University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Swain Center

2018 Economic Outlook Conference: Speakers


Chris Coudriet
County Manager
New Hanover County
Chris Coudriet

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as chief administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government operates on a $392 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2018 and ends June 30, 2019, serving more than 227,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the county to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the county’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the county manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as assistant county manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Coudriet has nearly twenty-five years of public administration experience, with more than a decade as a county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

Michael Olender
Manager of Outreach and Advocacy
AARP North Carolina

Michael Olender

Michael Olender is Manager of Outreach and Advocacy at AARP North Carolina. He leads a team of regionally-based Associate State Directors throughout North Carolina on AARP member engagement, community relations and partnership development, and legislative advocacy. His work focuses on issues most pressing to people 50+ throughout the state, including working with officials and community partners to make North Carolina more “age-friendly” and helping ensure that older adults have the resources they need to age-in-place with greater independence, dignity and choice.

Prior to joining the North Carolina team in 2013, Michael served as Associate State Director of AARP New York. In this capacity he was the AARP representative for Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and the Lower Hudson Valley region of New York State, an area composed of more than 800,000 AARP members. Here he led AARP New York’s education and outreach efforts on healthcare related issues including the Affordable Care Act and Medicare fraud. He has also worked to advance the association’s commitment to creating livable communities, advocacy on federal and state budget priorities as well as Medicare and Social Security.

In 2012, Michael served as Interim State Director for AARP New Hampshire. In this position he managed a state office staff and AARP’s non-partisan voter education efforts, including a series of AARP candidate debates for Congressional and gubernatorial races.

Prior to joining AARP in 2007 Michael worked as an issue organizer in New Jersey on a variety of consumer issues including affordable prescription drugs, access to health care, utilities education and other issues affecting older Americans.

A graduate from Rutgers University, Michael and his family now reside permanently in Apex, North Carolina with his wife Lelah and two small children John and Caroline.  

John Gizdic
President and CEO
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
John Gizdic

John Gizdic began as President and Chief Executive Officer of New Hanover Regional Medical Center in January 2017 after serving with the organization for 11 years, the last three as Chief Operating Officer.

Since he assumed leadership, the health system has adopted a new mission statement, earned re-accreditation with honors, opened medical services in Onslow County, opened an expanded Emergency Department and broke ground on a modern orthopedic surgical center. The organization has adopted a new strategic plan to fit its mission of Leading Our Community to Outstanding Health, focusing on access, value and health equity. In May 2018, NHRMC was named one of the nation’s top places to work by Forbes Magazine, ranking 47th among large employers.

Since moving to Wilmington, John has served on various Boards and Committees throughout the community and state, including the Greater Wilmington Area Chamber of Commerce; Cape Fear Future; NC Hospital Association Board of Trustees; and the NC Center for Affordable Care.

John is 47 years old. He and Cristin have twin teenage boys who attend Hoggard High School and play lacrosse.

Economic Forecasters

Thomas Simpson, Ph.D.
Executive in Residence
Cameron School of Business
Thomas Simpson

Simpson joined CSB after his retirement from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. His professional career focused on monetary policy and financial markets - serving as a senior official at the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Open Market Committee. He has been a resident advisor to the Central Bank of Russia, is a principal advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq and has provided technical assistance to the central banks of China, Afghanistan, Uganda and elsewhere. He is the author of Financial Markets, Banking, and Monetary Policy (2014).

Adam Jones, Ph.D.
Regional Economist
Cameron School of Business
Adam Jones

Jones is an associate professor of economics at CSB. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the faculty, he worked with the Newton County Chamber of Commerce in Covington, GA. He has published in the Economic Development Quarterly, the Atlantic Economic Journal and the Journal of Economics and Finance. He plans to continue his local public finance and regional economics research at UNCW with a focus on North Carolina issues and tax-base development.

Brian Daley
Portfolio Manager Equity Research Head
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Brian Daley

Brian Daley is a managing director and portfolio manager equity research head at U.S. Trust, Bank America Private Wealth Management. In this role, he oversees and develops the firm’s equity research investment strategy in collaboration with the U.S. Trust® Investment Strategy Committee; formulating sector/industry allocation views, overseeing and monitoring the performance of equity model portfolios, leading the developments and enhancement of the equity research process, and our efforts around guidance-based equity strategies, by working directly without portfolio managers nationally. Brian is a member of the Investment Strategy Committee.

Prior to joining U.S. Trust, Brian worked at Trident Investment Management, a global macro hedge fund, managing and trading the U.S. and non-U.S. equities, ETFs, index and commodity futures, and options. He also provided oversight and strategy on global positioning and was responsible for the country, sector, and individual equity positions. Prior to that he worked at Conifer Securities, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch in equity research, trading, and research sales positions.

Brian received his B.S. degree in Finance with a concentration in Economics from Villanova University.