LEADERSHIP TEAM

The 15 senior economic development experts that comprise the Innovation Crescent Board of Directors are available to assist companies and site selectors find the best locations for businesses while offering a range of incentives and services that help companies thrive. Organizations located or relocating here have access to an economic development single point of contact, as well as the collaborative expertise of our entire leadership team. Contact them here.

David Hartnett

David Hartnett

Chairman of the Board

dhartnett@macoc.com

As Chief Economic Development Officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, David leads the team focused on the retention, recruitment, and expansion of existing and start-up companies within key clusters, e.g., Mobility, IoT, Cybersecurity, Fin Tech, Digital Media, Supply Chain, Bioscience, and Health IT.

Before joining the Chamber, Hartnett served as President and CEO of Maco Pharma® (formerly United Pharma) a privately held US medical device/pharmaceutical company based in Duluth, Georgia, headquartered in Lille France. Before Maco Pharma, Hartnett was President and CEO of SteriFx® Corporation, a specialty chemical start-up, contracted by U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA). Prior to SteriFx, he was the Executive Vice President of the North American headquarters of Given Imaging, Inc. an Israeli start-up with corporate headquarters in Yokneam, Israel. Under his leadership, the company commercialized the “PillCam” video capsule, a disposable capsule that captures video after it is ingested by the patient. Hartnett helped to raise close to $30 million in a private placement for corporate infrastructure development and product commercialization before the company going public in 2001 (GIVN-NASDAQ). Hartnett served as VP of marketing at ERBE Electro-surgery, the largest manufacturer of electrosurgical systems in the world, where he was responsible for commercial marketing throughout North America.

He has also served in a variety of other senior sales and marketing roles for the following companies: Karl Storz Lithotripsy, Genzyme (formerly Deknatel), STERIS (formerly AMSCO) and the XEROX Corporation.

He holds a B.A. in Communication from San Diego State University with a master’s equivalent in marketing through post-graduate studies.

He currently serves on the following boards:

  • Chairman, of the Board, Atlanta Science Festival™
  • Board of Trustees, Georgia Global Health Alliance
  • Vice Chairman, Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership
Khalfani Stephens

Khalfani Stephens

Vice Chairman of the Board

khalfani.stephens@claytoncountyga.gov

Khalfani Stephens is the newest addition to the economic development team in Clayton County Georgia. 

Most recently, Khalfani Stephens was the Economic Development Director for the City of Farmington Hills, MI. In that role, he actively met with local businesses to discover their opportunities for and impediments to growth. He then matched those business with the resources needed to take advantage of the opportunities and to overcome the impediments. In addition, he worked with the city staff to create business friendly policies and marketing efforts to grow the City. He served as the City liaison to the Economic Development Corporation, Corridor Improvement Authority and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

Prior to joining the City of Farmington Hills, Mr. Stephens was an Urban Business Development Manager with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). This allowed him the opportunity to meet with businesses and community leaders in the City of Detroit, Oakland County and Genesee County.  In this position, Mr. Stephens played an integral role in helping many small and medium sized firms attain the assistance needed to increase jobs and investment in the State of Michigan.  He was also able to work with multinational firms on strategic growth plans and convince them to reinvest in Michigan.

Khalfani Stephens began his career in Economic Development in his hometown of Pontiac, MI.  While at the City of Pontiac, he was instrumental in several key projects that have positively influenced the City’s tax base and reputation.  Mr. Stephens was also the City’s liaison to the State of Michigan and co-chaired the Cities of Promise initiative in Pontiac.

In addition to his work in economic development, Mr. Stephens is very dedicated to serving the community as a whole.  He is a longtime board member of the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) and a former board member of the Woodward Avenue Action Association, the Pontiac Planning Commission and the Greater Pontiac Chamber of Commerce.  He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and also frequently volunteers in the faith based community.

Committed to lifelong learning, Mr. Stephens is an alumnus of both the University of Michigan (BA) and Wayne State University (MBA and a Post Master’s Certificate). He is also a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) and Michigan Master Citizen Planner.  In addition to English, he speaks fluent French and conversational Spanish.

Bob Hughes

Bob Hughes

Treasurer

bhughes@madisonga.org

Bob currently serves as the President and Economic Development Director for the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Chamber in 2006, Bob spent 36 years with a major electric utility in the area of Economic Development, Wholesale Power Sales, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at both the State and Federal level.

Bob is active in the community serving on the Development Authority of Morgan County, the Morgan Memorial Healthcare Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Morgan County High School College and Career Academy and the Workforce Development Board for the Northeast Georgia Region. He also serves on the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Bob holds an undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and a MBA from Georgia State University. He is an Army veteran and lives in rural Morgan County with his wife Rose Mary. He is the proud father of two children and grandfather of two grandchildren.

