Georgia Foreign­-Trade Zone, Inc. 2016 Board of Directors


Brian McGowan, Chair

Brian P. McGowan is a principal in Denton’s US Public Policy and Regulation practice and a nationally-known economic development authority. Working alongside the Firm’s nationally-recognized public policy team, he engages closely with business leaders, elected officials and private sector developers to address business and job growth challenges in cities around the world.

Throughout his career, Brian has created new economic initiatives including the California iHub program, Start Up Atlanta, SelectUSA and the i6 Challenge. His work has facilitated the creation of 36,000 direct jobs and nearly $5 billion in capital investment working with such private companies as Mercedes Benz, the Atlanta Falcons, Athenahealth, Tyler Perry Studios, PulteHomes, NCR and Carter’s.

Most recently, Brian served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Prior to this, he was appointed by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm. Earlier in his career, Brian was appointed by President Barack Obama to be US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, served as an economic advisor in the White House National Incident Command for the BP oil spill and was appointed US co-chair for the OECD working party on territorial policy for rural areas. Brian was also appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce for the State of California and was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia to serve on the Board of the Fort McPherson Local Redevelopment Authority.


Joseph R. “Joe” Bankoff, J.D., Vice Chair and Treasurer
Chair, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs
Georgia Institute of Technology

Joe Bankoff was appointed chair of The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs in spring 2012 following six years as President & CEO of The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta and 32 years as a senior partner at the Atlanta-based law firm of King & Spalding. Mr. Bankoff’s association with Georgia Tech spans more than a decade and has been primarily focused on his work as the head of the law firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology practice group. His expertise ranges across law and policy, economic development, government legislation, fiscal planning, and global issues.

Mr. Bankoff currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the Midtown Alliance in Atlanta. His previous civic and professional board engagements include the Boards of both the Georgia and Metropolitan Atlanta Chambers of Commerce, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, the Atlanta Speech School (Chair), the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Vice Chair), the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (Chair), the Atlanta Legal Aid Society (Chair), the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition, Leadership Atlanta and the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

Richard Sargent, Secretary
President & CEO
Peach State LabsBiography coming soon.


Scott McMurray
Division Director, Global Commerce
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Scott McMurray is the division director for Global Commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the main sales and marketing arm of the state of Georgia. He oversees 4 industry groups of directors and project managers, developing relationships with companies and site selection consultants to help recruit businesses to establish facilities and create jobs in Georgia.

Scott joined GDEcD in 2005 as a project manager. Previously, he held management positions with Warehouse California Corp. and Overseas Operations Export Management, both of Los Angeles, CA. From 1988 until 1993, Scott worked as both a public high school English teacher and college instructor in Miyazaki, Japan. From 1993 until 1996, he held a position as an import manager for a retail store chain in southwestern Japan.

A native of North Andover, MA, Scott holds bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and in Economics and an M.A. in English Literature from Emory University. Additionally, he holds an associate’s degree in the Japanese Language from Southern Japan International College in Miyazaki, Japan. Scott is on the board of directors for the Japan-America Society of Georgia. Scott and his wife Robin reside in Atlanta.


David Luckie
Executive Director
Griffin-Spalding Development Authority

David serves as Executive Director of the Griffin-Spalding County Development Authority and has held this position since 1993. His education background includes Auburn University, Georgia Southern University (BBA Accounting), and Mercer University (MLS Public Relations). He is a Certified Economic Developer, Economic Development Finance Professional, and a Certified Public Accountant.

David is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association where he served as President during 2000-2001. In addition, he serves on a number of State and local boards and also serves as a faculty member for economic development and leadership courses for both the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. He received the 2013 GEDA Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence and the 2014 University of Georgia Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service.

Cliff Pyron

Cliff Pyron
Chief Commercial Officer
Georgia Ports Authority

Mr. Pyron is responsible for providing strategic leadership of the Georgia Ports Authority’s business development, and trade development activities. His principal accountability is to develop all commercial activities in order to sustain long-term growth and market share leadership. This includes all sales, marketing, economic development, promotional, trade show, and agency relations activities.

