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Economic Development and Developers in the News # 79

Econ dev news from 135 economic development executives and organizations in 24 states and Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
12 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News # 79
Photo by NASA / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Good morning and welcome to the 79th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  Today's issue contains news from 247 economic development executives and organizations in 24 states, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

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.

As we watch the progression of Hurricane Ian this morning, my prayers are with our colleages in Florida.  Hurricanes are just a part of the job for many economic developers across the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, but that doesn't make them any less scary and dangerous.  Stay safe my friends, so you can get to work for your communities when the storm has passed. -Dane

Today's email was brought to you by Convergence.


Shelley Short is the new president and CEO of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce. Short was previously the vice president of programs and partnerships, and will also serve as the CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County.

Graycen Bigger, board member of the Black River Technical College Foundation in Pocahontas, has been named to the Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives board of directors. Bigger, who will represent the 1st Congressional District on the board, is also the executive director of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority.

North Little Rock leaders have made plans to revamp the city's downtown by developing an area near the Arkansas River where a former Greyhound bus station was. (Robert Birch, Director of Development, North Little Rock)


Sunshine Coast Council has been named a finalist in two categories of the 2022 National Economic Development Awards for Excellence. (Andrew Eves-Brown, Head of Economic Development)


Merced County released its annual report this week, highlighting progress on homelessness and economic development. (Mark J. Hendrickson, Director of Community & Economic Development, Merced County)

Bill Allen, who will step down as Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.’s president and chief executive in January, oversaw the local economy through two big downturns: the Great Recession and the lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The City of Glendale appointed Bradley Calvert as its next Director of the Community Development Department. (Patti Wilma, Community Development Program Manager, City of Bellevue)

Scott Adair, Humboldt County Economic Director, shared the state of cannabis regulation locally and globally.


Canada supports indigenous economic development in BC's forest sector. (Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources)

At the annual International Economic Development Council annual conference in Oklahoma City, the City of Guelph was recognized with a Gold Award of Excellence for it’s Guelph Shops Holiday Wish Book.


Northwest Georgians have through Oct. 21 to weigh in on a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the region. (Delmos Stone, Representative, Community and Economic Development)


The Maui County Office of Economic Development is the recipient of a national award for its launch and development of E Kūpaʻa Kākou, a Hawaiian Music Series honoring the strength of community. (JoAnn Inamasu, Office of Economic Development Director, Maui County; Tylor Tanaka, Small Business Specialist, Kuhao Business Center; Nathan Ohle, CEO, IEDC)


Shawna Henthorn will be transitioning from South Beloit code enforcement officer to the newly created position of community development director.

The City of Rockford will benefit from nearly $300,000 worth of state grants to promote economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, are part of the Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. (Sylvia I. Garcia ,Director, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Isaac Guerrero, R1 Director of Economic Development Planning and Policy; John Groh, President/CEO, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Kane County received a grant from the state to develop a county-wide strategic plan and organization to help guide it and its municipalities, schools, colleges and businesses in promoting a strong and resilient economy following the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mark D. VanKerkhoff, AIA
Director, Kane County Development & Community Services)


Henry County's comprehensive gives county officials the chance to look towards the future and plan. (Corey Murphy, President, New Castle - Henry County Economic Development Corporation)

With a series of economic development announcements that is the envy of many communities, Delaware County is on a hot streak. A traditionally industrial and agricultural county with a growing emphasis on technology and modern manufacturing, Muncie and Delaware County are attracting U.S. and international investment with an impressive record of “wins” in the past few months. (Elizabeth Rowray,
Chief Economic Development Officer, Muncie-Delaware County)

Starke County Economic Development Foundation hosted their third annual Starke Tank Pitch Competition to expand Starke County. A total of 10 businesses competed for prize money to establish, grow, and expand Starke County. (Lisa Dan, Executive Director, SCEDF)

The Daviess County Economic Development Corporation is putting plans in motion to both help strengthen local workforce development and secure state funding of up to $1 million and support from the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program. Two new positions at DCEDC will help achieve this. (Bryant Niehoff, Executive Director, DCEDC; Jill Campbell, Workforce Manager; Roberto Gallardo, Director, Purdue Center for Regional Development; Kerry Thomson, Executive Director, Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, David Terrell, Executive Director, Indiana Communities Institute and Executive Director of RUPRI)


Ray Hansen, a consultant for the Iowa Small Business Development Center has been awarded the Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa Award.


