Lake ConroeSummit Register

Hosted by The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

As the Lake Conroe Area continues to develop over the coming decade, there will be a need for annual updated information on progress and growth trends for the business community. We commissioned a Regional Economic Development Forecast Study for the Lake Conroe Communities and the interlocking unincorporated areas of northern Montgomery County that will be released for attendees on an annual basis. Keynote speakers will present the reports as well as annually reflect and build upon previous reports.

The target audience for the Lake Conroe Summit includes industry leaders and businesses owners around the Lake Conroe Area as well as the Greater Houston Area looking to move north. Other industries interested in this information are encouraged to participate as well including but not limited to financial institutions, investors, engineering firms, developers, brokers, independent business owners, and site selectors.


La Torretta Lake Resort & Conference Center
600 La Torretta Blvd.
Montgomery Texas 77356

Study By Community Development Strategies visit site

Study results will be presented at the conference and made available here afterward.

View the


  • Registration


    Continental Breakfast

    Exhibit Hall

  • Welcome


    County Judge Craig Doyal

    Sponsor Recognition

  • Panels


    Moderated by Meredith Brown, General Manager, Community Impact Newspaper

    • Community Spotlight

      • Workforce Development
      • Public Education
      • Healthcare
    • Developers and Commercial Brokers

      • West Side – Residential and Commercial
      • East Side – Residential and Commercial
    • Infrastructure

      • Montgomery County Pct 1
      • City of Conroe
      • Montgomery
      • Willis
  • Break


    Exhibit Hall

  • Lunch

  • 12:15

    Regional Forecast Update – Steve Spillette CDS

    Keynote – Jesse Thompson, Dallas Federal Reserve, Houston Branch

introducing our


Craig Doyal

Craig Doyal

Montgomery County Judge

Craig Doyal began his first term as County Judge for Montgomery County January 1, 2015. Prior to becoming county judge, he served as Precinct 2 County Commissioner from August 29, 2001 until December 31, 2014.

As county judge, Judge Doyal presides over Commissioners Court Meetings, and oversees the administrative functions for Montgomery County. Judge Doyal works with the county’s four commissioners to manage the budget, services and functions of a rapidly growing county ensuring the county meets the needs of its 560,000 plus residents. He directly oversees thirteen county departments.

Judge Doyal is particularly focused on the county’s mobility issues and works closely with the Texas department of Transportation and other county and state officials to make sure the county is keeping pace with our fast growth.

Judge Doyal has represented Montgomery County on multiple local transportation committees. Additionally, Craig represents Montgomery County on the Gulf Coast Rail District and on the Council of Urban Counties. He also has served as past Chairman of the Houston-Galveston Area and past Chairman of the 1420 Committee exploring funding options of the Grand Parkway.

Judge Doyal has served as a Montgomery ISD Board Trustee and a board member of the Montgomery County Committee on the Aging – better known as “The Friendship Center”. He was a “Meals on Wheels” volunteer for nine years, president of the Magnolia Parks Council and is a member of numerous Chambers of Commerce. Judge Doyal is also a member of the Woodlands Rotary Club, Conroe Noon Lions Club and a lifetime member of the Montgomery County Fair Association. Additionally, he is a longtime financial supporter of several local area Republican groups.

Judge Doyal is a native Texan, 4th generation Montgomery County resident, and a graduate of Conroe High School and Texas A & M University. He is married to Amy and has three children and two granddaughters.

Meredith Brown

Meredith Brown

General Manager, Conroe/Montgomery Edition of Community Impact Newspaper

Meredith Beyer Brown currently serves as the General Manager of the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper. Community Impact Newspaper is Texas’ fastest-growing news organization and the most widely distributed news source for relevant and useful information at the community level. The company now reaches over 1.7 million mailboxes monthly in more than 34 cities and communities with 22 hyper-local newspapers in Texas.

Brown currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce and was a 2016 graduate of Leadership Montgomery County, where she is now an active member of the alumni association.

