The Whittaker Report Podcast Episode 21 – An Interview with Alia Abbas, Founder and President of Alia Consulting
In Episode 21, Alia Abbas shares with us her experience as a first-time attendee at the Select USA Conference, an investment summit in Washington DC annually. It provides an opportunity for economic development organization to meet with potential international investors considering establishing business operations in the United States. Alia Abbas has a Master of Arts degree in Geography specializing in Economic Development from York University with TMUs certification to boost her career prospects and be credible in her industry. Alia is also the Founder and CEO of Alia Consulting - Economic Development Firm based in Toronto. Her firm focuses on business continuity and economic recovery initiatives. She worked on investment attraction for companies based in U.S. She has worked on developing supply chain strategies for economic development organizations with her certification in Supply Chain and Logistics accredited by FEMA. She is an award-winning economic developer. She is the recent recipient of the 2023 Economic Development 40 Under 40 Award, the biennial award recognizing rising stars under 40 years old in the economic development industry. In the past, Alia has won the EDCO...
Whittaker Report Podcast Episode 20 – An Interview with Nathan Ohle, President/CEO of the International Economic Development Council
Nathan Ohle has been recently appointed as the President/CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Under his leadership, several initiatives are underway, including a comprehensive strategic plan that involves a thorough review of all IEDC membership services. Nathan emphasizes the importance of collaboration in economic development as opposed to the competitive approaches of the past. One of the key focus areas for the organization under Nathan's leadership is addressing critical social and environmental issues. IEDC is actively working on promoting inclusion, equity, and combating systemic racism within the field of economic development. By fostering diverse and inclusive communities, the organization aims to ensure that economic growth benefits everyone and that opportunities are equally accessible. Additionally, Nathan recognizes the importance of addressing climate change as an integral part of sustainable economic development. IEDC is committed to integrating environmentally responsible practices and strategies into its policies and programs. This includes promoting green initiatives, investing in clean technologies, and supporting the transition to a...
Whittaker Associates Podcast Episode 19 – An Interview with Andy Bass, CEO NetNerd Ventures
Andy Bass is a long-time tech entrepreneur in West Michigan, having founded a variety of companies in the e-commerce and supply chain space over the past 30 years. He is the CEO of NetNerd Ventures, providing startup and technology strategy and software development services throughout Michigan. With a background in SaaS software engineering, internal IT, and systems integration, Andy has advised many companies throughout his career.. Andy co-founded and serves as Chief Technology Officer for Conpoto, a currency platform that connects community members with local merchants and enables millions of dollars to be kept in a community, each year. Prior to Conpoto, Andy was a co-founder of LeanLogistics (now E2Open), which developed and commercialized cloud-based transportation management software. His teams created and supported a mission-critical supply chain platform used by Fortune 500 companies to process billions of dollars in freight spend annually. Early in his career, Andy introduced thousands of users to the Internet when he founded the Grand Rapids Free-Net, the first internet Service Provider in West Michigan.
Whittaker Associates Podcast Episode 18 – An Interview with Matt McQuade, Managing Director, Business Development One Columbus
Matt McQuade, Managing Director, Business Development One Columbus shares with us his view of the future of economic development. As a millennial (born between 1981 and 1996) Matt brings a perspective on the future of economic development from a younger generation than several of our previous guests. With 12 years in the economic development profession, he has been engaged in several location projects in the Columbus, Ohio region. Matt is the point person for the Intel project. Intel is planning to invest more than $20 billion in the construction of two new leading-edge chip factories in Ohio to boost production to meet the demand for advanced semiconductors, power a new generation of innovative products from Intel, and serve the needs of foundry customers. Spanning nearly 1,000 acres in Licking County, just outside of Columbus, the “mega-site” can accommodate a total of eight chip factories as well as supporting operations and ecosystem partners.
Whittaker Associates Podcast Episode 17 – An Interview with Julie Curtin, President Economic Development Practice, Development Counsellors International
Julie Curtin, President of the Economic Development Practice of Development Counsellors International (DCI) shares with us her insight into the future of economic development. In her role as a board member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), she worked directly with IEDC to support the launch of the Diversity Fellowship, a 10-week intern program for young people of color to work in economic development in order to help increase diversity within the economic development profession. Julie first joined DCI as a staff member in 1994. Julie graduated with a Journalism degree from The University of Kansas and resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and four children.
Whittaker Associates Podcast Episode 16 An Interview with Ed Sitar, Senior Manager of Economic Development at ComEd
Ed Sitar, Senior Manager of Economic Development at ComEd. Ed oversees the company’s large business customer retention and expansion strategy to grow key industries in northern Illinois. Ed is a 28-year company veteran who has worked closely with Illinois municipalities, and regional and state economic development organizations. Ed holds a bachelor's degree in urban planning and development and a bachelor’s of science in Environmental Design, with a minor in Energy and Mineral Resources Both degrees are from Ball State University.
The Whittaker Report Podcast Episode 15 – An Interview with Jim Alexander, Senior Vice President of Attraction AllianceSTL of Greater St. Louis, Inc.
Jim Alexander, Senior Vice President of Business Attraction for AllianceSTL of Greater St. Louis. Inc. shares with us the exciting story of the new National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) $2 billion campus in St. Louis that is under construction. The 99-acre site will house over 3,600 workers interpreting geospatial information from satellites for the US Department of Defense and other federal agencies. The project is designed to support the Region's diversity, equity, and inclusion mission. Through the collaboration of workforce development organizations and educational institutions, a talent pipeline is being created to provide a diverse workforce with the skills needed.
The Whittaker Report Podcast Episode 14 An Interview with Kate McEnroe Founder of Kate McEnroe Consulting
Kate is the founder of Kate McEnroe Consulting, a sole proprietorship founded in 1993 as a location selection and economic development consulting firm. Her MBA is from The Wharton School. Her background in corporate management positions gives her a solid foundation and the skills to sustain an evolving consulting practice for over 25 years. By sharing direct insights and offering flexible approaches from on-site consultations to virtual training, Kate can ensure that communities, companies, and individuals understand their strengths and their options, and are better equipped to take immediate action to improve their place in the world. Kate is an expert in coaching economic development organizations through designing high-impact business cases for workforce assets, deploying marketing resources, and applying data visualization principles to the task of marketing places.
The Whittaker Report Podcast Episode 12 An Interview with Maureen Donohue Krause, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership
In the episode, Maureen shares with us her perspective on the economic development profession having served in leadership roles at local, regional, and state positions. She assumed her current position as President and CEO of the Detriot Regional Partnership in July of 2020. She describes leading her team that is working remotely through the chaos of the beginning of the pandemic and yet maintaining an enthusiasm that comes through in her response to the interview questions.
The Whittaker Report Podcast Episode 11 An Interview with Jon Roberts, Managing Director TIP Strategies, Inc.
Jon Roberts, Principal and Managing Partner at TIP Strategies, Inc. share with us his thoughts regarding remote work and its long-term impact on the residential, commercial, and industrial real estate market. In the interview, Jon also discusses the importance to economic development of resilience in view of climate change.
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Spring Has Sprung
Spring has sprung in Holland, MI, a town located on Lake Michigan in the Midwest. Over 4.5 million tulips are in bloom for the next two weeks, creating a spectacular display alongside the flourishing plum and pear trees. The town expects to welcome 50,000 tourists...
The reasons people adopt veganism are varied, but they generally fall into four categories: ethical, environmental, health-related, and religious. Ethical vegans believe that it is wrong to use animals for any purpose, and that animals should not be killed, exploited,...
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