Events & Conferences

Inaugural SelectUSA Investment Summit

The inaugural SelectUSA Investment Summit is scheduled to be held from Oct 31-Nov 1, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

SelectUSA Investment Summit

SelectUSA Investment Summit (photo –

This is the first-ever summit of this kind, organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA).

The SelectUSA Summit will bring together economic development organizations (EDOs) from around the country at the event, so that domestic and international businesses and investors can easily connect with the EDOs and officials from the states and cities they represent.

Senior White House officials will be attending, and so will business leaders and experts in technology and industry.

The event is being billed as an ideal place for discovering “all the reasons why the U.S. is the ideal destination for companies that are weighing options for locating or expanding their operations.”

SelectUSA has been launched under Commerce’s ITA with a $20 million budget allocation in the federal FY 2014 budget, with the aim of showcasing the U.S. as the world’s foremost business location.

The SelectUSA website offers plenty of information about the advantages for businesses operating in the U.S., and has extensive tools to help potential investors get a handle on the kind of federal and state level incentives they can get.

The tools include a clickable map of the U.S. which directs visitors to state-level economic development agencies. The site also has a searchable database of federal tax incentives, loans, grants and other forms of assistance available to investors.

The SelectUSA summit program includes keynote speeches by elected officials, industry experts and economic development leaders. There will be panels on sector analysis and investment trends, along with breakout sessions on investment programs and opportunities. The event also includes exhibits put up by state, regional and city-level EDOs.

In a post on the ITA’s Tradeology Blog, Aaron S. Brickman, deputy executive director of SelectUSA, said that it was a not-to-be-missed opportunity for EDOs as well as investors, and they looked forward to broad participation.

What: SelectUSA Summit (

When: Oct-31-Nov 1, 2013

Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Edison Awards in Chicago for Innovation

The 26th annual Edison Awards will be held in Chicago, Illinois from April 24-25, 2013. This is the first time that the Edison Awards, previously held in New York, are being hosted instead by Chicago.

Edison Awards

Edison Awards (photo –

The Edison Awards, named in honor of Thomas Alva Edison, is one of the most prestigious accolades a company, organization or individual can get for coming up with innovative ideas and implementing them.

The awards are organized by the non-profit Edison Universe, and are sponsored by USA Today, Nielsen, Science Channel and Discovery Communications.

The program schedule includes an Innovators forum at the Chicago Cultural Center on April 25. The Innovators’ Showcase, also at the Chicago Cultural Center, will have expanded space and time on both days.

The actual awards ceremony and gala dinner will be held at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom on April 25, starting with a reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m., and the awards program at 8:00 p.m.

Frank Bonafilia, executive director of the Edison Awards, said the Edison Awards encourage today’s researchers, entrepreneurs, designers and development teams to think big. He added that they were happy to hold the awards in Chicago “in recognition of the city as an increasing hub of innovation and technology.”

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel added that the choice of Chicago for hosting the Edison Awards was a reflection of the City’s growing reputation as a as a place for innovators to launch their ideas and as a destination for technological ingenuity.

Awards will be presented to winners in a raft of categories, including applied technology; energy & sustainability; innovative services; lifestyle & social impact; living, working & learning environments; and many more.

One award which the program highlights separate from the rest is the Edison Green Award, which honors an organization’s contribution towards reducing their community’s carbon footprint, creating green jobs through innovation, and fostering sustainable development and community health.

Last year, ConAgra Foods and Forgotten Harvest won the gold Edison Green Award for their program, while the Volkswagen Group of America won the gold for implementation at their Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.

What: 2013 Edison Awards

When: April 24-25, 2013

Where: Chicago Cultural Center and Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois

Milken Institute Global Conference 2013

The Milken Institute Global Conference is scheduled to be held April 28-May 1, 2013, in Los Angeles, California.

Milken Institute Global Conference

Milken Institute Global Conference (photo –

The 2013 Global Conference is the Milken Institute’s 16th annual forum, and will bring together more than 3,000 experts and leaders from diverse fields including academia and public policy, along with government officials, philanthropists and CEOs.

The program includes panels on a wide range of subjects from economic development to technology, education, energy and public policy.

The government panels include one on creating smarter cities, and another one which is a conversation with former Vice President Al Gore about the drivers of global change.

The education panels include one on the future of higher education in America, and another one about how technology can revamp the learning process.

