fremont, NE and the Greater Omaha Area as a quality community for business location and expansion and a terrific place to call home. Cecilia’s specialties include business attraction, business retention and expansion, program design and evaluation, workforce development, support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and public and member relations.

Prior to joining Fremont, Cecilia was the founder of Harry Development Strategies, LLC where she coached and supported career development. Cecilia was also the economic development coordinator for the Leavenworth County Development Corporation. While there, Cecilia expanded BRE program outreach, doubled count of businesses that received technical assistance, secured $42K in training grants for five companies to facilitate the creation/retention of jobs, designed and implemented internet marketing strategies and increased credibility and accessibility of the agency through consistent and genuine community outreach, relationship and trust building with stakeholders.

Cecilia is a board member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and is currently the vice chair of their External Relationship Committee. She led the efforts of the IEDC Young Professionals Task Force in 2014. She has been recognized by GISPlanning, Inc. and fDi Intelligence as a recipient of Economic Development Leadership Team Award for efforts related to nurturing young professionals in the economic development field. Her organization is successfully wrapping up a five-year private sector investment campaign that will increase her organizations programming budget by over 60%.

Cecilia received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and her Master of Social Work in social and economic development from Washington University in St. Louis. She is also a proud graduate of Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute.

Greg Wathen

Greg WathenGreg Wathen serves as President and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. Since March of 2007 his leadership has helped garner over $2.8 billion in investment over 3,500 jobs and $73 million in state and federal grants for the region. In 2013, Wathen’s collaborative efforts saw Midwest Fertilizer Corporation, the largest investment for the state of Indiana choose Southwest Indiana for its first North American site.

Prior to his work at the Coalition, Wathen worked as the Executive Director for the Perry County Development Corporation, where he worked to secure nearly $500 million in new industrial development along with more than 2,000 new jobs. He also played a critical role in Perry County establishing its own railroad and river port on the Ohio River.

Prior to his stay in Perry County, Wathen was Public Affairs Manager for the Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership; and, he also managed the Greater Louisville Media Information Center, an independent news service bureau which assisted international, national and regional media in dealing with stories about the Greater Louisville area.

Wathen is a sought-after speaker and has spoken to regional and national groups on issues such as reshoring investment; media relations and marketing; and, has conducted media relations’ seminars for such groups as the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. During 1999 and 2001, he was part of a five-member U.S. team who taught the first tertiary and advanced economic development courses in New Zealand.

A graduate of Indiana State University, Wathen is Accredited in Public Relations by the Public Relations Society of America, and held the position of president for the Bluegrass Chapter of the PRSA. He is a past president and served on the board of directors of the Indiana Economic Development Association, a statewide economic development organization with more than 300 members. He also served as one of the original 23-members of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation board of directors, created by the Indiana Legislature to carry out the economic functions of the State beginning in 2005.

Beth Doughty

Beth DoughtyAfter beginning her career in advertising, Beth Doughty has spent the past 25 years in economic development helping to create more than 14,000 jobs and $1 billion of investment for the Roanoke region.

She has twice been executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership from 1991 to 1999 and since March 2008 to the present. She also serves as executive of the Roanoke Outside Foundation.

Beth also served as president of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce for 9 years. She has lectured on economic development at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Virginia Tech, Roanoke College and was a visiting lecturer for the Mellon Foundation in the Czech Republic.

Beth is a graduate of the University of Virginia and a past president and a cardinal of the Virginia Economic Developers Association.