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2017 Annual Conference
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2017 Annual Conference

 Export to Your Calendar 8/20/2017 to 8/22/2017
When: 08/20/2017
Where: Map this event »
The Westin Charlotte
601 S College Street
Charlotte, North Carolina  28202
United States
Contact: Matthew Darius
(404) 523-3030

Online registration is available until: 8/14/2017
« Go to Upcoming Event List  

Registration | Schedule | Panelists

Hotel | Communication Awards | Silent Auction

Evening Event | Optional Activities | Sponsors

Do you know who your competition is?

I bet it has changed over the past decade or so.  The 2017 SEDC Annual Conference theme is "Redefining Competition".  The conference will explore the changes in competition that all economic developers are facing.  Marcus Smith, president of Speedway Motor Sports,  will keynote our meeting and will discuss the changes that NASCAR is facing.  Breakout sessions and other general sessions will look at the change in incentives, workforce issues, transportation, and logistics challenges and emerging trends in the world of economic development.  As always, our final panel will be several national site selection consultants discussing trends that they are seeing in the site location world.
Charlotte is a wonderful place for our conference.  Just steps from the Westin Hotel are museums, restaurants, and shopping.  The local conference committee is working to make the Charlotte conference one of the best ever. In addition to the outstanding lineup of speakers, there will plenty of chances to network and re-connect with colleagues from all over the South.

Please plan to join us August 20-22, 2017 as we redefine the competition!

Robert E. Leak, Jr., CEcD
2017 Annual Conference Chairman


Registration Rates:    

   Early Regular Onsite
Member: $ 450.00 $ 500.00 $ 600.00
Join SEDC& Register**: $ 650.00 $ 700.00 $ 800.00
Non-Member: $ 700.00 $ 750.00 $ 850.00
Guest/ Spouse: $ 175.00 $ 175.00 $ 225.00

*Early Bird Expires July 15, 2017


Three ways to register for the 2017 SEDC Annual Conference:

1) Online
2) By fax at (404) 523-0406*
3) By mail to SEDC, 311 Nelson St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313*

Please complete the registration form and include your credit card information or check payable to SEDC. Due to the large number of registrations, we will be unable to verify receipt of your fax. You will receive registration confirmation via email.

** Please note Join SEDC & Register is a two step process. You must first Join SEDC and select the *New Member & Conference Registration* member type, then log into your account and register for the conference.


• Payment must accompany registration form

• SEDC offers no partial or daily registrations

• SEDC reserves the right to limit or restrict registration

• Registration must be received no later than August 14, 2017. After this date, registrants must register and pay fees on-site.

SEDC policy states that full payment is required prior to the start of the event.  Anyone with an outstanding balance may be denied entry.


Registration deadline is August 14, 2017. After this date please plan to register on-site. In order to obtain a refund, all cancellations must be received in writing at the SEDC office. Refund policy is as follows: Cancellation notices received by August 11, 2017- amount refunded less an administrative fee of $50. Cancellation notices received between August 11, 2017 and August 13, 2017- amount refunded less an administrative fee of $150. Any registrant who does not submit cancellation correspondence by August 13, 2017 is required to pay the balance in full. Registrants may substitute attendees without penalty upon notification, however, appropriate member/non-member rates will apply to substitute attendees. SEDC is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail.


In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), conference management will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities at its meetings. If you need assistance or if you have dietary restrictions, please indicate this on your registration form or call the SEDC office at 404-523-3030.


Member and non-member registration fees include: all conference sessions, Welcome Reception on Sunday, breakfast and lunch both Monday and Tuesday, Silent Auction Reception, breaks, as well as Tuesday night’s event.

Partner/Guest registration fees do not include conference sessions, breakfast and lunch Monday and Tuesday or breaks. Partner/Guest registration fees have been established solely for a spouse or significant other who accompanies the primary member registrant. This fee will not be honored for co-workers or industry associates.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Optional Activity for Attendees and Guests
Behind the Scenes at Carolina Raptor Center and Latta Plantation
**Requires purchase at time of registration

1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Optional Activity 2 for Attendees and Guests
"A Day with The Queen" Tour

**Requires purchase at time of registration

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
SEDC Committee Meetings
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
State Caucus Meetings
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Welcome Reception
More information coming soon!!



Monday, August 21, 2017

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
New Member Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Past Chairman's Breakfast

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Keynote Speaker Marcus Smith

10:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
General Session - Incentives, Trends and Realities in a Tea Party World

Speaker:Gray Swoope, Vision First Advisors

12:15 – 2:00 p.m.

