2011 Conference Resources

At this year’s Economic Development Conference, city leaders and economic development stakeholders learned new and tested strategies for creating globally competitive cities. Workshops, intensive training sessions, peer-learning opportunities and tours of local programs focused on homegrown sources of growth, including entrepreneurship and small businesses development, and sources of growth from outside the community, including trade and foreign direct investment.

Learn More about the Economic Development Conference

Full Agenda of the Economic Development Conference at the Congress of Cities and Exposition 

Economic Development Conference Focuses on Making Cities Great Places to Live and Work



Workshops and Resources from the Economic Development Conference

Plenary Session:  Supporting Small Business and Entrepreneurship Part One 
Workshop:  Making Your City More Business Friendly
Workshop:  Connecting Local Businesses to International Markets 
Workshop: Creating a Brand that Gets Your Message Across
Workshop:  Small Business Financing 
Film:  Fixing the Future
Workshop:  Preparing For Work and Life in the 21st Century Via Postsecondary Success
Workshop:  Supporting Immigrant Small Businesses
Workshop:  Attracting New Investment 
Workshop:  Supporting Small Business and Entrepreneurship Part Two 
Workshop:  International Students and Trade 
Workshop:  Developing Downtown Density 
Workshop:  Social Media: The New Face of Local Government

Economic Development Opening General Session - Local Leadership in a Global Economy

Friday November 11, 8:30 - 9:15 am
Economic development is the process of building strong, adaptive economies.  Despite the diversity of approaches and strategies to achieve this goal in cities across the country, leadership is consistently identified as a critical factor in effective economic development. Although leadership can come from many places within the community, local elected officials are particularly well-positioned to take on this role. During this opening session, mayors discuss what local economic development means to them, what their roles have been and what challenges they face.
View the Full NLCTV Webcast.

Moderator: William Fulton, Mayor, Ventura, Calif.; Governing Magazine's economic development columnist

Ralph Becker, Mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah
Rick Baker, former Mayor, St. Petersburg, Florida
Carl Brewer, Mayor, Wichita, Kansas

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Supporting Small Business and Entrepreneurship Part One

Friday November 11, 9:30 - 10:15 am
New and small businesses are the backbone of most local economies, and providing a supportive local culture and resources to help these businesses is an important role for local leaders. Often, the first step is opening channels of communication with your local business community and partnering with small business stakeholders and service providers. Attendees will learn about small business resources and strategies to build stronger partnerships with both local businesses and support organizations.

Moderator: Gretchen Driskell, Mayor, City of Saline, Michigan

Maryanne Weiss, President, Arizona SCORE
Liz Hanson, Economic Vitality Coordinator, City of Boulder, Colorado

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Making Your City More Business Friendly

Friday November 11, 9:30 - 10:15 am
City policies can directly impact the ease of doing business in your community. Often times, regulations with confusing or redundant steps and vague time lines put unnecessary burdens on prospective and current businesses.  This workshop will focus on ways cities of all sizes have worked to streamline, provide clarity and better coordinate regulatory processes.  Attendees will learn strategies to more efficiently coordinate efforts across multiple agencies and create better lines of communication between businesses and the city.

Scott Powell, Business Development Research Analyst, Gilbert, Arizona

Richard Conlin, Council President, Seattle, Washington
David Vehaun, City Manager, Rock Hill, South Carolina

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Connecting Local Businesses to International Markets

Friday November 11, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
With 70 percent of the world's purchasing power outside of the U.S., exporting is becoming a critical business strategy, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, these firms often face daunting hurdles, including identifying markets, navigating legal and logistical parameters and financing. This workshop will showcase leading local and regional export programs with a focus on local roles. Attendees will learn how they can connect SMEs with information, resources and support to help these businesses succeed.
View the Full NLCTV Webcast.

Moderator: Michael Kasperzak, Councilmember, City of Mountain View, California

Karyn Page, President and CEO, Kansas World Trade Center, Inc., Wichita, Kansas
Eric Nielsen, Director, Arizona U.S. Export Assistance Center Phoenix, Scottsdale & Tucson, U.S. Commercial Service
Gunnar Light, President of Global Growth Strategies and Vice Chair of the Arizona District Export Council

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Creating a Brand that Gets Your Message Across

Friday November 11, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Developing and promoting a community brand unites local and regional stakeholders around a common competitive identity, showcases community assets, and most importantly, allows potential investors and existing businesses to know how your community can help them succeed.  Local elected and economic development leaders will discuss challenges and imperatives of creating and marketing a regional brand. Attendees will learn strategies to get stakeholders onboard, target international investment and make the most of their city's website.

Moderator: Matt Leighninger, Executive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Washington, D.C.

Bill Stafford, Senior Consultant, NYHUS Communications, LLC and Former President, Trade Development Alliance for Greater Seattle
Anatalio Ubalde, Co-Founder and CEO of GIS Planning, San Francisco, California

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Small Business Financing

Friday November 11, 1:30 - 2:45 pm
One of the major hurdles for any small business is financing, either for expansion, new equipment or personnel.  Effective local financing programs, such as revolving loan funds and microenterprise programs, are often created in collaboration with private sector and non-profit partners to ensure proper management, capitalization and industry expertise.  The workshop will focus on local programs and partnerships that provide small business financing. Local leaders will learn whether and how to jumpstart small business financing or how to make their existing programs more effective.

