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52 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 96 economic development executives and organizations in 37 states, Canada, and Australia.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
20 min read
52 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Joey Csunyo / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 52nd weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

Today's issue contains economic development news from 96 economic development executives and organizations in 37 states, Canada, and Australia!

Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.


The winners of the Juneau Economic Development Council’s Innovation Summit’s annual pitch contest were announced Thursday. The two winners were each awarded $1,700 and round-trip tickets with Alaska Airlines. The pitch contest — sponsored by Alaska Airlines and the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce — was held Wednesday evening and featured six contestants. (Brian Holst, Executive Director)


The Town of Fountain Hills has hired Amanda Jacobs as the new economic development director. Jacobs previously served as the economic development manager for the Town of Oro Valley since 2007, where she managed business attraction, business retention, annexations, regional community partnerships and special events. During her last two years with the town, she oversaw the town’s strategic leadership plan and lean/process improvement.


The Arkansas Economic Development Commission has awarded $4,753,478 in Community Development Block Grants to 30 cities and counties in the natural state, according to a news release Monday. The grants were awarded under the General Assistance set-aside, which is part of Arkansas’ $18.86 million 2021 formula grant allocation designed to provide communities the opportunity to apply for a variety of non-housing public facility and public infrastructure projects.


Manufacturing is becoming a bigger focus in Kern after a report last year said the sector has generated hundreds of good jobs in recent years and that better coordination in the local industry could lead to still more local employment. As part of a wider job creation initiative called the B3K Prosperity collaboration, Kern Economic Development Corp. recently took on a leading role in activities like coordination of workforce-development partnerships. Next month it will roll out a new organization called the Manufacturers Alliance of Kern. (KEDC President and CEO Richard Chapman)

Nathan Ahle, former Chief Executive Officer of the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation and the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, has taken a role as a Director of Government Affairs for Comcast.

Citrus Heights officials embrace a transportation philosophy known as complete streets, meaning that mobility for all users, including transit users, pedestrians, and cyclists, is incorporated into infrastructure projects, along with greenhouse emission goals. (Meghan Huber,
Economic Development and Communications Manager, City of Citrus Heights)

Chris Rico is the new president and CEO of the Solano Economic Development Corporation. Rico said it’s kismet that landed him the role of a lifetime .


The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Global Business Development division announced today that Bluestaq, an enterprise software development firm dominant in the aerospace industry, has selected Colorado for its large-scale expansion. (Michelle Hadwiger, director of OEDIT’s Global Business Development division; Cecilia Harry, chief economic development officer, Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation)


The Derby Board of Aldermen & Alderwomen voted to create a search committee to find an economic development director for the city.

In the historic shoreline town of Old Lyme, job growth, tourism and affordable housing are inextricably linked facets of life that must be addressed by working together. (Courtney Hendricson, Vice President of Partnerships, AdvanceCT)


Jeffrey Finkle is a new consultant at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He's working on the LEED Program, which stands for Local Economic and Employment Development.


Newly formed biotech company NuMedTechs announced it has established its U.S. presence in Tampa with plans to create 12 new jobs by the end of 2023. Positions include seven executive level staff and five support staff including nuclear technicians, nuclear specialists and research and development support staff. (Craig J. Richard, President & CEO, Tampa Bay EDC)


Carter Wood, the Senior Manager of Global Incentives Innovation and Location Services at Ernst & Young has been selected as an Associate Member of the Site Selectors Guild. (Amy Holloway, Principal and National Director, Economic Development Advisory Services)

PepsiCo Inc. scored about $14 million in tax breaks to expand its DeKalb County bottling plant. The $260 million expansion is adding 136 jobs to the plant, making it one of the beverage corporation's largest facilities, according to 11Alive's news partner the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Advanced manufacturing capabilities will be incorporated into the plant to increase production by five times in the next five years. The plant, located in Tucker, already employs 464 people. (Kathleen Alfano, Pepsi’s senior director of economic development)


There’s progress to report on a plan to redevelop an area of the Godfrey Village that is not currently bringing in much tax revenue. (Jim Mager, Economic Development Director, Godfrey Village)

The Batavia Development Corporation will begin the process of seeking a new Director of Economic Development. Brett Frank, the current BDC Director of Economic Development, has accepted a position with the City of Batavia, his last day with the BDC will be March 25th, 2022.


