EDC Faculty from the Business/Private Sector
President, WCI Partners, LP
Session: Real Estate Development & Reuse
David is engaged in all aspects of planning, development, and management of WCI's projects and daily operations. Prior to joining WCI, Dave worked at the City of Harrisburg as an urban planner, coordinating the review and approval of various development projects throughout the city. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple.
Vice President, Marketing, Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services
Session: Marketing & Attraction
Jim is responsible for coordinating all marketing programs for Mericle's Development and Brokerage Divisions. Prior to joining Mericle, he served as the first president of Penn's Northeast, a five-county economic development and marketing organization, and administered a national marketing campaign designed to attract employers to Northeastern Pennsylvania. In his four-year tenure, Jim worked with local economic development organizations to process more than 260 leads from manufacturing, distribution and office companies, resulting in 17 successful projects, the creation of more than 3,000 new jobs and a total capital investment of more than $210 million.
Jim spent 18 years with the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, serving as Vice President and administering The Scranton Plan, a marketing program designed to recruit new employers and help local companies expand. He served as Manager of Development Finance for the Chamber and helped dozens of companies secure low-interest real estate and equipment loans form the Commonwealth of PA. During his tenure, The Scranton Plan was twice named the nation's top economic development program by the Council for Urban Economic Development.
Vice President, C and I Relationship Manager, Orrstown Bank
Session: Private Sector Financing
Secretary, A.B. Mac Properties
Session: Real Estate Development and Reuse
Steven Gifford is the secretary of A.B. Mac Properties; a real estate development firm focused on commercial real estate within Westmoreland County. His previous experience includes serving as the executive director of the Butler County Community Development Corporation and executive director for the Greensburg Community Development Corporation (GCDC).
The Butler CDC and the Greensburg CDC are non-profit community development corporations founded to assist the County of Butler and the City of Greensburg in the development of plans and programs encompassing total community development. Mr. Gifford was responsible for overall program strategy, attainment of goals/objectives related to all grant making efforts, development/fundraising and program initiatives for two Butler County business parks and the Greensburg Main Street Program and development of the personnel and culture for both organizations. While executive director of the Butler County CDC, Gifford was the managing director of three multi-tenant commercial buildings and two business parks.
Mr. Gifford founded Gifford Consulting; a firm providing creative responses to institutional and community challenges. Gifford Consulting provides customized, timely and thorough services for non-profit organizations, community development corporations, foundations, government agencies, and trade associations that are designed to meet the goals of the institution and/or community. Recent project work has focused on the medical and recreational marijuana industry within Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and New Jersey. In 2016, he was part of three sites receiving a dispensary license from the PA Department of Health.
During his nine-year career with the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce located in Greensburg, PA, Mr. Gifford has developed a portfolio of experience covering a broad range of topics. A few notable areas include board and volunteer development, community outreach programs, business and community development, issue research, program administration and evaluation and strategic planning.
Mr. Gifford has served as a board member, committee chair, advisor, and volunteer for many local and regional nonprofit organizations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Currently, he serves as a board member for the Greensburg YMCA. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Gannon University and his master’s degree in Public Policy Management from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Gifford has earned a Pennsylvania Real Estate Development Academy Certificate in Commercial Real Estate Development & Financing and completed National Development Council’s Business Credit Analysis and Economic Development Finance courses. He lives in Greensburg, Pennsylvania with his wife Rhonda.
GIS Manager, Derck & Edson
Session: Community & Neighborhood Development
Mike is the GIS Manager at Derck & Edson. He is currently pursusing his Masters in GIS at Penn State.
Seniro Community Lender, Community First Fund
Session: Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Angel joined Community First Fund in 2017. He has over 10 years of financial services experience including positions with FNB, Metro Bank, and Bank of America where he focused on consumer and commercial relationship management. Angel attended Northampton Community College and Kutztown University.
President, Strategy Solutions, Inc.
Session: Strategic Planning
Debbie provides strategic planning faciliation, training and planning, and research project management services to organizations and communities. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University and previously at Gannon University. She is a certified trainer consultant and peer reviewer for both the PA and National Standards for Excellence in Nonprofit Ethics and Accountability.
Prior to this position, Debbie served as Director of Planning for Hamot Health Foundation and Corry Regional Health Systems where she was responsible for strategic planning, market research, marketing information systems, as well as affiliate and community planning support. Debbie created a unique approach to data collection, analysis and facilitiation that is successful for individual organizations, systems and communities. Her project work and clients have been recoginized as best practice by the International Economic Development Council, the International Association of Facilitators, the PA and MD Workforce Development Associations, Council on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, US News and World Report, US Department of Health & Human Services, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Welfare, and Education.
Debbie is a graduate of Villa Maria College, and she received her MBA from Gannon University.
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