Recognizing Community Economic Development Awards & Communication Award Winners


2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Concurrent Session - Reshoring Redefines International Competitiveness

Speaker: Mike Randle, Southern Business & Development

Concurrent Session - Retail Recruitment

Speaker: Lacy Beasley, Retail Strategies

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


3:30 – 4:45 p.m.

Concurrent Session - Talent Attraction Part 1- Millennials & Gen Y

Speaker: Amy Holloway, Avalanche Consulting

Concurrent Session - Talent Attraction Part 2 - It's the Talent Stupid

Speaker: Andy Levine, DCI

Concurrent Session - Talent Retention, Creating a Talent Pipeline


6:00 – 7:00 pm

Silent Auction Reception Benefiting the SEDC Educational Foundation



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
General Session -Economic Outlook & Emerging Trends

Speaker: Ted Abernathy, Economic Leadership

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.

10:45a.m. – 11:45 p.m.

General Session -Transportation Infrastructure

Ports, Intermodal, Rail, & Highway

Panelists:Robin Hager, Director Global Logistics,
Freight & Customs - Hanesbrands
Wilby Whitt, President of Intermodal - CSX;
Allen Clifford, Executive Vice President of MSC
Moderator: Paul Cozza, NC Port Authority                                                                                                                             

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Luncheon-SEDC Awards Presentations and Annual Meeting

Awards include Honorary Life Members,
Chairman’s and President’s Awards and Retiring Board Members

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

General Session - Redefining Communities - Success stories

Panelists:Brian Anderson, Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commece; Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop, City of Fairhope, Economic and Community Development
Moderator, Will Lambe, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

General Session -Trends in Site Location Issues

Consultant Panel:Kathy Mussio, Atlas Insight;
Mark Sweeney,McCallum Sweeney; Mark Williams,Strategic Development Group

Moderator, Chris Chung CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame - Tentative

Open bar and passed hor'dourves throughout the interactive exhibits




Gray Swoope
Vision First Advisors

  Mike Randle 
Southern Business & Development

Lacy Beasley
Retail Strategies

  Amy Holloway
Avalanche Consulting
  Andy Levine
  Ted Abernathy
Economic Leadership

  Robin Hager
Director Global Logistics
Freight & Customs - Hanesbrands
  Wilby Whitt
President of Intermodal - CSX
  Allen Clifford
Executive Vice President of MSC (USA) Inc.
  Brian Anderson
Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce

  Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop
City of Fairhope, Alabama
Economic & Community Development

  Kathy Mussio
Atlas Insight
  Mark Sweeney
McCallum Sweeney
  Mark Williams
Strategic Development Group


Conference Hotel:

The Westin Charlotte
601 South College Street
Charlotte NC 28202 United States
Phone:(1)(704) 375-2600
Fax:(1)(704) 375-2623

Rates & Registration:

$169 - Single through Quad Occupancy

Guests can make reservations by calling 1-866-837-4148 and asking for the 2017 SEDC Conference Room Block


Registering online at: 

Cutoff date for booking a room is July 28th, 2017


About the Conference Hotel:

With its iconic Portman design, the hotel is an integral part of Uptown’s financial district and the Queen City skyline. Next to the convention center, they're minutes from Bank of America Stadium and major headquarters such as Wells Fargo and Deloitte. The hotel’s myriad features include a WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio, indoor pool, and on-site dining outlets such as Ember Grille that sizzle with personality and flair. They offer spa services at the Westin Wellness Center and 44,000 square feet of meeting space.The only choice for modern luxury in Uptown, the hotel boasts 700 amenity-filled rooms and suites with soaring city views. Sink into our Westin Heavenly Bed®, with layers of sublime comfort, or refresh in the Heavenly Bath® for a delightful escape.

Communication Awards

More information coming soon!

Silent Auction

Each year as part of the SEDC Annual Conference the SEDC Education Foundation hosts a silent auction event to raise funds towards the SEDC scholarship program. Without your help, this program cannot be successful. The 2017 Silent Auction benefiting the SEDC Educational Foundation will be held on Monday, August 21st, in conjunction with the SEDC Annual Conference.

We need your help in securing items! You can donate to the silent auction by contacting 

This year, we will be using a new mobile app for your Android, iPhone, or desktop computer. You will be able to see each item, bid on them eBay style, see current bids and more! Additional information on the app and the process of bidding will be available closer to the conference.

Tuesday Evening Event

More information coming soon!

Optional Activities

More information coming soon!


Are you interested in sponsorship for the Annual Conference? 

Gold Sponsor



Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Copper Sponsors



Accepting Applications Now!