Events & Conferences

The SELECT LA Investment Summit in Los Angeles, California

The SELECT LA Investment Summit, scheduled to be held June 16-17, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA, is Southern California’s largest international trade event that is unparalleled in the region.


SELECT LA Summit (photo –

The Summit is being hosted jointly by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).

Held as a prelude to the SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 19-21, 2016) in Washington, D.C., the SELECT LA Summit will bring together global investors with business and governmental leaders from Southern California to facilitate and secure FDI, and gain exclusive insights on market trends and opportunities in the Los Angeles region.

Over 100 international investors who are on their way to SelectUSA are expected to stop over in Los Angeles for this Summit and to learn more about the region, and network with hundreds of local business leaders and companies.

For the record, Los Angeles is home to the United States’ largest county economy, with an annual GDP of over $664 billion. With 88 cities and over 100 unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County, there’s no dearth of investment opportunities. There’s always a steady flow of International firms opening up new operations and their North American Headquarters in the Los Angeles region, accounting for billions of dollars of investment. Over 9,000 foreign-owned enterprises have already selected Southern California as their home in the U.S., and more enter the region every single day.

Furthermore, the more than 18 million consumers that live in the five counties within the Greater Los Angeles Region create a stable and attractive market place for businesses from around the world.

The audience at SELECT LA is made up of over 400 domestic and international business leaders and investors, appointed government officials, C-suite executives, decision makers, along with professionals from the education, finance, media and civic sectors.

Key Features of the 2016 SELECT LA Summit:

FDI Report – A special session at the Summit will be held to release a research report based on an analysis of the impact and trends of Foreign Direct Investment in all six Southern California counties.

International Trade Outlook Report – Presentation of LAEDC/WTCLA’s annual International Trade Outlook Report that delves into the specifics of LA County’s top international trading partners, including a forecast for economic activity related to trade, and an analysis of related employment.

C-SUITE PANELS – Learn from the top companies and executives in Los Angeles regarding investment opportunities and challenges for international investors in 2016 and beyond.

The SELECT LA Summit kicks off with a VIP Reception at Fox Studios on the evening of June 16. The actual Summit agenda begins in the morning June 17 with opening remarks by high-profile federal, state and LA County and City leaders, followed by a plenary session on entertainment and tech investments and their impact on Los Angeles. After the concurrent FDI and ITO report presentations, another plenary session will highlight the insights and opportunities in the Los Angeles real estate market.

In a post-lunch session, officials from Los Angeles World Airports, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, and Los Angeles Metro will engage in a discussion on ongoing infrastructure projects totaling billions of dollars in investments. A final panel on foreign investment trends in the region’s tech industry will be followed by a matchmaking session.

What: The SELECT LA Investment Summit (LAEDC/WTCLA)

When: June 16-17, 2016

Where: JW Marriot at LA Live, 900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

World’s Mayors Gather in NYC For Launch of Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign

Mayors of many of the world’s largest cities have gathered at the Ford Foundation in New York City today for a day-long event marking the launch of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign in partnership with OECD and the Ford Foundation.

Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign

Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign (photo –

To operationalize “Inclusive Growth” in cities worldwide, the OECD is launching this campaign to increase awareness of rising inequalities, refocus the debate on concrete solutions, and empower local governments as leaders in the transition towards more inclusive growth.

The creation of a network of mayors to promote Inclusive Growth, to be known as Champion Mayors, is a central component of this campaign. You can see the full list of Champion Mayors on the OECD website’s Inclusive Growth page. The mission of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

These mayors from cities around the world have been invited to participate in the launch; endorse the “New York Proposal for Inclusive Growth in Cities” and help shape a policy roadmap for inclusive growth in cities; and voice their support for an inclusive growth policy agenda in their cities and countries.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker said in a statement that this issue is also at the core of the work of the OECD and the Ford Foundation. “Today, we are taking this work one step further – to cities and regions, because mayors are among the best placed to champion the policies and practices on the ground that can reduce inequality and improve opportunities for all citizens,” said Gurria and Walker.

The pre-lunch event agenda includes two sessions. Session 1, chaired by Ford Foundation Director for Equitable Development Don Chen, provides the context for the day with a discussion on “What Do We Know About Inclusive Growth in Cities?”

In Session 2, participants will engage in small table discussions to exchange practical information. For instance, one of the topics focuses on policies for inclusive economic development. Questions that will guide this topic discussion include:

– Which local policies work to foster skills of low-income groups and the disadvantaged?  How can cities balance the need to attract new talent and upgrade skills of existing residents and workers?

