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Economic Development and Developers in the News #91

Econ dev news from 123 economic development executives and organizations in 26 states

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
8 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News #91
Photo by Tyler Domingue / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Good morning and welcome to the 91st weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

I hope that your 2023 is off to a great start!

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

Today's email is brought to you by Resource Development Group.

Resource Development Group provides customized economic development fundraising solutions for Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Organizations.

“I’m not sure if you are stupid or brilliant!”

Those were the words of Charles McFall, President and CEO of the Anderson, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Resource Development Group’s first client in June of 1996.

Here's their story.

Today's issue contains news from 123 economic development executives and organizations in 26 states and Canada.

If this is your first time reading: Welcome!

As always, if you want to submit something, or if I messed anything up, please email me.


Apptegy, an Arkansas tech company announced Friday it is expanding operations, with plans to create more than 300 new positions over the next few years. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Little Rock Regional Chamber supported the effort.


Six new directors have been selected to serve on the Longmont Economic Development Partnership board.


Alexandra Daum, in her new role as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, plans to continue the work started by her predecessor in building, sustaining and promoting Connecticut.

Catherine Scangarella has recently been appointed to Executive Director of AdvanceCT.


Since she was hired back in 2018, Kent Economic Partnership Executive Linda Parkowski has worked to realize a new vision for Kent County. In the upcoming year, that vision will soon include many projects to fit the bill, including one major warehouse to bring multiple tenants to East Dover.


Will County has joined regional leaders to announce the formation of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership. This first-of-its-kind collaboration among the seven counties of northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will) and the City of Chicago aims to drive economic growth and advance equity across the region and its diverse communities.


Charlie Sparks, former president and CEO of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, was presented an Excellence in Leadership Award by the Indiana Economic Development Association last month.


The Iowa Tourism Office gave a $10,000 grant to the O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation to fund the O’Brien County Tourism Blogger Itineraries Project. (OCEDC Executive Director, Kiana Johnson)

2022 has been filled with more ups than downs for Greater Burlington’s economic development scene, and it’s a trend that those in the Greater Burlington Partnership hopes will continue in the future. (Jeremy Hess, director of economic development)


The Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority sold nearly 22 acres of property to be turned into affordable housing within walking distance of the “community’s largest manufacturers.” (President and CEO, Chris Girdler)


The Cumberland Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday is expected to officially approve a contract with a developer for the former Memorial Hospital property to be used as market-rate housing. (Matt Miller, Executive Director/President)

Three proposals have been received so far for economic development projects in Cumberland under the newly established Sen. George Edwards Legacy Fund, according to Matt Miller, executive director of the Cumberland Economic Development Corp.

Pittsville's town commissioners have approved a resolution to create an Economic Development Commission.


Gov.-elect Maura Healey named Yvonne Hao, an alum of online pharmacy PillPack and Bain Capital, as economic development secretary yesterday.


Executives from 120 companies in Allegan and Ottawa counties overwhelmingly reported positive growth in 2022, despite continuing challenges they face when it comes to attracting talent and supply chain disruptions.  These were among the top findings in the 2022 Industry Trends report by economic development organization Lakeshore Advantage Corp. (Amanda Murray, vice president of business solutions)


Despite the ongoing hardships of inflation and increases in construction costs, the Albert Lea area saw a strong year of economic development in 2022. (Albert Lea Economic Development Agency Director Phillip Johnson)

The year 2022 has turned out to be a strong year for construction for the city of Willmar, with $88 million being invested in the community, according to Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission.

The City of Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority has announced a second round of funding for the Façade Improvement Program, which helps property owners that wish to make exterior building improvements that eliminate blight. (Eric Maass, economic development coordinator for the City of Hastings)


Midland States Bank is excited to announce that Martesha Brown has been promoted to Director of Community Economic Development. As Director, Brown will lead the community development team in the strategic partnerships and implementation of the Bank’s community economic development objectives.

Moran Economic Development announced today the promotions of Jared Kanallakan to vice president and Jake Zambaldi to director of development programs. (Keith Moran, president of Moran Economic Development.)

The Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation is looking for a new executive director. Todd Tracy, 51, turned in his resignation to the corporation’s executive board at its Dec. 8 meeting, said Keith Suellentrop, that board’s chairman. That resignation was effective Dec. 30, said County Executive Dennis Gannon, a member of the executive board. On Jan. 3, Tracy started work at his new job, as executive director of the Center for Workforce Development at East Central College in Union.

James Stapleton, co-founder of Cape Girardeau's Codefi and the new chairman of the SE MO Redi (Southeast Missouri Regional Economic Development; formerly Cape Area Magnet) Board of Directors announced that SE MO Redi's Board will begin the search this month for a full-time director of the organization.


The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. (Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada)

New Mexico

Max Gruner is the new director for the City of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department.

Clovis Economic Development and the Clovis County Chamber of Commerce have recently been gifted a call center.

Axie Navas, whose efforts as the first-ever New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division Director, a division of the NM Economic Development Department, propelled the state as a national leader in the field, is leaving state government. ORD Deputy Director Alyssa Renwick will lead ORD until a permanent director is named. (Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes)

North Carolina

At the final work session in 2022 of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, Tiffany Henry, Economic Development Director, presented the board with a “good news update” of the expansion of two Jackson County businesses, American Sewing Corporation and Innovation Brewing.

