Our Staff

As dedicated economic development professionals, we're committed to increasing economic vitality across King County through cluster-driven, client-focused economic development. As the only public-private economic development partnership ecompassing King County and its 39 cities, we're committed to serving companies seeking to do business here.

Contact any of us with your inquiries and we'll be happy to assist you. Click on our names to see our bios. For general business development requests, please email us here or call 206-389-8650.


mjgoforth5.jpg Melinda Goforth
Vice President, Business Development
206-389-8669
mgoforth@edc-seaking.org



 

use-mark-headshot-emall-edited.png Mark Stayton
Communications & Research Manager
206-389-8653
mstayton@edc-seaking.org



samantha-gotkin-headshot-web.png​​Samantha Gotkin
Special Projects Lead
206-412-9810
Sgotkin@EDC-SeaKing.org


Staff Bios


mjgoforth5.jpgMelinda Goforth
Vice President, Business Development
206-389-8669
mgoforth@edc-seaking.org


As part of the organization’s leadership, Melinda leads the EDC’s Business Development team and plays a key role in the development and implementation of the EDC’s annual work plan, focused on business attraction, expansion and retention, as well as strategic business development.

Melinda has a wealth of experience in international trade promotion, economic development and global government affairs.  For close to a decade, Melinda served as Consul and Head of Trade & Investment for the United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, working for four successive British Ambassadors. Immediately prior to joining the EDC, Melinda acted as an advisor to SelectUSA in the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

Melinda enjoys strong ties on the U.S. southern border, having served as Director of International Programs for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. There she worked closely with the State Government of Baja California, and Mexico’s federal government, to support border infrastructure initiatives and increased cross-border trade between the United States and Mexico.

Melinda maintains a background in partnership development, previously serving as Director of Partnerships for the Washington Office of Habitat for Humanity International. She also led delivery of the Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure here in Western Washington as Race Director for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

M
elinda holds a master’s degree from The London School of Economics and her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University. She is a Fulbright recipient and in 2005 was named a Global Fellow of the World Economic Forum. 

A native of Edmonds, Washington, Melinda attended Holy Names Academy in Seattle, together with her three sisters. Favorite activities include traveling and spending time with her nieces and nephews, and of course, baseball.


use-mark-headshot-emall-edited.pngMark Stayton
Communications & Research Manager
206-389-8653
mstayton@edc-seaking.org


Mark Stayton is the Communications and Research Manager for the Economic Development Council of Seattle-King County.

Prior to joining the EDC, Mark coordinated media and communications for the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region, (PNWER) a non-profit organization focused on improving trade and building the economy throughout the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. In that role, Mark communicated the organization’s events and achievements to a large network of members and stakeholders, as well as to the media and general public throughout the region. He coordinated policy working groups on key industries within the Pacific Northwest economy and helped plan and execute large bi-national conferences. 

For three years, Mark covered business and agriculture at the Skagit Valley Herald, a daily newspaper out of Mount Vernon, Washington. Through constant interaction with business owners, industry experts, employees and CEOs, he developed a passion for economic development and an appreciation for the hard work necessary to create and maintain local jobs.

Mark graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an economics minor from Western Washington University. 


samantha-gotkin-headshot-web.pngSamantha Gotkin
Special Projects Lead
206-412-9810
Sgotkin@EDC-SeaKing.org


Samantha Gotkin is the founder and principal consultant of S|E|G Consulting. She has worked in the local nonprofit industry for over 20 years, specializing in organizational capacity building, fundraising, volunteer management, event development and execution. Samantha has supported a variety of nonprofit and corporate entities’ events and campaigns including the JDRF Seattle Guild (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Virginia Mason, Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County, Washington Youth Soccer Association, Seattle Housing Authority, Wells Fargo, Seattle Young People’s Project, Swim Across America, Seattle Public Schools and Circle of Friends for Mental Health.

Assets

Why Seattle-King County?

....It's Home of Big Ideas!

Why Seattle-King County?

How can we assist you?

The EDC provides confidential consulting services, free-of-charge, to businesses seeking to establish operations, expand, or relocate within King County.

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