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 Swenson ImageDavid Swenson, CEcD  LinkedIn Icon
Senior Vice President, Economic Development Services

David Swenson serves as senior vice president of economic development services for the Charlotte Regional Partnership for which he executes business development initiatives.  Swenson joined the Partnership team in 2006 after working for 11 years in local and regional economic development and in site location consulting at Fluor Daniel Corporation.

Swenson works with both state and local economic development officials within the 16-county region.  He is engaged in international and domestic marketing and business development efforts with a strategic focus on the energy, defense, health & life sciences, and motorsports sectors.

Swenson holds an M.S. degree in economic development from the University of Southern Mississippi and a B.S. degree in economic geography from the University of North Dakota. He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and earned his CEcD in 2006.


David Bell ImageDavid Bell  LinkedIn Icon
Project Manager

David Bell supports the Partnership’s business development efforts by responding to and following up on project leads. Additionally, he analyzes data and market trends to enhance business development efforts.  Prior to joining the Partnership in 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 administration with an emphasis in marketing and management.

   Marketing & Research

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

Vanessa Goeschl overses 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 project manager, she handles specialized economic development projects that enhance Charlotte USA’s competitiveness and promote the region domestically and internationally. As administrator of FTZ #57, Foor maintains required federal documentation, monitors the status and activities of companies approved for zone activity, markets the trade zone and coordinates 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 and completed the Basic Economic Development Course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


   Budget & Finance

Melissa Hendrick ImageMelissa Hendrick
Chief Financial Officer

Melissa Hendrick is responsible for managing all of the accounting, budgeting, financial and operational aspects of the Charlotte Regional Partnership. She was the associate director of financial services in the Structured Settlements business unit at MassMutual Financial Group before joining the Partnership in 2007 as the director of finance and operations. With more than 20 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 in Athens, W.Va., from which she holds a Bachelor 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.

  Communication & Public Relations

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.


   Administrative Services

Kathleen Byrne ImageKathleen Byrne  LinkedIn Icon
Project and Events Coordinator

As office manager, Kathleen Byrne is responsible for coordinating and providing support for the Charlotte Regional Partnership community and investor relations activities, and assists in 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 and worked as an assistant production coordinator before joining the Charlotte Regional Film Commission in August 2006.

Shari Wolfe  LinkedIn IconShari Wolfe Image

Executive Assistant

As executive assistant to Charlotte Regional Partnership President & CEO Ronnie Bryant, Shari Wolfe is responsible for the daily operations of the president’s office. She also coordinates events and board activities.

A Charlotte native, Wolfe has provided administrative support and served as an executive assistant for about 30 years in industries as diverse as graphic arts and printing to commercial real estate and materials handling. Joining the Partnership in 2012, Wolfe not only brings that experience but certifications in a number of Microsoft applications.