Annual Industry Briefing

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Save the Date 2020-v2

2019 Annual Industry Briefing Recap 

KC SmartPort held their 11th Annual Industry Briefing FLEX on April 4, 2019. A expert panel of leaders from Amazon, Cushman & Wakefield, BNSF Railway and Heitman Architects addressed a crowd of more than 550 logistics, real estate and economic development professionals.

Mike Grella, Amazon’s director of economic development from 2012-19, was the keynote speaker for the event. Other speakers included Karl Heitman, president, Heitman Architects, who has 30 years of experience in corporate facility design, plus a unique understanding of “Manufacturing 4.0” technologies and digital connectivity, Colby Tanner, assistant vice president, BNSF Railway, who is responsible for directing, planning and implementing the location and expansion of industries within the BNSF System and Ann Petersen, managing director, Cushman & Wakefield, with 15 years of experience in economic development negotiations, including coordination and implementation of incentives.

Event speakers discussed the ways companies and organizations are adapting to changes and opportunities by implementing flexible practices and flexible supply chains. Companies are facing rapid transformation in workforce development, transportation flexibility and space usage/design. 

FLEX | KC SmartPort 2019 Industry Briefing from Hint on Vimeo.


Mike GrellaMike Grella has 24 years of experience in economic development, site selection and public policy. In 2012, he joined Amazon to lead its economic development team. During his seven year tenure with the company, Mike and his team led over 50 million square feet of expansion transactions representing over $10 billion of investment and 100,000+ new jobs in customer fulfillment, logistics, last-mile infrastructure and data centers in over 25 states and 14 countries.


Ann Peterson
Ann Petersen

Managing Director 
Cushman & Wakefield

Colby Tanner
Assistant Vice President
BNSF Railway

Karl Heitman - New Headshot
Karl Heitman

Heitman Architects

FLEX 2019

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