Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Leveraging Transportation Routes for New Opportunities in Rural Areas

Date: Tuesday, August 15 
Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm ET

The ability to move goods and people in, out and around a community is a key ingredient of its economic success. Highways, rail lines, airports and ports are assets frequently examined by firms looking for new locations to establish operations. How can your region best enhance, market and leverage these critical connections to available land, workers and suppliers? This webinar will examine how to get the most out of your transportation assets to grow your industrial base.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• Effectively market transportation assets to business location consultants and corporate real estate directors
• Develop and connect your community’s narrative around workforce, land and regional assets to transportation networks
• Capture opportunities around new transportation routes, trends and technologies



Chad Miller Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of Southern Mississippi

Chad R. Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the College of Business, is Graduate Coordinator of the Masters of Science of Economic Development program. He is Assistant Director of the Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (CLTT), which helps promote economic development through improved freight transportation. He teaches economic development organization management, research data analytics, real estate development & land use planning, and coordinates the International Economic Development (IEDC) accredited True South Basic Economic Development course. He has extensive private and public sector experience including managing shipping and global distribution for American companies based in China and Vietnam. He was also an Army Officer stationed in the Pacific Rim. He first became involved with economic development as a trade specialist in Maryland. Prior to joining USM, he worked for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. Chad has a Ph.D. from the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration & Policy, a MBA from Boston University, and a BA in Government from the College of William & Mary. Chad, his wife Susan, and son Duncan live in Hattiesburg.

Colby Tanner
AVP of Economic Development
BNSF Railway Company

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.