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41 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 35 economic development executives and organizations in 22 states and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
7 min read
41 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Moritz Knöringer / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Happy New Year my econ dev friends!  Last week was kind of a slow news week in the economic development world, but today we have economic development news from 35 economic development executives and organizations in 22 states, and Canada.  Enjoy! - Dane


The Saugeen Economic Development Corporation is celebrating 35 years since its inception. (SEDC general manager Rose Austin)


The Employee Ownership Office, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, has launched the application process for the Employee Ownership Tax Credit on January 1, 2022. The tax credit will be available to Colorado-headquartered businesses that want to convert to an employee ownership model and will cover up to 50% of a qualified business’ conversion costs for use on their state income taxes.


After 36 years of LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Bill Bradley has retired. Sheri Johnston, who joined the EDC three years ago to be Bradley’s successor, has replaced him.


Pepperwood Plaza in Iowa City's South District could soon become a focal point of neighborhood revitalization thanks to an economic development tool under consideration by the City Council. The council unanimously passed the first reading of the South District Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District, at its final meeting of 2021. After two more votes, the next on Tuesday, the economic development tool could become a reality this year. (Angie Jordan, the president of the South District Neighborhood Association)


State leaders and a few economic development groups are ringing in the new year, by bringing investment and job creation to Clay County and South Eastern Kentucky. Thousands of dollars given to Manchester will go into the community and pave the way for new housing, small business, job creation, and high tech farming in the Appalachian region. According to state leaders, Kentucky shattered the record books for investment and job creation last year with more than 11 billion dollars invested. That money is expected to create 18,000 full time jobs.


A project expected to cost more than $20 million to transform about half the former Lockwood Mill at 6 Water St. into residential and commercial space could begin next year, if all goes according to plan. (Garvan Donegan, director of planning, innovation and economic development for the Central Maine Growth Council)

A new strategic plan from Better City for Bangor’s long-term economic development suggests that the city create an entertainment district along the waterfront corridor and welcome refugees as a way to grow diversity and offset population losses.


The extent to which COVID-19 created turmoil in the Baltimore metro area’s economy has swung wildly from sector to sector. “Everyone has been affected by the pandemic, but not everybody’s been impacted equally,” said Brent Howard, president and CEO of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce. While industries, such as the hospitality sector, endured what Ben Birge, president and CEO of the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation, called “a vicious beating,” other sectors, like information technology companies, prospered.

According to local leaders, if Maryland’s economy fully recovers from the chaos inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington metro must lead the way. “The old perception of Maryland was that its economic power resided in Baltimore … clearly in the past several decades, and punctuated more so by the pandemic, the Capital Region is the economic power of the state,” Ben Wu, president, and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, said.

Economic officials across the Eastern Shore region of Maryland are intent on showing that the region is more than agriculture and beach tourism. (The Daily Record/File Photo) In the minds of many Marylanders, agriculture and beach tourism comprise the Eastern Shore’s only economic pillars. As that region continues to recover from the economic losses stemming from the pandemic, there’s a growing desire to show the Eastern Shore’s marketplace is more complex than cool waves and tasty fried chicken. “Historically, and throughout the pandemic, and to this day, one of our strongest [economic] assets … is the diversity of our economic base,” David Ryan, executive director of the Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development Corporation, said.


The data center development company Gotspace Data Partners is welcoming a chief operating officer. Gotspace hired Mike Grella as COO, according to the company last month. Most recently, Grella served as director of economic development at Amazon.


Zeeland-based Lakeshore Advantage supported 21 companies as they announced $259 million in private investment and the planned creation of 694 jobs in the region. (Jennifer Owens, president)

Gun Lake Investments — the non-gaming economic development arm of the Match-E-Be-NashShe-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribe — has named Monica King as permanent CEO.


Innovate 218 held its first-ever RINK Pitch Competition, where five entrepreneurs from around the Northland shared their business ideas to a panel of judges in hopes of winning cash prizes. The competition was created with funds from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's Launch Minnesota grants. (Innovate 218 Program Manager Amanda Lamppa)

Kraus-Anderson Construction has hired Joel Akason as director of business development. Previously Akason served as senior vice president of business investment for Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership.


