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59 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 131 economic development executives and organizations in 42 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
22 min read
59 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck / Unsplash

Welcome to the 59th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

Today's issue contains economic development news from 131 economic development executives and organizations in 42 states and Canada.


Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.-

Alabama

Last year, economic investments in Alabama last year were the second-highest in state history. In 2021, more than $7.7 billion in new economic development investments were recorded in the state that will create more than 10,200 jobs, according to the 2021 New & Expanding Industry Report. (Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Department of Commerce)

Alaska

The Juneau Economic Development Council works year round is to raise awareness about Juneau’s economic ties to the sea. And one of its big events, the Juneau Maritime Festival, takes place this Saturday, a gathering that draws the community out to the waterfront to celebrate Juneau’s rich maritime culture and heritage. (Alex Vrabec, Program Officer & Downtown Director, Juneau Economic Development Council)

Arizona

Queen Creek is recognizing the efforts of the Economic Development industry during this National Economic Development Week. The town’s Economic Development Department is promoting economic well-being and quality of life by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. (Doreen Cott, Director, Queen Creek Economic Development)

For the sixth straight year, Greater Phoenix Economic Council has been recognized as a top economic development organization by Site Selection magazine, awarding GPEC the 2022 Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development. (Chris Camacho, President and CEO, GPEC; Mark Arend, Editor in Chief, Site Selection)

Arkansas

Jonathan Bricker, the chair of the Arkansas District Export Council, explains the council's role and how businesses can take advantage of exporting on this week's Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Report.

California

Larry Vaupel recently joined the city of Vista as director of economic development, and in his brief time here, he has already found inspiration in the community’s makers and innovators.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Wednesday that lays the groundwork for bolstering and regulating the cryptocurrency industry in the state. As outlined in the executive order, Newsom’s goal is to create a transparent and consistent business environment for companies operating in blockchain that balances the benefits and risks to consumers. (Chris Dombrowski, Chief Deputy Director, GO-Biz; Kristin Smith, Executive Director, Blockchain Association)

Canada

The Town of Innisfail is set to mark its very own Economic Development Week. The Town’s proclamation aligns with council’s recently adopted Community Economic Development Strategy — Power of Place — which focuses on deeply engaging the community to boldly lead the development of local markets for property, goods, services, labour, and energy. (Blaine Staples, President, Innisfail & District Chamber of Commerce)

The MRC Pontiac announced that its director of economic development, Cyndy Phillips, is leaving her position effective May 27. (Bernard Roy, Director General, MRC Pontiac)

Housing starts in the Central Okanagan are down from one year ago, even though the region’s population grew slightly and local businesses are clambering more than ever to find employees. (Krista Mallory, Manager, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission)

The City of Terrace has been recognized for its economic development initiatives by the British Columbia Economic Development Association. The city won a BCEDA award in the category of economic development and marketing innovation for its northwest BC workforce and resident attraction initiative. (Dale Wheeldon, President & CEO, British Columbia Economic Development Association; Deklan Corstanje, Economic Development Manager, City of Terrace; Katerina Anastasiadis, CEO, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce)

Colorado

Dave Dazlich has been named vice president, government affairs, of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC. He was director of government affairs for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce since 2019. (Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer, President & CEO, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC; Mary Beth Sewald, President & CEO, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce)

Connecticut

The Connecticut Economic Development Association issued a silver certification to West Haven last month. The city received a perfect score from the two reviewers in several areas — responding to inquiries from applicants within 72 hours, facilitating meetings between stakeholders to encourage collaboration and reliability, predictability and transparency in the zoning codes. (Kristen Gorski, Board President, CEDAS)

Members of the business community attended a Celebrate Winchester event hosted by the Economic Development Commission. (Ted Shafer, Economic Development Director, Winchester)

Jamie Cuticello was named East Haven's Economic Development Director.

