Events & Conferences

UEDA 2012 Winter Forum

The Utility Economic Development Association (UEDA) 2012 Winter Forum is scheduled to be held in Williamsburg, Virginia from Feb 21-23, 2012.

UEDA 2012 Winter Forum

Photo credit - UEDA

The theme for this year’s event is “Marching Ahead in Challenging Times.”

Since the conference is being held in Williamsburg, one of the first speakers on Day 1 of the event is George Washington – yes, that one… the first President of the United States.

These UEDA forums are the only conferences in the country that bring together utility economic developers to network with their peers, utility economic development professionals and site selection experts from all over the US.

The first session for the conference addresses a very important consideration in today’s embattled economic environment. This session titled “Sustainable Economic Development Financial Strategies” highlights fund raising tactics that can support economic development entities and increase their visibility in the localities and states they serve.

Among the many sessions on the second day, one focuses on the fact that utility commissions across the country are now taking a more pro-active role in economic development.

Another one focuses on the Smart Grid concept and will give you a representative picture of what utilities from the west coast, the mid-west and the east coast are doing to create their own Smart Grids.

What  : UEDA 2012 Winter Forum

When : Feb 21-23, 2012

Where : Colonial Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, VA

For more information, visit

Creating Climate Wealth North America Summit

The 2012 Creating Climate Wealth (CCW) North America Summit is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on March 27-28th.

CCW, Washington DC

Photo credit - Carbon War Room

CCW is organized by Sir Richard Branson’s non-profit Carbon War Room.¬†The U.S. green economy is valued at $500 billion and poised for growth, with between 1.8 to 2.4 million green jobs in energy conservation, resource conservation and pollution control on the line.

The annual CCW summits aim to identify specific U.S. pathways to accelerate deployment of these green solutions in the face of low expectations and weak mandates.

The workshop-driven summit brings together executives, investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders from the private and public sector. Attendees choose their industry track, and attend four breakout sessions over two days.

The workshops identify and develop strategies for addressing the top five deployment barriers for clean technologies and renewable energy in your sector. The solutions provided in the brainstorming workshops are therefore specific and relevant to your sector.

Melanie Nutter, director of the Department of Environment in San Francisco, who attended the last CCW summit in DC, testifies that “I learned a lot about new initiatives we could pursue with the help of some of the Ô¨Ånancing companies that were represented at the summit.”

The Carbon War Room organizes events aimed at bringing private capital together with emerging technology providers and local and central governments to drive environmental improvements alongside economic growth.

For more information, visit

$200 Million NY Regional Council Grant Awards Ceremony

At 9:30 am on Thursday, Dec 8, 2011, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will announce the winners of the $200 million Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) grants contest. The event, headlined by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, will be held in Albany, NY at the Hart Theater.

NY State - Open for Business

Photo credit - NY REDC

New York’s 10 REDCs are competing for a $40 million grant to fund priority economic development projects. Four of 10 agencies will each get $40 million apiece, while the other six will have to share the remaining $40 million.

Each of the councils was asked to prepare and submit presentations to a 5-member panel of judges, including a 5-year strategic plan for 2012-2016.

This $200 million is part a $1 billion reorganization of New York’s economic development grant programs.

Some of the funds allocated to nine state agencies like the Empire State Development (ESD) and NYS Canal Corporation have been pooled together under a new Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process.

The 10 Regional Councils can now apply for funding for specific projects via this CFA process, instead of having to deal with separate agencies for different kinds of development projects. Regardless of which four win $40 million next Thursday, they can all still apply for grants, tax breaks and energy incentives from the remaining $800 million.

The awards ceremony was actually scheduled for mid-December, but has been moved ahead after the councils finished submitting their presentations. The Regional Councils had to come up with their strategic plans in a hurry due to the short notice. In a live chat with members of the public, ESD president and CEO Kenneth Adams explained that the timeline was aggressive by design.

“Achievement deadlines were set for the Regional Councils as part of our effort to move toward a more efficient business model for economic development,” saidAdams. “Just as in the business world, the strict deadlines we implemented were meant to lead to better performance and production to fulfill local needs.”

You can register online for attending the awards ceremony. Applications are being accepted until 5 pm on Dec 5. Seating is limited so your registration won’t be valid unless you get an email confirmation by Dec 6.

New England Smart Growth Leadership Forum

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s annual New England Smart Growth Leadership Forum takes place on Dec 2, 2011 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.¬†.

Fairmont Corridor in Boston

Photo by Dept. of Transportation

This year’s theme is “Putting Sustainability into Practice” will provide an opportunity for participants to share information about successes and challenges in smart growth.

Participants include executives and leadership from governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector players with a critical role in shaping growth inNew England.

Attendees will share information about successes and challenges in smart growth, and learn from national experts about advances in the field.

Ron Sims, former HUD Deputy Secretary, will be the lunchtime keynote speaker. Other speakers at this event include:-

– Barbara Fields, HUD Regional Administrator

– Teresa Heinz, professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia

– Doug Farr, president and CEO of Farr Associates

The agenda for the event includes a discussion of European models of sustainability, and another discussion on measuring and evaluating sustainability.

But according to the Lincoln Institute’s weblog, there’s likely to a lot of discussion at the event about the scrapping of the $97 million in HUD-DOT-EPA “Partnership for Sustainable Communities” grants.

The grants have reportedly been scrapped in the mini-bus 2012 House-Senate budget agreement that passed Congress and was signed by President Obama recently.

