Events & Conferences

Bloomberg-Tampa Economic Development Series Showcases Florida

On the sidelines of the Republican National Convention underway in Tampa Bay, Florida, the Host Committee has teamed up with Bloomberg to offer a CEO-based economic development series.The series got underway yesterday with a reception at the University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS).

Tampa Bay Host Committee

Photo – Tampa Bay Host Committee

The lineup includes the CEOs of AT&T, Citi and The Coca-Cola Company, in addition to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and other policy makers and experts.

The all-star cast of headliners for the series that continues until Thursday, Aug 30, ensures that it is going to create a lot of mainstream buzz.

Several more national and global CEOs and senior management are expected to participate as panelists and audience members. They will be discussing economic issues ranging from international trade to the emerging workforce.

The series is a collaborative effort with several leading business groups, including the Florida Council of 100, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Florida. The aim of the whole effort is apparently to sell Florida as “Open for Business” to CEOs attending the Republican National Convention.

“We are excited to use the platform of the Republican National Convention to showcase Florida and the entire Tampa Bay region as a premier location for business,” said Host Committee president and CEO Ken Jones. “It is a great honor to work with Bloomberg to bring such a phenomenal group of business leaders to the Tampa Bay area for this groundbreaking economic development series.”

“The Host Committee’s economic development series with Bloomberg is an opportunity to spotlight the key advantages of Florida’s business environment,” said Host Committee executive board member and CEO of URETEK Holdings Kathleen Shanahan.

“This series will put the business implications of government on full display and bring together CEOs and public sector officials to discuss what works—and what doesn’t work—when it comes to economic development here in Florida,” said Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer for Bloomberg L.P. and co-chairman of Bloomberg Government.

The series will wrap things up on Thursday with a closing panel on education that includes Jeb Bush, former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice Rice and Rep. Eric Cantor.

2012 Help Wanted Conference

The 2012 Help Wanted Conference is scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C. on September 20, 2012. Organized by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), this conference offers the opportunity to participate in a robust conversation on how America is addressing skills gap crisis.

2012 ICW Help Wanted conference

2012 ICW Help Wanted conference (Photo –

The conference will bring together business leaders and policy makers to discuss a wide variety of issues throughout post-secondary education and the workforce. Find out which states are serious about reform, and learn more about innovation in higher education, the skilled talent crisis and workforce development.

The opening keynote speaker is Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, followed by a “Skills Gap” roundtable moderated by Domenic Giandomenico, ICW director of Education and Workforce Programs. One of the four participants in the roundtable will be Jean Wallace, vice president of Human Resources, Lockheed Martin.

This will be followed by a breakout discussion on the Workforce Investment Act, the federal government’s involvement in workforce development, and steps to make WIA’s impact more beneficial to business.

There will be a Higher Education innovation panel which addresses the need for innovation in higher education by linking the contributions of for-profit institutions, venture capitalists. One of the panelists is Bob Sheets from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

After a discussion on the skills gap, there will be a ‚ÄúMoving the Needle‚Äù panel which discusses the importance of how to aligning education with labor market needs and initiatives that will improve the worforce’s ability to compete in the global economy. The facilitator for this panel is Rick Stephens, senior vice president, Human Resources, The Boeing Company.

There are 3.4 million jobs in the U.S. that remain unfilled because of a lack of skilled manpower. The U.S. has dropped from the top position to 10th in terms of the percentage of young adults with a college degree.

What: 2012 Help Wanted Conference

When: September 20, 2012

Where: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

2012 Business Facilities LiveXchange

The 8th annual Business Facilities LiveXchange conference is scheduled to be held in Bonita Springs, Florida from Oct 28-30, 2012. The conference streamlines the site selection process for corporate executives.

2012 Business Facilities LiveXchange

2012 Business Facilities LiveXchange (Photo –

You get to attend workshops, seminars and think-tanks led by acknowledged experts and consultants who work with site selectors on expansion and relocation projects.

You get to network with economic development representatives, real estate consultants and other site selectors and corporate executives.

Most importantly, delegates at the invitation-only conference will get to meet one on one with economic development agencies from prime locations across the U.S. to discuss your project and find out what each location has or is willing to offer.

Day One begins with a keynote by NFL Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood, followed by a series of one on one meeting opportunities, workshops and seminars until lunch.