The City of Garrett became the latest governmental entity to renew its partnership with the DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership during this week’s Garrett Board of Works and Council meetings. Anton King, executive director of the partnership, has been making the rounds at governmental meetings this month highlighting the county’s accomplishments during 2021.

Collaboration between counties to support economic development across the region is something Southern Indiana prides itself on, and it’s a system that’s shown results. At the end of 2021, the five-county region was awarded $50 million in state funding to support regional development plans. The program was called the READI initiative, which focused on regional collaboration. Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott and Washington counties in Indiana received the largest amount of funding possible. (Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of One Southern Indiana; Devin Hillsdon-Smith, deputy director of the River Ridge Development Authority)

The Indiana Small Business Development Center, Purdue Center for Regional Development, Purdue Extension, and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture today announced a partnership to launch the Agribusiness Initiative. The Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative offers Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector access to no-cost, confidential specialty business advising and training, including financing, crop yield projections, U.S. Department of Agriculture loan packaging, value-added product development, and commodity exporting, among others. These businesses range from producers and processors of agricultural commodities to manufacturers of value-added products, machinery, technology and hardwoods. (David Watkins, Indiana SBDC state director and Indiana Economic Development Corporation vice president of small business; Former Hoosier Heartland Indiana SBDC Regional Director Monty Henderson)

Regina Emberton, the former CEO of the President & CEO of the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership is the new Chief Executive Officer of ChoiceLight, Inc.  In that role, she will be promoting technology-based economic development by providing a state-of-the-art dark fiberoptic network infrastructure looping around St. Joseph and Marshall counties in Indiana.


Three Clinton economic development organizations are on their way to streamlining their operations as they merge into one. The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Clinton Regional Development Corp, and the Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau are in the process of merging their operations under the name Greater Clinton Partners for Growth, and will be known as GROW Clinton. (Andy Sokolovich, CRDC Interim President and CEO)

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board today approved financial incentive awards for three companies, which the state agency said will assist in the creation of 56 jobs and bring more than $76 million in new capital investment to Iowa. The projects are located in Ames, Peosta and Underwood. The board also approved innovation funding in support of five startups located in Coralville, Des Moines, Riverside, Waukee and Wayland. (Debi Durham, Director)


The Kentucky Power Economic Growth Grant program recently awarded more than $200,000 across its coverage area.  The program is funded through Kentucky Power’s economic development surcharge. For every one dollar collected monthly from non-residential customers, company stockholders match the customer contributions to generate around $700,000 annually for investment at the local and regional levels. Hazard-Perry County Economic Development Alliance got $25,000. The eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute received $100,000. $27,856 was given to CEDAR, Inc. to assist in funding for its Entrepreneurial Coal Lands Redevelopment Program and the annual Future of Work student fair.  Kentucky Association for Economic Development received a $60,000 award to provide for marketing, product development and site selection consultant activities in Eastern Kentucky. (Zach Lawrence, the Director of HPCEDA)


Chuck Sexton has been named as CEO of Next Move Group. Sexton spent four years working with Next Move Group Co-Founders Chad Chancellor and Alex Metzger at the Greater Paducah Economic Development Corporation in Paducah, Kentucky, from 2010-2014.  Sexton will begin his duties as CEO on Monday, April 4, 2022.


New Ventures Maine is launching an online, on-demand course, Grow Your Business Online, which is designed to provide small business owners the tools, skills and mentorship to build a successful digital presence. (Karin Petrin, business advisor and Microenterprise specialist for New Ventures Maine)

The executive director of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council is leaving after leading the organization for two years. John Shea accepted a position as executive director of the North Central Kansas Regional Planning Commission in Beloit, Kansas, a nonprofit focused on economic development, housing, weatherization, regional planning and other efforts in a 12-county area, he said.


The city of Farmingham's acting director of Planning and Community Development, Erika Oliver Jerram, will soon be moving on to a permanent job in the same department in the town of Billerica.

The city of Amesbury is inviting residents to take part in the development of the proposed Merrimack River District. Mayor Kassandra Gove has been exploring the possibility of creating an East End smart growth overlay district in the area of Route 110, Clarks Road and Elm Street since 2020. (Community and Economic Development Director Angela Cleveland)


Lake Superior Community Partnership CEO Sarah Lucas has recently been appointed to State of Michigan’s newly established Office of Rural Development, effective April 18. Lois Ellis, Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance, will serve as Interim CEO while the position is being filled, while continuing to serve in her current position.

