Understanding Tech Economic Development with Tennessee ECD
About the Speakers:
Leslee T. Alexander serves as the International Director at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. She oversees international trade activities, including inbound and outbound missions, the statewide Tennessee Regional Export Network, and the Governor’s protocol activities. She is the state’s designee to the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Export Trade and Advisory Council. She works closely with federal partners across Commerce, International Trade Administration and the Small Business Administration, as well as companies, cities, counties, chambers and development districts across the state.
Before joining TNECD Leslee was the founder and principal of a strategic planning firm that developed regional planning initiatives and managed an international association of advertising agencies. A graduate of Duke University and the University of Colorado, she currently serves on the board of the State International Development Organization, the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, the Japanese American Society of Tennessee and Discover Life in America.
Louis Buck will serve as the regional coordinator in East Tennessee, and he is a proven advocate for the department. A former deputy commissioner of Agriculture in the Sundquist administration, Buck was responsible for daily management of the department and nearly 1,000 employees. He has extensive experience on the federal level too, having worked as state executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency and as a director for the Department of Defense’s task force for business and stability operations. With a family background in farming, and education and career in engineering, Buck will continue to lead the department’s efforts to advance the Governor’s Rural Challenge and entrepreneurial development activities. Buck and his wife, Janet, live in Powell and have two daughters, Katie and Emily.
Andy Collier works in the U.S. Department of Commerce, Nashville Export Assistance Center, where he helps Central Tennessee companies grow their global business through exporting. Previously, Andy was Project Manager in the Energy Division helping U.S. energy companies compete for international energy projects.