Advisory Council

Meet CICE’s Advisory Council. These chamber executives help CICE assist local chambers of commerce serve their member businesses:


Doug Luciani   
President & CEO, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, MI

Doug Luciani has been President & CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce since January 2003. The purpose of the Chamber is to grow business and build community. As CEO, Doug is responsible for the Chamber and its two subsidiaries, the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation (a lending foundation with nearly $5 million under management), and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation. With nearly 2000 members, it is among the largest chambers of commerce in Michigan. The Chamber serves a Northwest Michigan region with a total population of approximately 210,000 people in 5 counties.

As leader of the Chamber’s professional staff, Doug serves on numerous boards and committees within the region and statewide. In 2009, he was appointed by Governor Granholm to the Early Child Investment Commission where he also served on its Executive Committee as Treasurer. In 2012, he was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Grow Michigan Corporation Board of Directors, a $60 million public/private venture capital fund established through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Doug was raised in Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He received a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Prior to returning to Michigan, Doug and his wife, Lynne, lived with their daughters, Olivia and Maria, in the Kansas City Area. Doug worked for more than 12 years for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the last several years as senior vice president of Business Development and Member Services.

Website »

Marc Jordan   
President & CEO, North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, SC

R. Marc Jordan was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau in North Myrtle Beach, SC, in December of 2007. Jordan came to North Myrtle Beach from Lynchburg, VA ,where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Central Virginia for two and a half years. Prior to his tenure with the United Way, Jordan served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce, a position he held for the prior ten years. This capped a 33-year career serving in leadership positions with local Chambers of Commerce including Raleigh, N.C., Norfolk, VA, Rocky Mount, NC, and beginning with the Greater Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce.

While in Norfolk, Marc also led the dissolution of five Chambers of Commerce including Norfolk, Va. Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Suffolk, and the creation of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, which serves that region today. He lead the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce for a decade during the explosion of the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh’s attainment as the “Best Place to Work and Live in America”, and the creation of the Raleigh-Durham Regional Association.

Marc’s work in Memphis resulted in an economic development initiative that produced $1 billion in new capital investments annually for eight years in a row, along with a major increase in the area’s per-capita income and the creation of the Memphis Regional Collaborative .

“Building communities today is a world apart from the experiences of my earliest year’s, and that’s why I’m not quite ready to quit and why living and working in a smaller community today provides such a challenging and exciting opportunity. We never stop learning,” commented Marc on his move to North Myrtle Beach, SC to assume the leadership of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Marc is a graduate of Lynchburg College with his wife Vicki, and prior to his chamber career he worked in Admissions and Development for Lynchburg College. He also served six years in the Marine Corps Reserves. Jordan has held numerous leadership positions throughout his career including serving as the Chairman of the Metro Cities Council and Chair-Elect for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association, a professional association representing Chamber of Commerce professionals throughout the country. He relinquished his pending Chairman’s position after he and his wife decided to return to Lynchburg, a place they considered more like home than either of their birthplaces. Marc has also been recognized by his peers as Chamber Executive of the Year in both North Carolina and Virginia and has served as President of his state associations in each state he has resided.

Marc and his wife Vicki have three children: Ryann, a Presbyterian College graduate, preschool teacher and mother to daughter, Lohi, is married to Buz, an Associate Pastor at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC; and twins, Paige and Marcus. Paige graduated in May, 2008 from Queens University, in Charlotte, NC, and is currently working in the fashion industry as an Assistant Buyer for The Cato Corporation. Marcus also graduated in May, 2008 from Lynchburg College in Virginia and is seeking employment in the hospitality industry.

Website »

Steve Clark   
President & CEO, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, AR

Steve Clark is the President & CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, a Star Accredited Chamber. He is a lawyer, a mediator, a former law professor and the former Arkansas Attorney General.

Clark’s experience as an elected state attorney general, chief of staff to a governor, judge, arbitrator, mediator, professor of law, and entrepreneur provides him a unique background in understanding the legal system and issues arising in that system dealing with fraud, ethics, and business or governmental regulation.

