A native of Cali, Colombia, Catalina Valencia brings over 19 years of professional experience on different facets of economic development.
From site selection, and business attraction, retention, and expansion, to exports promotion, Catalina offers a comprehensive perspective to economic development. She has sat at both sides of the table. As an economic developer, working through the challenges and opportunities of a community to attract, grow, and expand local businesses – in order to increase capital investment, jobs, and wages – and as a site selector, understanding the needs of corporations looking for the optimal location for their next facility, and evaluating communities around different geographies. On her path, Catalina has worked on projects for an array of industries – agribusiness, petrochemical & chemical, consumer products /paper products, metallurgical, composites for aerospace, etc. – and learned about the key drivers in their location-decision process.
Catalina joins the Integrated Energy Advisors’ team after working for several companies and organizations for most of her professional life. Previously, Catalina worked as a Senior Consultant at Global Location Strategies (GLS) where she consulted on capital and resource-intensive site selection projects representing over $1.5 billion in capital investment and 1,300 jobs. Valencia also led economic development efforts at GLS, including site readiness assessments, new site identification, target industry evaluation, and competitive benchmarking. Some of her economic development clients included Duke Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the South Carolina Power Team (SCPT), and the Eastman Business Park (EBP).
Prior to GLS, Catalina served as Business Development Director for Greenwood County, South Carolina, heading business retention, expansion, and attraction efforts, collaborating on projects representing $1 billion in capital investment and 600 jobs.
Catalina has also held global marketing, business development, and international development roles:
- As Marketing Manager for the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Catalina headed the U.S. Soybean Industry’s effort to expand international markets for U.S. soybeans and soybean products in the aquaculture industry;
- as International Manager, and earlier Business Intelligence Manager for Vigo Remittance Corp., a subsidiary of Western Union, Valencia managed in country and North America outbound marketing and promotional efforts for Latin American countries, as well as identified, screened, and conducted contract negotiations with new international correspondents;
- as Project Manager for the Colombian Government Trade Bureau, where she coached and counseled prospective exporting companies from Southwestern Colombia on the design and execution of their international marketing plans; and,
- as international consultant for the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, analyzing outcome evaluations and on-going projects.
Catalina holds a B.A. and master’s degree in International Business from Colombia’s Universidad ICESI and EAFIT, respectively, as well as a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York City.