What    :  New England Smart Growth Leadership Forum

Where  : Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in Boston, MA

When   : Dec 2, 2011

For more information, visit

National Main Streets Conference

The 2012 National Main Streets Conference is organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Baltimore Main Streets. It will focus on preservation-based sustainable economic development and community revitalization.

Main Streets Conference in Baltimore, MD

Photo credit - Nat'l Trust for Preservation/Baltimore Main St

The 2012 conference theme is “Rediscover Main Street” and will explore and highlight innovative techniques and practices that help Main Street programs get started, develop and be successful.

The conference has a proven track record of providing attendees with successful methods and best practices shared by Main Street leaders and experts.

The Great American Main Street Award winners for exceptional Main Street communities will also be announced during the conference. The awards and the conference are both a part of the National Trust’s Main Street economic development program.

The Main Street 4-point approach is a unique economic development tool created by the trust’s Main Street Center. Commercial districts taking part in the program have generated more than $48.8 billion in new investment, with 206,600 in building rehabilitations.

The program can be credited for a net gain of more than 391,050 new jobs and 87,850 new businesses. Each dollar used to support the program has leveraged an average $25 in new investment.

Event              :  2012 National Main Streets Conference

Where             :  Baltimore Hilton in Baltimore, MD

When              :  April 1-4, 2012

For more information, visit

IEDC 2012 Leadership Summit

The International Economic Development Council’s 2012 Leadership Summit will, in their own words, “help economic development leaders catalyze Hall of Fame achievements while facing post-recession realities.”

Each session in the schedule will focus on the strategies, practices and tools being used by high performing communities that are thriving amid the wreckage of the Great Recession.

One session focuses on planning for trade missions overseas. Another one shows how to engage younger generations in economic development and nurture upcoming leaders.

There’s one that shows how to make the most of former defense facilities. One session explains how to work with Mexico and unlock the untapped growth potential. There are sessions on finding and keeping work in the tough economy, and educating politicians to keep them on your side.

These are all critical issues in the new post-recession economy. Economic developers will have to learn how to engage and expand beyond their comfort zones to lead their organization to these kinds of “Hall of Fame” achievements.

Learn how, by registering for the IEDC 2012 Leadership Summit. Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros is the keynote speaker.

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

The World Economic Forum annual meeting at Davos inevitably draws high-profile attendees from all walks of life.

This year‚Äôs Davos meeting is being convened under the theme, “The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models.”

Developed countries need new models to avoid falling into recession while deleveraging, and emerging economies will have to avoid inflation and economic bubbles.

Davos will be looking on it not as a management problem, but as a leadership challenge for countries, communities and companies. After Davos, these leaders will have to summon up the courage and vision to define the new models, align stakeholders around it and inspire their institutions to realize this vision.

There are four sub-themes to the main transformation theme. One of these sub-themes is about “Growth and Employment Models.” It will say that the policy prescriptions, industry models and performance incentives of an era of consumption and debt-driven growth are no longer capable of fostering growth.

The conference will provide strategic insights into the kind of growth that is required in these times, including sustainable growth and job creation through a knowledge-based economy, fueled by individual entrepreneurship and ingenuity.

For more information, email

SmartState National Conference: Realizing a Knowledge-Based Economy

The inaugural SmartState National Conference on “Realizing a Knowledge-Based Economy” showcases one of South Carolina’s secret weapons of economic development – the SmartState Program.

Attendees will get to meet and pick the minds of 41 world-class scientists and engineers who serve as the SmartState Endowed Chairs.

Three public research institutions in South Carolina have been given appropriated state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence in a host of research areas including automotive engineering, biomedicine, future fuels and nanotechnology that have the potential to greatly enhance South Carolina’s economy.

Every created center gets $2 million to $5 million, which needs to be matched dollar for dollar with private funds. Under the program, well known and reputed scientists are installed as Endowed Chairs to lead the centers.

Thus far, SmartState has generated $400 million in private investment, created 49 centers and 41 SmartState Endowed Chairs. The program has directly been responsible for creating 7,000 jobs so far.

Attendees can find out in detail how this public-private partnership combines with education and research to further knowledge based economic development in South Carolina.

Apart from South Carolina Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell and leaders of the program’s institutional research partners, speakers at the conference include high profile executives from AT&T, GE, U.S. Federal Reserve, U.S. Department of Commerce, Harvard University and others.

For more information, visit

NLC Economic Development Conference


NLC’s Economic Development Conference at the Congress of Cities in Phoenix aims to help city leaders find economic development solutions.

Attendees will learn in workshops and sessions about the real-world experiences of cities from across the nation, and learn how to support entrepreneurs, attract investment and grow main street businesses.

The City Showcase allows attendees to speak directly with the city officials behind successful economic development programs. The sessions will be presented by the likes of urban economist Edward L. Glaeser, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and eco-entrepreneur Majora Carter.

Apart from these sessions and ED workshops, there is also going to be a film on sustainability and economic development, followed by a discussion on it.

Then there will also be a special intensive training session called “Fostering Local Economic Development: Turning Deal Breakers into Deal Makers.”

At this training session, HyettPalma – a downtown economic enhancement consulting company – will offer participants free consultations and an interactive solutions session on contemporary approaches to downtown revitalization.

The NLC ED conference has an unusual focus on practical solutions for real world problems faced by most US cities, instead of the broad-based national and global discussions and trend-watch that goes on at most such conferences.

For more details, visit

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