The finance panels include one on development finance and another one that explores crowdfunding opportunities for small business and startups. The philanthropy section offers multiple panels on impact investing, and a panel on social change driven by a global community.

One of the regional panels examines the U.S. recovery and explores the possibility of an impending takeoff. Another panel will discuss California’s culture of creativity and innovation.

The list of speakers and panelists is a global Who’s Who list of people tackling the most serious problems facing the world, including Bill Gates, Tony Blair and Al Gore.

Past participants include Google’s Eric Schmidt, who said the inspirational advice and insight at the conference gave him a better appreciation about the future.

Former SEIU President Andy Stern, currently at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute as a senior fellow, says the conference is a sophisticated process for finding real-life solutions, fueled by the convening power that brings together people who know how to get the job done.

What: Milken Institute Global Conference 2013

When: April 28-May 1, 2013

Where: Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California

2013 NYC Development Finance Conference

The 8th Annual NYC Development Finance Conference is scheduled to be held in New York, NY on April 16, 2013.

NYC Development Finance Conference

NYC Development Finance Conference (photo –

This annual New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) conference is organized by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

The more than 500 attendees on hand include developers, not-for-profits, community development entities, investors, and others.

This year, the scope of the conference is being expanded beyond NMTC, and attendees will participate in a full day of programming on a wide range of development finance tools and incentives.

The scheduled lineup of speakers includes Kenneth Adams, President and CEO, Empire State Development Corp.; Robert K. Steel, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, New York City; and Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, Partnership for New York City.

Industry leaders in the lineup include, among others, Margaret Anadu, Vice President, Urban Investment Group, Goldman Sachs; En Jung Kim, Vice President, JP Morgan Chase; Mark Powers, CFO, JetBlue; and Laura Vowell, Business Development, US Bank.

The morning sessions include one on “Using Development Finance Tools to Rebuild and Create a Resilient NYC,” and another one on “Rebuilding a Burgeoning Lower Manhattan.”

The afternoon programming includes sessions on attracting and accessing capital, trends and innovations, development finance and the federal budget, and one on “NYC Development Finance Looking Forward.”

There will be three educational break-out sessions. One is a primer on tax credits, which will include an overview of the New Markets Tax Credit, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, and Renewable Energy/Investment Tax Credit programs.

Another one is a workshop on accessing a variety of incentives and finance tools, including real estate tax abatement, sales and use tax waiver, and tax-exempt bond-financing, among others.

A third session will expound on the tools available to support economic development and healthy food access across the City.

What: NYC Development Finance Conference (

When: April 16, 2013

Where: 250 Vesey St, Brookfield Place, New York, NY

Brownfields 2013 Conference in Atlanta, GA

The Brownfields 2013 Conference is scheduled to be held in Atlanta, Georgia from May 15-17, 2013.

Brownfields 2013 Conference

Brownfields 2013 Conference (photo –

The National Brownfields Conference is presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

It is the largest event in the nation that focuses on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment, held every 18 months. This will be the 15th Brownfields Conference.

The event attracts over 6,000 stakeholders in Brownfields redevelopment and cleanup to share knowledge about sustainable reuse and celebrate the program’s success.

As per the EPA definition, a brownfield is a property that has a presence, or potential presence, of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, thus creating complications during its expansion, redevelopment, or reuse.

EPA’s Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse these properties.

A revitalization roundtable session includes Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson; White House Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Relations Jay Williams; EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus; and Scott Condra, president of Jacoby Development Inc.

Apart from the panels and plenary sessions, Brownfields 2013 also has 114 educational sessions and additional inspirational film screenings.

Not to mention the mobile workshops that will take participants around to see smart growth planning in action in Decatur, a Fort McPherson tour that will show how brownfields redevelopment and land revitalization supports community needs while creating new economic engines, and more.

Special events include an open house hosted by each of the EPA’s ten regional offices. The plenary sessions include a federal address led by the EPA Administrator and other high-level federal officials.

What: Brownfields 2013 Conference (

When: May 15-17, 2013

Where: Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia

Rural Community Economic Development Conference in Peoria, IL

The 24th Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference is scheduled for March 6 and 7, 2013, in Peoria, Illinois.


photo – IIRA

The conference is presented by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, in conjunction with the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council and Rural Partners, a public-private partnership for rural community development.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Meeting New Challenges with Innovative Approaches.” The event brings together national experts and practitioners from around the country to Illinois to focus on the issues important to rural communities.