He has been actively involved in a number of Medicare and Medicaid fraud investigations and litigation as a public official. He also has had hands-on experience as a health care manager, managing a multi-site durable medical equipment business; serving as vice president of managed care for a national home health company; and founding his own start-up behavioral health care entity, The InnerCare Group. His company was one of the largest behavioral health companies in the nation when sold.

Prior to becoming the President & CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Clark served as a visiting professor of law at St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami. He taught criminal law, criminal procedure, advanced criminal procedure, advanced evidence, and race and racism.

Currently, he teaches classes in “Investigating Conflicts of Interest,” “Report Writing – Documenting and Making the Case for Fraud,” “Staying Out of Trouble – Properly Conducting Investigations,” “Principles of Fraud Investigation,” and “How to Testify.”

Steve and his wife Suzanne are the proud grandparents of A.J. Jacob, Hannah, Jackson and Campbell.

Website »

Christy Gillenwater   
President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana, IN

Christy Gillenwater assumed leadership of The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana in January 2013.

Christy had since 2005 served as the President & CEO of The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana, which was named the 2012 National Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives ($501,000-$999,999 revenue category), and the 2011 Indiana Chamber of the Year by the Indiana Chamber Executives Association. During her tenure at The Greater Bloomington Chamber, Christie developed a thoughtful process by which public policy issues are vetted, developed and implemented.

Prior to joining the Bloomington Chamber, Christy served as the Vice President of Technology Advancement for the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance following her three years as the Director of External Affairs for SBC (now AT&T). In her role with SBC, Christy worked with nine counties in East Central and Central Indiana and served on the board of directors for several chamber and economic development organizations. Prior to joining SBC, Christy was the Director of Community and Government Relations for the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce following her time as the President of the Greater Greenfield Chamber of Commerce.

Christy was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration from Ball State University. Christy was named a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) in 2012. The CCE is the only national certification for chamber professionals.

Website »

Ryan Evans   
Vice President of Business and Community Relations, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, UT

Ryan Evans joined the Salt Lake Chamber in 2003 and currently serves as vice president of business and community relations. Ryan is responsible for the Chamber's relationships with its highest-level members, community development initiatives, and building collaborative relationships with other chambers of commerce and business associations throughout the state.

Ryan serves as executive administrator for the Utah State Chamber, national chamber liaison for the Salt Lake Chamber, Advisory Board member for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association, Utah Hispanic Chamber Advisory Board Member and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management, a four-year non-profit management program.

Ryan is actively involved in the community, as well. He is the vice chair for Special Olympics Utah Board of Directors, a member of United Way's Young Leaders Program, on Salt Lake City's Business Advisory Board, and is the founder and board member of the Utah Small Business Coalition.

In 2010 Utah Business Magazine recognized Ryan as one of Utah’s 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders. Before joining the Chamber, Ryan was the chef/owner of the Firehouse BBQ Grill, a southern- southwestern restaurant, and Wasatch Smokin’ Company, a BBQ catering operation.

He attended the University of Vermont and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Utah.

Website »

Susan Munroe   
President & CEO, Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce, OH

Susan Munroe, Van Wert Area Chamber President/CEO, has led the Chamber since September of 2011 in its mission to build economic success for its members and community. Not only has Susan increased membership by more than 30% since joining the Chamber, but she has instituted fresh initiatives such as Leadercast and the Van Wert Leads Exchange to partner with her businesses to encourage growth in client base, sales and overall economic success. Susan has also been a passionate, tireless advocate for renewable energy development, specifically wind energy, at the local, state and national level as Van Wert County boasts the largest number of wind turbines in Ohio. Susan offers legislative support by sharing the impressive stories and data of economic impact of wind farm development on her community’s schools, businesses, local government and land owners.

