Allen Anderson is President at EMP. He has been in the job development field since 1980 and speaking and consulting internationally on job development and its management since 1990. His areas of special competency include:
- Strategy/Concept/Operational Model Development
- Direct Service Delivery Issues
- Problem Solving – Creative and Innovative Solutions
- Employment Outcomes Management and Strategic Skills
- Job Development Marketing Skills and Techniques
Allen has worked as a job developer, Director Job Placement, Director of Training & Development and Vice President and President of training companies. He has developed 16 training programs for job development professionals, written numerous articles and spoken extensively on marketing skills and job development internationally. Allen has a M.A. in Sociology, won the ASDT Disabilities Awareness Network Quality Service Award 1993 and the 2006 Ontario March of Dimes Vocational Rehabilitation Award.
Brett Lacy currently serves as the Workforce Division Manager for Select Fulton. As Division Manager, Lacy leads a team in supporting the workforce needs of Fulton County and represents Fulton County in developing and enhancing regional partnerships and strategies to grow the key industries and communities in the Metro Atlanta Region. Since arriving in Fulton, he has worked with the Board of Commissioners, the County Manager, and the Fulton Workforce Development Board to help implement a strategy to align workforce programs with the economic development efforts.
Prior to joining the WorkSource Fulton team, Brett provided seven years of service as part of the State’s workforce administration. At the time of his departure, Brett had served as the Director of Programs and Business Services in the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Division. At GDEcD, he supported WorkSource Georgia’s customer service mission and partnered with GDEcD’s Global Commerce Team creating innovative workforce solutions to keep Georgia the ‘No. 1 State for Business.’ He is a proud ‘Double Dawg’, holding both a masters of public administration and a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Georgia. Brett and his wife, Margaret, live in Atlanta with their daughter, Miller, and dog, Woodrow.
Debbie Davidson has spent over 30 years in higher education in southeast Wisconsin. In her current positions as a consultant with CORD – the Center for Occupational Research and Development, she specializes in career pathway development and employer engagement strategies.
She retired from Gateway Technical College (Kenosha, WI) in 2017 where for over 16 years she served as the Vice President of Business & Workforce Solutions, with responsibility for outreach to business and industry, apprenticeship, customized training and business partnerships. She previously held positions at the University of Wisconsin Parkside and Concordia University Wisconsin.
She holds a Master of Adult Education from National Louis University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Communication from Concordia University Wisconsin. She serves on the Concordia University Wisconsin Board of Regents.
She lives in Pleasant Prairie, WI with her husband of 30 years and has two grown daughters who live in the Milwaukee area.
Geniphyr Ponce-Pore, M.S., M.Ed, is Director of the Colorado State University Regional Hubs and the Workforce Specialist for Colorado State University Extension. She is also certified in Strategic Doing. With 15 years of experience working in community, economic and workforce development in Colorado, she was recruited into the Office of Engagement in 2010. Her current work is focused on collaborating with workforce, economic, and community development systems as well as industry to co-create innovative learning solutions. She is also working with the Colorado Workforce Development Board to develop their capacity to convene and mobilize through Strategic Doing. As Director of the Regional Hubs she and her team oversee the development of the regional hubs, an engagement initiative of the Office of Engagement.
Greg Wilson leads the Workforce Development Technical Assistance Program at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. He assists state agencies, local workforce development boards, economic development organizations, chambers, and educational institutions with workforce development, economic development, and strategy projects. He focuses on data analysis, program implementation, meeting facilitation, decision support, and strategic planning.
Mr. Wilson served as the lead analyst and author of the Governor’s High Demand Career Initiative report, which detailed high-demand occupations and skills in key Georgia industries. He supported the state’s workforce system over a four year period to develop and implement a regional sector partnership strategy. He has taught workforce development at state, regional, and national conferences. He has a BA in political science and international affairs and a master’s in public administration, both from the University of Georgia.
Valery Lowe, a lifelong resident of Forsyth County, currently serves as the Director of College & Career Development for Forsyth County Schools. She received her undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees from the University of Georgia in workforce education. Prior to her current role, she served in the Superintendent’s Office with Forsyth County Schools and also as adjunct faculty member for Lanier Technical College. Her current works focuses on the growth and development of career and technical education in the school system, as well as community partnerships, student internships, teacher externships, and dual enrollment. Forsyth County is home to over 48,000 students, so a large focus is on workforce development and the skills of the future. Valery’s work focuses on pipeline partnerships and providing the skills necessary to meet the needs of a future workforce. Truly passionate about the Forsyth County community, Valery is involved with the Cumming/Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, South Forsyth Rotary, Bald Ridge Lodge, Jesse’s House, Junior Achievement of Northeast Georgia, UGA Alumni Association, Forsyth County Manufacturing Society, United Way, and many other non-profits. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Georgia and recently received awards from Georgia Future Business Leaders of America, Georgia Technology Student Association, and GCCTA as Administrator of the Year. She was also given the Lee Arendale Award for Vocational Service by South Forsyth Rotary. Valery and her husband Josh reside in Cumming with their two daughters.
