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Economic Development and Developers in the News #92

Econ dev news from 117 economic development executives and organizations in 23 states, plus Australia and Canada

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
8 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News #92
Photo by photo nic / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Good morning and welcome to the 92nd weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.


Thank you to the more than 500 of you who completed our 2023 Economic Development Salary Survey yesterday.  We'll publish the results next week.  If you didn't get a chance, please complete our very short, and very anonymous, survey.  


Today's issue contains news from 117 economic development executives and organizations in 23 states, plus Australia 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.


Arkansas

Clint O’Neal has been named the new Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Education technology company Apptegy is expanding operations in Little Rock, Arkansas. The project is expected to create 300 jobs. (Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston; Jay Chesshir, President & CEO, Little Rock Regional Chamber)

California

Culver City has become the costliest city to do business in, not only in Los Angeles County but throughout several Western states, according to a survey released last month examining the various costs encountered by businesses in more than 150 cities. (Larry J. Kosmont, CEO, Kosmont Companies.; Ken Miller, Director, Rose Institute)

Nicole Flora with the Lake County Economic Development Corporation presented on the EDC programs that are currently available as well as the upcoming Restaurant Expo. (Laura McAndrews Sammel, CEO, Lake County Chamber of Commerce)

Delaware

Just over a year after merging with the workforce development nonprofit Tech Impact, the Delaware Data Innovation Lab has a new permanent home at the recently opened FinTech Innovation Hub on the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus. (Patrick Callihan, CEO, Tech Impact)

Florida

Affordable Housing, economic development, and public safety highlight Orange County Mayor Demings' priorities for 2023. (Tim Giuliani, President & CEO, Orlando Economic Partnership)

Georgia

Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson was named Georgia Trend’s 2023 Georgian of the Year.

Indiana

Allen County attracted more than $589 million in new private investment in 2022 and, for the fifth consecutive year, posted positive numbers for attracting and retaining talent. Also, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed the county’s population grew at more than five times the national rate, capping a strong year in economic and community development. (John Urbahns, President & CEO, GFW Inc.)

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. (Lori Dukes, President & CEO, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance)

READI money could be charting a new course for economic development in central Indiana.

This week the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City is working with the Northwest ISBDC, Michigan City Chamber of Commerce and Unity Foundation of La Porte County to assist business owners with the Minority, Women and Veteran Business Enterprise certification applications. (Lorri Feldt, Regional Director, Northwest ISBDC; Katie Eaton, President, Michigan City Chamber of Commerce; Maggie Spartz, President, Unity Foundation of La Porte County)

Iowa

Dubuque City Council members approved spending $4.2 million in order to purchase 156 acres of agricultural property along the Southwest Arterial with plans of converting the land into a new industrial park. (Jill Connors, Economic Development Director, City of Dubuque; Jerry Anthony, Associate Professor of Planning and Public Affairs, University Iowa; Alexis Steger, Community Development Director, City of Dubuque; Jill Courtney, Executive Director, Four Mounds Foundation’s HEART Program)

Louisiana

The Jennings City Council took the first steps Tuesday to create a new economic development district and levy a one-cents sales tax within the district’s boundaries to help subsidize a sewer lift relocation project to accommodate construction of a new business. (Kellie Shelton, Economic Development Coordinator, City of Jennings)

Acadiana Center for the Arts and Lafayette Economic Development Authority announce a call for applications to ArtSpark, a program that supports artists, musicians and other creative workers in the advancement of their careers. The program also develops these artists’ entrepreneurial skills by providing business and marketing training for successful applicants in partnership with Opportunity Machine. (Samuel Olvier, Executive Director, AcA; Mandi Mitchell, Executive Director, LEDA)

Michigan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will travel to Europe next week for a five-day trip to promote the state's recent economic developments and with hopes of attracting new businesses in the automotive and clean energy industries.

Minnesota

Beth Drost has resigned as executive director of the Cook County/Grand Marais Joint Economic Development Authority. Drost leaves to pursue a new chapter in her career, as Executive Director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Pat Campanaro, SBDC Small Business Advisor will serve as Acting Director, reporting to incoming EDA President, Steve Surbaugh.

Mississippi

The College of Business and Economic Development at The University of Southern Mississippi has received a $1 million investment from Chuck and Rita Scianna. (Bret Becton, Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development)

Missouri

Brittany Stiffler Crabtree will serve as the new executive director of the Missouri Community Service Commission. (Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development)

The Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation is looking for a new executive director after the resignation of Todd Tracy. Rosie Buchanan, the EDC’s assistant executive director, will lead the agency until a new executive director is hired.

Steve Etcher, business development director for the Greater Warren County Economic Development Council, delivered an annual update to members of the Warrenton Chamber of Commerce.

Nebraska

Schuyler Economic Development's Cheryl Brandenburgh retires. (Audra Jedlicka, Executive Director, Schuyler Area Chamber of Commerce)

New York

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Lucy Redzposki, the county’s director of economic development and tourism, have announced $278,000 is being allocating in grants to 29 organizations promoting tourism.

Although the Batavia Development Corporation was established in 1994, Tammy Hathaway has been the new director for just under a year, hired for the position in May of 2022. She brought with her a passion for finding answers and being inquisitive about the mechanisms of how things work.