Susan brings 18 years of corporate and non‐profit leadership to the Chamber including 8 years as Marketing and Advertising Manager with AT&T in New Jersey. Originally from Winston‐Salem, North Carolina, she is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Speech Communications and also holds a MA in Corporate Communications from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Susan is an active Rotarian and also serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement, Main Street Van Wert, Economic Development Advisory Group and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. She and her husband live in Van Wert, Ohio and have three sons.

Website »

John Threadgill   
President & CEO, Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce, TN

John Threadgill has more than 30 years of economic development experience and has broad experience in the operations and functions of a chamber of commerce.

John began his current role as the President of the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce in March of 2006. He has positioned the Bartlett area, which encompasses Northeast Shelby County representing market of 250,000, as a dynamic business center with innovative companies and industries. The Bartlett Chamber’s Vision 20/20 economic development initiative is a ten year program focused on four key industries: Life Science, Agribusiness, Growth & Innovation and Retail & Hospitality. Another major focus of the Bartlett Area Chamber is its energy efficiency initiative – Team Green Zone. This program is aimed at assisting businesses reduce their energy usage thus lowering operating costs and reducing CO2 levels.

From 1980 to 1990 John served as an International Marketing Specialist for the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. He worked extensively in the Asian and Canadian markets recruiting foreign investment to Tennessee. John served as project manager for many international companies locating in Tennessee including Brother Industries that located in Bartlett.

In 1990 John accepted the position of Vice President for International Development at the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce. He developed the Memphis Chamber’s first comprehensive international program with emphasis in business recruitment, promoting the city’s global strengths in logistics and encouraging and promoting the region’s growth in the import/export industry. In 2000, John was promoted to Chief Administrative Officer of the Memphis Regional Chamber where he oversaw the day to day operations of the organization as well as developing long term strategies for the region’s economic future.

A native of Tennessee, John was born in Milan and spent most of his formative years in Nashville. He graduated from John Overton High School and went on to earn a Master’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University. While attending graduate school at night John worked for the Tennessee Energy Agency during the height of the energy crisis in the 1970’s where he assisted in the promotion of energy conservation across the State.

Website »

James A. "Jim" Heeter   
President & CEO, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, MO

Jim Heeter serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He joined The Chamber staff in April 2010 following a distinguished career as a corporate attorney.

Heeter received his A.B. with honors from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1970 and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1973. He practiced corporate law for more than 35 years, representing some of Kansas City’s biggest and most successful companies as well as a number of successful start-up ventures and healthcare clients.

In 1995 he became a partner with Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, LLP (now SNR Denton) and served as the managing partner of that firm’s Kansas City office and a member of the firm’s executive committee from 2000 until 2010. He was “Councilman” Jim Heeter from 1983 – 1987, representing Kansas City, Missouri’s Fourth District At-Large. He has served in a host of other leadership positions in the Kansas City civic, business and philanthropic communities.

Heeter’s current civic and professional Involvements include: Immediate Past President, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association; Board of Directors, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City; Board of Directors, Kansas City Area Development Council; Board of Directors, Teach for America (Midwestern Region); Elder and Trustee of Village Presbyterian Church; Co-founder and Director, Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP) (benefitting Operation Breakthrough); Board of Trustees, MRI Global (formerly Midwest Research Institute); University of Missouri Research and Development Advisory Board.

Jim Heeter has been included in Best Lawyers in America, SuperLawyers, Chambers Directory of Leading American Lawyers, and the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar.” In 2008 he received the prestigious H. Michael Coburn Community Service Award from Legal Aid of Western Missouri.

Jim and his wife, Judy, have three children. Judy Heeter, formerly a partner with the law firm Polsinelli Shughart PC, served for 20 years as Director of Business Affairs and Licensing for the Major League Baseball Players Association. She is currently CEO of Pathfinder Consulting, LLC.

