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Economic Development and Developers in the News # 74

Econ dev news from 181 economic development executives and organizations in 28 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
11 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News # 74
Photo by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 74th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  Today's issue contains news from 181 economic development executives and organizations in 28 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

If this is your first time reading: Welcome!

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.

Today's email is brought to you by Convergence.

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Justice Smyth is the new executive director for the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority. Most recently, Smyth was director of corporate development for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce in Alabama.


The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Division of Rural Services announced on Monday that it will award $808,146.04 to Arkansas schools and educators to support conservation education programs in the 2022-23 school year. Funds for these grants come from wildlife fines collected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. (Secretary Mike Preston)


Kern’s unemployment rate settled in July to a historically low 6.6 percent in another sign of labor market strength amid an economic recovery notable for its worker shortage. (Richard Chapman, CEO of the Kern Economic Development Corp)

The 2021 Economic Impact of the Oil and Gas Industry in Kern County Report has been released by the Kern Economic Development Corporation. (Richard Chapman, president and CEO)

The City of Turlock is increasing its emphasis on economic growth as they have hired Economic Development Director Anthony Sims, who formerly served as the economic development manager for the City of Ceres.

Santa Barbara plans to launch a "shop local" campaign, improve engagement with the business community and create a downtown property assessment district, according to a plan presented Tuesday to the Santa Barbara City Council. Jason Harris, the city's economic development manager, presented a three-year plan, which included an update on the current year and the goals for the next two years.

A new survey targeting the Mother Lode’s economic challenges and opportunities will be used to strategize for the future. The confidential ten-question online survey includes questions related to important assets, what challenges need to be addressed, and how to improve long-term economic stability. It is being put out by the Central Sierra Economic Development District, in conjunction with the North State Planning and Development Collective at California State University, Chico and Chabin Concepts. (Vicki Doll, Chabin Concepts; David Thoeny, Executive Director, Central Sierra Economic Development District)

The City of Goleta is developing a new Five-Year Economic Development Strategic Plan and they need the input and ideas of businesses, non-profits, organizations, residents, visitors and everyone who has a stake in the economic future of Goleta.


The West Parry Sound Economic Development Collaborative hopes to reach 200 businesses with its business retention and expansion program by the end of this year, said the collaborative’s regional economic development officer, James Cox.

The harbor at Silver Islet has been expanded with help from the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission. The CEDC granted the Silver Islet Harbour Association $30,000, which has been used to install new floating dock sections to increase mooring capacity in the community. (John Cameron, tourism development officer with Tourism Thunder Bay)

The City of North Battleford plans to hire an economic development manager to help increase growth. Council approved the recommendations from administration at Monday’s meeting.


With three new heads of Grand Junction’s economic development agencies either in place or incoming, City Council is hoping those organizations will learn to collaborate better. New GJEP Director Curtis Englehart said GJEP, the chamber and business incubator are going to collaborate on a strategic plan that outlines each organization’s function.


After a year of construction, employees mixed the first batches of concrete at a 140,000-square-foot industrial complex that opened this month in Belle Glade where Glades Correctional Institution once stood. Someday soon, that concrete will make its mark in Boca Raton as part of a technology center's parking garage. "It's the largest economic development project in the Glades region," said Kelly Smallridge, president and chief executive officer of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.

Turner Arbour has been promoted to Senior Economic Development Manager at Pasco EDC.


The annual Southeast Idaho Economic Development Summit is coming up this fall. The event will be on October 12th at the AMC Movie Theater in Chubbuck. (Miacate Kennedy, CEO, Bannock Development)


Construction starts this month on a history making $90 million-dollar private, commercial development in West Dundee. (Timothy Scott, West Dundee Economic Development Director)


A leader in the economic revitalization of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been selected by Gov. Eric Holcomb to take charge of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. David J. Adams, a former executive director of the Indiana Public Retirement System, will begin his duties as DWD commissioner Sept. 19.


The Dickinson County Economic Development Corporation met with their investors last night to show their appreciation. A presentation about Kansas’ economy by Jeremy Hill, director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research in Wichita State University, followed dinner and awards.After dinner, Kent Campbell, director of the DKEDC, gave a short presentation on economic numbers in Dickinson County

A new grant is expected to help one of Kansas’ leading universities acquire cutting-edge manufacturing tech, robotics and other industrial software tools to help train, educate and develop new digital capabilities for industries across the state. Kansas State University’s Technology Development Institute will use a $2 million Economic Adjustment Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to address key expansion areas within digital manufacturing. (David Toland, Kansas lieutenant governor and director of the state Department of Commerce)


Brittany Cox has joined the award-winning economic development team at Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Cox formerly served as Senior Project Manager for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, working on new development and expansion projects. (Rodney Hitch, Director of Economic Development)

Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership board members met for the last time as the EDP on Wednesday. At the meeting, they passed new bylaws to officially become the Danville Boyle County Development Corporation. The restructuring is largely centered on creating a much smaller board. (Interim Director Terry Crowley)


The Lanesborough Economic Development Committee is trying to justify its existence to the Select Board. A discussion came up during Thursday's meeting after comments were made questioning the committee's function.  A discussion between the Select Board and Economic Development Committee is being considered so members of both boards can establish accurate guidelines that best reflect the town's vision.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday the Economic Development Administration’s grant to support the Downriver Riverfront Communities Economic Recovery Implementation Project. The money will help the Downriver Community Conference create a new regional economic development manager position to oversee a strategic planning process to redevelop two coal plant sites and establish a new small business technical assistance program to help diversify the local economy.

