2018 SWREDA Annual Conference
Proven Strategies, New Approaches
The conference agenda for the July 25-27, 2018 SWREDA Conference, which will take place in Tulsa, OK, will be posted at a later date. Continue to check back for updates.
2017 SWREDA Annual Conference
Navigating the New Norm
Below is the agenda for the 2017 SWREDA Annual Conference, Navigating the New Norm. Several conference presentations are available for download and review. Presentation file types include .pptx and .pdf. Please click on the presenter’s name or the session title to download each available presentation.
To learn about the Star of the Southwest Awards, which were received during the 2017 SWREDA Annual Conference, click here.
Wednesday, July 26
8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Peer Reviews
8:30-10:15 a.m. Preconference Workshop for the Training Program for Emerging Leaders Class
10:30 a.m.-noon Resilience Rountable
Join your peers from around the region for small group discussions about planning for resilience in your communities and integrating resilience into your CEDS. Share what has worked (and what hasn’t) in making your region better equipped to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and economic shocks and disruptions.
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch on Your Own
1:30-3:00 p.m. Opening Plenary: Economic Development Success at the Regional Level
SWREDA and the EDA Austin Regional Office are bringing back the Stars of the Southwest—a program which recognizes EDA-funded projects that have made a measurable and positive impact on their regions. Representatives from the winning organizations will provide overviews of their projects.
⇒ Welcome: James Setze, Executive Director, Capital Region Planning Commission, Baton Rouge, LA
⇒ Welcome: Betty Voights, Executive Director, CAPCOG, Austin, TX and Chairperson, SWREDA
3-3:15 p.m. Networking Break
3:15-4:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
New Strategies for Achieving Innovation
EDA Regional Innovation Strategies projects will be highlighted in this session; attendees will learn how the projects were financed (including how federal investments were leveraged), their impact to the community and region, key partnerships, and how these projects are (or will be) impacting the regions they serve.
⇒ Sydney Gray, Director of Impact and Development, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, New Orleans, LA
⇒ Dr. Dave N. Norris, Chief Research and Innovation Officer, Office of Research and Innovation, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA
⇒ Dr. Byron C. Clayton, President & CEO, Research Park Corporation, Baton Rouge, LA
⇒ Moderator: Melissa Rivers, East Arkansas PDD, Jonesboro, AR
When Organizations’ Culture Changes
Today’s organizations and employees have changed immensely over the past 10 to 20 years. Present HR issues are, in many cases, far different than those faced by HR departments even a decade ago. Multi-generational employees present both challenges and opportunities to leadership. This session will address various factors that impact the productivity and performance of an organization during times of transition. Discussions will include navigating a crisis and minimizing impact on employees, and maximizing performance of employees with wide ranging differences in terms of what motivates them, their work ethics, work patterns and much more.
⇒ Tim Armer, Executive Director, North Central New Mexico EDD, Santa Fe, NM
⇒ Kevin Belanger, CEO, South Central PDC, Houma, LA
⇒ Sandy Chancey, Executive Director, Eastern Plains COG, Clovis, NM
⇒ Betty Voights, Executive Director, CAPCOG, Austin, TX and Chairperson, SWREDA
5:00-6:30 p.m. Star of the Southwest Roundtable Reception
Join your peers for light snacks and beverages and an amazing opportunity to learn more about the Stars of the Southwest that were recognized earlier in the day. The “Stars” will be available to talk one-on-one with attendees about particular elements of their projects.
Thursday, July 27
7:45-8:45 a.m. Networking Continental Breakfast
9-10:15 a.m. Plenary: Economic Diversification with Boom and Bust Cycles
Communities are impacted when economic cycles are extreme-shifts from times of economic prosperity to times of economic challenge are occurring across the southwest region and the country as industries fail and innovation brings new opportunities. This session will share examples from communities that have experienced the boom and bust economy, including thoughts on what decisions are required to promote recovery and resiliency.
⇒ Rick Osburn, City Manager, City of Levelland, TX
⇒ Ernest Broussard, President/Owner, The Colt Group, Lake Charles, LA
⇒ Jim Reed, Executive Director, Central Texas COG, Belton TX
10:30-10:45 a.m. Networking Break
10:45-11:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
Bridging the Gap: Economic Development and Workforce
Matching potential employees with jobs that will utilize their skills can be a daunting task. On the flip side, recruiting businesses that have jobs for the existing workforce can be as formidable. This session will focus on the benefits of apprenticeship programs and concepts as a means to fill the gaps that often exist between available workforce skills and jobs.
⇒ Karen Breashears, President, National Apprenticeship Training Foundation, Arkadelphia, AR
⇒ Diana Keller, Office of College & Career Readiness, Louisiana Department of Education, Baton Rouge, LA
EDA Grants Online and EDA 101
The session will start with EDA Austin staff providing an overview of current programs, noting any particular items that grantees (and potential grantees) should be aware of as they manage their grants. At the halfway point, EDA staff will switch gears and provide key bits of information about Grants Online. Come prepared with questions!
