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Episode 091: How Honesty and Vulnerability Enhance a Team’s Commitment with Steven Jast (Research on Investment & Gazelle AI)
Episode 091: How Honesty and Vulnerability Enhance a Team’s Commitment with Steven Jast (Research on Investment & Gazelle AI) 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“We continue to try to create opportunities for everyone on the team to share, but we make it very clear: if you need time for yourself or speak to senior leadership, it’s a given, don’t even think twice about it.” —Steven Jast

Sometimes we make a decision based on a seemingly small motivation, which launches our life down a completely different trajectory. Steven Jast (President at Research on Investment and Gazelle AI) talks about how a job he took just to make a little money to go travel wound up leading him down his path into the economic development industry.

Welcome to episode 091 of the America’s Jobs Team podcast! Steven shares some really important lessons he learned from  his grandfather, who survived internment at a Polish concentration camp during World War II, as well as his father who always put his family first, knowing that any effort he put in would pay dividends in the future.

Steven also gets really honest about how 2020 affected him, how some days it was all he could do to drag himself out of bed and to his computer, and how that experience and his battle out of it subsequently impacted the way he leads his team.

We are so glad you’re here tuning in for another dose of leadership and economic development insights, and we can’t wait for you to hear from Steven about what he’s seeing in terms of leads and trends, and which industries are gearing up for growth and impact. Click the play button on the audio player below to tune in now!

Bio:

Steven Jast has over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of economic development. He began his career at boutique advisory firm CAI Corporate Affairs International, where he specialized in site selection analysis, jurisdictional marketing, and industrial clustering.

He was appointed Executive Vice President at CAI in 2001, and oversaw the creation of CAI’s ROI Research on Investment company, which he then spun off into an independent company, of which he is now president. Since then, ROI has grown from a staff of two, to an international company of 60 professionals, with offices in four countries.

Steve is a thought leader in the field of modern economic development and investment attraction, and has been published in the prestigious fDi magazine, he’s a regular speaker at international conferences and provides training and coaching to economic development leaders around the world.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 090: What Is the Impact of Politics and Media on Business Attraction?
Episode 090: What Is the Impact of Politics and Media on Business Attraction? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

What is the role that politics and media play in business attraction and how can these impact a community’s chances to land new projects? It’s a question we’ve been hearing increasingly more often in our industry. Last week, we talked with Kenny McDonald and dove into that conversation from an economic developer’s point of view.

This week, we will hear the site consultant’s side of the story. During ECONOMIX, our annual conference, we hosted a panel to talk about these impacts. Welcome to episode 090, we’re thrilled you’re listening in today!

Chris Schastok (CBRE) and Scott Kupperman (Kupperman Location Solutions) join Ron Kitchens to talk about the increased scrutiny and the amount of atypical things being taken into consideration in site selection over the past year. In their discussion, Scott and Chris dive into how an increase in anxiety about alignment between corporate values and community values, especially with the divisiveness in politics and renewed drive for social justice, is affecting the community selection process. They talk about the importance of being aware of anti-business legislation and making sure local elected officials know why economic development is crucial to a thriving community.

So, what can communities do to make sure their community is as attractive as possible to prospective businesses? What is the importance of educating elected officials? How can economic developers make sure that they aren’t hampered by anti-business legislation and toxic politics in their community? Tune in now to hear from Chris and Scott!

Chris is one of the national leaders of CBRE’s Location Strategy & Incentives practice. This advisory group assists clients globally with site selection and economic incentive negotiations, in conjunction with the overall strategy and execution of corporate real estate initiatives. With 15 years of aligning location decisions with business strategy, he has negotiated more than $1.5B in incentives and has vast experience representing clients on corporate headquarters, back-office strategy, food production/processing, manufacturing and distribution center projects.

Scott Kupperman formed Kupperman Location Services “KLS”, a corporate consulting entity providing site-selection and associated facility-acquisition services across the U.S, in 2011. KLS focuses on providing site consulting services designed to maximize the long-term value of a well-informed facility location decision. This initiative was driven by the desire to independently utilize 12 years of site- selection experience, client relationships and nationwide contacts and resources. Scott’s capabilities make him particularly well-suited to provide a strong value proposition for clients in need of warehouse, distribution and light manufacturing facility solutions. Scott has a history of serving clients with a variety of product types with specific manufacturing and distribution needs, including many in the food industry.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 089: Kenny McDonald | One Columbus
Episode 089: Kenny McDonald | One Columbus 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Falling behind is not an option.” —Kenny McDonald

Industry titan Kenny McDonald had a unique vantage point in 2020 as the chair of the IEDC Board of Directors. Today, he talks about the lessons he learned in the midst of a pandemic over which no one had significant control, learning to let go and allow his team to execute and respond to the needs at hand.

As economic developers, we often have to communicate with the media. Kenny talks about how he honed his skills in navigating the press, and shares a crucial discovery exercise to do prior to making statements as an organization.

