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47 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 88 economic development executives and organizations in 36 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
14 min read
47 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash

Welcome to the 47th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

Today's issue contains economic development news from 88 economic development executives and organizations in 36 states, and Canada.


Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.

Alaska

Sitnasuak Native Corporation announced the hire of Brittany Brown as the Director of Marketing and Communications. Brown comes to the organization with over 11 years of experience in Public and Community Relations to lead and grow communications and marketing initiatives.

Arizona

Kirsten Hall has been selected to serve on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council's Ambassador Steering Committee.

After more than two decades closed, officials are moving to preserve and redevelop Tempe’s Hayden Flour Mill. The proposed plan includes uses oriented toward specialty retail food and beverage, arts, and hospitality.

California

Livermore has appointed Brandon Cardwell as its new Innovation and Economic Development Director, the city announced Tuesday.

Roseville is looking ahead at its strategic planning process with the City Council and updating its plan based on the idea of creating specific areas of focus, including supporting the health and life science sector and the information communication and technology sector. (Melissa Anguiano, Economic Development Director)

Canada

The Ontario government is supporting an $18.5 million investment by auto parts manufacturer Ventra Group to help strengthen local manufacturing and Ontario’s automotive and domestic manufacturing sectors, while creating jobs, attracting investment to the local economy and supporting the province’s economic recovery. The province is investing $1.5 million through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 18 jobs. (Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade)

Rossland’s Economic Development Task Force is seeking residents to help with its upcoming projects, which include enhancing its broadband service by improving reliability and access to high-speed internet, address the declining housing affordability in Rossland, and increase the number of child care spaces in the Golden City. (Jim Firstbrook, EDTF chair)

Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission is bringing in six new members to its 2022 advisory council. The 45-person delegation consists of industry leaders, elected officials, local government staff and community organizations representing a cross section of industries. (Mike Checkley, Chairman; Krista Mallory, Manager COEDC)

Brad Parry was named president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development.

Sidney is asking residents to help shape the municipality’s economic future by inviting them to fill out a survey as they develop an economic strategy for the community. (Morgan Shaw, Executive Director, Sidney Business Improvement Area Society; Al Smith, Executive Director, Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO, South Island Prosperity Partnership)

Colorado

Popup Denver launched a rent-free, pop-up program to fill vacant downtown retail spaces. (Jen Morris, Interim Executive Director, City of Denver Department of Economic Development and Opportunity; Bob Pertierra
Senior Vice President Economic Development, Downtown Denver Partnership)

Erie is in the final stages of purchasing land that will be used as part of the Town Center development. (Julian Jacquin, Economic Development Director)

Connecticut

John C. Downen has joined the team at Camoin Associates. He will be supporting and leading economic and industry analysis, strategic planning, and other economic development related project work.

Delaware

Downtown Milford Inc. announced Janne Collins as its new executive director.

Florida

CareerSource Tampa Bay has hired Michelle A. Zieziula, as the workforce agency’s Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer. She will report directly to CSTB Chief Executive Officer John Flanagan. Zieziula has more than 30 years of experience serving private, education, and public sectors through manufacturing, university, economic, and workforce development forums.

The CareerSource Suncoast Board of Directors has unanimously selected Chief Operating Officer Joshua Matlock to succeed retiring Chief Executive Officer Ted Ehrlichman.

Georgia

Ryder System, Inc., a leader in supply chain, dedicated transportation, and commercial fleet management solutions, will invest $44 million in a new, high-tech third-party 678,000 sq ft distribution center in Locust Grove, Georgia. The project is expected to create more than 250 jobs. (Pat Wilson, GDEcD Commissioner; Bob Kosek, Senior Project Manager, Global Commerce; FJ “Josh” Fenn, Executive Director, Henry County Development Authority; Steve Daniel, Executive Director, Georgia Quick Start; Griff Lynch, Executive Director, Georgia Ports Authority; Katie Kirkpatrick, President and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber)

Pamela Mulli, a Warner Robins employee has been arrested for stealing thousands of dollars out of the city's community development fund.

Illinois

Miles Brainard was named Rock Island Community and Economic Development Director. He oversees a department that includes the Inspections, Planning, Community Development, and Economic Development divisions.

After 20 years as the President and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development, John Greuling has announced his retirement, effective March 6, 2022. Effective March 7th, Doug Pryor will take over the position of President and CEO.

