7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) Exam Grading

Are you a current CEcD interested in grading the exam in Atlanta? Contact Marjorie Rose at to sign up. Grading exams counts towards recertification – you will earn two points for assisting on both Saturday and Sunday.

8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Golf Outing at Golf Club of Georgia ($)

Join fellow golfers at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta! Golf Club of Georgia was designed by the famous golf designer Arthur Hills and is consistently recognized as one of the finest 36-hole golf clubs in the country.

Bus Departs: 8:00 am from hotel lobby
Tee Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm returning to hotel by 3:00 pm

Price: $100

12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Volunteer Service Project

Come volunteer with us as we help Park Pride on a project designed to keep community parks a vital part of the city. We will walk from the hotel to two downtown parks and work on landscaping projects such as gardening and mulching throughout the parks. Park Pride is a nonprofit organization that engages communities in their neighborhood parks through volunteer projects, community gardens, and community-led park redesigns and by providing grants for capital park improvements. The registration fee covers a volunteer t-shirt.

Bus Departs: 12:30 p.m. from hotel lobby. Return by 5:00 p.m.

Price: $15. Fee covers transportation costs and a volunteer t-shirt.

9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Registration Desk Open

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

International Forum and International Advisory Committee Meeting

All conference attendees are welcome to observe this roundtable discussion of economic development trends, challenges, and best practices from around the world. Invited speakers representing different countries will each present for several minutes, followed by Q&A from IEDC’s International Advisory Committee and audience as time permits.


Daniel Silverman, Executive Vice President, Investment Attraction, Toronto Global, Toronto, ON, Canada
D. Paul Zito, MBA, Vice President of International Development, RGP Northwest Ohio, Toledo, OH


Roberta Dall’Olio, President, EURADA, Bolonga, Italy
David East, BSc Joint Hons, Head of FDI & Economic Products, Bureau van Dijk - a Moody's Analytics Company, London, UK
Gerry Gabinet, EcD, President, Economic Developers Association Canada (EDAC), Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
Christopher King, CEcD, President, Economic Developers Alberta, Grande Prairie, AB, Canada
Heather Lalonde, CEcD, EcD, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Developers Council of Ontario, Cornwall, ON, Canada
Anthony Mak, MBA, Director, HKTDC, New York, NY
Chantal Ramsay, Associate, Global BMT, Mexico City, DF, Mexico
Bostjan Skalar, CEO, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), Istanbul, Turkey
Dale Wheeldon, President & CEO, British Columbia Economic Development Association, Chilliwack, BC, Canada
Dr. David Wilson, PhD, Chair, Chief Executive, Economic Development NZ, Northland Inc, Whangarei, New Zealand

11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Women's Mentoring Luncheon ($)

In the spirit of women’s empowerment, this luncheon is designed to help women receive support for their professional development. The luncheon will foster mentoring relationships between attendees, and participants will hear insightful stories from trailblazing female leaders across the country. Speakers will address inclusiveness, fostering innovation, and creating change in our communities. Attend this luncheon to network, build relationships, and support female economic development professionals. Wear purple to demonstrate your commitment and dedication to the empowerment and support of others! The Future is Female!

What you will learn:
• Practical steps to support other women in the economic development profession
• The value of self-care and how it impacts your team

Price: $55


Tedra Cheatham, CEcD, Director of Business Partnership Development, Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Atlanta, GA


Rose Burden, Executive Director, Ernst & Young, LLP, Fayetteville, GA
Hon. Jane Campbell, Former Mayor, City of Cleveland, Washington, DC
Crystal Morphis, CEcD, LEED Green Associate, Founder & CEO, Creative Economic Development Consulting, Elkin, NC
Mim Senft, CEO of Motivity and Co-founder of GW4W, Motivity Partnerships and Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W), Blooming Grove, NY

12:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Economic Development Marketplace and IEDC Resource Center Open

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Learning Lab A: Funding an EDO of the Future

Historically, economic development organizations have sought funding from the public sector, with the total amount received making up a significant portion of their budget. However, the problem with public funding is the uncertainty of appropriations. Over the past decade public funding has declined in many markets, while other locations have surged based on the political interests of key decision makers. This session will feature public EDOs as well as public-private partnerships and showcase alternatives to procure funding. The session will also demonstrate how the private sector can provide some funding lost from the public sector and give an overview of effective fundraising techniques.

What you will learn:
• Effective ways to market and fundraise for your economic development organization
• Strategies for approaching private funding options
• Ideas for pursuing new funding streams through various types of services, taxes, and fees


Marty Vanags, CEcD, President, Saratoga Partnership, Malta, NY


Tom DiFiore, MBA, President, National Community Development Services, Atlanta, GA
Michael S. Neal, CCE, CCD, HLM, IOM, President and CEO, Tulsa Regional Chamber, Tulsa, OK
Robert A Radcliff, Managing Principal, Resource Development Group, Columbus, OH

Learning Lab B: Sponsored by Localintel: The World is Changing and so is Economic Development: How technology can be harnessed to truly set your community apart.

The traditional economic development playbook says your website should include vast amounts of statistics and property listings that site selectors supposedly need. Sound familiar? Well times have changed, and economic developers who adapt quickly will benefit the most. In this session you will learn how to leverage the latest technology to create an online presence that truly sets your community apart.

What you will learn:
• How to promote your community’s unique advantages and opportunities
• What insights site selectors really need
• How to create a more resilient and informed local business community


Dave Parsell, Co-founder & CEO, Localintel, Calgary, AB, Canada

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Opening Plenary Session

IEDC's Annual Conference kicks off with welcoming remarks from Atlanta Host Committee Chair Todd Greene, Executive Director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC), and an exciting lineup of keynote speakers.

Welcoming Remarks:

Sara Saxner, MPA, Manager, Regional and Strategic Partnerships, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Atlanta, GA

Master of Ceremonies:

Todd Greene, CEcD,, Executive Director, Atlanta University Center Consortium, Atlanta, GA

Keynote Introduction:

Amity Farrar, J.D., Executive Vice President, POWER 10, Sandy Springs, GA
Bruce Takefman, Founder and President, Research Consultants International, Montreal, QC, Canada

Keynote Speaker:

Egbert L. J. Perry, Chairman & CEO, The Integral Group LLC, Atlanta, GA
Brian Tolleson, Interim CEO, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA

1:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tour: Atlanta BeltLine (Sold Out)

The Atlanta BeltLine, one of the largest urban redevelopment and revitalization projects currently underway in the U.S., directly interacts with 45 neighborhoods in the city. Atlanta BeltLine’s activities are directed toward redeveloping a 22-mile rail corridor to enhance mobility and connectivity throughout the region by building multi-use trails, and a future transit corridor, and encouraging the redevelopment of non-producing properties. Atlanta BeltLine will catalyze the advancement of programmatic goals in job creation, affordable housing, transportation, parks and green space, historic preservation, environmental remediation, and public art. The tour will emphasize modern day placemaking, areas of future redevelopment, areas of current and past success, and an overview of the attraction of $4.1B in new private investment. Explore the diverse geographic and economic segments of this project and see progress toward the goal of 5,600 affordable housing units and 30,000 new permanent jobs!

Hosted by Atlanta BeltLine

Departure at 1:45 p.m.

Price: $55

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Smoothing Out Ruffled Feathers: Turning Around Contentious Projects

A number of agricultural projects have made national headlines due to the environmental impacts and increased congestion that such development brings to communities. Though these projects have the potential to increase the commercial tax base and bring jobs to rural communities, the process for introducing projects of this magnitude must be carefully managed, as residents are sensitive to how they will impact local quality of life. This session will cover issues related to attraction and expansion projects that have drawn heavy and relentless criticism. It will also draw on the experience of economic developers who have managed the challenges of large agricultural projects, and you will hear solutions based on lessons learned.

What you will learn:
• How to keep stakeholders informed, engaged, and supportive of new projects
• Strategies for getting ahead of the rumor mill and community concerns when managing the introduction of a new project
• Innovative tactics to encourage cooperation and project success


Cecilia Harry, CEcD, President and CEO, ENVISION Fond du Lac, Inc., Fond Du Lac, WI


Bryce Davis, City Administrator, City of Eagle Grove, Eagle Grove, IA
Jessica Kolterman, External Affairs, Lincoln Premium Poultry, Seward, NE

Economic Data as a Marketing Tool

Discuss how economic developers tap into available statistics and learn how to use data to identify economic strengths and weaknesses so you can quickly "tell your story" to eager site selectors and local stakeholders. The goal is to allow the data to speak before the conversation begins. Presenters will touch on the economic theory underlying development. This session will be both informative and collaborative as presenters provide ideas, but also endeavor to learn more about how data is currently used by attendees. We'll also explore where developers, location consultants, and site selectors have the greatest need for additional information.

What you will learn:
• How to properly highlight your community's key assets on your website to immediately grab attention
• What statistics are available on your community's business sector
• Case studies of the use of data to communicate competitive advantages by economic developers


Sharon Panek, Chief, GDP by Metropolitan Area, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Washington, DC


Chris Knight, COO & Co-Founder, WAVTEQ, London, UK
Alissa Sklar, Ph.D., VP Marketing, GIS Planning, Inc., Montreal, QC, Canada

The Other Side of the Economic Development Equation: Working for the Private Sector

As economic developers, the majority of our jobs are based in the public sector, at public-private organizations, or at community-based organizations. In these positions, economic developers gain valuable information, and the private sector is certainly taking notice. In recent years we have seen more law firms, real estate companies, large corporations, and accounting and management consulting firms hiring experienced economic developers. This session will feature economic developers who have parlayed their years of experience into lucrative private sector positions.

What you will learn:
• The skills and abilities that the private sector finds attractive in economic developers
• An understanding of the politics on both sides of economic development employment and how it impacts your job
• What training and adjustment is necessary for economic developers who wish to transition to private sector employment


Edward A Nelson, Jr., CEcD, FM, HLM, Chairman, EANI Consulting , Stone Mountain, GA


Mary Ann Moon, CEcD, FM, HLM, Vice President, TICE ENGINEERING, INC., Ridgeland, MS
Scott Poag, CEcD, Director of Business Development, W&A Engineering, Athens, GA
Derieth Sutton, CEcD, EDFP, MS, EPM, Director of Economic Development & Government Relations, Niagara Bottling, LLC, Groveland, FL

Ask the Corporate Real Estate Directors

Hear insights from corporate real estate directors of Fortune 500 companies on the processes and strategies they employ in making location decisions. This panel offers the opportunity to hear from prominent real estate decision makers in a more intimate setting. Blending information from the corporate real estate process with the opportunity to discuss current challenges and trends, this is a session you won't want to miss.

What you will learn:
• The top factors Fortune 500 companies consider when entering into a new market
• Tips to make your community more attractive to corporate investors
• How to effectively respond to RFPs to highlight your community's assets


Calandra Cruickshank, Founder & CEO, StateBook International, Kingston, NY


William Hearn, Commercial Real Estate License, Energy Executive, Site Selectors Guild, Director of Real Estate, Origis Energy, Atlanta, GA
Mike Martin, Vice President, Industrial Development, OmniTRAX, Atlanta, GA
Ron Starner, Executive Vice President, Conway Inc., Norcross, GA
Jeff Swanson, Real Estate Manager, Shaw Industries Group Inc., Dalton, GA

The New Atlanta Way: Creating Opportunities for Everyone

While Atlanta has experienced tremendous economic growth over the past decade, economic development challenges still remain, especially for populated areas of the city where economic development has been more difficult. This session will demonstrate how Atlanta is approaching challenges head on through innovative economic development strategies, including engaging the private sector for place-making, leveraging underutilized assets, and rethinking workforce development approaches to mirror economic development.

What you will learn:
• How to raise awareness about the need to shift the paradigm in economic development to focus on more inclusive growth
• Ways to fostering greater economic inclusion by leveraging the untapped economic assets in low-income communities and communities of color
• The strength of collective action in moving from disconnected communities to an ecosystem of multiple organizations working together for greater impact


Joy Wilkins, CEcD, Economic Development Practitioner, Serving Communities, Atlanta, GA


Chris Burke, Director of Community Relations, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Nancy Flake Johnson, President, Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Ashley Rivera, Managing Director, Atlanta Regional Commission - CATLYST, Atlanta, GA
Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer, Partnership for Southern Equity, Atlanta, GA

Sponsored by Hunden Strategic Partners: Is Your Project Feasible? Developer Asking for Incentives? Learn the Questions to Ask and Process to Succeed!