The new year is also brings with it the transition of many local elected leadership positions. How does One Columbus go about immersing new public servants into the world of economic development, and why is it so important to share the importance of economic development with these folks? Tune in now to hear this (and so much more) from Kenny.

Kenny McDonald is the president and chief economic officer of One Columbus since the organization’s inception in 2010. He is a leader and a visionary in the economic development space, and he has recently wrapped up his time as the chair of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)‘s Board of Directors. He has helped lead the execution of the One Columbus Regional Growth Strategy and development of the Columbus Region’s competitiveness agenda, and he has also built local and national partnerships that have accelerated the area’s development. Kenny has over 20 years of regional economic development and management consulting experience focused on helping companies develop and execute their location strategies and helping communities achieve their goals.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 088: SeonAh Kendall | Fort Collins
Episode 088: SeonAh Kendall | Fort Collins 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Economic developers are always willing to share. We are always happy to have that conversation because relationships matter in our jobs. We make time for folks.” -Seonah Kendall

SeonAh has been a small businesses owner for over 20 years. On today’s podcast, she breaks down the path Fort Collins, CO has taken to help save small businesses and because of her previous experience, her advice feels particularly relevant.

SeonAh talks about the profound impact leadership development training has had on her, and how her career has been changed by the courage to ask questions.

She also dives into the challenges of being a woman in the economic development profession, and how she has been able to assert herself in negative situations.

Welcome to episode 088 of America’s Jobs Team, the first episode of 2021! We’re so glad to have you back with us. Tune in now to hear more from SeonAh!

SeonAh Kendall, CPA is the City Recovery Manager at the City of Fort Collins, CO, where she oversees the Economic Health Office’s business support team focused on business retention and expansion, talent development/recruitment and special projects to ensure a vibrant Fort Collins economy.  Prior to her work at the City, SeonAh was Business Program Director/Faculty at Front Range Community College. Additionally, with over 20+ years as a small business owner in Fort Collins, SeonAh is able to share her insight and perspective within the City organization on the development of policies and procedures that impact small businesses.

SeonAh serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC). She is a founding member of the NoCO Manufacturing Partnership, an all-volunteer organization representing over 200 northern Colorado manufacturers to address workforce development opportunities and continue to support a thriving environment for manufacturers in our community. Additionally, SeonAh represents the City as a member of the Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP), the think-tank and research arm of IEDC.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 087: Nathan Regan | Invest Atlanta
Episode 087: Nathan Regan | Invest Atlanta 150 150 America's Jobs Team

On This Week’s Podcast:

It is the last podcast of 2020! Carla Sones talks with Nathan Regan. They dive into Nathan’s drive to find mentors and role models in every facet of life. Though 2020 is quickly becoming the world’s most loathed year, Nathan shares some inspiring thoughts on how it has been a very worthwhile year in terms of lessons and growth. He shares awesome advice for emerging leaders in the industry, with real examples as to how this advice has served him in his leadership. Nathan also talks about the One Atlanta Economic Mobility program, which is guiding what is next for Nathan and Invest Atlanta. Tune in now to glean inspiration from Nathan and Carla!

Nathan Regan currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Economic Development at Invest Atlanta, where he leads the agency’s small business development, innovation & entrepreneurship, business retention & expansion, foreign direct investment (FDI), and creative industries activities. Prior to joining Invest Atlanta, Nathan worked in both the private industry and public sectors. His career has taken him from Denmark to Bahrain and many places in between.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 086: Lyneir Richardson | The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers Business School
Episode 086: Lyneir Richardson | The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers Business School 150 150 America's Jobs Team

On This Week’s Podcast:

Carla Sones has a fascinating conversation with Lyneir Richardson, uncovering how Lyneir went from being a bank lawyer to being a huge driving force behind encouraging entrepreneurship and small business ownership in minority and under-served communities. He shares the ways that small businesses, minority-owned in particular, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the solutions economic developers should be looking to implement to help those businesses. Lyneir and Carla dive deep into all the ways economic developers are needed right now to make a difference, to bridge the gap and help small businesses survive, as well as be an active part of changing systemic inequality in their communities. Tune in now to hear more!

Lyneir is the Executive Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), a research and practitioner-oriented center at Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ. He oversees the implementation of CUEED programs and manages partnerships, staff, affiliated faculty and fellows. Lyneir is the former Chief Executive Officer of Brick City Development Corporation, where he had overall responsibility for real estate development, small business services and business attraction in Newark, NJ. Lyneir started his career as an attorney for the First National Bank of Chicago.

Do you prefer watching videos instead of listening to audio-only? We are now making the interviews available on YouTube as well! Subscribe to our channel to see each interview the moment it’s released.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai
Episode 085: Michael Catsi | Tacoma Public Utilities
Episode 085: Michael Catsi | Tacoma Public Utilities 150 150 America's Jobs Team

On This Week’s Podcast:

Carla Sones talks with Michael Catsi. They dive into mentorship: the different types of mentorship, how mentors are pivotal in providing us with space to grow, learn and fail forward, and the impact folks can have without realizing it. Michael also talks about how our drive to be hyper-independent is harmful and the negative consequences it can lead to, and he shares why he purposely unplugs and disconnects on a regular basis.