Indiana

Steve Witt is stepping down as chief of Terre Haute’s city redevelopment department, but he will continue as president of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. This move allows Witt to concentrate directly on business development efforts through the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp.

Good things are happening in Allen County economic development wise. However, if the county expects to grow its number of residents into the next decade, it will need to do so by attracting people from other states. (John Urbahns, President and CEO, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.)

On February 12, Jim Walton passed away at the age of 67 after a mercifully short battle with cancer.
(Colleen Walton, Brand Acceleration)

Iowa

Local economic and community leaders hosted Iowa Economic Development Authority Executive Director, Debi Durham, as she visited several Carroll County businesses. (Beth Townsend, Director, Iowa Workforce Development; Matt Meiners, Economic Vitality Director, Carroll Chamber of Commerce)

The long-time leader of a multi-county economic development organization in southern Iowa has been arrested and charged with theft. Timothy Ostroski was arrested by Creston Police and charged with first-degree theft and four counts of forgery. Ostroski has been executive director of the regional council since 1984.

Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority, urged Carroll to move forward with a full modernization of the Recreation Center. She stressed the link between quality-of-life enhancements and business-and-employment growth in Iowa during a presentation to Carroll County leaders.

Maine

While many Moosehead Lake region residents see a $113.5 million year-round ski resort as a significant boost for the local economy, some want a larger conversation about the project’s scale and preserving the area’s small-town charm. (Allison Arbo, Joint Executive Director of Tourist Information Center Destination Moosehead Lake and the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation; Steve Levesque, President, Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation)

Michigan

A group of Mid-Michigan business owners are petitioning Governor Whitmer to invest $5 million of federal COVID-19 recovery money in downtown Lansing. (Julie Pingston, President & CEO, Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau; Robert L. Trezise, President & CEO, Lansing Economic Area Partnership; Tim Daman, President & CEO, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce)

The City of Monroe has selected OHM Advisors to serve as consultant as it looks to create a subarea plan for the Orchard East neighborhood. (Mark Cochran, Director, Economic and Community Development)

Minnesota

A massive nursing assistant shortage has Minnesota turning to free education in order to get more helping hands in hospitals. (Steve Grove, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development)

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is looking to dole out $41 million for redevelopment in commercial corridors around the state. (Steve Grove, Commissioner of Employment & Economic Development, Minnesota)

By nearly every measure, 2021 was a strong year for the greater Bemidji regional economy, and the Greater Bemidji Economic Development is planning for the future. (Dave Hengel, executive director of Greater Bemidji Economic Development)

There are several new businesses either recently opened, or that soon will open in Maple Grove, which is in stark contrast to city officials’ fears roughly two years ago when the Covid-19 pandemic first began. (Brett Angell, Manager, Maple Grove Economic Development)

The Blue Earth Economic Development Authority board discussed a unique partnership idea at their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday. EDA specialist Amy Schaefer shared she has recently been made aware of a Region 9 grant opportunity for Blue Earth. “The EDA has been given an opportunity to partner with Fairmont on an ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) grant through the Federal EDA that would create a position that would focus directly on economic recovery and resiliency within Blue Earth and Fairmont,” Schaefer said in a report. “The grant, if awarded, will fund the position for five years,” she continued. “The grant will be written for approximately $500,000.”  Schaefer explained she and Linsey Preuss, Fairmont’s economic development coordinator, have been working with Region 9 to develop the grant opportunity.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Economic Development Council announced that Betsy Young has won the 2021 Jimmy and Ray Heidel Economic Development Leadership Award. Young is the Project Manager for the Golden Triangle Development Link, having joined the organization in 2019. Her scope of work includes industrial recruitment and retention, economic research and analysis, and graphic design. (Scott Waller, President & CEO, Mississippi Economic Development Council)

Jones County is getting a large portion of $25 million the state is investing in economic-development sites to either attract or enhance business and industry. “Select Site” and is a joint effort between Jones County, Forrest County and the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Authority. (Ross Tucker, President, Jones County Economic Development Authority)

Missouri

The Charleston Economic Development Group wants to improve the town, but it needs feedback from community members first. Citizens can provide their opinions during the group’s town hall for public input on revitalization efforts. (Jayne Ellen Ray, Charleston Economic Development Group; Gayla Roten, State Director, Missouri Main Street Connection)

Corey Mehaffy, executive director of the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, talked about details of the plan for a Community Improvement District for Palmyra during a public meeting. A strong turnout and absence of negative feedback reflected the community’s support for the revitalization plans and the community as a whole. (Michael Bugalski, President, Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation)