Wyandotte County’s economic development director, Katherine Carttar, resigned from the Unified Government, becoming the second top official this month to announce they are leaving their job. She led efforts that brought $2.8 billion in new projects and over 8,500 new jobs to the people of Wyandotte County.


The Fiscal Court voted to rejoin the organization formerly known as the Economic Development Partnership, now called the Danville Boyle County Development Corporation. (Terry Crowley, Interim Director, DBCDC)

While Kentuckians the last two years have seen considerable difficulties across a number of fronts, one thing has remained constant. And that’s record economic growth across the Commonwealth. In 2021, Kentucky saw a record $11.2 billion invested in the private sector and a record 18,000-plus jobs introduced at the second-highest wage average in state history.


The Water Campus in Baton Rouge was recognized as the top Resiliency, Recovery and Mitigation economic development initiative and the best economic development project in the country overall at the 2022 International Economic Development Council Awards ceremony Tuesday in Oklahoma City. (Nathan Ohle, President & CEO, IEDC; Justin Ehrenwerth, President & CEO, The Water Institute of the Gulf; Don Pierson, LED Secretary)


Governor Hogan continued his Asia Trade Mission in Japan and met with leadership of the Japan Business Federation.

Japan’s Kanagawa Science Park business incubator will become the latest partner of Maryland’s Global Gateway Initiative, a first-of-its-kind program that offers international businesses a soft landing by connecting them with local accelerators and incubators.

Caroline County Economic Development and Tourism attended the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference to represent Caroline County at this educational and networking conference. Debbie Bowden, Director of Economic Development, Caroline County Economic Development and Tourism)


The Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership was granted AEDO status. (Justin Horvath, President & CEO, SEDP)

Tecumseh City Council approved an industrial facilities tax exemption certificate for Dorin USA LLC. The total project investment is expected to be $1.8 million. An industrial facilities exemption allows for a 50% abatement of property taxes on new industrial property for a period up to 12 years. (Jessica Sattler, Economic Development Director, City of Tecumseh)

The Foundation for Excellence allows Kalamazoo to step up economic development efforts. (Antonio Mitchell, Development Director, Kalamazoo)

The Ryan Report speaks with NMU Foundation’s Executive Director of Business Engagement and Economic Development, David Nyberg.

New Hampshire

Ossipee Economic Development Council will hold Envision Night. The evening will cover a broad range of topics, including updating signage, outdoor recreation and the upcoming master plan. (Matt Trahan, Chairman, OEDC)

New York

Saratoga Economic Development Corporation President Dennis Brobston will leave the non-profit company at the end of the year, ending an almost 15-year tenure that brought transformative projects to both Saratoga County and the Capital Region.

New Zealand

NZCTU launched its consultation on a new economic development strategy for New Zealand. (Craig Renney, Economist, NZCTU)

The five-year economic development strategy, ‘‘Uplifting Waitaki: Hapaitia te Waitaki’’, could raise the district’s economy by more than 8% above the projected growth in the next decade. This would create between $70 million and $146 million additional GDP and 1350 additional jobs in the district. (Alex Parmley, Chief Executive, Waitaki District Council)

North Carolina

Tammy Joyce has been selected as the City of Thomasville's first downtown economic development director.

