Events & Conferences

Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum

The 2013 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum is scheduled to be held Dec 8-10, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.

MAEDC Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum

MAEDC Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum

The Competitiveness Conference is hosted by the Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC), which represents the ten-state region and promotes it to site selectors and industries.

A pre-conference seminar on Dec 8 by Harry Moser, founder and president of The Reshoring Initiative, will focus on providing economic developers with the tools to retain and reshore local companies and attract FDI.

This seminar will take an in-depth look at the detailed total-cost analysis that must be undertaken by companies weighing manufacturing in the U.S. against sourcing or manufacturing offshore.

Another highlight of the Competitiveness Conference will be the morning presentation on Dec 9 on “Winning the War Against Incentives.” The presenter is Christopher D. Lloyd, senior vice president and director for Infrastructure and Economic Development at McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC.

Chris Lloyd will provide information on incentives that businesses across the U.S. have received in the past, and explain to economic developers how they can prepare for the scrutiny that follows when incentive packages are offered to companies locating in your region. The presentation will explore how an effective incentives program founded on accountability and transparency is better able to withstand scrutiny.

This presentation will be followed by concurrent sessions, one on attracting FDI and another one on data center site selection and sustainability.

The presenter for the data center session is Gary Demasi, Director, Operations, Data Center Location Strategy and Energy, Google, Inc.He will talk about the site selection trends and considerations for cloud computing data center facilities, and the importance of sustainability mandates.

The Site Selector Forum includes a site selector panel, a separate real estate executive panel, and roundtables. The site selector panel includes 10 members, and will be moderated by Ron Starner, executive vice president and general manager, Site Selection and Conway Data Inc.

The site selector panel has a question and answer segment, and attendees will also learn about the findings from MAEDC’s annual site selector marketing survey.

One of the highlights on Dec 10 is the “Economic Development Revolution” session, which focuses on new techniques that Local Economic Development Organizations (LEDOs) are using for recruiting new businesses and implementing cluster industry development programs.

What: Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum (MAEDC)

When: December 8-10, 2013

Where: Intercontinental Hotel Chicago Downtown, Chicago, Illinois

Economic Advisors Summit Discusses Advanced Manufacturing and I-Hubs

More than 90 state commerce directors and economic development advisors from 33 states are in Chicago, Illinois for the National Governors Association sponsored ‘Economic Advisors’ Summit (Nov 14-15, 2013).

California Innovation Hubs (i-Hubs)

California Innovation Hubs (photo –

The summit, known as the Economic Policy Advisors Institute, is the only meeting of its kind meant for governors’ top advisors to network, share and learn from experts who follow economic development trends across the states.

This year, the summit under the theme of “States and Innovation: What Works for Accelerating Job Creation” was focused on sessions about best practices for building innovation hubs and new opportunities in advanced manufacturing.

The highlight on Day 1 was the session on innovation hubs. Case studies were presented in breakout sessions by California, Arizona and Washington.

Arizona’s presentation was made by David Krietor, CEO, Downtown Phoenix, Inc. Washington’s presentation was made by Steven VanAusdle, President, Walla Walla Community College.

California‚Äôs presentation was made by Louis Stewart, deputy director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz).

Stewart’s presentation was about California’s advanced manufacturing industry and about AB 250, which was recently signed by Gov. Brown and authorizes establishment of the nation’s largest network of state-sponsored Innovation Hubs.

Go-Biz’s Louis Stewart said that California with more than $230 billion in annual economic output is without question the national leader in manufacturing. Stewart noted that the state took bold action this year by convening the California Advanced Manufacturing Summit, and also enacting exemptions on sales and use tax for manufacturing equipment.

The highlight of the second day’s agenda at the summit was the morning session on “Responding to New Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing.”

The session included a discussion of MIT’s Production in the Innovation Economy study by Suzanne Berger, professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There was also a panel discussion about the vision for the National Network of Manufacturing Institutes (NNMI) and other efforts states are taking to strengthen advanced manufacturing.

This summit was convened in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program, and the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI).

Global Energy Conference on Energy Security and Sustainability

The Global Energy Conference on Energy Security and Sustainability is scheduled to be held at the UN headquarters in New York on Dec 11-12, 2013.

