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Podcast Episode 25 - From Top to the Bottom: Economic Development in Manatee County Florida with Ruth Buchanan and Che Barnett

They work together to build the local economy from the top and the bottom.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
2 min read
Podcast Episode 25 - From Top to the Bottom: Economic Development in Manatee County Florida with Ruth Buchanan and Che Barnett
Photo by Susan Q Yin / Unsplash

Episode # 25 of the Econ Dev Show Podcast is now live.

Ruth Buchanan is the Economic Development Manager, and Che Barnett is a Redevelopment Coordinator. Both work for Manatee County, Florida. There, they work together to build the local economy from the top and the bottom.

Listen now.

Ruth Buchanan 
Che Barnett


From the Pre-Interview

What's been your most influential book and why?

Ruth: Howard Schultz, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul. I like change management. It is what separates leaders from the rest.

Che: There have been several, too many to narrow down but two that are currently informing my work are The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein which looks at the role of government in the segregation of America’s communities.  As a government employee, it’s important for me to know how my work is linked to that past, appreciate the progress that has been made over the decades, and work hard inside and outside of government to push that progress even further. The second book is Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference.  Our County Administrator recommends this book. It’s been interesting revisiting it and seeing how my social role has shifted from being a Connector 20 or so years ago to a Maven in the current day.

What is your favorite productivity tool or resource?

Ruth: We created our own project management tool working with internal IT staff. I am excited as we are about to roll it out. It is our tool so its value addition should be nothing short of transformative.

Che: I’m a minimalist here – Microsoft Productivity Suite and my cell phone. Favorite resource would be the people I serve.

Anything else?

Ruth: Ikigai is a life model that I have been using. It is a simple way to help me achieve the several major goals in life.

Che: The Enterprise Community Partners Opportunity 360 Community Dashboard provides neighborhood level data that can help communities better understand the resources needed to make them more inclusive, equitable and connected to opportunity.

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Dane Carlson

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Director of Economic Development for Galveston County, Texas. Previously: World's first business blogger.