BRAC’s Donnie Miller, Jayson Newell Win 40 Under 40 in Economic Development Award

Donnie Miller

BATON ROUGE, La. (January 30, 2023) — The Baton Rouge Area Chamber today announced that its Senior Director of Business Recruitment Donnie Miller and its Senior Director of Business Development Jayson Newell have been honored as recipients of the 2023 Economic Development 40 Under 40 Award, the biennial award recognizing rising stars under 40 years old in the economic development industry. 

The awards program is hosted by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based integrated marketing firm that works with economic development and travel organizations around the globe, and Jorgenson Consulting, a leading national executive search firm serving organizations in non-profit, economic, and community development industries. An independent selection committee of six economic development leaders and site selection consultants evaluated nominations based on demonstration of strong leadership, commitment, and innovation every day in the workplace. 

Jayson Newell

“The purpose-driven work of economic development plays a vital role in communities around the world, and much of it is led by young professionals,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “These 40 rising stars are contributing their creativity, dedication and leadership to make a tremendous impact in their communities and our industry as a whole, and I so look forward to what lies ahead in their careers.” 

“It is no surprise to us at BRAC that Donnie and Jayson are being recognized as rising stars in their field,” said Russell Richardson, BRAC senior vice president of business development. “Donnie has been instrumental in securing such projects as Amazon, resulting in over 1,000 new jobs and community development wins like grocery stores and health care institutions that provide increased access in disinvested communities, while Jayson has helped state and parish partners bring in high-job creation projects, including the $9.2 billion Grön Fuels project resulting in over 1,000 new jobs and the $2 billion CF Industries blue ammonia project projected to result in 414 new jobs. Their unique skillsets and dedication to the Capital Region have brought countless investments and jobs into our community.” 

BRAC’s Business Development team has secured over $17.5 billion in capital expenditures and over 7,000 new jobs from closed projects spanning 2016 to 2022. Donnie joined the team in 2016 and Jayson joined in 2018. 

Donnie serves as BRAC’s Senior Director of Business Recruitment. In this capacity, he works collaboratively with state and parish partners to identify new project opportunities focused on two of BRAC’s target industries – life sciences and technology. 

Jayson serves as BRAC’s Regional Director of Business Development. In this role, Jayson works with officials at the state and local levels on economic development projects across the nine-parish region. 

“The economic development industry continues to evolve, and these rising leaders are stepping up to the challenge,” said Todd Jorgenson, managing director and principal of Jorgenson Consulting, Inc. “Congratulations to these 40 winners – and to the communities that are lucky to benefit from their expertise.” 

Award winners were announced last night at a reception hosted by DCI and Jorgenson at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2023 Leadership Summit, the only conference held exclusively for Certified Economic Developers and senior managers in the profession.  

For more information on the 40 Under 40 awards program and this year’s winners, visit

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber  

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at

About DCI 

Development Counsellors International (DCI) is the leader in travel, economic development and talent attraction marketing. Since 1960, DCI has worked with more than 500 cities, regions, states and countries, helping them attract business investors, visitors and workers. DCI has offices in New York and Denver. For more information, visit or follow @aboutDCI on Twitter. 

About Jorgenson Consulting 

Founded in 1992, Jorgenson Consulting has worked diligently over the past 29 years to establish itself as a premier national executive search firm. With a focus on the fields of non-profit, economic and community development, we partner with our clients to help them identify and secure the highest caliber of executive talent. Our goal is to develop a thorough understanding of our clients and leverage that knowledge with our own expertise and resources to source executive talent that can truly serve the organization by yielding economic benefits while also contributing to a community’s competitive advantage. 


Scroll to Top