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SUNDAY, June 12

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Tour: Reclaiming Historical Treasures $

Much of Tulsa's revitalization has been centered on the redevelopment of the city's treasured architectural gems from the early twentieth century. Thanks to the leadership of developers willing to take risks on what have oftentimes been dilapidated, long-unused structures, buildings such as the Atlas Life and the historic Mayo Hotel, among others, have been turned into key areas of activity and commerce for the city. This walking tour will explore the redevelopment of Tulsa's East End Village, the core Central Business District and the Atlas Life Building, and the Mayo Hotel, finishing with impressive views from the Mayo's rooftop bar.

Tour stops:

• Hodges Bend
• Atlas Life Building
• Philtower and Philcade
• The Vault

Price: $55

10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Chutes & Ladders: The New Rules of the Game for Upskilling Workers


In the past, a college degree was the path to stability. Today, traditional models of education can’t keep up. Not only are the newly graduated unable for find work in their fields, but they are also saddled with debt for degrees that do not meet the skills requirements of new jobs. Those already in the workforce feel the pressure from these new trends, and are seeking ways to keep up.

The recent economic recovery has delivered some jarring results:

• The skills gap is increasing
• Technology is replacing workers and putting a downward pressure on wages
• Job security is low

These results are due to changes in the economy, and changes in what employers are looking for.

A solution for what has become a nationwide challenge is already in motion. College students have responded by increasingly taking on part-time jobs and internships. Established professionals are seeking management or other types of credentialing at growing rates. Also, the increase in apprenticeships in manufacturing and the trades continues to climb. Integrating learning into working is becoming the norm. And it is a model that can deliver big results in local and regional economies, by creating a workforce that is engaged, prepared, and motivated.

The Working-Learning Model provides a framework to build a systematic culture of upskilling and improvement in your communities’ workforces. Economic developers already support this culture in many ways—from hosting programs such as career fairs to provide general knowledge, to administering apprenticeship programs. These activities fit into a continuum that builds on each step to ensure a strong ladder for workers to ascend to the next step of their career—and for companies to find the talent they need.

Join us for this training, which will further explain the concept of working learners, and give you the tools to strengthen the ladder of success in your community.


James Reddish , Associate Director, Workforce and Economic Development, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Opening Plenary Session: Supporting Women Entrepreneurs in the Tulsa Region

IEDC’s 2016 Economic Future Forum kicks off with welcoming remarks from the Host Committee, and presentations from business leaders.

The audience will hear from two business leaders on the entrepreneurship scene in the Tulsa region. Dixie Agostino is the Founder and CEO of SwtichGear. SwitchGear, a talent recruiting firm, has been recognized both in Oklahoma and in national publications as outstanding organization with limitless potential. Robin Smith is the Co-Founder and CEO of WeGoLook. Her desire to bolster confidence in purchase decisions by online consumers led her to found WeGoLook, a crowd-sourced verification platform utilized across every industry, the "uber of inspections." Both of these female entrepreneurs will talk about how Oklahoma was the right place to start and grow a business.

Welcoming Remarks:

Dewey F. Bartlett Jr., Mayor, City of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK

Master of Ceremonies:

Mike Neal CCE, CCD, HLM, IOM, President & CEO, Tulsa Regional Chamber, Tulsa, OK

Keynote Introduction:

Josh Davis, Marketing Director, PA Group USA, Chattanooga, TN
William Mellor, Vice President and General Manager of Economic Impact and Research, AngelouEconomics, Austin, TX

Keynote Speakers:

Dixie Agostino SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CPC, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Switchgear, Tulsa, OK
Robin Smith, Co-Founder and CEO, WeGoLook, Oklahoma City, OK

4:15 pm - 5:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions:

Boundless Opportunity: Aerospace and Aviation

The aerospace and aviation industry has steadily climbed in terms of job creation. There are opportunities for communities around the country to develop and grow their own aerospace and aviation clusters. From developing cutting edge technology and new products, to manufacturing and assembly, this session will discuss the trends in this industry. Hear from industry experts and fellow economic developers as they discuss the workforce, research, supply chains and other industry needs.

