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SEDC Conference Hits a High Note in Kansas City

The 2016 Annual Conference marked another highlight in SEDC history with unparalleled opportunities for networking and professional development.  The theme this year—Innovation—set the tone for a wide array of sessions focusing on this vital aspect of business growth.
Since innovation drives business development, economic development professionals must be innovative in the ways they work to attract new and expanding businesses to their communities. This year’s two-track approach allowed participants the opportunity to concentrate their attention on either the development of new businesses or on providing services to existing businesses.
Some 330 economic development practitioners from across the American South attended the conference.  Host Kansas City rolled out the red carpet in unforgettable style. Attendees were welcomed with a reception at the impressive World War I Museum. This nationally acclaimed site provided an exhilarating backdrop for the opening and reminded conference goers of the event that helped usher in “the American century” and the era of unprecedented freedom and prosperity American business still makes possible.

The first conference day opened with Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson, who played his moving arrangement of the Star Bangled Banner.  Keynote speaker Dayton Moore, General Manager of the Kansas City Royals, drew on his book “More than a Season: Building a Championship Culture” to inspire attendees with insights from his amazing career.
Throughout the conference, more than 30 presenters, including Kansas City Mayor Slim James and a host of other experts offered invaluable perspectives on innovative best practices for attracting new businesses or helping existing ones expand.
“The conference sessions offered an in-depth exploration of the many ways innovation works in stimulating business creation and growth,” SEDC Chairman Chuck Whipple said. “Kansas City was the perfect setting to see how communities can foster original and transformative development.”
The final events took place in Kansas City, Kansas, at Children’s Mercy Park, home to Sporting Kansas City, a major league soccer franchise.  The state-of-the-art complex was host to a session featuring a high-caliber panel of site location consultants. 
Attendees were treated to a special reception allowing them to walk out on the field and tour the team’s plush locker room.  A networking dinner with live Kansas City jazz closed the day and the conference.
Survey results show that once again SEDC delivered an exceptional professional development opportunity for its members.  If you were unable to attend, you missed a great conference.  We hope you will be able to join us at the next SEDC event!

2016 SEDC
Annual Conference Highlights 


This year, the 2016 Annual Conference took place in Kansas City, Missouri. At the conference, we welcomed more than 300 participants from all 17 SEDC states. Scroll to see some of the highlights.

Communcation Awards
Best of Show & Best of Class, Large Division - ElectriCities of North Carolina
Best of Class, Medium Division - Williamson Inc.
Best of Class, Small Division - Office of Economic Development, West Memphis
Best of Class, State Division - Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Rockingham County, NC Economic Development & Tourism - Tourism Promotion
Go Topeka Economic Partnership - Website Content & Functionality
Joint IDA of Wythe County, Virginia - Website Design
CEDA Awards
5,001-15,000 - Petal, MS
Population under 5,000 - Rocky Mount, VA
15,001-40,000 - Gretna, LA
40,001-100,000 - Greenwood County, SC
Over 100,000 - Virginia Beach, VA
Congrats to our newest Honorary Life Members:
Thomas Long Jr, San Antonio EDF, TX
Marvin Moss, City of Clinton, SC
Patrick Topping, Macon Economic Development Commission, GA
2016 SEDC Board of Directors
Conference attendees participate in the silent auction. Almost $2000 was donated to the SEDC Educational Foundation thanks to our participants. 
SEDC Silent Auction Contributors:
Andrew Nave
Matt Arnold
Wiley Blankenship
Elli Bowen
Chris Clifton
Andy Coe
Elyse Davis
Thomas Fallon
Leisa Finley
Pete Fullerton
Hal Goode
Robert Harrington
Robert Ingram
John Kilgore

Joann Knight
Crystal Morphis
Raul Peralta
Scott Poag
Scott Sattler
Chuck Sexton
Gene Stinson
Jennifer Tanner
Brien Thorstenburg
Mark Turnbull
Chuck Whipple
Will Williams
Esther Walker-Young