After lunch, you can join the think-tank on “Site Selection Case History,” presented by Jason Hickey, president of Hickey & Associates, a site selection firm specializing in location selection strategies, loan guarantees, grants and other public/private partnerships. The rest of the afternoon is again devoted to one on one meetings with economic development agencies.

Day two begins with a general session on ‚ÄúHow the Internet is Changing Site Selection and Economic Development,‚Äù presented by Anatalio Ubalde, co-founder and CEO of GIS Planning Inc., and SizeUp. His company’s strategies are implemented in 39 states and serve a majority of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. GIS Planning’s ZoomProspector enterprise web-based GIS product is the industry standard for site selection websites in economic development.

The post-lunch closing session on Day Two includes a KPMG Competitive Analysis survey presented by Stuart MacKay, president of MMK Consulting. Mr. Mackay has more than 30 years of professional experience in site location analysis and has been helping international and domestic companies with site selection and negotiating relocation and expansion incentive packages.

What: 2012 Business Facilities LiveXchange

When: Oct 28-30, 2012

Where: Hyatt regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, Florida

2012 Inner City Economic Summit

The 2012 Inner City Economic Summit is scheduled to be held in Boston, Massachusetts on September 19-20, 2012. The summit organizer is the Boston-based Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

Inner City Economic Summit

Inner City Economic Summit (Photo – ICIC)

City, civic and business leaders will gather to share practices that are proving durable in this fiscal climate, and attendees will have a “What Works blueprint” to take back home and implement.

The first session on Day One is titled “What Works for Cities: Spotlight on Solutions” and will be moderated by Mary Kay Leonard, president and CEO, ICIC and Lee Fisher, president and CEO, CEOs for Cities.

Case studies presented during this session will focus on three categories – industry-led workforce development; creating jobs and businesses in the food cluster; and city and anchor economic development initiatives.

On the second day, after a plenary address on equity and inclusion by Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink, there will be another session on “The Role of Industrial Land in the City Landscape.”

By analyzing cities’ land use decisions during this session, participants will learn the job creation implications associated with urban industrial activity.

One case study lined up for discussion during this session is about Chicago’s Planned Manufacturing Districts, to be presented by Michael Holzer, director for Economic Development, Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Council.

Another one is San Francisco’s Industrial Retention and Promotion, to be presented by Kate Sofis, founder and executive director, SFMade; and co-founder, Urban Manufacturing Alliance.

The third session is about “Financing Growth Clusters,” moderated by Dan Nissenbaum, COO, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Fund. One of the featured case studies during this session is the NYC Construction Loan Program, to be presented by Colleen Galvin, assistant commissioner, Financial Services and Capital Access, NYC Department of Small Business Services.

The last and fourth session deals with “Identifying Urban Businesses and What They Need to Compete.” Matt Camp, vice president of Urban Business Initiatives, ICIC, will talk about ICIC‚Äôs experience with identifying and engaging urban businesses.

There will additionally be two breakout sessions afterwards, and attendees may choose to attend either one and participate in the Q&A sessions after the case studies are presented.

The keynote presentation to bookend the summit goes to Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter, who will talk about the U.S. Competiveness Project, a research-led effort to understand and improve the competitiveness of the U.S.

What: 2012 Inner City Economic Summit

When: Sept 19-20, 2012

Where: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston, Massachusetts

Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development To Host “Doing Business in America” Symposium

The Governor’s office of Economic Development in the state of Utah is planning a special symposium called “Doing business in the America’s”.

The conference will provide an opportunity for the state of Utah as they can pinpoint strength’s in exports. The chairman of ITRA Global whose name is Ronald Pollina elaborates on how the symposium will serve as an amazing asset and resource for many of the executives in the business.

The Chairman states that the state of Utah is a real success story due to the political leadership as they worked hard to create jobs.

The Executive Director of the Governor’s office of Economic Development is looking forward to introducing the executives to:

  1. Business friendly environment in Utah
  2. Low costs associated with doing business
  3. Diverse based Economy

The Executive Director of Economic Development states that Utah has advanced far as they have received accolades for providing stability to the economy and it is ultimately due to a young workforce, low energy costs, transportation that is up to date and infrastructure that focuses on a broadband connection. The state government is also working efficiently with a variety of businesses as certain levels of regulation are handled.

