Roundtable in the High Desert

(Click here to return to the Main Roundtable in the High Desert Conference Page)

Click to jump to the bio of a particular speaker:
Chad Sweeney | Jason Hamman | Donald Paslowski | Christopher W. Steele

Rajeev Thakur | Scott Kupperman | Susan Liberty | Kathy Mussio


Chad Sweeney
Director of Corporate Development

As Director of Corporate Development, Chad Sweeney is a member of the leadership team of the firm’s site selection and economic development incentive practice. Sweeney also works on economic development strategic planning projects with Ginovus clients.

Prior to joining Ginovus, Sweeney served four years with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (“IEDC”), the State of Indiana’s lead economic development agency, chaired by Governor Mitch Daniels. Sweeney held the roles of Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel while with the IEDC. During his time at the IEDC, he represented the State of Indiana in structuring and negotiating incentives for more than 700 companies (including Honda, Nestle, Medco and Amazon) that elected to make new investments in the State of Indiana. Sweeney also participated as a lead member of the State of Indiana’s trade delegations to Asia and Europe in an effort to secure new foreign direct investment opportunities for the State of Indiana.

Prior to his tenure with IEDC, Sweeney practiced law with the Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller where he focused his practice on private equity, merger and acquisition and corporate financing transactions for private businesses and large corporations. He also practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with Deloitte & Touche in Indianapolis and in Brussels, Belgium, where he assisted individuals and businesses on tax and financing matters.

Sweeney holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a law degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.




Jason Hamman
Senior Consultant
Silverlode Consulting Corp.

Session Details Coming Soon…

Jason Hamman is a Senior Consultant with Silverlode Consulting Corp, a comprehensive economic development advisory firm providing services to both public and private sector clients. At Silverlode, Jason has worked with a broad range of private and public sector clients. His work with private sector clients includes site selection and location analysis, economic impact analysis, identification and acquisition of tax incentives and grants, market research, and GIS mapping. Jason also has extensive experience working with cities, counties, and regional economic development organizations to create and implement economic development strategic plans, identifying target industry sectors to better focus business attraction efforts, grant writing, and developing direct marketing campaigns for available properties.




Donald Paslowski
Location Consultant
The Austin Company

Session Details Coming Soon...

As a Location Consultant for Austin Consulting, Donald has performed and directed site location studies for a diverse clientele for over five years.  Specific areas of expertise include food processing plants, bakeries, industrial manufacturing, warehouses, cross docks and distribution centers.  Donald’s work on location studies has included supply chain studies, labor market analysis, favorable area analysis, metropolitan area site searches, community assessment, site and building evaluation, and property due diligence.  Donald has also conducted incentive negotiations on behalf of clients.  Selected past clients include: American Almond, Amy's Kitchen, Avon Products, Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems, Merisant, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and Tanimura & Antle.

Donald has also been featured as a speaker at economic development events such as Ohio Economic Development Association Annual Meeting and at Cleveland State University College of Urban Affairs.  He is also very experienced in site evaluation for “shovel ready” certification as Austin also performs this service for state, regional, and local economic development organizations across the country. 

Prior to joining The Austin Company, Donald was employed as a Transportation Analyst for Exel Logistics, a third party logistics provider.  Donald served major corporate accounts including Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.  While at Exel, Donald developed expertise in network carrier programs such as Manugistics, and DCIS.

Donald’s other previous work experience includes employment as a Transportation Management Trainee for Werner Enterprise where his duties included working with major retail accounts to provide on time transportation, and fleet auditing services.

Donald is a member of the American Marketing Association and the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club.

Donald received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Logistics from John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH.



Christopher W. Steele
CWS Consulting Group LLC

Chris Steele brings over 18 years of business and urban planning experience to the art and science of location strategy. His background in a small city planning firm, a Big-Four consulting services firm (Ernst & Young LLP), and a world-class engineering and supply chain company (TranSystems Corporation) have resulted in a unique perspective on how the concept of place impacts business and community success around the globe.  Moreover, his experience in diverse industries, service areas, and countries has given him the ability to build networks that cover a wide variety of client needs.   He has worked on projects as high-profile as Boeing's selection of Chicago for its Headquarters, a specialty chemicals operation in Malaysia, shared service centers in Europe, and as everyday as a food processing expansion in rural West Virginia.  He has also helped communities develop business attraction strategies for logistics, green industry, and life sciences.

Past clients include The Boeing Company, BlueCross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the State of Delaware, Lenovo, Lundbeck, Xerium, Watermark Sports/Yakima, ADP, AIG, JP Morgan Chase, Cabot Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Club Med, Sanofi Aventis, Trident Holdings, Jafza International Economic Zone, Becton Dickinson, HCA Healthcare, Olympus, Tampa Committee of 100, The City of San Jose, KC Smart Port, First Industrial Realty Trust, the City of West Palm Beach, US Bancorp, Citicorp, and Biogen IDEC.  

Chris has written on location strategy and real estate topics for Area Development, Business Expansion Journal, Site Selection Online Insider, and the Journal of Corporate Real Estate, and served as an editor for Ernst & Young's United States Investment Monitor.  He is an active member of the Industrial Asset Management Council, a frequent presenter at CoreNet’s global summits and is on the Massachusetts Chapter of NAIOP’s Program and Growth Committees.  He also serves as a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts, teaching Real Estate & Economic Development and Real Estate Finance in the College of Management at the Boston campus and Regional Economic Development in the graduate school at the Dartmouth Campus.