John Savage is the Regional Administrator for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service’s Atlanta Region. Its eight states represent the most densely populated of any DOL region in the country. In this capacity, John oversees $45 million in program funding to prepare transitioning service members for civilian employment in meaningful careers, provide individualized career services to veterans with significant barriers to employment, protect the employment and reemployment rights of service members, and promote veterans to the business community, educating them on the unique qualifications veterans bring to the table.
John is an Army veteran with service in the first Gulf War. He began his civilian career as a Local Veterans’ Employment Representative promoting veterans’ employment. In 2003, having served in successive leadership positions, John was appointed to lead the Ohio Bureau of Veterans Services here he managed over $10 million in annual veterans’ employment and training funding and developed several interagency state programs which helped thousands of Ohio veterans gain meaningful employment.
John joined the Department of Labor in 2007 as a grants specialist the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service’s Chicago Regional Office. More recently, he served as the Michigan State Director for Veterans’ Employment and Training (DVET), and Deputy Regional Administrator for the Atlanta Region.
John holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toledo (magna cum laude), and currently resides in Austell, Georgia.
Adesewa Adesiji, MBA, is a Workforce Strategy Consultant with the State of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). She has been employed with DEED since 2002 through a variety of roles working with job seekers, businesses, and educators. She successfully managed a project to engage with tech professionals and employers in the Twin Cities Metro Area and coordinated an event with the CIO of a professional sports franchise in Minnesota as guest speaker. Adesewa has a B.A in Sociology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and a Masters in Business Administration from Augsburg College.
Shelley Davis has a long-standing Economic Development career in Northeast Georgia. She is regarded highly in the field for her specialty in Existing Industry Retention and Expansion and most recently her passion for Workforce Development.
She began working as an assistant at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce in 1994, and after a few years of service as the Hall County Commission Clerk, came back to the Chamber in 2000 to begin her focus in Economic Development. She was promoted to Vice President of Existing Industry and is now in her 21st year with the Chamber.
In response to the needs of the existing industry, Shelley has been lead in establishing the Greater Hall Workforce Development Task Force. In a one-year period since inception, the number of employed teenagers in manufacturing quadrupled in Hall County, Georgia.
Beyond high school and some college, Shelley’s expertise has been gained through on-the-ground training highlighted by intentional Economic Development Professional Development at Georgia Tech, GEDA, IEDC and she is a graduate of the Georgia Academy of Economic Development and Leadership Hall.
Shelley has a passion for process and people. She has held positions on the United Way Board, the Friends of Recovery Board, the Hall County Drug Free Coalition, Celebrate Recovery Team, and in Sunday School Leadership.
Shelley is Georgia-born and has lived in both southern and northern Georgia but a majority of her life, in Gainesville GA. She has two girls and two grandchildren. And finally, Droopy and P-nut, also known as the dogs, are part of the family too.
Linda Manis serves as the Director of the Business Services Unit with the Georgia Department of Labor, leading the team of 13 Regional Coordinators, guiding these professionals in strengthening internal and external ties among Georgia DOL, businesses and economic development efforts throughout the state. Linda has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and career development, and has dedicated her career to serving employers and connecting qualified job candidates with employers needing a qualified workforce. In addition to managing the Regional Coordinators, Linda has responsibility over the Business Services Recruiters, Career Expos, Customized Recruitment, Employer Business Summits and Special Workforce Assistance Teams. Linda has managed to fulfill a career goal at the GDOL – one program at a time. She serves with passion and sets a servant leadership example for any business leader’s staffing model.
Breezy Straton serves as the Director of Existing Industry, Workforce, and Compliance for the Douglas County Economic Development Authority and the State Lead for Georgia Business Leaders United (GaBLU). She has been named one of Douglas County’s Top Ten Young Professionals twice (2011 and 2016), a graduate of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute, and most recently she was named the 2019 Taking Care of Business Leader by National Skills Coalition. She is a native of Georgia and a graduate of Mercer University where she received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree with concentrations in History and Religion and the University of Georgia where she received a Master of Public Administration degree with concentrations in Social Policy and Quasi-Government Entities. In her spare time she teaches as an adjunct professor for Mercer University’s Penfield College and spends time with her husband, Brenton, and their two girls, Layla (15 years old) and Charlotte (4 years old) and boxer Lincoln.