Website »

Angelique Espinoza   
Public Affairs Manager, Boulder Chamber of Commerce, CO

Angelique is the Public Affairs Manager at the Boulder Chamber where she manages government affairs, policy and outreach. The Boulder Chamber is the premier business advocacy organization, providing a voice for business in balance with the environmental and social values that make Boulder such a great place to live, work and play. Angelique is committed to Boulder’s economic health and to its leadership role in environmental sustainability.

Angelique was elected to the Boulder City Council and served from November 2007-November 2009. She carried her “common sense for the common good” message into a range of policy issues ranging from multimodal transportation to diversifying affordable housing to the City’s Climate Action Plan for reducing waste, water and energy use, while promoting a strong economic environment where business innovation thrives. Before serving on City Council, Angelique was a partner in Free Range Geeks, a small local IT support company. She brings a keen awareness of the needs of small businesses into her policy work.

Angelique is committed to community and currently serves as a member of the Board for Impact on Education, an award-winning organization devoted to pursuing excellence, equity and innovation in Boulder Valley schools. She believes in high-quality education for all citizens as key to a successful democracy.

Angelique has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s Degree from the University of Colorado.

Website »

Nicole Stika   
Senior Director, Energy Services, COSE - Council of Smaller Enterprises, Cleveland, OH

Nicole Stika is the Senior Director of Energy Services for the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and leads the energy portfolio and strategy. She leads the chamber’s member energy portfolio including its electric and natural gas procurement for Ohio small businesses, serving nearly 12,000 residential and commercial accounts. She oversees the development and implementation of the energy efficiency, demand side management, and sustainability programs on behalf of member companies and their employees. Under her leadership since 2008, the program has rapidly grown into a robust program that now provides comprehensive, consultative energy efficiency education and support services to businesses of all sizes.
She is driving energy efficiency policies such as ‘on-bill financing’ and other energy legislation throughout the State of Ohio. She works closely with various stakeholders including state utilities, state agencies and chambers of commerce to be the voice for small business. She advocates for small business energy efficiency resources and for the design and implementation of such programs.
She serves on the executive council for Emerald Cities Cuyahoga County, the Corporate Advisory Council for the Institute for Sustainable Business Practice at Baldwin-Wallace College and the Advisory Council for Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE). She is also active with the City of Cleveland’s Sustainability Summit 2019, and has been an active participant in the newly forming AIA Cleveland 2030 District. She speaks nationally and internationally on sustainable economic development strategy and building successful businesses, organizations and communities for small businesses.
Nicole is a LEED Green Associate and has a Master’s in Public Administration specializing in economic development from The Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Dayton.

Website »

John Tayer   
President & CEO, Boulder Chamber of Commerce, CO

John L. Tayer assumed his new position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boulder Chamber in December 2012. He previously served on the Chamber's Board of Directors and is a former Board Chair.
Mr. Tayer has been engaged in business and policy advocacy in Boulder for many years. For more than a decade he represented Corden Pharma Colorado (formerly Roche Colorado Corporation) in various executive public affairs and community relations positions. Prior to Corden, Mr. Tayer worked directly for the City Manager of Boulder as its Director of Policy Development and Intergovernmental Affair Coordinator. Mr. Tayer began his career in Washington as a Congressional Aide to U.S. Senator Brock Adams. Mr. Tayer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado School of Law. Mr. Tayer also presently serves as a Director of the Regional Transportation District, representing the Boulder area.

Website »

Sarah Kennedy   
Director of Government Affairs, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Cambridge, MA

Sarah is the Director of Government Affairs for the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. In this role she is the chief liaison to Cambridge City Hall and the Massachusetts State House, advocating and advancing public policy in support of the membership of the Chamber. Working closely with the President of the Chamber and the Government Affairs Committee of the Board, she guides strategic planning of public policy messaging and media relations. Sarah also serves as an advisor to Chamber member companies on policy and regulatory issues impacting their businesses.

She previously was a member of the campaign team for the casino ballot referendum at Suffolk Downs in Revere, Massachusetts. Sarah served as the liaison between internal management, various consultant teams and campaign field staff; managing campaign schedules for the team, coordinating community presentations and assisting in field operations.