Cummins-Meritor $17 million expansion will add 40 new jobs in Henderson County. (Machelle Baker Sanders, N.C. Commerce Secretary; Christopher Chung, CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina; Brittany K. J. Brady, President, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development)

David Spratley will be speaking at the Economic Outlook Luncheon for Wayne County.

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development welcomed back its first two CEOs and honored a Hendersonville engineering firm as its Partner of the Year during its Building a Legacy celebration. (Brittany Brady, President & CEO, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development; Andrew Tate, Director Economic Development, Duke Energy Corporation; Scott T. Hamilton, President & CEO, The Golden LEAF Foundation)

North Dakota

The Grand Forks Downtown Development Association works to strengthen the bond between University of North Dakota students and the community. (Andrew “Blue” Weber, President & CEO, Downtown Forks)

The Economic Development Association of North Dakota is holding its Fall Conference next week in Bismarck with the theme: Growing Together. The conference brings together economic developers, state and community leaders, and stakeholders. (Dana Hager, Executive Director, Clearwater Communications)


The Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County Best of the County Awards dinner gathered business leaders for the first time in three years to celebrate excellence in businesses, industry and education. (Mike Myers, Executive Director, Growth Partnership)

Record levels of economic development activity in Medina County were reached in the first three quarters of 2022. At the Medina County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Medina County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Bethany Dentler said 132 companies and organizations have made $453.5 million in new capital investments in Medina County this year so far. The development also showcases the creation of about 1,300 new jobs in the area.

Swanton Village Council last week gave final approval to formation of an economic development commission. Duties of the commission would include making recommendations on matters relating to improvement of sound economic growth and business development in the village, examining opportunities for fostering an attractive climate for businesses, recommending additional steps and measures to promote economic growth, and cooperating with elected officials and staff to realize appropriate goals and objectives related to sound business practices and better employment opportunities.

The Sandusky County Economic Development Corp. has revamped their strategic plan for the next five years with a focus on catalyzing new economic growth and development to elevate Sandusky County to the next level. (Andrea Gibson, Sandusky County Economic Development Corp. communications and project administrator)

Tim Copsey, Paulding County Economic Development director, thinks that Paulding Village needs a strategic plan. If the village does not have one, Copsey says they could use the PCED countywide strategic plan


Economic developers, municipal leaders and entrepreneurs from across the country were in Oklahoma City for the IEDC Annual Conference. They took note of OKC’s economic successes and are finding ways to implement those victories in their own cities. (Jeff Seymour, executive VP of economic development for the greater OKC Chamber; Nathan Ohle, president and CEO of International Economic Development Council)

How Oklahoma embraced brand to drive economic development. The State of Oklahoma reimagined its digital citizen services and partnered with Adobe to modernize its web platform – enabling digital contact-free access to services for Oklahoma’s four million residents. (Amy Blackburn, Division Director - Marketing and Communications, State of Oklahoma)


Economic Development for Central Oregon announced five finalists advancing in the Early Stage competition for the 19th annual Bend Venture Conference on Thursday, October 20 - Friday, October 21. These companies will compete for a minimum investment of $30,000 from Portland Seed Fund. (Angela Jackson, Managing Director and General Partner at Portland Seed Fund; Jon Stark, CEO at EDCO)

Rhode Island

The town of Newport has hired their newest Economic Development Coordinator. Allison Paige Browning comes to Newport having recently graduated from the University Of North Carolina-Wilmington with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Browning, who hails from Whiteville, North Carolina, had not traveled to New England prior to applying for this job but says she “Fell in love with the town and how it’s very small and interconnected. Everyone has been so welcoming here.”


The Lakeland Economic Development Commission is not thrilled with the retail recruiter they hired a year ago. On Thursday the EDC discussed options on whether to extend or cancel the city’s contract with Alabama-based Retail Strategies.


