Events & Conferences

Third SelectUSA Investment Summit to be Held in June 2016 in Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Commerce will host the third SelectUSA Investment Summit on June 19-21, 2016 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit

2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit (photo –

The SelectUSA Investment Summit has quickly become the premier venue for international investors of all sizes to find the right place, with the people, resources, and market they need to be successful.

The 2015 Summit welcomed close to 2,600 participants to Washington earlier this year in March, including 1,300 companies from more than 70 countries and over 500 U.S. economic development officials from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Participants got the chance to hear from nearly a hundred top executives and senior federal and state officials in plenary and breakout sessions featuring President Obama, six Cabinet Secretaries, and three Governors. Global CEOs and other business leaders represented major international firms such as Berkshire Hathaway, BMW, Carlyle Group, Google, Michelin, Nestlé, Nissan, Samsung, Sony, Unilever, and Walmart.

Hundreds of investors and EDOs also participated in the SelectUSA Academy, an intensive pre-Summit orientation on the fundamentals of investing and promoting investment in the United States. Participants used the online matchmaking system to coordinate more than 1,700 business meetings, and many more meetings were facilitated by the U.S. Commercial Service and EDOs.

SelectUSA was established in 2011 as the first-ever government wide program to promote and facilitate job-creating business investment into the United States. In the past four years, SelectUSA has helped secure more than $17 billion in project investments across the country.

The program doubled the number of investors and U.S. economic development organizations it served last year to over 1,000, and is on track once again to increase its client base by more than 50 percent this year.

In a release announcing the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said that the United States is home to a skilled and productive workforce, unmatched institutions of higher education, strong intellectual property protections, a commitment to innovation, an abundant and stable energy supply, and access to millions of global consumers through high-quality free trade agreements.

“For these reasons and more, CEOs from around the world have ranked the U.S. as the number one place to invest for three years in a row,” added Sec. Pritzker.

What: SelectUSA Investment Summit (

When: June 19-21, 2016

Where: Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.

Universities Compete For Economic Development Awards of Excellence at UEDA Summit

The agenda for the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Annual Summit underway in Anchorage, Alaska includes presentations by 18 finalists competing for the UEDA Awards of Excellence across five categories.

UEDA Annual Summit

UEDA Annual Summit (photo –

Later today, the following four finalists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category will be making their formal presentations, with winners to be chosen by summit attendees.

University of Southern Indiana: Technology Commercialization Academy;

University of Kansas: Entrepreneurs@KU;

STC.UNM: University of New Mexico (STC.UNM) & New Mexico Angels (NMA) Partnership; and

Penn State University – Main Campus: TechCelerator

Representing the University of Kansas is Julie Nagel, interim associate vice chancellor for innovation and collaboration, who will make a presentation about the Entrepreneurs@KU initiative which is providing a transparent and supportive infrastructure to assist faculty and staff in starting companies.

The initiative is housed at KU Innovation and Collaboration, the bi-campus technology commercialization office of the University of Kansas. It manages KU’s intellectual property, licensing and start-up company activities, and leads the University of Kansas economic development mission.

The University of Southern Indiana has been identified as an Awards of Excellence finalist in three categories (Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Research and Analysis, and Talent Development).

USI will therefore have the opportunity to make three presentations about the USI Technology Commercialization Academy (TCA), Measuring Innovation to Induce Innovation (I-69 Innovation Corridor), and the Southwest Indiana STEM Resource Center Initiative.

Michael Thissen, manager of I-69 Innovation Corridor, said in a release that “With USI snatching three of the competitive slots in our first year of submitting, it’s clear we’re on the right track for innovation.”

The I-69 Innovation Corridor is also the subject of a panel discussion at the UEDA Summit. It was launched as a regional innovation incubator focused on transforming the surrounding area through entrepreneurship, innovation and talent development. More than 32 counties from multiple states are impacted by I-69’s expansion.

Gene Merrell, associate vice president for economic development at the University of Idaho and this year’s UEDA Awards of Excellence Chair, said in a release that the Awards program is unique in that it is entirely peer driven.

The 18 finalists across all five categories were picked by the UEDA Awards of Excellence Committee from the nominations that were submitted. “These finalists will be judged and recognized by the attendees of the Annual Summit. Being recognized by such a diverse spectrum of economic development professionals provides further validation of the efforts of these initiatives,” added Merrell.