Massena Mayor Gregory M. Paquin says village officials hope to work with a revamped Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce on future economic development initiatives. St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Benjamin R. Dixon told the Canton Village Board in December that the planned merger of chambers of commerce was just months away. Under the plan, the chambers of commerce in Massena, Ogdensburg and Canton would become part of the county chamber.

Ohio

Ohio offers a case study on how to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship while building a future-ready workforce.

The Lorain County Chamber of Commerce is inching toward establishing a new countywide economic development authority that will serve as an independent voice to enhance Lorain County’s business environment. Chamber President Tony Gallo said Friday at the organization’s 35th annual meeting the chamber is well on its way, raising approximately $185,000 of their anticipated $400,000 budget enabling them to begin the hunt for an executive director for the 501(c)3 to be known as the Lorain County Community Development Corp.

Pennsylvania

An empty lot on North Main Street in Shenandoah will soon transform into a construction site, all for Development Shenandoah Incorporated's biggest project to date: The Center of Education, Business, and Arts.

South Dakota

The city of Colton, recently formed an economic development group and accepted an inaugural investment of $15,000 from Sioux Valley Energy. The funding, presented to the group at the end of December, comes from the cooperative’s REVIVE 2030 program which was designed to partner with local communities to assist with growth and development. (Jesse Fonkert, president and CEO of Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.)

Tennessee

Buck Dellinger, president and CEO of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council, spent nearly three decades in the U.S. Army. He fought ISIS with special forces, trained high altitude free-fall parachuting and was the garrison commander at Fort Campbell. When he retired, he used his contacts to land in his current role in the fast-growing community.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter and In-N-Out Burger officials announced the company’s plan to invest $125.5 million to establish an eastern territory office in Franklin, Tennessee, which represents In-N-Out’s first expansion east of Texas. The project will create 277 new jobs in Williamson County. (John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of economic development)

The Gallatin Economic Development Agency, the City of Gallatin’s principal organization for corporate recruitment and expansion, announced the launch of a new marketing initiative following another consecutive year of economic growth. The new promotional campaign “Gallatin Gets It,” is part of the agency's continuous effort to provide information about the city's thriving business climate and competitive advantages to global business decision-makers in tech and manufacturing sectors. (Executive Director James Fenton)

Texas

Leaders from local and area counties recently gave their thoughts on the economy at the Economic Forecast Luncheon presented by the Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation this week in Beaumont. (Kay DeCuir, Regional Economic Development Initiative, REDI chair, vice president of Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation and executive director of Nederland Economic Development Corporation )

Lufkin Economic Development Corporation announced the approval of two economic incentive grants.  The 250-million dollar investment is expected to bring nearly 200 jobs to the city of Lufkin. “It’s an exciting day today in the City of Lufkin we have two companies we are announcing that’s going to bring new jobs into the city,” Bob Samford Director of Economic Development for the City of Lufkin said.

The Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation is undergoing major changes after several staff members sought new job opportunities. Mike Rollins, the Interim CEO and President of the BVEDC, previously worked at the Austin Economic Development Corporation.

An Austin-based electronics manufacturing firm is working on plans to move into bigger offices in Plano to add nearly 100 jobs to its existing 165-person workforce.  (Doug McDonald, Plano’s director of economic development)

Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that 10 companies across the Commonwealth have graduated from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Virginia Leaders in Export Trade program. VALET, which now has more than 350 graduated companies, assists Virginia exporters that have firmly established domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as a growth strategy. (Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick, VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi)

The IGNITE Startup Grant applications open this with a $1 million dollar fund offered to high-growth companies looking to expand or locate in Prince William County. (Christina Winn, executive director at PWCDED)

The region’s top economic development professionals said the outlook for Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park was bright in different ways, telling an audience from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Wednesday that even if recession fears do materialize, their respective localities should be well-positioned to sustain a downturn and continue sustaining economic progress.  (Prince William Economic Development Director Christina Winn, Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small, Manassas Park Economic Development Director A. LaMar Hoy)

Washington

The Washington State Department of Commerce recently awarded $2.5 million in grants to six projects that will expand the state’s portfolio of project-ready industrial sites and incentivize private investment. With help from this state funding, publicly owned sites become more competitive for business attraction nationally and globally. (Commerce Director Lisa Brown)

Washington DC

Mayor Bowser reveals his 'DC Comeback Plan' for economic development.

Wisconsin

The City of Plymouth purchased the Cheese Counter and Dairy Heritage Center from Sheboygan County Economic Development Center Foundation. (Brian Doudna, Executive Director, SCEDC)

More than 40 Wisconsin communities previously classified as "urban" by the U.S. Census Bureau are now "rural" in the wake of the federal agency changing its definitions. (Jerry Deschane, Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities; John Eich, Director, Wisconsin Office of Rural Health)

Australia

Kelly-Anne Staffin will be leaving the Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North for a job in Adelaide. Economic and workforce manager Daniel Willson will step up as acting chief executive officer. (Mark Hanlon, President, Business Port Pirie)

Canada

The Government of Canada is making investments across British Columbia to refresh community spaces, attract new visitors, and stimulate local economies. (Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan; Honourable Randy Boissonnault;  Randy Cunningham, President, Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society)


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.

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


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