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FUEL NC 2024

FUEL NC with new logo

Speaker Line-up

Keynote speaker

Daphne Bryant, Executive Director, ACEC Research Institute. Daphne helped launch the ACEC Research Institute in 2020. She is responsible for the overall management of the Institute, including strategic direction, board management, fundraising and delivery of a dynamic research and thought leadership program benefiting ACEC members and the industry. She is a results-driven association and foundation professional with over 30 years’ experience and a demonstrated track record of building relationships and revenues.

Building & Infrastructure Committee
Joanna Helms Headshot

Joanna Helms was appointed in 2014 to serve as the first Economic Development Director for the Town of Apex, North Carolina.  Previously she served 21 years as the economic developer for Wayne County, NC. In addition to her decades of successes in business and industry recruitment and industrial park development; she has extensive experience in transitioning an economic development organization into at 501(c)3 public-private partnership. In her current capacity in Apex, Joanna has created a robust small business and entrepreneur development program for the Town of Apex.

She is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a BS Degree in Geography Planning. She is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at Oklahoma University and of Leadership North Carolina Class IX.

Joanna is a member of several professional organizations, including the NC Economic Development Association (NCEDA) where she currently serves as President. Locally, she is a member of Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (TCREW), the Apex Rotary Club, and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

In 2008, she was named the North Carolina Economic Developer of the Year. In 2011 she was named North Carolina Business and Professional Woman of the Year. Joanna and her husband Tim have 2 adult sons.


Sarah Godwin, is a Senior Vice President at Foundry Commercial where she co-leads the Land Services team in the Raleigh, NC office and throughout the Carolinas. With more than 16 years of commercial real estate experience, Sarah has sold more than $840 million in greenfield and redevelopment land and specializes in institutional land investment sales and development advisory services for a wide range of clients. Sarah has extensive experience with selling land for diverse uses including multifamily, residential, build-for-rent, life science, and medical office.

Sarah is a licensed real estate broker in North Carolina and South Carolina. She earned dual degrees in economics and psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Shannon Frye, Division Manager of Land Development, City of Charlotte.

Ken Bower

Ken Bowers joined the City of Raleigh as Deputy Planning Director in 2006. He was named Interim Planning Director for the City of Raleigh, NC in May of 2014 and became permanent on January 2015. After four years as Director, the Planning Department was merged with Development Services in a reorganization, and he became the Deputy Director of the combined department overseeing Long Range Planning, Current Planning, Zoning Administration, and the Urban Design Center. Prior to joining the City of Raleigh, Ken was a consultant and Principal with the firm of Phillips Preiss Shapiro Associates in New York City, where he prepared plans, market studies and economic strategies for public, private and nonprofit clients in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region and beyond. He has a Masters in Regional Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill and a BS in Physics from NC State University. He holds a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a licensed Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey.

Business Practices Committee
Mitch Blue Headshot

Mitch Savoie Hill is a Certified Professional Coach, International TEDx Speaker, published author, and Corporate Trainer with over 25 years of hospitality and leadership experience. She started in the hospitality industry as a singing waitress in New York City when she was 18 years old and later went on to manage teams for international companies in the hospitality, real estate management, and construction industries. Some of her leadership roles included Director of Food & Beverage Outlets for a Five-Star hotel in Beverly Hills and Regional Director of Business Development for a construction firm in Florida.

Mitch is a first-generation American, born to Cuban exiles, who survived a myriad of adventures and her fair share of discrimination and adversity. She now dedicates herself to coaching individuals and teams on how to overcome their roadblocks to success and has authored an inspiring and instructional book on the subject.

As the CEO and founder of SavHill Consulting LLC, she delivers inclusive leadership coaching, corporate training, and keynote speeches to help her audiences learn how to engage their diverse clients and teams to achieve optimum productivity and success.

Working in high-stress, fast-paced environments in unique markets, such as Miami, New York, Atlanta, and LA, Mitch Savoie Hill developed best practices for dealing with different personalities and inspiring cooperation among diverse teams.

Mitch attended New York University’s renowned Tisch School of the Arts, where she mastered the skill of public presentation. She also received certificates in “Ethical and Inclusive Leadership” and “Workplace DEI” from the University of South Florida.

Mitch’s charismatic energy and contagious laugh captivate her audiences as she enlightens them on important topics such as conflict management, how to inspire cooperation, and embracing Diversity Equity & Inclusion. She has proudly served as Vice President of DE&I for the Carolinas chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and as a director for multiple chapters of the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC).

Mitch Savoie Hill is energized by helping leaders clarify their visions, map out actionable strategies and stretch beyond their horizons!

Environmental & Energy Committee
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Corey Hull, ACIP

Corey Hull, AICP currently serves as the Eastern Regional Manager for The Ray. Prior to joining the team, he built a 20-year career with local governments helping them to plan for transportation infrastructure, environmental improvements, and policy challenges to improve their communities. He has advised local, state, and national elected officials on a wide range of issues including public transit, metropolitan and rural transportation planning, water quality/quantity issues, land use, bicycle and pedestrian safety, legislative/regulatory affairs, transportation finance, complete streets, equity, freight, and project selection and development.

Laura Rogers

Laura Rogers

Laura Rogers is a skilled transportation infrastructure professional offering 18 years of experience in environmental program management, energy, sustainability, innovation, and regulatory compliance in the nonprofit, federal, state, and private sectors. Laura is currently the Deputy Director at The Ray, responsible for the development and execution of operational policies for the organization, and transferring and scaling the sustainable technologies demonstrated on The Ray Highway to transportation agencies nationally and internationally. Before joining The Ray, Laura led the energy, sustainability, and environmental stewardship policies and programs at the Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters.

Legislative Committee
Tim Boyum

Tim Boyum - 6x Emmy Award-Winning Journalist - Political Anchor at Spectrum News

Since moving to North Carolina, Tim has focused on delivering a fair and objective look at North Carolina's politics and the many ways in which these stories affect our daily lives. During Tim’s impressive tenure as a reporter, the 2016 election cycle emerged as a standout moment. After hours of live coverage from the floors of both the Democratic and Republican National Convention, Tim was recognized as one of the top capitol reporters in the country.

Transportation Committee
Shannon Cox

Shannon Cox is Long Range Planning Manager with the Town of Apex.

Travis Crayton

Travis Crayton, is RTF’s Senior Director of Planning, Travis manages and supports short and long-range planning and project activities for RTP. His work also includes engaging with and supporting regionally significant planning initiatives and projects across the Triangle.

Prior to joining RTF in August 2021, he worked as a Transportation Planner for the U.S. Department of Transportation where he managed and supported transportation planning and research projects for a variety of federal agencies.

Travis is a proud triple Tar Heel, having earned his Master of City and Regional Planning, Master of Public Administration, and Bachelor of Arts degrees all from UNC Chapel Hill. Originally from Concord, NC, he currently lives in Durham.

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