Advisory Board

Carmen Italia

Senior Economic Development Advisor

Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), 1990-2011 -- President - Retired

While at MCEDC, Carmen was responsible for the creation and retention of tens of thousands of jobs with such companies as Lockheed Martin, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck, Almac, Globus Medical, Packaging Progressions, BEC Machine Products, Fiber-Line, Inc just to name a few. He was a partner in the creation of the World Trade Center of Philadelphia, Select Greater Philadelphia and has made several trips abroad to promote business development on behalf of several local communities. Carmen is a true deal maker and facilitator.


At MCEDC Carmen was the chief executive fin charge of a full-service economic development organization that assisted companies in site and building location services, obtaining low-interest loans and grants for building acquisition, infrastructure, and machinery & equipment.  MCEDC worked closely with various municipalities throughout Montgomery County in developing their economic development plans, often acting as a liaison between businesses and those municipalities to overcome various problems (i.e., zoning, permitting, etc.)

Philadelphia Electric & Conowingo Power, 1988-1989 -- Economic Development Representative

Responsible for Northeastern Maryland and Chester County, PA

Montgomery County Industrial Development Corporation, 1978 - 1984 -- Deputy Director

Responsible for site and building location services, the Municipal Development and the Distressed Communities Programs.


Joe Ferry

Senior Communications Advisor

Joe is a seasoned public relations and marketing pro, with a diverse background that includes newspaper reporting and editing, community relations, corporate communications, and agency management.


His writing has appeared in several national and regional publications including The Morning Call, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. He has served as a spokesman for Delaware Valley College, the State Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pennnridge School District.

Joe has been telling stories since he was old enough to talk. Sometimes they would get him in trouble. Like the time he told his mother aliens abducted him from the backyard to explain how he wound up on the other side of a street he wasn't supposed to cross. He's been telling stories since he was old enough to talk.

As he got older, Joe stopped telling stories and started writing them. Whether it's a 20,000-word non-fiction history book for middle school students, or a 2,000-word college magazine profile, or a 200-word press release, Joe treats them all with professionalism. He finds the story and then communicates it to the right audience with the right words.


Grady M. Barth

Marketing Coordinator

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Senior- Lehigh University - Sociology/Major, Entrepreneurship/Minor

MSG Promotions - Exclusive Hospitality Vendors - US Open Golf Tournaments - 2015 - Current

Research market trends to develop new leads and prospects for U.S. Open hospitality sales. Distribute new, qualified leads to MSG staff for follow-up. Maintain and update database of all current and potential corporate clients. Prepare client informational packets for Corporate Update Sessions. Behind the scenes perspective of the prospecting, sales, fulfillment and operational aspects of corporate hospitality for one of the largest sporting events in the country and golf’s most publicized event.

Global Sustainable Resources Study Abroad Program - Lehigh University - Costa Rica - 2016

Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship/Venture Start-Up Program  - Lehigh University - Silicon Valley - 2014 

"Entrepreneur Envy" - Forbes Magazine

Marian Salzman, Contributor - January 7, 2014

Excerpt: Grady Barth, says this: “The reason I am so interested in entrepreneurship is because I never knew before college what I was interested in regarding a certain field of study. Entrepreneurship gave me the inspiration to follow my wildest dreams and to have the confidence to know I could execute them. My personality is to go for things that most people wouldn’t, and entrepreneurship hit the nail on the head for me when it came to this. It is your idea that matters, and everyone is interested in what you have to bring to the table. Entrepreneurship is the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy. With it, you have the world as your canvas; it’s just waiting for you to initiate the first stroke.”

Lehigh University-Independent Study - Mountaintop Accelerator Business Program - 2014                                                                                           

Internship: Aerotek - National Corporate Recruitment Firm - 2014

Aerotek is one of the nation's largest corporate personnel recruiting firms. Top sales performer. Found and evaluated client specific candidates for employment in commercial area division per client requirements. 

Honor Caddy - Saucon Valley Country Club - June 2006- Present

Honor Caddy to Lehigh Valley business leaders, executives and CEOs. Built personal relationships and corporate networks. Significantly improved client's handicaps.