– What role can city governments play to ensure that all children grow up with access to good quality education? And what do they need from national governments to achieve this?

– How can cities support the development of decent jobs? How can city governments best promote more inclusive growth vis-a-vis the informal economy?

– What barriers exist to inclusive entrepreneurship? How can they be overcome?

Another breakout topic will focus on policies for inclusive housing, transport and sustainable urban environments. A third breakout discussion will be about partnerships and new sources of financing for inclusive growth in cities.

The actual launch of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign takes place after lunch, along with a presentation of the New York Proposal by Angel Gurria, Secretary-General, OECD. This session includes a keynote speech by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

A last session will be a high-level panel in which select mayors will have the opportunity to share a successful initiative to tackle one of the many dimensions of inequality in their city.

Nebraska Announces Plans for Inaugural Governor’s Summit on Economic Development

Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development will be hosting the state’s inaugural Governor’s Summit on Economic Development later this year on July 12 in Lincoln, NE.


Nebraska (photo –

This first-of-its-kind summit will serve as an annual avenue for Nebraska’s business community and economic developers to share ideas and provide input to state government in key policy areas including workforce development, tax policy, and business attraction.

Gov. Ricketts said in a statement that “This event will provide an annual opportunity for Nebraska’s business and economic development community members to carry on a conversation about how to attract new businesses, retain existing ones, and create good-paying jobs for the next generation.”

The inaugural Governor’s Summit will focus on the results of a study by SRI International regarding existing Nebraska economic development programs. SRI is an independent nonprofit research center that was contracted earlier this year to update and expand upon the Battelle Report, a similar study written for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) in October 2010.

SRI will unveil the report findings at the Summit, including through several sessions focusing on findings related to the state’s target industries, housing and community development, and workforce and talent.  There will also be an analysis of Nebraska’s innovation ecosystem.

DED Director Courtney Dentlinger noted that the state is continuously evaluating Nebraska’s business climate in areas that include taxes, regulatory issues, transportation, access to markets, supply chain, roads and infrastructure, and more. “We expect that SRI’s research results will help us break these areas down even further and find ways to streamline and perfect delivery systems, and target specific legislation that improves and expands on existing laws,” said Dentlinger.

Julie Curtin, executive vice president and partner at Development Counsellors International (DCI), will be the Lunch and keynote speaker at the event.

Curtin, who will speak at the Summit about how communities across Nebraska can build and implement talent attraction campaigns to attract and retain skilled talent, said in the release that as Nebraska’s economy continues to prosper and diversify, there is a growing need for communities across the state to position not only available jobs, but the availability of a desirable lifestyle, great schools, rich and diverse cultural assets.

The full Governor’s Summit agenda and registration information will become available in the coming weeks.

What: Nebraska Governor’’s Summit on Economic Development

When: July 12, 2016

Where: Lincoln, NE

National Main Street Now Conference to Showcase Milwaukee, WI Community Development Successes

The 2016 Main Street Now conference is scheduled to be held May 23-25 in Milwaukee, WI. It is being organized in partnership by the National Main Street Center and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Main Street Now Conference

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Main Street Now is the largest nationwide gathering of commercial district revitalization professionals in the United States. This year, the event is expected to draw more than 1,500 participants to Milwaukee, including Main Street directors, volunteers, architects, planners and consultants.

The conference will focus on challenges facing 21st century downtowns and commercial districts, while also tapping audience perspectives on community development opportunities. Attendees will learn about topics ranging from creating measurable economic impact to placemaking, the arts, and everything in between.

The conference agenda includes a range of educational sessions and two special training sessions. One of these is a one-day Main Street Preservation Short Course in which the National Park Service and the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions will show you how Main Streets can take advantage of their historic assets to drive community development.

The other one is a special pre-conference training for new Main Street Directors led by National Main Street Center staff and seasoned Main Streeters. This session will take a closer look at the value of the Main Street Approach, provide practical tips on being an effective and impactful leader, and discuss some of the common challenges new Directors face.

The Main Street Expo, to be held this year at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, is the place to find information, products, and services that can take local revitalization efforts to the next level.

While Milwaukee will serve as the primary location for the conference, other area communities will also share the spotlight. WEDC has worked with the National Main Street Center to organize mobile workshops for attendees to Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Rock, Racine and Dane Counties, as well as several Milwaukee economic and community development successess.

WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan said in a release that “Being selected as a co-host of this prestigious Main Street event speaks to Wisconsin’s national leadership in developing and implementing strategies that create and sustain vibrant downtowns and commercial districts.”

Darrin Wasniewski, downtown development program manager with WEDC, added that “Wisconsin is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to encouraging social connections between community residents through well planned, maintained and programmed spaces.”

Early-bird registration for the Main Street Now conference runs through February 29, with a final registration deadline of May 19.

What: 2016 Main Street Now Conference

When: May 23-25, 2016

Where: Milwaukee, WI

U.S. Economic Development Administration Hosting a National Conference

For the first time since 2008, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is hosting a National Conference.

EDA National Conference

EDA National Conference (photo –

The EDA National Conference, scheduled to be held April 7-8, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., will focus on the next 50 years of economic development and will include shared best practices and the exploration of a bold plan for future economic growth.

The Conference will bring together hundreds of regional and local economic development professionals, non-profit and private partners, and federal, state and local officials to explore the top issues facing communities today relating to improving competitiveness, job growth, innovation and overall quality of life. It’s a can’t-miss event for anyone engaged in improving their community’s quality of life.

The detailed program agenda and list of speakers is due to be published soon, and will include high-level conversations about how to create the conditions for economic growth for decades to come, panel discussions with administration and congressional officials, and in-depth analysis from public and private sector economic development leaders.

Event attendance is free for federal employees, and one-day attendance is likewise free for speakers. Speakers attending both days of the Conference will have to pay only $125, while all other attendees will be paying $250.

Hotel rooms are available at the conference hotel for a per diem rate of $226 per night. Reservations can also be made by calling the hotel directly and mentioning the Economic Development Administration (EDA) National Conference.

For sponsors, this event with attendees from all over the map, is the ideal event to showcase your organization’s capabilities. Partnering with the EDA helps your organization communicate your value to EDA members by demonstrating your commitment to their issues.

You can also play a lead role in the Conference Program by working with the EDA to develop a session or workshop that will offer significant value to Forum attendees and demonstrate your organization’s expertise.

The options for sponsors include – Signature Event Sponsor ($10,000); Gold Event Sponsor ($5,000); Silver Event Sponsor ($2,500); and Bronze Event Sponsor ($1,000). All options include, among other things, an acknowledgement of sponsorship during event general session, one or more complimentary registrations for the conference ad discounts for additional registrations, recognition (logo/description) in the onsite program, you’re your company logo on the conference website.

What: U.S. EDA National Conference (

When: April 7-8, 2016

Where: Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in New Orleans

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is hosting its 2016 Leadership Summit Jan 22-24 in New Orleans, LA.

IEDC Leadership Summit

IEDC Leadership Summit (photo –

The theme of the Summit is “Resilient Communities: Pathways to Diverse Economies & Innovative Ecosystems.”

Expected to draw over 400 senior-level economic developers, the Leadership Summit will focus on bringing resilience to local economies, and will also explore the partnerships communities must develop.

Also explored will be the the latest techniques to improve EDO performance, and your leadership role in achieving economic growth. By focusing on economic equity, a prepared workforce, the built and natural environment and fully optimized EDOs using technology, the Leadership Summit is designed to illustrate what economic development organizations can achieve under visionary leadership.

In line with this theme, IEDC Board Chair JoAnn Crary said in a release that “Choosing New Orleans for the 2016 Leadership Summit was an easy pick for IEDC.”

Crary also noted that the New Orleans economic development story and resilience is unlike any other in the country. “Getting an up close and personal view of the city will provide lessons that attendees can take back and apply to their own cities,” added Crary.

Attendance at the IEDC Leadership Summit is limited to senior managers of economic development organizations and Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs).

The Summit will kick off this year with welcoming remarks from the New Orleans Host Committee and presentations from economic development leaders. Michael Hecht, President and CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc.,  and Quentin Messer, Jr., President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance, will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Messer said in the release that they’re thrilled to welcome senior economic developers to New Orleans, and stressed on the work done over the last decade to build a more diverse New Orleans economy. “While we recognize that a lot of work remains to be done, we’re very excited to share what we’ve learned and look forward to learning from peers as we work to grow our economy for all New Orleanians,” added Messer.

Keynote speakers in the opening plenary session include Monty Sullivan, President, Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Baton Rouge, LA; and Maura Donahue, former Chair of the Board of Directors, United States Chamber of Commerce, Covington, LA.