Join Rob Hunden for a tutorial on the smart process for evaluating a project’s feasibility, whether as a public investment or if a developer is asking for incentives. Rob has been teaching IEDC’s real estate development classes with an entertaining and fast-paced style for nearly 15 years. He will take you through the key steps in the feasibility process, whether for a publicly-funded convention or sports complex, or a privately-developed project. Today’s economic developers are being asked a lot of questions they don't know the answers to. This session will teach you the right questions to ask and about the resources at your disposal, and give examples of each use type. Hunden will cover sports complexes, hotels, convention/conference centers, entertainment/event centers/arenas, mixed-use projects, office, residential, and urban active parks. HSP will use real-world examples from IEDC members in cities large and small to give you the tools you need to confidently move forward.

75 minutes of fun, interactive learning, examples, and heavy Q&A for true learning by participants.


Rob Hunden, President, Hunden Strategic Partners, Chicago, IL

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

First Time Attendee Briefing & Conference Buddy Meet Up

Interested in learning how to successfully navigate your first IEDC Annual Conference? Find everything you need to know to make the most of your time and experience at this event, IEDC’s largest annual gathering of economic developers from around the world.

Price: Free, but registration is required

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Chairman's Reception

Join Board Chair Craig Richard as IEDC welcomes you to Atlanta! This is a great opportunity to kick off your networking and meet the exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall.

7:30 p.m.

International Dinner ($)

A dinner to celebrate the many countries and cultures that are a part of the IEDC family.

Location: White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails

Price: $75

8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

LGBTQ and Friends Social Event ($)

Network with fellow economic development professionals in the LGBTQ community. Learn how your peers navigate the profession, leverage their unique perspectives, and support inclusive, more diverse communities. All while having fun!

Location: Glenn Sky Lounge

Price: $25

9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Young Professional and Student Networking Event at Meehan's Public House

Are you a young economic development professional? Come get involved with your fellow professionals, have a good time, and take this opportunity to expand your networking field.

Please note: This event is limited to students and professionals under 35 years of age or younger.

Price: $10

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Registration Desk Open, IEDC Resource Center Open, Economic Development Marketplace Open

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

New Member/Non-Member Breakfast

Join us to connect with other new IEDC members and members of the IEDC Board of Directors and Membership development Advisory Committee. Learn more about IEDC member benefits and resources, along with information on the Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) program, Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation, Excellence in Economic Awards, and other ways to become more involved through IEDC's advisory committees.

Price: Free, but registration is required

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Learning Lab A - Sponsored By 365 Degree Total Marketing: Technology Trends: Exploring Unbelievable Tools of Engagement

Artificial intelligence has finally reached the point of affordable and vital integration into economic development websites. Learn how to integrate AI to personalize your website and to save relevant industry demographics and building searches for your website viewers convenience. Is your website programmed to find nearby buildings, land, workforce training facilities, etc.? Searches for information “near me” have grown 900% in the past two years. Additional mind-blowing technology trends will include VR tours, live video options and more.

This lab will include :
• VR tours, live video options and ways to track businesses visiting your website and more.


Renee Choate, Director of Brand Development, 365 Degree Total Marketing, Saint Simons Island, GA
Linda Mosely, CEO, 365 Degree Total Marketing, Saint Simons Island, GA
Heath Slapikas, Regional Marketing Director, 365 Degree Total Marketing, Saint Simons Island, GA

Learning Lab B - Sponsored By Golden Shovel Agency: Virtual Reality for Economic Development

Few technologies are changing the way economic developers communicate with prospective businesses and talent more than virtual reality. In this presentation we will explore how VR is being used successfully in the industry today and what to expect over the next year and beyond.

What you will learn:
• How to effectively create a virtual site visit or familiarization tour
• How to integrate virtual models and existing buildings into the virtual reality experience
• How VR connects site selectors and economic developers in new ways through virtual meetings
• Attendees will be have an opportunity to experience virtual reality firsthand


Aaron Brossoit, CEO, Golden Shovel Agency, Little Falls, MN

8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Chair's Welcome and Monday Morning Plenary Session

IEDC Board Chair Craig Richard will provide a recap of the organization’s accomplishments in 2018 and IEDC board member Gynii Gilliam will announce the results of the Amazon Survey. The Economic Equity and Inclusion award recipient will be recognized. This award recognizes programs dedicated to improving the quality of life within a community through focused, innovative, and inclusive initiatives that incorporate the unique experiences and knowledge of underserved members of the community. These programs promote economic equity and inclusion and/or provide increased access to government and community resources to an underserved populace. The three-year program requirement is reduced to one year for this category.

Master of Ceremonies:

Gynii A. Gilliam, President, Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation, Coeur D'Alene, ID

Keynote Introduction:

Chris Chmura, PhD, CEO & Chief Economist, Chmura Economics & Analytics, Richmond, VA

Keynote Panel Moderator:

Chris Chmura, PhD, CEO & Chief Economist, Chmura Economics & Analytics, Richmond, VA
Gilberto Salinas, Chief Strategist & Founder, GilSalinas EcoDevo Concepts, Brownsville, TX

Keynote Speaker:

Raphael Bostic, PhD, CEO and President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Anne Kaiser, Vice President Community and Economic Development, Georgia Power, Atlanta, GA
Javier Díaz de León, Consul General of Mexico, Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Craig Richard, CEcD, FM, President and CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Tampa, FL
Nadia Theodore, Consul General of Canada in Atlanta

Award Presenter:

Tracye McDaniel, Founder and CEO, McDaniel Strategy Ecosystems, Austin, TX

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tour: Center for Civil and Human Rights ($)

Join the Education Team from the Center for Civil and Human Rights for a tour and discussion about equity and bridging the gap between diverse communities. Learn through The Center's exhibitions on civil and human rights the various ways equity has been addressed and what challenges we still have to overcome. Following the tour, participate in a conversation on how the Center upholds its mission and reflect on the work that you have done and continue to do to bridge the gaps regarding equity.

Hosted by Center for Civil and Human Rights

Departure - 8:45 a.m.

Price: $55

8:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Tour: Aerotropolis Atlanta (Sold Out)

Get a firsthand look at Atlanta’s next up and coming international district, Aerotropolis Atlanta. Sights and stops will include the world’s most traveled airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the international headquarters of Delta Air Lines, the North American headquarters of Porsche, and the redevelopment of Fort McPherson.

Hosted by Aerotropolis Atlanta

Departure - 8:45 a.m.

Price: $55

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Innovative Retail Strategies for Challenging Urban Environments

Attracting and sustaining retail in distressed or long-vacant urban environments is no easy task. Cities with significant underserved markets face even greater challenges and continue to explore and redefine best practices for attracting retail businesses of all sizes. Underfinanced entrepreneurs, untested markets, and new marketing concepts, as well as high barriers to entry in the form of regulatory and permitting issues, all serve to hamper small business development. This session will explore how three major metro areas are using innovative strategies to introduce new retailing concepts, creative financing schemes, and regulatory tools to improve the downtown retail environment.

What you will learn:
• How data-driven social enterprise can serve as a tool to support retail as an element of transformative neighborhood change
• Innovative strategies to fill retail space in underserved neighborhoods
• What are some creative new practices in retail attraction and small business development?


Larisa Ortiz, Principal, Larisa Ortiz Associates, Jackson Heights, NY


Paul Lipson, Principal, Baretto Bay Strategies, New York, NY
Rodrick T. Miller, President & CEO, Ascendant Global, Detroit, MI
Lyneir Richardson, CEO, Chicago TREND, Chicago, IL

Cooperating Across Borders: Leveraging Relationships for Global Relevance

Historically, EDOs and Investment Promotion Agencies have often viewed each other as competitors, but inclusive and innovative economic development requires cooperating across industries, borders, and cultures. How can EDOs foster mutually-beneficial collaborations with similar organizations and IPA's? This panel will provide actionable insights on ways to develop regional and international partnerships that can provide value to your community.

What you will learn:
• How collaboration between EDOs and similar organizations can better connect to global markets and global supply chains
• How to construct mutually-beneficial relationships with IPAs in other countries to create business-to-business linkages
• How to find opportunities for cross border workforce development exchanges as a means of upgrading skill sets


Sarah Bauerle Danzman, PhD, CEcD, Assistant Professor of International Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN


Mary Hebert, Senior Vice President, North America, WAVTEQ, Scottsdale, AZ
Pilar Madrigal, Head of Investment Promotion and Aftercare, Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency-CINDE, New York, NY
Dan Silverman, Executive Vice President, Investment Attraction, Toronto Global, Toronto, ON, Canada
Bostjan Skalar, CEO, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), Istanbul, Turkey

Reinventing BRE in the Global Economy

Traditionally, economic developers have defined business retention and expansion (BRE) as an annual visitation and survey process with private sector employers. This static model is often at odds with the dynamic nature of globally competitive companies. This session will identify and explore new, cost-effective tools and techniques that allow economic developers to actively intersect with and engage their most dynamic private sector constituents. These new tools for BRE have the added benefit of relationship-building and additing strategic value over traditional, inwardly focused survey-centric models.

What you will learn:
• What are the new BRE methodologies that will help you keep pace with dynamic global firms?
• How to use new cost-effective BRE tools that will promote continual communication with your businesses
• Benefits of relationship making versus data gathering approaches to BRE


Laith Wardi, CEcD, President, ExecutivePulse, Inc., Erie, PA


Erik Collins, MA, Director - Community & Economic Development, Montgomery County, Dayton, OH
Allison Larsen, CEcD, Principal, TadZo, Buckeye, AZ
Jenny Mizutowicz, CEcD, Economic Development Manager, City of Carrollton, Carrollton, TX
Dale Wheeldon, President & CEO, British Columbia Economic Development Association, Chilliwack, BC, Canada

Intersection of Food and Economic Development

Food has always played a major role in social interaction, presenting local culture and creating a sense of community. However, how we shop for food and the role it plays in our daily interactions has changed significantly. Food is a driver of economic and real estate investment. From traditional grocers to farmers' markets to food halls, to other forms of agritourism and farm-to-table movements, communities of all sizes are using food to drive traffic, attract residents, and fill obsolete space. This session will feature a panel of experts involved with a range of food formats to talk about this foodie culture and its importance to the local economy.

What you will learn:
• Economics of food-oriented real estate
• Fundamental principles for success including key partners, funders, lease requirements, and more
• Opportunities to enhance entrepreneurial development from artisan products, local grocers, and urban farmers through co-ops and more


Catherine Timko, Principal/CEO, The Riddle Company, Wilmington, DE


Haile Johnston, Founding Partner, The Common Market, Philadelphia, PA
Thomas McNair, Executive Director, Ohio City Incorporated, Cleveland, OH
Michael Phillips, President, Jamestown LLP, Atlanta, GA
Adam Schwegman, Senior Vice President, Brookfield Properties Retail, Atlanta, GA

Workforce Development Round Robin

This Round Robin session will allow attendees to visit with each case study for intimate 15-minute conversations. Background information on each case study will be provided to attendees in advance so that they can familiarize themselves with the case studies and come to the Round Robin prepared to ask questions. Groups will rotate between each case study until participants have visited all case studies in 90 minutes.


Robin Roberts Krieger, FM, HLM, Owner, RRK Resources, Edmond, OK

A. Workforce Development for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: Spectrum Living Solutions is a social enterprise in Fayetteville, Arkansas that has deployed a new model for economic and workforce development for those with autism and other developmental disabilities. Through strong partnerships with educational institutions, health care, city-based economic developers, and the private sector, the presenters will discuss how this new initiative is serving as a catalyst for corporations and small businesses to hire, train, and support a historically underutilized workforce.


Devin Howland, CEcD, Director of Economic Vitality, City of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Justin Kelly, M.A., Clinical Psychology, Director of Clinical Services - Eastern Massachusetts Adult Services, May Institute, Middleboro, MA
Ashton McCombs, Chairman of Board, Spectrum Living Solutions, Fayetteville, AR

B. Economic Development Leadership in Workforce Development: For years, economic developers have known that workforce development is often the most important issue businesses face when considering an expansion or relocation. However, many economic developers struggle to identify the role that they can and should play in their community's workforce development. This session will highlight two regional economic development organizations that have taken leadership in this space.