With of a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from East Carolina University, Mr. Pyron has more than 34 years of experience in the liner, logistics and port sector of the maritime industry. Prior to his appointment to the GPA in 2008, he served as Vice President – Sales, for NYK Line – North America in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Reese McCranie

Reese McCranie
Director, Policy & Communications
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Reese Adams McCranie is the Director of Policy and Communications for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. At the world’s busiest and most efficient airport, McCranie leads a team of public affairs and communications professionals, and is responsible for all media relations, external and internal communications, social media engagement and crisis communications. Additionally, he advises senior leadership on communications for the concessions program, capital improvement projects, aviation security, business development and air cargo.

Previously, McCranie was Deputy Director of Communications for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. In this role, he served as spokesperson for the Mayor and the City of Atlanta, formulated communications strategies for the Office of Mayor and City of Atlanta operational departments. As a member of the senior staff, he also advised on a variety of policy issues.

He is a board member of the Alliance Theatre and Alliance Française. He serves as communications chair for the Atlanta steering committee of the Human Rights Campaign and is a member of the Georgia Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. In 2013, GLAAD presented McCranie with its Champion Award for furthering LGBT equality in Atlanta. He is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Atlanta and was recently recognized as one of Atlanta’s 40 Under 40 from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

McCranie graduated from Florida State University with a dual degree in Political Science and International Affairs. In 2013, he earned his Global Executive MBA from Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.


Pedro Cherry
Senior Vice President, Metro Atlanta Region
Georgia Power Company

Pedro Cherry serves as senior vice president of Metro Atlanta Region for Georgia Power. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s operations, sales, customer service, economic and community development and external affairs activities for 1.2 million customers across 29 counties in metro Atlanta. Cherry began his career with Southern Company in 1997, working for Southern Energy Inc., the subsidiary that later became Mirant Corp. Before joining Southern Company, Cherry worked as an engineering and business analyst for Carolina Power and Light Corp. Cherry earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and an MBA in operations management and finance from Auburn University.

He serves on the board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, the Georgia Transportation Alliance, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Latin American Association, and is vice chair of the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance. He is also an adviser to the board of directors for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and is on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Georgia, Great Promise Kids and the State of Georgia Children’s Cabinet. Cherry is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, CFA Institute, Association for Financial Professionals, NAACP and Auburn’s Alumni Engineering Advisory Council.

Joe Folz

Joseph Folz
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Porsche Cars America
Joe Folz is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), headquartered in Atlanta. PCNA is the importer of Porsche sports cars, the Macan and Cayenne sport utility vehicles and the Panamera sports sedan, for the United States.

As Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Folz is responsible for all legal and compliance matters arising in the Porsche Group’s North American businesses, as well as for state and local government relations.

Folz has spent his career as an attorney in the automobile industry. A long-time Porsche owner and enthusiast, Folz joined Porsche in 2010 from the Automotive Practice Group of Chicago-based Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, where he represented a number of vehicle manufacturers. He concentrated his practice on distribution, trade regulation, and franchising. Before that, Folz served for 29 years with Volkswagen Group of America, including 16 years as its Chief Legal Officer. He began his career as part of the Industry-Government Relations team at General Motors.

Folz was formerly Chairman of the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Bank USA. He is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Board of Trustees of the Atlanta Police Foundation, and the Boards of Directors of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance.

Folz earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from Kalamazoo College and a law degree from the University of Michigan. He is admitted to practice law in Georgia and Michigan.


Jannine Miller
Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics

Jannine Miller is the Director of the Center of Innovation for Logistics, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the state’s leading resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. The Center provides technical industry expertise, collaborative research and partnerships to help the state’s logistics industry connect, compete and grow. The Center also hosts the annual Georgia Logistics Summit, which had over 2,000 attendees in 2014.

Previously, Ms. Miller served as the Senior Manager of Finance for The Home Depot; the Executive Director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), Transportation Policy Advisor to Governor Purdue, Policy and Programs Consultant for the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, and as Senior Transportation Planner with the Atlanta Regional Commission.