Department of Community and Economic Development
Dennis M. Davin
Secretary – Department of Community and Economic Development
Dennis M. Davin was appointed to serve as Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in January 2015 by Governor Tom Wolf. In this position, Secretary Davin leads the commonwealth’s efforts to support business growth, strengthen the workforce, and revitalize communities across Pennsylvania. He oversees DCED’s $1.6 billion investment in community and economic development projects since 2015, serving nearly 13 million Pennsylvanians.
Since the beginning of the Wolf Administration, Secretary Davin has had the pleasure of visiting more than 750 businesses to gain a first-hand understanding of Pennsylvania’s industries and the challenges faced by businesses of all sizes. He serves as chairman for several authorities and boards including the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), and the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority (PEDFA). Under Secretary Davin’s leadership, DCED launched critical economic development initiatives like the PA Business One Stop Shop, the Manufacturing PA initiative, and the new branding of Pennsylvania with “Pursue Your Happiness,” and “Work Smart. Live Happy.” He has also achieved success in attracting corporations to Pennsylvania, including major international projects like the Royal Dutch Shell plant in Beaver County.
Prior to his appointment, Secretary Davin served as Director of the Allegheny County Economic Development and the Director of the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority. His experience also includes Executive Director of the: Industrial Development Authority, Hospital Development Authority, Higher Education Building Authority and Residential Finance Authority.
Department of Community and Economic Development
Neil Weaver has more than a decade of experience in non-profit and government management, operations, and communications. During his career, Neil has served in executive management at both the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection.
In his current role as Executive Deputy Secretary at DCED, Neil functions as the Chief Operating Officer for the agency that is responsible for spurring economic growth, community revitalization, and job creation throughout the state by providing strategic technical assistance, training, and financial resources to help our communities and industries flourish.
Most recently he served in the Office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf where he established the Office of Performance Through Excellence, focused on sustainable government efficiency and performance management programs and training.
In addition to his service in the public sector, Neil has worked at two national environmental firms specializing in client management, government, communications and community relations, and worked as a national fundraising manager for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland. His background also includes service as the chief of staff to former gubernatorial primary candidate Kathleen McGinty.
Neil has served as vice secretary-treasurer for the York City General Authority and is currently a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors where he serves as vice chair of the University Success Committee.
Neil graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications and currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University.
Steve D’Ettorre serves as the Deputy Secretary of Technology & Innovation for the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, where he focuses on supporting technology-based economic development, engaging with universities, encouraging the growth of Pennsylvania’s small businesses, working to further support the life sciences industry, and addressing the issues of “brain drain” in the commonwealth. Steve’s previously served as Policy Director at DCED where worked on the development and execution of several of Governor Wolf’s initiatives, including Restore PA, the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center, and the Middle-Class Task Force. He also served DCED’s primary point of contact on public-facing issues such as automated vehicles.
Office of Marketing, Tourism, and Film
Carrie’s passion for Pennsylvania inspires her work as Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Office of Marketing, Tourism, and Film. She was responsible for reviving the Pennsylvania tourism brand in 2016, which introduced the state’s new tourism mantra: “Pursue Your Happiness.” She and her team promote Pennsylvania’s vast history, unique small towns, and abundant outdoor activities while encouraging travelers to explore what matters most to them.Carrie also leads economic development marketing initiatives, promoting the advantages of doing business in Pennsylvania and the symbiotic relationship between its unique communities and the job-creating businesses that choose to locate there.
Previously, Carrie served as Director of Communications in DCED’s Pennsylvania Tourism Office for four years. Between her roles at DCED, Carrie spent eight years with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, serving as Director of Communications and Outreach for the PA 529 College Savings Program. In addition to managing internal and external communications, media relations, and research associated with promoting the state treasurer and Treasury program, Carrie launched several programs resulting in record-breaking participation and contribution increases.
Barry Wickes joined DCED in 2010 as Director of Legislative Affairs. He oversees and manages the Department’s Legislative Affairs Office. He is responsible for developing the department’s legislative priorities, coordinating those priorities with the priorities of the Governor’s Office and serving as a liaison with members and staff of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to advance those priorities. The Office works closely with legislators, legislative staff, lobbyists and outside organizations to support initiatives and activities advanced by the Department Secretary and the Governor.
Before coming to DCED, Barry was a lobbyist for more than 30 years for several statewide trade associations, including the PA Association of Savings Institutions, the PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the PA Tourism and Lodging Association.
Office of Administration
Lisa Elliott has been appointed to serve as Deputy Secretary for Administration in February, 2018. She oversees DCED Regional Offices, the Customer Service Center, the Administrative Services Office and works closely with the OA human services and IT.
Lisa began her economic development career in DCED over 25 years ago processing loans and grants. She held positions with a local economic development organization and economic development consulting firm with a focus on economic development finance and incentives . She came back to DCED in 2004 to join the Governor’s Action Team (GAT) as a Project Manager and later became its Deputy Director for Operations. She holds a bachelor of Science degree in Management Science from Lock Haven University and is certified in economic development finance through the National Development Council.