What you will learn:

• New technology and products on the horizon and where the job growth will be
• Tips on meeting the R&D needs of today’s leading aerospace and aviation companies
• The importance of collaboration between industry and education

Moderator: Warren Unsicker, CEcD, Vice President of Economic Development, Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation, Broken Arrow, OK


David Bossemeyer, Vice President of Business Development, Greater Wichita Partnership, Wichita, KS
Brian Dalke, CEcD, City Manager, City of Goodyear, Goodyear, AZ
Becca Hardin, President, Bay Economic Development Alliance, Panama City, FL
Bailey Siegfried, Vice President of Culture, Communication and Corporate Responsibility, NORDAM, Tulsa, OK

Girl Power/Muscle Power: Diversifying the STEM Workforce

The shortage of women in STEM careers is a recognized problem, and the causes and solutions lie all along a woman’s path – from sparking an interest in STEM at an early age, to education options, and finally to building a successful career with the help of other female mentors. Economic developers have a role to play in helping women at all stages in their lives to build their interests and capabilities in STEM. This session will look at a variety of initiatives to bring more women into this high-skilled, high-paid profession.

What you will learn:

• Known barriers that inhibit women from pursuing STEM careers
• Coordinating efforts of economic developers, educators and industry to open the doors to women in STEM
• Successful initiatives that have encouraged women to enter the STEM field

Moderator: Scott Martinez, CEcD, President, North Louisiana Economic Partnership, Shreveport, LA


Emily Gold, Community Organizer, Tech Talent South, Dallas, TX
Sarah Linn, PoncaWorks Manager, Ponca City Development Authority, Ponca City, OK
Isla Young, Director K12-STEM Education, Women In Technology Maui Economic Development Board, Kihei, HI

Tectonic Shifts: Economic Development in a Changing World

In a world of rapidly changing technology and trends, it can be hard for an economic developer to know what is around the corner and how it will impact economic development in their community. In this session, experienced facilitators will lead discussions on economic, demographic and institutional forces and best practices for dealing with change.

What you will learn:

• How to recognize trends that may have a big impact on your community
• Solutions your peers have used to deal with dramatic, permanent changes in their communities
• How to orient your strategic planning to better prepare for a rapidly changing economic development environment


Mark Lautman, CEcD, CRE, Economic Architect, Lautman Economic Architecture, Albuquerque, NM
Jon M. Roberts, Principal, TIP Strategies, Inc., Austin, TX

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Conference Reception

The networking reception will be held offsite at the Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA Museum): 101 E Archer St, Tulsa, OK 74103.

Transportation: Buses will begin departing from the Tulsa Hyatt Regency lobby at 5:45. They will continue pickups from the Hyatt approximately every 10 minutes until 6:30.

Return transportation: Buses will begin departing the Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA Museum) at 6:45 and return to the Hyatt for dropoff. Buses will continue pickup from the reception until 7:30.

MONDAY, June 13

8:00 am - 9:30 am

Preparing for the CEcD Exam Workshop

If you are planning to sit for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam, it's never too early to start planning and learning more about the process. All participants and attendees at this workshop will be provided with a complete overview of the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam process, from application to the oral examination. Attendees will learn tools and techniques for preparing for the exam and witness a mock oral interview.

Beginning on January 1, 2015, first-time candidates sitting for the certification exam are required to participate in the "Preparing for the CEcD Exam Workshop," either in-person or via webinar format. Questions regarding this requirement can be sent to Marjorie Rose at

8:30 am - 10:00 am

Plenary Session: Talent Attraction and Retention in the Distribution and Logistics Industry

This morning plenary session will focus on workforce development. David Stewart from MidAmerica Industrial Park will discuss how under his leadership, Mid America is initiating a workforce development plan that revolves around on-site training partners and active community outreach to engage high school students and increase career awareness around opportunities with businesses operating in the park. Fred Barnes, Facility Vice President at Tulsa’s Macy’s Fulfillment Center will discuss Macy’s efforts to create a corporate culture that facilitates the attraction and retention of talent and how the Tulsa facility has used these efforts to successfully ramp up in a matter of months after opening in the summer of 2015.

Master of Ceremonies:

Barry I. Matherly CEcD, FM, President and CEO, Greater Richmond Partnership, Richmond, VA

Keynote Introduction:

Kenny McDonald, CEcD, Chief Economic Officer, Columbus2020, Columbus, OH
Joy Wilkins, CEcD, Economic Development Practitioner, Serving Communities, Atlanta, GA

Keynote Speakers:

Fred Barnes, Facility Vice President, Macy’s Tulsa/Owasso Fulfillment Center, Owasso, OK
David Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer, MidAmerica Industrial Park, Pryor, OK

10:15 am - 11:45 am

Concurrent Sessions

Dual Imperative: Using Healthcare as a Catalyst for Growth

Growing a healthcare industry in your community pay dividends – not only for the strong growth potential of the industry, but because accessible and affordable healthcare is an important prerequisite in company location decisions. The focus for the healthcare industry in the coming years will be on offering better value, access and outcomes, and these trends will be evident in the types of real estate needed, partnerships created, technology utilized and workforce trained. This session will explore what a modern healthcare industry looks like, and how your community can compete.