From 2010-2011 Sarah was the Director of Constituent Services and Community Initiatives for Cambridge's Mayor Maher. She managed ongoing communication with and implemented strategic solutions for residents, non-profit agencies, local businesses and educational institutions. She was a key advisor on policy issues, including affordable housing and zoning initiatives as well as the Innovation Agenda, the educational reform that migrated 11 K-8 elementary schools to a modern middle and upper school system.

For the past three years she has been a member of the Board of Directors for Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC), Cambridge’s designated community action anti-poverty agency. Sarah serves as Vice Chair of their Public Policy and Advocacy committee, leading legislative efforts of the agency and developing interactive City Council forums.

Website »

Bob Linscheid   
Co-chair of CICE Advisory Council | President & CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, CA

Bob Linscheid became the new President and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in February 2013. Prior to joining the chamber, Bob served as the Managing Director of External Relations for Innovate North State, the leading regional innovation catalyst working to develop key industry clusters including technology, cleantech, and manufacturing across Northern California. He has more than 25 years of management experience in the private, nonprofit and public sectors.

Bob is also the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the California State University System, overseeing budget, programmatic and policy decisions for the 23-campus system - the largest statewide higher education system in the country.

Previously, Linscheid founded and served as President and CEO of The Linscheid Company, Inc., providing public affairs consulting services to private enterprise, public institutions and several economic development initiatives. He also served as Vice President of External Relations for Grow California, an organization helping to grow business across the state. Linscheid served over ten years as the Chief Executive Officer for several California chambers of commerce including the Chico Chamber of Commerce, the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.

Linscheid received a B.A. and M.A. in Public Administration from Chico State University, in California. He has been recognized with numerous awards including: Chico State University's College of Business "Person of the Year" ; the Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Executive of the Year; Rotary District 5160 Humanitarian of the Year; and Trustee of the Year from the California Student Association six out of the last seven years.

Website »

Aaron Nelson   
Co-Chair of CICE Advisory Council | President & CEO, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, NC

Aaron Nelson has been the CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce since 2001 and was appointed Executive Director of the Chamber’s partner, the Foundation for a Sustainable Community upon its creation in 2004.

Aaron currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Arts Center and The Carolina Club, the Steering Committee of the Regional Transportation Alliance, the Advisory Board of Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Board of Regents of the Northeast Institute for Organization Management.

Aaron is a 1997 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy where he also served as Student Body President.
Prior to his service with the Chamber, Aaron worked at UNC Chapel Hill holding several appointments including Special Assistant to the Chancellor and Coordinator of Local Relations. Aaron has been a resident of the Triangle since 1982 and lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Sonja, son Maxwell Isaiah and daughter Atlee Elizabeth.

Website »

Diane Doucette   
Executive Director, Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, CA

Diane Doucette is a strategic planner, policy advisor, and network builder. She has been working with businesses and policy makers on essential infrastructure and economic policies for over 20 years. She has advised businesses, governments, entrepreneurs, investors and non-profit organizations on policies and strategies to advance telecommunications and clean energy issues. She has worked on many legislative campaigns.

Diane spent the first 10 years of her career working internationally on telecom policy issues. She began her career as an advisor to the new Russian government after the collapse of the Soviet Union. She served as a liaison for the Russian government to the foreign business community in Moscow and was very active in helping the Russian Parliament draft its first Telecommunications Law. She then ran AT&T’s Government Relations and Operations for several East European countries. After seven years in Moscow, Diane moved to London to run AT&T’s strategic planning effort. She returned to the United States to work on clean energy issues.

With a background in business, policy, strategic planning, communications, and building coalitions, Diane was hired to build business support for California’s clean energy policies. She also worked nationally to pass clean energy policies and helped build national and state-based clean energy business networks in Ohio, Arkansas and Indiana.

Diane has a PhD from UC Berkeley in Political Science.

Website »