Meet The Team

ROI Research on Investment’s team of over 60 professionals comes from a range of industries: from economic development, investment prospecting, competitive intelligence, lead automation, and multi-platform marketing to business intelligence, business development, sales and market research. We represent a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and combined, we speak 25 languages. All this matters because offering intelligent leads requires intelligent minds. Minds that are capable of understanding the impact of shifting global trends, of taking into account the unspoken constraints of a given culture, and of analyzing how all of the above fits into your economic development objectives. We are your partners, and we are dedicated to your success.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Steven Jast

Steven Jast

President

Steven Jast has over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of economic development. He began his career at boutique advisory firm CAI Corporate Affairs International, where he specialized in site selection analysis, jurisdictional marketing, and industrial clustering.

He was appointed Executive Vice President at CAI in 2001, and oversaw the creation of CAI’s ROI Research on Investment company, which he then spun off into an independent company, of which he is now president. Since then, ROI has grown from a staff of two, to an international company of 60 professionals, with offices in four countries.

Steve is a thought leader in the field of modern economic development and investment attraction, and has been published in the prestigious fDi magazine, he’s a regular speaker at international conferences and provides training and coaching to economic development leaders around the world.

Conor Barry

Conor Barry

Chief Financial Officer

Conor is a graduate of University College Cork, Ireland (BA) and holds an MBA from INSEAD. He began his career as a Credit Analyst for NatWest Markets in New York, where he was an analyst for corporate finance proposals specializing in project finance.

Upon completion of his MBA in 1994, Conor was recruited as a Senior Advisor to the Minister for Defense and Marine in the Irish government, responsible for implementing the government’s political program at the domestic and European levels.

Upon re-entering the private sector in 1998, Conor became Director of Innomedia, a Montreal-based research firm focused on consumer research.

Conor joined ROI in 2009 as a partner and Chief Financial Officer.

Simon Leroux

Simon Leroux

Executive Vice President

Simon is a graduate of L’École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC Montreal) and Queen’s University. He began his career with Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), where he held senior executive positions in business strategy, sales and marketing.

As part of a special BCE taskforce with McKinsey & Company, Simon developed a predictive model, based on an algorithm that offered advanced segmentation and targeting strategy.  He was awarded BCE’s Ovation Award, the highest distinction at the company.

In 2009, he joined ROI as a partner and was key in developing ROI’s B2B lead generation practice as well as overseeing the company’s global sales and operations strategy and execution. A marketing and lead generation expert, Simon is also a certified trainer. He provides strategic guidance to ROI’s clients in an effort to maximize their business development efforts.

Ryan Frankel

Ryan Frankel

Vice President Operations

Ryan holds an MBA from Yale University’s School of Management. After beginning his career in the pulp and paper industry for Abitibi Price, he spent the next decade working for the telecommunications industry, where he held various executive positions in marketing and customer services at Bell Canada and Videotron.

An expert in marketing and demand generation in the fields of economic development and business development, Ryan is recognized as an inspiring and passionate leader with extensive experience managing marketing, customer services and multidisciplinary teams.

Ryan joined ROI in 2013 as a partner and Vice President of operations.  His accountabilities include team, client and contract management. Ryan also oversees quality control and ensures deadlines are respected with each client engagement. Under Ryan’s leadership, ROI implemented a unique five step quality process, including a modern economic development certification program which is now mandatory for every ROI team member.

Charlie Rowel

Charles G. Rowell

Vice President, Managing Director USA

Charles has a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Economics and Business from Elmhurst College, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Laws in International Business and Trade (LL.M.) from the John Marshall Law School, and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He began his international career as a Foreign Legal Consultant for the Law Offices of Kim & Kim, based in Seoul Korea.

Upon returning to the U.S in 1998, Mr. Rowell accepted a position with Invest Australia where his focus was on the automotive industry. He then accepted a position with International Business Wales as Senior Vice President for the North American market.

Charles joined ROI in 2006 as Vice President and Managing Director for the U.S. Charles leads our in-market Business Development Representative Practice for clients such as Invest Hong Kong, the East Midlands Development Agency and Advantage West Midlands, and the province of Ontario.

Nadine

Nadine Jeserich, Ph.D.

Vice President, Analytics

Nadine received her Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and her Masters in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Since 2006 and until recently, she has been the Principal Economist at Growth Economics Inc.

There, she developed an innovative annual State Benchmarking Methodology for all 50 U.S. states, which  has directly influenced government policies in Kansas and Michigan. Throughout her career she has completed multiple growth cluster analyses. She also developed unique entrepreneurship and business dynamism indicators to track high-growth businesses.

Dr. Jeserich joined the ROI team in early 2016, as Vice President of Analytics focusing primarily on her areas of expertise, including cluster analysis and prioritization, emerging cluster identification, value chain gaps and applying models to identify growth signals related to emerging companies and targeted industries.

Rebecca Moudry

Vice President, Business Development

Rebecca joined ROI in 2017 as Vice President for Business Development.  Rebecca leads engagement with the economic development community to support their business attraction efforts.  She has nearly 15 years of experience leading economic development and investment promotion programs.  Prior to joining ROI Rebecca was a Deputy Director for Investment Services at SelectUSA, the U.S. federal program to facilitate investment in the United States.  She also worked at the U.S. Economic Development Administration, structuring the first multi-agency challenge program to accelerate regional innovation and job creation.  Rebecca held other senior positions at the District of Columbia Office of Planning and Economic Development, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), and served as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank.

Rebecca holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning with a focus on Economic Development from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.  Rebecca is based at ROI’s office in Washington, DC.

Rick Moore

Vice President, Business Development

Vahan Ayvazyan

Chief Technology Officer

Vahan holds a Master in Computer Sciences (Ms.) from State University of Yerevan, Armenia. For the past 10 years, Vahan has held roles as senior software engineer in various companies, most recently with Pivotal Payments and Steltor (now Oracle).

He joined ROI in 2015 as Chief Technology Officer. Now based in Montreal, he leads a team of data scientists, economists, mathematicians and software engineers. Together, they created the first data platform built to forecast corporate growth.

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