Cornerstone Alliance, Berrien County’s lead economic development agency, announced today that it has named Andrew Haan as the Vice President of Business Development. Haan will lead Cornerstone alongside CEO, Rob Cleveland and Vice President, Christina Frank. In this role, Haan will play an imperative role in recruitment and retention of companies in Berrien County as well as management of economic and business development initiatives. Haan is moving into the role from the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership.

Advertisements touting Michigan as a summer vacation destination have begun running in key markets across the state and the Midwest. Travel Michigan plans to spend $16.7 million on the 2022 warm weather travel campaign using the iconic Pure Michigan theme. (Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, a unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.)

A state board on Tuesday approved $10 million in brownfield incentives for an eight-story office building Spectrum Health is building on Monroe Avenue NW in downtown Grand Rapids. The incentives approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Strategic Fund board can be used to reimburse Spectrum for eligible activities, such as site preparation, associated with the $98. 7 million project.


The Cook County-Grand Marais Economic Development Authority met on Tuesday, March 15 and in addition to mundane matters such as bylaws review, the EDA granted $50,000 to a local housing project and $25,000 to a newly established business. (Director Beth Drost)

The Faribault County Economic Development Authority board members traveled to Easton for their March 15 meeting. One of the first items of business on their agenda was to present the County EDA Business Spotlight Award for March to Joel Sonnek, owner of the Country Butcher Shop in Easton. (Jennifer Howard, Community and Economic Development Associates; CEDA Southcentral and Southwest Minnesota Regional Director Specialist Annie Nichols)

Marc Majors has been named the deputy commissioner of workforce development for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Majors replaces Hamse Warfa, who left in January to join President Joe Biden's administration. Majors, who stepped into the role of the state's deputy commissioner of workforce development on Friday, formerly headed the employment and training programs for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.


The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business and Economic Development and School of Accountancy have once again earned a five-year reaccreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. (Bret Becton, Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development)


The City of Chillicothe will continue to use the dconomic development service of Terry Rumery and Rumery and Associates.  The Council approved the contract which is a consulting services agreement to work to improve the economic base of the city and surrounding area.

The St. Louis Development Corp., the city's development agency, plans to open a center in north St. Louis to provide training and other resources to businesses and entrepreneurs. The agency, whose board approved the project Thursday, plans to open the Northside Economic Empowerment Center in Sumner High School, pending review by St. Louis Public Schools. The project will be funded through $1. 5 million from the city's American Rescue Plan Act allotment of nearly $500 million. (SLDC Executive Director Neal Richardson)


With its products growing in popularity and new products now released, OnXmaps of Missoula plans to add dozens of new jobs this year, so long as the housing market can absorb them. (Alyssa Townsend, Program Specialist, Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund)

The lack of housing in Montana is stifling economic development because potential employees can’t find places to live, so even businesses that offer high salaries and want to expand can’t grow. That’s according to a couple of panelists who presented this week as part of a housing affordability panel to the Local Government Committee of the Montana Legislature.

Gerald Gray, chairman of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, was elected as the new chair of the Montana State Tribal Economic Development Commission. Gray replaced former chairwoman Shelly Fyant in the role. The State Tribal Economic Development Commission works to expand and improve economic opportunities through business expansion, capital access, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and community development.


Cleantech is important to Northern Nevada's economic future, said Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

New Jersey

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan has announced that Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority Executive Director Bruce Steadman has decided to retire. The announcement was made at FMERA’s monthly board meeting. Sullivan announced the unanimous appointment of Deputy Executive Director and Director of Real Estate Kara Kopach, Esq. to lead the organization’s next chapter. She will begin her role as executive director effective May 1.

New Mexico

Marcos Gonzales is the new Economic Development Director for Bernalillo County.

New York

2022 is off to a fast start for the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center in Yates County. CEO Steve Griffin says they have already approved nine projects for the county through the first three months of the year. Steve said what is really interesting is that the area is starting to see an emergence of alumni that left the area coming back and investing in the county.

For sale or lease: One flood-damaged jail complex. Seller is motivated, but the prospective buyer must present a vision, not just money. Schoharie County is seeking proposals for its former public safety complex in the village of Schoharie, 127 months after Tropical Storm Irene unleashed epic floods that left much of the facility unusable. The buyer and/or occupants will need to make repairs, and might also want to take precautionary measures to limit damage in any future floods. But the property has potential — the buildings are just 30 years old, total 80,000 square feet and sit on 6.7 acres. (Julie Pacatte, executive director of the Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corp.)

