The Appalachian Basin Real Estate Conference will provide a comprehensive view of the once-in-a-generation industrial and commercial development in the region. A wide array of commercial activities are coalescing around the Appalachian Basin. This is your chance to learn how you can take advantage of these opportunities.
We have lined up an exciting list of the top real estate, energy, land development, and economists. You’ll learn ho to transform your business to take advantage of these explosive developments in our own backyard!
Attendees will also network with industry experts and fellow participants and prepare your company for these land development opportunities. Reservations and Special Room Rates will be available soon.
Breakfast and Registration | Coffee and Light Refreshments
Welcome | Joe Barone, President, Shale Directories, LLC
Presenting Sponsor Presentation | Speaker to be Announced
Workforce Panel sponsored by Frontier Group of Companies | John Deskins, Assistant Dean for Outreach and Engagement, Director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research. Moderated by Pat Ford, Business Development Director, Frontier Group of Companies. Pat has successfully brought industrial companies and developers to the Appalachian Basin. Workforce is the most challenging issue for bringing new companies into the region and Pat has track record of success in addressing the issue and bringing companies into the Appalachian Basin. We are pleased to have Frontier’s and Pat’s support. Read Pat’s “Muscle Memory” to learn more about our workforce’s readiness.
Ohio River Corridor Opportunities | Adam Bruns, Managing Editor, Site Selection Magazine
Break – Networking
Infrastructure | (Planes) Panel discussion featuring Robert Hartigan, Business Development Director, Akron-Canton Airport; (Trains), Casey Cathcart, Executive Chairman, Cathcart Rails and Trucks; moderated by Bryce Custer, Ohio River Corridor
Ohio River Transportation | Mark Locker, Director, Manager for Maritime, Freight Mobility and Logistics, ODOT, Eric Thomas, general manager, Benchmark River & Rail Terminals
Plastics Panel | Stan Glover, Manager, Board Member, Plastics Industry Association with more to come
The Future of Development of the Appalachian Basin | Bryce Custer, President, Ohio River Corridor
Concluding Remarks | Joe Barone, Shale Directories, LLC
Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
Mr. Cathcart is Co-Owner and Founder of Cathcart Rail, an Ohio-based freight rail services and transportation company established in 2016 and currently employing nearly 800 people across 60 locations in 22 states. Cathcart Rail’s subsidiary companies include Appalachian Railcar Services, operator of the largest independent contract shop network, Bucyrus Railcar Repair, operator of the largest repair agent network, and the Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad, a shortline railroad serving international plastics, petrochemicals and metals customers along the Ohio River Corridor, among others. Cathcart Rail is currently in growth mode, across both acquisitive and organic opportunities.
Prior to founding Cathcart Rail, Mr. Cathcart served as Associate Director and Co-Lead of both the Rail & Transit and Public-Private Partnership (P3) teams within the Global Infrastructure and Project Finance Group of Fitch Ratings for three years, where he provided in-depth credit analysis related to infrastructure project finance within the energy, transportation and water/wastewater sectors. He led $4.3 billion in transit project finance transactions, Fitch’s pursuit of Canadian business (serving as primary on all of Fitch’s assignments in the market) and the $4.5 billion LaGuardia Airport Terminal Replacement Project. Additionally, he led the firm’s mandates related to the $5.8 billion acquisition of the ITR Concession Company (Indiana Toll Road Concession restructuring), a $3 billion private passenger rail corridor and the $1.6 billion Central Texas Turnpike System Second Lien restructuring.
Mr. Cathcart’s broader professional experience spans nearly 15 years, including over six years in debt capital markets investment banking focused on transaction origination, structuring and execution within the energy and infrastructure sectors. His executed-financing experience amounts to nearly $7 billion. He holds an MBA, with concentration in Finance, and BS degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics.
Custer has experience in all aspects of commercial real estate including acquisition, disposition and development of office, retail and industrial projects. As an active real estate investor for over 20 years, Custer understands the challenges facing both buyers and sellers in sale and lease transactions. Utilizing his experience from prior businesses, he works to discover critical success factors to develop solutions that meet the needs of both parties.