After more than a year without an economic development director, the Osceola County board of commissioners has decided to go with an outside company for economic development services. The board approved a contract with Middle Michigan Development Corporation for the remainder of FY2022 during its meeting last week.


Mississippi State University’s Office of Research and Economic Development has recently added three new staff members in key support positions. Christina Reynolds is now serving as director of the Partnership Middle School and educational liaison; Judy Harris Middleton has been hired to fill the newly created position of assistant director for operations; and Cathy Curtis joins the office as a program manager, focusing on special events. “I am excited to have all three of these new hires on board as we begin a new academic year,” said MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan. “Each brings a unique skill set that will help us carry out key initiatives in support of university research and economic development missions.”


A surge of economic development is coming to Shelby County, with two businesses set to open soon: Dollar General and Burger Base. (Wendy Brumbaugh Shelby County Economic Development Director)

The city of St. Louis's economic development arm is hiring the former chief executive officer of the St. Louis Fashion Fund to review its operations under a contract worth up to $150,000. SLDC also approved a contract worth as much as $40,000 with economic development firm Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners, led by development consultant Doug Rasmussen. Under the contract, Steadfast City will market several of SLDC’s priority sites to developers

New York

Sherman village officials are working through three Community Development Block grants awarded in 2020, two of which are coming to a close this summer. (Nate Aldrich, economic development coordinator of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency)

North Carolina

The NC economic development pipeline is as strong as it's ever been. (Melissa Smith, Vice President of Business Recruitment and Development, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina)

The South Carolina I-77 Alliance held its annual economic development summit, with leaders focusing on the region's next steps for winning more marquee economic development projects. (Steven Pearce, President & CEO, SC I-77 Alliance)

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce reaches agreement with Watauga to coordinate economic development program. (David Jackson, President & CEO, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce; Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections and Economic Development Director, Watauga County Economic Development Commission)

The North Carolina Railroad Co. has hired Joe Stallings as its new director of economic development. Previously, Stallings was economic development director for the town of Garner, North Carolina.

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners and Boone Area Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday they have reached a funding agreement that returns the chamber to its role of coordinating and administrating the county’s economic development program.

The city of Greensboro got a matching $100,000 federal grant to study what's needed along part of the U.S. 421 corridor to support economic development spurred by the Toyota battery plant. The Economic Adjustment Assistance grant, which is from the Economic Development Administration, will be paired with money from the city to conduct the land-use study. (Marshall Yandle, Greensboro's economic development manager)

Carbon supplier Asbury Graphite is expanding in Robeson County with a $17M investment and creating 22 new jobs. (Machelle Baker Sanders, Secretary of Commerce, North Carolina; Susan Fleetwood, Executive Director of Economic Development, NC Department of Commerce; Channing Jones, Economic Development Director, Robeson County)

North Dakota

Economic development leaders go door-knocking, helping put faces to names. (Kory Kaste, Business Development, Southern Valley Economic Development Authority; Chris DeVries, Director, Wahpeton Community Development)


After conducting a multi-state search, the Plibrico Company will keep its U.S. production in Southeastern Ohio. The company has reaffirmed its commitment to the region, creating 4 new jobs and retaining 16 employees in southern Ohio. JobsOhio provided a $125,000 JobsOhio Grant towards machinery, equipment, infrastructure, and relocation costs. (JP Nauseef, President & CEO, JobsOhio; Mike Jacoby, President, Ohio Southeast Economic Development; Sam Brady, President & CEO, Jackson County Economic Development Partnership)

Ross County Economic Development supports new legislation that could help many of the counties that struggle to attract new industries due to having limited access to natural gas. (Tammy Eallonardo, Director, Ross County Economic Development)

Catherine Bieterman, who worked as Painesville’s director of economic development for 17 years, was hired as Beachwood director of economic development. (Tara Baumgartner, Economic Development Admin, City of Painesville; Deborah Covert, Executive Director, Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce; Megan Baechle, Executive Director, Beachwood Chamber of Commerce)

Ohio’s largest-ever economic development project comes with a big employment challenge: how to find 7,000 construction workers in an already booming building environment when there’s also a national shortage of people working in the trades. (Jennifer Noll, Associate Director for Community Development, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission)


An economic development agreement is now in place between the city of Enid and a renewable energy service provider, along with an amended economic development agreement with Transportation Partners and Logistics. (Lisa Powell, Executive Director, Enid Regional Development Alliance)


The Appalachian Teaching Project, run by the Appalachian Regional Commission and administered by East Tennessee State University, supports research aimed at finding ways to help people thrive economically in communities that have been left behind. (Michael Glass, Director, Pitt’s Urban Studies Program; Michael Edwards, President, Fayette County Cultural Trust; Brandon McBride, Executive Director, Appalachian Regional Commission)

Puerto Rico

Peter Ruiz is the latest member of Invest Puerto Rico's Business Development team. Peter will serve as the U.S. West Coast Business Development Director.