Monroe County is making changes to a key economic development program. County Executive Adam Bello calls it a ‘modernization initiative’ for the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency. That’s the organization that oversees the county’s business incentives and financing programs. Bello said recently that as the county looks ahead to its economic future, it’s important to reimagine these kinds of economic tools. "To meet today's challenges, we can't have an IDA that focuses on yesterday's needs," said Bello. He announced a three-year strategy that Bello said will help more people find careers, equitably support small businesses and making sure the county’s economic development efforts provide the kinds of jobs and industries the community needs.

The Niagara County Facade Program has been launched to encourage renovation of commercial building exteriors along main streets, commercial corridors and business districts. The program, administered by the county Center for Economic Development, provides matching grants up to $50,000 for renovation work. Eligible applicants include for-profit businesses, property owners and building tenants with landlord approval. (Susan Langdon, Executive Director)

Big news for fashion lovers in New York City - Mayor Eric Adams announced a partnership with the NYC Economic Development Corporation. The initiative seeks to create 460 fashion jobs onsite and train 500 people while expanding Brooklyn's footprint in the fashion industry and providing a boost to New York's economy, bringing in an estimated $57 million in direct economic output.

Two projects in downtown Niagara Falls were approved for grants on Tuesday. The USA Niagara Development Corporation Board of Directors met and approved grants for mixed-use projects at 311 Rainbow Boulevard and 320-324 Niagara Street in downtown Niagara Falls. The aim of the projects is to facilitate economic development within the USAN Development District.

North Carolina

Johnston County has added thousands of homes and tens of thousands of new residents in recent years. Now, local leaders are charting the next phase of the county's growth. (Chris Johnson, Director of Economic Development, Johnston County)

The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board and Duke Energy will host a regional economic development summit addressing the changing dynamics of the post-pandemic workforce. Vision 2022 is scheduled for Thursday, March 31 in Roxboro. The event will feature panelists and guest speakers covering a range of issues, including workforce transformation and the post-pandemic economy, the age of the Great Resignation, preparing the talent pipeline and more.

Mark Little considers the best part of his job meeting people who are working to make significant impacts in their communities for future generations. As the executive director of CREATE, Little spends his days supporting the efforts of people making change, such as a hog farmer looking to grow his business or a group of community leaders looking to strengthen their downtown district to create more jobs. CREATE, which is housed in the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, builds new wealth in economically distressed communities through job creation, business growth, useful research and innovative policy.

North Dakota

Fargo is looking for volunteers to fill two openings on the city's Economic Development Incentives Committee. The purpose of the committee is to "support economic development through the use of available tax incentive programs," according to city officials.

The administration of President Joe Biden has appointed Erin Oban, a Democratic state senator from Bismarck, to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's director of rural development for North Dakota. In her new role, Oban will oversee state operations for an agency that provides funding to rural and tribal communities for housing, economic development, small business assistance and other economic purposes.


Marla Akridge, the new executive director of the Tuscarawas Economic Development Corp., is replacing Harry Eadon, who will be retiring from the post on March 28. She says people in the economic development field take calculated risks and try things. They also need good board members."It's an art and a science," she said. "You have to have faith and trust people, and then you research them. I joke about it, but we're researchers and we're private investigators and we trespass a lot. We trespass on property and check things out. You do your due diligence."

Harry Eadon, who will be retiring on March 28 from the Tuscarawas Economic Development Corp., sat down recently to look back on his 20-year career with the agency.

Fluor-BWXT’s commitment to a strong and sustainable economy in southern Ohio was honored recently with a proclamation from the Ross County Commissioners during regular session. (Director of Economic Development Tammy Eallonardo, Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development)


Linda Thomson, president and CEO of Johnstown Area Regional Industries, has been tapped to join the board of directors of Concurrent Technologies Corp.