Thank You! 
2016 SEDC Board of Directors

SEDC Chairman Chuck Whipple with Kansas City Royals Manager Dayton Moore, who gave the Keynote on building a championship culture
View more pictures from the 2016 Annual Conference
2016 Annual Conference Sponsors
Presenting Sponsor:
BNSF Railway Company

Gold Sponsors:
Georgia Power Company
Team Kansas
EDC of Kansas City

Silver Sponsors:
Norfolk Southern Corporation
City of Kansas City, MO
Duke Energy
Go Topeka Economic Partnership
Johnson County Partnership
Kansas City Area Development Council
Kansas Economic Development Alliance
Kansas City Aviation Department
Overland Park Chamber of Commerce
Shawnee Economic Development Council
The Joplin Regional Partnership
Williams & Associates

Convergent Nonprofit Solutions
Hutton Construction
MasterCard Inc.
Southern Business & Development
The Credit Junction
Westar Energy
Bronze Sponsors:
Association of Missouri's Electric Cooperatives
BHC Rhodes
Brand Association
Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas
Leavenworth County Development Corporation
Lexington County Economic Development Department
Wyandotte EDC

Copper Sponsors:
Clay County EDC
Economic Development Partnership
ECS Carolinas
Energy United
Golden Shovel Agency
Harvey County ED
Market Street Services
Missouri EDC
Missouri Partnership
Platte County EDC
Regional Development Association of East Kansas
SCANA Corporation
West TN Industrial Association

Thank you Sponsors!
SEDC and AmericanSouth at Hannover Messe
April saw a historic first for SEDC as it showcased its initiative AmericanSouth at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show, held annually in Hannover, Germany.  SEDC developed the initiative to promote the advantages of doing business in the South to foreign companies and investors.  The opportunity to carry the message to Hannover Messe dovetailed with SEDC’s focus on increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) across its 17-state footprint.

Thirteen SEDC members joined in to promote AmericanSouth. They formed a team that worked aggressively to “cross-fertilize” the opportunity and let other Southern representatives know AmericanSouth was “selling” their states as well.  They referred people to other booths when appropriate and developed more than 80 qualified leads for their organizations.  Non-members got to see SEDC in action, promoting the region as a whole and the interests of its individual here to see full article.

Road to 1,000

       Welcome to our newest members over the last month

  • Elli Bowen, Shawnee Economic Development Council, KS
  • Gregory Camp, RFW Construction Group, TN
  • Terry Carpenter, Rural Development Partners, AL
  • Doug Davidson, Johnson County Partnership, KS
  • Jamie Gilbert, Lancaster County Department of Economic Development, SC
  • Raymond Hagerman, Kentucky EDC, KY
  • Jessica Hamilton, Platte County Economic Development Council, MO
  • Adam Handshy, EDC of Lawrence/ Douglas County, KS
  • Lori Huber, Clay County Economic Development Group, KS
  • Darren Kelsey, American Electric Power ED, OK
  • Dara Macan, SourceLink, MO
  • Kelley Mattlage, East Montgomery County Improvement District, TX
  • Wes Miller, Holmes County, MS
  • Wendy Puckett, Fulton Hickman Counties Economic Development Partnership, KY
  • Matthew Randle, Southern Business & Development, AL
  • Henry Snorton, Mission Vision Partner, LLC, KY
  • Steve Tae, MasterCard, NY
Career Center
Sponsored by:

Here's a list of new job postings.  Visit our Career Center for updates and new postings.


Are you looking for a way to get your company out in front of SEDC members?

We have lots of new ways to get your services in front of our member including a new service provider subpage. 

Download the 
website sponsor brochure today.
Save the Date!

October 4, 2016SEDC's Capital Connections

November 2- 3, 2016Young Professionals Meet the Consultants

311 Nelson St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30313
(404) 523-3030

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