Trust Belt Economic Development Conference Draws Midwest Leaders to Columbus, Ohio

The inaugural Trust Belt Conference is scheduled to kick off in Columbus, OH from May 31 to June 3, 2015.

Columbus, OH

Columbus, OH (photo – Sam Howzit/flickr)

The Trust Belt Conference is sponsored by Columbus region economic development organization Columbus 2020, and is organized by Conway Data, publisher of Site Selection magazine.

Trust Belt will bring together hundreds of CEOs, governors, mayors, university presidents, economic development leaders, site selection consultants and community leaders from across the Midwest to discuss best practices and share their growth strategies.

Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer of Columbus 2020, said in a release that the Columbus Region is extremely proud to be the host of the very first Trust Belt Conference.

Ron Starner, executive director of the Trust Belt, added that the conference will facilitate the sharing of best practices and problem-solving and provide conference attendees with some food for thought and strategies they can take back to their own communities.

Conference events for May 31 include a gala reception and conference kick-off. The TrustBelt conference begins in June 1 with an opening address by Steve Steinour, chairman, president and CEO of Huntington Bancshares, Inc.

The first panel called “Fate of the States” looks at how the Midwest stacks up in overall economic competitiveness. Meredith Whitney, Wall Street financial analyst and author of Fate of the States, the book credited for inspiring the creation of “The Trust Belt,” will speak about how jobs are moving away from the coasts and toward the 17 central corridor states in the Midwest and Mountain West.

The next panel, called “Closing the Perception Gap,” looks at why the resurgence of the Midwest is still undersold and undertold. Post-lunch panels include one on key investment drivers and another one on benchmarking a turnaround. This latter panel, in which CEOs of Michigan’s largest companies will talk about the state’s progress, is moderated by Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.

An evening panel of governors from the TrustBelt states will talk about the issues important to their states and the region.

Day 2 panels focus on topics such as the growth of advanced technology companies, the huge downstream impacts of the shale gas discoveries, attracting FDI, and the changing landscape of cities and their urban and suburban economic regions. A consultants roundtable will convene selection consultants for a discussion about the issues affecting corporate location decision-making in the Midwest.

A panel on June 3 provides a forecast of key demographic and industrial trends that will shape the Trust Belt’s future.

What: Trust Belt Conference

When: May 31- June 3, 2015

Where: Hyatt Regency Columbus, 350 North High Street Columbus, OH, 43215

Resurgent Reno in Focus at Nevada Economic Development Conference

The Nevada Economic Development Conference is scheduled to be held May 19-21, 2015 at the University of Nevada Reno Campus.

Nevada Economic Development Conference

Nevada Economic Development Conference (photo –

The conference is presented by the Western Nevada Development District in partnership with USDA Rural Development and the College of Business at the University of Nevada Reno.

The Nevada Economic Development Conference under the “Stronger Economies Together” theme was established to create economic development synergy across different industry sectors.

The three-day conference brings together hundreds of policy makers and government officials with business leaders to discuss economic development challenges and opportunities the region faces, along with best practices in Nevada and the United States.

Reno economic development projects are sure to be a major topic of discussion this year, with a special focus on automotive and tech mega-projects the region has recently secured such as the Tesla Gigafactory and Switch SUPERNAP Reno data center.

Offsite tours the conference is offering as optional activities include a visit to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center – the world’s biggest industrial park and home to the Tesla Gigafactory. Another tour will take participants to Reno Start Up Row, a growing community of startups and entrepreneurs in a historical part of downtown Reno.

The pre-conference agenda for May 19 is comprised of a full-day workshop on the fundamentals of economic development presented by the UNR College of Business and University Center for Economic Development.

After the welcome and opening session, the conference begins in earnest with a packed agenda of concurrent sessions in different tracks such as access to capital, agribusiness, economic vitality, energy, manufacturing, tourism, transportation, and workforce development. There will be four sessions in each track on both May 20 and 21.

Before and in-between sessions, the conference agenda includes keynote addresses and lunch panels, as follows:-

Joy of Conferencing – Keynote by international business consultant Patrick McGaughey;

Making Small Towns the Location of Choice – Lunch and keynote by Don Macke and Deborah Markley, co-founders of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.

Silos to Synergy – The Connected Village – Keynote by Jason Broadwater, founder of community development initiative Old Town New World, published author and a board member of the Rock Hill, SC EDC.