Prior to establishing CWS Consulting Group, Mr. Steele served as the Line of Business President – Real Estate for TranSystems Corporation.  He also served as the Director for Location Advisory Services at ADP Mintax, and was an integral part of the Ernst & Young Real Estate Advisory Services practice for over 11 years.  Chris holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with specific concentrations in land use planning and real estate development.



Rajeev Thakur
Managing Director  of Strategic Consulting
Newmark Knight Frank

As Managing Director of Strategic Consulting with Newmark Knight Frank, Mr. Thakur is focused on market entry strategy, domestic and global location strategy, footprint optimization, and real estate advisory services.  He has managed and completed location strategy and site selection engagements for clients across many industries including manufacturing, financial services, life sciences and distribution centers in North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

Prior to joining NKF Consulting, Mr. Thakur was a management consultant with Deloitte’s Global Corporate Operations Expansion Strategy practice.

Other past experience includes workplace strategy, real estate portfolio optimization, and enterprise cost reduction related to real estate assets and workforce.  Mr. Thakur worked with leading Architecture firms such as HOK and SOM in their workplace consulting practices.  Prior to becoming a consultant, Mr. Thakur had a career as an architect and urban planning consultant and managed large commercial mixed use development projects in South and Southeast Asia. Mr. Thakur’sskills include site evaluation, field due diligence, development feasibility, financial modeling, labor market and workforce analysis, and process design and improvement.

Select clients include Citigroup, Capital One, Nordic Windpower, Computershare, TriZetto, Starwood, Enbridge, Hancock Bank, Soitec, American Express, Bank of America, Pfizer, CadilaPharmaceutical (India), SC Johnson, Nortel Networks, Booz Allen Hamilton, Aon Insurance, Deloitte (India), WoltersKluwer, Peninsula Hospital NY, NOAA, and American Red Cross.  


Master of Business Administration from Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, Netherlands, concentrating in International Business and Corporate Finance. 

Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, with concentration in Economic Development.

Bachelor of Architecture from School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, India, with focus on Urban Design.




Scott Kupperman
Kupperman Location Services

Mr. Kupperman formed Kupperman Location Services (“KLS”) in July of 2011, after spending 12 years with A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc., a Chicago based Architectural/Engineering/Construction where he provided pre-development and site selection services nationwide. KLS focuses on providing site consulting services designed to maximize the long-term value of a well-informed facility location decision. Mr. Kupperman’ s 25 plus years of experience includes more than 11 years of experience working for one of Florida’s largest community developers. His background includes the marketing, permitting and acquisition and disposition of over $300 million in land assets to a diversified array of retailers, developers and jurisdictional bodies. Over the past 10 years, he has worked with clients to provide site selection analyses, site acquisition support, due diligence exercises, entitlement and permitting assignments, and incentive identification and negotiation. A sampling of client relationships is listed below.

Alberto Culver Corporation –Melrose Park, IL;
Albertsons, Inc. Grocery Distribution Centers – Chicago, Illinois:
Alpina Foods, Inc.  – Miami, Florida
Capital Area Food Bank – Washington, DC:
Clark Retail Enterprises –Oak Brook, Illinois:
Confidential Client, Kailua – Kona, Hawaii:
Michael Lewis Companies – Woodridge, Illinois
Crown Bolt, Inc. Site Selection –Cerritos, California:
Eastern Illinois University –Charleston, Illinois:
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Waterbury, Vermont
Johnsonite Corporation – Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Kettle Brands –Salem, Oregon
Medline Industries, Inc. Distribution Center Site Selection –Mundelein, Illinois:
Nonni’s Food Company, IncWestchester, Illinois:
Phoenix Packaging Group, LLC – Hollywood, Florida:
Ruiz Food Products, Inc. – Dinuba, California:
US Equities Realty, LLC – Chicago, Illinois:
VWR International – West Chester, Pennsylvania:
Winco Foods – Boise, Idaho:
99 Cents Only Stores – City of Commerce, California:

Education: MBA, University of Miami, 1985
Bachelor of Science, Management, Tulane University, 1984




Susan Liberty
Vice President, Business Expansion Services
McGuireWoods Consulting

Susan Liberty joined McGuireWoods Consulting Infrastructure and Economic Development team in 2000. Using her extensive economic development and legislative experience, she specializes in advising national and international corporations on their relocation decisions and incentive negotiations. Her client list encompasses numerous business sectors with a wide range of requirements, including corporate headquarters locations, manufacturing, food industry, distribution, government contracting and international shipping.

Additionally Susan represents clients' interest on a wide-range of issues with state and local officials. In this capacity, she advises clients who specialize in Public Private Paternerships with identification of opportunities and proposal preparation for state and local infrastructure projects. Projects of interest include hospitals, higher education facilities, parking decks, public education facilities and Rehabilitation of Utility and Wastewater Infrastructure.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods Consulting, Susan was the Director of Policy and Business Development at the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority,

Education: George Washington University

Representative Economic Development Site Selection & Incentive Clients
Starbucks (Supply Chain International Division)
Hilton Worldwide
Booz Allan Hamilton

Practice Groups
Economic Incentives Negotiation and Site Selection
Economic and Infrastructure Development
State and Local Legislative Affairs
Public Private Partnerships
Contracts & State/Local Procurement



Kathy Mussio
Managing Partner
Atlas Insight, LLC

Bio forthcoming...





(Click here to return to the Main Roundtable in the High Desert Conference Page)