The corporate incentives of the company include attracting well established businesses such as Adobe, EMC, Goldman Sachs and Boeing. The Utah economy is also being diversified as tax credits are provided and grants are used to stimulate university research. The success in the export business will also be pinpointed in the symposium. The state of Utah also doubled exports by two-fold in five years. There are many companies that are looking to open U.S. operations and Utah is ultimately on the top of the list for foreign direct investment.

Overall, the state of Utah has established itself as a positive economic driver for the world and the United States.

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California Governor Declares Small Business Month

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. issued an official proclamation declaring the month of May as “California Small Business Month.”

CA Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

CA Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (Photo -

It’s a bit late, but the proclamation might still do some good in putting fire under state and regional agencies that provide support and assistance to startups and small business owners in the Golden State.

“This month, we reaffirm our commitment to helping California’s small businesses thrive and prosper. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, along with key agencies of state government, works to facilitate economic growth through collaboration with small businesses,” said Governor Brown in his proclamation. “Supporting small-scale private-sector job creators is among our most promising strategies to enhance California’s human capital, expand job opportunities and increase our competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

California has 3.4 million small businesses which account for 99 percent of all California firms and more than 52 percent of the state’s workforce. As part of “Small Business Month,” the Governor‚Äôs Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) is participating in a number of small business related events across the state.

These events are designed to connect small business owners with the resources and tools they need to succeed as well as to recognize their role in California’s recovery. Their regional SBDC (small business development centers) partners will additionally host a series of free small business seminars and events.

According to the Go-Biz event calendar, the 1st Annual Southwest Veterans’ Business Resource Center (SWVBRC) Small Business Outreach Event to connect small businesses, secure federal contracts, and create jobs is scheduled to be held on May 17, 2012 in Perris, CA.

May 20, 2012 is the Small Business Week Conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by the Small Business Association, with forums, workshops, and networking events to meet and connect with leaders in the small business community.

The 4th Annual Small Business Resource EXPO, hosted by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, is scheduled for May 24, 2012 at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, California. The free admission event will feature over 50 exhibitors ready to help businesses grow and free workshops in social media, marketing, labor laws, and more.

Evergreen Cooperatives Goes Int’l to Promote Sustainable Local Employment

On March 15, 2012, Ted Howard, founder of the Cleveland, Ohio based Evergreen Cooperatives will be in London, UK as the keynote speaker to explain how cooperatives can provide locally made products, boost local employment and promote sustainability among local businesses.

Evergreen Cooperatives, Cleveland, Ohio

Photo credit - Evergreen Cooperatives, Cleveland, Ohio

The event is based around a study of the Evergreen Cooperatives initiative, with the aim of replicating the same model in the United Kingdom.

Evergreen promotes an innovative model of job creation, wealth building, and sustainability by creating cooperatives to provide goods and services to hospitals and universities.

What makes it such a success is that Evergreen has plenty of institutional support, since it is a partnership between six of Cleveland’s neighborhoods, the Cleveland Foundation, the City of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals, among others.

Put simply, the city is setting up cooperatives under Evergreen to handle all of its product and service requirements, thus keeping jobs in Cleveland that would otherwise have been widely dispersed. There are currently three companies under the Evergreen umbrella that are employee-owned and for-profit organizations which hire locally.

One is the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, which is an LEED certified commercial laundry. They are not only boosting local employment and wealth creation, but also promoting environmental sustainability on behalf of their clients, whose carbon footprints are reduced because of the green practices implemented by the laundry.

The second one is the Ohio Cooperative Solar (OCS) which installs solar panel arrays and retrofits residential and commercial buildings to make them more energy efficient. Again, the company is owned by its employees and they help their clients conserve energy and obtain federal and state tax credits available for these projects.

The last one is the Green City Growers Cooperative, which promotes “industrial farming”¬†via a hydroponic food production greenhouse to create more green jobs and local food in Cleveland.

At the event in London, Ted Howard will talk about his experience of setting up Evergreen, answer questions and help guide discussion. The event is free.

What: Learning from the Evergreen Co-ops model

When: 15th March; 7-9 pm

Where: Hub Westminster, London, UK

Find out more about the event at

GROWCO 2012 Conference

Inc.’s GROWCO 2012 Conference is scheduled to take place in New Orleans, Louisiana from March 5-7, 2012.


Photo credit - GROWCO/Inc.

The 2 day event is meant for business leaders who want to achieve sizable growth within their organization.

The main draw? President Bill Clinton talking about small business and economic development.