Margaret Gilmer was a longtime community and economic development advocate for the city of Vicksburg and Warren County, and the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen want to make sure her efforts are not forgotten. The board Monday approved a resolution asking the Mississippi Legislature to name the bridge spanning the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks on the South Frontage Road for Gilmer, who died Sunday. Gilmer was the 2021 chairwoman of the Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Foundation and was involved for many years in both community and economic development initiatives in Vicksburg and Warren County. She previously served as chairwoman of the Warren County Port Commission and as a member of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce.


The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership has sued its former CEO and former chief financial officer, seeking to recoup nearly $350,000 in unauthorized bonuses the two directed to themselves and other employees when they were at the helm of the organization. In its lawsuit, the Partnership accuses former CEO Sheila Sweeney and former CFO Joyce Steiger of a “conspiracy” to pay themselves more than $200,000 in unauthorized bonuses — money that largely comes from St. Louis and St. Louis County public funds — without board approval.

New York

The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, Yates County's Economic/Industrial Development Agency, finished out an already impressive  2021 calendar year by approving two more major projects. (FLEDC CEO Steve Griffin)

Cayuga Strategic Solutions, an economic development partnership between the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and the Cayuga Economic Development Agency, is looking for a new CEO.

The administration of Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday continued to take shape as she appointed new advisors for housing, public safety and economic development, her office announced. James Katz, a former deputy Manhattan borough president, will become deputy secretary for economic development and workforce.

North Carolina

Another major economic development opportunity has emerged for Rowan County The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday afternoon scheduled a public hearing on Jan. 18 to consider an incentive request for “Project Rabbit.” The company behind the codename is considering Rowan County for its new distribution facility. And it would be a big one. (Scott Shelton, vice president of the Rowan Economic Development Council)

The Iredell County Board of Commissioners will consider awarding an economic development incentive to a company considering a $13.6 million capital investment in the county. Iredell Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Jenn Bosser will provide commissioners with details of “Project Buck” during the board’s meeting on Tuesday during a public hearing on the proposal.

North Dakota

Williston Economic Development is wrapping up 2021 on a positive note, with more than $1 million dollars given to area projects from the STAR Fund. (Williston Economic Development Executive Director Shawn Wenko)


Kimberly Lieber is North Ridgeville’s first director of planning and economic development.

This past year set a new record for the Dayton Development Coalition despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. But the local economic development group isn't taking time to celebrate, as 2022 is shaping up to be another busy year with a full list of projects already in the pipeline. (Julie Sullivan, executive vice president of regional development)

Development occurred across various aspects of the city's business sector this year despite the continued effects of the coronavirus pandemic. City Director of Planning and Economic Development Joe Mazzola said Alliance saw growth in a variety of areas in 2021, including food, retail and manufacturing, and hopes to continue this trend in 2022.

Employers had a hard time finding workers in 2021 locally and beyond. Fairfield County Economic Development Rick Szabrak said that trend should continue in 2022.


Tulsa’s Future, the Tulsa Regional Chamber-led regional economic development partnership, supported the creation of 4,125 jobs and $421 million of capital investment in northeast Oklahoma during 2021, the Chamber said Thursday. (Arthur Jackson, senior vice president of economic development at the Tulsa Regional Chamber)

As the new year begins, a new President and CEO is in charge of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, the Ardmore Development Authority and the Ardmore Tourism Authority. On January 1, William P. "Bill" Murphy assumed the position, though he has been working with the outgoing President and CEO Mita Bates for over two months in preparation for the role.


During the fall 2021 semester, Lee Erickson was appointed associate director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization at Penn State. He's now responsible for economic development and student programs.


SpaceX is creating the noise of progress in McGregor. Some locals want them to be quiet! (Andrew Smith, executive director of the McGregor Economic Development Corp.)

Georgetown City Council approved the development of a 224-acre plot of land to become a tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ, and two economic agreements to fund public improvement projects. (Economic Development Director Michaela Dollar)

Galveston County has been ranked the #2 county in Texas, and #5 in the US for small business owners. (Galveston County Economic Development Director Dane Carlson)

United States

Barry Matherly has been named Dean of the OU Economic Development Institute.


Whatcom County’s real GDP decreased 5.3% compared to 2019. (Port of Bellingham Economic Development Director Don Goldberg)

In the NewsNewsletter

Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.

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