Prior to her role with Community Impact, Brown served as Events & Marketing Manager for the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce and was an active member of several community committees and volunteer groups dedicated to government affairs and economic development. Additionally, she is a 2014 graduate of Leadership North Houston.

Meredith received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication, with double minors in Public Relations and Public & Interpersonal Communication from North Carolina State University in 1996. She is a former candidate for the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners and served as the mayoral appointed Chairman of the Wake Forest Human Relations Council for 3 years.

She is a native of Spring, TX, where she now resides with her three sons and has a passion for gourmet cooking, reading and DIY home projects.

Jesse Thompson photo

Jesse Thompson

Jessee Thompson

Business Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Office
Jessee Thompson photo

Jesse Thompson serves as business economist at the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Thompson, who joined the Bank in 2010, performs research and analysis on issues affecting the Houston and Gulf Coast economy. In particular, he studies issues surrounding area hydrocarbon industries. He also collects information for the Dallas Fed’s Beige Book summary of current economic conditions. He is author of the monthly Houston Economic Indicators report and contributes to quarterly publication Southwest Economy.

Thompson earned an MA in economics, with emphasis on empirical microeconomics, and BA in philosophy and economics from the University of Houston.

Steve Spillette photo

Steve Spillette

Steven R. Spillette

President, CDS Community Development Strategies
Steve Spillitte photo
Spillette Consulting logo

Steve Spillette is an urban development strategist providing real estate and urban planning guidance to both public and private sector clients. He evaluates the options available for obtaining desired market-supported results to create better developments, districts, towns and cities.

Mr. Spillette has engaged in a wide range of services and products for his clients, including market analysis, economic development agreements, special district planning, and public development and planning policy. He holds economics, city planning and business administration degrees from Stanford University, UC Berkeley and Texas A&M.

His 26 years of work experience includes positions with the national research and analysis firm Economics Research Associates, the Uptown Houston Improvement District, and the Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University.

He headed his own firm for 12 years and in 2013 merged with CDS Market Research, a Houston firm with nearly 40 years experience in real estate market research and urban development economics.

Rebecca Riley

Dr. Rebecca L. Riley

President, Lone Star College – Montgomery

Dr. Rebecca L. Riley is the President of Lone Star College – Montgomery. She holds a bachelor and master’s degree in fine arts from Texas Tech University. Dr. Riley earned her doctoral degree from Sam Houston State University in Higher Education Leadership. Her research interests include intercultural competence and communication. Dr. Riley’s exhibition record includes more than 200 regional, national and international shows in drawing, printmaking, and painting.

During her 22+year career at Lone Star, Dr. Riley has held numerous positions. Beginning as an adjunct instructor of art, she became professor of art and program coordinator, dean, interim vice president of student success, vice president of instruction at LSC-Kingwood, and finally president at LSC-Montgomery. She serves on numerous boards and advisory councils, including chambers of commerce, economic development, health care organizations, and non-profits.

Pat Guseman

Dr. Pat Guseman

President, Population and Survey Analysts

Dr. Pat Guseman is President of Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), a demographic firm located in College Station, TX. Formerly, Dr. Guseman taught demographic courses – and worked at the Texas Transportation Institute – both at Texas A&M University.

PASA is the largest demographic firm in the State, preparing projections primarily for high growth school districts. These forecasts are based on estimating the number of homes added annually to each active subdivision, and on forecasting locations of new apartments, as well as estimating future residential growth for as-yet-undeveloped parcels. The firm also prepares leading indicators of employment for local areas to supplement the housing projections.

Rip Reynolds

Rip Reynolds

Vice President, Leasing and Commercial Land, The Woodlands Development Company

Rip Reynolds is Vice President, Leasing and Commercial Land for The Woodlands® Development Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Howard Hughes Corporation®. He is responsible for commercial leasing and land at The Woodlands and Bridgeland master planned communities.

Prior to joining The Howard Hughes Corporation, Mr. Reynolds was Vice President with CBRE where he specialized in retail tenant and landlord representation as well as land and building disposition services for local and national clients including the representation of The Woodlands Development Company. He also worked for Staubach/SRS Real Estate Partners and the former Trammel Crow Company, now CBRE. In 2011, he was ranked as a CoStar Top Retail Power Broker.

