Confederated Tribes Offer Economic Opportunities Through New Conference

April 15, 2014, Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

Cities, counties, ports and private developers have a unique opportunity to meet with big business site selectors during a May conference in Pendleton.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and its Coyote Business Park will host its inaugural SiteLink Forum May 7-9 at Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton.

The event will include presentations by seven site selectors for various types of industries who will each make presentations about their areas of expertise and meet with attendees one-on-one to provide feedback and advice on business recruitment strategies.

Site selectors are specialists who are hired by companies to evaluate needs and recommend the best places for businesses to expand or relocate.

The event will include a variety of after-hours networking opportunities, providing individuals the opportunity to build relationships with the site selectors and other conference attendees.

Scheduled presenters include: Jim Beatty of NCS International; Alison Benton of Aliquantus Consulting; Jay Cross of CrossRoads Consulting; Tim Feemster of Foremost Quality Logistics; Cecilia Mowatt of Strategies In Site Inc.; John Rocca of CBRE Consulting; and Keith Ziobron of O’Brien & Gere’s Southeast Environmental & Advanced Manufacturing Business Unit.

Beatty is president of NCS International, a leading national site selection and economic development consulting firm in Omaha, Neb.

NCS specializes in consulting and site selection services for call centers, customer service, shared service centers and office operations. Beatty has worked on more than 300 projects, representing more than $3 billion in capital investment and generating 30,000 jobs. He works with economic organizations across the globe to develop strategic plans, marketing assessments and target industry analysis to attract investments.

Benton is the president of Aliquantus Consulting and she has more than 20 years of experience in economic development. She focuses on site selection and negotiating customized incentive solutions, including federal and state training grants and solving issues related to real estate expansions and relocations. Some of her clients include Target, American Airlines, Hilton, Sprint and Citigroup.

Benton is a Certified Economic Developer and a frequent lecturer regarding creative incentive opportunities that work positively for both businesses and the government.

Cross is president of CrossRoads Consulting and currently services in several consulting and leadership roles, from new business start-ups to helping owners dispose of distressed commercial assets.

CrossRoads’ partners have more than 50 years of experience in international site selection, economic development consulting and business consulting.

Cross previously held various positions with Goodrich Aerospace, where he worked for more than two decades and retired as vice president of the Goodrich Company.

Feemster is the managing principal for Foremost Quality Logistics. Feemster is experience transportation and warehouse operations, real estate site selection, economic development strategy consulting, strategic planning and lean quality management.

Before starting FQL, Feemster was a senior manager in three manufacturing companies, a consultant, an executive for two logistics providers and a leader in two real estate companies.

Mowatt heads Strategies in Site and has more than 25 years of public and private sector experience. Her expertise is in strategic business development, portfolio management and transactions, managing teams of lawyers, accountants, appraisers, consultants and other professionals, while serving the specific needs of her client.

Formerly, Mowatt was a corporate executive with Ameritech and McDonald’s Corporation.

Rocca is a managing director with CBRE Consulting and the founding principle of the CBRE Economic Incentives Group, a specialty practice group focused on economic incentives design and negotiation in support of location strategy and site selection engagements.

EIG specializes in identifying, negotiating and obtaining economic incentives and tax credits for its corporate clients in the U.S. and Canada.

Rocca’s expertise includes advisory work for data centers, office, laboratories, industrial and manufacturing plants and call centers.

Prior to joining CBRE, Rocca was with Deloitte and Touche, preforming corporate real estate advisory services, location strategy and economic incentive negotiations.

Ziobron is a division manager for O’Brien and Gere. He has more than 20 years of experience. He specializes in Brownfield assessment and redevelopment, vapor intrusion investigation and mitigation, economic development, environmental due diligence, remedial design and construction management, and regulatory compliance auditing and permitting.

For more information about the SiteLink Forum or to register, go to, call Kelly Armstrong at 502-718-4349 or email