Holly Free-Ollard is a Georgia native who graduated from Brenau University with a Bachelor in Science Nursing and continued her education to complete a Masters in Science in Nursing. In 2000, Holly joined the TCSG system and began her career path in technical education as an allied health instructor at North Georgia Technical College. Holly spent 13 years as an instructor leading the future healthcare providers with a multitude of health care professional pathways. In 2013, Holly furthered her career path and joined the TCSG team as an Allied Health Curriculum Program Specialist. As a program specialist, Holly has acquired 40 Allied Health and Science programs along with the Public Safety programs. She has been on the Georgia Board of Nursing Educational Committee and has helped lead numerous initiatives to drive the education system. In 2017, Holly transitioned from a Curriculum Program Specialist to an Apprenticeship Specialist and now Apprenticeship Manager. She along with the apprenticeship team is introducing the concept of apprenticeship training for workforce development in Georgia.
Chris Engle is a national thought leader on economic development strategy, workforce planning, and labor market demand. He has 25 years of economic and workforce experience and brings expertise to his clients in economic analysis, benchmarking, workforce supply-demand gap analysis, labor market studies, and industry evaluation. His strong belief in the power of transforming complicated data into easy-to-use decision making resources for communities led him to develop one of the most dynamic software tools available for economic and workforce development today: HeadlightData.com.
Chris has contributed to dozens of economic and workforce development plans for communities across the US, with recent clients including Charlotte, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, and Charleston. Chris is a frequent speaker and published writer in national and local media on issues relating to workforce transformation, industry trends, and corporate location strategy.
Andrea Griner is Central Georgia Technical College’s Vice President for Economic Development. In this role, she leads the Office of Economic Development in serving the College’s 11 county service delivery area by ensuring economic development training programs are accessible and aligned to support the workforce needs of the business community. Andrea also provides assistance to community leaders, chambers and development authorities by supporting the recruitment of new businesses and the expansion of existing industries.
Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and MBA from Georgia College and State University. She has completed coursework through the International Economic Development Council and has earned the prestigious designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). Andrea has is a member of the Georgia Economic Developer’s Association and previously served as chair of the Business Expansion and Retention Committee. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Macon Economic Development Commission, the Houston County Career Academy, and Macon-Bibb County Workforce Development Board.
Melody Pierce is the Executive Director for WorkSource Southwest Georgia. WorkSource Southwest Georgia provide services to the 14- counties of Southwest Georgia to assist with employment, education, training and support services to connect talent with opportunity to create a world-class workforce system. Melody is a native of South Georgia. Her work ethics embodies four pillars instilled by her Family and Mentors 1) Integrity 2) Dedication 3) Compassion and 4) Professionalism. Melody has over 15 years’ experiences in both the Private and Public Sector. Her aspiration is to provide exemplary customer service and never over promise but aim to over delivery. She obtained her formal training from Albany State University and Troy University.
Stephanie Matthews is the Deputy Workforce Development Director for WorkSource Three Rivers. In this role she oversees the daily operations of WIOA Programs for Three Rivers 10 county region. She has 10 years of experience in Workforce Development with 3 years as the Youth Services Manager.
Stephanie is a graduate of University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. During her undergraduate program is when she found her passion to serve others.
She currently serves as a member of the State Workforce Development Board’s Youth Committee, NAWDP, NAWB, and SETA. Although she has an extensive knowledge in youth programs, Stephanie has accepted the challenge to assist in taking all WIOA Programs to knew heights.
Stephanie is a native of Griffin, Georgia.
Lisa Adkisson serves as the Region 1 Regional Coordinator with the Georgia Department of Labor representing the Department of Labor with the economic development community in Northwest GA.
Her role is to link the workforce system with businesses, local Chambers of Commerce and economic development authorities. She also collaborates with other state agencies such as the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Technical College Systems of Georgia, the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Education.
Lisa currently represents GDOL on the Northwest GA Workforce Executive Board. She also represents the GDOL BSU Unit for the One Stop Career Center Committee. She serves as the Coordinator for GDOL’s On the Job Training Program in Region 1. Lisa has 26 years’ experience in workforce systems and management.
Keith Dixon serves as the Executive Director of Job Training Unlimited, Inc., and is the Regional Director for the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a seventeen-county region. Keith is very involved in the local community and an active member of SETA (Southeast Employment and Training Association), NAWDP (National Association of Workforce Development Professionals), NAWB (National Association of Workforce Boards) NAJA (National Association of Job Training Assistance) and GWLA (Georgia Workforce Leadership Association).