What you will learn:

• Integrating smaller, locally owned medical facilities with larger corporate entities
• Employment trends and corresponding workforce needs
• How to showcase and promote your modern healthcare system to attract new business


Todd Greene, CEcD, Vice President, Community & Economic Development Research & Policy Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA


Cheryl St. Clair, Associate Director, National Center for Rural Health Works, Stillwater, OK
Deana Epperly Karem, Vice President, Regional Economic Growth, Advance Greater Louisville, Louisville, KY
Paul Umbach, Founder & President, Tripp Umbach, Pittsburgh, PA

Entrepreneurial Immigrants: Fostering Economic Development in Their Adopted Communities

Immigrants tend to be an entrepreneurial bunch – from enriching communities with ethnic establishments to revitalizing neighborhoods with shops selling the essentials. In order for immigrants to realize their potential as entrepreneurs, communities need to provide a welcoming environment and customized resources that take into account the immigrants linguistic and cultural differences. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities available for entrepreneurial immigrants in your community.

What you will learn:

• Successful programs in place that support immigrant entrepreneurs
• Strategies from communities that are actively recruiting immigrants as an action step for economic growth
• Tips on how to create a welcoming environment for a multi-cultural society

Moderator: Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director, Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Rutgers Business School, Newark, NJ


Slater Barr CEcD, President, Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Falls, SD
Betsy Cohen, Executive Director, St. Louis Mosaic Project St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, World Trade Center, St. Louis, MO
Steve Tobocman, Co-Chair, WE Global Network, Detroit, MI

A Confluence of Cultures: Contemporary Economic Development for Native Populations

There are distinct and profound advantages when different cultures merge and interact; and this richness contributes to sustainable economic development. This session will examine the opportunities for native populations to engage with EDOs on economic development priorities and initiatives, and will discuss the opportunities for native population EDOs to develop their own projects for independent and sustainable growth.

What you will learn:

• The dynamics of interactions between EDOs serving native and general populations
• Examples of mutually beneficial engagement between reservations and the general community
• Promising opportunities for native American EDOs to develop and win projects that will bring quality jobs


Dr. James C. Collard PhD, Director of Planning and Economic Development, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Shawnee, OK


Jonna Kirschner, Sr. Vice President Economic Development, Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc., Norman, OK
Andy McMillan, CEcD, Director, Special Projects & Economic Development, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Tulsa, OK

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Keynote Luncheon: The Role of Place in Economic Development

The most extensive plenary session of the conference, this luncheon features Ken Levit from the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The George Kaiser Family Foundation has been instrumental in the development of A Gathering Place for Tulsa. A Gathering Place for Tulsa will transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s waterfront along the Arkansas River into a dynamic and active space and will serve as the largest private donation for a public park in U.S. history. Ken Levit will speak about the role of creating a sense of “place” in a community’s economic development efforts.

Master of Ceremonies:

JoAnn Crary, CEcD, FM, HLM, President, Saginaw Future, Inc., Saginaw, MI

Keynote Introduction:

Janet Smith, Manager, Economic Development, AEP Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Tulsa, OK

Keynote Speakers:

Kenneth Levit, Executive Director, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa, OK

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions


Ignite® IEDC is back for another lightning round of public speaking on economic development issues. Come to learn about a new idea, a successful project or program, and much more. Speakers have 5 minutes and 20 slides to enlighten you!

To apply to be featured during Ignite IEDC, please complete this short online form by May 16, 2016. Speakers will be announced by May 30, 2016.


Darrell W. Auterson, CEcD, EDFP York, PA


Linda H. DiMario, Vice President Economic Development & Tourism, Irvine Chamber of Commerce, Irvine, CA
Kerri Falletti, CEcD, Director, Cowley First- Cowley County Economic Development Partnership, Winfield, KS
Reet Gill, Senior Consultant, OCO Global, London
Chung Tan, Director for Economic Development, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Fayetteville, AR
Joy Wilkins, CEcD, Economic Development Practitioner, Serving Communities, Atlanta, GA

All for One, and One for All: Harnessing Young Energy to Empower Your Community

Young professionals have a vested interest in seeing their communities become excellent places to live, work and play. Many EDOs have been facilitating and nurturing the development of young professional organizations, and have seen positive changes in economic development as a result. From serving as an advocate and voice in attracting new businesses, to being a magnet for attracting additional talent to your city, well organized young professional groups can boost the economic activity and quality of life in their communities.