John Scott, CEcD

John Scott, CEcD

Secretary

John Scott is the Director of Economic Development with the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce.  John’s role is to work with established industries and to provide assistance to businesses who are considering locating in Jackson County, Georgia.

John Scott is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council and has a Master’s Degree in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi.

John is married to Shelley Scott and has four kids.

Courtney Bernardi

Courtney Bernardi

Board Member

cbernardi@oconeechamber.org

Courtney serves as President of the Oconee Chamber of Commerce in Oconee County, Georgia.

Prior to her time in Oconee, Courtney served as the lead economic development official in the City of Johns Creek, Newton County, Ga and Jackson County, Ga.  In these communities, her focus was on recruitment of new industry, business retention and expansion programs and the creation of a retail strategy for each county.  Prior to her tenure with Jackson County, Courtney spent five years with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Courtney is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and multiple community leadership programs, holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Sociology from Presbyterian College in South Carolina and a Master of Public Administration from Kennesaw State University.

David Bernd

David Bernd

Board Member

dbernd@selectnewton.com

After 33 years with Kimberly-Clark, Bernd brings a wealth of industrial and RD&E knowledge and experience to the Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership. For more than 12 years Bernd was responsible for the site selection of new consumer goods manufacturing facilities globally, opening green field facilities in Paris Texas; Ogden, Utah; Bogotá, Colombia; Cordoba/Mendoza, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Seoul, South Korea; and Valencia, Venezuela. He was responsible for developments similar in size and scope to the current Takeda BioScience facility in Georgia, taking it through numerous sales from Baxter, to Baxalta, followed by Shire, and now Takeda.

Dave and his wife, Sue, relocated to Covington, Ga., from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, where he retired from Kimberly-Clark. He joined Covington/Newton County’s Office of Economic Development in November 2013, where he now serves as Vice President of Economic Development.

Amanda Blanton

Amanda Blanton

Board Member

ablanton@cobbchamber.org

Amanda Blanton is the Economic Development Manager for the Cobb Chamber Economic Development team and Select Cobb. Amanda supports the organization by providing essential research and demographic information to the Chamber membership as well as prospective companies and existing industries within Cobb County. Additionally, Amanda is working to promote international commerce connectivity to the Cobb business community. Amanda also serves as administrative support for the Development Authority of Cobb County and Cobb’s Redevelopment Efforts. Prior to her role at the Chamber, Amanda was the Membership Manager for a premier golf community in Cashiers, North Carolina.

Kristin Boscan

Kristin Boscan

Board Member

kboscan@georgiainnovationcrescent.com

Kristin Boscan serves as the Executive Director of Georgia’s Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership, sharing and promoting the deep life science and technology resources within this region of Georgia.  Boscan began her career in education and administration in upstate New York, where she led classroom instruction, professional development, and curriculum writing, as well as pioneered the first middle level alternative program.  A move to greater-Atlanta led to a career in healthcare staffing and recruiting, followed by marketing for healthcare, life sciences, and biotech. 

Boscan co-chairs Georgia Bio’s Ecosystem Development Committee, co-chairs Programming for Atlanta’s chapter of Women In Bio, and serves as a member of Local School Council for Level Creek Elementary in Gwinnett County.

Kristin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Performance and Kinesiology from Huntingdon College, a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Nazareth College, and Educational Administration Certifications from the University of Rochester.

Megan Elwood

Megan Elwood

Board Member

melwood@partnershipgwinnett.com

Megan Elwood is the Project Manager for Technology and Life Sciences for Partnership Gwinnett. She is responsible for economic development project activities for the Partnership Gwinnett strategy.  Before joining Partnership Gwinnett, Megan worked as a Senior Launch Recruiting Specialist at MarketSource, where she launched sales programs for companies like Hisense and Hewlett Packard.

Prior to working in sales, Megan began her career in life sciences as a Histology Laboratory Assistant with Quest Diagnostics. Megan holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from LaGrange College.

Lisa Maloof

Lisa Maloof

Board Member

lmaloof@barrowga.org

In August 2018, Lisa Maloof, a Barrow County native, was named the Director for Economic Development for Barrow County.  In her role, she is responsible for recruiting new industry and supporting existing industry expansions.

In May 2018, after 32 years of service, Lisa retired from the Technical College System of Georgia.  The last sixteen years of her career, she served as the Campus Dean of the Barrow County Campus.  During her tenure at Lanier Tech, she helped secure funding for a new Lanier Tech campus in Barrow County.  She also assisted with the design and construction of the new $16,000,000 campus.  The new Barrow County Campus opened in January 2015 and houses programs supporting advanced manufacturing, including engineering, mechatronics, automotive and welding, in addition to programs in business, professional services and healthcare.