Keith is committed to workforce development and providing professional growth opportunities. As a private business owner and a WIOA Regional Director, Keith has experience that enables him to work in a professional capacity with both private business and the public sector as he understands both from a personal perspective.
Keith attended Georgia Southern University and served in the United States Air Force. He lives in Claxton, Georgia and has two children, Logan and Hunter.
Keith Jones’s experience in State Government spans approximately 27 years beginning in 1992. He began as a Correctional Officer with the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC). He worked in several capacities while employed by the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. His last assignment before his appointment as a Regional Program Coordinator for DJJ it 2013 was Counseling Services Manager for Reentry Services, where he was responsible for overseeing the delivery of counseling services to include budgets and implementation of new programs ensuring policy adherence through Audits/Quality Assurance visits. In his capacity of Counseling Services Manager he was responsible for oversight of counseling services in all State, County, and Private Prisons; Day Reporting Centers and Probation Offices. Other roles included Deputy Warden of Care and Treatment, Unit Manager, Counselor, and Senior Counselor.
Keith joined the DJJ team on May 1, 2013, as a Regional Program Administrator and on August 1, 2013, he was appointed by GDJJ Commissioners Avery Niles as Director of Reentry Services. Keith brings a wealth of experience in Reentry and operational oversight. He has an extensive work history and is experienced with data analysis and leading strategic initiatives aimed organizationally. He is a graduate of Valdosta State University as a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; Columbus State University Command College as a Master of Public Safety Administration; and a Ph.D. at Walden University in Criminal Justice (Justice Administration).
William A. Kraus (Bill) was appointed as the USDOL’s Georgia State Director of Apprenticeship in September 2014. Prior to this appointment, Bill served as the Apprenticeship State Director for New Jersey and New Hampshire. Previously, Bill served as Acting Director and Executive Deputy Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs.
Bill served as a U.S. Navy Reserve Supply Corps Officer retiring in 2009 after 21 years of military service. During 2003, Commander Kraus (USNR-Ret) served on active duty with the Office of Military Cooperation-Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. He also served as on-site Executive Officer with the NYS Naval Militia in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC).
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Bill was a career New York State professional with over 30 years of state service. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany.
He is a member of the American Legion, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Navy Seabee Veterans of America.
Ms. Lesia Lambert is the Director of Workforce Development with WorkSource Northwest Georgia which covers 15 counties in the Northwest Georgia Region. Lesia past work experience includes: Eligibility and Programs Management with the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Program (WIOA); Youth Coordinator for The Northwest Georgia Region Workforce Investment Act Program (WIA); Program Eligibility Specialist and Case Manager with Berry College under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). Additional experience includes working with Community Action Block Grants, Federal housing and emergency assistance programs. Lesia experience in Workforce Development spans over 25 years of service.
In additions, Lesia is a graduated of Auburn University, Auburn Alabama, and is glad to be an Auburn Tiger! She enjoys sports (particular basketball), biking, walking and reading. Spending time with family, friends and working in church are some of her favorite things to do.
Jamie Jordan is the Director of Programs & Business Services for the Office of Workforce Development at the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). In this role, he oversees the WIOA Programs, Business Services, Apprenticeship, and Strategic Populations teams for WorkSource Georgia. Previously, Jamie served as the High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) Program Manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). Managing HDCI from its inception when launched by Governor Deal in 2014, Jamie actualized the governor’s vision of an initiative to make Georgia’s workforce and education efforts cooperatively more responsive to private sector demands. Prior to the role with HDCI, Jamie served as the Liaison to the State Workforce Development Board for GDEcD.
Jamie is a two-time graduate of the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Terry College of Business. He was a member of the inaugural class of the Miller Leadership Academy. He is a native of Griffin, Georgia and currently resides in Atlanta.
Brittany Bullock serves as the Business Services Manager for the Office of Workforce Development of the Technical College System of Georgia. In this role, Brittany works with Georgia’s 19 WorkSource Georgia areas’ to provide exceptional customer service to local employers and industries. She also supports the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Global Commerce Team in coordinating innovative workforce solutions to the new and existing industries that make Georgia the #1 State for Business.
Previously, Brittany served as High Demand Career Initiative Program Specialist, leading the state’s construction and logistics task forces to develop and implement employer-driven workforce solutions for high demand careers and industries within the state. Prior to entering workforce development, Brittany worked with the Middle Georgia Regional Commission consulting cities and counties on various community and economic development planning matters.
Brittany is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a graduate of the University of Georgia with a master’s degree in Public Administration. She is a native of Augusta, Georgia and currently resides in Atlanta.