The economic development team at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce has more than 100 years of combined experience assisting businesses to relocate, expand and thrive in the Nashville region.
Chief Economic Development Officer
Courtney P. Ross is Chief Economic Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Courtney has oversight of the economic development team that acts as the region’s lead marketing agency for economic development, with functions including business recruitment, working with existing Nashville-based firms on expansions, talent initiatives, and international business. Ross works on a day-to-day basis with corporate executives of relocating companies as well as professional site consultants, typically hired by "Fortune 500" level clients to advise on relocation investments and locations. Successful relocation and expansion projects in which Ross has been involved include UBS, Asurion, HCA, AIG, LifePoint and numerous others. Courtney has been with the Chamber since August 2008.
Prior to her role as Chief Economic Development Officer, Ross served as the Vice President of Existing Business where she managed all economic development activities involving existing business retention and expansion in the 10-county Nashville region. These responsibilities included support for CEO-level leadership of existing businesses and assistance for companies interested in expanding in the Nashville area.
Ross’ 14 year economic development career has included positions at Applied Marketing Sciences, an economic development consulting firm and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce as director of corporate recruitment. In Austin, Ross was responsible for company recruitment to the 5-county Greater Austin region. Her specific target industry sectors were corporate headquarters, back-office facilities, call centers, data centers, biotechnology, healthcare and semiconductor. In addition, she was responsible for several key marketing events for the Greater Austin Chamber Economic Development program including out of market mission trips, incentive negotiations, and regional marketing. Prior to living in Austin, Ms. Ross served as the Assistant Director at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. Her responsibilities included recruiting biotech companies to the city’s first biotech research park. Ms. Ross began her Economic Development career with the State of Tennessee as the Deputy Director for the Film and Music Commission, recruiting in the film and music industry to the state.
Ms. Ross is a native of Memphis, TN and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Courtney and her husband Jason and their two children, Jake and Ellie, reside in Nashville.
Melia Leedy, MBA
Economic Diversity Project Manager
Melia Leedy serves as the Economic Diversity Project Manager. She supports the activities and initiatives of the 10-county regional business recruitment, existing business, and Partnership 2020 investor relations initiatives. She works with P2020 investors to build stronger relationships and management of all Partnership involvement activities and events. Her responsibilities include implementation of the new Partnership 2020 strategy campaign, volunteer involvement and committee efforts, oversight of the economic development web site and marketing, and planning inbound and outbound events.
Leedy joined the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in January 2009 as the business recruitment coordinator for the economic development department. She holds a bachelor's degree in both marketing and German from Lipscomb University and an MBA also from Lipscomb University. Leedy currently sits on the Nashville Adult Literacy Council Board as chair of the Marketing and Fundraising Committee and also serves as a volunteer tutor.
Outside the office, Leedy enjoys baking and traveling with her husband.
Economic Diversity Coordinator
Katie Barton is the Economic Diversity Coordinator for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. She supports the day-to-day work of the existing business and business recruitment teams at the Nashville Chamber. This includes information support for economic diversity projects, preparing RFP’s, providing support for committees, marketing, and other economic diversity events.
A native of Savannah, GA, Barton joined the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in January 2013. She previously worked as the Executive Assistant to the President of the Savannah Economic Development Authority and World Trade Center Savannah.
Barton holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, and a master’s degree in international affairs from North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, GA.
Outside the office, Barton enjoys running with her dogs, spending time with her boyfriend, and finding new and exciting things to do in Nashville.