Northern Nevada Rural and Economic Development Authority Lunch Panel – Moderated by television new personality Brent Boynton.

What: Nevada Economic Development Conference (WNDD)

When: May 19-21, 2015

Where: The Joe Crowley Student Union, University of Nevada, Reno Main Campus

President Obama to Deliver Keynote Address at SelectUSA Investment Summit

The U.S. Department of Commerce, which is hosting the SelectUSA Investment Summit, announced that President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the Summit on Monday, March 23.

SelectUSA Summit

SelectUSA Summit

More than 1,200 representatives of international firms and business organizations from over 70 markets around the world are scheduled to attend the Summit. More than 30 U.S. ambassadors are personally leading delegations to the summit.

EDOs from many different states, territories, regions and cities are hosting booths in the Summit exhibition hall to connect directly with investors.

Some of the world’s top CEOs will be at the summit to discuss the advantages of investing in America. This includes Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; Toshiyuki Shiga, vice chairman of Nissan Motor Company; Peter Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America; Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW North America; and David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Caryle Group.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said in a release that the President’s participation helps illustrate how the entire Administration is engaged in bringing new job-creating investment to the U.S., which will generate economic growth for years to come.

Apart from opening remarks by Sec. Pritzker and the keynote address by President Obama, other prominent cabinet level speakers at the SelectUSA Summit include Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

SelectUSA was created to showcase the United States as a business location and provide easy access to federal-level programs and services related to business investment. The SelectUSA website includes a clickable map of the United States that directs business visitors to individual state economic development agencies who will be their principal partners in the site selection process.

The SelectUSA Summit makes it easier still for foreign investors by allowing them to engage state and local officials and economic development organizations from every corner of the United States on the trade show floor and through online matchmaking. Attendees also get to learn from an array of sessions (see agenda) featuring high-profile business and government leaders.

The first SelectUSA Investment Summit was held in 2013, and brought together 2,500 participants, including investors from more than 60 countries. This year, the SelectUSA Summit will take place March 23-24 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, in the Washington, DC metro area.


The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit Agenda

The SelectUSA Investment Summit is scheduled to take place March 23-24, 2015 in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

SelectUSA Investment Summit

SelectUSA Investment Summit (photo –

The inaugural 2013 SelectUSA Investment Summit was judged to be a tremendous success, and not just in terms of attracting attention to the United States as an investment destination.

The SelectUSA Summit started the process of facilitating many U.S. economic development projects by foreign companies that have since led to a spurt in FDI in-flow and job creation.

Building on these results, the second Summit aims to bring together more than 2,500 people from all over the world and every corner of the United States.

More than 1,200 people from 70 international markets have already registered for the event, and it is anticipated that the Summit will be sold out well in advance.

Investors will be able to engage directly with economic development officials from all over the United States on the trade show floor and through online matchmaking.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit agenda includes a wide array of sessions featuring high-profile business and government leaders where you can learn about the most pressing topics that investors have to face.

For starters, the SelectUSA Academy on March 22 will cover the basics of investing for new investors and economic development organizations.

On March 23, following opening remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the plenary session on ‘Investment and the U.S. Economic Resurgence’ will focus on why top investors see U.S. operations as key to building their business.

Following a keynote speech, concurrent sessions will cover topics including locating and integrating supply chains, U.S. tax policy and its implications for foreign investors, and a third session on project finance and incentives that will focus on state, local and commercial financing tools and techniques.

After lunch and a keynote speech, there will be another set of concurrent sessions on training your skilled workforce, America’s new energy economy, and a third session on startup support programs that match entrepreneurs and startups with the technical and financial assistance they need.

Two back-to-back plenary sessions will then focus on America’s innovation advantage and investing in rural America.

On March 24, a plenary session in the morning will highlight case studies of foreign SMEs that have been successful in the U.S., and attendees will also learn about public and private resources available to help SMEs open U.S. operations.

Another set of concurrent sessions will then cover foreign trade zones, protecting intellectual property, and the role of capital markets in global growth. Three more post-lunch concurrent sessions will focus on 21st century work space issues, the U.S. immigration system, and partnerships with universities and colleges.

Two plenary sessions leading up to the end of the Summit will look at innovative approaches to infrastructure investing and how open data is creating opportunities in the United States.