Lisa has served three terms as a board of director for the Barrow County Chamber of Commerce and chaired the board in 2007.  She has also served on the Joint Development Authority of Winder-Barrow for the past twelve years.  She also represented Barrow County on the Jackson EMC Operation Roundup Board for many years until her retirement.  Lisa is a Rotarian and a member of the Winder First United Methodist Church.

In 2015, she was named Barrow County Business Woman of the Year and was elected in November to represent District 3 on the Barrow County Board of Education.

Randi Mason

Randi Mason

Board Member

rmason@decidedekalb.com

Randi Mason is Vice President of Economic Development for Decide DeKalb. Randi has over 10 years of experience in economic development in the metro Atlanta area. Prior to joining Decide Dekalb, she served as Vice President of Economic Development for Invest Atlanta, the City of Atlanta’s Development Authority. She currently serves as a Board member of the Atlanta Sister Cities Foundation as well as holds active memberships with Georgia Economic Developers Association, International Economic Developers Council and the Urban Land Institute. Randi is a proud alumnus of Georgia State University where she earned her Master of Public Administration. 

 

Alvin P. "Al" Nash

Alvin P. "Al" Nash

Board Member

anash@dafc.us

Al Nash is currently the Executive Director of Progress Partners of North Fulton Atlanta, the economic development initiative of the Greater North Fulton Chamber. 

Mr. Nash is associated with Parallax Advisory Group, LLC; a consulting group concentrating on economic development, government affairs, permitting, public policy and procurement. Nash was the Founder and a Partner in The Columns Group, Inc., an Atlanta based real estate development company.  Nash also previously held positions with Eagle Real Estate Advisors as Executive Vice President, at Chatham Properties where he served as Executive Vice President of it holding company, and at Arvida Corporation as President of Arvida of Georgia.

Nash is a native of Atlanta, has over 35 years of business experience, and has demonstrated his commitment to the community by serving as a leader of some of the Region’s and the State of Georgia’s most influential business and civic organizations.

Nash is the past chairman of The Council for Quality Growth, a 25 year old not-for-profit trade association comprised of a diverse membership.  The council works to ensure continued growth and economic success for the Region and the State of Georgia.  He also served as Chairman of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce in 2008.  Nash served as Chairman of the Regional Business Coalition, an organization comprised of 16 Metro Atlanta Chambers of Commerce.  He currently serves on the Board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, he also currently serves as a Board member of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, where he chairs the Human Rural Service Transportation Committee; and served on the Governor’s Water Contingency Task Force, which was charged with looking at solutions to the State of Georgia’s water problems.

Nash holds a B.S. Degree in Land Development and Urban Affairs from Georgia State University.  He and his wife Judy live in Roswell, Georgia and have two grown children.  Nash is a dedicated resident and corporate citizen of North Fulton, metropolitan Atlanta and Georgia.

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen

Board Member

Michelle.Nguyen@accgov.com

Michelle Nguyen serves as Director for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government’s Economic Development Department. Nguyen served as a human resources professional in the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government Human Resources Department prior to joining the ACCGOV Economic Development Department staff in July 2017. She previously gained experience in managing the co-production of public and nonprofit services as a community liaison and special events coordinator with the City of Salisbury, N.C., while also serving as a human relations specialist. She graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in public policy and received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Regan

Nathan Regan

Board Member

Nathan Regan currently serves Invest Atlanta as the agency’s Senior Vice President of Economic Development. Regan leads the economic development team focusing on business attraction, business retention and expansion, small business development, innovation and entrepreneurship, foreign direct investment (FDI) and creative industries activities.  Before joining Invest Atlanta, Regan worked in both private industry and the public sector.  He served as a legislative fellow to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, focusing on economic development, jobs, and energy and environmental legislation. Regan also served as a Senior International Investment Specialist in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA unit, managing an international foreign direct investment team resulting in $500 million worth of investments and more than 1,000 new jobs. In this position, he served as a liaison with state and local economic development agencies around the country on FDI industry best practices and managed FDI projects coming from Europe.

Shane Short

Shane Short

Board Member

shane@choosewalton.com

Shane Short is currently the Executive Director of Walton County Development Authority. With over 25 years of experience in management, his experience is extensive to include economic development, local government, public relations, marketing, and fundraising.  He has served as an elected official, a small business owner, professional fundraiser, the President/CEO of two chambers of commerce, and the Executive Director of a local development authority.  Shane is a progressive thinker, an excellent strategic planner, public speaker, and meeting facilitator.

As an economic developer, Shane has company announcements totaling over $42 billion in local community investment to include companies such as TD Automotive Compressors (Toyota), Kubota, Carters OshKosh, Hitachi Automotive Systems of Americas, Flexo Converters, and Facebook.

Contact Us

+1.678.849.7841

info@georgiainnovationcrescent.com

Thank You

Thank you to the Innovation Crescent agencies of record.