Delaware

The City of Wilmington’s Office of Economic Development will host a free Business Resource Fair and Networking Event to highlight the diversity of businesses and business owners in Wilmington. (Sean Park, Deputy Economic Development Director, City of Wilmington; James Williams, Manager, Wilmington’s Small and Minority Business Development; Denita Henderson, Associate State Director: Economic/Business Development & Innovation, SBDA)

Florida

The quasi-public agencies that usually promote tourism and economic development separately in Orlando on Monday announced they are joining forces to market the region together under a single brand. With a tagline of "Unbelievably Real," the branding plan will be aimed at tourists, meeting planners, conventioneers, business relocation specialists, site selectors, business owners and company CEOs. Around $23 million will be spent on it this year. (Casandra Matej, President & CEO, Visit Orlando; Tim Giuliani, President & CEO, Orlando Economic Partnership)

Hawaii

Maui Economic Development Board has been awarded a $34,000 grant for the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows Program. The leadership development program will be expanded to include current issues facing Maui County and explore ways to improve Maui County’s economy. (Leslie Wilkins, President & CEO, Maui Economic Development Board)

Governor David Ige is heading to Japan for a week-long visit to encourage and expand travel to the Hawaiian Islands as the world slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mike McCartney, Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism; John De Fries, President & CEO, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority; George Kam, chair, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)

Illinois

In an effort to create its first economic development strategic plan, the City of Batavia is hosting a series of stakeholder engagement meetings. (Beth Walker, Executive Director, Batavia MainStreet; Shannon Malik Jarmusz, Economic Development Manager, City of Batavia; Margaret Perreault, President & CEO, Batavia Chamber)

The Quincy’s Farmer’s Market kicked off on Saturday morning and economic developers are calling it a success. (Emily Lombardi, Director, Economic Development District)

DeKalb County has had several big projects announced and or completed during the COVID-19 pandemic, including candy company Ferrara, Meta, and Amazon. (Paul Borek, Executive Director, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation)

The city of Joliet has hired Cesar Suarez as their new economic development director.

Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corp. is marking Economic Development Week starting Monday. JREDC is celebrating its efforts to build relationships as a way to support the five-year regional economic development plan, which includes: improving the region’s quality of place; creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem; strengthening the region’s workforce; helping existing businesses expand and grow; developing available properties in the region; constructively engaging community-based organizations; and pursuing development that diversifies the region’s economy. (Kristin Van Aken Jamison, President, Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corp.)

Indiana

An affordable workforce housing community is being developed in West Baden Springs, Indiana with the help of French Lick Resort. (Kristal Painter, Executive Director, Orange County Economic Development Partnership)

Catalent Pharma Solutions recently announced a $350 million investment in its Bloomington manufacturing facility that is expected to add 1,000+ jobs to Catalent’s Bloomington workforce in coming years. (Jennifer Pearl, President, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation; Trevor Lane, Director, Indiana Economic Development Corp.; Alex Crowley, Director of Economic & Sustainable Development, City of Bloomington)

The Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance is creating an education-industry partnership to support the workforce pipeline in Johnson County. The organization says the initiative is designed to further develop a “school-to-career” labor pool. (Amanda Rubadue, Vice President of Economic Development)

Iowa

Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Bill Anderson has resigned from his position at CAEDC. Anderson has accepted a job at R.J. Thomas Manufacturing in Cherokee.

Main Street Iowa hosted the annual Main Street Iowa Development Awards celebration April 22 at Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns - the heart and soul of communities across the state. (Debi Durham, Executive Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority; Andy Kelleher, Executive Director, Main Street Lansing; Michael Wagler, State Coordinator, Main Street Iowa)

After spending three days surveying downtown Muscatine, a five-person contingent from the Iowa Economic Development Authority emphasized building on strengths to improve the city. (Larry Den Herder, Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority)

Kentucky

The Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation was among four Kentucky economic development organizations recognized as one of the top U.S. economic development organizations for 2021. The 2022 Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development, presented last week by Site Selection magazine. (Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, President & CEO, Louisville Forward/Greater Louisville Inc.; Lee Crume, President & CEO, REDI Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Tri-ED; Richard A. Games, President & COO, Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation; Ron Bunch, President & CEO, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce)

Even before April’s announcement that a 2,000-employee electric-vehicle battery plant was coming to the Kentucky Transpark, the industrial recruitment successes of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce were getting national attention that ranks it among the top economic development organizations in the country. (Ron Bunch, President & CEO, Bowling Green Chamber)

