Phone: 704-347-8942

Toll Free: 800-554-4373

Charlotte Regional Partnership
550 South Caldwell Street, Suite 760
Charlotte, NC 28202

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Staff Directory

Our team has extensive experience advising companies, large and small, that are based overseas or in the U.S., with needs for manufacturing facilities, operations, corporate headquarters campuses and more.

   Economic Development Services

Ronnie Bryant ImageRonnie Bryant, CEcD, FM, HLM  
President & CEO

Ronnie Bryant leads the team that promotes the 16-county Charlotte USA region throughout the world as a premier location for businesses considering expansion or relocation. Additionally, he works closely with Partnership investors who provide the funding necessary to bring jobs and capital to the region. As a member of the North Carolina Economic Development Board and other professional and civic organizations, Bryant ensures that the region plays a prominent role regionally and nationally.

Bryant has more than 20 years of technical, managerial and economic development expertise, and a proven track record of establishing and implementing successful economic development programs. He specializes in existing industry expansion and retention, with a strong emphasis on regionalism and marketing.

 A certified economic developer (CEcD) since 1991, Bryant is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Shreveport and the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where he currently serves as dean.

David Bell ImageDavid Bell  LinkedIn Icon
Senior Project Manager

David Bell supports the Partnership's business development efforts by responding to and following up on the projects leads. Additionally, he analyzes data and market trends to enhance business development efforts. Prior to joining the Partnership 2012, Bell worked with Nigerian villages in community development and interned with the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi.

Bell has master's degrees in both economic development and business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, and earned his undergraduate degree in business administation with an emphasis in marketing and management.


Josh Hallingse ImageJosh Hallingse  LinkedIn Icon
Senior Project Manager

Josh Hallingse serves as a project manager for the Charlotte Regional Partnership where he supports business development initiatives and coordinates outreach to the region's target market sectors. Previously, Hallingse worked as Director of Existing Industry for the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, and served as a field representative for United States Congress, N.C. District 5.

Hallingse holds a master's degree in public administration in local government from Appalachian State University and an undergraduate degree in political science and religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and a past recipient of the NCEDA Governor James E. Holshouser Professional Development Scholarship.

Kathleen Byrne ImageKathleen Byrne  LinkedIn Icon
Project and Events Coordinator

As Events Coordinator, Kathleen Byrne is Responsible for planning and logistics for all Charlotte Regional Partnership investor and board related events, such as the Regional Roundtable Series and Board of Directors meetings. She also assists in the planning of the Annual Jerry Awards Luncheon. As a Project Coordinator, she helps with the logistics of all Business Development Travel and lends administrative support to the team. Additionally, she manages the daily operations of the office.

Byrne holds a B.F.A in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She produced four short films and a music video while at UNCSA. In her free time since graduation, she has worked as an assistant production coordinator and associate producer on several independent productions. She has also completed the Basic Economic Development Course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

   Marketing & Research

Vanessa Goeschl ImageVanessa Goeschl, CEcD LinkedIn Icon
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Research

Vanessa Goeschl oversees the management of economic and demographic data for the 16 counties within the Charlotte region, conducting custom research upon request, and assisting with economic development recruitment projects.  Goeschl also manages marketing efforts for the Charlotte USA brand, as well as reporting for the ED services team. She was previously employed as an economic development specialist with the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission in Waveland, MS., and has worked for the USDA Rural Development State Office in Jackson, MS., as a community development specialist. Goeschl joined the Partnership in 2003.

Goeschl holds a B.A. in international relations from Boston University and an M.S. in economic development from the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her CEcD in 2009.

Laura Foor ImageLaura Foor  LinkedIn Icon
Marketing Director, Foreign Trade Zone Administrator

Laura Foor holds a dual role at the Charlotte Regional Partnership. As director of marketing, she is responsible for making Charlotte USA flobally and domestically as the premiere location for expanding and relocating businesses. As administrator of FTZ #57, Foor directs and manages all functions of the trade zone including, maintaining required federal documentation, monitoring the status and activities of companies approved for zone activity, trade zone marketing and educational outreach.

