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LEADERSHIP TEAM

SLS is more than just an advisory firm but is intentionally made up of partners consisting of ex-military leaders, defense companies, economic development consultants, and business consultants that all have particular areas of expertise in military, defense contracting, economic development, strategic planning, real estate, small business consulting, transportation and logistics, and federal congressional support.

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Barry Albrecht, CEO

Founder and CEO Barry Albrecht is a certified Master of Economic Development Practitioner in economic development, research and strategy, marketing, and location branding. He has advised cities, universities, real estate developers, nonprofit organizations, Fortune 500 defense companies, and major media outlets on economic development impacts and strategies.  

Barry Albrecht has served in economic development for over 25 years and has developed an impressive reputation as an entrepreneur and industry leader in economic development and corporate new business partnerships. He specializes in complex incentive design and transactions with national and international industries and is acknowledged as a creative designer of unique community strategic partnerships and “game-changing” marketing initiatives. He has served as CEO of multiple Texas-, Arizona- and Oklahoma-based regional economic development corporations that also serve large military and federal installations.

Albrecht has been directly involved in national committees and local organizations that served to protect and expand military missions and installations. As an economic development executive, he has directly been involved in the recruitment, relocation, and expansion of numerous tech-based industries and federal agencies that accounted for thousands of new high-tech and government-related jobs. He also worked 12 years with Hughes Aircraft as a business development executive and served 6 years in the Army as an aviator.

Albrecht continues to speak at national and state conferences on regional economic development and defense community marketing strategies. He has served on numerous national committees and has functioned as a congressional liaison to communities and local defense industries. Albrecht recently received the Department of the Army, Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his 29 years of service in providing support to federal and military Installations, its missions, and supporting the creation of new job opportunities programs for military families and transitioning military personnel.

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Steve Taylor

Sr. Advisor of Strategic Initiatives

Since 2007, Steve Alan Taylor, founder of SAT Business Consulting LLC, has provided consulting services to the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Pima Association of Governments, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson Committee on Foreign Relations, and 100s of businesses throughout the Tucson region. Moreover, as a consultant to the RTA, he's provided outreach services to 1000s of businesses to help mitigate the negative impacts related to major transportation construction projects.

In addition, Mr. Taylor co-founded SmallStart Ventures LLC, The Antique Presidio Inc., and Globetrotter Imports. Moreover, as an adjunct instructor for the University of Arizona's Executive MBA Program in Scottsdale, Arizona, he mentored students in developing their business and strategic marketing plans.

This experience, along with his economic development (Greater Tucson Economic Council), manufacturing/automation engineering and project management (General Dynamics and Hughes Missile Systems), and computer technology training (Keane Consulting), has provided Mr. Taylor with a broad understanding of the challenges faced by businesses and insights as to potential business solutions. 

 

Finally, Mr. Taylor earned a BS degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from Northern Arizona University and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from the University of Arizona.

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Scott Powell

Sr. Advisor of Strategic Initiatives

Scott Powell has seventeen years of experience in municipal and regional economic development and has led and managed every aspect of the profession including business attraction, retention, expansion, entrepreneurship, redevelopment, tourism, business intelligence, strategy planning, and inclusive workforce development. Scott was recognized by Consultant Connect as one of the Top 50 Economic Developers in North America for 2022.

 

Mr. Powell has led and managed multiple projects resulting in the attraction and retention of over 15,000 high-paying jobs, over $2 billion in capital investment, and the absorption of over a million square feet for the communities he has represented. He has negotiated over $100 million dollars of incentives ranging from job training grants, and tax abatements, to forgivable loans and private activity bonds. These job investments span across all industries including cyber security, aviation, space systems and defense, manufacturing, finance, and semiconductors.

 

Mr. Powell’s wide-ranging experience includes site selection, credit and incentives, deal structuring, community strategic planning, and workforce development including the award-winning Digital Upskill Sacramento Program. This inclusive talent development effort partnered with multiple training partners, the city of Sacramento and the Urban League to provide digital skills to overlooked and traditionally disadvantaged members of the community.

 

Scott is an Air Force brat and has lived in ten states throughout his life. He started his economic development career in Michigan and spent the majority of his economic development career in Arizona and California. Before his career in economic development Mr. Powell was a registered representative with a large mutual fund company and held multiple security licenses. He earned a bachelor’s in economics from Arizona State

University, a master’s in public administration from Western Michigan University and is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional.

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Michael McDowell

Sr. Advisor of Strategic Initiatives

Michael McDowell currently serves as the President/CEO of Valor Club USA www.valorclubusa.com developing a comprehensive living and learning community built to support the unique needs of transitioning service members around the country. Previously, McDowell served as the Executive Director of The Soldiers Project, a national organization offering free, confidential, and unlimited mental and behavioral health for post-9/11 veterans and their loved ones, and the Director of Operations for the Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Southern California. A retired Marine Corps officer, McDowell served as a field artillery and civil affairs officer with numerous platoon, battery, and battalion-level commands before he departed from active-duty service in August 2016.

 

He has extensive professional and academic training in organizational leadership, operational planning, and strategy development. McDowell holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. McDowell recently completed his latest research examining the knowledge, motivation, and organizational influences associated with the military transition in December 2020. His expertise includes learning psychology, human performance technology, and developing innovative, empirically based corporate solutions for companies and learning institutions serving service members, veterans, and other underserved populations.

Before relocating to San Antonio, Texas, McDowell served as a Los Angeles County Veteran Commissioner and board member with the VA Community Veteran Engagement Board (CVEB), supporting the Greater Los Angeles regional area. McDowell has published numerous articles as an author and as a keynote speaker for several professional organizations and podcasts.

Angela Turner

Director of Strategic Communications & Research Advisor

 

Angela is a communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in the communications field, including social media, publications, graphic design, and sales. Expertly skilled in social media and website management, sales management, and fostering and creating client relationships. Known for in-depth knowledge of social and digital media and excellent communication skills. She is a military spouse who has served with military communities, the Chamber of Commerce, and Economic Development organizations.

Peggy Firth

Chief Financial and Compliance Advisor

 

As Chief Financial and Compliance Officer, Peggy is responsible for all the company’s financial functions, including accounting, audit, treasury, corporate finance, and compliance. She also oversees and manages all human resources and strategic partnership agreement activities. Her career spans more than 30 years of varied experience in financial management, operations management, and corporate strategy. Her experience as CFO for both nonprofit and for-profit entities garnered her strong qualifications in developing and implementing financial controls and compliances.  As a military spouse, she maintains a passion in serving and supporting military transitions and spousal employment programs.

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