The plenary session will feature Barbara Wyckoff, Dynamica Consulting who will speak on rural wealth creation. Gardner Carrick from the Manufacturing Institute will discuss the future of manufacturing in rural communities. The role of banks in rural development will be examined by John Anderlik of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Jeannette Tamayo, regional director of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), will discuss economic development from the Economic Development Administrations’ perspective.

Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to attend presentations by local practitioners from Illinois and other states who will share successful strategies, including business innovation zones, workforce development, green business development, and community broadband.

Representatives from innovative communities will share ideas that attendees can use in their home communities right away.

For example, Eric Dilts of the Galesburg Sustainability Center and Ryan Lilly, manager of the Entrepreneurship Center of West Central Illinois in Galesburg, will speak about creating a green economy. George Venios, Milton Main Street Manager for TIME – The Improved Milton Experience, will speak about their Teen Business Innovation Zone (T-BIZ).

What: Rural Community Economic Development Conference, presented by IIRA

When: March 6-7, 2013

Where: Four Points by Sheraton, Peoria, Illinois

Code Across America 2013 – Weekend of Civic Innovation

Code Across America 2013 is a multi-day event (Feb 22-24) that any municipality or community can join. Individuals and groups can “Code Across America” through virtual and in-person activities around the country.

Code Across America

Code Across America (photo –

The event is organized by the Code for America Brigade, which describes itself as ‚Äúan organizing force for local civic engagement – a national network of “civic hackers” who contribute their skills toward using the web as a platform for local government and community service.‚Äù

Cities including Austin, Louisville, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C., among others, are hosting Code Across America and International Open Data Day (Feb 23) events.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Metro Government, in partnership with Code for America, is offering $10,000 in cash prizes for apps or computer coding ideas during a Hack-a-thon scheduled for Saturday, February 23.

“The task is to design or prototype an app that helps improve the quality of life in our city,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. “No idea is too strange or too bold. We want to see interesting ideas and innovation at work.”

Beth Niblock, the city’s chief information officer, said people can be inspired by examining all the data that’s currently available in raw form online. “We’ve got crime data, vacant property data, restaurant ratings, 311 data, air quality data, lost pet data and more,” Niblock said.

New York City has a three-track program planned out for Feb 23:-

Race for reuse – Take Code For America’s open source apps and tailor them to NYC;

Idea-a-thon – Look at NYC’s Data Mine and prototype apps off of Gov data; and

NYTM policy discussion РPlan the future of New York’s Internet access, education policy, open government, and technology industry policy.

You can see the full list of participating cities and their planned Code Across America events on the website.

The 2013 Site Selectors Guild Conference

The 2013 Site Selectors Guild Conference is scheduled to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from Feb 25-27, 2013.

2013 Site Selectors Guild Conference

2013 Site Selectors Guild Conference (photo –

The Site Selectors Guild Conference is the largest gathering of site consultants in the world.

Guild members and guest speakers will be sharing knowledge, case studies, and providing programming tailored for an economic development audience.

“Education and information are at the top of our list when it comes to the type of programming we’ve put together,” said Conference Chair Michelle Comerford, who also is managing director at Austin Consulting. “Many of our economic development colleagues will benefit greatly from what these experts have to say and the observations and opinions they offer.”

Guest speakers for the event include Scott Hodge, President, Tax Foundation; Justin Rose, Principal, Boston Consulting Group; and Neils Phaf, Principal, McKinsey & Company.

“Economic development work is a challenging profession and our program is designed to arm our audience with insight and information which will help them make decisions for their organizations and be more competitive in attracting investment to their communities,” said Jerry Szatan, owner of Szatan Associates and president of the Site Selectors Guild.

The Site Selectors Guild was founded in 2010 as a professional association for site selection consultants. The Guild facilitates direct contact between corporations seeking guidance in facility placement and qualified site selection practitioners.

The first annual Site Selectors Guild Conference was held last year in Orlando, Florida. It was apparently such a rousing success that the conference this year is sold out. Organizations interested in event sponsorships may still be able to get invited and gain access to the huge number of site selection consultants attending the conference.

What: 2013 Site Selectors Guild Conference

When: Feb 25-27, 2013

Where: Ritz Carlton Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana

IEDC Leadership Summit Course – Managing Economic Development Organizations

The IEDC Leadership Summit is scheduled to be held Jan 27-28, 2013 in Orlando, Florida. As part of the pre-summit professional development activities, there is a 2-day advanced course scheduled for Jan 24-25 on “Managing Economic Development Organizations.”