Prior to joining the Charlotte Regional Partnership in 2007 as marketing coordinator, Foor served for five years as existing business manager with Lincoln Economic Development Association, where she was responsible for Lincoln County’s business retention and expansion program.

Foor earned both M.P.A. and bachelor’s degrees from Western Carolina University where she currently serves on the M.P.A. Alumni Advisory Board.

Sam Boykin

Sam Boykin  LinkedIn Icon
Director of Communications and Public Relations

As director of communications and public relations, Sam Boykin develops and implements communications strategies to increase awareness of the Charlotte Regional Partnership and of the Charlotte region as an ideal location to live and do business. In addition to responding to daily media inquiries, he maximizes opportunities for editorial exposure in all news outlets, including Web-based and print publications and an annual economic development guide.

Sam has 17 years of experience as a writer and editor in the Charlotte region. During his career he’s worked at Creative Loafing, where he won 16 journalism awards, including first place for Enterprise News Reporting and Feature Writing from the NC Press Association. As a freelance writer, Sam has been published in dozens of local and national publications, including The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Magazine, Business North Carolina, Charlotte Business Journal, Entrepreneur, Reader’s Digest, Men’s Journal, The Travel Channel, Outside, Scientific American,, Consumer’s Digest, and US Airways. Prior to joining the Charlotte Regional Partnership, Sam was editor of Lake Norman Magazine.

Austin Rouse

Austin Rouse   LinkedIn Icon
Research Manager

Austin Rouse manages the process of identifying, analyzing, and organizing economic and demographic information for the Charlotte Regional Partnership. He also conducts custom research upon request and assists in providing research for economic development prospects. Prior to joining the Partnership in 2014, he has worked as a research assistant with Wake County Economic Development in Raleigh, NC, and worked as the policy and funding analyst for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Rouse holds a B.A. in public policy and political science and is pursuing an M.P.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has completed the IEDC Economic Development Course.


   Finance & Operations

Melissa Hendrick ImageMelissa Hendrick
Senior Vice President of Administration & Chief Financial Officer

Melissa Hendrick is responsible for managing all of the accounting, budgeting, financial and operational aspects of the Charlotte Regional Partnership. She serves as human resources for the partnership and works closely with the Board of Directors and serves as Board Secretary.

Hendrick worked as the associate director of financial services in the Structured Settlements business unit at Mass Mutual Financial Group for nine years before joining the Partnership in 2007 as the director of finance and operations. She brings more than 25 years of experience in her field, she also previously served as fiscal officer for Mercer County Economic Development Corporation.

Hendrick is an honor graduate from Concord University and hold a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration with majors in both Accounting and Management.

Marianne Blankenship ImageMarianne Blankenship  LinkedIn Icon
Manager, Finance & Investor Relations

Marianne Blankenship is responsible for accounts payable/accounts receivable, and investor relations tracking and support.

Blankenship joined the Charlotte Regional Partnership in 2010 after retiring from Kent State University, where she held the positions of coordinator of administration/business manager, divisional budget officer, and executive assistant within the division of University Relations and Marketing.

Jalon Fisher ImageJalon Fisher    LinkedIn Icon
Director, Information Technology

Jalon Fisher serves as the director of information technology where he is responsible for maintaining the Partnership's IT infrastructure, providing technology troubleshooting and day-to-day solutions for the CRP team. Other responsibilities include maintaining and updating the website, as well as, developing and maintaining the print, e-mail and data servers.

Fisher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Winston-Salem State University and has over 7 years' experience in the information technology field.

Shari Wolfe  LinkedIn IconShari Wolfe Image

Executive Assistant

Shari Wolfe serves as the executive assistant to the Charlotte Regional Partnership's President and CEO where she is responsible for the daily operations of the president’s office. Responsibilities include correspondence preparation, appointment scheduling, meeting coordination, travel arrangements and board and governance support. 

A Charlotte native, Wolfe has provided administrative support and served as an executive assistant for over 30 years in industries as diverse as graphic arts and printing to commercial real estate and materials handling. Joining the Partnership in 2012, Wolfe brings her expertise and holds a number of cerftifications in Microsoft applications.