Lake Barkley for Economic Development and local leaders are exploring what opportunities may be available at the state-owned industrial park near the prison farm. (Amanda Davenport, Executive Director; Amy Frogue, Associate Director, Pennyrile Area Development District)

Louisiana

One of the finalists to become executive director of the Downtown Development District said Monday he would work to establish passenger rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, make Baton Rouge a stronger destination location and encourage cutting edge infill developments. (James Slaughter, Consultant; Whitney Sayal, Assistant Director of Urban Trails, BREC)

St. John Parish celebrates Economic Development Week with a lineup of events. (Stanley Bienemy, Economic Development Director, St. John Parish)

Administrators touted economic growth and plans for the future of the City of Monroe during the city's annual State of the City address. (Kelsea McCrary, Chief Economic Developer, City of Monroe; Jawaun Downs, Community Development Director, City of Monroe)

Local economic development organizations should dive deep into the litany of federal pandemic relief fund programs to find potential “gems” for their communities, a pair of Louisiana economic development veterans say. (Michael Olivier, CEO, Committee of 100 for Economic Development; Don Pierson, Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development)

Maine

Amy Collinsworth has been named Katahdin Region economic development director for Eastern Maine Development Corporation. Collinsworth was previously a project coordinator for General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.

Maryland

St. Mary’s Department of Economic Development announced AeroPark Innovation District will host the 2022 AUVSI SUAS Competition. (Chris Kaselemis, Director, St. Mary’s Department of Economic Development )

Michele Whelley, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, will be leaving the organization Friday to reestablish her economic development consulting firm.

The Board of Directors of the Easton Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce the appointment of Holly DeKarske as the interim executive director of the EEDC, pending full approval of the Board. She will continue her previous duties as director of downtown development for the EEDC.

Rockville Economic Development, Inc. yesterday announced the launch of its 2022 survey of business community needs. (Cynthia Rivarde, CEO, REDI)

Massachusetts

The HERO Coalition urges the Massachusetts Legislature to raise the deeds excise tax — paid when real estate changes hands — to a level comparable with other Northeastern states. This could generate as much as $600 million annually for investments in climate and affordable housing. (Kimberly R. Lyle, Director of Strategy and Development,  Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation; Joe Kriesberg, President & CEO, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations)

Downtown districts across Massachusetts cannot rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic without a major infusion of resources, Gov. Charlie Baker testified Monday as he emphasized the urgency undergirding his recently filed $3.5 billion economic recovery and climate resiliency bill. (David Gibbons, Executive Director, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority)

Seven years in the making, a mixed-use development at the former St. Patrick’s Parish may finally be approaching the finish line as Natick’s Zoning Board of Appeals nears a decision on the project’s permit. (Amanda Loomis, Director of Community and Economic Development)

Meredith L. Mooney has been promoted to economic development director of the Town of Brookline after serving four years as the economic development and long-term planner.

Michigan

The Ann Arbor City Council approved an Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificate to provide tax incentives to Sartorius BioAnalytical Instruments, a German biopharmaceutical research company. (Paul Krutko, President & CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK)

Muskegon County’s economic development organization has named Marla Schneider as its new president and CEO following a three-year restructuring the organization took on to attract new corporate funders and revamp strategic planning. Schneider is taking over for Jim Edmonson, who was hired in 2019 to help implement Greater Muskegon Economic Development’s three-year transition plan.

Jordan Twardy has been named director of economic development for the City of Dearborn. Twardy was previously community and economic development director for the City of Ferndale.

Mississippi

Tupelo Community Development Foundation had a second-place finish on Site Selection magazine's national list of the most active micropolitan areas for new and expanding facilities. They had 22 projects with over $80 million in capital investments, and more than $30 million in new payroll. (David Rumbarger, President and CEO)

Missouri

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing and Riverview Manufacturing, worldwide leaders in manufacturing dry fertilizer handling equipment, announced today they are expanding in Palmyra. This joint expansion brings an estimated $1 million investment, and 30 jobs, to northeast Missouri. (Maggie Kost, Acting Director, Department of Economic Development; Corey Mehaffy, Executive Director, Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council)

