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2009 Summit Speaker Biographies
Jim Cooper – U.S. Congressman, 5th District, TN
Representing Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District, Jim Cooper was born June 19, 1954, in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned a B.A. in history and economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975 as a Morehead Scholar and serving as coeditor of the Daily Tar Heel; a B.A./M.A. in politics and economics as a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University in 1977; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1980. He is married and has three children.
From 1980-82, he was an attorney with Waller, Lansden, Dortch, & Davis in Nashville, Tennessee, until he was elected congressman for the Fourth Congressional District, serving from 1983-95. During that time, he served on the Energy & Commerce and Budget Committees and the Small Business Subcommittee. His special legislative focus was on health care, literacy and other rural concerns, and he played leadership roles in major telecommunications, environmental and consumer legislation.
From 1995-1999, he was managing director at Equitable Securities, a Nashville-based investment bank. From 1999-2002, he was founder and partner of Brentwood Capital Advisors LLC, where he sourced and raised funds for growing regional companies and businesses.
Cooper was elected to his second stint in Congress in 2002, serving a more urban and suburban constituency in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Ashland City, Pleasant View, and Pegram. As Fifth District Congressman, he serves on the Armed Services, Budget, and Oversight and Government Reform Committees. In 2007 he was named chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s Roles and Missions Panel. Cooper continues to teach as an adjunct professor at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, where he has taught a course on health care policy for ten years.
Patrick McCrory – Mayor of Charlotte, NC
Mayor McCrory began his political career in Charlotte in 1989 when he was elected as an At-large City Council representative in his first run for an elected office. He was re-elected in both 1991 and 1993, serving as Mayor Pro Tem in 1993 until first elected Mayor in 1995. In November 2007, Mayor McCrory won his seventh term as mayor, continuing his record as the City’s longest serving mayor.
Mayor McCrory has distinguished himself as a leader in the areas of public safety, economic development, and transportation. He has been recognized nationally for his leadership in developing Charlotte’s 25-year transportation and land-use plan, including his efforts to secure $200 million in federal funds for light rail in Charlotte. During his tenure, more that $2 billion in local and state road improvement have been made throughout the City. In 2007, Mayor McCrory was invited by the Brookings Institute to work on a transportation and infrastructure study.
During Pat McCrory’s term as Mayor, he has overseen a budget of $1.8 billion, a population growth of 20%, the creation of 200,000 jobs, and he led the effort to recruit and retain quality businesses. In addition, he has focused his recruitment efforts across the globe to promote Charlotte in such countries as Singapore, Israel, Poland, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy. His economic development activities also include serving on the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Partnership through his position as Mayor.
In 1995, the Mayor founded the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance and has personally served as a Mentor to four youth. He served as a seven-term Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Environment Committee and for two years as the Chair of the USCM Housing Committee. He served six years as President of the Republican Mayors and Local Officials (RMLO) organization and was the Founding Chair for the North Carolina Metropolitan Coalition, a group of the state’s 25 large-city mayors. He also was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Homeland Security Advisory Committee in October 2003.
The Mayor has had an extensive private sector career serving 29 years with Duke Energy Corporation. During his career at Duck, he held several top management positions in Recruitment and Staffing, Management and Professional Training, and Economic Development and Industrial Recruitment. In relation to his private-sector employment, he also held leadership positions with the American Society of Training Development and the National College Placement Association. He presently is a partner with McCrory & Company and serves on the Board of Directors of Tree.com.
Mayor McCrory graduated from Catawba College in 1978 with a B.A. degree in Political Science/Education. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees for Catawba College and received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the school in 2001. He is married to Ann Gordon McCrory.
Brandon Janes – Past Chairman, Regional Infrastructure & Transportation Committee, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin, TX
Brandon Janes is a partner with the law firm of Jackson Walker L.L.P. in Austin, Texas and practices in the area of corporate and securities law. He received a B.B.A. from Baylor University and his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School. He is also a certified public accountant. He has authored a number of articles and papers on business law matters and is co-author of Doing Business in Texas, a Guide for Foreign Investors.
For many years, Mr. Janes has been involved in regional economic development and transportation issues. He has served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and chaired the Chamber’s Regional Infrastructure and Transportation Committee. He has served on the Future Connections Task Force of Capital Metro, the Austin regional transit authority. He co-chaired a regional peer review and reorganization of the Area’s MPO, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO).
Mr. Janes serves as chair of a regional mobility initiative, Take on Traffic, directed at multi-modal transportation solutions for the Central Texas region. In addition, Mr. Janes serves on the CAMPO Transit Working Group which is in the process of making recommendations on transit and rail initiatives in the Central Texas region. Mr. Janes is Vice-Chairman of the Alliance for Public Transportation, a regional non-profit organization formed to promote public transportation, economic development and the environment in the Central Texas region.
Clarence W. “Cal” Marsella – General Manager, Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO
Clarence W. “Cal” Marsella, a 34-year transit veteran, was hired as the General Manager of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in August 1995. He manages 2,500 employees, over 1,000 privately contracted employees, and an annual operating budget of more than $400 million. Since taking the reins at RTD, Cal and his talented staff have helped gain the trust of the greater Denver metro area by building three new light rail lines on time and on budget. That includes RTD’s $879 million light rail component of the $1.67 billion T-REX light rail and highway project that opened November 17, 2006. The level of public trust in RTD was verified in 2004 when metro area voters overwhelmingly passed the $4.7 billion light rail and commuter rail rapid transit expansion program for the eight-county metro area. This represents the largest transit-only voter approved program in the entire country.