North Carolina was named State of the Year by Business Facilities magazine this week, though the distinction will cost taxpayers millions. "A succinct regional economic development strategy in recent years has propelled North Carolina, and 2022 was another banner year for the state in capital investment and jobs creation," Business Facilities Editorial Director Anne Cosgrove said.

Though many of us do not make New Year’s resolutions, Beaufort County Economic Development Director Brad Hufford and Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell have lists that are chocked full of resolutions for this year.  The first resolution on Hufford’s list is to reestablish an economic development advisory committee.  Next on his list is to bring more companies to Beaufort County and have those companies inhabit existing sites and buildings that are not in use.

The Rowan Economic Development Council has compiled a list of the top 10 economic development stories in Rowan County for 2022. (Rowan EDC staff members Rod Crider and Kendall Henderson)


Lorain City Council unanimously agreed to pay $30,000 over three years to help establish the Lorain County Community Development Corp., a nonprofit under the Chamber’s umbrella to kick-start economic development services in the county. (Tony L. Gallo, President, Lorain County Chamber of Commerce)

After a year of planning and public engagement the final draft of the Chillicothe comprehensive plan is ready. (Brian Ashworth, Senior Planner, Planning Next; Tammy Eallonardo, Director of Economic Development, Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development)

Medina Economic Development Director Kimberly Marshall has taken on state leadership roles with the Ohio Public Works Commission and as the area director for Northeast Ohio for the Ohio Economic Development Association. (Jennifer Price, Executive Director, OEDA)

Harrison Township has hired a former Etna Township trustee on a part-time basis as it prepares for development along Interstate 70. John Carlisle was unanimously hired in a Dec. 29 meeting as a part-time employee to assist Harrison Township as it sets up its first joint economic development district.


Oklahoma Farm Bureau recently named Amarie Bartel as the organization’s new economic development coordinator.

South Carolina

Merle Johnson, director of economic and community development for the city of Greenville since 2020, has accepted a position as the executive director of Orangeburg County Development Commission.

Mike Switzer interviews John Warner, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Innoventure in Greenville, S.C. John discusses the potential impact of the largest economic development project in SC history recently announced by the SC Dept. of Commerce: Redwood Materials.

South Dakota

During the pandemic, South Dakota’s childcare crisis hit an all-time high, and in 2023 parents continue to struggle to find a solution. (Alan Solano, President & CEO, John T. Vucurevich Foundation)


The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce launched a  survey as part of its development of a new economic development plan. Known as Chattanooga Climbs Higher, the new strategic plan is designed to guide the Chamber's work program for job creation, talent development and equitable access to increase regional prosperity. (Charles Wood, President)

A site plan to build a 243,000 square foot building in the City of White House could jumpstart an industrial park of more than 200 acres. (Margot Fosnes, Chief Economic Development Officer, Robertson County; Jeffrey J. Lyash, President & CEO, TVA Economic Development)


A new bowling alley is under construction in Corsicana.  There was a total of $10.6 million of commercial construction in the city last year. (John Boswell, Director of Economic Development, Corsicana and Navarro County Economic Development)

Whether you are considering moving your business to a new market, acquiring or merging with a competitor, adding staff, or increasing your service lines, the risk to relocate or expand a manufacturing operation can be enormous. With careful research, smart decisions, and support, the benefits to taking the next step for your business can far outweigh any negative pressures. (Eric Voyles, Executive Vice President and Chief Economic Development Officer, TexAmericas Center)

Texas business groups to push legislature for a new corporate tax break program. Business advocates say lawmakers must replace a major corporate tax break program that expires at the end of 2022 or watch the state lose out on big-ticket expansions and relocations far into the future. (Glenn Hamer, President, Texas Association of Business; Tony Bennett, President, Texas Association of Manufacturers; Travis Krogman, Vice President of State and Federal Relations, Austin Chamber of Commerce)


Park City Economic Development Program Manager Jenny Diersen gave an update.


The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center has announced the results of its annual election of VMEC Advisory Board members. (Melissa Bounty, Executive Director, Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation; Dr. Parwinder Grewal, Founding Director, Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development; Bob Flint, Executive Director, Springfield Regional Development Corporation)


Virginia Economic Developers Association announced its newly elected 2023 officers and directors: Christina Winn, Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development, will serve as President, and Linda Green, Executive Director, Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, will be Vice President. Gregory Hitchin, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, City of Waynesboro, will be Treasurer, and Garrett Hart, Director, Chesterfield County Economic Development, will be Secretary. David Manley, Joint IDA of Wythe County, assumes the role of Immediate Past President.

Ryan Touhill became the Arlington's new director of economic development, taking over from Shannon Flanagan-Watson. He came to the role from a post next door at the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, where his achievements included helping out with securing Amazon HQ2 and the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. (Stephanie Landrum, President & CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership)


The Puyallup Tribe announced it would develop an international logistics company on property it owns on the Tacoma Tideflats. (Jed Boba, Executive Director, Puyallup Tribal Port & Marine Terminal)

Thank you to Resource Development Group for their support of the Econ Dev Show.

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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Economic developer in Galveston County, Texas.

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