Global Energy Conference, NY

Global Energy Conference, NY (photo –

The conference is organized by Global Energy Initiative, a not-for-profit organization based in New York City.

The conference is an invitation-only affair, with a capacity of 500 attendees including industry leaders, academics, non-profits and government officials.

The speakers lined up for the event include, among others:-

-        Dr. Carolyn Kissane, Professor and Academic Director of the Center for Global Affairs at NYU-SCPS;

-        Dr. Andrew Yager, former head of the UN’s Water, Energy and Strategies branch in the Division for Sustainable Development;

-        Ed Crooks, US Industry and Energy Editor at the Financial Times;

-        Celia Wade-Brown, the Mayor of Wellington, NZ;

-        Dr. Roel Swierenga, founder and chairman of the European Hansa Green Tour Foundation; and

-        Dr. Michael Webber, Professor and Associate Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin.

This event is being held in response to the UN declaration of the decade from 2014-2024 as the “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.”

Dr. Dinesh Kumar, president of the Global Energy Initiative, says in his welcome message that while supporting and furthering the UN’s goals, the conference is committed to promoting an ongoing conversation aimed at encouraging innovation, concerted action and collaborations that support sustainable energy initiatives.

Many of the sessions at the two-day conference are therefore aimed at discussing and establishing the vision, priorities, and action plans necessary for achieving sustainability for all, and about fostering the public-private partnerships necessary for executing these action plans.

For instance, one of the sessions on the first day is about “How Technological Innovations are Driving Success.” There will be a World Mayor’s Panel on urban sustainability, and an Ambassadors’ Panel on energy security.

One session will discuss “corporate social responsibility and the sustainable energy landscape.” Another one focuses on financing the energy systems of tomorrow.

What: Global Energy Conference on Energy Security and Sustainability

When: Dec 11-12, 2013

Where: UN Headquarters 777 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017

SelectUSA Summit Update – Opening Address, FDI Report, Walmart Jobs

The SelectUSA Summit kicked off in Washington D.C. with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker telling more than 1,200 attendees that the United States is open for business.

Commerce Sec. Penny Pritzker at SelectUSA Summit

Commerce Sec. Penny Pritzker (photo –

Secretary Pritzker said the SelectUSA Summit was all about business, about connecting communities with investors.

This is the first-ever summit organized by the U.S. government to connect both domestic and foreign investors with local, regional and state economic development organizations.

The President’s Council of Economic Advisers released a report at the SelectUSA Summit about the positive economic benefits of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the U.S.

The U.S. has been the world’s largest recipient of FDI since 2006, with an inflow of $166 billion in 2012 alone. As of 2012, foreign affiliates in the U.S. had net U.S. assets totaling $3.9 trillion.

These firms employ 5.6 million people in the U.S., which is 4.1 percent of the private sector workforce. A full one-third of these jobs are in the manufacturing sector.

These foreign affiliates account for 9.6 percent of all U.S. private investment and a full 15.9 percent of private R&D spending.

Employment figures of these foreign affiliates have been more stable than the U.S. average during the recession and subsequent recovery. Compensation offered by these firms is also consistently higher over time than the U.S. average, and this holds true for both manufacturing as well as non-manufacturing jobs.

Also at the SelectUSA Summit, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon announced that three Walmart suppliers have made new manufacturing commitments that will create 385 jobs.

The suppliers are Elan-Polo, EveryWare Global, Inc., and Louis Hornick & Company.

Footwear manufacturer Elan-Polo, which until now produced its footwear in overseas production facilities, plans to establish a factory in Hazelhurst, Georgia. The project, part of a joint venture with McPherson Manufacturing, will create 250 jobs.

Kitchenware and glassware maker EveryWare Global, Inc. is expanding its facility in Monaca, Pennsylvania with a $1.8 million investment and adding a new made in the USA product line.

Louis Hornick & Company, which imports curtains and other home textiles, is investing $2.5 million to establish a new manufacturing facility in Allendale County, South Carolina. This project is expected to create 125 jobs.