Sarah Miller, Associate Vice President, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Chicago, IL


Waymond Jackson, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Birmingham Business Alliance, Birmingham, AL
Dan Restuccia, Chief Product and Analytics Officer, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, MA
Linda Topoleski, Vice President, Workforce Programs and Operations, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Pittsburgh, PA

C. Anchor Collaborative in New Orleans: Launched in 2014 through a partnership with NOLABA, Network for Economic Opportunity, Greater New Orleans Foundation and 15 major employers, this program is committed to expanding employment and contracting opportunities to local residents and businesses. The Anchor Collaborative was formed to deliver customized strategies to help businesses connect to a needed workforce and strives to connect disadvantaged job seekers to opportunities.


Quentin Messer Jr., President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), New Orleans, LA

D. Data – Knowledge – Action: A 2017 IEDC award-winning project, this case study will focus on how it is possible to have workforce development success in a rural area. Lee County Economic development Group used creativity and relationship building to bring together industries, schools, students, partner agencies, and stakeholders to develop a new set of workforce initiatives.


Dennis Fraise, CEcD, Chief Operating Officer, Lee County Economic Development Group, Burlington, IA

E. Bastrop Youth Career Day: Bastrop Youth Career Day is one of the key community initiatives to advance high school graduate workforce readiness while enhancing economic development. This is an annual event for juniors and seniors that couples formal presentations by business professionals with a career fair featuring employers and post-secondary educational institutes.


Jean Riemenschneider, Project Manager, Workforce Education Manager, Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, Bastrop, TX

Sponsored by Development Counsellors International: Oil and Water, or Bread and Butter? Getting Biz Dev and Marketing in Sync

The best performing EDOs have their business development and marketing teams in the room each step of the way, and it isn’t just lip service. Learn how to develop a culture of working together, from targeting to nurturing to assessing impact.

What you will learn:
• Practical ways business development and marketing heads can collaborate for successful economic development recruitment and BRE
• How to build a culture of collaboration
• Examples of specific joint initiatives that have resulted in real results


Steve Duncan, Director Lead Generation, DCI, Denver, CO


Irene Alvarez, Managing Director Marketing and Communications, Columbus 2020, Columbus, OH
Lisa Corcoran, VP Marketing & Communications, Calgary Economic Development, Calgary, AB, Canada
Matt McQuade, Managing Director, Business Development, Columbus 2020, Columbus, OH

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Economic Development Ethics Workshop (Sold Out)

Are you faced with ethical dilemmas in your professional life? Do you have the tools to deal with ethical issues? Economic developers regularly encounter situations that require sound judgment and strength of character. Saying no is not always easy but may be the right thing to do. This session will provide essential instruction on ethics in economic development and will provide you with the tools to foster a culture of high standards in your organization. No theoretical lecture, this workshop will focus on real life ethical situations faced by economic developers where your decisions could mean the difference between success and failure in your career and life.

Note: Due to the large number of attendees at these workshops, we are unable to accommodate requests to transfer registration between the Sunday and Monday ethics sessions. Ethics workshops will also be held at the 2019 Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale, January 27 - 29, 2019 and at the 2019 Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 13-16, 2019. Ethics training is a requirement for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) recertification processes. CEcDs who seek recertification are required to have two hours of ethics training each time they recertify.

Price: Free, but registration is required


Lara Fritts, CEcD, Director of the Department of Economic Development, Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development, Salt Lake City, UT
Scott Martinez, CEcD, President, North Louisiana Economic Partnership, Shreveport, LA

11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Student and YP Mentorship and Networking Lunch

This unique mentorship opportunity should not be missed. Students and young professionals will meet and interact with seasoned economic developers. Mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wealth of experience to share. Students and young professionals bring new energy that experienced economic developers find exciting for the profession. After the initial mentorship session, participants will have the opportunity to have lunch together to continue conversations and make more lasting connections. Box lunches will be provided.

Note: Registration is free, but registration is required. Limited to students and professionals under 35 years of age or younger. Mentors will be selected by invitation.

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Networking Luncheon in the Economic Development Marketplace

Connect with old friends, meet new colleagues, and check out the exhibit booths in this year's Economic development Marketplace. Box lunches will be provided.

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Defining Issues Luncheon The Impact of Opioid Use in America ($)

Did you know that opioids kill 115 people a day and that the cost of the country’s opioid crisis is estimated to have exceeded $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017. This crisis is projected to cost an additional $500 billion by 2020, according to analysis released by Altarum, a nonprofit health research and consulting institute. The opioid epidemic has impacted communities across the country, in cities large and small, and in members of all social and economic demographics. Economic developers are being faced with the implications of this scourge, from workforce to the resource drain occurring as communities respond. Our 2018 Defining Issues Luncheon will focus on the economic impact of the epidemic, the response, and the outlook for the future.

Price: $55


Angie Gheesling, Executive Director, Development Authority of Houston County, Warner Robins, GA


Bob Ellis, Fulton County Commission Vice Chairman, Fulton County, Atlanta, GA

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Networking Luncheon: Elected Officials and Board of Directors EDOs ($)

IEDC extends a special welcome to elected officials and members of EDO boards. Join this luncheon to network and discuss economic development strategies in your community. All registered attendees of the conference are invited to register.

Price: $55


Misti Martin, CEcD, President & CEO, Cherokee Office of Economic Development, Woodstock, GA


Hon. Jane Campbell, Former Mayor, City of Cleveland, Washington, DC
Hon. Shawn Hogan, Executive Consultant, City of Hornell Industrial Development Agency, Hornell, NY
Regina Lindsey, CEcD, Chief Executive Officer and President, Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, Beaumont, TX

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Learning Lab A: Sponsored by ProTRACK Plus: Two New Management Enhancing Tools for the Future of Economic Development

Virtually every session is about rapid changes in the economic development profession and what’s next. The common question being asked is, “How can we boost transparency, relevance, accountability and credibility to meet our stakeholders' increasing demands?” This session will present two very different but enormously important tools to help you succeed in the future.

What you will learn:
• How to get…keep…and…do your job well!
• The importance of having an employment contract and how to negotiate yours. You will receive a copy of IEDC’s new contract template to help create your own agreement.
• See a demonstration on how to automate all stakeholder reporting of contacts, projects, incentives, BRE, and marketing using the all new ProTRACKPlus, the simplest app of the market today.


Michael Capilets, Managing Director, SVAM International, Inc., Great Neck, NY


Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM, HLM, President & CEO, Charlotte Regional Partnership, Charlotte, NC
Tim Chase, CEcD, FM, National Sales Manager, ProTRACKPlus, Georgetown, TX
Rick Weddle, FM, HLM, President & CEO, Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Norfolk, VA

Learning Lab B: Sponsored by OCO Global: Beyond intelligence. Harnessing the knowledge and insights in investment promotion

Disruption feeds innovation. OCO Global is supporting the UK’s Department of International Trade as they prepare for Brexit - one of the most disruptive economic events happening right now in Europe. There are challenges but also opportunities. We are helping the UK to harness these through development of an agile Knowledge Lab.

What you will learn:
• On the front foot: Using intelligence and research to understand the best investment and trading markets and sectors for your region, and proactively targeting.
• The portfolio technique: Learning from the finance community’s approach of pursuing latest corporate hot properties by matching demand with specialist capability.
• Death to the 40-slide Powerpoint: Talking to investors in language and through media that is 21st century by leveraging social and digital platforms


Reet Gill, Director Velociti, OCO Global, London, UK
Mark O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer, OCO Global, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

12:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tour: Georgia Film Academy and Georgia State University Creative Media Industries Institute (Sold Out)

The film industry in Georgia is booming – currently ranked third in the nation and fifth in the world for number of productions, behind only Hollywood and New York. Industry growth over the next three to five years is projected to generate 3,000 to 5,000 new jobs in Georgia, most of which would be on set. The average annual earnings in these jobs is $84,000, and the state has partnered with the University System of Georgia to help provide training to meet the demand.

In this session you will tour the Georgia Film Academy and Georgia State University Creative Media Institute and hear from local film industry and state economic development leaders on the evolution and impact of Georgia’s film industry.

Hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development

Price: $55

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Opportunities and Implications of Urban Industrial Strategies

Many economic development professionals today feel as though they are at a crossroads, facing a choice between preserving and growing existing industrial assets and supporting a trend toward innovation- and amenities-focused economies. Must these two be mutually exclusive? Join this session for a discussion on an intriguing new topic. This session will equip city leaders and economic development professionals with the tactical strategies necessary to leverage the opportunities and job creation potential of a city’s industrial clusters while also preserving the need for balanced land use policy to create vibrant urban neighborhoods.

What you will learn:
• How to grow your industrial assets and innovation-based economies in tandem
• How a thoughtful industrial strategy can align with equitable economic development goals
• The role of port authorities as drivers of equitable economic growth


Zachary Nieder, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Boston, MA


Richard Overmoyer, President & CEO, Fourth Economy Consulting, Pittsburgh, PA
Courtney Pogue, CCIM, Director of Economic Development, City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, Dallas, TX
Todd Rufo, Economic Development Advisor, Bloomberg Associates, New York, NY
Ford Weber, CEcD, Director of Economic Development, City of Dayton, Dayton, OH

Leveraging Data as a Strategy Towards Economic Inclusion

Communities across the U.S. are facing rising levels of income inequality, widening opportunity gaps, and more severely distressed neighborhoods and populations. In many cases these disparities are a drag on the regions' advancement and morale. As economic developers, we have a general responsibility to grow our respective communities and aim for balanced growth. This session will help participants to identify and apply labor market data to support strategizing towards more inclusive economic development.

What you will learn:
• How to identify the critical occupations and industries that best match your targeted demographics
• Finding location and community data to localize your strategy
• Using postsecondary completion to map out career pathways


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


Chris Chmura, PhD, CEO & Chief Economist, Chmura Economics & Analytics, Richmond, VA
Ben Magill, Executive Director, Labor Market Intelligence Center Dallas County Community College District, Dallas, TX
Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM, President and CEO, Greater Richmond Partnership, Richmond, VA

Placemaking Round Robin

This Round Robin session will allow attendees to visit with placemaking case study communities for intimate 20-minute conversations. Background information on each case study will be provided to attendees in advance so that they can familiarize themselves with the cases and come to the Round Robin prepared to ask detailed questions. Groups will rotate around the room until they have visited all case studies in 90 minutes.


Amy Clickner, CEcD, CFRM, CEcD, CFRM, CEO, Lake Superior Community Partnership, Marquette, MI

A. Building Community Confidence Through Creative Placemaking: CityWide has used placemaking opportunities to transform neighborhoods, create gateways, and most importantly, restore confidence in the community in Dayton, Ohio. From transforming an abandoned intersection into a mini-park with containing public art to reclaiming an overgrown inner-city lake that was once part of an amusement park built in the 1890s, CityWide will highlight two completed projects and one on the drawing board to demonstrate how creative partnerships can create creative placemaking.


John D. Gower, Urban Design Director, CityWide Development Corporation, Dayton, OH
Nicole Steele, Project Manager, CityWide Development, Dayton, OH

B. The Outfield Project – Leveraging Assets for Creative Placemaking: This session will use the IEDC Gold & Silver Excellence Award winning Lansing Lugnuts Outfield Redevelopment Project as an example of how to attract private development with public facilities. By leveraging existing assets communities can achieve: placemaking, downtown revitalization, and talent attraction, and provide unique housing and affordable entertainment options.


Karl Dorshimer, CEcD, EDFP, Director of Business Development, Lansing Economic Development Corporation, Lansing, MI

C. Maintaining your Community’s Authenticity: How can your city shape its public realm to create economic value and spur growth, while maintaining its true character and culture? Creative placemaking can become a platform for gentrifying a neighborhood without regard for its formative heritage and culture. Conversely, it can be a powerful tool to maintain authenticity and unify diverse communities when the right tools are applied.


Anna Bentson, Assistant Director, Economic Development & Tourism, City of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, VA
Marjette Upshur, Director, Economic Development, City of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, VA

D. Growing Wealth Through Placemaking: In a time of uncertainty of federal programs, communities that are feeling the crunch of municipal budgets must grow their own wealth. Placemaking, while often considered just a way to create beautiful places, is also a revolutionary tactic for preserving and distributing municipal and personal wealth. Learn how a sprawling growth model overwhelms city budgets, how cities and regions are generating investment from a focus on quality of life, and how marginalized neighborhoods are benefiting from an incremental, bottom-up development strategy.


