Consultant Connect

Episode 158: What Are the Best Practices of Engaging Site Consultants?
Episode 158: What Are the Best Practices of Engaging Site Consultants? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The goal is to build relationships. Both site consultants and economic developers are hungry for relationships with one another, not just learning from one another but really feeling connected.” –Carla Sones

Are you traveling to a site consultant’s market soon? What are the rules of engagement around inviting site consultants for a meal while on their turf? And what about inviting site consultants for a virtual meeting? While the world gravitates back to in-person meetings, keeping virtual touch-points with site consultants many miles away is a great way to have maximum impact with minimal time investment.

Join Carla Sones and Faye Davis as they talk through the etiquette of inviting site consultants while in their city, and dive into the best practices of today’s virtual engagements. Some big takeaways to listen for are how to think through the experience from a site consultant’s perspective and why you should be making sure you’re tailoring time spent together with the consultant’s areas of expertise in mind.

Remember, authentic touches do not necessarily require big investments. Simply bringing on people with great stories or taking a fresh approach to an experience can level-up a Zoom meeting from blah to exceptional. Tune in now to garner more creative ideas and meeting set-ups to level up your next site consultant meeting, whether in-person or virtually!

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

Episode 157: How Can Creative Partnerships Boost Resources for Small Organizations? | Cathy Knapp, Southwest Michigan First
Episode 157: How Can Creative Partnerships Boost Resources for Small Organizations? | Cathy Knapp, Southwest Michigan First 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Rather than feeling bad about limited resources, the conversation became about forming partnerships to create more opportunities for a rural county.” –Cathy Knapp

Economic development can look vastly different for rural areas; often, the local organization is a one-person shop. Challenges around needing to prioritize time for projects with office management tasks can be huge hurdles for productivity. How then can economic developers in smaller organizations or rural areas partner to increase resources and maximize their impact?

Join Carla Sones as she talks with Cathy Knapp, partner at Southwest Michigan First. Cathy leads the economic development for St. Joseph County, a rural Michigan county on the border with Indiana, and she dives into some of the opportunities that opened up when the county decided to partner with Southwest Michigan First. Cathy also shares insights about educating key business partners about the importance of the work we do so that fundraising efforts continue to be fruitful.

Cathy is recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers not only for her tenacity in serving her region, but also for bringing some huge project across the finish line over the last year. Cathy’s joy for economic development is contagious; tune in now to bask in her zest for community and listen to her thoughts on what makes her best days so full of energy!

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

Episode 156: So, You Want to Host a Fam Tour Next Year?
Episode 156: So, You Want to Host a Fam Tour Next Year? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Site consultants want to come out and build relationships and learn. As you’re planning your visit, it’s really important to think about what the goal is of the tour.” –Carla Sones

So, you’re thinking about inviting some site consultant friends to learn more about your region. Do you know where to start? Have you thought about the planning and invitation timeline? And what about building out an agenda which ensures a productive, impactful and memorable visit for the guests?

Join Carla Sones and Faye Davis as they share lessons learned and best practices for planning a community familiarization tour. The two energetically dive into the big do’s (hint: there are myriad ways to do things right!) and a couple of big don’ts. Carla gives insight on how to approach the planning, what to keep in mind when working with community partners, and reminds us to keep sight of who the focus of the tour is.

In-person events are back and site consultants are traveling again. If your organization is debating whether to invite site consultants to visit your community next year, today’s episode will not only provide insight into the timeline of getting a fam tour off the ground, but will also spark creative ideas to make sure the event is as impactful as possible. Tune in now to learn all about the best practices of hosting site consultants on your home turf!

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

Episode 155: How Will Your Organization Navigate the Prosperity and Inclusivity Paradigms? | Chris Camacho, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Episode 155: How Will Your Organization Navigate the Prosperity and Inclusivity Paradigms? | Chris Camacho, Greater Phoenix Economic Council 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The regions that can adapt to change by producing the next generation of talent, along with addressing equity and inclusion, will have more balanced and prosperous economies.” –Chris Camacho

Economic recovery is on a fast track, and the greater Phoenix area is running full steam ahead. Having recovered over 80% of the jobs lost in the early months of the pandemic, the Arizona metro has some really exciting things in the pipeline. From the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) mega-deal to the supplier super-cycle it has brought along, the deal flow is hot to trot in Phoenix.

Today, Faye Davis talks with Chris Camacho, president and CEO at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) to dive deeper on the role GPEC has played and continues to play in ensuring economic vitality for the region. Chris shares great insights on the need to educate himself on the industries that are clustering in the community. He talks candidly about the opportunities for the greater Phoenix region to continue its path to a more modern economy, and what the prosperity and inclusivity paradigms mean for future work.

Chris is recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, and we are thrilled to share our conversation with him to leave you with a shot in the arm for economic development. Tune in now to absorb some of Chris’ passion and energy for the work we do!

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

Episode 154: How Has Maryland Nurtured Impactful Networks for Effective Economic Development? | Jayson Knott, Office of Business Development at the Maryland Department of Commerce
Episode 154: How Has Maryland Nurtured Impactful Networks for Effective Economic Development? | Jayson Knott, Office of Business Development at the Maryland Department of Commerce 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Having experience in most of the roles I now oversee, I have become a player-coach to my team.” –Jayson Knott

How will your experiences today play into your future? Have you ever tried to reframe your perception of your role today in terms of how the skills you’re learning now will shape the career path of tomorrow? And in today’s world of shorter term loyalty, what makes an employee loyal to their organization?