Joined by several dozen community leaders, elected officials and business owners, Penn State President Eric J. Barron and Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Marilyn J. Wells presided over a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony on March 18 to mark the opening of the Brandywine LaunchBox — an innovation space that provides no-cost resources for entrepreneurs and innovators. The Brandywine LaunchBox is located in Lansdowne within the newly renovated Utility Works MakerSpace, which is a project of the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation. (Deborah Brodeur, Executive Director)

The Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation and the Westminster Entrepreneurship Center are collaborating to support small business and entrepreneurial growth in the region. Eric A. Gaber, director of the WEC and lecturer at Westminster College, will direct several business students each semester to work with the economic development corporation’s staff on projects geared to benefit small business and entrepreneurial development. (Paul Bucciarelli, the corporation’s business retention and workforce specialist)

Balanced economic output has helped the Lehigh Valley weather the coronavirus pandemic, the publicly and privately supported Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. said Tuesday in releasing its 2021 annual report. (LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham)

South Carolina

The Upstate Business Journal published a user’s guide to the Upstate South Carolina’s economic development organizations: Ten at the Top, Dean Hybl, Executive Director; Appalachian Development Corporation, Connally Bradley, Executive Director; Greenville Area Development Corporation, J. Mark Farris, President/CEO; Greenville Economic and Community Development Department, Merle Johnson, Director of Economic and Community Development; Greenville Revitalization Corporation; Upstate SC Alliance, John Lummus, President & CEO; SC Launch; NEXT and NEXT Innovation Center, Eric Weissmann, Executive Director; OneSpartanburg Inc., Allen Smith, President & CEO

Ford Graham has been named Senior Vice President Infrastructure & Economic Development at McGuireWoods Consulting. (Chris Lloyd, SVP Infrastructure and Economic Development)

South Dakota

The city of Salem is restarting its local economic development group and focusing on future growth with the help of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.


Comal County commissioners during a March 17 commissioners court meeting approved a project expenditure by the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation, or NBEDC, to fund the creation of a new Union Pacific Railroad rail yard. (Jeff Jewell, director of economic and community development)

Texas has won the Governor’s Cup for the 10th consecutive time. Site Selection magazine awards the cup to the state with the most major corporate locations and expansions each year. To be counted, projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, 20 new jobs or 20,000 square feet of construction. For 2021, Texas had an astounding 1,123 qualified projects, more than three per day, which is 342 more than 2020, and the most ever recorded. This total more than doubled second place Ohio (507) and far outpaced the remainder of the top five of Illinois (480), California (301), and North Carolina (282).

Gladys Gonzalez has been named Economic Development Coordinator at the City of San Antonio Economic Development Department.

When Samsung announced its massive new $17 billion semiconductor facility would be constructed in the Central Texas city of Taylor last November, it cemented what many in the Austin-Round Rock metro area already knew. Central Texas checks all the right boxes for tech companies. (Round Rock Chamber Interim President and CEO and VP of Economic Development Jordan Robinson)

The Texas Economic Development Council profiled Lorie Vincent, CEcD for Women's History Month.

An amended budget up to $75,000 has been approved by the Wichita Falls City Council for site preparation costs for a new business park. This is step one for this process and officials said this could be a multi-year project. The business park would be adjacent to the Wichita Falls Regional Airport. Now that they have the funds, they will begin an environmental study of the property. (Henry Florsheim, President and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce)

The Temple Economic Development Corporation recently received the Economic Excellence Recognition for 2021 from the Texas Economic Development Council. The program recognizes economic development organizations throughout the state for their commitment to professional excellence in the industry. "We are honored to receive this recognition from the Texas Economic Development Council. Our team at Temple EDC works diligently to provide exemplary economic development services to both new and existing businesses in our community. Receiving this recognition further reaffirms our commitment to the economic growth and prosperity of our Central Texas region," said Adrian Cannady, president and CEO of Temple EDC.

The Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) announced 57 statewide recipients of its annual Economic Excellence Recognition program for 2021. The awards were presented on Feb. 18 during the TEDC’s 2022 Winter Conference held in Sugar Land. For the first time in its 16-year history, the Liberty Hill Economic Development Corporation received the recognition. (LHEDC Executive Director Matthew Powell)

United States

The Site Selectors Guild, the only association of the world’s foremost professional site selection consultants, elected a new board at the organization’s 2022 Annual Conference in San Diego, California this month. Larry Gigerich, executive managing director at Ginovus, will remain on the board and serve as vice chair. Phil Schneider, president at Schneider Strategy Consulting, LLC and a prior board chair, will serve as treasurer. John Rocca, managing director at JLL Consulting, joins the board and will serve as secretary. Michelle Comerford, industrial and supply chain practice lead at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, will remain on the board. Seth Martindale, senior managing director at CBRE, Inc., will remain on the board. Chris Lloyd, senior vice president and director of infrastructure and economic development at McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC and immediate past board chair, will remain on the board.