Moderator: Laura Sparks, Director of Development Finance Initiatives, Citi Community Development

Lesia Bates Moss, President/CEO, LBM & Associates and Former President of Seedco Financial Services, Inc.
William Fulton, Mayor, Ventura, California

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Preparing For Work and Life in the 21st Century Via Postsecondary Success

Friday November 11, 1:30 - 12:45 pm
City officials increasingly realize that a better-educated workforce - in which many more residents hold postsecondary credentials - is one key to future success.  This is the case whether viewed through an economic/workforce development lens, or when the objective is to maximize resident engagement or minimize threats to public safety.  Learn about the ways cities and key partners such as community colleges, school districts and workforce agencies are mounting new strategies to pave the way to postsecondary education, build career pathways, and increase credential attainment.   Depart with tools and processes to apply in your own city.  Co-sponsored by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families and the NLC University Communities Council.

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Fixing the Future

Friday November 11, 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Fixing the Future profiles people creating the new economy and sustainable ways of living from the ground up. In this PBS NOW documentary David Brancaccio visits communities across America that are using innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity. He talks to working Americans from Maine to Washington State, and from Texas to Ohio, who are re-engineering the future and building on American values of commonwealth, shared prosperity, fairness, wellbeing, sustainability, and creativity. A facilitated discussion will follow to explore questions such as - 'Is a new economy possible?' and 'What role will cities play in promoting sustainable, equitable, and prosperous growth?'
Learn More About the Film
Film Credits

Moderator: Deb Perry, Program Officer Climate and Environment Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities

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Supporting Immigrant Small Businesses

Friday November 11, 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Integrating immigrants into local economies is increasingly important to economic growth. For instance, recent research shows that immigrants were twice as likely to start business as native-born workers over the last decade. For cities across the country, immigrant business represents an important source of jobs and economic growth. This workshop will examine the challenges and opportunities facing immigrants and highlight successful local programs that help immigrants succeed economically. The session will begin with an overview of immigrant economic issues, after which, attendees will learn ways to support immigrant business, including outreach and partnership building strategies. 
View the Full NLCTV Webcast.

Moderator: Gilbert Lopez, Vice Mayor, Coolidge, Ariz.

Laura Hill, Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California 
Fatima Shama, Commissioner, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, New York, NY
James Garcia, Director of Communications, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix, Arizona

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Attracting New Investment

Friday November 11, 3:00 - 4:30 pm
In 2010, U.S. communities received $228 billion in new investment from foreign investors, creating new jobs, boosting wages, increasing exports, strengthening existing industries and raising productivity.  Local elected and economic development leaders will showcase how their communities have benefitted from foreign direct investment (FDI) and how they organized to attract it.  Attendees will learn how, with patience, partnerships and planning, they can effectively pursue FDI.
View the Full NLCTV Webcast.

Moderator:  Dominick Moreno, Councilman, Commerce City, Colorado

Chris Knight, Senior Account Manager U.S., FDi Intelligence, London, England
Barry Broome, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

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Supporting Small Business and Entrepreneurship Part Two

Saturday November 12, 9:00 - 10:30 am
Not all small and new businesses are alike, with some contributing more to the innovation capacity and economic growth of your community than others. Do high-growth businesses exist in my community? What services do they need? How can I enable a local culture supportive of entrepreneurs and small businesses? This session will help local leaders answer these questions and take a proactive role in developing and implementing strategies that both leverage local assets and utilize partnerships.

Moderator: William Fulton, Mayor, Ventura, California

Peter Meade, Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston, Massachusetts
Michael Chodos, Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, DC
Gordon McConnell, Executive Director of Venture Acceleration, Arizona State University

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International Students and Trade

Saturday November 12, 9:00 - 10:30 am
Did you know that education and training is among the top ten service exports in the U.S.? It is estimated that foreign students attending U.S. universities have contributed $18.78 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2009-2010 academic year. Learn how to make international students a key component of your economic development trade strategy, build relationships with students and universities and help create a positive experience for them in your community.

Moderator: Nancy Chaney Mayor, Moscow, Idaho and University Communities Council Chair

Russ Phaneuf, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, Arizona
Hugh Hallman, Mayor, Tempe, Arizona
Annique Nestmann, Director, International Education, Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona

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Developing Downtown Density

Saturday November 12, 10:45 am - 12:15 pm
Stalled development and a shrinking tax base have become a harsh, familiar reality for many cities across the country.  This workshop will focus on how to turn existing Main Streets and downtown districts into denser, more powerful drivers for expanding your local economy and growing your tax base.  Learn why density matters and what it takes to implement it in your city.

Moderator: Douglas Athas, Councilmember, City of Garland, Texas

Doyle Hyett, HyettPalma
Scott Polikov, President, Gateway Planning Group, Fort Worth, Texas
Teri Killgore, Downtown Development Manager, City of Chandler, Arizona

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Social Media: The New Face of Local Government

Saturday November 12, 10:45 am - 12:15 pm
Social media is bringing a revolution to citizen's expectations in how they interact with their local government.  In this workshop, city leaders will learn some key strategies for determining when and how to use these multi-channeled formats effectively to enhance and expand their outreach and engagement with residents.  In addition, the legal issues of language, privacy and management of records will be addressed with authentic scenarios.

Moderator: Robin Beltramini, Chair, City Futures Panel on Democratic   Governance, Councilmember, Troy, Michigan

Matt Leighninger, Executive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Washington, DC
Todd Hale, Esq.  Lewis and Roca, LLP   Tucson, Arizona


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