The city of Springfield will receive $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, or EDA, in order to conduct planning efforts. Funded through the American Rescue Plan and EDA's $300 million Coal Communities Commitment, this is the first grant rescue plan to be awarded in the area, per the city. (Alejandra Y. Castillo, assistant secretary of Commerce for Economic Development)

Montana

With an economic development plan now in place, the Missoula Economic Partnership will focus on key challenges over the coming years as it works to move the city forward in what many are calling the new economy. (Grant Kier, President, MEP)

Nevada

Shari Davis has been appointed Director of Rural Economic and Community Development at the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).  “Shari hails from Rural Nevada and brings a depth of experience to this position,” said Michael Brown, GOED Executive Director. “Having spent much of my career in Rural Nevada, I know there are tremendous economic opportunities outside of our urban areas that we have only begun to tap into. I’m confident Shari will continue GOED’s mission of partnering with our communities throughout the state.”

New Hampshire

Develop Iosco has received a $5,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting a project to identify economic development needs and opportunities in Iosco County. The grant will support the Marketing Blueprint project facilitated by Golden Shovel Agency, a nationally recognized economic development marketing agency focused on helping community development organizations. This four-week project utilizes survey responses from residents, business and community stakeholders to build a customized strategy unique to Iosco County. This grant, in addition to grant funding already received from the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, renews DI’s activities in Iosco County.

New Jersey

The Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners has authorized the creation of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and named current Division Head Marc Saluk as department director.

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other state and local officials talked Saturday about the hundreds of jobs that will come to the Roswell Air Center as they took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking for a wide-body hangar for Ascent Aviation Services. (Secretary of Economic Development Alicia Keyes)

New York

On Monday, Crystal Surdyk, Jamestown development director, presented a draft of the economic development plan city officials created on how to spend ARPA funding to help businesses. She said several meetings have been held and phone calls made to hear from city manufacturers, restaurants, retailers and professional service sectors to ascertain how they think the money could be best used to assist economic development. She added that city officials have taken what they were told to develop the program categories and how much money will be available for each.

A former Franklin County legislator and state economic development official is the new executive director of the Adirondack Park Agency. The APA Board of Directors approved the appointment of Barbara Rice on Thursday. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announcement of the decision emphasized Rice’s extensive background in government administration, land use planning and development. A non-profit organization devoted to environmental stewardship of the region noted that Rice will be the latest in a series of directors who were politicians or businesspeople rather than environmental professionals. Most recently, she was Hochul’s assistant secretary for economic development, in which role she oversaw expansion of broadband internet access, supervised $265 million in capital projects through the Olympic Regional Development Authority in preparation for the 2023 World University Games and helped launch the Upstate Cellular Task Force.

Gary Bennett, business development manager for the https://www.nfta.com, has been elected chairman of the board of the Greater Lockport Development Corp., the city's development agency.

As New York celebrates New York Fashion Week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation that will create new jobs for New Yorkers, expand Brooklyn’s footprint in the fashion industry, and provide a boost to New York’s economy. (Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer; Rachel Loeb, president and CEO, NYCEDC)

North Carolina

Since Natalie Hawkins took over the position of Executive Director of Moore County Partners in Progress Economic Development following the retirement of Pat Corso last May, the meetings, phone calls, and emails haven’t slowed down. Partners in Progress recently released a report highlighting its activities and exciting initiatives for the quarter ending December 31, 2021.

North Dakota

Seeing adequate childcare as a solution to some of the region’s workforce shortage, Williston Economic Development has worked to financially support three big daycare projects in the city. On Tuesday, one of the facilities opened its doors for the first time. The EDC provided more than $500,000 in STAR Fund grants towards construction, furnishings, and equipment. (Shawn Wenko, executive director)

Ohio

Kyle Dodd has accepted the position of real estate and economic development adviser at Rudolph Libbe Properties, a Rudolph Libbe Group company. Dodd is a member of the Ohio Economic Development Association.

Oklahoma

Roy Williams, longtime CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, announced Thursday he is retiring after a 17-year stint that saw diversification of the economy and efforts to promote criminal justice reform. Williams, who started at the chamber in 2002 as executive vice president of economic development, said he began discussing retirement plans last year with the organization’s leadership. Williams’ retirement follows completion of several major objectives that included construction of a new convention center and development of the Omni Hotel, expansions at Tinker Air Force Base, the start of transforming the Oklahoma Health Center and other area research and science anchors east of downtown into an innovation district.