Joseph Minicozzi, AICP, Principal, Urban3, Ashville, NC
Nicole Thompson, EDFP, President & CEO, Downtown Durham, Inc, Durham, NC

The Early Pipeline for Economic Development Success – Children and Youth

Economic development professionals can support local, state, and national efforts to improve access to early learning and child care in numerous ways. The economic development sector can shine a light on workforce needs and how early investments can support the growth of the future workforce. Economic developers can also work with local business organizations to help business leaders who are interested in quality child-care systems that allow parents to enter the workforce and help children prepare for school. We can also support child-care programs that in themselves are small businesses that can benefit from business training and financing services that economic development offices can help provide or help child-care businesses connect with.

What you will learn:
• How early childhood development sets the trajectory for human capital development and workforce productivity
• Which economic development policies and practices can support the early learning sector
• Why business leaders benefit from a high quality child-care system that helps parents enter the workforce and be more productive on the job


Rob Grunewald, Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN


Stephanie Blank, Founding Chair, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, Atlanta, GA
Rob Grunewald, Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN
Thomas Lamb, Senior Vice President, State & Local Government Affairs, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
Dennis Winters, Chief Economist, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Madison, WI

Sponsored by ROI Research on Investment: You Can Do It: Achievable Actions to Find and Communicate Directly With Prospects

You have identified your target markets, your target sectors, and a list of target firms. Now what? In this mini workshop, we will present best practices to effectively get and keep the attention of potential prospects. Topics will include outreach timing, effective engagement, building out low-cost digital tools, and tips to train existing staff to execute.

What you will learn:
• Steps to becoming a trusted advisor to prospects to start the conversation
• How to build and execute multi-touch outreach templates
• The best low-cost digital tools to make a big impact with little budget
• Outreach timing and tips to train existing staff
• Keys to effective nurturing, building of social capital, and reciprocity


Steven Jast, Founder and President, ROI Research on Investment, Montreal, QC, Canada
Rebecca Moudry, Vice President, Business Development, ROI Research on investment, Washington, DC

3:15 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Silent Auction and Ice Cream Social

Bid on an extraordinary and unique range of items that communities donate to express their individual pride of place at the IEDC Annual Conference. Silent auction items may be previewed and bid on in the Exhibit Hall beginning Sunday and concluding Monday during the ice cream social. Get the scoop from exhibitors while enjoying your favorite flavors. Proceeds from the auction benefit the Diane Lupke Scholarship Fund, which provides professional development to economic developers in distressed areas.

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

ED Talks

The highly popular ED Talks are back for a second year! IEDC has selected four compelling speakers to present on topics of their choosing. These speakers will use their stories and experiences to help us find deeper meaning in the work that we do as economic developers.


Robert Van Geons, CEcD, President & CEO, Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation, Fayetteville, NC


Andrew Levine, President & Chief Creative Officer, Development Counsellors International (DCI), New York, NY


Edward Eliyah "Eli" Hamner, Alumni Member, Back on My Feet Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Amy Holloway, President & Chief Sherpa, Avalanche Consulting, Inc., Austin, TX
Dr. Eloisa Y. Klementich, CEcD, President and CEO, Invest Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Ryan Lilly, Vice President of Business Creation, Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, Ocala, FL

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Championing Economic Development

As some communities experience an uptick in the negative rhetoric against economic development, it is an opportunity for all to examine the reasons for skepticism and best practices on how to respond. Several economic development experts firmly believe that the profession needs to go on the offensive to demonstrate its value proposition. What practical steps can economic developers take to transform the doubters into champions of economic development?

This session will present the research conducted by the Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP) program on its forthcoming paper, Championing Economic Development, in the fall. Attend this session and be a part of the research effort to develop a toolkit for economic developers to effectively defend their profession and better engage with skeptics.

Key takeaways:
• Understand the themes underlying the different types of negative rhetoric against economic development
• Learn strategies and tactics from communities that have addressed criticisms of economic development in the past, as well as approaches to prevent new ones
• Preview tools being developed by the EDRP research team to help EDOs better communicate their value proposition and respond effectively when attacked


Brett Doney, CEcD, FM, President & CEO, Great Falls Development Authority, Inc., Great Falls, MT


Cathy Chambers, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, JAXUSA Partnership, Jacksonville, FL

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Generational Marketing for Stronger Communities

People are not homogeneous in the way they process, consume, and act on marketing messages or economic development communications. Economic developers will walk away from this session equipped with the tools they need to target various generations from a marketing perspective, understanding how each group acts, thinks, feels, and makes purchasing decisions. This session will deconstruct generational differences as they relate to perceptions, attitudes, and opinions of the places where we live, work, and play.

What you will learn:
• Current trends in high-level marketing tactics for four distinct generations – Millennials, Boomers, the Silent Generation, and Gen Z
• Content strategies that influence and elicit actions from various generations
• Ideas for distinct yet inclusive marketing campaigns that address generational gaps


Ben Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Integrated, Denver, CO


Natalie Gibson, President, InnoVisions and Associates, Airdrie, AB, Canada
Sandy Spounagle, CEO, Platinum PR, Frederick, MD
Sherron Washington, M.A., CEO, The P3 Solution, Silver Spring, MD

Answer This: EconDev YPs Tackle the Industry's Most Challenging Questions

Now in its fourth year, IEDC's young professionals will reconvene for an "Answer This" workshop designed to apply fresh minds to some of today's most difficult industry questions. Gathering in small groups, YPs will roll up their sleeves and collectively come up with answers to a new set of questions submitted both by their peers and by seasoned professionals seeking a fresh perspective to their challenges. Focused and time-limited small group discussions will result in agreed upon solutions, selections of spokespersons, and report-outs for the benefit of all participants.


Andy Buffington, CEcD, Business Marketing & Research Manager, Cedar Hill EDC, Cedar Hill, TX

Partnering for Economic Recovery and Resiliency Success

Before, during, and after a natural or manmade disaster, it's all hands on deck to meet the economic preparedness and recovery needs of the community. Over the years, IEDC members have participated in numerous economic recovery programs with the U.S. Economic development Administration and other federal partners. In this session, we invite partners who have participated in various recovery efforts to share the resources available in their toolboxes and how they have worked with community leaders for the common goal of economic recovery and resilienc following natural disasters.

What you will learn:
• Hear on the ground lessons learned from federal officials
• Discover the tools that are being used to support economic recovery around the U.S. and beyond
• Learn how different economic recovery tools can be used together


Dariel Curren, Senior Vice President, Development Counsellors International, New York, NY


Emily Brown, Economic Development Strategist, Fourth Economy Consulting, Pittsburgh, PA
Adam Grinold, Executive Director, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Brattleboro, VT
John R. Zakian, CEcD, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Minot, Minot, ND

Economic Development and the LGBTQ Community

Economic development organizations are continually innovating on ways to attract new businesses and residents to their communities. But in many cases, all the billboards, websites, and postcards will not bring the needed investment and jobs to their communities if they omit messages of inclusion to people from marginalized populations. This includes those from the LGBT community. This session will feature jurisdictions that have achieved success with strategies of inclusion and diversity in how they portray their community.

What you will learn:
• Exploring the correlation between inclusion of LGBT and economic vitality of a community
• How to promote, not hide, the diversity of your community
• Combating harmful policies and reputations that prevent your community from being inclusive and welcoming


Kevin S. Schmotzer, E.D., Executive, Small Business Development, City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development, Cleveland, OH


Benjamin Moore, Senior Economic Development Manager, Louisville Forward, Louisville, KY
John B. Sternlicht, Esq., CEcD, CEO, Economic Development Association of Skagit County, Mount Vernon, WA
Nicole Thompson, EDFP, President & CEO, Downtown Durham, Inc, Durham, NC

Changing Tides in FDI: U.S. Tax Reform, Brexit, CETA and their impacts on FDI and SMEs

As policy changes in the U.S. and other countries try to improve prospects for local businesses and limit the scope and impact of foreign business interests, the implications are not as simple and straightforward in today's globalized and interconnected economy. Join this panel of global experts for a conversation on a variety of foreign direct investment (FDI) related topics and the interplay of the various policy changes on small and medium enterprises. The panelists will also talk about strategies that SMEs can adopt to be more resilient to such policy changes, as well as the role economic developers play.

What you will learn:
• The impact of U.S. tax reform and Brexit on FDI (inbound and outbound U.S. FDI)
• The impact of trade agreements on FDI
• How FDI policy changes impact SMEs and how they can be more resilient
• The role of economic developers


Paul Zito, MBA, Vice President of International Development, RGP Northwest Ohio, Toledo, OH


James Blair, Managing Director, Navigator Consulting LLC, Atlanta, GA
Todd Grates, J.D., LL.M., Senior Manager, KPMG, Atlanta, GA
Annika Jostmeier, Manager, Foreign Direct Investment, Conway Advisory, Berlin, Germany
Lee Malleau, EVP, International Investment and Trade, Edmonton Global, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Mark O'Connell, Chief Executive Officer, OCO Global, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Sponsored by Coastal Cloud: Boosting Economic Development Through Salesforce

Coastal Cloud has developed a robust, innovative solution to empower economic development professionals to holistically view projects and historic company engagement, audit financial incentives, manage BRE activities, review facility information, and more in a single platform.

This solution streamlines all aspects of the ED professional’s activity and significantly reduces inefficiency, eliminates inaccurate data, and forecasts incoming growth. Everything you need to know is a click away and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, on any device.

What you will learn:
• Trusted Experience - Coastal Cloud has built this solution with former economic development executives who know the ins and outs of the industry.
• Pre-Built Reporting - We have pre-built industry standard reporting such as project status, job growth, investment growth, investment type, BRE Visits, economic impact, etc.
• Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device - Being able to access information while on the go is a current challenge for all professionals.


Erik Dunnigan, MBA, Managing Director, Coastal Cloud, Louisville, KY

6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Recognition Dinner at the Georgia Aquarium ($)

Join IEDC and your peers in honoring the year's most influential economic development leaders at THE social event of the conference. Honors to be conferred are:

• Fellow Members (FM)
• Honorary Life Members (HLM)
• Young Economic Development Professional of the Year
• Leadership Award for Public Service
• Citizen Leadership Award
• Institutional Leadership Award
• Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award
• Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Economic Development, in honor of Edward deLuca

Location: Georgia Aquarium, Oceans Ballroom

Price: $100

7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Registration Desk Open, IEDC Resource Center Open, Economic Development Marketplace Open

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

DCI Fun Run/Walk

All IEDC attendees are invited to join their economic development peers for an early morning group run/walk through downtown Atlanta starting in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. There will be options for a 6 Mile or a 3 Mile route. The first 50 participants receive a limited edition t-shirt! Hope you can join us prior to beginning your day at IEDC Annual Conference!

Meet in lobby of Hyatt Regency Atlanta (conference hotel). Groups will run either a 6M or a 3M.

7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

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.

Note: 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

Price: Free, but registration is required

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Learning Lab A - Sponsored by Impact DataSource: The Data You WISH You Could Buy

"Big data" on demographics, workforce, retail, businesses/industry, and sites can be helpful for recruitment efforts and easy and inexpensive to purchase. However, economic development organizations be it a result of frequent turnover or lack of time and/or staff – can let vital metrics slip through their hands by insufficiently collecting and organizing their own data. In this session we will discuss what specific pieces of information EDOs should collect and track over time on prospective and past projects.

What you will learn:
• The types of internal data to consider collecting
• The methods to use to collect internal data
• How internal metrics can be used to demonstrate the EDO’s value to community stakeholders


Paul Scheuren, Principal/Economist, Impact DataSource LLC, Austin, TX

Learning Lab B - Sponsored by Resonance Consultancy: Benchmarking and Building Your Community’s Brand

Place branding is about creating a compelling case for why your location matters, and the secret to place branding lies in highlighting a city’s unique competitive identity. Resonance Consultancy President Chris Fair and New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate Professor and Urban Lab Director Steven Pedigo will share their latest research on the factors that shape a city’s competitive identity as a place to do business, live, and visit. They’ll also share new research on which of these perception-shaping factors are most highly correlated with attracting foreign direct investment, with examples of how economic development organizations can use this information to create authentic, data-driven positioning and marketing strategies to engage the audiences they are seeking to attract.

