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Your Partner in Growing Your Community

The Fall Economic Development Toolbox

18 Fall Toolbox Postcard Cover OnlyThis yearly event will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018, at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West Hotel in Lansing, Michigan.

This event has sessions on a variety of components for economic development success: new tools and programs, updates to existing tools and programs, best practices, marketing, unique ideas, skill-building, and leadership.

Both state and local professionals join together to take a fresh look at the components comprehensively, from both an informational and implementation aspect. Breakout sessions are held throughout the program so that attendees can choose the programs that are the most important to their area of responsibility.

In order to develop the best conference, a volunteer committee of MEDA members meets regularly to plan The Fall Economic Development Toolbox and other MEDA membership programs. Click here to learn more about the Education Committee.

Thank You Sponsors

Localintel Left Logo For White BackgroundMEDA would like to thank Localintel for sponsoring The Fall Economic Development Toolbox for the second year in a row.

You can join Localintel in sponsoring this event! See "Membership Program Sponsorship" on this page for more information.


The Fall Economic Development Toolbox agenda is full of information that will help you understand where Michigan is poised in the eyes of the national business community and then help you build a strategy that can raise the position of your community with marketing, talent attraction, funding, storytelling, and exporting strategies.

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens

8:30 a.m. Where’s Michigan Now?
Michigan is in a different place than it was eight years ago and, with a new governor-elect in place by the date of the Toolbox, many in the economic development community will be reflecting as well as thinking about its future. A group of site consultants will share their perspective about where Michigan stands in the eyes of the national business community today. Have factors like right-to-work and national economic growth raised Michigan’s position? What are other states are doing to win businesses and, more importantly, what changes can we make in order to compete?
Nicole Whitehead, EDFP, Director, Sales & Service Operations, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Adam R. Burgess, Vice President of Transaction Management, Plante Moran Cresa
Bradley Migdal, ESQ, Senior Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.
Jason Vangalis, EDFP, Strategic Consulting and Site Selection Practice Leader, Ady Advantage

9:30 a.m. Roundtables with Site Consultants
The invited consultants will participate in facilitated discussion groups around the room. This will give you the opportunity to engage them based on their unique areas of interest or to ask follow-up questions based on the panel discussion.

10:30 a.m. Networking Break

10:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions 1

>> Using Visual Media to Tell Your Economic Development Success Story
In today’s information-filled world, it has become clear that there is a heavy preference for visual media: videos and pictures that tell stories. Those trends have seeped into the spectrum of economic development promotion. The Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, a small-staffed EDO with a big reach, continuously works on creative ways to tell stories to their local community, businesses, and stakeholders that resonate. Learn from their experience.
Justin Horvath, CEcD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership
Michael David-Lorne Jordan, APA, Storycrafter/Owner, David-Lorne Photographic        

>> 4 Key Elements to Improving Your Economic Development Web Presence
There is little question that having a web presence is important for economic developers, but with all of the web trends, and with most EDO’s having limited resources, what focus areas are the most important and easy to maintain? With the elements in place, how do you make businesses and investors aware of the site’s content? Gain tips and hear from communities with experience in growing their web presence.
Dave Parsell, Co-founder and CEO, Localintel
Rochelle Freeman, Business & Economic Development Director, City of Southfield
Todd Fenton, EDFP, Economic Development Manager, City of Royal Oak

11:45 a.m. Lunch and Membership Meeting

12:45 p.m. MEDC Update
The close of another year is upon us and many of us are already looking into next year. Learn what the MEDC is planning for 2019 and beyond that can help with your economic development strategy.
Jeff Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

1:15 p.m. Networking Break

1:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions 2

>> A Comprehensive Team-Based Approach to Economic Development Grant Writing (Workshop)
You just finished a long and lonely grant-writing process that you barely completed on time because you had so much else on your plate. You then find out it’s rejected and now you’re discouraged. Wouldn’t it be nice if the work were shared between a team, so you could complete more proposals in less time AND have more room for other goals? Edward Wollman has traveled the country and helped economic developers rethink their approach to grant writing. This workshop-style session will be fun, informative, and interactive.
Edward Wollman, Managing Director, Michigan Grants Funding, Inc.

>> Positioning Your EDO Brand for Long-Term Success
With the right brand and marketing strategy, your organization can benefit from increased awareness and engagement, as well as improved perception. In this course, we will discuss the qualities of a strong brand, the effect of internal efforts on external perceptions, and ideas for setting up your organization for long-term success.
Molly Mason, Founder, Chief Business Officer, Hoyden Creative

2:30 p.m. Networking Break

2:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions 3

>> How to Identify Good Candidates for Exporting
All around Michigan, companies are learning that their product has a worldwide market and that they could grow through exporting. How can an economic developer proactively identify companies that have what it takes? Also, learn from a company that has grown from exporting. How did they find out about the possibility? What steps did they take for successful practice?
Natalie Chmiko, CGBP, Director of International Trade, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Kevin Loe, Director of Sales, Redi-Rock International

>> How Technology Can Drive Talent Attraction
Helping companies find talent should not be a headache! In this session, you will learn how to help employers find the talent they need to grow and what metrics you can use to measure your impact on the economic health of your region or industry. You will see new job board technology built specifically to help you connect job seekers to companies looking for talent and learn how one EDO is using the technology.
Scott Goci, CEO/Cofounder, TruJob, Inc. 
Phil Santer, EDFP, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, Ann Arbor SPARK

3:45 p.m. Adjourn


Early Registration: MEDA Members $105/Non-Members $175

If you joined in the last 12 months, you might still have an unused New Member Coupon! Ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Regular Registration (starts at midnight one week before the program): MEDA Members $120/Non-Members $190

Ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. how you can attend this program for free by joining MEDA!


There are a limited number of King rooms available for $129++/night. For a guarantee of that rate, reserve before November 19th. To reserve, call 877-322-5544 or visit www.crowneplaza.com/lansingwest and use code ECO.

Recertification Credits

This program has been approved for (1) continuing education credit for Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from the National Development Council (NDC). Use the form on this page to claim your credit.

This event is recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts toward recertification for Certified Economic Developers (CEcD).


Corporate Sponsors

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Contact Us

Michigan Economic
Developers Association
P.O. Box 15096
Lansing, MI 48901-5096
PH: 517-241-0011

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