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Economic Development and Developers in the News #88

Econ dev news from 136 economic development executives and organizations in 30 states.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
9 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News #88
Photo by Paul Cuoco / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Good morning and welcome to the 88th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

Today's issue contains news from 136 economic development executives and organizations in 30 states.

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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.


The City of Gadsden and Etowah County is collaborating to promote economic development. That effort is starting with a joint Industrial Development Authority. Allowing both the city and the county to have one contact information for interested manufacturers. (David Hooks, Executive Director, Gadsden-Etowah IDA)


KPCT Advanced Chemicals announced plans to build an electronic grade sulphuric acid manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona. (Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority;  Chris Camacho, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council)

The Route 66 Association of Kingman Arizona will be hosting their annual catered Christmas part on December 21. (Nikki Seegers), Director of Operations, Route 66 Association of Kingman Arizona)

Christian Price, president and CEO of Maricopa Economic Development, has earned an AZED Pro designation.


The Center for Economic Development at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith announced that Justin Smith will be the new director of the Family Enterprise Center. (Kendall Ross, Executive Director, Center for Economic Development)

Arkansas State Representative, officials from Arkansas Economic Development, and members of the Hempstead County Economic Development Board visited with Southern Bakeries. (Steve Harris, President, Hempstead County Economic Development)


Southern California is in an optimal position to withstand the impact of a potential recession, economists at the 13th Annual Southern California Economic Summit projected Thursday. (Wallace Walrod, Chief Economist, Orange County Business Council; Shannon Sedgwick, Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Los Angeles County EDC)

Brianna Rindge is the new community and economic development director for Lomita.

John Leonard, Economic Development Director of the City of West Hollywood, has resigned and taken a new position working with the County of Los Angeles.


Nearly a decade after the city's previous economic development director left to take the same job in neighboring Ansonia, Derby has hired Roger Salway as the new director.

The standing-room-only ​“Connecticut Economic Development Summit” took place at the airport terminal Yale School of Management. Hundreds of business leaders and policymakers attended the series of speeches and panels, which were organized by Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development. (David Lehman, Commissioner & Governor’s Senior Economic Advisor)


The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the county’s economic development agency, said it secured a record 57 companies over the past year to commit to expand or relocate to the county.  Next year also promises to be a noteworthy year for the Beacon Council, because in January it plans to announce a new president of the organization. Since April when council President Michael Finney passed away, William Talbert has been an interim leader. Previously, Talbert led the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau for 20 years.

Steve Morey has been named Plant City Economic Development Council’s new president and chief executive officer. Morey will replace Jake Austin, PCEDC’s inaugural CEO who announced his resignation earlier this month.

If Hernando County is going to create a brighter future for its young residents, it’s going to have to do something about its lower-than-average wages for the region. (Duane Chichester, Economic Development Consultant, Policom Corp.)


Lorrie Wallace from Douglas County was among the recent graduates of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

The Development Authority of Bulloch County has released an economic development and operations update regarding key projects and its ongoing plans for responsible growth. (Benjy Thompson, CEO, DABC)


Mike McCartney, director of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, wants the two organizations who have been fighting over the $34 million contract to split the job. (John Monahan, President & Chief Executive, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau; Kuhio Lewis, Chief Executive, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement)


Melanie Kellogg is the new executive director of Be Noble Inc.

The Carroll County Economic Development Corporation is announcing it has partnered with 92c Partners and Katz Sapper and Miller to help with an economic development strategy of the Hoosier Heartland Industrial Park. (Jacob "Jake" Adams, Executive Director, Carroll County EDC)

Westgate One, a new chip plant is coming to Daviess County.  The project is expected to result in a $300 million total investment and 549 new highly skilled jobs. (Bryant Niehoff, Executive Director, Daviess County EDC)

The Brookings Institution has chosen Seymour and two other Indiana towns for a project focused on expanding equitable economic opportunity in small cities. (Jim Plump, Executive Director, Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation)


Placemaking is a great way to bring vibrancy to rural communities.


