2017 Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course
The Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of economic development. The course is designed to prepare participants for the challenges they face in the practice of developing communities.
The course will highlight the key aspects in an economic developer’s career:
Managing Economic Development Offices
Business Retention & Expansion
Finance for Economic Development
Marketing & Business Attraction
Small Business & Entrepreneurship (This section will be taught as part of the MEDA Summer Conference. Registration for the conference is included in your Course registration).
Click here to view the 2017 Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course Agenda
Lofton Scholarships are available to MEDA members. Click here to learn how to apply for a
PARKING: Harbor Park Garage 55 Market Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202
CANCELLATION/REFUND POLICY: MEDA cannot refund payments after July 1, 2017.
The 2017 Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course Speakers
Laurie Boyer Babb, CEcD Past President
With over 20 years of economic development experience, Laurie Boyer Babb, CEcD currently serves as the Director of Economic Development at Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. She is responsible for the management and oversight of the County’s economic development financial incentive programs and the administration of contracts with third party vendors providing economic development services on behalf of the County. Over the past year, she developed the policies and procedures and implemented over $40 million in emergency grant programs established to assist businesses locally during the global health pandemic. She and her team provide support and guidance to companies interested in doing business in Montgomery County. Babb serves as a strategic and technical advisor to other senior managers, the County Executive and the County Council in evaluating new programs, policies and incentives for supporting new and existing businesses. She partners strategically with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) and the Maryland Department of Commerce on business attraction and retention efforts.
Previously, Laurie served as the Executive Director of Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), and as Executive Director for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development.
In May 2006, she earned her professional Economic Development Certification (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council.
Ms. Babb is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery Class of 2014 and Leadership Frederick County Class of 1997, serves as Secretary of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Foundation Board, and is on the MEDA Council of Past Presidents.
Ms. Babb has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Spanish from Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA and a Master’s degree in Communication Studies from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV.
Heather Gramm, CEcD MEDA Past President
Heather Gramm joined the Maryland Department of Commerce as Senior Director of Strategic Industries and Entrepreneurship in June 2019. In this role, she oversees the development and implementation of the state’s efforts to grow the strategic industries of biohealth and life sciences, cybersecurity and aerospace, manufacturing, energy and agriculture. In addition, she oversees Commerce’s strategic initiatives for entrepreneurship, small business, and workforce development.
Prior to this role, she served as Deputy Director for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development overseeing the county’s business development efforts, including business attraction, retention and expansion, small and minority business development strategies, as well as industry-sector development in the county’s targeted sectors.
Heather has more than 17 years of experience in municipal, county and state economic development in a variety of roles including business development, community development and downtown revitalization. She earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Hood College and the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification through IEDC. She serves as President of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Board of Directors.
Lisa L. Webb, CEcD
Lisa Webb, CEcD, LGWebb LLC, is the leader of a consulting firm
specializing in business development strategies and relationships. With over
20 years professional experience, most recently Ms. Webb served as Economic
Development Director in Cecil County, working to best position the county
for attraction, retention and expansion. Previously, she served as Business
Development Director for Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, and Project
and Policy Development Manager for Harford County Office of Economic Development.
Ms. Webb also led the Fort Meade Regional Partnership in a successful and unique business
marketing and attraction effort. She took the lead on issues related to transportation, land use,
water and sewer, and development projects; and managed issues pertaining to infrastructure
improvements and impact studies. Ms. Webb earned her designation of Certified Economic
Developer (CEcD) in May of 2007, holds a Master of Business Administration from the
University of Phoenix, and is a graduate of the Oklahoma University Economic Development
Institute. She is a member of several economic development organizations including the
International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and serves on the Board of Directors
for the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA).
Martha Schoonmaker, CEcD
Martha Schoonmaker, CEcD is the Executive Director for the PIC MC Foundation, the entity that develops, manages and markets the Germantown campus on behalf of Montgomery College. PIC MC is an integrated academic, business and research campus and is the only community college with a hospital, Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, located as the anchor resident partner. Ms. Schoonmaker’s career in economic development includes positions in Virginia and Georgia prior to Maryland. During her tenure in Georgia, she worked in economic development positions for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Oglethorpe Power Corporation; as a consultant with Arthur Andersen; and while at Georgia Tech, as the manager of marketing and the Course Director for the Basic Economic Development Course. Ms. Schoonmaker worked as the Director of Business Development and Investment for Prince William County’s Department of Economic Development in Virginia. She participated in the department’s efforts to expand local economic initiatives creating over 3600 jobs during her tenure, and established BioTech Bonanza, a career day for high school students highlighting job and educational opportunities in the STEM field. She also developed the Prince William County Science Accelerator, a public/private investment of a 9,000 square foot wet lab and signing its first tenant prior to opening. Ms. Schoonmaker manages contracts, leases and partnerships with existing resident partners, including Holy Cross Germantown Hospital and is responsible for the development of corporate and trade association partnerships that expand internship, learning and career opportunities for students within PIC MC. She is past president of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, past board member of the Virginia Economic Developers Association, current committee member of the Maryland Economic Developers Association Professional Development Committee and an IEDC member.