What you will learn:
• An understanding of why a competitive identity is critically important for attracting investment
• A framework for uncovering factors that help shape a community’s identity
• Best practices and case studies from communities that have effectively built city brands


Chris Fair, President, Resonance Consultancy, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Steven Pedigo, Associate Partner, Resonance Consultancy, Vancouver, BC, Canada

7:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Downtown Walking Tour (Sold Out)

Downtown Atlanta’s central business district is the region’s economic and cultural engine. Home to over 154,000 employees, four Fortune 500 companies, 15 million annual visitors, and over 26,000 residents, there is something that everyone can enjoy. Join local redevelopment staff from Central Atlanta Progress for a walking tour through Downtown highlighting some of the city’s major redevelopment projects. Along the route, learn how the city’s historic core is being “rediscovered” thanks to major investments from both private and public sectors such as Georgia State University. Hear from property owners and developers about how their projects came to fruition and how they took advantage of innovative financing tools.

Hosted by Central Atlanta Progress

Departs at 7:45 a.m.

Price: $55

8:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Tour: Technology Square (Sold Out)

Take a walking tour of some of the highlights at the epicenter of high tech collaboration. Technology Square (Tech Square) is the main hub of innovation at Georgia Tech. It’s here that Georgia Tech’s collaborative partners tap into the expertise of students, faculty, and researchers to transfer ideas and technology from labs to the marketplace. Within Tech Square’s 1.4 million square feet and surrounding areas are over 20 corporate innovation, design, development, and technology centers. A diverse set of companies such as Delta Air Lines, Honeywell, UCB, AT&T, Siemens, Stanley Black and Decker, Home Depot, Chick fil A, NCR, and Anthem leverage the talent, technology, and innovation found here. In 2019 Tech Square will expand with the addition of Coda, a nearly 750,000 square-foot mixed-use innovation hub of advanced computing that will create new opportunities in interdisciplinary research, commercialization, and sustainability. During this site visit and tour you will learn about top ranking incubation and accelerator programs and the spaces they have created to attract entrepreneurs, startups, and corporate labs as well as discuss the elements that create communities of innovation here in Midtown.

Hosted by Georgia Tech

Departs at 8:15 a.m.

Price: $55

8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Plenary Session

This plenary session will feature keynote speakers from the world of economic development.

MOU Signing:

Craig Richard, CEcD, FM, President and CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Tampa, FL
Dr. David Wilson, PhD, Chair, Chief Executive, Economic Development NZ, Northland Inc, Whangarei, New Zealand

Master of Ceremonies:

Thomas A. Kucharski, CEcD, President & CEO, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo, NY


Dr. Eloisa Y. Klementich, CEcD, President and CEO, Invest Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

Keynote Introduction:

Jeff Kline, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President, Accrisoft Corporation, Charlotte, NC

Keynote Speaker:

Shan Cooper, Former Chief Transformation Officer, WestRock, Atlanta, GA
Gretchen Corbin, President and CEO, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Atlanta, GA
Tad Hutcheson, Vice President – Community Engagement, Delta, Atlanta, GA
Tracye McDaniel, Founder and CEO, McDaniel Strategy Ecosystems, Austin, TX

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tour: Atlanta BeltLine

The Atlanta BeltLine, one of the largest urban redevelopment and revitalization projects currently underway in the U.S., directly interacts with 45 neighborhoods in the city. Atlanta BeltLine’s activities are directed toward redeveloping a 22-mile rail corridor to enhance mobility and connectivity throughout the region by building multi-use trails, and a future transit corridor, and encouraging the redevelopment of non-producing properties. Atlanta BeltLine will catalyze the advancement of programmatic goals in job creation, affordable housing, transportation, parks and green space, historic preservation, environmental remediation, and public art. The tour will emphasize modern day placemaking, areas of future redevelopment, areas of current and past success, and an overview of the attraction of $4.1B in new private investment. Explore the diverse geographic and economic segments of this project and see progress toward the goal of 5,600 affordable housing units and 30,000 new permanent jobs!

Hosted by Atlanta BeltLine

Departure at 9:00 a.m.

Price: $55

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Pioneering New Opportunities: Big Cities

Traditionally, IEDC has primarily focused conference content around rural and medium-sized cities, and regional economic development. But with the change in national demographic shifts, many EDOs are modeling their strategic plans similar to that of top MSAs or other benchmark cities. This session will focus on the implementation strategies that larger cities utilize in creating results-driven economic development.

The Big Cities session features a rock star panel, with some of the most experienced “big city” economic development professionals in North America. The session will cover many of the urban challenges economic developers are facing. Leaders from Toronto, Los Angeles and Chicago economic development organizations will discuss their roles as multi-state regional hubs. In many ways, the larger cities are like canaries in the coal mine as they experience some of the more difficult issues before they move down the pipeline to smaller communities.

What you will learn:
• Share the demographic shifts big communities have experienced, and analyze what clusters are emerging as a result
• Discuss how the issues of equitable development, small business finance, opportunity zones, and tax increment financing are being strategically addressed
• Uncover issues revolving around workforce and affordable housing


Mike H. Williams, CMC, General Manager, City of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada


William Chun, Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Rachel Van Tosh, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services, New York, NY
Andrea Zopp, President & CEO, World Business Chicago, Chicago, IL

Libraries: A Good Investment

Did you know that there are more public libraries than Starbucks in the U.S.-- a total of 17,566? Close to 100 million people went to a library program in 2016. That's more than all Major League Baseball and NBA games combined. As the need for such services as early childhood literacy, computer training, and workforce development grows, the vital role public libraries play in their communities has also expanded. For economic developers, it is vital that we create partnerships with our local libraries. This session will provide examples of library systems and economic developers who have joined forces in improving the quality of life in their communities through the implementation of strategic plans, goals, and objectives.

What you will learn:
• Tools to engage your local library through sponsorship opportunities, business development courses, and makerspaces
• Ways to measure the ROI of your local library
• How to advocate for your local library through existing business networks such as your Chamber of Commerce


Leann Hackman-Carty, CEO, Economic Developers Alberta, Calgary, AB, Canada


Savannah Jermance, CEcD, Economic Development & Business Relations Manager, City of Rio Rancho, Rio Rancho, NM
Gillian Robbins, M.S.L.S., Library Coordinator, Business Resource and Innovation Center, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Janet Salazar, MLIS, Executive Director, Charles County Public Library, La Plata, MD

Riding the Silver Tsunami: Creating Opportunities for Seniors and Retirees

North America is turning silver at a rapid pace, and in fact, some 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring each day. While many economic developers are already considering how an aging population will negatively impact job growth and wealth creation, there is an upside to this demographic shift that should also be considered: many people who are at or near retirement age are still interested in participating in the workforce or starting businesses of their own. Tapping into this wealth of experience is a strategy that more communities are using today. Join this session and discussion to learn what local and regional economic development programs are making a difference.

What you will learn:
• How retiree programs can be better integrated into local and regional economic development
• Best practices for helping your community's seniors continue to meaningfully contribute to the local economy
• Available resources to help EDOs expand programs for the silver generation


Paul Ellis, CEcD, AICP, Director of Economic Development, City of Fairview Heights, Fairview Heights, IL


Dr. Mitchell Byrne, BA (Hons), M.App.Psych, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Mark Lautman, CEcD, CRE, Economic Architect, Community Economics Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM
Andrew Levine, Chairman, Development Counsellors International (DCI), New York, NY

NAFTA and the Trade Wars

With Mexico and the US having just agreed on terms, all eyes are on Canada and the US. What does this all mean? By the time we have this interesting and compelling discussion who knows where things will be. What is the impact of these negotiations on economic development, businesses, bilateral trade and global trade in general? The impact of trade between these two nations will have an impact on communities across the country. The biggest projected impact will be to business retention and expansion, specifically impacting lead generation programs and how this gets communicated to site selectors.


Isabella Bertani, FCPA, FCA, Partner, RSM Canada LLP, Toronto, ON, Canada


Nicole Felix Huesca, Trade & Investment Commissioner for Alabama Georgia & Tennessee, ProMéxico, Atlanta, GA
Daniel Ujczo, JD, Practice Group Chair, International and Regional Practices, Dickinson Wright PLLC, Columbus, OH

Town Hall Sessions

These Town Hall sessions will allow economic developers from similar communities to meet with their peers and discuss the opportunities and challenges they are facing. This will be a discussion based session led by a facilitator and resource professional. Participants will be encouraged to discuss their own issues and to offer advice to help solve the challenges of other attendees.


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

Town Hall – Communities with Populations Less than 25,000

Which small town are you? Whether scenic, industrial, or agricultural, small towns have big ideas about how they want to pursue economic development. All rural communities, however, face specific challenges such as infrastructure, talent attraction and retention, and recruiting high-tech and advanced industries to their regions. Bring your problems and your solutions to this Town Hall for rural and small communities for a discussion with fellow rural and small town practitioners.


Deb Brown, IOM, Co-Founder, SaveYour.Town, Webster City , IA

Town Hall – Communities with Populations Between 25,000 and 200,000

Diversity in approach is the name of the game for these mid-sized communities. You are likely facing issues of transportation, financing new developments, creating a shared vision for economic development, and population and demographic changes. This Town Hall provides an opportunity to explore trends and challenges facing these communities.


Joy Davis, CEcD, Executive Director, Hocking County Community Improvement Corporation, Logan, OH

Town Hall – Communities with Populations Between 200,000 and 500,000

You have all the amenities and benefits of being a large metropolitan area, and none of the baggage of a large city. Sound familiar? Large cities have a lot going for them in terms of economic development, often providing the right place to do business at the right cost. But these cities also face challenges in competing for business, rising costs, and building international recognition. This Town Hall will give economic developers the chance to discuss how they are capitalizing on their manageable size, strong assets, and lower costs to lead growth.


Carol Kraus Lauffer, Principal, Business Cluster Development, Palo Alto, CA

Town Hall – Communities with Populations Greater than 500,000

You have talent, resources, and name recognition – what more do you need? Despite everything that you having going for you, it is no easy street for economic developers in big cities. Common issues for big urban areas include sustainability practices, land usage, and income inequality, among other things. Connect with fellow economic developers to discuss the impact of new trends and the continuing barriers within cities in this facilitated discussion.


Jared Smith, MBA, CEcD, Chief Operating Officer, Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, Las Vegas, NV

Becoming an AEDO

IEDC's Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) program is a means of recognizing the professional excellence of economic development entities. The AEDO program provides economic development organizations with independent feedback on their operations, structure, and procedures, and recognizes excellence in local economic development efforts. To date, more than forty organizations are accredited. Come to the exhibit hall to learn how to take your organization to the next level through the AEDO program.

What you will learn:
• Specific steps to becoming an Accredited Economic Development Organization
• Details regarding the accreditation process, including tips for both the documentation review and site visit
• How the AEDO designation will benefit you, your organization, and your community


Michael J. Olivier, CEcD, FM, HLM, CEO, Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA


Stacey Button, President & Economic Development Director, REDI & City of Columbia, Columbia, MO
David Leezer, CEcD, FM, Director of Economic Development, City of St. Charles, St. Charles, MO
Norm Schleehahn, CEcD, Manager, Business Development, City of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Sponsored by GIS WebTech: The Changing World of Business Location Analysis

Online site selection has changed little in recent years, with most EDOs providing basic data and simple tools in apps that have evolved little since their launch. Today, new technologies are on the cusp of changing the way online site selection is done. Last year we covered the explosion in new data sources; this year's discussion will focus on advances in analytical functionality allowing businesses to use that data to make improved location decisions.

What you will learn:
• How businesses are utilizing new analytical functionality to take advantage of traditional and non-traditional data to improve location decisions
• How economic developers will need to adapt


Ron Bertasi, CEO, GIS WebTech, Atlanta, GA
Jason Elliott, Chief Technical Officer, GIS WebTech, Atlanta, GA

12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Keynote Luncheon

The biggest plenary session of the conference will feature presentations from leading speakers.