You can follow happenings at the SelectUSA Summit live on

EDOs From 47 States Participating in SelectUSA Summit

The first-ever SelectUSA Summit, to be held in Washington, D.C., is all set for its Oct 31, 2013 kick-off.

SelectUSA Summit

SelectUSA Summit (photo –

Economic development organizations (EDOs) from 47 states, plus D.C. and three U.S. territories, have registered as participants in the summit.

Pre-registration for SelectUSA has already reached capacity, since more than 1,000 participants have registered for the summit.

Registrations have come from both domestic as well as international businesses and investors eager to consider new investment opportunities in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, which is hosting the summit along with the International Trade Administration (ITA) and SelectUSA, says more than 60 countries will be represented at the summit.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said the strong interest in the SelectUSA Summit demonstrates the excitement that companies in the U.S. and abroad have about opportunities for making investments in the U.S.

Secretary Pritzker added that with so many states plus D.C. and three territories represented at the summit, there will be a tremendous opportunity for attending firms to connect with communities that are looking to attract investments that lead to job creation and economic growth.

Apart from Secretary Pritzker, other cabinet members participating in the summit include Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, Secretary of State John Kerry, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

The agenda has a stellar line-up of public and private sector leaders including three governors, Senior Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.

Walmart’s Bill Simon will be there, as will Laurence Fink of BlackRock; Eric Spiegel of Siemens Corporation; Andrew Liveris of the Dow Chemical Company; and Daniel Doctoroff of Bloomberg L.P., among others.

The two-day summit has been planned with a productive agenda that includes panels with high-profile participants, and opportunities for participants to discuss investment opportunities, network and find out more about the investment climate in the U.S. and about available resources.

The agenda includes panels on everything from “U.S. Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing” to “Taking Advantage of the World’s Deepest Technology Market” and “Using the U.S. as an Export Platform.”

Read more about the SelectUSA Summit on

Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) will hold its 2013 Fall Meeting on Nov 5-8, 2013 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois.

ULI Fall Meeting

ULI Fall Meeting (photo –

The ULI Fall Meeting annually attracts more than 6,000 attendees.

The agenda includes a policy track with panels and speakers who will provide lessons in leadership and policy change at the local and national level, along with case studies and examples of successful public-private partnerships that have the power to reshape your city.

One of the most interesting parts of the event will be the “Changing World” speaker series that includes:-

– Ron Finley, co-founder of L.A. Green Grounds, who will speak about how his community is being transformed from a food desert to a healthy food forest.

– Elton Rivas, co-founder of One Spark, who will talk about how they came up with the One Spark crowdfunding festival, and what impact it has had on Jacksonville, Florida. He will also explain how a concept like this could bring change to cities everywhere.

– Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, who will explain how a commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation has resulted in the implementation of sustainable transportation initiatives in D.C. and Chicago.

One of the panels in the policy track will tackle how to lower the cost of developing and preserving long-term affordable rental housing. Another panel will discuss the trend of REITs and developers continuing to focus on for-rent single family housing.

One panel focuses on transforming suburban corridors from “Soulless strips to something better.” An executive-level panel will discuss sustainable programs that drive value.

The annual Rose Center Mayors’ Forum on Public-Private Partnerships will have eight mayors from large U.S. cities discussing how public value in privately delivered projects is defined. They will talk about the sources of public investments in urban development projects, and the methods that must be used to determine the need for such public financing.

The mayors on the forum will discuss how pubic benefits may be balanced against private risk, about identifying and recruiting private sector partners, and about maintaining working relationships during the long timeframes needed for implementation of these projects.

What: 2013 ULI Fall Meeting

When: Nov 5-8, 2013

Where: McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference

The 11th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference is scheduled to take place October 23-26, 2013 in San Francisco, California.

CitiesAlive Conference in San Francisco, CA

CitiesAlive Conference in San Francisco, CA (photo –

The conference is organized by industry association Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), with active support and participation from the City of San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the Planning Department.

The conference theme is “Securing urban resiliency with living architecture: Food РWater – Energy.”

This year’s CitiesAlive conference will feature more than 100 presentations, case studies, panel discussions and sessions that will focus on how living architecture improves the resiliency of communities.