What: 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit

When: March 23-24, 2015

Where: Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland

Los Angeles to Host US Commerce Dept’s First National Aerospace FDI Expo

Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the first annual National Aerospace Foreign Direct Investment Exposition will be held in Los Angeles.

National Aerospace FDI Expo

National Aerospace FDI Expo (photo –

The National Aerospace FDI Expo is the first stand-alone FDI event to be held in the United States which has the U.S. Department of Commerce as its co-sponsor, and is focused on a single industry – which in this case is aerospace manufacturing.

Los Angeles landed the event through a collaborative effort involving the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office and LAEDC. They worked together to find a suitable venue for the expo, and submitted the winning proposal in a competitive process that involved many other cities and states.

It helps that Los Angeles County has more aerospace companies than any other county in the U.S.

Mayor Garcetti said in a release announcing the county’s successful effort to land the event that the aerospace cluster surrounding Los Angeles Air Force Base is the most concentrated in the U.S., and this event will help them leverage that built-in advantage to boost exports and create middle class jobs.

LAEDC CEO Bill Allen said they are delighted to welcome the National Aerospace FDI Expo to its rightful home in Los Angeles. Allen added that the LA region not only has a long and rich history as the nation’s epicenter of aerospace research, design and production, but has also asserted itself as the world-leader in next-generation aerospace innovation with fast growing clusters in space commercialization and unmanned aerial systems.

The National Aerospace FDI Expo will invite prospective investors and provide them with the resources they need to make smart decisions about how and where they should establish or expand their presence in the United States.

Investors will get the chance to hold one-on-one meetings with state and local economic development organizations from around the country that are interested in attracting aerospace FDI.

The event agenda includes workshops for aerospace manufacturers on topics such as contracting with FAA and DOD.

Apart from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Aerospace FDI Expo is also co-sponsored by the Aerospace States Association. ASA is a non-profit organization whose members are state lieutenant governors and governor-appointed delegates.

The Department of Commerce asked ASA to host this event as part of the Select USA initiative.

What: National Aerospace FDI Expo

When: October 26-28, 2015

Where: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA

NYSEDC Economic Development Conference

The New York State Economic Development Council’s annual Economic Development Conference is scheduled to be held Jan 20-22 in Albany, NY.

Economic Development Conference

Economic Development Conference (photo –

NYSEDC is the principal organization representing New York economic development professionals. Its members include the leadership of IDAs, LDCs, chambers of commerce, private corporations, banks, utilities, etc.

A notable pre-conference event on Jan 20 is the review of Empire State Development’s 2015 external business marketing plans by ESD senior strategic Industry and Marketing staff.

The conference events begin on Jan 21 with an OSC training session, followed by a report and discussion of IDA best practices. This will be followed with a keynote by Dave Zaharchuk, Global Public Sector Leader in IBM’s Institute for Business Value. Zaharchuk will discuss IBM’s 2014 Global Location Trends Report, and assess the impact of the trends in the report on economies and businesses around the world.

Following the keynote, conference attendees will be able to choose one of four breakout sessions, One is on workforce development, and a second one on urban revitalization. A third track will focus on economic development projects, tools, trends and analytics.

The fourth track on entrepreneurial economic development will focus on two key programs for financing alternative energy and energy efficiency projects. Former ESD COO Joe Del Sindaco, now managing director of the Energy Improvement Corporation, will provide an overview of an EIC finance tool called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) that is now available in New York State.

Jessica Aldridge, senior associate with NYSERDA’s Green Bank, will discuss how this $1 billion finance program is enabling greater private investment in the growing clean energy economy of New York State.

The agenda for Jan 22 begins with the general session presentation on 2014 Economic Development Priorities by Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams.

After four more breakout sessions, a general session presentation by National Development Council Field Director Robert Sweet will focus on two cases – both real operating companies, from the NDC’s four-course Economic Development series.

The New York State Economic Development Council’s Economic Development Conference is recognized by the IEDC as a professional development event that counts towards CEcD recertification.

What: NYSEDC Economic Development Conference

When: Jan 20-22, 2015

Where: The Marriott Hotel, 189 Wolf Road, Albany, NY

NYC Economic Development Corp Hosts Development Finance Conference

The NYC Economic Development Corporation is hosting the 2014 NYC Development Finance Conference at Four World Trade Center on Nov 5, 2014.

