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Economic Development and Developers in the News # 77

Econ dev news from 123 economic development executives and organizations in 28 states.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
10 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News # 77
Photo by Devin Lyster / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 77th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  Today's issue contains news from 123 economic development executives and organizations in 28 states.

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.

Convergence has built a complete marketing, BRE, communication, reporting, and CRM system optimized for economic developers on-top of Hubspot.


The Birmingham Business Alliance has hired three newe team members: David Russell, Kim Hooks, and Caroline Keim. David has joined the Business Retention and Expansion team, Kim is BBA's new Program and Events Coordinator, and Caroline is a new Economic Development Specialist.


A coalition of Alaska organizations and agencies have won $49 million to grow the state’s mariculture industry over the next five years, the White House announced on Sept. 2. Mariculture is the farming and enhancement of seaweed and shellfish, and it’s picking up steam in Alaska.


The City of Pine Bluff is making efforts to continue downtown growth. Larry Matthews, director of economic development for the City of Pine Bluff, said the city has made improvements to a part of downtown through the Street Scape Project that was voted on through the Penny for Progress Tax in 2011.

Arkansas educators, business leaders and civic leadership will converge on downtown Fayetteville in October for the SEED (Startups, Education and Economic Development) Arkansas Summit, a gathering to empower entrepreneurs across Arkansas through higher education and other regional initiatives, spurring economic growth that retains local talent in communities across the state. Maria Meyers, executive director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center and founder of SourceLink, will be the keynote speaker.


Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation will host the annual Partners Appreciation Mixer on Friday, September 9. Attendees will include core VSEDC partners, including corporate, foundation, and bank partners, as well as other community leaders who have supported VSEDC's programs, services, and CDFI. (CEO of VSEDC, Joseph T. Rouzan, III)

Lance Lippincott, former president and CEO of the Kings County Economic Development Corp., will become the new director of economic development for the City of Fresno. Lippincott will step into the job — currently filled by acting director Kelly Trevino — effective Oct. 10.

With agricultural fields being turned into warehouse property, and proximity to an inland highway system that connects southern and northern California, local officials say the Fresno region is a prime location for growing not just fruits and vegetables, but some of the country’s manufacturing jobs. This has been a key selling point that Lee Ann Eager, president and CEO of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation, as the organization tries to expand and improve the economic future of a region where poverty is persistent.

Glenn County officials, in coordination with Glenn County Grows, are asking the community to participate in an economic development survey to gather input on the challenges and opportunities regarding local businesses, employers and start-ups.


John Bristol, the executive director of the Routt County Economic Development Partnership, is seeking $147,509 from the city of Steamboat Springs to help the investor-led economic development organization expand and diversify commerce in Routt County.


City of Torrington leaders moved forward with a plan to demolish and clean up portions of the former Hotchkiss Mill property, recommended by Economic Development Director Rista Malanca. The plan requires Torrington to apply for a $1.5 million grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development, from its Municipal Brownfield Grant program.


The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast and Brevard County Office of Tourism has launched the official community branding initiative ‘Mission Space Coast’ as the organizations partner to propel business, talent and tourism attraction, and retention. (Lynda Weatherman, President and CEO of the EDC)

The Bay Economic Development Alliance announced that Mocama Marine LLC will be establishing manufacturing operations in Bay County. (Becca Hardin, President)

The Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council announced it has elected a new slate of officers for the 2022-2024 cycle. Paul Anderson, President and CEO of Port Tampa Bay, was elected Chair, Alex King, Executive Director of Port Panama City, was elected Vice Chair, and Clark Merritt, Port of Pensacola Port Director, was elected Secretary.


Members of Knox County Indiana Economic Development’s Board of Directors on Friday voted to support an ongoing capital campaign taken on by officials with the Pantheon: A Business and Innovation Theater. Chris Pfaff, president of Knox Economic Development, said “economic gardening,” is an important element of any comprehensive economic development strategy.


The Greater Des Moines Partnership has named Jenae Sikkink as its senior vice president of talent development.


Jim Zaleski, Director of Economic Development for the city of Parsons and Tourism for Labette County was recently interviewed by KOAM News about Katy Days, Music in the Park, and bringing people to town.

Governor Laura Kelly announced today that since she took office in January 2019, her administration has worked with private-sector businesses in creating and retaining more than 50,000 jobs in Kansas. The Kansas Department of Commerce, led by Secretary and Lieutenant Governor David Toland, has closed on 732 economic development projects representing more than $13.8 billion of investment that have created or retained 50,169 jobs across the state.


Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have been named in the top 20 U.S. utilities in economic development by Site Selection magazine. (Brad Thomas, Manager of Economic Development)


The city of Slidell was reaccredited as a Louisiana Development Ready Community in a ceremony Sept. 1. Louisiana Economic Development, a state agency that is responsible for strengthening the state's business environment and creating a more vibrant economy for the state, awarded the reaccreditation. St. Tammany Corporation CEO Chris Masingill and his team led Slidell in the process of updating their strategic plan and securing the reaccreditation.


Governor Larry Hogan will lead an economic development mission to Asia from September 12-24, 2022, with diplomatic engagements and economic announcements in Korea and Japan.


An $850,000 investment to restore the Manistee Riverwalk was announced. That money is expected to go toward repairing the city’s south Riverwalk, as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration grant program. (Stacie Bytwork, President & CEO, Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce; Marc Miller, DDA Point Person, Manistee Downtown Development Authority)


The city of Waseca has welcomed a new economic development manager to City Hall. Tina Wilson, the city’s new EDM, began in her position on Monday, Aug. 29. Wilson comes from Idaho, where she had worked for over 15 years in economic development, primarily in southwest Idaho.


The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced today that Michelle Hataway has been appointed Deputy Director of DED. Hataway’s prior role as Director of the Division of Regional Engagement will be filled by Lori Becklenberg, who has been promoted from her previous position as the division’s Deputy Director. (Maggie Kost, Acting Director, Department of Economic Development; Jim Fram, Executive Director, Missouri Economic Development Council)

Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Inc. Executive Director Carolyn Chrisman was recently named a Missouri Certified Economic Developer. This state certification program began two years ago through an effort of the Missouri Economic Development Council and Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Governor Mike Parson participated in the ground breaking ceremony for American Foods Group, LLC's new state-of-the-art beef processing facility in Warren County. The company broke ground at its site near Wright City, marking the beginning of a project expected to generate $1 billion in annual economic impact in the state of Missouri.  “When AFG first approached our team about this project via the Harvest Group, we knew it would be extremely competitive. However, we were confident Missouri’s history in food processing, strengths in agriculture, and our central location would help us win AFG for our state,” said Subash Alias, CEO of Missouri Partnership.

New York

Dennis Brobston is stepping down as president of Saratoga Economic Development Corp. after leading job creation and business attraction efforts when GlobalFoundries constructed its $15 billion computer chip factory in Malta and magazine printer Quad invested in Saratoga Springs while it was closing dozens of older plants across North America.

North Carolina

A California-based company that sterilizes medical equipment has cast its eye on the city of Burlington as it searches for a place to serve as its entry point into the Eastern U.S. (David Putnam, Director of Economic Development, Alamance County-Area Chamber of Commerce)

High Point City Council members are holding a special meeting to discuss the transformational economic development for the city. (Sandy Vernon Dunbeck, Director, High Point Economic Development Corporation)

On the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, North Carolina politicians and Wolfspeed executives made official on Friday morning what had been anticipated for weeks: the Durham-based semiconductor and chip manufacturing company is coming to Siler City’s Chatham Advanced Manufacturing site. As of Friday’s announcement, Chatham County, so far in 2022, has already landed $9 billion in investment and 9,000 new jobs. Chatham County’s Economic Development Corporation took advantage of the numbers and the announcement’s placement also on Sept. 9, 2022. They passed out pins reading “$9B/9K/22.” (Michael Smith, president of the EDC)

Pitt County considers amending an existing contract so design work can begin on a proposed recreation and community center for northern Pitt County. (Kelly Andrews, Director of Economic Development, Pitt County)

Cabarrus Economic Development has announced the promotion of Stephanie Burleson to the role of Business Support Manager after serving the EDC as Operations Administrator. Burleson will oversee programs related to local start-up activities, business retention and expansion, and other support services for existing businesses in Cabarrus County.


Jodie Perry, President and CEO of Richland Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, talks about all of the great things happening in Richland County.

The Delaware County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday announced the hiring of Monica Conners, CEcD, as the county’s new economic development director. (Rodney Crim, CEO & President, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership)

The City of Middleburg Heights, Cleveland Clinic and Premier Development Partners are collaborating on the construction of a new medical outpatient center in Middleburg Heights. (Charles Bichara, Director of Economic Development, City of Middleburg Heights)

Mentor Child Care Academy has been approved for a $5,000 economic development grant by Mentor City Council. Mentor Economic Director Kevin Malecek said. "The city welcomes the Academy to further diversify uses along the general business corridor on Mentor Avenue and complement the educational services surrounding the site."