⇒ Sally Waley, Senior Economic Development Specialist, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Austin, TX
⇒ Jessica Falk, Area Director, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Austin, TX
⇒ Matthew Giannini, Area Director, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Austin, TX
Noon-1:30 p.m. Luncheon Plenary: Updates on EDA
Over lunch, EDA leadership will share their thoughts on the current state of the region, as well as provide an update on EDA programs.
⇒ Dennis Alvord, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Washington, DC
⇒ Jorge Ayala, Regional Director, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Austin Regional Office, Austin, TX
1:45-3 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
Helping Local Businesses Compete Globally
Freight mobility is emerging as a critical component of a region’s economic development strategy, especially as it relates to moving goods and commodities from producers to buyers, both domestically and internationally. Less than four years ago, nearly 54 million tons of freight moved across the U.S. every day…at a value of nearly $48 million. This session will look at the important roles that freight (trucks, trains, ships, planes) has on regional economic stability and vitality.
⇒ Larry Kelly, Deputy Port Director, Port of Port Arthur, TX
⇒ Paul Aucoin, Executive Director, Port of South Louisiana
⇒ Tim Trevino, Senior Director of Operations & Strategic Partnerships, Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX
⇒ Jeff Kiely, Executive Director, Northwest NM COG
Managing Information in the Digital World
Businesses are increasingly looking to the cloud to manage data and information, store records and files, and conduct business transactions. But businesses are not the only ones benefitting from the cloud: EDDs and local governments are increasingly looking to the cloud for their uses, too. This session will address the benefits of cloud solutions and aggregation, as well as offering information on ways to avoid (or recover from) cyberattacks.
⇒ Dale Graver, Vice President of Business Development, VC3, Raleigh, NC
3:00-3:15 p.m. Networking Break
3:15-4:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
Strengthening Regional Resilience
Resilience is the ability of a region or community to anticipate, withstand, and bounce back from any shock or disruption it faces. This session will provide a framework for supporting resilience at the regional level and will share best practices and lessons learned from the Baton Rouge region following last year’s flooding. Learn from regional planning commission staff and state and federal partners about how recovering from this event has strengthened local resilience planning and improved coordination and collaboration at the regional, state, and federal levels.
⇒ Kim Marousek, Director of Planning, Capital Region Planning Commission, Baton Rouge, LA
⇒ David Dodd, CEcD/FM, Contractor, EDA, Economic Recovery Support Function, National Disaster Recovery Framework, New Orleans, LA
⇒ Sandra Bowling, FEMA, Community Planning Capacity Building Recovery Support Function, Baton Rouge, LA
⇒ Moderator: Brett Schwartz, Program Manager, NADO Research Foundation, Washington, DC
Keeping It Local: Food Systems as Economy Stabilizers
Food clusters, food hubs, farm-to-fork, farm-to-table, food security and food insecurity, food deserts, food systems. The link between food and economic development is real, and EDDs are looking at ways to assure there is a strong and healthy food system in their region as part of their economic strategies. This session will look at the various ways that restaurants can partner with workforce development to create job and career opportunities, while also looking at ways local food systems fit into other parts of the overall economy. And, a session on food systems as economic stabilizers would not be on target if it did not also address the various new craft beverage industries and their impacts on the economy.
⇒ Ann Simon, Middle Rio COG, Albuquerque, NM
⇒ Chris Schreck, Capital Area COG/EDD, Austin, TX
⇒ Speaker on seafood industry, NOLA
4:45-6 p.m. SWREDA Membership Meeting
All SWREDA members are encouraged to attend.
Friday, July 28
7:30-8:30 a.m. Good Conversations Continental Breakfast
Grab a cup of coffee and breakfast for this these facilitated roundtable discussions. You’ll learn from your peers about their successes and challenges in regional economic development related to a variety of topics.
8:45-10:30 a.m. Emerging Leaders Panel
The 2017 Training Program for Emerging Leaders Class will share their thoughts about the program and how it will impact their work as EDD economic development professionals now and as they advance along their career paths.
⇒ Beth Correa, Economic Development Regional Planner, Central Texas COG, Belton, TX
⇒ Ashley Garris, Economic Development Administrator, Western Arkansas PDD, Fort Smith, AR
⇒ Dustin Meyer, Local Government Services Coordinator, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission, Amarillo, TX
⇒ Cheri Soileau, Executive Director, Imperial Calcasieu, Regional Planning & Development Commission, Lake Charles, LA
⇒ Gloria Vasquez, Regional Services Director, Alamo Area COG, San Antonio, TX
10:30-10:45 a.m. Networking Break
10:45-11:30 a.m. Plenary: Federal Legislative Updates
With a new administration at the helm, there are many proposed changes to the federal budget and programs that will directly impact the work that EDDs and other economic development practitioners are doing in their regions. Attend this session for an up-to-the-minute report on activity on Capitol Hill that will impact your work and your regions.
⇒ Joe McKinney, NADO
11:30 a.m.-noon Closing Comments and Conference Adjournment
⇒ Betty Voights, Executive Director, CAPCOG, Austin, TX and Chairperson, SWREDA