Steven Peck, founder and president of GRHC, said the case for greening cities has never been stronger, and the experts coming together at CitiesAlive will explore the many links between a city’s roofs and walls and their role in creating urban resilience.

The welcome address will be given by Peck and Emilio Cruz, assistant manager for Infrastructure, SFPUC. The sessions scheduled for the conference are divided into four tracks – Design; Research; Policy; and a fourth track called “On the Roof With.”

One of the highlights of the conference will be the panel discussion on the “emerging role of the designer to improve resiliency in the face of climate change.”

Panel members for this discussion include:-

Peter Busby, managing director for Perkins+Will;

Jeff Joslin, director of Current Planning, San Francisco Planning Department;

Eric Corey Freed, principal at organicARCHITECT; and

Christina Weber, Business & Community Development at DIRTT Environmental Solutions.

The policy track includes several interesting presentations, including one by Keith Agoada, founder of Sky Vegetables, who will provide detailed insights on the realities of the economics and marketing required for widespread adoption of commercial urban agriculture.

San Francisco Planning Department’s Jeff Joslin will talk about municipal strategies for green roofs and walls.

Dave LaClergue, urban designer for the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development, will talk about Seattle Green Factor Рa code standard created to improve the quality and quantity of urban landscaping.

Alice Coker, who works at the Bureau of Environmental Services, City of Portland, Oregon, will provide updates about Portland’s Ecoroof Program.

John Rahaim, director of San Francisco Planning Department, said that CitiesAlive will serve to highlight San Francisco’s innovative green efforts in the past and future, and will provide an opportunity to learn about best practices as the City further refines and advances sustainability practices and policies.

What: CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference

When: October 23-26, 2013

Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, San Francisco, California

Boeing, HP, Oracle, Blue Cross Announcements at Montana Jobs Summit

Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced tan expansion of their manufacturing facility in Helena, Montana.

Montana Jobs Summit

Montana Jobs Summit (photo –

The announcement was made by Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney at the sixth Montana Economic Development Summit currently in progress in Butte.

The summit agenda included more than 40 job-creation panels, and the keynote speakers included Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Oracle’s Safra Catz and Tesla’s Elon Musk, among others.

The Boeing Helena facility makes complex hard metal parts for the 737, 747, 767 and 787 models using metals such as titanium.

Boeing will be spending almost $35 million for adding 55,000 square feet of space to this facility, bringing the total manufacturing space to 167,099 square feet.

The expansion will create 20-25 new jobs, adding to the facility’s existing 144 jobs.

McNerney said that Boeing’s further investment in Montana was a testament to the ability of Helena team to deliver on their commitments and establish themselves as reliable and globally competitive supplier for Boeing’s commercial airplane programs.

U.S. Senator Max Baucus, who helped bring Boeing to Helena a decade ago, said that Boeing knows first-hand what Montana has to offer, and their decision to expand shows the world that Montana is a great place for state-of-the-art manufacturing investments.

Chicago, Illinois-based Health Care Service Corporation, which owns Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Montana, announced that it would be opening a new call center in Great Falls and would create at least 100 new jobs by 2016.

The new workers at the call center, who could number up to 150, will be providing customer support for policy holders and providers across Montana, Illinois and three other states.

Another customer service-related announcement was made at the Montana Jobs Summit by Oracle President and CFO Safra Catz, who said Oracle was very impressed with the quality workforce and growth opportunities in Bozeman.

Cloud-based customer service provider RightNow Technologies, which is based in Bozeman, was acquired by Oracle in 2011. Oracle has since announced plans for making Bozeman its global cloud center as the headquarters of their entire cloud-related business.  Katz said he looked forward to continuing to grow Oracle jobs in Montana.

HP President and CEO Meg Whitman announced that the company would work with educational institutions in Montana to grow entrepreneurship training opportunities. HP plans to work with interested faculty to integrate the HP LIFE e-Learning initiative into colleges and universities.

Invest in North America Conference

The “Invest in North America: NAFTA Matters” conference is scheduled to take place on October 1, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.

