TrustBelt is Back, Bringing World-Class Speaker Lineup to Chicago

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TrustBelt Headliners Announced for August 7-9 Conference in Chicago, Ill.

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The TrustBelt Conference will highlight the economic development happenings and trends across the Midwest.

Conway Inc. announced the initial speaker lineup today for the second annual TrustBelt Conference, taking place August 7-9, 2016, in the city that has just been named the No. 1 Top Metropolitan Area in the US – Chicago.

The TrustBelt Conference will highlight the economic development happenings and trends across the Midwest and will bring together CEOs, site selection consultants, economic development leaders and other economic analysts and experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the region now and in the future.

“Chicago is the perfect city to host our second ever TrustBelt gathering,” said Ron Starner, executive vice president of Conway Inc., which publishes Site Selection magazine and manages both the Industrial Asset Management Council and the Global Foreign Direct Investment Association. “Like the first city to host TrustBelt – Columbus, Ohio – Chicago is a vibrant Midwest city that represents, in many ways, the future of economic development in this pivotal region of the country. In 2015, Chicago landed more corporate facility expansions than any other metro area in the nation. What better location to talk about the future of economic development than the place that is performing at the highest level in the entire country?”

World-renowned journalist Ali Velshi returns to lead high-level panel discussions at TrustBelt, Conway announced. Other top confirmed speakers include Sophia Koropeckyj of Moody’s and Ashu Kaushal, International Director of Client Strategy Consulting for CBRE.

Confirmed corporate speakers include K.C. Conway, Senior Vice President of SunTrust Bank; Raymond Ocasio, Director of Construction and Real Estate Development at Jet Aviation; Mark Malis, Human Resources Executive for Liaison Technologies; Gregory Head, Vice President of Davert; Lindsay Freedman, Senior Global Real Estate Manager of Allegion PLC; Michael Jastifer, Director of Real Estate for North America for Freudenberg Group; Dean Amhaus, President and CEO of The Water Council; Ken Hagaman, Director of Real Estate Services for Anixter; Craig Hagen, Head of Global Governmental Affairs for Electronic Arts Inc.; and Ankur Gopal, Founder and CEO of Interapt.

Noted site selection consultant Steve Weitzner of Silverlode Consulting will once again moderate a panel of fellow site consultants who will share their views on the Midwest region and beyond. Invited site consultants include David Kamen of EY; Tim Cook, CEO of KSM Location Advisors; Bob Hess, Executive Managing Director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; Adam Prager, President of Prager Company; and international site consultant Andreas Dressler.

“The TrustBelt is a mega-region and one of the most significant business and manufacturing engines in the US economy,” added Starner. “This conference is a platform from which this region can continue its economic transformation and ensure that it trickles down to even the smallest communities.”

About the TrustBelt

The TrustBelt Conference is a platform developed to further the economic objectives of the former US Rust Belt, which stretches from Western New York to Pennsylvania and west to the Dakotas, Kansas and Nebraska. The TrustBelt is anchored by a monthly newsletter and website, as well as a conference component which fosters networking and learning. The focus of the organization is to tell the story of the economic renaissance of the Greater Midwest Region and its transformation from the RustBelt to a 21st-century global manufacturing and business mega-region. In the past 5 years, corporations have invested in 4,319 new and expanded facilities worth over $115 billion, adding over 325,300 jobs to the TrustBelt economy.

The TrustBelt region includes the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The TrustBelt is owned and operated by Conway Inc. For more information, please visit

About the TrustBelt Conference in Chicago

The TrustBelt Conference is taking place August 7-9, 2016, in Chicago at The W Chicago City Center and is the second live networking event hosted by the TrustBelt organization. To register for the event, please click here.

For questions about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Charles FitzGibbon at charles.fitzgibbon(at)

For questions about the program and speaking opportunities, please contact Ron Starner at ron.starner(at) For general questions about the event, please call Ron Starner at 770-325-3425. Thank you.

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David Margolis
Conway, Inc.
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