Executive Conference Program

Business Facilities LiveXchange will present a comprehensive, practical and strategic conference program that helps delegates better plan and manage their companies’ relocation or expansion projects. This unique experience will be supplemented by an all-star list of guest speakers, who will be making presentations and leading discussions on a number of hot-button issues.

Keynote Speaker: Michael German, Fellow, Liberty & National Security
Former Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Michael German is a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty & National Security Program, which seeks to ensure that the U.S. government respects human rights and fundamental freedoms in conducting the fight against terrorism. A former special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his work focuses on law enforcement and intelligence oversight and reform. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, German served as the policy counsel for national security and privacy for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office.

German is the author of Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy. The book chronicles how the FBI transformed itself after the 9/11 attacks from a law enforcement agency famous for prosecuting organized crime and corruption to arguably the most secretive domestic intelligence agency the country has ever seen. A 16-year veteran of federal law enforcement, German served as an FBI special agent, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. He left the FBI in 2004 after reporting continuing deficiencies in FBI counterterrorism operations to Congress. German served as an adjunct professor of law enforcement and terrorism at National Defense University. He joined the ACLU’s Washington legislative office in 2006 and the Brennan Center in 2014. His first book, Thinking Like a Terrorist: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent, was published in 2007.

Panel Discussion: Coastal Resilience, Restoration and Adaptation

Charles Sutcliffe, Chief Resilience Officer in the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, and Troy Hartley, Director of Virginia Sea Grant, will join Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers for an inside look at the latest state and regional strategic plans for coastal resilience. The panel will focus on how these climate-change mitigation strategies will impact economic development and site selection.


Charles Sutcliffe, Chief Resilience Officer, Louisiana Governor’s Office – Coastal Activities

Charles Sutcliffe is in his tenth year in the Louisiana Governor’s Office Coastal Activities. He began with a strict policy focus related to the implementation of the Coastal Master Plan and now seeks to integrate an understanding of coastal change into other departments across state government. He coordinates closely with other state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropies as the State of Louisiana broadens its approach to managing the many implications of coastal change and positioning itself to capitalize on the opportunities that may arise. Charles is also one of three members of the Governor’s Office team working on the Climate Initiatives Task Force which will make recommendations for how Louisiana can reach net zero emissions by 2050.


Troy Hartley, Director, Virginia Sea Grant

Dr. Troy Hartley is director of Virginia Sea Grant (VASG), a multi-university coalition headquartered at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at William & Mary, and charged with advancing the resilience and sustainability of coastal communities and economies. In this role, he directs R&D funding, workforce development, and university outreach. Troy leads a new Virginia economic development initiative to launch a coastal resilience and adaptation economy through a business plan competition and extensive public-private partnerships for R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship.  He serves on the economic development and finance sub-committees to Virginia’s Coastal Master Plan technical advisory committees.

General Session: Evaluating Tech Talent Pipelines
Elizabeth Cantwell, PhD, Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation, University of Arizona

This general session will detail the role universities are playing in developing the tech talent pipeline in AZ for growth sectors like semiconductors, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and software engineering, identifying metrics site selectors can use to evaluate tech talent pipelines and the higher education programs that are keeping them filled with skilled workers.


Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell leads the Office for Research, Innovation and Impact, which includes the Corporate Engagement Program, Tech Launch Arizona, the Forge and the UArizona research parks.

She is responsible for expanding the university’s capacity for knowledge creation and discovery; integrating efforts by faculty, students, staff and executive leaders to move inventions and technologies to the marketplace; increasing the university’s connectivity with external collaborators; spearheading industry and public partnerships; and increasing total research funding.

General Session: The Fintech Revolution
Rob Ayers, CEO, Fintech-Advisors

Learn how digital payment startups, blockchain-driven apps and lending programs utilizing artificial intelligence are transforming the financial services sector. Join Fintech-Advisors CEO Rob Myers as he outlines the essentials needed to attract fintech startups to your location and the best metrics for evaluating their potential.
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Rob Ayers is a payments and remittance veteran, with over 25 years in the industry. He has held positions with a variety of companies, from publicly-traded firms and global businesses to startups and early stage entities. He has been an executive of 3 licensed money transmitters and managed the P&L for various regions around the world. Has also run sales and marketing organizations and worked both sides of mergers and acquisitions.