Other high-profile growth experts will teach seminars that will give attendees actionable information with which to develop or maintain their own growth initiative.

“At GROWCO, entrepreneurs have the chance to get together with their own kind, other highly ambitious company builders, to trade ideas, network, and learn from the bigwigs of the entrepreneurial world,” says Jane Berentson, editor of Inc. “Attendees come away from Inc. conferences inspired and energized.”

In a one-on-one conversation with Eric Schurenberg, editor of, scheduled for 12:15 pm on March 6, President Clinton talks about the future of small business and how the small-business community can continue to exert a major influence on economic development.

He talks about where the economy is headed and how it has changed since his time at the White House. He also does a bit of crystal-ball gazing about how the upcoming election will impact the small-business owner and entrepreneur.

Ever since last November when his latest book titledBack to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy” hit the stands, President Clinton has become a much more vocal supporter for economic development projects that lead to job creation.

Apart from the President, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki is one of the other scheduled speakers. He shares with you proven lessons for how to position, pitch, brand, evangelize, and build a team, as well as raise internal or external capital.

Steve Kimball, leader of the Economy Heroes movement with more than 26,000 followers dedicated to supporting America’s Entrepreneurs, is also scheduled as one of the speakers.

Learn how Naked Pizza CEO Robbie Vitrano’s vision is helping the Big Easy. One example is The Idea Village, a nonprofit business incubator that Vitrano co-founded in 2000. It has churned out 600-plus businesses, which have collectively generated nearly $100 million in revenue and created 1,000-plus jobs in New Orleans. Vitrano will explain what goes into planning and executing such a people-centric, city-loving business vision.

What: GROWCO: Grow Your Company Conference

When: March 5-7, 2012

Where: Hyatt Regency New Orleans

2012 Airport Cities World Conference

The 2012 Airport Cities World conference is scheduled to take place in Denver, Colorado from April 25-27, 2012.

Airport Cties 2012

Photo credit - Global Airport Cities

This conference is a must-visit for economic development executives and city officials given the task of managing cities with airports.

At this conference, you will meet experienced and talented airport professionals, aviation industry experts, and business and community leaders from all over the world who will discuss and share ideas about the airport city and aerotropolis model – a new strategic approach to airport planning and associated commercial development.

The conference chairman Professor John D. Kasarda explains that it consists of an airport-centered commercial core (the airport city) and outlying corridors and clusters of aviation-linked businesses that make up the greater aerotropolis.

Kasarda adds that, “The airport city and its greater aerotropolis are changing the way we work, the way we live, and the way metropolitan regions grow. In the process, they are creating tomorrow‚Äôs world.‚Äù

This is what the conference will explore, starting with the opening address by Professor Kasarda on “How we‚Äôll Live Next.”

One of the sessions on Day 1 is titled “Airport Cities Rising – The Engine Driving Economic Development And Urban Competitiveness.” This session will explore the positive contribution of the airport on the community and related integrated transport modes.

Day 2 has two parallel tracks of sessions running simultaneously. Together, they offer sessions which focus on airport city design, non-aeronautical revenue streams, environmental issues, and business models for airport and regional development.

What:  Airport Cities 2012 World Conference

When: April 25-27, 2012

Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, CO

SEEED 2012 Summit – Building Social Enterprise Ecosystems

The Social Enterprise Ecosystems Economic Development (SEEED) Summit is scheduled to take place March 16-17, 2012 at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

SEEED 2012 Summit

Photo credit - SEEED

SEEED is a national conference that celebrates the growth of social enterprise, with a particular focus on its role as an economic development driver.

The organizers are aiming for it to be the first national convening of social enterprise ecosystem builders, and as a venue to share models and explore the role social ventures are playing in local and national economies.

The topics covered include incubation, capital, market access, collaboration, supporting youth and university students, and scaling social enterprise models.

The 2-day agenda includes peer learning groups on best practices, strategies, movement building, etc. There will be workshops and seminars on capital for social ventures, alternative employment models, green tech, starting a venture while in college, understanding legal structures, etc.

The Social Enterprise Awards will be awarded at the end of day 2, and the summit also features a “Buy with Heart” marketplace and career fair. You can purchase and learn more about social venture products and services, and find opportunities to work with and volunteer for social ventures.

What  : Social Enterprise Ecosystems Economic Development (SEEED) Summit

When : March 16-17, 2012

Where: Brown University Campus, Providence, RI

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