Economic Development

Shambaugh Auditorium
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 6:30 PM


  • Regenia Bailey

    Regenia Bailey

    City Council Member, Iowa City

    Regenia Bailey is serving her second term as an Iowa City City Council member. In 2006, Governor Vilsack appointed her to the statewide Vision Iowa board and in 2009, Governor Culver appointed her to serve as Chair for this board. Ms. Bailey is also the founder and principal of the Bailey Leadership Initiative, a group that works to enhance the leadership abilities of individuals and organizations through couching, consulting, teaching and writing. She is alumnus of the Iowa City Area Chamber Leadership Program and was recognized as a ‘Woman of Influence’ by the Corridor Business Journal. She has worked for over twelve years in the not-for-profit sector and was the founding director of the Iowa Women’s Foundation. Ms. Bailey teaches business courses as an adjunct faculty member at Kirkwood Community College, and holds an MBA from The University of Iowa. For more about Ms. Bailey, click here.

  • Steve Ovel

    Steve Ovel

    Government Relations, Kirkwood Community College

    Steve Ovel serves as Executive Director of Governmental Relations for Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. During his 26 years at Kirkwood, he has provided administrative leadership to the areas of development and foundations, community relations, economic development, business and industry training, grants and governmental relations and assistant to the president. Mr. Ovel is a member of the board of directors of the Iowa Workforce Development Department and was involved in the redesign of Iowa’s workforce development delivery system in 1996. He has served on the national board of directors of The Workforce Alliance and is a member of TWA’s Priorities Council. He is also a member of AACC’s Workforce Policy Advisory Group. For the past 17 years, he has served the Iowa community college system as a lobbyist before the Iowa Legislature specializing in job training, workforce and economic development, corrections education and telecommunications issues.

  • Mary Lawyer

    Mary Lawyer

    Director of Business Development, Conlon Construction

    Mary Lawyer is the Director of Business Development for Conlon Construction Company, a Dubuque-based construction firm. Previously, Ms. Lawyer was President of the Des Moines Downtown Community Alliance (DCA), a non-profit organization that works to improve the economic well-being and opportunities in downtown Des Moines. Ms. Lawyer also worked for the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) for more than 16 years, and was appointed IDED director by Governor Tom Vilsack. As director, she collaborated with businesses, communities and legislative leaders to form statewide public policy that improved the economic well-being and quality of life for Iowans. She also served in the workforce development and job training areas both at NIACC and IDED, working on the Job Training Partnership Act, Promise Jobs, Workforce Development Fund and the 260E Program. Ms. Lawyer received a BA degree in business from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa.

  • Greg LeRoy

    Greg LeRoy

    Director, Good Jobs First

    Dubbed “America’s chief whistle-blower” on state and local economic development subsidies, Greg LeRoy directs Good Jobs First, a national resource center promoting accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families. Headquartered in Washington, DC, Good Jobs First maintains six websites and three blogs, and provides an average of 75 trainings per year. Mr. LeRoy is the author of The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation (2005) and No More Candy Store: States and Cities Making Job Subsidies Accountable (1994). Through dozens of publications and hundreds of trainings, Mr. LeRoy has made accountability reforms vital to diverse groups of public officials and constituencies who care about sound tax and budget policy, smart growth and mass transit, privatization, living wages, public education finance, Wal-Mart and big-box retailing, and green jobs. Mr. LeRoy holds degrees in journalism and U.S. history.