Thomas D’Alesandro
President
Blakefield Development

Thomas D’Alesandro brings over 30 years’ experience in the supervision of real estate companies, where he has overseen development of highly successful, nationally prominent mixed-use town centers, regional shopping centers and master planned communities.

These projects include 60 income producing office, retail, industrial, residential, and hospitality buildings measuring nearly 17 million square feet of space and representing investments of $3.5 billion. They also include the nation’s largest new towns of Chatham Park, NC, Reston, VA, Columbia, MD, The Woodlands, Bridgeland, and Thomas Ranch TX, and Summerlin, NV. In total, these communities provide homes for over 200,000 families, include more than 60 million square feet of commercial space, and extend over more than 100,000 acres. These developments have transformed greenfields into regional destinations with aggregate property tax assessments more than $50 billion.

Mr. D’Alesandro’s Blakefield, LLC has been guiding new development programs and advising clients globally on development strategy and execution since he founded it in 2010. Prior to that, Mr. D’Alesandro held senior leadership positions at McShane Development, General Growth Properties, The Woodlands Operating Company, Terrabrook and Mobil Land Development Company.

His developments have won wide recognition, including awards from the Nature Conservancy, the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, National Wildlife Federation, Nations in Bloom, Urban Land Institute and the International Downtown Association.

Mr. D’Alesandro is a graduate of The Darden School at the University of Virginia (MBA) the University of Chicago (MA) and Loyola University in Maryland (BA) and has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Mr. D’Alesandro has served on the boards of several civic, economic, academic and artistic non-profit organizations, including The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston Wilderness, the Berman Real Estate Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Fairfax County Council on the Arts, and the Greater State Street Council, among others.

Blakefield Development
Box 994, 1241 Central Avenue
Willmette, IL 60091
Mobile #: (312) 404-7907
Email: tjd@blake-field.com
Website: www.blake-field.com

Gregory L. Caldwell
Construction Project Manager, PE
Caldwell Development Services

Greg grew up the son of a 30-year Air Force father and therefore moved around the country several times during his youth. He attended High School at Lakenheath, England for 4 years before heading off to Munich Germany for his first year of college. Greg graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1980. He received his Professional Engineering License in 1988.

Greg worked for The Kroger Co. as a Facility Engineer for five years before moving to Director of Facility Engineering for Lowes Foods in 1985 after the chain was acquired by MDI. He was in that position for 13 years.

In 1998, Greg established Caldwell Development Services to provide development services to commercial and retail developers. CDS has been operating since with the exception of the years 2013 through 2016 when Greg worked exclusively for Kite Realty Group developing two of the largest retail projects in the southeast. Greg has over 30 years of experience in commercial development and construction.

Greg has a wife of 35 years and son 30 years of age who is also in the retail development field. He enjoys golf and spending time at the beach with his family.

Mobile #: (919) 219-5620
Email: greg@prestondev.com

Susan Sanford
Executive Director
Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

Susan Sanford is executive director for the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC).

In her role with RTCC, Susan oversees an agile team focused on membership recruitment and engagement, program development, marketing, and economic development. Large goals for the organization over the next two years include pursuing sites for smart cities demonstrations to showcase innovations developed in the Research Triangle region and marketing the robust cleantech, entrepreneurship community to global markets.

Susan has worked in local government and workforce development and overseas as well as in rural and urban counties across North Carolina. She has both her Bachelors in Journalism and Public Administration degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster
8000 Weston Parkway, Suite 340
Cary, NC 27513
Office #: (919) 334-4078
Mobile #: (919) 308-6441
Email: ssanford@researchtriangle.org
Website: www.researchtrianglecleantech.org

Tim Baldwin
Senior Vice President
McKim & Creed

McKim & Creed is an employee-owned, multi-disciplined firm with more than 400 staff members in 20 offices throughout the U.S. The firm was established in 1978 and specializes in civil, environmental, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural engineering; industrial design-build; airborne and mobile LiDAR/scanning; unmanned aerial systems (drones); subsurface utility engineering; and hydrographic and conventional surveying services for the land development, energy, transportation, federal, water and building markets. For more information about McKim & Creed, visit www.mckimcreed.com.