NYC Development Finance Conference

NYC Development Finance Conference (photo –

The annual conference brings together not-for-profits, lenders, developers and other industry experts to discuss innovative tools for economic development in New York City.

NYC Economic Development Corp President Kyle Kimball will open the event with a welcome address and an introduction.

Kimball said in a statement that over the years, the NYC Development Finance Conference has become a highly influential event, providing an opportunity for a diverse cross-section of the City’s leaders and thinkers “to come together and discuss the tools with which we can build the future of New York City.”

The welcome address will be followed by the morning keynote by New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, who will speak about the de Blasio Administration’s economic development priorities.

More than 20 speakers and panelists from top public and private sector institutions in the development industry will be sharing best practices and strategies for implementing development finance to help businesses and non-profits create quality jobs and combat economic inequality in all five boroughs.

The Center for an Urban Future’s Jonathan Bowles will make a presentation on economic trends impacting New York City. A panel of leading investors and lenders will share their perspectives on how to attract and leverage private sector financing for making projects possible.

Another panel will present case studies of innovative tax credit projects in NYC involving complex financing. Separate workshops will provide primers on tax credit finance (historic rehabilitation tax credits and NMTC) and housing finance (low-income housing tax credits).

The afternoon keynote by NYC Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development Commissioner Vicki Been will be about the current and future state of housing in New York City.

A panel of real estate leaders will explore the intersection between affordable housing and development. NYCEDC’s Jeffrey Lee and Empire State Development’s Steve Cohen will then provide an overview of City and State incentives available for development in New York City.

An industrial development panel will discuss strategies for shoring up and expanding the City’s industrial base. Another panel will shed light on the challenges and opportunities in infrastructure development.

What: NYC Development Finance Conference (NYCEDC)

When: 8:00am – 6:00pm, Nov 5, 2014

Where: Four World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich St., New York, NY

Mid-America Economic Development Council Competitiveness Conference

The Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum is scheduled to be held Dec 7-9, 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago, IL.

MAEDC Mid-America Competitiveness Conference

MAEDC Mid-America Competitiveness Conference (photo –

The annual Competitiveness Conference is organized by the Mid-America Economic Development Council, whose mission is to promote the 10-state region and provide economic development professionals with the resources and networking opportunities they need to excel.

This schedule of events kicks off with a pre-conference seminar on advanced location marketing to help EDOs communicate their location’s business advantages to targeted audiences and successfully compete with other communities.

This seminar will be presented by Brand Acceleration, Inc. CEO Jim Walton and Anatalio Ubalde, CEO of GIS Planning, and SizeUp.

Next up on the conference agenda is the Women in Economic Development Reception, designed to help you network with other professional women in economic development.

The conference sessions begin on Dec 8 with two concurrent sessions – one on FDI trends and another one on the growth of the data center industry and site selection criteria necessary for attracting data center projects.

The Corporate Real Estate Panel, with panelists from Equinix, 3M Real Estate and Infigen Energy, will then share insights on site selection, networking with economic developers, surplus asset disposition and other topics.

The Site Selector Panel, held following the Economic Development Awards function, has a panel of nine site selectors this year from BLS & Company, Cresa MCS, Cushman and Wakefield, Deloitte Consulting, Duff and Phelps, Foote Consulting, Ginovus, Olsson Associates, and Pollina Corporate Real Estate.

The panel includes a question and answer segment and announcement of the findings in MAEDC’s annual site selector marketing survey.

The Site Selector and Real Estate panelists will then break off to hold roundtables to discuss topics important to economic developers in small groups. Topics discussed at the roundtables will include, among others, advanced manufacturing, site selection process trends, site readiness, incentives, renewable energy, working with utilities, and data center trends.

The Dec 9 conference events include a panel on readiness as a competitive advantage, where readiness is about a whole lot more than just shovel-ready sites. Presenters for this panel are Ady Voltedge President and CEO Janet Ady and Courtney Dunbar, Economic Development Leader at Olsson Associates.

The final session on the Competitiveness Conference agenda is a panel on the impact of e-commerce on economic development.

The Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum counts towards CEcD recertification as a professional economic development event recognized by the IEDC.

What: Mid-America Competitiveness Conference (MAEDC)

When: Dec 7-9, 2014

Where: Intercontinental Hotel Chicago, 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

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