Office of International Business Development
Joseph Burke joined DCED in 1990 as the Deputy Director in the Office of International Business Development. Since joining the department, he has held various management positions in trade promotion and foreign direct investment, most recently serving as the Marketing Executive of International Investment. Prior to joining DCED, Joseph brought twelve years’ experience in sales, market research and analysis, and business planning with major law firms in Washington, DC, and consumer packaged goods companies and marketing research firms in Philadelphia and New York City.
Office of Business Financing
Carol Kilko serves as Deputy Secretary for Business Financing, an appointment made in January 2018. In this role, Carol manages the Commonwealth’s grant, loan and tax credit programs.
Carol began her second career with DCED in June 2015 as a Special Assistant for Workforce Development. In April 2016 Carol was appointed by Governor Wolf to serve as DCED’s Deputy Secretary of Administration. Carol’s first term with DCED she worked with the Governor’s Action Team and DCED’s Business Retention and Expansion Program from 2000-2006. From April 2006 through June 2015 Carol served as the Director of Training Services for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS). Carol holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelors of Public Policy from Penn State University.
Community Affairs and Development
Rick first joined the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in March of 2015 as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services. He was appointed as Deputy Secretary for Community Affairs and Development in February 2017. As Deputy Secretary, Rick oversees the work of the entire deputate including: The Governor’s Center for Local Government Services; The Center for Community Enhancement; The Center for Community and Housing Development; The Center for Community Services; and The department’s six regional offices.
Before coming to DCED, Rick served four terms as Mayor of Lock Haven and was previously President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League.
Governor’s Action Team
As Executive Director of the Governor’s Action Team (GAT), Brent Vernon leads a dynamic team of economic development professionals who work on the front line of Pennsylvania’s business attraction and retention activities. Headquartered in Harrisburg with seven regional state offices, GAT is the commonwealth’s lead state economic development office. Its primary mission is to foster economic growth throughout the state by attracting new businesses and helping existing Pennsylvania businesses expand and become more successful.
Brent has more than 25 years of professional experience serving in state and federal economic and workforce development positions. Prior to becoming GAT Director, he held the positions of Deputy Director for Project Management and Senior Project Manager, where he was responsible for managing energy sector-related projects, particularly those involving Pennsylvania’s vast shale gas reserves and the downstream petrochemical industry. In these roles, Brent provided companies involved in GAT projects with technical assistance and coordinated the services of state agencies and other stakeholders within Pennsylvania’s economic development community.
He holds an MPA from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and a BA in political science from Pennsylvania State University. Brent also received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council, and has completed executive education courses at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Governor's Office of Energy
Denise Brinley serves as the Executive Director of Governor Wolf’s Office of Energy, a newly formed office that is housed within the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Ms. Brinley will coordinate energy-related matters between state agencies and serve as the first point of contact for federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations in the energy sector.
Prior to this role, Ms. Brinley was a Senior Energy Advisor at DCED— focusing on Pennsylvania’s energy advantages by working with economic development partners to retain and grow our energy industry and by attracting potential investors to the commonwealth. Her work involved expanding the use and delivery of natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. She also cultivated a strong business climate for alternative energy deployment; supported the growth of in-state development, manufacturing and assembly of advanced energy technologies; and worked with other state agencies to ensure sound energy-related infrastructure.
Most recently, Denise served as vice president and principal environmental consultant in TRC Corporation’s Harrisburg oﬃce, focusing primarily on the natural gas development, wetland mitigation banking, and brownﬁeld redevelopment.
She has a bachelor’s degree in geoscience from Franklin and Marshall College, and a master’s degree in geology from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Department of Community & Economic Development
J. Michael Adams, Jr. (Mike Adams) was appointed to serve as Chief Counsel to the Department of Community and Economic Development in January 2018.
Mike Adams has had a career spanning over three decades in law, business and government. He practiced law in Allegheny County representing both private and government clients in state and federal court. Mr. Adams has also practiced in all three Pennsylvania appellate courts including appearing before the Supreme Court; the Superior Court; and the Commonwealth Court each en banc. He has served as legal counsel at every level of government: federal; state; county; and local including numerous boards and commissions within the Commonwealth.
Mr. Adams also serves as Co-chair of the U.S. Senate Federal Judiciary Advisory Committee in the Western District of Pennsylvania from 2006 to currently.
State Alternate to Governor Wolf, Appalachian Regional Commission
In her capacity as the Acting Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives, Sheri is responsible for advancing the Governor’s initiative to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to high speed internet by the end of the 2022.
Sheri served as the Deputy Secretary for DCED’s Office of Technology & Innovation from 2015 until her transfer to the Governor’s Office on January 14, 2019. In her role as Deputy Secretary, Sheri was responsible for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship to ensure the success of Pennsylvania’s technology industry. Sheri joined DCED in 2004 to administer the Keystone Innovation Zone program, a then newly launched technology-based economic development initiative designed to promote collaboration between the private sector and Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities.
Sheri has dedicated her entire professional career to serving the citizens of the commonwealth starting in 1986 with the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System where she served as the special assistant to the chief counsel and focused primarily on the activities of the SERS Investment Office and its programs.