The Principals

WDGC’s three principals are active and lead every consulting engagement. Additionally, all past WDGC clients have been advised by at least one of them. Collectively, the WDGC leadership team has over 100 years experience in corporate site selection. To support its mission, each principal continuously strives for innovation and fresh thinking within our core site selection service line.

Dennis Donovan

An industry leader, Dennis has performed hundreds of corporate site selection projects across the industry spectrum. Dennis designed and taught the CoreNet’s site selection course. He is also a founding member of the Site Selectors Guild. Dennis holds a Bachelors (University of Nebraska at Omaha) and Masters (University of Rhode Island); both degrees in economic geography.

John Gutshaw

Since entering the site selection field as a founding member of WDGC, John has been devoted to elevating our consulting practice to provide best of class advice to our corporate clients, from headquarters to manufacturing to R&D. John directs the WDGC consulting team and actively manages varied projects. He has been involved with corporate location projects throughout North America and Europe. He earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from Clemson University.

Katie S. Burdorf

Katie has a long and distinguished track record in the corporate site selection industry. At WDGC she has responsibility for client relations, marketing, and economic development outreach. Katie was CoreNet NY Chapter Board member for 12 years and has taught site selection courses at the Real Estate Institute and University of Georgia. Her undergraduate work was undertaken at McMurray University.

The Consulting Team

WDGC has assembled a core team of experienced talent specializing in facilities site selection. Our consultants bring a diverse mix of backgrounds and perspectives, which enhance customized selection to our client’s site selection challenges. Each consultant is encouraged to bring independent thinking and strong analytics to every client assignment. Our consultants also play a key role in helping to develop new and/or improved analytical and decision tools.

BOB STICHT

For clients requesting turnkey services, Bob directs our real estate advisory unit. He works with clients to define real estate requirements/criteria, develop a real estate acquisition gameplan, and lead real estate negotiations. The latter can include land purchase, building purchase, lease negotiations, build to suit, and sale/leaseback. Bob also oversees building disposition for clients vacating existing, owned space.

Bob has over 30 years experience in the commercial real estate field. His clients have spanned the industry spectrum, throughout the U.S.

Bob holds a bachelor’s degree in finance/real estate from the University of Tennessee. He is a member of IOREBA and The Council of Logistics Management.

Brian French

Brian French oversees WDGC’s Canadian presence, and is the marketing leader for new project opportunities. He is a globally known and respected corporate strategist and and site selection specialist who has completed projects in nineteen countries. Brian’s past responsibilities include Managing Director Canada for NAI Global (’98 – ’08) where he built the Canadian operation up to 14 offices. Prior to that he worked with the Office of Metro Toronto Chairman managing strategies for investment attraction, international trading clusters, and emerging companies. He also took part in Toronto bid teams for a World’s Fair, Basketball World Championships, and Pan American Games. Brian founded the Canadian Chapter of Corenet Global / IDRC, and he is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick.

Linda Burns

Linda is WDGC’s incentives practice leader. She has close to 30 years experience. Linda participates on WDGC consulting projects, supplying incentives input in increasingly greater detail as the consulting engagement progresses. Linda has negotiated incentives packages for WDGC clients throughout the U.S. Additionally, when requested by our clients, Linda can lead the team in final site negotiation/acquisition. Linda is active in several industry trade associations including IAMC and CoreNet Global. Linda earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Candidacy from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

CHRISTY BLACKWOOD

Christy has nearly 10 years of corporate site selection experience. During her time with WDGC, she has worked on a variety of facility site selection projects including: corporate headquarters, middle and back offices, manufacturing plants, and distribution centers. Among her key responsibilities are application of analytical models/tools, GIS mapping, and aligning a client’s specific requirements with locations that can best fulfill those needs. Location screening and fieldwork experience has involved U.S., Canada, and European countries. Christy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

HOWARD SCHWARTZ

Howard is WDGC’s senior research analyst. He helps to maintain and expand our proprietary database which embraces hundreds of factors for all U.S. states, metros, and counties. Howard also conducts desktop research on WDGC site selection projects. Prior to joining WDGC 10 years ago, Howard was engaged in retail site selection. He holds degrees in Geography from Lehman College (Bachelors) and SUNY Albany (Masters).

Kristine Ciampi

Kristine manages business operations for WDGC, focusing on client project administration. Kristine also supports the consulting team on HR research/guidance using her background in human capital for companies such as Talent Tree, Roche, and Merck. Early in her career, Kristine was with a business mobility consulting firm where she performed secondary research for corporate site selection projects.

JENNY BEESMER

Jenny has two primary responsibilities at WDGC. First is conducting both primary and secondary research for corporate site selection projects including manufacturing, back offices, HQs, R&D centers, distribution centers, and BPO operations. A second responsibility entails managing WDGC’s website, social media, and external communications.

Currently, Jenny is pursuing a master’s degree in global strategic communications from the University of Florida. She earned an undergraduate degree in communications/media studies from Florida State University.

We're Here to Help

WDGC stands ready to guide you through the alignment process to ensure that the overall site selection process advances your business objectives. Our role is flexible, we can either lead to the study team or provide selected expertise (e.g., labor market metrics) as a dedicated team member.

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