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.
Charlotte USA Team
Ronnie 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.
Ronnie 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, Ronnie 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.
Economic Development Services
Vanessa Goeschl, CEcD
Senior Vice President, Economic Development
Vanessa Goeschl manages the economic development division of the Charlotte Regional Partnership. Vanessa supports this mission by directing project management, business development, marketing, and research initiatives to best position the region for capital investment opportunities. She joined the Partnership team in 2003 as director of research and now oversees all economic development activity.
Vanessa was previously employed as an economic development specialist with the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission in Waveland, Miss. She has worked for the USDA Rural Development State Office in Jackson, Miss., as a community development specialist, assisting rural communities underwriting local infrastructure development grants.
Vanessa 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.
Director of Marketing, 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 globally and domestically as the premiere location for expanding and relocating businesses. As administrator of FTZ #57, Laura 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, Laura 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.
Laura 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.
Project Manager, Business Development Services
Marvin helps further strengthen our business development and recruitment initiatives as we position Charlotte USA for new jobs and capital investment opportunities. Marvin previously worked as a business development representative for the Alabama Gas Corporation, where his duties included developing relationships with owners, engineers and architects to pursue business development opportunities. Prior to the Alabama Gas Corporation, Marvin worked as an economic development project manager at the Birmingham Business Alliance. His many responsibilities included developing customized proposals, conducting business retention visits to identify emerging needs and trends, and facilitating building site tours for economic development prospect visits. Marvin holds a master’s degree in community planning from Auburn University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Montevallo.
Director of Research
As director of research, Steven assists with economic development recruitement projects, manages economic data for the 16-county Charlotte USA region, and conducts custom research upon request. A native of Wake Forest, Steven was previously director of marketing and communications at the NCEast Alliance, in Greenville, NC.
Steven, who has a master's degree in business administration from East Carolina University, also has previous experience in workforce development and sales.
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, Salon.com, Consumer’s Digest, and US Airways. Prior to joining the Charlotte Regional Partnership, Sam was editor of Lake Norman Magazine.
Project and Events Manager
As Events Manager, 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.
Finance & Operations
Senior Vice President Finance & Operations, CFO
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.
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.
Information Technology Manager
Jalon Fisher serves as the manager 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 charlotteusa.com 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.