The US Small Business Association   has announced the launch of a new engagement series known as ‘Building a Better America: A Small Business Resource Community.’ Working in collaboration with the Public Private Strategies Institute, the new virtual series is aimed at connecting small businesses with SBA resources and networks as the US economy returns to normalcy.


Given all the givens accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic, Windsor County’s economy is doing OK. And OK is pretty good, given all the givens. It’s just still feeling a little unstable. Many of the challenges facing businesses in Windsor County, like staffing shortages and a lack of affordable housing, are true statewide, said Bob Flint from the Springfield Regional Development Corporation. Local businesses and the local economy have limited sway over these external pressures. As noted by Erika Hoffman-Kiess, executive director of Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation, the challenges also bring opportunities. “We've always had a housing problem in the state, and we always had compensation irregularities in terms of not measuring up to national standards,” she said. “But now, more people see them, and more people know about them, and that's helpful when you're trying to come up with solutions.”


Salem’s new economic development director, Tommy Miller, says he has “the entrepreneurial gene,” a trait that should come in handy with his new role. Miller established Richmond Brewery Tours, a venture he ran from 2012 through 2020 to highlight the burgeoning craft beer industry. “Any entrepreneurial venture should be both calculated and gut driven,” he said in a news release announcing his hire. “I certainly have an entrepreneurial gene in my DNA, and I am always interested in seeing what the next best venture is in the market.” Miller, who begins April 18, comes to Salem from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, where he spent five years as a senior business investment manager.

The Board of Directors of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership this week announced that it has unanimously selected Jason El Koubi as VEDP President and CEO following a three-month nationwide search. El Koubi has served as VEDP Executive Vice President since 2017, helping to lead the development and implementation of an ambitious Strategic Plan for Economic Development of the Commonwealth, spearheading the development and initial implementation of the first-ever International Trade Strategic Plan for Virginia, leading the creation of VEDP’s new Division of Real Estate Solutions, and serving on the management team for Amazon HQ2 and other major business development projects over the last several years. El Koubi succeeds Stephen Moret, who served as VEDP President and CEO for five years.

West Virginia

West Virginia state officials estimate the state’s budget surplus for this fiscal year is in the neighborhood of $1 billion. Much of that is the result of federal pandemic relief money, but the Justice administration said some of it is a result of a growing economy within the state. Priorities for the excess funds are laid out in the budget approved by the Legislature last weekend. Officials plan to allocate $600 million dollars toward economic development. Part of that funding, $200 Million, will be directed toward a fund in the state’s checkbook from which the Economic Development office has borrowed in recent years. (Mitch Carmichael, the state’s economic development secretary)

The Mason County Chamber of Commerce heard an update on Nucor’s expansion into West Virginia from Mason Economic Development Authority Director John Musgrave at its recent, monthly luncheon. “I can tell you about what’s going on in development here in Mason County with just one word, Nucor.”

Billions in economic growth could be coming to Weirton organizations have come together to lay down the ground work, which has started to pay off. The city of Weirton, Frontier Group of Companies, and the Brooke Hancock Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission all worked together to get $4 million of Congressional directed spending money for an industrial access road. The City is receiving one million of those funds to start with the access road off of route 22. (BHJ MPC Executive Director, Michael Paprocki)


Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Racine County Economic Development Corp. is reporting many successes in 2021 in its efforts to spur new business activity throughout the county. (Jenny Trick, Executive Director)


Published today, the ACT Government’s economic plan for the next three years, CBR Switched On, will make Canberra “an even more attractive place to live, work, study, do business and invest in,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.


The government of Canada is investing in tourism recovery with support for Montréal en Histoires. (The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED; The Honourable Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations)

Chris Lane has become new head of Economic Development Regina. Lane says the potential for Regina is "incredible."  Lane, who has been the CEO of Canadian Western Agribition for nearly six years, will move from the role in roughly one month.

Harvest Sky Economic Development Corporation will be holding a Town Hall to discuss the possibility of an Agricultural Center in Hanna. (Mark Nikota, Economic Development Manager, Harvest Sky Region Economic Development Corporation)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, will travel to Washington, D.C. on March 21 to meet with top officials and business leaders south of the border.

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

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