McKim & Creed
1730 Varsity Dr. #500
Raleigh, NC 27606
Office #: (919) 233-8091
Email: tbaldwin@mckimcreed.com
Website: www.mckimcreed.com

Jim Nichols
Business Development Leader
O’Brien/Atkins Associates

O’Brien/Atkins Associates is one of the state’s premier architectural and engineering firms, serving corporate office, technology and advanced manufacturing companies since 1975 and winning numerous design awards.  We respond to each client’s unique needs with our combined strengths in architecture, interiors, mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering, landscape architecture and campus planning.  We listen to and work with our clients to develop creative and cost-effective design solutions to attract and retain talented employees.  Our goal is to be a valued partner in helping companies succeed.

O’Brien/Atkins Associates
PO Box 12037
RTP, NC  27709
Office #: (919) 941-9000 x2046
Mobile #: (919) 649-3873
Email: jnichols@obrienatkins.com
Website: www.obrienatkins.com

Alan Ward
Principle, Planner & Designer
Sasaki

For over sixty years, Sasaki has brought together the best of landscape architecture, planning, urban design, architecture, interior design, civil engineering, graphic design, place branding, and data science to shape the places in which we live. Out of our Boston and Shanghai offices we are defining the contours of place and redefining what’s possible along the way. Today, we are a diverse practice of 270 professionals who share a singular passion for creating spaces and places around the world that prove human potential.

Spanning over 30 years at Sasaki, Alan’s urban design and landscape work has focused on the planning and design of private mixed-use development and major public spaces. His design leadership extends from the concept stage through implementation and construction.

Sasaki
64 Pleasant Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Office #: (617) 926-3300
Mobile #: (617) 923-7198
Email: award@sasaki.com
Website: www.sasaki.com

John E. Sather
AIA, AICP, Senior Partner, Principal Planner
Swaback Partners

Swaback Partners is a team of dedicated individuals providing services in special case architectural design, community planning and development services, interior design, environmental and graphic design.  The firm was founded in 1978 and currently practices throughout the United States, Mexico, and the World.

With over 38 years of study and preparation, Swaback partners was founded to create an Architectural and Planning practice which would provide individualized work for demanding clients.  From the start, Swaback Partners set out to build an organization of sufficient depth to undertake very special projects. The result is an enviable group of clients, including some of the most interesting organizations in the world.  The experience of the firm has included a significant number of award winning custom residential designs, residential developments, private clubs and spas, resorts, hotels, and restaurants.  Additionally, the firm has a strong base in sustainable building practices.

Swaback Partners
7550 E McDonald Dr. Suite A
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Office #: (480) 367-2100
Mobile #: (602) 531-2214
Email: jesather@swabackpartners.com
Website: http://www.swabackpartners.com/index.html

Robbie Oldham
PE, LEEP AP
WithersRavenel

Founded in 1983 by Hamilton E. “Tony” Withers and Samuel F. Ravenel, WithersRavenel is a full-service civil and environmental engineering firm serving both the private and public sectors. As an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company, we are a uniquely self-motivated group of professionals, committed to excellence in everything we do.  Our tight-knit community of 187 employee-owners excels at providing geomatics, environmental, stormwater, utilities, and land planning and development services.  Our headquarters is in Cary and we have branch offices in Greensboro, Pittsboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Asheville.

WithersRavenel
115 MacKenan Drive
Cary, NC 27511
Office #: (919) 469-3340
Email: roldham@withersravenel.com
Website: http://withersravenel.com

Kyle Touchstone
President
Chatham Economic Development Corporation

Kyle Touchstone is president of Chatham Economic Development Corporation (EDC), where he leads efforts to attract new jobs and investment to Chatham County. The EDC is a public-private organization that works with strategic partners to promote economic development opportunities in Chatham County through business attraction, retention and expansion and entrepreneurship.

A Mississippi native, Kyle brings economic development experience from Mississippi, Knoxville, Tennessee and Tallahassee/Leon County, Florida.

Chatham Economic Development Corporation
PO Box 1627, 964 East Street
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Office #: (919) 542-8275
Mobile #: (919) 548-4879
Email: ktouchstone@chathamedc.org
Website: www.chathamedc.org