Today, Faye Davis is joined by Jayson Knott, Senior Director of the Office of Business Development at the Maryland Department of Commerce. Jayson shares the mantra that has guided his leadership throughout his career, and how his long runway of experience helps him be a better mentor and leader for his team.

Jayson is recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers for his abilities to forge strong relationships in his community. Tune in now to hear more from him about how Maryland is positioning itself as a hot destination for e-commerce and life sciences, and how his organization and state stay on top of nurturing connections that matter for effective economic development.

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

Episode 153: Do You Let Your Personal Qualities Drive You Forward Professionally? | Quentin Messer, Jr., Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Episode 153: Do You Let Your Personal Qualities Drive You Forward Professionally? | Quentin Messer, Jr., Michigan Economic Development Corporation 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Economic development, at its best, brings people together” –Quentin Messer, Jr.

Do you step into opportunities with enthusiasm and passion? Do you allow your unique attributes to play into your daily leadership and work?

On this episode, Carla Sones talks with Quentin Messer, Jr. about personal qualities that drive you professionally. Quentin lets us in on his personal qualities that he believes help him in his career. Economic growth lets people have aspirations for their future; how do we come along side that amazing mission with eagerness and passion? If we bring energy to our teams, we can allow them to do their work to the ability we know they can preform at.

Quentin is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. We are so excited to have Quentin at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. We get to hear what coaches and leaders Quentin is receiving influence from and why he is listening to them.

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

Episode 152: How Do You Keep the Momentum Going After Wins?
Episode 152: How Do You Keep the Momentum Going After Wins? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” –Tom Peters

Do you consider yourself a ‘deal junky’? Does your adrenaline kick in when that RFI shows up? Do you feel the excitement at every ribbon cutting?

Today, Faye Davis talks with Carla Sones about keeping momentum going after wins. We all know the feeling of closing on the project, but what do we do after it is done? Economic developers are notorious for going right into the next project and looking for the next deal. Rather than moving on right away, how do we take a moment as team to reflect? After a win, we should celebrate, talk through the process, and then see what is coming up next.

In economic development, there is never an end game. We work for milestones. The work we do is in small chunks towards the goal of our communities thriving over years of work. It is even more important to celebrate our wins so we can energizer and reinvigorate our work.

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

Episode 151: Do You Work to Bring All Companies Together On Your Business Initiatives? | Cristina Paredes, Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality
Episode 151: Do You Work to Bring All Companies Together On Your Business Initiatives? | Cristina Paredes, Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I like being able to see the change that were making, one job at a time, in our community and the impact that makes.” –Cristina Paredes

How do you creatively bring in other companies to partner with your strategy efforts? When you’re working on an initiative, do you try to involve your whole community? Do you see how your work impacts your region?

On this episode, Faye Davis talks with Cristina Paredes of Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality about the region, the unique industries and the partnerships that thrive there. Tallahassee has become the Magnetic Technology Capitol of the world and Cristina and her team have worked to keep it that way. She talks about partnering with local universities to maintain talent and why educating the community on its importance has been so impactful. Cristina has partnered with local breweries and small businesses to catalyze that education and grow STEM programs in their area. We get to hear how walking arm in arm with local companies helps a region thrive!

Cristina is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. Her creative relationships is just one reason why. We also get to hear about minority and women owned business initiatives and the services to help business grow. Cristina also offers insight on how to keep motivation up and projects moving forward. The way she is intentional with her time and recognition of her team gives us a glimpse of how to help our own teams. Tune in today to glean more!

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

Episode 150: Do You Utilize Your Natural Talents to Drive Informal Authority?
Episode 150: Do You Utilize Your Natural Talents to Drive Informal Authority? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Leadership is an action, not a position.” –Donald McGannon

Do you ever find yourself looking to a coworker for leadership or advice on a project? Do you see yourself stepping into that role for your teammates? As economic developers, we often find ourselves in roles of authority that shift with project needs.

Today, Faye Davis talks with Carla Sones about informal authority that comes from below. This authority doesn’t come from a specific title or from leadership appointing you; it comes from others seeing that skill in you. When you have a team that is united around the same goal, we often see leadership being flexible as our natural talents are utilized. Economic developers frequently work on deals that we don’t have written authority on, but our expertise carries the authority. We have significant opportunity to shape our communities that takes more people than just the leaders with appointed titles.

As our year comes to a close, Faye and Carla talk about shifting your perspective to the next year. Sometimes, we find ourselves eager for the next opportunities and forget to stay present. How do we finish what we’ve started in the calendar year when the next year beckons excitement? Listen today to hear more!

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

Episode 149: How Is Your Daily Performance Fueling Energetic Partnerships? | Brandon Simmons, REDI Cincinnati
Episode 149: How Is Your Daily Performance Fueling Energetic Partnerships? | Brandon Simmons, REDI Cincinnati 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Performance and partnerships, I think, are the most important for any profession.” –Brandon Simmons

Do you remember the energy and passion that drew you into economic development? Do you bring that energy into relationships that attracts businesses and partnerships to you? Do you still have the competitive endurance to run the marathon of economic development?

On today’s episode, Faye Davis talks to Brandon Simmons from REDI Cincinnati about the energy in relationships and the advantage that brings. We all know the long haul of economic development, but do we bring our competitive endurance to the table daily? That competitiveness fuels collaboration that helps us push through adversity and work through failures. When we have strong and energetic relationships, we can take opportunities that may have risks, but produce the sweetest rewards.

Brandon is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers and this interview shows a glimpse as to why. He gives insight on the power of ‘yes’ and the power of presence. Brandon allows us to ask ourselves how we are being perceived and are we letting that be aligned with how we want to be perceived. Tune in today to hear more!

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