The Seguin Economic Development Corporation have announced that Maruichi Stainless Tube Texas Corporation has chosen the city to build its 125,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. (Josh Schneuker, executive director of the Seguin Economic Development Corporation)

Richardson City Manager Don Magner has appointed Jenny Mizutowicz to serve as the City’s first Director of Economic Development. Mizutowicz comes to the City from UT Dallas, where she currently serves as the Manager of Economic Development Initiatives. The City Council approved the creation of the Department of Economic Development in August along with nearly $1.4 million for economic development initiatives.

Peter Tokar will tell you he has the best job. He works as President and CEO of the McKinney Economic Development Corporation, which strives to market McKinney as the destination to live and do business. As Tokar puts it, the state of economic development in McKinney is ripe for the picking.

This week, the Laredo Economic Development Corporation held its biggest annual event with the 29th Pathways for Trade: The North American Logistics & Manufacturing Symposium. (CEO and President  Gene Lindgren)

The U.S. Department of Commerce approved a foreign trade zone program in Smith County. (President of Tyler Economic Development Council Scott Martinez)

The City of Austin Economic Development Department is pleased to announce the final recruitment of its leadership team with the hiring of David Gray as Assistant Director and Susana Carbajal as Deputy Director.

The Texas Economic Development Corporation, the private side of a public-private partnership with Governor Greg Abbott's Office of Texas Economic Development & Tourism, announced it will lead a delegation to Europe from September 26-29 to meet with business leaders and host events to highlight Texas as the best state in the U.S. to do business. The delegation, which will travel to London, Paris and the Frankfurt region, will include the First Lady of the State of Texas, Cecilia Abbott, Texas Secretary of State, John Scott, President & CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation, Robert Allen and the Executive Director of the Governor's Texas Economic Development & Tourism Office, Adriana Cruz, in addition to a dozen other economic development leaders from across Texas.

The city of Georgetown has named a new economic development director after a nationwide recruitment effort. Cameron Goodman will be taking over the role on Oct. 10. He most recently served as economic development director in Leander.

As part of its effort to expand to the region’s periphery, Houston Exponential will officially launch the Fort Bend Innovation Council Sept. 29 in Sugar Land. The initiative was created in partnership with the Fort Bend Economic Development Council, the Houston startup hub The Cannon and startup development nonprofits Born Global Ventures and Code Launch. (Lawson Gow interim CEO of Houston Exponential)

Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation has selected a finalist in the search for a new leader. The board this week approved a person for the position of CEO following a brief executive session. The next step is for the finalist to accept the contract with final approval to come from the Port Arthur City Council. The finalist, whose name is not being released at this time, is from Texas.


Prince William County Department of Economic Development hired Helena Kondow-McConaghy, Ph.D. as Business Development Manager for the Life Sciences to recruit and retain businesses in the fastest growing biotechnology cluster in the Greater Washington, D.C. region.

Danville’s office of economic development and tourism is hiring more employees to meet an increased workload because of more inquiries from industries and the addition of the regional tourism program. (Danville Economic Development and Tourism Director Corrie T. Bobe)

An artificial intelligence startup is expanding its headquarters in West Falls Church by investing $1.4 million and creating 117 new jobs. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with the state’s economic development partnership to secure the project for Virginia. (Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority)


After numerous failed attempts at getting funding for an industrial park, Campbell County was finally successful last week, when it was awarded a $2.8 million federal grant to help build an industrial park east of Cam-plex. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Association, specifically from a program designed to help coal communities. Phil Christopherson, executive director of Energy Capital Economic Development, said the park will help attract new businesses to town, as well as offer local businesses that are growing a place to expand.

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

Today's email was brought to you by Convergence.

We get it. You're pulled in too many directions, last minute RFP's and politics.  Requests for help. Managing a board. And the list goes on.

Your team has to cover a lot of ground. You've got a strategy to execute and results to deliver.

But without the right system in place, you end up: stress, late nights, frustration and inefficiency.

Convergence can help.  They've built a complete marketing, BRE, communication, reporting, and CRM system optimized for economic developers.

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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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