Sandy Sponaugle is the CEO & Founder of Platinum PR. Sandy is a publicist, marketing consultant, public speaker, spokesperson, and public relations team leader.
Since 2002, Sandy has guided her company to help small businesses and community organizations get exposure for their services and build engagement with their target audience. Sandy is passionate about helping communities in the mid-Atlantic region grow and diversify their economies and job opportunities for residents. She brings her expertise in communications, social media, marketing, economic development, and tourism to help clients create & implement customized communications plans right for them.
Sandy previously served as a Business Development Specialist in the Frederick County Office of Economic Development in Frederick, MD. Sandy is an active community member, with membership in various organizations — the American Advertising Federation of Greater Frederick, the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
As a graduate of Shepherd University, with a Bachelor of Science in economics and business administration, she serves on the board of directors for the Scarborough Society of Shepherd University and the Shepherd University Alumni Association. She also serves on the board of directors for the Jefferson High School LSIC and the Washington High School Business Advisory Council. Sandy believes in “service above self” and is an active member of the Shepherdstown Rotary.
Sandy received the Van Ryzin Award for volunteerism from the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle. Sandy has also been recognized as a Young Gun by West Virginia Executive Magazine for her entrepreneurial successes and community service activities. And she was recognized as the PR Professional of the Year by The American Advertising Federation – Greater Frederick (2013). Sandy is a member of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2016.
President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. With the formation of IEDC in 2001 following the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) – where he was president for 15 years – and the American Economic Development Council (AEDC), Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential organization. Today IEDC is the world’s largest economic development membership organization and is a $5 million annual operation that is renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development.
Jeff previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has received numerous awards over the years for his commitment to making sustainable economic development a priority in communities of all sizes. Significantly, in 2011 he was lauded by the U.S. Department of Commerce for his 25 years of stewardship over CUED and IEDC. Moreover, as a longtime leader in community service and philanthropy, in 2005 Jeff organized 250 economic development volunteers to work in Gulf Coast communities endeavoring to recover from Hurricane Katrina. In 1989 he also founded the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to children who have lost a parent who worked in the field of economic development.
A frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles, Jeff has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox television and the Journal Report on PBS. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1976 from Ohio University in Athens and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Ohio State University. He maintains a strong connection with Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs.
Amy Seitz has nearly twenty years of professional experience in both private and public sector enterprises. She was formerly the Director of Community Access & Partnership for the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization within the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Ms. Seitz was responsible for maintaining and cultivating relationships statewide with key stakeholders in community and economic development. In her role, she was responsible for strengthening and expanding the marketplace for the Division’s programmatic services and technical assistance including oversight of tax credit and grant programs totaling $5 million. Additionally, Ms. Seitz also served as the Statewide Coordinator for the Main Street Maryland program and State Leader for Keep Maryland Beautiful.
Prior to joining DHCD, Ms. Seitz worked as the Director of Development and Communications for Preservation Maryland and worked as the Executive Director for Hampden Village Main Street in Baltimore City. Ms. Seitz’s wide-ranging knowledge in strategic planning, public relations, marketing and economic development also includes work at the Howard County Economic Development Authority.
Ms. Seitz received her Bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. Her professional development includes the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Leadership certification and the Maryland Association of Nonprofits Standards of Excellence certification for nonprofit management.
Dan Taylor is the Managing Director of Business and Neighborhood Development at the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). Since joining BDC in 2013 he has managed the disposition and redevelopment process for more than two dozen city-owned properties, and has worked on real estate and economic development projects in commercial areas throughout Baltimore. Dan has led BDC’s small business & neighborhood response to the COVID-19 crisis and has been BDC’s lead on the development of Harbor Point, Downtown’s Westside, and redevelopment of the Inner Harbor. He manages a 20-person team that assists businesses and developers throughout the City.
Dan holds a Masters of Community Planning Degree from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a dual-major in Economics and Political Science. Dan has lived in Baltimore City since 2007 and currently resides in the Hampden neighborhood.
The 2017 Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course Sponsors
2017 Chesapeake Basic Economic Development Course