This will be followed by a Leadership and Resiliency Panel, and then concurrent sessions on economic development fundraising, technology’s impact on economic development strategies and key industries, and a third real estate session on new options for live-work-play.

What: IEDC 2016 Leadership Summit (

When: Jan 22-24, 2016

Where: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street New Orleans, LA 70130

Governor’s Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit in Trego, WI

The ninth annual Governor’s Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit is scheduled to be held on Dec 1, 2015 in Trego, WI.

The Northwood’s summit brings together key stakeholders, including state agency leaders and staff, representatives from the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College Systems, state and local chambers of commerce, government officials, businesses, tribal representatives and others.

Governor Scott Walker will kick off the one-day summit with an opening address. “Our administration has focused on key issues that benefit residents and businesses throughout northern Wisconsin, and we look forward to the Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit, where we’ll discuss how we can continue to move Wisconsin and this part of the state forward,” said Gov. Walker in a release announcing that registration for the Northwood’s Summit is now open.

In fact, the Governor’s opening address will be followed by a discussion about the Future Wisconsin Project, which takes a comprehensive look at what Wisconsin will look like in 20 years, and what can be done now to grow the state’s economy and prepare workers for the future.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Foundation, Wisconsin Technical College System, and UW-Green Bay will lead this discussion, and will highlight a number of shared workforce development initiatives, including the new Engineering Technology program at UW-Green Bay.

After this discussion, the Summit participants will be joining one of five breakout sessions. The session topics include Broadband for Businesses and Telecommuters; Access to Capital for Community and Economic Development; Recreational Trail Development and Promotion; Opportunity and Prosperity for All: Special Populations; and one more about, the state’s online public labor exchange.

In the Access to Capital session, key leaders from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), and the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) will provide an overview of state resources for economic development and housing.

Similarly, two post-lunch sessions will feature leadership from participating state agencies providing a briefing on the key issues within their agency as they pertain to northern Wisconsin. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions of state agency leaders and interact one-on-one with agency leaders and staff.

Also new this year is that members of Governor Walker’s cabinet will be traveling during the week of the summit to visit businesses, local governments, and tribes throughout the Northwoods to highlight success stories and hear from local businesses and residents.

What: Northwood’s Summit

When: Dec 1, 2015

Where: The Heartwood Conference Center and Retreat, Hoinville Rd, Trego, WI 54888

Little Rock, Arkansas Will Host Site Selectors Guild, IEDC Economic Development Conferences

Little Rock, AR will play host to two upcoming national economic development conferences. One is the Site Selectors Guild 2016 Fall Forum and the other one is the International Economic Development Council’s 2017 Future Economic Forum.

Little Rock, AR

Little Rock, AR (photo – cliff1066/flickr)

The Site Selectors Guild, which just wrapped up its inaugural Fall Forum in Philadelphia, announced that it will hold its 2016 Fall Forum in Little Rock in October 2016.

The SSG Fall Forum is a formal gathering of international economic developers and member SSG consultants to discuss industry trends, challenges, and related topics, as well as for general networking and a little bit of fun.

The combined membership of the Site Selectors Guild leads corporate location projects valued at more than $30 billion in annual capital expenditures and thousands of new jobs each year. Fifteen of these SSG members participated in this year’s event in Philadelphia, which included private sponsored dinners with Guild members, in addition to the presentations, break-out sessions, corporate panels and other events on the Fall Forum agenda.

Next year, Arkansas and Little Rock will have an opportunity to impress SSG members, corporate leaders and other Fall Forum attendees. Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director Mike Preston said in a release that hosting the Site Selector’s Guild Forum will give them the opportunity to showcase the advantages Arkansas has to offer to companies and site consultants on a global stage.

“Arkansas is a small state with a big story to tell, and we have found that when people come to visit, they always leave impressed,” added Preston.

Little Rock and Arkansas will then have another opportunity to shine in the spotlight of the IEDC 2017 Future Economic Forum ( June 4-6, 2017).

Jim Fram, president and CEO of the Hot Springs Metro Partnership and a member of the IEDC Board of Directors, said in the release that “The 2017 IEDC Conference to be hosted in Little Rock offers the professional economic developers in Arkansas an opportunity to show off our great state to our peers from around the country.”

With more than 4,500 members throughout the world, IEDC members promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities. The 2017 IEDC Future Economic Forum in Little Rock is expected to attract 350 to 400 leading economic development professionals.