His current focus is serving the needs of the Petrochemical, Oil & Gas, Derivative Industries and Energy Services companies capitalizing on the drilling and exploration of the Utica/Marcellus Shale in eastern Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle, which includes the Appalachian Basin and the Ohio River Corridor. His primary focus is in the area of site selection for industrial clients utilizing rail transport throughout Ohio and West Virginia and barge transportation along the Ohio River.
John Deskins, Assistant Dean for Outreach and Engagement, Director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research
John Deskins serves as Assistant Dean for Outreach and Engagement, Director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research, and as Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business & Economics at West Virginia University. He leads the Bureau’s efforts to serve the state by providing rigorous economic analysis and macroeconomic forecasting to business leaders and policymakers across the state. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Tennessee.
Deskins’ academic research has focused on economic development, small business economics, and government tax and expenditure policy, primarily at the US state level. His work has appeared in outlets such as Contemporary Economic Policy, Public Finance Review, Economic Development Quarterly, Small Business Economics, Public Budgeting and Finance, Regional Studies, Annals of Regional Science, Tax Notes, and State Tax Notes, as well as in books published by Cambridge University Press and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Pat Ford, Business Development Director, Frontier Group of Companies
Patrick Ford is the Business Development Director for the Frontier Group of Companies. The Frontier Group of Companies is a full-service industrial specialty contractor working throughout North American and regions of Central and South America. Frontier’s customers include some of the world’s leading Fortune 500 with industrial and manufacturing operations. Core services include: plant demolition, facility acquisition and repurposing, industrial dismantling, environmental remediation, asset recovery, industrial gutting, scrap metals recycling, asset recovery, equipment removal and salvage, high structure removal, rail road services, and energy production.
Pat is a dynamic leader with the vision to spot peaks where others see only valleys. His unique strengths include the ability to manage multiple projects, generate personal and financial investment, and achieve consensus among dissenting partners. Skilled and passionate public speaker, with a genuine desire to see communities, organizations and local leaders achieve their best. Pat is known as an empathetic listener, who seeks to develop others’ ideas, not to persuade others to his position. He has an intuitive sense for managing projects and personnel, with a methodical and logical approach to ensure desired outcomes and believes in managing change for the better and setting realistic goals with measurable results.
Mark is the Manager for Maritime, Freight Mobility and Logistics within the Division of Planning, Ohio Department of Transportation. Mark conducts and participates in Statewide Planning activities, ie. Long Range Transportation Plan, Corridor, Freight and Economic Development Studies etc. Ohio has the distinction of having the first large program statewide FAST Actcompliant Freight Plan in the United States. Mark coordinates with Ohio’s maritime partners to understand and enhance the state’s freight infrastructure and is project manager for Ohio’s Statewide Maritime Strategy. He was appointed by three US DOT Secretaries to the Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC) which advises the US Secretary on Freight and Maritime matters.
He serves as Ohio’s representative to AASHTO and MAASTO on Special Committees for Freight, Council on Water transport, the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC), Freight and Truck Platooning. Mark is Ohio’s representative to the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers and the Mid America Freight Coalition. He is a professional planner and proud Ohio State University Buckeye with over 31 years public sector experience.
Since January 2010, Mr. Thomas has served as general manager of Benchmark River and Rail Terminals, LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio. The terminal, along the Ohio River and the CSXT railroad, focuses on distribution of bulk liquid chemicals by barge, rail, and truck. Previously, Mr. Thomas was president of Southside River-Rail Terminal, Inc., also in Cincinnati. He holds a bachelor of science in accounting from Northern Kentucky University.
He is a past chairman of the board for the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) for which he previously served on the executive committee and at large since 2007. He is the current executive director, a co-founder, and inaugural chairman of the board for the Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA), and also chairs its Regional Maritime Committee. Mr. Thomas also served as chairman of the Greater Cincinnati Harbor and Maritime Control Committee (GCHMCC) from 2007-2008.
Oglebay Resort and Conference Center
465 Lodge Drive
Wheeling, WV 36003
CLICK HERE to book your room at the Special Conference Rate.
Questions? Contact Joe Barone, Shale Directories, (610) 764-1232 or email.