Our Team

Lee Peterson

Lee Peterson joined the Temple Economic Development Corporation (Temple EDC) as President in December 2005, bringing with him years of experience in economic development. In late 2007, Peterson was directly involved in bringing in two of the most comprehensive projects the City of Temple has seen. In November, Gulf States Toyota announced its intent to build a regional Vehicle Processing Center (VPC), while in December, Panda Energy announced plans for a natural gas-fired power plant. Peterson spent the first 40 years of his life in Idaho, where he was involved in production agriculture along with a variety of both elected official responsibilities, such as County Commissioner, and volunteer efforts in support of economic development and job creation.In 1988, he attended Industrial Development courses at the University of Portland and the University of Oklahoma. In October of 1988, Peterson began his career as an economic development professional for the Chadron-Dawes County Economic Development Corporation in Nebraska. He was directly involved with the creation of 200 new jobs in the Chadron-Dawes area from then until December 1990.

In December of 1990, Peterson signed on as the President of the Minot Area Development Corporation (MADC) in Minot, North Dakota. With the start of his tenure there, MADC was completely redirected, with the main emphasis being the creation of new basic-industry (primary sector) jobs and the creation of new wealth for Northwest North Dakota. From December 1990 through December 2000, approximately 6,000 new jobs were created in MADC's service area. Some examples of successful projects, consisting of both expansions of local companies and the recruitment of new employers to the area, included:

Choice Hotels International
Terhorst Manufacturing Company
Cal-Dak Cabinets, Incorporated
Soaring Eagle Outerwear
Central Machining and Pump Repair
Northrop Grumman
Northwest Airlines/MLT

In December 2000, Peterson was named as director of the Department of Economic Development and Finance and Commissioner of North Dakota Department of Commerce by North Dakota Governor John Hoeven. He held these positions until November 30, 2005.

Charley Ayres
Vice President

Charley Ayres joined the Temple staff in January of 2011 after more than 7 years with the Round Rock, Texas Economic Development Partnership as Vice President of Business Retention and Expansion and 16 years in the marketing profession. He serves as the Vice President of the Temple Economic Development Corporation. He is responsible for the efforts in business expansion and recruitment, and oversees the overall program of Temple's Economic Development effort.
Charley's experience includes sitting on the Board of Williamson County's Municipal Utility District #10, Round Rock Partners in Education, Foreign Trade Zone of Central Texas, Inc. (FTZ 183), The Central Texas Entrepreneur Center and serves on the Executive Board of The Centroplex P-20 Regional Council.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Ayres is a graduate of McCallum High School. He received his MBA Business Management Certification from Tulane University, in 2006 completed Basic Economic Development Certification at The University of Southern Mississippi, and in 2008 he completed his IOM Certification (Institute of Organizational Management) at the University of Georgia, and is currently completing his certification with the International Economic Development Council.
He aspires to be the kind of man his dog thinks he is.

Elizabeth Carlton
Director of Marketing

 Elizabeth Carlton is responsible for overseeing all external marketing and public relations activities as well as trade show coordination and special events for Temple Economic Development Corporation

Before joining Temple EDC in 2011, Elizabeth served as Business Retention Specialist with Pflugerville Community Development Corporation. She has also served as the Office Manager for Congressman Ed Whitfield (KY-01) in Washington, D.C. In 2006, Elizabeth moved to Texas to serve as Marketing and Research Coordinator in the Economic Development Department for the City of North Richland Hills. She began her career in economic development in 2004 when she joined the Madisonville/Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation as Project Manager where she oversaw the business retention program and assisted in the recruitment of new and expanding industries. A native of Madisonville, KY, Elizabeth graduated from The University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.

She has completed the Kentucky Institute for Economic Development Basic Course, and graduated from The University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. She has been active in the Kentucky Association for Economic Development, Texas Economic Development Council and the International Economic Development Council.

J'Nan Cox
Director of Business Retention & Expansion

 J’Nan joined the Temple EDC team in February of 2014 as the Director of Business Retention and Expansion. J’Nan oversees the Existing Industry Program, Workforce/Education Development, and Small Business Development. She is responsible for Temple EDC's business and industry outreach, working to help build and strengthen Temple's workforce/education initiatives, as well as, serves the needs of the small buisness owners by providing a forum to address entrepreneurial issues. J'Nan also manages economic research and analysis for projects and proposal submissions. In addition, she oversees organizational reports and databases for the Temple EDC.

 Before joining TEDC, J’Nan was the Program Coordinator for The Entrepreneur Center of Central Texas, and worked to develop curriculum and training for start-up businesses. She started her career as a high school English teacher, while also working for two different nationwide test development companies, Pearson.com, scoring standardized tests for high school students and ETS.org, scoring the Praxis Series of tests, taken by individuals entering the teaching profession.
She received Bachelor's degree in English and her Master's Degree in Education with a focus on curriculum development from Texas A&M University.

Director of Operations

Jennifer joined Temple EDC in June of 2014 as the Director of Operations.  She is responsible for overseeing the operational duties of Temple EDC and in cooperation with the Executive staff directing all administrative and financial aspects for Temple EDC.

Before joining Temple EDC in 2014, Jennifer was with an International Bank, BBVA Compass, for 12 years.  At BBVA Compass she served as the Assistant Branch Manager leading her team in operations and sales. Jennifer also served as a
Central Texas Hub Leader for BBVA Compass, leading and mentoring 5 other
local branches.

Born and raised in Central Texas, Jennifer is a graduate of Academy High School.  She is currently attending Temple College and the University of Mary Harding Baylor where she is finishing her Bachelor’s Degree.



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