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.

   Business 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.


Margie Bukowski ImageMargie Bukowski  LinkedIn Icon
Director, Business Development Services

Margie Bukowski is the Director of Business Development Services and plays a pivotal role in helping promote the 16-county Charlotte USA region throughout the world as a premier location for new and expanding businesses. Margie previously worked as Senior Vice President at Cabarrus Economic Development, as well as a statewide economic developer for the N.C Department of Commerce. A native of Asheville, N.C., Margie has a degree in economics and business management, and has also held a variety of marketing and sales positions for companies such as Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Microban International, and Benchmark Brands.


Kathleen Byrne ImageKathleen Byrne  LinkedIn Icon
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.

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.

Steven Pearce ImageSteven Pearce  LinkedIn Icon
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 previosly 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.

Laura Foor ImageLaura Foor  LinkedIn Icon
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, 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.


   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
Finance & Investor Relations Manager

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
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 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.