Invest in North America Conference

Invest in North America Conference (photo –

The conference, which brings together investment promotion agencies and companies interested in investing in North America, is jointly organized by the Embassy of the United States of America, The High Commission of Canada, and the Embassy of Mexico.

Attendees will hear from experts from all three countries about the marketplace and the competitive advantages North America offers.

Learn from service providers who can provide guidance on doing business in America, and have one-on-one chats with representatives of the many investment destinations present at the conference.

The list of exhibiting investment promotion agencies at the conference includes:-

Arkansas Economic Development Commission;

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade;

Enterprise Florida;

State of Georgia – Europe Office;

Greater MSP (Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership);

Invest Atlanta;

State of Iowa – European Office;

JAXUSA Partnership (City of Jacksonville, Florida);

State of Kentucky – European Office;

Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership (City of Omaha, Nebraska);

Oroville Economic Alliance (Oroville, California);

Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development (OIBD);

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania);

South Carolina Department of Commerce;

Greater Richmond Partnership Inc (Greater Richmond, Virginia)

The program begins with the opening of the Exhibition of the aforementioned Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), followed by London Mayor Roger Gifford’s welcome address.

The first panel on “Why NAFTA Matters for Prospective Investors” will be moderated by Deloitte Director Matt Highfield. Panelists include Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters; and Francisco de Rosenzweig, vice-minister of Foreign Trade, Ministry of the Economy, Mexico.

One of the highlights of the event will be a panel discussion on “The Nuts and Bolts of Doing Business in North America” moderated by Mark Arend, editor-in-chief of Site Selection Magazine. This panel will discuss the site selection, financial, legal and accounting aspects of doing business in North America.

The post-lunch agenda includes meetings with the exhibiting IPAs, followed by presentations by each of the North American countries that will highlight their investment programs and the resources available for investors.

What: Invest in North America Conference

When: October 1, 2013

Where: Guildhall, Gresham Street, London, United Kingdom

NACCED Annual Conference and Training in Tucson, AZ

The 38th Annual National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) Conference and Training will be held in Tucson, Arizona from Oct 18-23, 2013.

NACCED Conference

NACCED Conference (photo –

The NACCED conference will provide learning and networking opportunities for public and private professionals involved in the affordable housing, community and economic development fields.

The workshops and speakers at the conference will highlight effective tools implemented by jurisdictions that have led to job creation and neighborhood revitalization.

After a field trip to Ajo, AZ on Oct 18 hosted by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance, there will be pre-conference workshop on Oct 19 that will focus on tools for managing federal grants.

On Sunday, Oct 20, there will be a welcome brunch with legislative updates and HUD briefings, followed by NACCED committee meetings and a welcome reception in the evening.

The conference gets underway on Monday, Oct 21, with a presentation by the National Institute for Civil Discourse, followed by three concurrent sessions. One of them will be on CDFIs and NMTC as tools for counties. Another one is a case study on Brownfields Redevelopment, and the third one is a case study on dealing with failed or delayed projects.

The post-lunch session includes more concurrent sessions. The first lot includes sessions on green certification, “Economic Development as Community Development,” and “Targeting as a Community Development Strategy.”

The second lot of concurrent sessions on Day 1 includes one on supporting non-profit housing developers and CHDOs, another one on public engagement in the planning process, and a third session on strategically combining resources.

Day 2 on Oct 22 begins with more concurrent sessions, with the first lot including a case study on designing and building multi-family green projects, fair housing, and another one on Community Land Trusts and equity sharing arrangements.

The second lot of sessions includes one on green and healthy homes, preventing homelessness through coordinated assessment and intake, and another one on Local Housing Finance Agencies.

The agenda for Day 2 also includes roundtable discussions on fair housing impediments, use of CHAS data, economic development strategies, and the eCon Planning Suite. There will be a bus tour of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) aka the Boneyard, followed by an event at the Pima Air and Space Museum for all conference attendees.

On Wednesday, Oct 23, there will be a bus tour of affordable housing projects, along with visits to community and economic development projects.

What: NACCED Annual Conference and Training

When: Oct 18-23, 2013

Where: Marriott University Park Tucson, Tucson, Arizona

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