Ogle County Board members have allocated $197,705 worth of American Rescue Plan Act funds in the form of economic development grants in the past three months. Applications will be considered by the Ogle County Economic Development Department, the county Finance and Insurance Committee and the Executive Committee before being sent to the full county board for final approval.

Bob Stacey, one of Oregon’s most influential figures in land use and transportation, died Thursday at the age of 72.

Economic Development for Central Oregon is pleased to announce the addition of three team members.  Kelly Michel, Nicole Mcnew, and Bre Wilkins bring a diverse set of economic development, marketing, and program management skills that will be critical to growing EDCO’s impact and mission.


The latest deal in a string of development projects underway in the City of Coatesville has been announced. Located on the corner of Third Avenue and Lincoln Highway, one of the city’s most prized locations was acquired by Proudfoot Capital from the Coatesville Redevelopment Authority.

Rhode Island

Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island Housing Secretary Josh Saal and the State Office of Housing and Community Development today announced the recipients of more than $11.8 million in grant funding from the Rhode Island Community Development Block Grant program. After a competitive application and review process, the State has awarded CDBG grant funding to 35 organizations spanning across 10 cities and towns.


Law firm Martin Tate has presented more than 160 incentive applications before Industrial Development Boards, including EDGE. All told, those clients represent projects that created 26K new jobs and $3B in capital investment.


The City of Dallas created its first Economic Development Corporation recently to help market Dallas as a destination for businesses. (Robin Bentley, Director, City of Dallas Office of Economic Development)

Seguin will soon be home to a steel tube factory to supply local semiconductor manufacturers, thanks to the efforts of a regional partnership of economic development organizations. An estimated 106 new jobs will be created in the plant’s first two years. (Josh Schneuker, Executive Director, Seguin Economic Development Corporation; Sarah Sanchez, Vice President, Greater:SATX)

The Pasadena Economic Development Corp.'s Shaver-Munger-Main Underpass Project will add lighting where those streets pass under the highway — areas that are dim and dingy, even on sunny days. (Sheena Salvino, Redevelopment Manager, Pasadena EDC)

One more of the five new fast food restaurants — called the Fab Five by the city’s economic development director — in north Victoria will open before the end of September. Danielle Williams, economic development director for the city of Victoria, said the Burger King is doing very well since opening and she expects the other restaurants to fare the same.

Governor Greg Abbott today hosted a visit with Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Dutch government officials, and business leaders at the Governor's Mansion in Austin to discuss the State of Texas' strong economic partnership with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (Adriana Cruz, Executive Director, Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Office)

United States

This week, senior government officials from the United States and Mexico met in Mexico City to convene the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue.


Brody Flint is the new economic development official for the City of Roy.


Botetourt County approved another $250,000 in tax relief funding for residents. The latest funding addresses the increased value of used cars. Because of the higher value, residents are having to pay more in personal property tax. (Ken McFadyen, Director of Economic Development, Botetourt County)

Despite a change in name and increased focus on economic development in recent years, the Virginia Department of Energy still maintains one traditional mission: reclaiming old surface and underground mine sites.

West Virginia

Economic development leaders say West Virginia can compete when policy is right. (Steve Roberts, President, West Virginia Chamber; Mitch Carmichael, Secretary, WV Department of Economic Development; Mike Graney, Executive Director, WV DED)

The bills to approve funding to develop two 2,000-acre parcels of land and to approve $150 million more to fix secondary roads in the state have been approved by both the State Senate and House of Delegates.


The Wisconsin Department of Administration has awarded the Columbia County Economic Development Corporation a nearly $335,000 grant to help diverse small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Cheryl Fahrner, Executive Director, CCEDC)

State senator Marklein, who represents much of Juneau County, was recognized this week for supporting legislation that encourages economic development. (Ron Brisbois, Executive Director, Grant County Economic Development Corp.; Kathy Kopp, Executive Director, Platteville Regional Chamber; Bob Jones, Director, Cuba City Economic Development)

Elmer Moore Jr. says he has the best of everything in his new role as the CEO of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. (Elizabeth Cizinsky, Director of Programs & Impact, Scale Up Milwaukee; George Hinton, CEO, Social Development Commission)

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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