Montana

Hyundai Motor Group will bring its New Horizons Studio headquarters to Bozeman to focus on the development of ultimate mobility vehicles. The move could create up to 50 new jobs in the area. The studio will eventually be housed at Montana State University’s Innovation Campus. (Jason Carter, Vice President of Economic Development, MSU)

Nevada

The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West released the Nevada economic development and public policy for 2022 to 2026. (David Damore, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West)

New Jersey

Governor Murphy and Governor Hochul nominated Kris Kolluri as CEO of the Gateway Development Commission, a partnership between New York, New Jersey and Amtrak that coordinates delivery of the Gateway Program with its partner agencies, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NJ TRANSIT. (Tom Wright, President & CEO, Regional Plan Association)

Plainfield Director of Economic Development Valerie Jackson took council members through her budget presentation Tuesday, starting off by saying, "You often hear us talk about that there is more than $1 billion in private investment in the City of Plainfield, and that is a true statement." It was also discussed publicly that the director will be leaving her position, but will be on hand to train her replacement.

Kara Kopach is the new executive director at the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority.

New Mexico

New Mexico is highlighting its support for proposals that would route an international rail line through its Santa Teresa border crossing, capitalizing on Mexico’s unease with disruptions along the Texas portion of the U.S. border with Mexico. Mexico had considered a route through Texas, but in recent days officials have said they can no longer rely on that state. (New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia Keyes)

State officials are scheduled to be in Clovis this week for Economic Development Week. Acting cabinet secretary of the Department of Workforce Solutions Ricky Serna is scheduled to be in Clovis along with state Economic Development deputy secretary Jon Clark and state Tourism Department deputy secretary Antoinette Vigil.

Las Cruces' Economic Development Department is helping to host several events open to the public this week in observance of Economic Development Week. (Irene E. Parra, business development administrator for the city’s Economic Development Department)

New York

An expansive field of 37,000 daffodils greets drivers and walkers along Taughannock Boulevard and the Inlet this spring, the beginning of an effort to turn Ithaca into a “daffodil city.” (Tom Knipe, Director of Economic Development, City of Ithaca)

The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s new economic development director says he wants to use awareness of the authority’s diverse infrastructure to generate new jobs in the north country. “As I come up to speed and learn all the intricacies … I view my role as facilitator and spokesperson,” said Anthony M. Adamczyk, of Lisbon, who joined the OBPA on Feb. 28. “There’s so many different directions you can take to benefit the area. Where is the best bang for the buck … you have to be strategic.”

Naturally Lewis will host the Lewis County Economic Development Conference with the theme, Shift Back to Rural, on Wednesday, June 15. In its announcement, local economic development officials said that Naturally Lewis is shifting the conversation to focus on successes in its rural economy, coming back to community and coming back to the humanness of working together as a means of growth. (Brittany Davis, executive director; Jenna Lauraine economic development specialist)

Should Mayville have a splash pad in the summer that becomes an ice rink in the winter? How about a pier filled with businesses or a community garden? These are all possibilities village leaders and community members are trying to decide what they feel would be best. The community was recently invited to a public presentation of the Mayville Strategic Waterfront Activation. The event was put on by the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth, the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation and the Mayville Village Board. (Mark Geise, deputy county executive for economic development)

The Chautauqua County SBDC presented a special surprise award to Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development/Chief Executive Officer of the CCIDA. Mr. Geise was announced as recipient of the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery for his efforts in leading the local business community towards the production of personal protective equipment, providing vital information through the pandemic shutdown, and assisting with loan and grant programs to help local businesses recover.

Congressman Brian Higgins joined the Westminster Economic Development Initiative to announce $950,000 secured by the Congressman in the 2022 federal budget for the West Side Bazaar expansion project. The West Side Bazaar is a small business incubator where new and aspiring entrepreneurs can test restaurant and retail concepts and learn the fundamentals of running a business. It also serves as a community gathering space where people of all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds can share their love for food and culturally unique products. (WEDI Executive Director Carolynn Welch)

The city of Plattsburgh plans to relaunch an economic development revolving loan fund. The city describes its Community Development Revolving Loan Fund as a self-replenishing pool of money that uses fees, interest and payments on loans to issue new loans. The money can be used for business development and home assistance projects such as rehabilitation, construction or reuse of properties within the city.

North Carolina

North Carolina remains in elite status for economic development projects, according to Site Selection magazine.

Craven County Board of Commissioners approved giving $600,000 in economic incentives to White River Marine Group after the company doubled its employment at Hatteras Yachts in the last year.  During Monday night's meeting, the board approved awarding White River Marine a job performance incentive. The money will be paid out over five years. Hatteras Yachts is one of the county's largest private employers. (Jeff Wood, Craven County economic development director)

A week dedicated to recognizing the advancements of the economy started Monday with a luncheon hosted by ENC Alliance. (Uconda Dunn, vice President of business development at Greenville ENC Alliance)

A lot has changed since New Hanover County adopted its last economic roadmap in 2015, including the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. New Hanover leaders recently received updated goals for the county in a new economic report prepared by business consulting firm Greenfield. The analysis outlines the county's assets and past growth along with opportunities and challenges for future economic growth. The newly presented report is set to update the Garner Report, a set of economic development goals that was commissioned by the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners in 2014.

At least 30 new jobs or businesses within two years: that’s the goal of Fayetteville State University for its new innovation and entrepreneurship hub, scheduled to open in the fall. Cumberland County has other entities that help businesses, including the NC Center for Economic Empowerment and Development, Fayetteville Technical Community College and FCEDC, according to Robert Van Geons, president of the Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation, in an interview Thursday. However, the hub at FSU will be unique, consolidating different services to assist new businesses and providing extra support to people of color. “There isn’t anything quite like this,” Van Geons said.

Building up the local workforce and creating new industrial sites are vital to ensuring the region continues to thrive, according to panelists at a Monday luncheon that marked the start of Economic Development Week in Pitt County. The event, which was hosted jointly by the City of Greenville and the Greenville-ENC Alliance, gathered leaders from across Pitt County converged to discuss what the area needs for continued, sustainable growth. (Uconda Dunn with the ENC Alliance; Kelly Andrews, director of Pitt County Economic Development)

The Rowan EDC is celebrating the week of May 9 to May 13, 2022, as National Economic Development Week. During this week, communities across North America will celebrate and recognize the contributions made by professional economic developers to create more economically vibrant and livable communities. The Rowan County Board of Commissioners has also recognized the occasion and issued a proclamation declaring this week “Economic Development Week” in Rowan County. (President Rod Crider, Vice President Scott Shelton, Director of Business Services Kendall Henderson, Marketing & Communications Manager Jay Garneau, and Administrative Services Manager Joanie Michael.)

North Dakota

Tuesday morning at the BankNorth Theater located inside of Central Cass High School, Grand Farm and Casselton Economic Development jointly announced the future site of Grand Farm’s Innovation Facility. Melissa Beach, Casselton Community and Economic Development Director helped unveil the site, saying ” We are excited that Grand Farm chose our community for its permanent location. With our long history in agriculture and abundant community and industry partners, the Casselton area is a great fit for their Innovation Facility.”

Economic Development Week kicks off on May 9, with a full slate of activities and exciting announcements for the City of Williston. (Economic Development Director Shawn Wenko)

Ohio

Moraine is focusing its economic development efforts around a variety of industrial, commercial and residential projects and has hired Matt Eisenbraun as community development director.

Butler County has hired Management Partners to find an economic development director.

Three companies that are looking to expand in Springfield say construction on their respective manufacturing facilities — representing nearly $100 million in investments and about1,000 jobs, combined — are scheduled to be complete at various times this fall. (Horton Hobbs, the vice president of economic development for the Greater Springfield Partnership)

Clinton County Port Authority is marking National Economic Development Week from May 9-13, 2022, to highlight local efforts to enhance the quality of life in the community. “Economic Development is the creation of economic vitality for a community, which will attract employers, employees, and their families alike,” said Dan Evers, Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority.

The city of Middletown’s economic development department, already operating without an assistant and executive director, has lost another employee. Alaina Geres, program manager for nearly three years, submitted her resignation letter Friday, according to a city official. On her professional page, Geres announced she has accepted a position as economic director for the city of Sharonville.

Twinsburg's Director of Planning and Community Development Larry Finch’s 23-plus-year career with the city has come to an end as he looks forward to retirement.

Katy Kanelopoulos is West Chester Township’s new economic development manager. Kanelopoulos was previously small business liaison for the City of Sharonville.

Oregon

Economic Development for Central Oregon has released the 2022 Central Oregon Largest Employers List, complete with breakouts of the top employers in each Central Oregon community. This data, collected by EDCO annually for the past 20+ years, is the most comprehensive major employer list in Central Oregon. (Jon Stark, Interim CEO of EDCO)

Crook County government and economic leaders have teamed up to launch a sign campaign intended to discourage workers from leaving Prineville for jobs outside of town. Four signs were installed last weekend along Highway 126 between Prineville Airport and Powell Butte. The signs include such messages as "You could've been at work 10 minutes ago," "Want to save $200+ a week on gas?" and "Work where you live, more time to play." (Kelsey Lucas, Crook County's economic development manager with Economic Development for Central Oregon; Kim Daniels, executive director of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce)

Pennsylvania

After 31 years in business, Ben Franklin Tech Partners is showing it's still making quite an impact in Pennsylvania with its 2021 economic impact report. It's one of the nation's longest running tech-based economic development programs with one of the largest incubator networks. "We do that by investing and supporting early-stage organizations. Secondly, we do that by supporting new technology initiatives from an established manufacturer's perspective, and then the third thing is being a community advocate," said Angelo Valletta, President and CEO of Ben Franklin Tech Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Erie County Executive Brenton Davis, who's sought to make economic development a centerpiece of his administration, is now citing a vote by Erie County Council as proof. On Tuesday, members of council narrowly passed a proposal by Davis to revive an economic development department within the county executive's office. The department, which has existed in county government for years but has largely gone unfunded due to other entities taking the lead on economic development, will now consist of three positions: a director, an assistant director and an office manager.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development wrapped up Small Business Week with a visit to Zelienople last week. Acting Secretary of the DCED Neil Weaver took a walking tour of downtown Zelienople with Mayor Thomas Oliverio that included the Kaufman Tavern and other local businesses.

South Carolina

Newberry County is seeking 10 community-minded residents to serve on a task force that will direct the county’s first ever Economic Development Strategic Plan. Newberry County’s Economic Development Director, Rick Farmer, said a focused economic development strategic plan is common in forward-thinking communities, and helps guide a community on what its priorities should be in economic development.

Tennessee

Teamwork and a common economic development goal are the objectives for a former Kingsport mayor, chosen as CEO to launch Northeast Tennessee’s privately funded, economic development organization known as NETNHub. Dennis Phillips says his new job is to bring everyone together throughout the eight county region with one voice when it comes to economic development of Northeast Tennessee.

The city of Kingsport has received the Donald E. Hunter Excellence in Economic Development Award for the Brickyard Park/Cement Hill project from the American Planning Association.

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council has engaged Retail Strategies President of Downtown Strategies Jenn Gregory to host a free omni-channel training for local businesses.

Texas

Frisco’s economic development team has been aggressive in bringing blue-chip organizations to the city. Mayor Jeff Cheney hopes the next one is a blue bird. With Elon Musk poised to take over Twitter, Mayor Jeff Cheney sees an opportunity to entice the social media platform’s operations from San Fran, as in San Francisco, to Frisco, as in Frisco, Texas.

The City of Laredo, in partnership with the Laredo Economic Development Corporation and Laredo College Economic Development Center, proclaimed on Monday National Economic Development Week from May 9-13. (President and CEO of LEDC Gene Lindgren and Senior Director of Economic and Resource Development at Laredo College Michael Gonzalez)

Lance LaCour, CEO and president of economic development for Partnership Lake Houston, announced his resignation May 5. LaCour is taking an opportunity with the city of Granbury to launch and run its newly formed economic development department. His last day will be June 5.

Laredo’s first-ever economic development director is leaving the city as he instead will be taking an opportunity to serve as part of a major Hispanic nonprofit. Telco Garcia is leaving to be part of the Hispanic nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa. He plans to still work in economic development there.

Governor Greg Abbott this week recognized the critical role local, regional, and statewide economic development teams play in job creation, business expansion, and business retention in communities throughout Texas as he issued a proclamation officially designating May 9–13 as 2022 Economic Development Week in Texas.

