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 is the economic diversity project manager for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Leedy 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. A graduate from Lipscomb University, she holds a bachelor's degree in both marketing and German and earned a Masters of Business Administration.
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 Sharp is the economic diversity coordinator for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. In this role, she supports the work of the existing business, business recruitment and international teams at the Nashville Chamber. This includes project support for economic development prospects, preparing RFP’s and presentations as well as general support for economic development committees, marketing, and events.
A Nashville native, Sharp joined the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in August 2013. Prior to joining the economic diversity team, she served as research coordinator with the Nashville Chamber where she conducted strategic research on the economic vitality and diversity of the region through a variety of projects, including a regional economic indicators project, Nashville Region’s Vital Signs.
Sharp holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Outside the office, Sharp is involved with the Junior League of Nashville and Furman University Alumni Association of Nashville and enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and exploring Nashville’s restaurant, music and sports scenes.