Master of Ceremonies:

Kenny McDonald, CEcD, President & Chief Economic Officer, Columbus 2020, Columbus, OH

Keynote Introduction:

Ron Bertasi, CEO, GIS WebTech, Atlanta, GA
Steven Jast, Founder and President, ROI Research on Investment, Montreal, QC, Canada
Justin Pearson, Regional Manager, BNSF Railway, Fargo, ND

Keynote Speaker:

Robert Atkinson, PhD, President, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), Washington, DC
James Fallows, National Correspondant, The Atlantic, Washington, DC
Oliver Gilbert III, Mayor of Miami Gardens, Miami Gardens
Maureen Krauss, Chief Economic Development Officer, Indy Chamber, Indianapolis, IN

1:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tour: Atlanta University Center (Sold Out)

Journey through the corridors of history to where civil rights leaders and contemporary greats studied. Tour the Atlanta University Center (AUC), America's oldest consortium of African American private institutions of higher education. From Clark Atlanta University to Morehouse, Spelman College, and the Interdenominational Theological Center, you're in for an enlightening experience. These schools, several dating back to the American Reconstruction Era, have all intertwined throughout history. Explore where prominent African Americans like Dr. Martin Luther King, Spike Lee, Alice Walker, and Pearl Cleage studied, honed their crafts, earned their degrees, and later changed the world.

The Consortium supports numerous programs and partnerships like West End Community Improvement District, University Community development Corporation, and Atlanta Promise Neighborhood, among others. Members of the Consortium play a significant role in supporting development in West Atlanta through capacity building and resource development, housing and economic development, environmental sustainability, service learning, volunteerism, and other strategies.

Hosted by Atlanta University Center

Price: $55

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Using Scenario Analysis as an Effective Economic Development Strategy

New scenario planning and forecasting tools help economic development agencies to better understand emerging changes in the global economy, technology, world trade, and potential disruptive events as part of their economic development plans and strategies. This session will show how future national and global scenarios can be viewed and translated into effects on local economic competitiveness, labor force needs, and business attraction. Demonstrate how local leadership can consider and anticipate the wider effects of these external factors and incorporate them to gain broader economic advantage and adopt economic resiliency policies.

What you will learn:
• How to identify looming global and national market shifts that can advance economic resilience and growth strategies
• How global shifts will be changing the relative economic competitiveness of local areas
• How EDOs that consider future scenarios will be better positioned to defend and expand their markets


Ron Bertasi, CEO, GIS WebTech, Atlanta, GA
Scott Bryan, MBA, Senior Partner, WAVTEQ, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Jon Roberts, Managing Director, TIP Strategies, Inc., Austin, TX
Glen Weisbrod, President, Economic Development Research Group, Inc., Boston, MA

Demand-Driven Workforce Development Strategies Across States

Despite a strengthening economy since the Great Recession, many communities still find that they have a large segment of the working age population with no education beyond high school. Low levels of educational attainment, as well as other barriers to employment contribute to the middle-skill gap, a mismatch between labor demands and available and qualified workers to fill positions. The skills challenge is more pronounced among minority populations, which tend to have lower educational attainment and higher rates of unemployment and poverty. Some states have adopted demand-driven workforce development strategies to address the middle-skill gap. These strategies seek to connect postsecondary training to employer demands through a variety of private, public, and philanthropic funding sources.

What you will learn:
• How to connect workforce development strategies to industry demand
• How to align workforce development and economic development goals with scalable strategies
• Ways to address barriers to education and workforce training with innovative and flexible programs


Tamika Jenkins, MSM, Project Coordinator, Mississippi County Economic Development, Blytheville, AR


Jamai Wallis Blivin, CEO, Innovate+Educate, Santa Fe, NM
Calandra Cruickshank, Founder & CEO, StateBook International, Kingston, NY
Joshua Wright, Director of Economic Development, Emsi, Moscow, ID

Social Equity and Housing in Downtowns

Trends in demographics, lifestyles, and global competition are attracting more investment and waves of people to downtowns. While this is a good thing, it has its negative consequences, including high housing costs, high costs of living, gentrification in neighborhoods, and the potential for one-dimensional cities that threaten the economic and social vitality of a city. Without intervention and investments to promote affordable housing and social equity in downtowns, many cities are at risk of losing what makes them authentic and lively. Local and regional organizations have a role in this debate to help shape local policies.

What you will learn:
• The role affordable housing plays in keeping downtowns lively places
• Greater understanding of how downtowns are active and involved in the affordable housing conversation
• Strategies for policies that promote the availability of affordable housing


Joseph Marinucci, FM, HLM, President & CEO, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Cleveland, OH


John Ellingson, MBA, MPP, Economic Development, Graduate Student, Georgia State University, Decatur, GA
Kirby Fowler, JD, President, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Rebecca Matheny, Executive Director, Louisville Downtown Partnership, Louisville, KY
Brad Segal, President, Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc., Denver, CO

Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs

Homegrown business development in rural communities requires a risk-taking spirit that is supported by community values and programs. Successful communities are those that have found a way to create a local culture and climate where entrepreneurs can thrive. This panel will profile successful rural entrepreneurial ecosystems and will share lessons learned and tips for building stronger rural communities.

What you will learn:
• Key things you should know about the unique issues and challenges that face rural entrepreneurs
• Lessons on how to build entrepreneurial ecosystems
• What local, state, and federal policies are available to help rural entrepreneurs


Erik Pages, PhD, President, EntreWorks Consulting, Arlington, VA


Enoch Elwell, CEO, CO.STARTERS, Chattanooga, TN
Janyce Fadden, Director of Strategic Engagement, University of North Alabama, Florence, AL
Kostas Skordas, Director, Division of Planning & Research, Appalachian Regional Commission, Washington, DC

Sponsored by WAVTEQ-Research Consultants International: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Implications how U.S. EDOs can engage with European and Canadian companies

GDPR is the most far-reaching and comprehensive data protection regulation in the world. Implemented in May 2018, it follows growing data protection around the world, such as Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

GDPR is having a huge impact on the B2B and B2C market with companies having to transform how they operate or face huge EU fines. EDOs in Europe are already adapting to the new regulation.

What you will learn:

This panel is aimed at helping U.S. EDOs understand the impact of GDPR and CASL. It will provide key insights into how to avoid breaching the regulations and how EDOs need to recalibrate their mix of marketing and business recruitment activities to attract EU and Canadian FDI.


Mary Hebert, Senior Vice President, North America, WAVTEQ, Scottsdale, AZ
Chris Knight, CCO & Co-Founder, WAVTEQ, London, UK
Bruce Takefman, Founder and President, Research Consultants International, Montreal, QC, Canada

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Economic Development Ethics Workshop

Are you faced with ethical dilemmas in your professional life? Do you have the tools to deal with ethical issues? Economic developers regularly encounter situations that require sound judgment and strength of character. Saying no is not always easy but may be the right thing to do. This session will provide essential instruction on ethics in economic development and will provide you with the tools to foster a culture of high standards in your organization. No theoretical lecture, this workshop will focus on real life ethical situations faced by economic developers where your decisions could mean the difference between success and failure in your career and life.

Note: Due to the large number of attendees at these workshops, we are unable to accommodate requests to transfer registration between the Sunday and Monday ethics sessions. Ethics Workshops will also be held at the 2019 Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale, January 27 - 29, 2019 and at the 2019 Annual Conference in Indianapolis, October 13-16, 2019. Ethics training is a requirement for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) recertification processes. CEcDs who seek recertification are required to have two hours of ethics training each time they recertify.

Price: Free, but registration is required


Tedra Cheatham, CEcD, Director of Business Partnership Development, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Joy Wilkins, CEcD, Economic Development Practitioner, Serving Communities, Atlanta, GA

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Special Exhibit Hall Presentation from Neon Cloud Productions: Video Marketing: 3 Ways to Get Noticed!

Neon Cloud Productions has made over 500+ marketing videos for Economic Developers. What are the groundbreaking secrets to creating memorable videos? How do we make your city stand out? Join us for a 30-minute session covering the do's and don't of video marketing. It'll save you time and money so YOU have more control of your marketing efforts.


Brian Aiken, Owner, Neon Cloud Productions, Dallas, TX

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Tax Reform and Its Effect on Economic Developers across the U.S.

When reform occurs at the federal level it creates change and consequences for economic developers across the nation. The change could provoke a modification in the organizational structure of EDOs, or it can leave EDOs wondering about what kinds of changes they may need to make in operating. This session will focus on dissecting the implications that 2017's tax reform has on economic development.

What you will learn:
• How the new tax reform affects economic development at the regional, state, and federal levels
• Insights into the ways EDOs can adapt to changes in the law


Jack Rogers, Editor in Chief, Business Facilities Magazine, Tinton Falls, NJ
Blake Sharpton, J.D., Attorney, Butler Snow LLP, Macon, GA


Jane Campbell, Former Mayor, City of Cleveland, Washington, DC
Matt Lowell, Manager, Ryan, LLC, Orlando, FL
Dan McRae, Esq., Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Atlanta, GA

Adaptive Reuse: One Man's Trash is Another's Treasure

Reusing old and obsolete real estate and transforming it into something productive for society is the type of innovation that defines excellent economic development. Communities around the world have vacant and underutilized spaces that offer opportunities to become places of social activity and centers of commerce. This session will look at a variety of case studies to demonstrate the rags to riches approach some communities have achieved.

What you will learn:
• What types of properties and buildings are most suitable for redevelopment?
• How can you engage your community in a transformative process of redevelopment?
• What types of impact have economic developers seen after renovating vacant and abandoned properties?


Douglass Selby, JD, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Atlanta, GA


John Karras, Senior Consultant, Senior Consultant, TIP Strategies, Austin, TX
David Nelson, Senior Vice President, Carter, Atlanta, GA
Christopher Steele, COO & President North America, Investment Consulting Associates, Boston, MA

Increasing Industry Engagement with Educational Institutions

Educational institutions develop the future workforce yet industry continues to find difficulty in sourcing qualified candidates for available positions. Collaboration with educational institutions across the globe is vital to the future workforce pipeline. In an effort to strengthen the greater understanding of the ways in which the industry can support the development of the labor force, as well as the systems that support it, presenters will share lessons learned, examples, and case studies on building partnerships with educational institutions. How can we charter new territory between the education and private sectors to prepare the workforce for local, in-demand jobs and tackle the middle-skills gap.

What you will learn:
• The benefits and challenges to industry and educational partnerships
• The varying levels of engagement found between employers and educational institutions


Tim Cairl, Director, Education Policy, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Atlanta, GA


Casey Barnes, CEcD, Vice President, Business Development, Orlando Economic Partnership, Orlando, FL
Anthony Flynn, Executive Director, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Roswell, GA
Joseph Lillyblad, Education and Workforce Development Manager, Georgia Power Company, Atlanta, GA
Dr. Anthony Margida, Ph.D., CEO, TechGrit, Alliance, OH

Effective Practices to Combat Gentrification in Regional and Community Development

Planning for the economic health of America's cities has focused less on the impact of gentrification on urban and neighborhood areas caused by increasing costs from new investment in housing, transportation, recreation, and business development. In the past decade, there has been a great deal of discussion about the meaning and causes of gentrification. Communities have pursued a range of initiatives - from affordable housing and small business assistance to newer ideas such as land trusts. This panel will bring together advocates, practitioners, and academics to discuss defining and measuring gentrification as well as highlight some of the more innovative and effective anti-gentrification techniques.

What you will learn:
• How gentrification impacts our communities
• Ways to measure gentrification
• Initiatives that have been successful in countering gentrification


Mark Barbash, FM, Lecturer, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH


Dr. James Fraser, Visiting Scholar/Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Dr. Daniel Immergluck, Professor, Andrew Young School, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Alison Johnson, Member, Housing Justice League, Atlanta, GA
Diane C. Lupke, CEcD, FM, HLM, President, Diane Lupke and Associates, Newton, WI

Catalyzing Minority-Owned Businesses for Local Economic Vitality

We know that young and often growing businesses are important sources of job creation, exports, and amenities for communities, thus making them critical to a vibrant local economy. Over the past two decades, increases in the number of minority-owned businesses outpaced that of white-owned businesses (Fairlie and Robb, 2010). This change is fueled by increasing diversity across the country and state and local entities. Economic developers at the municipal, county, and state levels, along with nonprofits and angel and venture investors, have an opportunity to leverage demographic changes to create policies, programs, and capital programs to support minority-owned businesses. This panel will bring together a set of people who have effectively served minority-owned business by providing technical assistance and network development, conducive policy environments, and appropriate capital access strategies that help entrepreneurs get started on the right foot and grow.