South Carolina

A revamped city of Columbia business recruitment strategy will focus on “urban economic development” – bringing more restaurants, retail, hospitality, entertainment venues, and business services operations to the city. (Matt Kennell, President & CEO, Main Street District; Katy Renfroe, Manager, Five Points Association; Joe Taylor, Chair, Columbia Economic and Community Development Committee)

South Dakota

Kallie Carey is Wall Economic Development Corporation's newest director.


Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced today that Minnesota-based McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, will be investing more than $50 million to expand its manufacturing presence in Tennessee. (John Bradley, Senior Vice President, Economic Development, TVA; Lindsey Tipton, Media Contact, TNECD)

The new commissioner for the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, Stuart McWhorter, is on a barnstorming tour of the state.


Tomball City Council members authorized the Tomball Economic Development Corp. to grant funds to Clearhope Counseling & Wellness Center as well as Della Casa Pasta to support business expansions in the city. (Kelly Violette, Executive Director)

The City of Fredericksburg responded to a recent U.S. Department of Commerce awarding of a $1.4 million in Economic Development Administration funding toward a downtown parking facility. (Tim Lehmberg, Director, Gillespie County Economic Development)

The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership was honored to be nominated and awarded EDC of the Year at the 2022 REDnews Commercial Real Estate Awards. (Gil Staley, CEO; Mariana Almanza-Cook, Director of Business Retention & Expansion; Ashley Byers, Director of Marketing & Outreach)

Opinion: Time for Corpus Christi to develop some long-term economic plans. (Iain Vasey, former President & CEO, Corpus Christi Regional EDC; Roland Mower, Director, Clinton EDA; Mike Culbertson, COO, Corpus Christi Regional EDC)

Governor Greg Abbott has named Arun Agarwal, CEO of Nextt, as Vice Chairman of the Texas Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.

The Calhoun Port Authority board heard a pitch to join Victoria Economic Development Corporation for economic development. (Jonas Titus, VEDC; Charles R. Hausmann, Port Director, Calhoun Port Authority)

Doug McDonald is returning to the City of Plano to serve as the Director of Economic Development.

The Rockwall Economic Development Corporation recently broke ground on the third phase of the Rockwall Technology Park.  (President Phil Wagner)

McAllen Economic Development Corporation and McAllen Chamber of Commerce have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work more closely on economic development issues. (Keith Patridge, President & CEO, McAllen EDC; Mark E. Garcia, Executive Vice President, MEDC; Josh Mejia, President & CEO, McAllen Chamber)

United States

Economic development organizations often have to strike a delicate balance between ambitions and the reality of their budgets. (Mike Kerlin, Partner, McKinsey; Tim Sullivan, CEO, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Anne Bovaird Nevins, President, PIDC)

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the members of the of US Investment Advisory Council.  Economic developers include: Benjamin H. Wu, President and CEO, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation; Brad Chambers, Secretary of Commerce, State of Indiana and CEO of Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Chris Camacho, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council; Christopher Chung, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina; David Carlebach, Vice President, International Investment, World Trade Center Utah; Don Pierson, Secretary of Commerce , Louisiana Economic Development; Emily Desai, Deputy Director for International Affairs and Trade, California Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz); Jennifer Springer, Director of Business Development, Oklahoma; Josh Davis, Vice President of Global Trade and Investment, Greater Seattle Partners; Nancy McLernon, President and CEO, Global Business Alliance; Quentin Messer, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Robert Hess, Vice Chairman, Global Strategy and Global Corporate Services, Newmark; Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority; Scott C. Kuehn, Senior manager, Economic & Business Development, American Electric Power; Seth Martindale, Senior Managing Director Site Selection and Economic Incentive Negotiation Lead, CBRE, Inc.; Stephen E. Spence, Director, International Development, West Virginia Department of Economic Development


Danville Housing Summit encourages residential development in southern Virginia. (Corrie Bobe, Director of Economic Development, City of Danville; Barbara Fiedor, Assistant Director of Economic Development & Tourism, City of Danville; Sean Adkins, Director of Economic Development, Patrick County)


Markham McIntyre was sworn in as the official Director of the Office of Economic Development. Additionally, Preeti Shridhar joins OED as the new Deputy Director after more than 15 years of public service and leadership with the City of Renton.

West Virginia

Transfer of city property to the Princeton Economic Development Authority progresses. (Samuel Lusk, Economic Development Specialist, Princeton EDA)

Thanks for reading. Be sure to send errors, corrections, and news updates to [email protected].

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Dane Carlson Twitter

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

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