The most historic economic investment in Kentucky to date is taking shape. State and local leaders celebrated construction progress in Glendale where a pair of manufacturing plants will produce batteries for Ford and Lincoln vehicles. (Liliana Ramirez, Global Director of Workforce Development, Ford)


The International Economic Development Council announced that JEDCO has once again been recognized as one of only 71 accredited economic development organizations in North America. (Jerry Bologna, President & CEO, JEDCO)


Massachusetts Governor signed an economic development bill packed with AARP priorities.


The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is awarding nearly $2.5 million to 17 child care organizations representing communities throughout Minnesota. (Steve Grove, Commissioner, Department of Employment and Economic Development; Beth Drost, Executive Director, Grand Marais EDA)

With the resignation of Economic Development Manager Mike Wimmer, Mille Lacs County has been reviewing the position.

Often compared to the quest for rural electrification in the 1930s, the push for high-speed internet access in rural areas continues across the U.S. (Briana Mumme, Economic Development Coordinator, Redwood County EDA)

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced a new program to support automation at manufacturers, the latest component of the $97 million State Small Business Credit Initiative. As part of the Automation Loan Participation Program , DEED will make companion loans to cover financing gaps and expand financing opportunities for businesses purchasing machinery, equipment, or software to increase productivity and automation. (Steve Grove, DEED Commissioner)


Larkin Simpson is the new Chief Operating Officer of the Madison County Economic Development Authority. Previously, he was the executive vice president of Louisiana Central, a regional non-profit economic development organization dedicated to the creation of more and better economic opportunities in a ten-parish region.


Kirksville Regional Economic Development held an open Town Hall meeting last month, and gave the opportunity for members of the community to be part of the economic development effort by sharing ideas, voicing opinions, and asking questions. KREDI members were also present to showcase the work being done by their businesses in the community. Chariton Valley Public Relations & Economic Development Consultant Daren Dowell was present to answer questions and showcase work the company had been doing locally. (K-REDI Executive Director Carolyn Chrisman)

Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation announced this week that it has appointed Randy Asbury as the organization’s president, effective Dec. 1. Asbury has served as interim president since the September departure of Michael Bugalski.


The ​Flathead County Economic Development Authority is seeking a new tenant for the Gateway West Mall, a large, multi-use space in west Kalispell that the development authority has owned a piece of since 1999. The departure earlier this year of inbound call center Teletech, now called TTEC, left the 63,000-square-foot property vacant. (Christy Cummings Dawson, president and CEO of Montana West Economic Development)


Sidney's newest Economic Development director is ready to take on the challenges of promoting the Sidney area. Jeff Klare and his wife are making the move to Nebraska from Georgia. Their decision to come to Sidney came through a series of events, including Nebraska football and a desire to return home.


Michael Brown, Executive Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, announced that he will end his tenure at the conclusion of Governor Steve Sisolak’s term.

New Hampshire

Cody Morrison, executive director of the Monadnock Economic Development Corp. reflected on his first five months at the helm of the nonprofit organization, which he has spent working to outline new objectives, strengthen existing relationships and establish new connections with regional community leaders and stakeholders.

New Jersey

The city of New Brunswick is moving to prevent large swaths of land in its industrial areas from becoming essentially vast asphalt-covered truck parking lots. (Dan Dominguez, director of the city’s Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development)

New Mexico

Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes briefed lawmakers earlier this week on legislative priorities including the Next Generation Film Academy, Spaceport America and the Borderplex.

The Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance announced that Scott Powell has joined its staff as executive vice president. Scott will support and advance the execution of the recently adopted 5-year AREA 1.0 Strategic Plan, designed to establish a national identity that will attract businesses, jobs, and investment; attract, retain and align talent; and eliminate barriers to regional competitiveness.   Scott most recently served as the executive vice president of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.