Mr. Reynolds holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology/Sports Administration from the University of Houston and is a resident of The Woodlands. He serves as a board member for various community organizations including the Commercial Real Estate Association Montgomery County, Bridgeland Commercial Association, Creekside Village Center Owners Association, Stewart Title of Montgomery County and Montgomery County Youth Services. He also serves on the Memorial Hermann Advisory Council and is a member of International Council of Shopping Centers and Urban Land Institute.

Heath Melton

Heath Melton

Vice President, Master Planned Communities, Residential The Howard Hughes Corporation

Heath Melton joined The Woodlands® Development Company, a division of The Howard Hughes Corporation® (HHC), in 2015 as Vice President of Master Planned Communities, Residential and is responsible for residential development for the award-winning master planned communities of The Woodlands, Bridgeland and the new development, currently underway north of The Woodlands near the I-45 and SH 830 interchange.

Heath came to HHC with a diverse and impressive resume. Heath is a West Point Graduate and served in the US Army as a Field Artillery Officer for five years. During his time in service, Heath deployed to Kosovo and was part of the leading force during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Heath’s notable awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device and Air Assault Qualification to name a few. Heath’s real estate career began with KB Home Houston where he held positions as Land Development Project Manager, Sr. Budget Analyst, Sales and Marketing Manager, and Design Center Manager. After KB, Heath accepted a position with Sueba USA as a Development manager overseeing the single-family residential business and assisting the multi-family side of the business. Following Sueba, Heath accepted an opportunity with Taylor Morrison Austin as the Director of Land Development serving in the roll of General Manager of their new master planned community, Travisso.

During his tenure at HHC, Heath has identified areas of improvement within the communities and implemented strategic actions plan to enhance development. He has also overseen the beginning of the new company-owned area north of The Woodlands, working with builders, planners and engineers to deliver the premier quality and standards of master planned communities that The Woodlands Development Company and The Howard Hughes Corporation delivers.


Ed Shackleford

Ed Shackleford, PE

Principle-in-Charge, Jones and Carter

Mr. Shackelford joined Jones and Carter in 2003 and serves as Operations Manager for the Woodlands Office since January 2005. Additionally, Mr. Shackelford is a Senior Vice President. Mr. Shackelford serves as District Engineer for two political subdivisions and as the City Engineer for one municipality.


BS in Civil Engineering Texas A&M University, 1978


Licensed Professional Engineer, Texas No. 55284

  • City of Baytown (1979 – 1985), Annual Utility Extension and Rehabilitation Program
  • Wayne Smith & Associates (1985 – 1990), Miscellaneous Projects
  • Harris County Flood Control District (1990 – 1991), Capital Projects
  • Harris County Precinct 4 (1991 – 2000), Capital Projects Program
  • North Harris County Regional Water Authority (2000 – 2003)

Wade Nelson

Wade Nelson

President and Owner, The Nelson Company
Wade Nelson photo
The Nelson Company

Wade Nelson, President and Owner of The Nelson Company, leads the company’s efforts in brokerage of investment properties, land brokerage of commercial development sites, income producing properties and end user sites.

Nelson is recognized for his knowledge, work ethic, integrity and ability to provide excellent service to his clients. He has played a key role in brokering the sale or development of numerous commercial development sites throughout the region. Additionally he has represented many nationally and regionally recognized tenants in Texas, including Spirit of Texas Bank, Service First, Walgreens, CVS, Valero, Stripes, Timewise, Popeyes and Shipleys. Other brokered transactions include that of Santikos Theaters, ShowBiz Cinemas, Pulte Homes, Friendswood Development, Integrated Realty among many others.

Nelson holds a Bachelor of Business Management degree with emphasis in real estate from Texas A&M University and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Immediately after college he was employed by Enron Corp. as a Real Estate Manager where he oversaw real estate assets throughout the U.S.

Before starting his own real estate firm in 2008, Nelson also gained valuable experience as Director of Real Estate at MetroNational, a real estate development company in Houston.

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