IEDC Leadership Summit - Managing EDOs

IEDC Leadership Summit – Managing EDOs (photo –

This course on managing EDOs will focus on the key principles and practices of professional management in economic development.

Participants will learn how to engage their board or council, staff and community stakeholders, constituents, and customers to achieve results in job creation, tax-base stabilization and community growth and development.

The instructors for the course are:-

1. Tom Flynn, CEcD – Tom Flynn is the director of the Department of Economic Development for Loudoun County, Virginia. Before that, Flynn was the economic development director for the City of Charlotte. Flynn is on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Association and has been a member of several Urban Land Institute Advisory Panels.

2. Dr. David R. Kolzow – Dr. Kolzow is currently President of Team Kolzow, Inc., an economic development consulting firm out of Franklin, Tennessee, and a principal consultant with Taimerica Management in Louisiana. Dr. Kolzow has over 37 years of consulting experience in site selection, real estate development planning, and community economic development.

3. Mary Jane Stanley, CEcD, MBA РMs. Stanley is currently contracting with the Florida Institute of Government at the University of South Florida, where she is the Learning and Development Facilitator. She also partners with Impact Data Source, an Austin based consulting firm that conducts economic and fiscal impact analyses.  Ms. Stanley has over 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors.

Day 1 sessions include:-

– An Introduction to Managing Economic Development Organizations;

– Defining an Organization’s Identity;

– Envisioning the Future; and

– Serving the Customer.

Day 2 sessions include:-

– Improving Internal Processes;

– Defining Leadership;

– Measuring Performance / Case Study; and

– Organizational Ethics: Focus on EDOs.

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. Those who are already CEcDs can earn recertification credits for participation.

In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day.

What: IEDC Leadership Summit – Managing EDOs

When: Jan 24-25, 2013

Where: Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819

Accelerate Upstate 2.0 – Economic Development Summit in Buffalo, NY

The Accelerate Upstate 2.0 economic development summit organized by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is scheduled to be held on January 29, 2013 in Buffalo, New York.

Accelerate Upstate

Accelerate Upstate (photo –

The original and first Accelerate Upstate summit was held on August 4-5, 2011 and included hundreds of economic development stakeholders collaborating to create a plan for Upstate’s future.

It resulted in the Accelerate Upstate Action Agenda, which served as a starting point for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, whose five-year plan earned more than $100 million in resources for projects across Buffalo Niagara.

NY Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also announced a commitment to focus $1.1 billion in economic development resources on the Buffalo Niagara region.

The second Accelerate Upstate conference is now being held to assess New York’s approach to economic development in the past, present, and future, and establish top priorities for 2013.

One of the highlights of this month’s event will be the keynote by pollster John Zogby, who has been commissioned to poll employers leading up to the event and will present his findings in a keynote address.

His cumulative findings, representative of employers large and small from all of Upstate, will be used to identify means for economic developers to match evolving private sector needs as they move forward.

James McConeghy, chief financial officer of Chobani, Inc., will detail his organization’s experiences doing business in New York State. Joan Snyder Kohl, workplace talent development consultant and millennial expert, will serve as the opening speaker for the Accelerate Upstate 2.0 economic development summit.

Apart from the keynote speeches, there will be two penal discussions. The first one is titled “Accelerate Upstate Meets the Regional Councils – One Year Since.”

Panelists for this discussion include John Batiste, president & CEO, Klein Steel; and E.J. McMahon, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. They will be talking about the impact of the creation of the regional councils, and Governor Cuomo’s approach to economic development in New York State.

The second panel is titled “One Day’s Trip: How can Upstate take advantage of its enviable market location?” Panelists include Steve Hyde, president & CEO, Genesee County Economic Development Corporation; Thomas Moebus , deputy director, Levin Institute; and the NYC Canadian consulate general.

These panelists will discuss the fact that Upstate New York is located between the 22 million people of the NYC metropolitan area and the 10 million people of metropolitan Toronto and Montreal. They will be talking about the opportunities the pivotal location provides for economic development and job growth, and what can be done to take advantage.

You can register to attend the event in person, or participate online (YNN livestream).

What: Accelerate Upstate 2.0

When: Jan 29, 2013

Where: Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Buffalo, New York

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