William N. Hearn is Senior Vice President of CBRE Atlanta’s Location Consulting Group, as well as an affiliate member of CBRE’s National Location Incentives Group, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the past 20 years, Mr. Hearn has consulted global companies on issues of expansion, consolidation, relocation, divestiture and M&A projects as it relates to location and transition programs. Mr. Hearn has completed over 200 site selection assignments, ranging from $5 million to $1.5 billion in capital investment. Mr. Hearn leverages his experience to ensure that clients focus on the most critical aspects of a project, resulting in smooth decisions, comprehensive client input and a commitment to schedule and cost requirements.
Mr. Hearn has completed assignments in all regions of the US and Canada, with significant experience in Asia, Europe, South central Europe and Mexico, leveraging technical expertise, gleaned while leading a site selection consulting group at a global engineering and design firm. Mr. Hearn has supported clients across industries including advanced manufacturing, mission critical data centers, chemicals and process manufacturing, financial and insurance, biotech and life sciences, R&D, energy, shared services and call centers. Mr. Hearn has supported foreign direct investment projects from Germany and Japan into the US.
Mr. Hearn is a founding member of The Site Selectors Guild, a national association of site selection professionals founded in 2010, and has served as an advisor to states and regions, addressing economic development and investment policy. In 2008 and in 2010, Mr. Hearn led consulting engagements at The World Bank and USAID to address transitioning economies in Eastern Europe, resulting in the creation of nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to encourage foreign investment.
Executive Director Site Selection
The Next Move Group
John Sisson is the Executive Director for site selection for the Next Move Group. He has performed and managed site selection and incentive negotiations during a 30-year career in site selection and economic development, which followed assignments in corporate finance with Ford Motor Company and Mallinckrodt. John has completed hundreds of successful site selection assignments for his clients with a total investment value exceeding $32 billion. These projects have spanned North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. John has negotiated more than $2 billion worth of incentives for his clients in locating their facilities around the world. John developed, sold, and implemented certified site programs in New York and Oregon, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and communities in North Carolina, Maryland, and South Carolina. He has also preformed multiple adaptive reuse projects for power plant facilities that were being decommissioned, textile facilities and other large facilities that were taken out of service. John was elected to the Site Selectors Guild in 2013 and is a committee member for SSG advisory Forums.
Director, Understanding Cognitive Systems
During his distinguished career in technology and computer science Jim Spohrer has held senior research and executive positions at IBM and Apple, leading numerous successful new product and business ventures at these and other companies. Recognized for his ability to apply new technologies to everyday life, Jim is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world and a widely published author in scientific and business technology journals. Holder of ten patents, Jim is a pioneer in the development of service sciences – the study, design and implementation of systems in which people and technologies interact and take actions that provide value for others in service industries from healthcare to education to community and economic development. Jim graduated from MIT with a bachelor of science degree in physics, and he holds a Ph.D. from Yale in computer science and artificial intelligence. Jim grew up in rural Newburgh Maine where he had a very special high school English teacher – Stephen King. He currently lives in Silicon Valley with his wife, two sons and a dog named Wally.
Assistant Vice President of Economic Development
Colby Tanner joined BNSF Railway in 2015 as the AVP of Economic Development. In this role, he is responsible for directing, planning and implementing the location and expansion of industries to the BNSF System through collaborative efforts with customers, developers and communities. Prior to joining BNSF, he spent 12 years leading strategic real estate initiatives at various divisions of Walmart Stores, Inc.
Mr. Tanner’s previous experience included managing business development and site location projects for Carter & Burgess, Inc. and the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Throughout his career, he has led teams that developed over 35 million square feet of industrial and commercial space throughout the United States.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Missouri State University. Mr. Tanner currently resides in Haslet, TX with his wife, Kelly, and their two boys, Kannon and Kolt.
Director Industrial Development – East
Carl Warren, Director Industrial Development, East, CSX Transportation, began his transportation career in 1996 with the BNSF Railway with positions in finance, network development and intermodal. Prior to joining CSX he was a senior official at the Port of Portland in Portland, Oregon.
At CSX, Carl has held a number of roles utilizing his experience in infrastructure development, strategic planning and intermodal. In his current role he is responsible for infrastructure development with Ports and industrial development in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and the Canadian Province of Quebec.
He is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and holds a M.S. in Transportation from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Carl and his family live in St. Johns, Florida.