What you will learn:
• Policy actions (public and private) that would support the growth of minority-owned businesses
• Programs to address common challenges and gaps faced by minority-owned businesses
• Credit and equity approaches to access capital


Shannon James, President & CEO, Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, Inc., Atlanta, GA


Arthur L. Brown, CEcD, CMC, President, LeScot Enterprises, Inc., Mableton, GA
Kathleen O’Shea, Senior Research Analyst, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), Boston, MA
Toyasha Vaughn, Project Manager, Decide DeKalb Development Authority, Decatur, GA
Li Wong, MBA, Director of Entrepreneurship, Partnership Gwinnett, Duluth, GA

Sponsored by NIST MEP: MEP National NetworkTM Services and Strategic Partners in Rural Areas

The panel will focus on services that the MEP National Network, comprised of 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and its over 1,300 manufacturing experts, provide to the manufacturing sector, especially in rural communities and to small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMEs). Some of the services include workforce development (recruiting and retention), technology transfer, operational excellence in bottom-line (i.e., Lean manufacturing and preventive maintenance) and top-line (new product lines) earnings benefits, and strategic plan development. The panel will also discuss the importance of strategic partnerships with local stakeholders.

What you will learn:
• Basic understanding of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program, including the MEP National Network and services provided
• NIST MEP regional strategies in support of rural manufacturing
• The importance and examples of successful partnerships between MEP Centers and local strategic partners
• Workforce development (recruiting and retention) programs developed and implemented by MEP Centers in rural communities
• Specific examples of the strategies and programs offered by MEP Centers, especially to SMEs located in rural communities


Sunni Massey, Specialist, Partnership Development, NIST MEP, Gaithersburg, MD
Mary Ann Pacelli, Workforce Development Manager, NIST MEP, Gaithersburg, MD
José A. Colucci Ríos, PE, PhD, Southeast Regional Manager, NIST MEP, Gaithersburg, MD
Chuck Spangler, President, South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Columbia, SC

3:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Excellence in Economic Development Awards Ceremony

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognizes the world's best economic development programs, partnerships, and marketing materials. Join us to honor this year’s best and to see who is selected as the Best in Show! IEDC will also be unveiling its first-ever Inclusive Economic Development award winners.

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Networking Reception

Come join new friends and old in a unique, casual setting in Downtown Atlanta. Enjoy food and drinks on the rooftops of four restaurants: STATS Brewpub, Der Biergarten, Twin Smokers BBQ, and Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria. Experience the Adidas Room which pays homage to the building as the home of Adidas during the 1996 Olympic Games.

Price: free

Location: Restaurant Row in Downtown Atlanta.

7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Registration Desk Open

7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

The Power of Eds and Meds

Universities and hospitals ("Eds" and "Meds") have become key engines of economic activity in both urban and rural communities alike. Now, they are thinking through ways to leverage that economic activity to promote inclusive economic development strategies. This new approach - often called "adopting an anchor mission" - is the focus of this session. It will look at how Eds and Meds can use their supply chain, employment needs, real estate development pipelines, and investment management towards supporting inclusive economic growth. Speakers will be drawn from places that have been working to implement an anchor mission, including possibly Cleveland, Ohio; Brownsville, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The panelists will intentionally be at different phases in development of their anchor strategy, with some well-developed and others still in an organizing phase and will also include national experts from the Democracy Collaborative and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This session will help attendees understand how to craft a successful marketing pitch to their local Eds and Meds, what sort of support public or philanthropic actors may need to provide to enable the anchors to act, and how to measure and track outcomes from an anchor engagement. It will also include discussions on small business development, workforce development, affordable housing, community investments, and community engagement.

What you will learn:
• How to get universities and hospitals to support local economic development goals
• Things that you can do to improve small business supply chains
• Ways to create career pathways for low and moderate skill workers


Jon Roberts, Managing Director, TIP Strategies, Inc., Austin, TX


Rob Gordon, Director, UGA Archway Partnership, Athens, GA
Jean Horstman, CEO, Interise, Boston, MA
Emma Schwartz, CEcD, President, Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, El Paso, TX

Micropolitan Statistical Areas: Strength in the Smaller Cities

Many economic development success stories can be found in communities located outside metropolitan statistical areas. In 1993, the designation of micropolitan statistical areas (MICROs) was adopted by the U.S. Census. These counties with communities of 10,000 to 49,999 are located throughout the United States. In developing clusters and shorter supply chains, these MICROs provide a variety of benefits for companies. Understanding the concept of MICROs and their role in economic development can assist smaller cities and counties with the realities of economic development. For larger cities, this will help provide an understanding of areas that can be of benefit and support for their larger employers. Being successful in a smaller market is full of challenges, and this session will provide takeaways that can be used by many economic development organizations in their strategic planning.

What you will learn:
• How smaller communities can plan strategy to help position themselves for economic success
• The importance of MICROs to larger communities
• A better understanding of MICROs


Dale Greer, Director, Cullman Alabama Economic Development Agency, Cullman, AL
Alejandra Guzman, VP Performance Management & Strategy, New Orleans Business Alliance, New Orleans, LA
Jon Maynard, President/CEO, Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation, Oxford, MS
Frank Thompson, DBA, CEcD, Assistant Professor, Troy University, Troy, AL

From Global to Local: Preparing Communities for International Recruitment Efforts

"If you are prepared to invite global companies to invest in your state, then you have to be prepared to welcome them locally." This session will address the importance of building local and regional economic development capacity in order to prepare your state to welcome international investment. This session will examine the roles of state, regional, and local EDOs, as well as critical components that international companies look for and expect when considering new investment locations, and demonstrate how effective partnering can overcome significant obstacles such as local infrastructure that is not fully supportive or budgets that don't allow for overseas travel.

What you will learn:
• How to manage and support the economic development priorities set forth by your state with resources you have in your region and locality
• Tips on leveraging partnership and resource opportunities so you are prepared to welcome international investment
• How to effectively build your community's capacity for ongoing communication with potential new industries


Paul Adler, Principal, Paul Adler LLC, Chevy Chase, MD
Jason Giulietti, VP of Business Recruitment, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc., Rocky Hill, CT
Courtney Hendricson, VP of Municipal Services, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Rocky Hill CT

Suburban Shopping in an Urban World

People who grew up in more suburban environments are moving to larger cities and downtowns to pursue their career. Although they are now city dwellers, many are not willing to give up spacious big box stores and upscale chains typically found in the suburbs. There is a trend of these chains entering denser urban environments in order to reach loyal consumers. This session will look at industry trends in greater detail and contemplate the real estate implications.

What you will learn:
• Why typically suburban stores like Target and Whole Foods are gaining a foothold in urban downtowns
• How developers are responding to the desire for suburban-style living in the big city
• What type of retail and service businesses should be recruited into your downtown to keep up with other communities


Cynthia Stewart, Director, Community Relations, International Council of Shopping Centers, Washington, DC


Lacy Beasley, President, Retail Strategies, Birmingham, AL
Tammy Fate, Manager of Retail Development & Recruitment, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma City, OK

Closing the Digital Divide: Digital Equity for a Strong Workforce and Economy

Technology is profoundly impacting how workers access information, identify job opportunities, and connect with employment. Access to broadband has become essential to making progress in all areas of economic development, from education and workforce development to business development, health, housing, and access to financial services. Unfortunately, there is a significant digital skills gap across employment sectors. Digital inclusion is essential to workforce development and the future of work. This session will outline the best practices, funding opportunities, and the steps cities, counties, and towns can take to build broadband infrastructure and digital inclusion / workforce development programs.

What you will learn:
• How to incorporate a Digital Inclusion Strategy into your economic development plan
• How digital inclusion impacts workforce development and business development
• Strategies for fundraising and financing of broadband and digital inclusion projects


Scott Evans, Senior Technology Project Manager, Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, Cumming, GA
Joel Robideaux, Mayor-President, Lafayette Consolidated Government, Lafayette, LA
Dr. David Wilson, Chair, Chief Executive, Economic Development NZ, Northland Inc, Whangarei, New Zealand

Innovating Incentives to Advance Inclusive Economic Growth

Across the country, cities are wrestling with how economic incentives should be deployed amidst shifting market conditions, spirited discussions over public policy priorities, the need for transparency, and growing recognition of the magnitude of public expenditures associated with these tools. This session will explore innovative opportunities for local jurisdictions to more effectively use their incentive programs to support inclusive growth and development, including fostering job quality, workforce development opportunities, investment in distressed neighborhoods, and housing upgrades.

What you will learn:
• Best practices of incentive deployment from cities across the U.S.
• The perception of the use of incentives and how to craft their delivery to work towards core policy objectives
• Ways to track and evaluate incentives' performance using metric-based analysis


Cary Hirschstein, Partner, HR&A Advisors, Inc., New York, NY


Sarah Iglehart, Deputy Director, Develop Indy, Indy Chamber, Indianapolis, IN
Quinten Harris, JD, MPA, Deputy Director of Jobs and Economic Development, City of Columbus, Columbus, OH
Ellen Lee, Director, Community and Economic Development, City of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Economic Recovery for Disaster Communities

Has your community experienced a disaster? Are you looking for ideas and resources to support a more rapid economic recovery? This forum is an opportunity to hear from others that have been through the hurricanes and fires of 2017 and 2018, and experienced IEDC volunteers that have helped communities. You’ll also have a valuable opportunity to hear directly from top officials of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Small Business Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency who will discuss the past year’s disasters and what resources you can expect to support you.

In this session you’ll learn:
• First-hand experience from economic developers who have worked through recent disasters
• Perspectives from experienced IEDC volunteers who helped bring ideas and capacity to other communities
• What upcoming resources and programs you can expect from U.S. EDA and other federal agencies to help. You’ll also have an opportunity to network with top officials.

Price: Free with registration to IEDC's Annual Conference or $50 without conference registration

You must register separately for this event.

Where: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Room Centennial II


• Dennis Alvord, EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs
• H. Philip Paradice, Jr., Director, EDA Atlanta Regional Office
• Jorge Ayala, Director, EDA Austin Regional Office
• Linda Cruz-Carnall, Director, EDA Philadelphia Regional Office
• Michael L. Lampton, Public Affairs Director, SBA Office of Disaster Assistance
• Bob Haywood, FEMA Long Term Recovery

Moderator, Communities & Volunteers:

• Karen Stewart, CEcD, Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department, Economic Development Division, Bradenton, Florida
• Albert Lerma, Director of Business Development and Innovation, Sonoma County Development Board, Santa Rosa, California
• John Zakian, CEcD, City of Minot, North Dakota
• Calandra Cruikshank, Statebook
• Marva Bryan, CEcD EDFP (volunteer – U.S. Virgin Islands)
• Paul Raesch (volunteer – U.S. Virgin Islands)
• Sue Southon (volunteer - Florida)
• Chris Manegold, CEcD (volunteer - Florida Keys)
• Allison Thompson (volunteer - Puerto Rico)
• Cynthia Johnson (volunteer - Texas)
• Jim Fram, CEcD CCE FM (volunteer - Texas)

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

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 to enlighten you! Submit your ideas (hyperlink to form) today for an opportunity to present in Atlanta.


Alison Benton, CEcD, President, Aliquantus Consulting, Southlake, TX
Chris Fair, President, Resonance Consultancy, Vancouver, BC, Canada
David Feehan, President and CEO, Civitas Consultants LLC, Silver Spring, MD
Tracy Lewis, Life Coach, Public Relations/Marketing Specialist, Biz kidz Academy, Ackworth, GA
Molly McKay, CEcD, Principal, Willdan Group, Inc., Washington, DC
Jolene Schalper, CEcD, Vice President, Great Falls Montana Development Authority, Great Falls, MT
Dr. Fred Olayele, PhD, PMP, President, Global Economic Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Interviews with Platinum Economic Developers

Join your fellow conference attendees for a friendly chat with the most experienced economic developers in the field. This conversation with "silver suite" economic developers will share lessons from lifetimes of experience in economic development. Listen in as these experts share what they see in the evolving future of the economic development profession.