What you will learn:

• How the presence of young professionals can help improve the quality of life for people of all ages
• How to get a young professional group together in a community of any size
• Examples of how young professional groups successfully attracted new businesses by demonstrating a market need

Moderator: J. Mac Holladay CCE, PCED, LM, HLM, CEO, Market Street Services, Atlanta, GA


Cecilia Harry, Executive Director, Greater Fremont Development Council, Fremont, NE
Daniel Regan, KPM, Vice President, Kanbar Properties, Tulsa, OK

Powering Through: Opportunities for Investment in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

The interdependence between water-energy-food has increasingly become a topic of conversation amongst civic organizations and business leaders. While resource scarcity threatens to inhibit future growth, the good news is that the finding solutions to this problem are opening countless opportunities for innovation. From developments in precision agriculture, water technologies and enhancing energy efficiency – these are just a few of the ways that innovation and economic development opportunities are springing up from this issue.

What you will learn:

• Communities that have built water-energy-food innovation hubs
• Special resources and networks available to entrepreneurs working in this space
• Current policies, strategies and incentives to promote growth of this industry

Moderator: Gynii A. Gilliam, President, Coeur D'Alene Area EDC - Jobs Plus, Coeur D'Alene, ID


Don Cunningham, President & CEO, LVEDC, Lehigh Valley, PA
Mark Herbison, Senior Vice President, Economic Development The Greater Memphis Chamber, Memphis, TN

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Tour: Spurring Private Development through Public Investment $

Built in the 1920s and 1930s during the oil boom, much of Tulsa is characterized by its historic architecture and Art Deco buildings. While the downtown has "good bones", continuous efforts are needed to rebuild and revitalize the urban core. Since 2008, downtown Tulsa has been home to a resurgence of development, with over $1 billion in public and private investments announced, under-construction, or completed. Development was spurred by major public investment projects – the BOK Center and ONEOK Field – and has been further fostered by a growing number of investors and developers committed to rebuilding Tulsa's urban core. Experience the change first hand and see the city as the perfect balance between the old and the new. The bus tour stops will include the BOK Center, ONEOK Field, Guthrie Green, and Glacier Chocolate.

Tour stops:

• BOK Center
• ONEOK Field
• Glacier Chocolate

Price: $55

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Afternoon Plenary Session: Driving Reshoring and Manufacturing Job Creation

The tide has turned in the United States and it is ushering in a revitalization in American manufacturing. From reshoring companies to “Made in America” initiatives, there is an excitement about helping American manufacturers succeed during this new dawn of economic opportunity. As key connectors within their communities, economic developers have a role to play in helping these manufacturers succeed.

This session will feature a keynote speaker from WalMart who will discuss the company’s “Made in America” initiative. By 2023, WalMart has pledged to purchase approximately $250 billion in products that support the creation of American jobs. After the keynote speech, the audience will hear from a three person panel on what it means to make and sell goods in the United States. The panel will consist of a manufacturer that is supplying goods to WalMart, an economic developer that is helping manufacturers in her community connect with WalMart, and the audience will hear more details of the “Made in America” initiative from the WalMart representative.

Master of Ceremonies:

Tracey A. Nichols, Director, Economic Development, City of Cleveland, Department of Economic Development, Cleveland, OH

Keynote Panel Moderator:

Harry Moser, President & Founder, Reshoring Initiative, Kildeer, IL

Keynote Panelist:

Lindsay Frilling, MBA, IOM, CEO, Obion County Joint Economic Development Council, Union City, TN
Nick Santoleri, V-P of Manufacturing and Strategic Sourcing, Rockline Industries, Bentonville, AR

Keynote Speakers:

Joe Quinn, Senior Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations Walmart, Bentonville, AR

6:00 pm - End

Dine Around

Take advantage of the conference’s central location in downtown Tulsa and join your colleagues for a dinner out on the town. Head into one of the 3 neighboring districts to find culinary treasures -- The Art Deco District, The Blue Dome District and the Brady Arts District. IEDC has handpicked several exciting restaurants for conference attendees to explore together. Sign up at the registration desk and we’ll match you up with others for a great outing. IEDC will make the reservations; participants take care of their own financial and logistical needs. Bon appetite!

TUESDAY, June 14

8:30 am - 10:00 am

Concurrent Sessions

Undeniable Attraction: Being a Magnet for Corporate Headquarters

Corporate headquarters can bring a number of benefits to your community -- white collar jobs, a buzz of capital and commerce, and a bit of prestige. But their requirements are multilayered and communities can struggle with meeting their demands. This session will look at the many factors that corporate executives consider when making corporate headquarters location decisions, and how cities large and small can compete.