Michael has had a fascinating journey into economic development all the way from Australia. He joined Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) as the Economic Development Manager in April 2019, where he is responsible for local business retention and expansion programs and business attraction. Prior to moving to Tacoma, he had 17 years of senior leadership experience in economic development in Alaska, serving at the local, regional and state level. Michael was also a two-term city council member, served on the board of the Alaska Municipal League, and currently serves on the IEDC Board of Directors.

Do you prefer watching videos instead of listening to audio-only? We are now making the interviews available on YouTube as well! Subscribe to our channel to see each interview the moment it’s released.


 

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai
Episode 084: Greg Hitchin | City of Waynesboro, VA
Episode 084: Greg Hitchin | City of Waynesboro, VA 150 150 America's Jobs Team

On This Week’s Podcast:

Carla Sones is joined by Greg Hitchin. Greg talks about some of the proudest moments he’s had this year thanks to his knack for relationship building and collaboration. Him and Carla talk about the ever-shifting talent pool within the economic development industry and how he has made decisions to move from one place to the next throughout his career. A huge part of Greg’s success has been his ability to stop and pour into himself so that he is energized and able to pour into others; tune in now to learn how he accomplishes this!

Greg has served as the economic development director for the City of Waynesboro, VA since April 2010. Prior to joining the City of Waynesboro, he was the Business Development Manager for the Onondaga County (Syracuse, New York) Office of Economic Development. He also served as the Interim Director of the six-person office and the CFO for the Onondaga County Industrial Development Authority. Following graduation from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Greg spent 18 years in consumer goods and services sales and marketing. He currently serves on several boards and committees: International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Director; Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC), Director; Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP), Director; Virginia Economic Development Association (VEDA), Program Committee; Center for Coldwater Restoration, Director.

Do you prefer watching videos instead of listening to audio-only? We are now making the interviews available on YouTube as well! Subscribe to our channel to see each interview the moment it’s released.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai
Episode 083: Cecilia Harry | Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
Episode 083: Cecilia Harry | Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC 150 150 America's Jobs Team

On This Week’s Podcast:

Carla Sones sits down with Cecilia Harry, and the two talk about how a background in psychology and social work has allowed Cecilia to have a very different perspective on economic development. She shares an experience she had early on in her career which made her realize that business decisions can make or break a community. Cecilia talks about the challenges of being a female leader in economic development and what her secret weapon is to get 20 minutes of uninterrupted time with a mentor. She has some great insights on being each other’s cheerleaders to grow and thrive; tune in now to hear more from Cecilia’s interview!

Cecilia is the Chief Economic Development Officer of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, the largest economic development, chamber of commerce, and business advocacy organization in southern Colorado. As Chief Economic Development Officer, Harry leads the organization’s economic development mission to attract, expand, and retain top business in Colorado Springs. She and her team develop and implement strategies that will support local businesses to improve the local economy, recruit employers, and execute workforce initiatives.

Do you prefer watching videos instead of listening to audio-only? We are now making the interviews available on YouTube as well! Subscribe to our channel to see each interview the moment it’s released.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai
Episode 082: Gilberto Salinas | Kerr Economic Development Corporation
Episode 082: Gilberto Salinas | Kerr Economic Development Corporation 150 150 America's Jobs Team

On This Week’s Podcast:

Ron Kitchens talks with Gilberto Salinas, and the two explore how business is going to change in the future as a direct result of 2020’s accelerated impacts. Gil talks about the increased importance of relationship building and marketing in economic development, and why these things will always remain at the core of what we do as economic developers. He shares keen insights on the support system that was offered to him by mentors and how that shaped his leadership journey. Gil has great advice for folks looking to grow their career; tune in now to hear more!

Gilberto is the Chief Operation Officer of the Kerr Economic Development Corporation in Kerrville, Texas, which is in Hill Country and part of the San Antonio-Austin business corridor. As the economic development executive in Kerrville, Texas, he is implementing strategies for business and corporate growth in an array of sectors which are tied to the recently launched 2050 Your Voice-Your City comprehensive plan. In 2016, Governor Gregg Abbott appointed Gil to his Texas Aerospace & Aviation Advisory Committee. Gil is a recipient of the DCI 40-Under-40 Rising Stars in Economic Development in the nation and in 2015 was named the Distinguished Alumnus of Leadership Brownsville and Masons Community Builder of the Year. He is currently a board member of the International Economic Development Council and a founding board member of the Bordernomics Initiative-Mexican and Americans Thinking Together (MATT).

Do you prefer watching videos instead of listening to audio-only? We are now making the interviews available on YouTube as well! Subscribe to our channel to see each interview the moment it’s released.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai