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66 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 220 economic development executives and organizations in 33 states.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
14 min read
66 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Meg / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 66th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

If this is your first time reading: Hello!

The Econ Dev Show is a podcast, weekday email newsletter, and blog of actionable strategies, fresh news, insights, and ideas from the economic development community and your host, Dane Carlson.

Please be sure to support our sponsor Localintel, who makes this and all the rest of the weeks' newsletters possible.

Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.


Governor Kay Ivey joined leaders of Farpoint Development and the Macon County Economic Development Authority at a Wednesday event to mark the launch of an ambitious project to build the Regional East Alabama Logistics Park, which aims to supercharge economic growth in the Tuskegee region. (MCEDA Director Joe Turnham)


Global Water Resources, Inc. announced that its president and CEO, Ron Fleming, has been elected chairman of Maricopa Economic Development Alliance’s board of directors. He previously served as the board treasurer. (Maricopa Economic Development Alliance executive director Adam Saks)


The former tulip farm east of Galloway on U.S. 70 is cementing North Little Rock’s reputation as vital transportation hub, building on the city’s founding as a railroad town in the 1800s. Union Pacific Railroad still operates one of the nation’s largest engine repair facilities in the city. (Robert Birch, director of economic development for the city of North Little Rock)


A show of unity came Monday from the two organizations that last week set aside their differences in mutual pursuit of state money to support economic development in Kern County. The Kern Community College District, making its first public outreach in a process of applying for tens of millions in state grant money, hosted a series of events that brought together groups dubbed "The Kern Coalition:" B3K Prosperity, Community Action Partnership of Kern, KCCD and the Kern, Inyo & Mono Counties Central Labor Council. (B3K Executive Director JP Lake, CAPK CEO Jeremy Tobias)

The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation has released a valley talent report. (Holly Schroeder, President & CEO)


A plan to create a $5 million Commercial Space Upgrade Program to fill vacant buildings was referred to the City Council’s Economic Development Housing and Zoning Committee last week to answer questions about its implementation. (Meriden Economic Development Corporation President Thomas Welsh, Meriden Economic Development Director Joseph Feest)

West Haven was among 12 cities and towns certified by the Connecticut Economic Development Association on April 28 for exemplifying best practices in economic development and land use. (Planning Director Christopher Soto; CEDAS Board President Kristen Gorski)


Erin Silk, the Vice President of Business Development Services for The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, has been appointed to the Florida Workforce Development Association board.

Brian Rewis, Director of Community & Economic Development for the City of Lakeland and the manager of the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency answered eight questions about the CRA.

Cristina Paredes, head of the Tallahassee-Leon Office of Economic Vitality, is stepping down.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced that nearly $48 million in grant funding has been offered to further the community development projects in Florida's small cities. The Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant will reportedly allow economic development, housing rehabilitation, commercial and neighborhood revitalization and other infrastructure improvements. (DEO Secretary Dane Eagle)


Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO Invest Atlanta; Clyde Higgs, CEO Atlanta BeltLine; Ángel Cabrera, President Georgia Tech; Gregory Fenves, President Emory University; Pat Upshaw-Monteith, President and CEO, Leadership Atlanta; Katie Kirkpatrick, President and CEO Metro
Atlanta Chamber; Jerome Russell, President, H. J. Russell & Co., and Russell New Urban Development; David Thomas, President, Morehouse College; and Jay Bailey, President and CEO Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs were named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2022 Power 100 as catalysts of economic development.

Georgia provided Peach County a grant worth $18.6 million to acquire its latest 1,100-acre megasite on the former site of peach and pecan farm Lane Southern Orchards. The Development Authority of Peach County is the sole owner, with Georgia remaining involved to help market the site and identify an economic development project to land on it. (BJ Walker, Executive Director)

Samir Abdullahi has been named the Fulton County Director of Economic Development. In this role he will lead the Select Fulton initiative, which is charged with coordinating business development in Fulton County in coordination with Fulton County’s 15 cities and the state of Georgia. The Department is also responsible for workforce development and other activities in alignment with Fulton County’s strategic goal of ensuring that All People Have Economic Opportunity.

Shoe company Okabashi Brands Inc. will expand its existing facility in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The $20 million project is expected to create 340 jobs. Senior Project Manager Kristen Miller represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Global Commerce team on this competitive project in partnership with Partnership Gwinnett (Andrew Carnes), Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Power, and Georgia Quick Start.


Nicole Bateman has recently been elected to the board of directors for the Illinois Economic Development Association. Bateman serves as the President of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County.

Galesburg ranks as the18th Best Small City to Live in America, according to a Census Data Report carried out by consumer finance startup, Now that Galesburg has been recognized as one of the top 20 best small cities in America, city and economic development officials say it's time to brag a little. (Ken Springer, president of Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development)

Effingham received nearly $5 million in grants for projects around the city this year. (Economic Development Director Todd Hull)


Lebanon's Planning Commission took public comments Tuesday night on a proposed annexation that city and state leaders call part of an economic gamechanger. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation along with city and county officials have been working on the project, which has been described as an innovation park that could span about 7,000 acres northwest of Lebanon. That would double the city's footprint.

After a decade at the helm of one of the state's prominent economic development organizations, David L. Johnson, the long-time president and chief executive of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, is retiring. He'll step down at the end of this year.

The DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership Inc. announced Tuesday the hiring of Victoria Searcy as the organization’s new vice president. Anton King, former executive director of the DCEDP, will assume the role of president and CEO of the organization.


The City of Dubuque Economic Development Department is accepting applications for grants of up to $3,000 to help qualified low-and moderate-income business owners succeed over the long term. (Jill Connors)

A state agency has approved $3.7 million in incentives for a high-end kitchen appliance manufacturer planning to expand into Cedar Rapids. Sub-Zero Group aims to build a 400,000-square-foot factory in the eastern Iowa city beginning in late summer or early fall 2023, according to theIowa Economic Development Authority. In exchange for a share of public money for the project, the private, Madison, Wisconsin-based company promises to hire 192 workers, paying 127 of those employees at least $24.20 an hour. (Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Executive Director Doug Neumann)


Governor Laura Kelly announced today that since she took office in January 2019, Kansas has attracted over $9 billion in new investments by private sector businesses. This milestone continues the record-breaking economic development success Kansas has experienced under the Kelly Administration. The Kansas Department of Commerce, led by Lieutenant Governor David Toland, has closed on 658 economic development projects that have created or retained more than 43,500 jobs across the state.


The Lake Barkley Partnership for Economic Development announced Tuesday a new 80-acre development project planned for the Eddyville Industrial Park that officials say will enhance its potential and the community’s growth opportunities. Executive Director Amanda Davenport says the development includes constructing a new park entrance off US-62, abolishing Industrial Park Road that bisects the site, grading, and constructing a stormwater retention basin. She indicates the project will be funded in part through a $172,560 Opportunity Kentucky Grant from Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company.

The Century Aluminum facility in Hawesville is shutting down for at least 12 months. This closure isn’t just hurting the employees losing their jobs, but Mike Baker, Director of Economic Development for the Hancock County Industrial Foundation, says Hancock County is losing an important piece of their revenue.

This month, the Southern Economic Development Center, North America's oldest and largest regional professional association for economic development, named Matt Tackett its president. He will be replacing retiring president Gene Stinson and implementing the organization's mission to provide information, guidance and leadership to the American South's economic development practitioners.


Norman Barnum, who for the past year has headed the New Orleans Business Alliance on an interim basis, has been named permanent president and CEO of the city’s economic development agency.


Jodie Bollinger has been named Acting Director of Frederick County’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development following the retirement of Helen Propheter. As part of the transition, the Office of Economic Development has been restructured to focus on key areas. Ms. Bollinger will continue to lead the Business Retention, Expansion and Marketing efforts. Her leadership team includes Beth Woodring, Director of Business Attraction and Finance; Katie Stevens, Director of Workforce Development and Agriculture Business; and Michelle Day, Director of Workforce Services.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a partnership between the state and the Republic of Ireland that focuses on economic development and networking opportunities. The partnership is between Maryland’s Global Gateway Initiative and the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin, which Hogan visited Saturday. (GEC manager Eamonn Sayers)


The city of Quincy will be able to buy properties, improve major downtown intersections and start planning for a 1,000-plus-space parking garage with a recently approved $53 million extension of Quincy's District Improvement Financing program. (Craig Seymour, managing principal with economic consultant RKG Associates)


Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to announce that HOLO Footwear, a manufacturer of sustainable outdoor footwear, is relocating its headquarters from Portland, Oregon to downtown Grand Rapids with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. (Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund; Grand Rapids Director of Economic Development Jeremiah Garcia; The Right Place Vice President of Business Attraction and project lead Brent Case)

The Lake Superior Community Partnership announced that it recently moved to a new space. “Being in this new space allows staff access to updated office amenities and opens the door for natural collaboration with other economic development organizations including Accelerate UP, Invent@NMU, Northern Initiatives, InvestUP, Innovate Marquette SmartZone and Northwest Michigan PTAC,” said LSCP CEO Christopher Germain.


The Nebraska Department of Economic Development has announced the recipients of $115 million in grant funding under the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act. (DED Director Anthony L. Goins)

The North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation is finishing NEBRASKAland Days on a high note. The chamber announced they have received a $30 million grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to develop the Hershey Rail Park project. The grant is part of the Nebraska Rural Project Act to provide matching funds to non-profit development organizations to build rail access business parks. (Chamber president and CEO Gary Person)

New Hampshire

Coos Economic Development Corporation announced the opening of a new pilot grant program for businesses looking to take the next step towards a storefront location. Grant awardees will receive up to $5,000 towards storefront rent for 3-months, insurance, utilities, signage, and other reasonable expenses. (Ericka Canales, Executive Director)

New Mexico

The 20th Street Extension project in Los Alamos has fallen through and is not moving forward. The project was supposed to include the development of an 86-room extended stay Marriott hotel with a conference center that would accommodate 250 to 300 people banquet style. (Dan Ungerleider, Economic Development Administrator, Los Alamos County)

The New Mexico Economic Development Department launched an online platform, called the Business Finance Finder, earlier this month to help business owners connect with financial institutions that can fund their projects. (Alicia J. Keyes, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary)

New York

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today launched a new Industrial Working Group, bringing together leaders from across the city’s industrial and manufacturing sectors with academics and policy experts to redefine the sectors’ needs and opportunities as the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development; Lindsay Greene, President and CEO, BNYDC; Neil Padukone, Executive Director, SBS Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Council; Lisa Futterman, Regional Director, New York City Workforce Development Institute; Sunil Gupta, Vice President Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, LaGuardia Community College; Bill Wilkins, Director, Local Development Corporation of East New York; Neil Padukone, Executive Director, Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Council; Kevin D. Kim, SBS Commissioner; Andrew Kimball, President & CEO, NYCEDC; Dan Garodnick, Director, DCP)

Rockland County IDA oversaw 32 projects in 2020 valued at $1.8 billion dollars. Incentives included mortgage tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions and opportunities to negotiate and participate in PILOT programs. The total tax exemptions provided through the Rockland IDA was $23.4 million, but $11.8 million of that was recouped through PILOT programs, netting $11.6 million in tax exemptions. (Steven Porath, Executive Director, Rockland County IDA)

Columbia Economic Development Corporation has named Jessica Gabriel of Valatie as Senior Economic Developer. (F. Michael Tucker, President & CEO, CEDC)

North Carolina

The North Carolina Economic Development Association has awarded its 2021 Smaller Market Deal of the Year to Josh Hallingse. The award recognizes Hallingse’s work on behalf of Raybow USA while he was economic development director in Transylvania County. Hallingse has since joined the staff of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. (Natalie English, President & CEO, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce)

NC Commerce Department is disbursing ARPA-funded Rural Transformation Grants, being used to boost community facilities and spark economic growth. (Morrissa Angi, Director of Community Affairs and Tourism, Valdese)

The Town of Boone has announced that Paige Henderson is Boone’s new downtown development coordinator.

Henderson County and the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority are joining up to create a 125-acre industrial site that they hope could attract a major manufacturer in the class of Pratt & Whitney, the jet-engine maker that’s investing $650 million in a 1-million-square-foot plant that will bring 800 high-paying jobs to the region by 2027. (Brittany Brady, Executive Director, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development)

The Kannapolis City Council has approved the rewrite of the Kannapolis Development Ordinance. The ordinance was first approved by the City in 2000. The City, as well as development, has changed during the last 22 years. The new Kannapolis Development Ordinance is user-friendly, uses graphics and streamlined text and reflects the vision and policies of the City Council as laid out in the Move Kannapolis Forward 2030 Comprehensive Plan. (Richard Smith, Director of Planning, Kannapolis)

Heather McWhorter has been named director of UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. McWhorter will lead the center in its promotion and support of entrepreneurship and innovative new ventures across southeastern North Carolina.


The City of Toledo Department of Economic Development announced the availability of approximately $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the renovation of vacant, first-floor commercial spaces. The program will help property owners bring these spaces into compliance with state and local building code, fire safety code, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, returning them to productive use. (Brandon Sehlhorst, Director of Economic Development, City of Toledo)

The maker of Nature Made vitamins will build a $200-million factory New Albany, creating 225 jobs. Tax credits are worth an estimated $1 million. (Jennifer Chrysler, Director of Community Development, New Albany Economic Development)

Michelle Rose has been named executive director of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board. (Marty Walsh, Labor Secretary)


A year into her job as the head of the city’s new economic development authority, Kian Kamas is asking for a $60,000 performance bonus and a new base salary of $200,000 a year.


The Malheur County Court postponed a decision Wednesday on renewing the $180,000-a-year contract with Greg Smith to continue to oversee local economic development and run the beleaguered Treasure Valley Reload Center project.

South Carolina

Seven economic projects with a total investment of $257.6 million and 78 new jobs moved forward at Monday's meeting of Spartanburg County Council. (Allen Smith, President & CEO, OneSpartanburg, Inc.)


Ted Townsend, current chief economic development officer for the Greater Memphis Chamber, will be the next president and chief executive officer of the organization. Townsend will take over from current president and CEO Beverly Robertson. Robertson was first named interim president and CEO after her predecessor, Phil Trenary, was shot and killed in Downtown Memphis in September 2018.

The Nashville Metro budget deal plunges the chamber of commerce contract to all-time low. (Ralph Schulz, President & CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Jeff Hite, Chief Economic Development Officer, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce)


Alliance Industrial Company, in partnership with Kyle Economic Development, held a groundbreaking for the Kyle/35 Logistics Park. This is the first-ever speculative project of 1 million square feet or more in the Texas Innovation Corridor. The project has initiated a $115 Million capital investment in the Kyle area. (Victoria Vargas, Interim Director of Economic Development, Kyle Economic Development)

The city of Fort Worth has launched a new framework—Full-Strength Fort Worth—to bring economic vitality to every corner of the city. The comprehensive revitalization strategy prioritizes equity and preservation, celebrates diversity, and creates exciting communities where everyone can thrive. (Robert Sturns, Director, Fort Worth Economic Development Department)

Governor Greg Abbott today announced GlobiTech, Incorporated will establish an additional manufacturing facility in Sherman, Texas. GlobiTech, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based GlobalWafers Co., Ltd., provides silicon epitaxy products and services to the worldwide semiconductor industry. This project will create 1,500 new jobs and generate billions of dollars in capital investment. A Texas Enterprise Fund grant of $15 million has been extended to GlobiTech. (Kent Sharp, President, Sherman Economic Development Corporation)

The Texas Economic Development Council announced six recipients of the statewide 2022 Workforce Excellence Awards. (Kevin Carter, President & CEO, Amarillo Economic Development Corporation; Christian Fletcher, Executive Director, Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation; Gilberto Salinas, Executive Director, Kerr Economic Development Corporation; Amy Madison, Executive Director, Pflugerville Community Development Corporation; John Osborne, President & CEO, Lubbock Economic Development Alliance; Leila Melendez, CEO, Workforce Solutions Borderplex)

United States

Congrats to those who passed the CEcD exam in Richardson, Texas last week! (Alan Beveridge, Executive Director, Strategic Legacies; Tray Hairston, Partner, Butler Snow LLP; Stephen Highers, Director, Commerce Services Small Business Assistance Center at Cherokee Nation; Kelsee Jordan Lee, Economic and Business Development Manager, City of San Marcos; Benjamin Magill, Economic Opportunity, Systems-Level Strategy, Anchor Institutions; Maxim Nevzorov, Project Manager/Directeur de projets at Invest Québec International; Lexie Woodward, Manager of Economic Development, City of Mesquite)

Congress has recently shown serious interest in reauthorizing the Economic Development Administration, a Department of Commerce agency last authorized in 2004. Congressional appropriators will also have their turn in adequately resourcing the agency, following the extraordinary demands of the pandemic and other impacts to local economies over the past two years.

The 2021 Salary and Demographic Survey of Economic Development Professionals is available from the IEDC.

After years of state-led efforts to establish offshore wind in the U.S., a new partnership among the White House and 11 East Coast states should further accelerate the creation of a domestic industry and supply chain. (Sam Salustro, Director of Coalitions and Strategic Partnerships, Business Network for Offshore Wind; Fred Zalcman, Director, NYOWA)


Michael Olio is Richford's first-ever town administrator. He is 22 years old and graduated from Champlain College in December. During his final semester of college last fall, Olio worked part-time for the Richford town government, managing local economic development initiatives.

Burlington’s effort to create a community of “pods” for people experiencing homelessness can move forward as soon as it finds an organization that will manage the site. (Brian Pine, Development Chief, City of Burlington)


Roanoke County Economic Development has announced 14 projects so far in 2022. There is $66 million in new investment that will create more than 400 new jobs. (Jill Loope, Director of Economic Development, Roanoke County)

The Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for Frito Lay. (Mike Dotti, Executive Director, Brunswick County IDA; Alfreda Reynolds, Director of Economic Development, Brunswick County)


Greater Spokane Incorporated has unveiled THRIVE Spokane, a long-term strategy to identify industries for growth and create sustainable economic prosperity over the next five years. (Tom Stellman, CEO/Founder, TIP Strategies Inc.; Mark Mattke, CEO, Spokane Workforce Council; Michaele Armstrong, Associate Director, SP3NW; Alisha Benson, CEO, Greater Spokane Incorporated)

West Virginia

Mitch Carmichael, secretary of West Virginia’s Department of Economic Development, has many reasons why businesses should consider The Mountain State.


Joy Melton, the Washburn County Economic Development Corporation's Administrative Coordinator was chosen and has been promoted to the new role.

WISCAP received a $4.8 million grant from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to support increasing Wisconsin’s nursing workforce.

The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation will be getting a share of $125 million from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to help expand broadband internet access in the County. (Brian Doudna, Executive Director, Sheboygan County EDC)


Four community organizations will receive a combined total of almost $140,000 from Lander’s portion of the local half-percent sales tax for economic development for the second quarter of 2022. (Sarah Hamlin, Liaison, Lander Investment for Tomorrow)

In the NewsNewsletter

Dane Carlson Twitter

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

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