The success of these two major events in Little Rock will not only help promote Arkansas as a business destination, but also as a location for more economic development conferences and events in future.

Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development

The 62nd Annual Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development is scheduled to be held Oct 13-14 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Nashville.

Team Tennessee

Team Tennessee (photo –

The conference theme this year is “Team Tennessee” and will focus on showcasing how the state’s workforce, education and transportation systems are aligning to support the overall Tennessee economic development mission.

More than 800 economic development leaders, state and local elected officials, and business professionals are expected to attend the two-day conference.

The conference agenda includes four session blocks offering a total of 12 educational sessions on topics ranging from rural development, workforce and education to entrepreneurism, branding and more.

The first session block includes three concurrent sessions on Economic Development 101, driving private sector interest in education, and the impact of tourism. The second session block features concurrent sessions on main street vitality, rural health, and “Taking the Big LEAP: Case Studies and Success Stories.”

The third session block features concurrent sessions on approaches for supporting rural entrepreneurs, a discussion of Project Thunder (Cirrus Aircraft), and a session on “Select Tennessee & PEP 2.0.” The fourth session block will feature a session on the new tax credit landscape, another one about branding your site, and a third session to introduce the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.

The three plenary sessions on the agenda which will explore issues involving economic development alignment, the state of transportation in Tennessee and the power of education will be led by TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer and TN Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen, respectively.

TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said in a release that “This year’s conference will give attendees an opportunity to hear from several of my fellow cabinet members in addition to a number of other exceptional speakers, and I’m hopeful that our stakeholders will leave with new, creative ideas to share with their communities.”

Business author Joe Calloway will be the keynote speaker for the Commissioner’s Luncheon. Calloway is the author of “Be the Best at What Matters Most” and five other ground-breaking business books, and is also a consultant and speaker with a client list that includes companies such as Coca Cola, IBM, Cadillac and American Express.

What: TN Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development (

When: Oct 13-14, 2015

Where: Renaissance Hotel, Nashville, TN

Alaska Gets Five IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards

Nearly 1,000 economic development professionals from around the world are in Anchorage for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference.

Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska (photo – neil alejandro/flickr)

The conference is expected to pump an estimated $2 million into the economy in the Anchorage and surrounding areas, not including spending by conference attendees who extended their trips to further explore Alaska.

It’s a happy coincidence that the host state is also one of the top winners of the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards. Five Alaska organizations, including the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), have been named as award recipients in different categories.

AEDC took top honors in the General Purpose Website category, winning the Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award. Last year, AEDC embarked on a project to redesign to transform it into a modern, innovative website with user experience at the forefront of their objectives. The website continues to evolve and improve.

AEDC also took the Silver Award in the Special Event category. Their Crowdfunding AK event, part of AEDC’s 2014 Alaska Entrepreneurship Week, included a keynote presentation by Danae Ringlemann, co-founder of, as well as a panel of successful local crowdfunders.

Other Alaska organizations who won the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards this year include the Alaska Division of Economic Development, the Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority, Haa Aani Community Development Fund, Inc. and Huna Totem Corporation.

Another winner with two Gold Awards is the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). One Gold Award in the Special Event category was for LAEDC’s Most Business-Friendly City (MDFC) Awards program. The second Gold Award was in the category of Business Retention & Expansion, honoring LAEDC’s Business Assistance Program (BAP), which reached the milestone of 200,000 jobs retained and created in LA County.

JoAnn Crary, CEcD, Chair of the International Economic Development Council and President of Saginaw Future Inc., said in a release that from localized community projects to large scale endeavors, economic development efforts have played a vital role in the global economy.

“As we address new and longstanding challenges, these efforts continue to take on even greater importance,” added Crary. “These two awards serve as a salute to pacesetting organizations like the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) for leading the charge.”

Yet another Gold Award winner was the Rutgers Business School, honored for helping small businesses in New Jersey grow and create jobs through the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI). Since its launch in 2009, over 180 entrepreneurs have participated in the EPI program. The aggregate impact of these companies exceeds $35 Million in annual revenue.

Lyneir Richardson, executive director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers Business School, accepted the award. “This is a prestigious honor and we are proud to be acknowledged for having social and business impact,” said Richardson.

The York County Development Corporation, which serves York County, NE, also won an Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award in the General Purpose Website category for communities with populations less than 25,000. YCDC launched a new economic development website in June last year, and has since continued to expand the site with new pages and information.

IEDC is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,600 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.

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