Ean Johnson, CEcD, Regional Manager, Economic Development, BNSF Railway, Fort Worth, TX


Steven Budd, FM, President, CityWide Development Corporation, Dayton, OH
J. Mac Holladay, CCE, PCED, LM, HLM, Founder and CEO, Market Street Services, Atlanta, GA

A New Analysis for Identifying Top Rural Counties for Workforce

Rural communities have opportunities to attract and grow industries based on developing and implementing economic development strategies aligned to local or regional strengths. Growth strategies are far more successful when they include proof that a skilled workforce exists in the region. Third party industry-recognized credentials enable communities to demonstrate they have the workers with the skills needed to be trained for jobs. But often this can be difficult in areas with lean resources. Learn how ACT and Site Selection magazine are teaming up with rural economic development experts to help leverage resources that can do just that. Hear from one southeast region of North Carolina on how they have used industry certifications to retain, expand, and recruit new businesses to their rural communities. Panelists will discuss steps communities can take to further strengthen their workforce development planning and how to connect resources together to create win-win approaches. Information will be shared on how to obtain data and leverage it to show they have a talent pipeline and the skilled workers needed to support their target industries.

What you will learn:
• How Site Selection magazine uses industry certification in its rankings
• Practical suggestions from rural economic development policy experts on how to further effective workforce development efforts
• Best practice examples from rural region workforce development efforts that work


Debra Lyons, Director, Employer Strategies, ACT, Macon, GA


Mark Arend, Editor in Chief, Site Selection Magazine, Peachtree Corners, GA
Joe Melvin, CEcD, Director of Business Development, North Carolina's Southeast Regional Economic Development Partnership, Elizabethtown, NC
Joshua Wright, Director of Economic Development, Emsi, Moscow, ID

The Creative Economy: Cultivating Your Community's Creative Niche

There is increasing attention, nationally and internationally, on the economic importance of the creative economy. Findings of two United Nations reports affirm that the creative economy is "not only one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy, but also a highly transformative one, in terms of income-generation, job creation, and export earnings." According to these studies, the global creative economy more than doubled between 2002 and 2011. The creative industries are businesses, non-profit organizations, and self-employed individuals involved in the origination, production, and distribution of goods and services in which artistic and cultural content gives the product or service value in the marketplace. This session will cover the five segments of the creative industries that drive economic growth and how economic developers can create entrepreneurial energy and support systems for their creative ecosystem.

What you will learn:
• Ways to capitalize on the convergence of technology, creativity, and the arts and grow and attract new businesses that target these creative industries as part of your economic development initiatives
• How to expand the creative business markets by improving access to business support services for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers
• How to turn on your region's talent pipeline by cross collaborating with educational institutions


Sheoyki Jones, Program Manager, Creative Industries, Invest Atlanta, Atlanta, GA


Chris Holen, Chef, Chef Outta Water, Astoria, OR
Corey R. Johns, CEcD, Director of Business Development - Interactive & Creative Technology, Tennessee Entertainment Commission, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, Nashville, TN
Simon Millcock, ACEcD, CEO, Legatus Group, Clare, SA, Australia
• Chris Holen, Chef, Baked Alaska, Astoria, OR
Julia Youngs, Acceleration Program Manager, Creative Startups, Santa Fe, NM

Setting a Higher Bar: Best Practices from AEDO

Accredited Economic Development Organizations have one thing in common: they have been judged by their peers to have programs, practices, and management that are the gold standard in the profession. Many of their programs and initiatives are innovative and are worthy of being highlighted and shared with other economic developers. Now, three of these outstanding organizations are coming forward to provide tips and insight into three critical issues that all EDOs face.


William J. Jabjiniak, Director of Economic Development, City of Mesa, Mesa, AZ
Tom Mullins, CEcD, President/CEO, Tyler Economic Development Council, Tyler, TX

International Trade in the U.S.

In today's environment of protectionism in a connected global market, organizations often must venture outside their local markets to engage in trade. E-commerce trade and digital trade are, along with multi-nationals taking a nationalistic approach to foreign markets, commonplace in order for these companies to survive. This session will look at how to engage with international organizations and potential investors to meet their goals of pursuing a global presence in today's current trade environment.

What you will learn:
• How to engage international leads, existing partners, and potential investors in the current trade climate
• How to identify export resources and how to use them
• How to nurture your foreign investors and entrepreneurs


Milton Chambliss, CEcD, MBA, Executive Director/Port Director, Claiborne County Economic Development District & Port Commission, Port Gibson, MS


Dr. John Gatto, President, FrankfurtRheinMain Corp., Chicago, IL
Fred Glickman, Principal, Thrive Global Advisory, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KV Kumar, Chairman, US Indian American Chamber of Commerce, Alexandria, VA

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Business Location Consultants Forum

IEDC's popular forum returns! Here's another opportunity for economic developers to engage with the country's premier location and site selection professionals. Join us on the conference's final day and make sure to attend this popular event, where you'll learn about the hottest trends, leading business location indicators, and what local communities must do to get noticed.

What you will learn:
• Insights from business location consultants on the current state of the global economy and what it means for project activity across different industries
• How your community can get noticed by consultants who are representing global businesses
• What the experts think about key trends and their impact on local economic development organizations


Gene DePrez, Founder & Managing Partner, Global Innovation Partners, Ltd., Sparta, NJ


Dennis Donovan, Principal and Owner, WDGC, Bridgewater, NJ
Jay Garner, CEcD, CCE, FM, HLM, President and Founder, Garner Economics, LLC, Atlanta, GA
William N. Hearn, Director, Real Estate, Origis Energy, Atlanta, GA
Dan Levine, Practice Leader, Location Strategies, Oxford Economics, Inc., New York, NY
Christopher Steele, COO & President North America, Investment Consulting Associates, Boston, MA
Jason Vangalis, EDFP, MPPA, Strategic Economic Development Project Area Leader, Ady Advantage, Madison, WI
C. Paige Webster, CEcD, Owner/Site Selection Consultant, Webster Global Site Selectors, Phoenix, AZ
• Carter Wood, Ernst & Young

Creative Engagement Strategies

Economic development often involves extending and creating opportunity to and within multiple communities. Changing economies can raise questions about inclusivity and gentrification. Around the world, leaders are asking how to grow economies while being inclusive of multiple communities. This session will explore methods for engaging business owners, residents, agencies, and other stakeholders, and the role of art, branding, and design in promoting inclusive economic development and growth. Discover how to create strong bonds and break barriers in your communities using creative methods which cut across recognized barriers of age, race, language, ethnicity, and background.

What you will learn:
• Discover strategies that uncover new perspectives on economic development
• New ways to address business retention and attraction, economic impact, and informal and formal economies through the lens of equity and inclusion
• How to incorporate branding and design into your inclusive economic development strategy


Rebecca Karp, MCP, CEO, Karp Strategies, LLC, New York, NY


Julian Kiganda, CEO & Founder, JBK Brand Design LLC, Silver Spring, MD
James Rojas, Founder, PlaceIt!, Alhambra, CA

Community Builders Program

In the traditionally low-income Westside neighborhoods of Atlanta, Invest Atlanta partnered with the Incremental Development Alliance to offer the Community Builders program as a way to teach residents how to redevelop vacant, abandoned, and blighted commercial and multi-family properties. Upon completion of the program, participants are able to apply for financing and fund their own redevelopment projects. Presenters will discuss the program and share success stories from the project.


Joel Dixon, Principal - Community & Business Development, Urban Oasis Development, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer Fine, AICP, Vice President, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Invest Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Jim Kumon, Executive Director, The Incremental Development Alliance, Minneapolis, MN

Equitable Economic Development

According to the Brookings Institution, states and localities spend $50–$80 billion on tax breaks and incentives each year in the name of economic development, despite a mountain of evidence showing that tax incentives produce mostly marginal returns. These traditional approaches to economic development by local governments have not benefited all populations, and, in many cases, the policies and programs have particularly neglected or even shortchanged people of color, immigrants, and low-income communities. Cities need to be intentional about targeting their economic development programs, funding, and policies towards populations and neighborhoods that are increasingly distant from the growth sectors of their regional and city economies. New practices are emerging to position formerly excluded communities and people as the drivers of wealth creation in this economy – from creating inclusive cluster enterprises to launching new demand-driven lifelong training regimes to new models for industrial land reuse in urban areas that create local employment and ownership opportunities. New strategies are emerging to link neighborhood development to the region’s economic trajectory. New types of institutions are being formed to manage the cross-sector, cross-subject collaboration and innovative financial strategies needed to achieve growth in this economy.

What you will learn:
• How inclusive growth strategies – those that help formerly excluded people and communities capture, own and drive growth opportunities – can benefit the economies of American cities
• How vanguard economic development practitioners are inventing new products and enterprises to advance the inclusive growth agenda
• Specific ideas to use community engagement, organizing, partnerships, outreach, and cross-disciplinary collaboration to accelerate inclusive and equitable development strategies


Alaina Harkness, Managing Director, RW Ventures, Chicago, IL
Lyneir Richardson, CEO, Chicago TREND, Chicago, IL

Grow Local - The Fastest Way to Create Jobs That Stick

More than 80 percent of job creation in every state comes from existing businesses. Yet the scales remain unbalanced on resources allocated to a recruiting versus a growing from within strategy.Designed as an open question and answer forum, this interactive discussion will involve the audience throughout the session as we explore proven ways economic developers can become as good at starting and growing companies as recruiting them.

What you will learn:
• How to develop an entrepreneurship-led growth strategy despite community size and location
• Immediate, long term, and tested solutions to intentionally build entrepreneurship, including often overlooked champions among women and minority-owned businesses
• How Louisiana Economic Development became a trusted source to 159 rural companies that created 1,367 jobs in six years


Tracey Nichols, EDFP, HDFP, Director of Financial Services, Project Management Consultants, Cleveland, OH


Dell Gines, MBA, MSF, CEcD, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Omaha Branch, Omaha, NE
Penny Lewandowski, Senior Advisor, Edward Lowe Foundation, Grand Rapids, MI
John Matthews, Senior Director, Small Business Services, Louisiana Economic Development, Baton Rouge, LA
Maria Meyers, Founder, SourceLink, Kansas City, MO

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Island Economic Resilience Roundtable

Typically less diverse, with special transportation and infrastructure needs, and limited resources, island economies are unique. Island-based economic developers and community leaders face special challenges, including how to recover from natural disasters and build long-term economic resilience. In 2017 and 2018, an unprecedented number of islands were impacted by natural events that sent their economies reeling. To help share ideas and best practices and increase capacity for islanders to stabilize and improve their economies, IEDC is hosting the Island EconFomic Resilience Roundtable. If you are an islander, this is your opportunity to discuss what has worked and what hasn’t in growing your economy.

The forum will feature special presentations and group discussions with tailored strategies, projects, and resources for island communities. We’ll also discuss how you can increase your capacity to withstand future shocks. All participants should come prepared to talk about the unique challenges and strategies they are using to steer their economies. We will share knowledge about how to support local businesses in core economic sectors many islands depend on, including tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and more.

Discussion groups will include participants from more than 10 jurisdictions, as well as representatives from the Institute for Building Safety, Institute for Sustainable Development, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Development Authority, U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority, University of Alaska, University of the Virgin Islands, Florida International University, INTECO and PRiMEX of Puerto Rico, U.S. Economic Development Administration and FEMA.

What you will learn:
• Strategies for economic resilience and diversification in island communities
• How island-based economic developers are dealing with economic recovery after disasters
• Ways to prioritize key infrastructure and essential services that will make islands more resilient
• How to expand local capacity to recover after major events with help from the public and private sectors

Reception 5:00-7:00 p.m. A reception following the roundtable will provide a unique opportunity to meet other island economic developers and grow your network.

Price: $50


Paul Raetsch, MRP, Director, Philadelphia Regional Office (retired), Economic Development Administration, Mays Landing, NJ


Christi Bell, CEcD, Associate Vice Provost & Executive Director, University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute, Anchorage, AK
Matthew Deleon Guerrero, Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor Ralph Torres, Saipan, MP
Marcus Lam, Vice President, InterVISTAS Consulting Inc., Washington, DC
Rodrigo Masses Artze, President, Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, San Juan, PR
Mickie Valente, MBA, President, Valente Strategic Advisers, LLC, Saint Petersburg, FL