Mr. Marsella began his transportation career in the highway engineering division of the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation in 1974. He then served as the Director of Transportation Services for the City of Hartford, Connecticut from 1976 through 1979. From 1979 through 1992, Cal served as the Chief of Contracted Services for Miami’s Metro Dade Transit Agency. There he was responsible for the development and management of all transit and paratransit services operated under contract to private sector service providers. Mr. Marsella is a nationally-known private transportation expert, and served as co-owner of Gulf Coast Paratransit Inc. consultants in Fort Myers, Florida from 1992 to 1995 before moving to Denver.
Cal was selected by the American Public Transportation Association as the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in 2006, by the University of Colorado Real Estate Council as their 2006 Person of the Year, and by Colorado Association of State Transportation Agencies as the Transportation Professional of the Year in 2000. He serves on the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Intermodal Transportation Research Institute at the University of Denver. He regularly guest lectures at the University of Denver and the University of Colorado Masters Degree program in Transportation and Public Administration. Mr. Marsella holds a Masters Degree in Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts Degree, both from the University of Connecticut. Cal commutes by bus each day from his home in Louisville, where he resides with his wife Sheri and their children.
John Fregonese – President, Fregonese & Associates, Portland, OR
As principal of Fregonese Associates, John Fregonese operates a full-service planning firm that specializes in visioning, comprehensive and small area planning, implementation strategies, and public involvement strategies.
John has been a planner for 30 years, where he has earned the rare reputation of being able both to create an energizing vision for communities and to develop concrete, workable solutions to urban problems. John is known for his work in Portland, Oregon, where he served as the planning director for five years of the regional government, Metro, and was the primary author of the regional growth concept known as Metro 2040. It is recognized nationally and has been the recipient of many national awards.
Since starting the firm in 1997, John has led a variety of planning projects, including some of the most nationally significant regional plans in recent decades. He was a key consultant in the Envision Utah process, an ongoing regional plan that has garnered national recognition, as well as the lead consultant for Chicago Metropolis 2020, the initiative by the Chicago Commercial Club to reprise the seminal Chicago Plan of 1909.
He was the consultant for Compass Blueprint, the regional vision for SCAG, the regional government of Southern California, a massive region of 38,000 square miles and 17 million people. Most recently he was a key consultant for Louisiana Speaks, Louisiana’s first regional plan for the southern Louisiana, and is lead consultant to the Big Look Task Force, a committee mandated to comprehensively review Oregon’s planning system.
In addition to his regional plans, Fregonese has led numerous comprehensive plans for large cities such as Denver and Dallas, plans and visions for small cities with ethnically diverse populations such as Watsonville and Compton, California as well as numerous small area plans for downtowns, neighborhoods, and other areas such as Talent, Oregon, Mountlake Terrace, Washington, and El Centro, California. By working at a variety of scales, Fregonese has been able to bring a practical, pragmatic approach to plans that make them implementable.
Growing up in Hollywood, Rome, and other American and European cities, he believes that his early childhood experience in different countries led to his interest in urban planning. His parents, Faith Domergue and Hugo Fregonese, both had long careers in the film industry.
Glen Bolen – Vice President, Fregonese & Associates, Portland, OR
As Vice President at Fregonese Associates, Glen provides leadership within the company and is one of the firm’s core strategic decision makers. With fifteen years experience at the cutting edge of planning, he excels in project management and strategy, public involvement, ordinance writing, and scenario planning for scales both large and small.
Glen is a key FA manager with a proven record of success, from downtown plans to regional growth strategies. Recently Glen managed the creation of Dallas’ first ever comprehensive plan. He also managed a growth visioning process for the Southern California Association of Governments, a project that marks a great leap forward for coordinated planning in this important region. In another past project, Glen constructed a comprehensive regional GIS database for the five counties of the Central Texas Region, an area that doubles in population every twenty years. His most recent projects include managing a long-term recovery plan for South Louisiana and multiple Southern California Association of Governments Demonstration Projects.
Glen has utilized his project management and technical skills on a number of Fregonese Associates projects, including those in: Los Angeles, California; Dallas, Texas; Austin, Texas; Contra Costa County, California; Marion County, Oregon; Denton, Texas; Vancouver, Washington; and Nashville, Tennessee.
Michael Skipper – Executive Director, Nashville Area MPO
Michael has more than a decade of experience in transportation policy, planning, and research, beginning his career with the Nashville Area MPO in the mid 1990s. Prior to his return to the MPO, he directed the public transportation work program for an MPO in central Florida where he led regional consensus building efforts and spearheaded state legislative action to provide a dedicated source of funding for public transportation through the creation of the Polk Transit Authority. He was a technical lead in the 7-county Orlando area’s “How Shall We Grow?” regional visioning process and the MPOs representative in the development of legislation that lead to the creation of the recently formed Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority.
In addition to his public-sector service, Michael has held senior-level management positions with consulting firms in Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington. During his time in the private sector, he conducted social and public policy research for numerous local and state governments, MPOs, DOTs and transit agencies across the nation.
He received his undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a Masters of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin. Go Vols!
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