Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Winter Conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, January 7-9, 2015. Themed “The Road Ahead – New Leaders. New Partners. New Strategies,” the three-day conference included 20 educational sessions, 30 exhibitors, and countless networking opportunities.
Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) partnered with MACo to bring a general session panel titled “Advancing Your Community…Techniques for Economic Development Strategies.” Pam Ruff, executive director of MEDA said, “Economic development transforms our lives by creating jobs, inspiring innovation, and enriching communities. Approaches and strategies are different depending on the region and this panel explored urban, suburban, and rural methods.”
The panel addressed specific regional economic development strategies and the importance of working together in partnership to achieve economic goals. Speakers included: Keasha Haythe, CEcD, director of Dorchester County Economic Development and vice president of MEDA; Lawrence Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority and president of MEDA; Laurie Boyer, CEcD, executive director of Rockville Economic Development, Inc. and past president of MEDA; and William Cole, president & CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation. The Honorable Adrienne Jones, Maryland State Delegate,moderated the panel.
The panel presented economic development approaches forurban, suburban and rural areas of Maryland. Examples included vacant turned occupied spaces in Baltimore City, advertising and marketing local businesses in Rockville, and manufacturing in Cambridge.
Haythe said, “Economic development is everyone’s business. It is the thread that connects everything, everyone and every industry. Rural communities in Maryland are creating opportunities, inspiring innovation and enriching communities through economic development processes and strategies unique to their area.” The panel was well-received and provided real life examples of economic development strategies being used throughout the state.