Meet Our Staff
|The Rockford Area Economic Development Council employs economic development professionals focused on serving clients, investors, and partners. Meet our staff below...
Vice President for Development
As Vice President for Development for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC), Mark is responsible for assisting clients with business expansion and retention efforts.
Prior to joining the RAEDC staff in February of 2005, Mark held several leadership positions during his 19-year career at Honeywell International in product and engineering management, factory operations, sales, and business development. In 2004, Mark established a management-consulting company focused on assisting clients with performance-improvement approaches.
Mark serves on the Boone and Winnebago Workforce Investment Board and chairs the Business Relations Committee. Mark is also the current Chairman of the Chicago chapter of the Swedish American Chambers of Commerce (SACC) and he serves on the SACC USA Board and Executive Committee.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Vice President of National Business Development
Eric joined the staff of Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) in February of 2006. Eric leads the region’s business attraction outreach efforts. He serves as the liaison between the Rockford Region and national real estate community, global site selectors and private companies considering first time investment in the Rockford Region.
Eric has over 17 years of experience in economic development with expertise in foreign investment attraction (China), business park planning and development, government and ally partnership development, and airport and rail-related logistics. He is also experienced in labor market assessment, strategic planning, existing business development, and entrepreneurship and incubator development.
Eric graduated from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in Finance and Economics, and a master’s degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Economic Development. Most recently Eric was the founding President and CEO of the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association and prior to that he was the Vice President of Economic Development for the River Bend Growth Association; the third largest Chamber Of Commerce in the greater St. Louis area. Eric serves on the Board of Director’s of the Mid-American Economic Development Council (MAEDC) and the Illinois Development Council (IDC). He is a member of the International Economic Development Council, Industrial Asset Management Council, the Chicago Traffic Club, Intermodal Association of North America, The International Air Cargo Association, among other organizations.
Director of Investor Relations
As Director of Investor Relations for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, Mary Cacioppi coordinates the efforts of investors, board members, and staff to increase and sustain private and public-sector investments in support of the RAEDC. Mary is responsible for a $7.5 Million capital campaign in support of the RAEDC’s five-year strategic plan for 2008-2012, called Rockforward! Mary also serves as staff liaison for the Rockforward! President’s Circle and Rockforward! Leadership Council, and the Business & Community RElations Solutions Team; she also chairs the Attracting and Retaining Talent to the Rockford Area Steering Committee.
Mary is an active member of Next Rockford and serves on its Strategy Team and co-chairs the Business Environment Team. She is also a member of IGNITE, and is the chairperson of Boylan High School Alumni's Business & Professional Network.
Mary has completed three years of the Community Development Institute and is now eligible for certification as a Community and Economic Development Professional through the CDI.
She holds a B.A. in business administration from Madison University and graduated with Honors Cum Laude. Mary was a recipient of the Rockford Chambers '40 Leaders Under 40' award in 2008; and was honored with the Woman Business Leader of Tomorrow award through the Rockford Chamber in 2009.
Director of International Trade
As Director of International Trade for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, Carrie manages initiatives to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and increase regional exports . Carrie also manages Foreign Trade Zone #176 (FTZ), an important tool to manage international supply chains.
With extensive networks in China and Western Europe, Carrie develops and manages relationships with international trade partners. Carrie assists in developing international marketing strategies based on the Rockford Area’s industry clusters, and manages FDI client projects. As Director of the IL SBDC International Trade Center, Carrie consults Rockford area companies on export growth, facilitates international B2B matchmaking, and organizes the annual Go Global international trade conference. Collaborating with public and private partners, Carrie organizes international trade missions to China and Western Europe to promote the Rockford region as a location for foreign direct investment and to assist local companies to connect with foreign markets.
Carrie expects to graduate from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2015 with an MBA in Global Management. She graduated from Beloit College in 2008 with a degree in Modern Languages and Asian Studies. In 2006 and 2007 she lived in Jinan, China where she studied Chinese language and culture. Carrie speaks both Mandarin and French.
Manager of Operations
As Manager of Operations for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, Leilani is responsible coordinating the daily operations of the organization including the finance and HR duties. She provides support to the President and RAEDC management staff, as well as supporting events and various marketing projects. Leilani acts as staff liaison to the RAEDC Board of Directors, including Audit and Nominating Committees.
Leilani joined the RAEDC in October of 2000, with several years of customer service experience. She represents the organization as a Certified Notary Public.
Terrance hallBusiness Development Specialist
As Business Development Specialist, Terrance is a primary resource in support of the organization’s Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) efforts. This includes fostering relationships with hundreds of our region’s primary employers on an annual basis through Voice of the Customer client visits and working toward objectives set forth by the BRE Solutions Team.
Investor Relations Coordinator
As Investor Relations Coordinator, Teri is responsible for scheduling investor meetings, corrdinating quarterly events, managing communications with new and prospective investors, maintaining accounts receivable and updating the organization's investor database and online directory. She also provides support to the Rockforward! Leadership Council and Business & Community Relations Solutions Team.
Prior to joining the RAEDC staff in January 2010, Teri held marketing and management positions in sales and financial services in Texas, New York, and West Virginia.
Teri earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from West Virginia University. She and her husband, a native of this region, relocated to the Rockford area from Texas in 2009, demonstrating the boomerang effect.
Business Development Assistant
As Business Development Assistant, Bea supports the Vice President for Development and the Business Development Specialist. Her primary focus is on Voice of the Customer surveys and the Business Retention & Expansion Solutions Team. Bea also coordinates the quarterly Coffee Talk Program and assists with other key events.
Bea is a native of Rockford and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.
National Business Development Assistant
As National Business Development Assistant, Devon supports the Vice President for National Business Development and the Director of the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center, Administrator of FTZ #176.