New York

The Cayuga County Economic Development Agency is requesting an extra $35,000 from the 2023 budget.That addition would mean $410,000 from county coffers being used to make economic development happen. (Executive Director Michael Miller says the extra $35,000 is needed to meet rising costs of doing business.)


J.P. Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio, highlighted several new or expanding businesses in Stark County and Ohio as he discussed the economic outlook at the 108th annual Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

A new strategic plan is in the works in Philadelphia.  The plan is being created to help the Economic Development and Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County improve its economic development efforts. Assisting in that plan's development is consultant Mark Babash of the Ohio Economic Development Institute.

Huron County commissioners heard comments Tuesday morning about creating a Certified Economic Development Strategy with Erie County.  Alex McCoy, executive director of the Huron County Development Council, and Sarah Ross, executive director of the Norwalk Economic Development Corporation, talked about joining forces to help expand economic development.

A report prepared by a pro-energy group and released this week by JobsOhio shows Ohio’s manufacturers are in a strong position to recapture a significant share of imported plastics-based products. The study was written by Shale Crescent USA, a nonprofit that promotes economic development through the use of natural resources – namely, natural gas – found in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania’s shale formations. (Guy Coviello, president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber)

Susan Crotty will become Painesville’s next economic development director on Jan. 3, filling a role that has been vacant since the end of August.

Tecumseh Economic Development Director Jessica Sattler has landed a big promotion with another regional agency — still in economic development. Starting Jan. 2, Sattler will be a senior project manager for the Regional Growth Partnership, which has its headquarters in Toledo and covers 17 counties in northwestern Ohio as well as Monroe, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties in Michigan

On Friday, The Mid-Ohio Development Exchange and One Columbus hosted Economic Development 411. It acted as a celebration of all the region accomplished this year and a look ahead at how Central Ohio can remain competitive in the global market. (President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership Kenny McDonald)

South Dakota

Hannah Sage, from South Dakota's Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s Rapid City office, said the state as a whole has been naturally attracting business because of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But employee retention is the issue that needs focus. In the past year, she said the state has launched a campaign called Free to Work Here, which is targeted toward recruiting workers. (Emma Garvin, executive director, Deadwood-Lead Economic Development Corporation)


The Round Rock City Council approved an economic incentive agreement with KoMiCo Technology that will result in a minimum of $30 million in new investment and at least 70 new jobs created. The Round Rock Transportation and Economic Development Corporation and the City Council approved a Chapter 380 agreement with the company. (Jordan Robinson, president and CEO of the Round Rock Chamber)

Matt Ruszczak stepped down as the VP of Economic Development at COSTEP.

Robert Allen, the president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation, spoke during the First Friday Luncheon in Lufkin about the growth in reach his organization has seen since switching its focus to digital engagement.

Fort Bend County is becoming an economic powerhouse. Does it even need Houston? (Elizabeth Huff, director of economic development, city of Sugarland; Carlos Guzman, director of Fort Bend County’s new department of economic development and opportunity; Fred Welch, Director of Economic Development, Copperas Cove EDC)

The International Economic Development Council announced that the Conroe Economic Development Council has once again been recognized as an Accredited Economic Development Organization. (IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle; CEDC Executive Director Danielle Scheiner)

Terry Stokes is settling into his new position as CEO of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation.


The Stafford County Economic Development Authority last week donated $750,000 toward Germanna Community College's expansion in the county.


Todd Tatum, the City of Edmonds new economic development director, will share about what’s been happening with Washington’s first ever certified Creative District since the 2019 designation and what to expect in the future.

West Virginia

Steve Roberts has been named as a new business coach for the Northern Panhandle by the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.   (WV SBDC Director Steve Johnson)

Clarksburg Economic Development Director John Whitmore and grant writer Brittany Blackham will provide an update to the City Council on grants and economic development this week.

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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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