Director of Business Assistance, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council

Sally Hanley is the Director of Business Assistance for the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and has held numerous positions with the organization for over 20 years.  In her current role, she works with existing interstate businesses to help them stay and grow in the region through an initiative called Elevate GP. She is renowned for expertise in public and private economic development financing and incentive programs for businesses and municipalities. Ms. Hanley manages multiple county loan funds as well as several community revolving loan funds.  Ms. Hanley has helped launch two new Elevate GP programs, Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network and GP Economic Gardening, which help businesses access new sales opportunities.

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anna garrison – ROCKFORD REGION

Business Development Coordinator, Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC)

Anna Garrison is the Business Development Coordinator for the RAEDC, responsible for project management and client assistance activities related to domestic and international business development efforts as well as management of the CORE Conversation Program.  She is responsible for assisting with the successful management of business recruitment and select expansion projects in the Rockford Region, coordination of designated cluster activities with regional economic development partners, planning and coordination of trade shows, marketing trips and special events to promote increased jobs and investment in the Rockford Region, and managing events focused on strengthening our region’s economic base for its existing employers.


Director Defense Industry Economic Diversification Program, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

Vicky Miller is currently Directing the Defense Industry Economic Diversification Program at the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.  She is also overseeing the Quad Cities Defense Industry template building for the DoD IL Statewide Defense Industry Adjustment Programs with the University of Illinois. Her current responsibilities include business planning, economic development strategies, business community collaboration development, grant management for DoD and Statewide Programs, identifying markets impacted by DoD changes in spend, market diversification, ecosystem building, networking industries together for collaborative efforts, promoting technology platforms, supply chain expansion, finances and budget planning.


Irene Sherr – CHICAGO region

Assistant Deputy Bureau Chief, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

Irene Sherr serves as Assistant Deputy Bureau Chief for the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development in Chicago, IL where she manages and leads the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium (CMMC) and other regional  economic development initiatives. In addition she manages multiple private and civic sector engagement efforts including the Council of Economic Advisors and Economic Development Advisory Committee.