Members of the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation Board on April 21 approved an expenditure recommendation of up to $550,000 to pickle-in-a-pouch provider Texas Tito’s for an expansion project. (Jeff Jewell, the city’s director of economic and community development, told board members)

The Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation accepted the resignation of CEO Jessica Carpenter during a special meeting Monday night. Carpenter tendered her resignation effective Wednesday, May 4. Carpenter informed the board she decided it was best for her to resign to consider and pursue personal and professional opportunities outside of Port Arthur.

Musicians, promoters and other creatives will have to wait another year to enter into a contract of $5,000-$10,000 from the Austin’s Live Music Fund. The delay is due to a staffing shortage in the city, including 20 positions in the Economic Development Department. The Live Music Fund uses money from the city’s portion of Hotel Occupancy Tax receipts, which fell drastically during the Covid-19 pandemic but has rebounded over the past year. Erica Shamaly, manager of the Music and Entertainment Division, said recent departures have left her staff unable to properly handle the expected 1,200-2,500 applicants, from which up to 500 contracts would be awarded.

After several months serving as interim, Jordan Robinson has officially accepted the position to be the President & CEO at Round Rock Chamber.

Utah

Ogden officials have picked from within to fill the vacant economic development director’s post, the administrator who helps lead efforts to redevelop the city and lure new businesses here. Brandon Cooper, who had served as deputy director of the Community and Economic Development Department, has been elevated to take over the director’s spot.

Davis County officials have placed a temporary moratorium on development in the county’s unincorporated areas, giving time for land-use plans to be reviewed and updated in the face of the inexorable demand for buildable ground. (Kent Anderson, community and economic development director)

Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority marks the week of May 9-13 as the next Economic Development Week. During Economic Development Week, the VIEDA will launch a series of videos that will highlight local economic developers across varying sectors, including the University of the Virgin Islands, the VI Small Business Development Center, Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism, SEAT Caribbean Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center and more. These highlights include how agencies have aligned with Vision 2040 and efforts in implementing, the 20-year economic plan for the territory. The VIEDA will also be nationally launching a 40-minute panel, to be hosted by Wayne L. Biggs Jr., who is the chief executive officer of VIEDA, featuring local experts in targeted sectors that include manufacturing, renewable energy, hospitality and professional services.

Virginia

An initiative outside the city of Norton, called Project Intersection, strives to combine reclamation efforts with economic development. (Craig Seaver, coordinator at Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority)

Shannon Flanagan-Watson has been appointed Interim Director of Arlington Economic Development, effective May 31.

Washington

Cynthia Carrillo is the new, and first, Greater Seattle Partners  chief economic development officer.

Residents and city officials in Carnation are brainstorming ways to preserve the city’s small-town feel, while also encouraging economic growth. Ricardo Noguera, an expert in economic development, was hired by the city as a consultant in April 2022. According to the city, he was brought on board to provide administrative support and guidance for using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Noguera visited Carnation in April 2022 for a “fact-finding mission,” he said. He toured the city and spoke to stakeholders such as the Carnation Chamber of Commerce and business leaders. From there, he compiled notes and recommendations for the city to pursue economic development.

The city of Snohomish's economic development and communications director is heading to a bigger role. Wendy Poischbeg will be Economic Alliance Snohomish County’s new vice president of economic development starting May 9. Her last day at the city will be Saturday, May 7.

West Virginia

The City of Princeton announced a 10 year economic development blueprint. (Samuel Lusk, Director, Princeton Economic Development Authority)

Wisconsin

Envision Greater Fond du Lac has hired Sarah Van Buren as the director of business intelligence.

Wyoming

Economic development organizations around the state of Wyoming, llike Cheyenne LEADS, are participating in a workweek of events meant to recognize the economic benefits of such local programs, the Wyoming Economic Development Association announced. (Betsey Hale, CEO)

The Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition, in partnership with Western Wyoming Community College, will be hosting an Economic Development Panel on May 18. The panel discussion will be centered on the future of Sweetwater County’s economy, workforce and upcoming industry expansions from local experts.


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Economic Development and Developers in the News #94

Econ dev news from 203 economic development executives and organizations in 25 states.

Economic Development and Developers in the News #94