What you will learn:

• Trends in the factors that matter most when making a headquarters location decision
• How company culture plays a role in location decisions
• Strategies to align workforce development to company needs

Moderator: Allison J.H. Thompson, CEcD, EDFP, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, City of Cedar Hill, Cedar Hill, TX


Thomas A. Kucharski, CEcD, President and CEO, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo, NY
Joseph A. Marinucci, FM, HLM, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Norfolk, VA
Rick L. Weddle, FM, HLM, President and CEO, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Cleveland, OH

A Two-Way Street: Data Needs for Site Selectors and EDOs

The way that the business location community uses data has changed significantly over the past decade. Choosing the right location for a site requires copious amounts of information that comes from public and private databases, consumer trends, and on-the-ground sources. But data is not always accurate and well-suited communities can be overlooked.

EDRP’s new research aligns the needs of business location consultants with the ability of EDOs to present and influence data. Sponsored in part by the Site Selectors Guild, the research is based on two surveys; one administered to the demand side (the site selector community) and one taken by the economic development community. Together, they surveys show what location siting needs are, why they are not being met, and what EDOs can do to get on the radar.

This session will feature representatives of the Site Selectors Guild, who were integral in the development of this research, as well as members of the Industrial Asset Management Council, who also assisted with the research.


Laura Brandt, Director of Economic Development, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Denver, CO
Keith Gendreau, Project Manager, C&W Strategic Consulting, Minneapolis, MN
Mark J. James, CEcD, Vice President, Economic & Business Development American Electric Power, Columbus, OH
Don C. Schjeldahl, Principal, DSG Advisors, Kent, OH

Intermodal Transport: Laying the Path for Economic Development Opportunities

Efficient intermodal systems to move goods from one location to the next are essential to building and maintaining strong economies. Economic developers with an established intermodal cluster in their communities, and those looking to develop them, should be aware of the trends impacting this industry -- trends including consumers’ affinity for e-commerce, the role of technology in the transportation and logistics industry, and the needs of companies that are reshoring jobs from overseas. This session will delve into intermodal trends and how efficient transportation paves the way for economic development opportunities.

What you will learn:

• Trends in trade and intermodal transportation
• Changes in the job market based on the evolving nature of logistics
• Strategies for involving economic developers in the conversation about transportation infrastructure

Moderator: Colby R. Tanner, AVP of Economic Development, BNSF Railway Company, Fort Worth, TX


J. Vann Cunningham, BNSF Assistant Vice President (Ret.), Fort Worth, TX
Reid Dulberger, Certified Economic Development Finance Professional, President and CEO Economic, Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County, Memphis, TN
Curtis Spencer, President, IMS Worldwide Inc., Houston, TX
Melissa A. Ziegler, CEcD, Principal and Lead Practioner, CDM Smith, Knoxville, TN

10:15 am - 11:45 am

Plenary Session: Partnerships to Support Economic Growth

The Economic Future Forum concludes with presentations from speakers that are having a major impact on economic development in northeast Oklahoma. Principal Chief Bill John Baker has served as Chief of the Cherokee Nation since 2011. With nearly 300,000 tribal members, the Cherokee Nation serves as a major economic engine for the state through its gaming enterprises and Cherokee Nation Businesses, as well as a key partner in economic development projects such as landing the Macy’s Order Fulfillment Center. Pierce Norton serves as President and CEO of ONE Gas, one of the largest publicly traded, 100 percent-regulated natural gas utilities in the United States. Pierce will discuss the role of utilities in economic development efforts and ONE Gas’s efforts to build a strong region.

Master of Ceremonies:

Michael Langley, FM, CEO, GREATER MSP, Minneapolis - Saint Paul, MN

Keynote Introduction:

Robert J. Camoin, CEcD, President & CEO, Camoin Associates, Inc., Saratoga Springs, NY
Allison Larsen, CEcD, Principal, TadZo, Yakima, WA

Keynote Speakers:

Bill John Baker, Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK
Pierce Norton, President and Chief Executive Officer, ONE Gas, Tulsa, OK

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Tour: Inland to International - Port of Catoosa $

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the biggest in Oklahoma, and the furthest inland, ice-free port in the United States. In 2014 alone, barges moving in and out of the port brought in nearly 2.5 million tons of cargo to the region. A product of federal infrastructure funding and visionary community planning, the Port of Catoosa stands as a significant asset to northeast Oklahoma by providing existing and potential new businesses with significantly lower transportation costs, and serving as a major employment base for the region. The bus tour will kick off from Port headquarters and include a full tour of the Port's assets and industry located at the Port.

Price: $55

This conference has been approved by the American Planning Association (APA) for certification maintenance credits.