Rhode Island

The city of East Providence has recently hired two new plannersDominic Leonardo and Victor Regino — to help boost the city's economy and support its small businesses.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded the City of Elizabethton the Downtown Improvement Grant. (Logan Engle, Director of Planning & Economic Development)

Lyndi Berrones, Greater Nashville Regional Director for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has been named a 2022 Nashville Business Journal Women of Influence winner.

Texas

Theresa Alvarez is the new President and CEO of the Austin Economic Development Corporation.

Orange County and the Orange County Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission and Connected Nation Texas, is deploying an initiative to expand and improve broadband access, adoption, and use throughout Orange County. (Jessica Hill, Executive Director at Orange County Economic Development Corporation)

Alison Benton is the new Director of Economic Development at PepsiCo.

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Gilberto Salinas to the Adult High School Charter School Program Advisory Committee for a term at the pleasure of the Governor. Gilberto Salinas of Brownsville is Executive Director of the Kerr Economic Development Corporation. He is a member of the board of the International Economic Development Council and a member of the Texas Economic Development Council.

The new Katy Area Economic Development Council CEO Charles "Chuck" Martinez says that Katy is at an inflection point.

The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership released today the results of their annual employer report which provide workforce counts for local non-retail organizations at The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Outlook Conference. Last year’s major employer report recorded a combined total of 38,660 jobs. Due to factors that included business relocations and business pauses, it was evident that there were different underlying issues throughout the pandemic that impacted our workforce numbers. Our 2022 major employers report revealed a combined total of 36,673 jobs representing an overall loss of 1,987 jobs. This year’s major employers report once again includes 84 companies within The Woodlands Area.

The East Texas Council of Governments recently began funding the incorporation of a free-to-use software that can help businesses, real estate developers and site selectors find the best local properties for their needs. ETCOG officials are helping cities pay for access to ZoomProspector, an online program that can cut down the time it takes to research new sites for development. The program collects data on demographics, available properties, talent pools, income statistics and more to paint a picture of the area’s economic opportunities. Chuck Vanderbuilt, ETCOG’s community and economic development manager, hopes the program will attract locals and outside business developers toward doing business in East Texas.

Tom Manskey may be a new arrival to the Permian Basin, but the Odessa Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director is no stranger to the field. Manskey took over from Wesley Burnett Feb. 1. Burnett now works for Nacero, a natural gas-to-gasoline plant at Penwell. Manskey has been involved in economic development since 1988. He started in economic development with the Daingerfield Main Street program, a downtown redevelopment program.

Vermont

Vermont is face-to-face with the opportunity to infuse federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars into transformational projects throughout the state. This is a once in a lifetime moment and the Department of Economic Development is focused on growing the workforce and shoring up a foundation of strong economic activity that will persevere into the future. We know the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated workforce and housing issues around the state, from our largest to our smallest communities. The need for investment is great. The Governor has made several proposals that will set us on a course for success in the long term. (Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein)

Virginia

Members of Front Royal’s new Economic Development Authority board of directors have disclosed their investments, debts and real estate holdings in their annual filings. EDA board members filed their statements of economic interests last month as required by the town code.

A former Virginia Beach economic development director has been sentenced after pleading guilty to felony embezzlement charges. Back in August 2021, Warren Harris, 64, pleaded guilty to four counts of embezzlement by a public official. Harris was indicted on 14 embezzlement charges back in 2019. On Monday he was sentenced to 8 years in prison, all of which were suspended. However, Harris must pay back the full $79,479.50 in restitution to the city.

Washington DC

Rebecca Thomas is the new Director Of Member Services at the International Economic Development Council.

The IEDC wants you to get to know their new CEO, Nathan Ohle.

West Virginia

West Virginia Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch is feeling pretty good these days. The Department of Commence, which includes a wide variety of state agencies ranging from the Division of Natural Resources to WorkForce West Virginia, recently played an instrumental role in helping the state land a trio of high-profile, high-dollar investments.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice spoke Wednesday about a newly signed bill that repeals a ban on construction of nuclear power plants in the state. The governor said it allows for even more economic development in the Mountain State.

Wisconsin

Local government, school district and business officials in Monona say they’re making strides on economic development fronts, sharing updates at roundtable last week. The Monona East Side Business Alliance hosted a quarterly economic development, government and education roundtable.


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