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SIUE and MCCD Economic Development Workshop for Elected Officials
Illinois Ag Connection - 06/12/2019

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Madison County Community and Economic Development (MCCD) co-hosted the Metro East Economic Development Seminar for elected officials this past week on SIUE's campus.

The goal of the seminar was to support economic development throughout the Metro East. It provided an opportunity for elected officials to come together to focus on principles of economic development, and consider how they might best position themselves to support their communities.

St. Louis Regional Freightways Executive Director Mary Lamie provided the opening keynote, St. Louis Regional Freightways Executive Director Mary Lamie provides the opening keynote.focusing on the unique and significant role the Metro East plays in the St. Louis region.

Presentation and discussion topics included resources for finding and using data, strategies for encouraging small business engagement, best practices for being development friendly, tourism as an economic driver, and the importance of building livable communities.

"Our department is committed to helping communities throughout Madison County reach their economic development goals," said MCCD Director Trudy Bodenbach. "We do that best by support their efforts with resources, data and educational opportunities. Partnering with SIUE for this event allowed us to provide training to our local communities, as well as reach beyond our county borders to provide this opportunity to elected officials in an 8-10 county region."

During the seminar, a panel of experts provided valuable insight and encouraged ongoing dialogue. Panelists and special guests included (L-R) (front) Jo Ann DiMaggio May and Connie Frey Spurlock, (back) Eric Gowin, Tim Sullivan, Morris Taylor, Brett Stawar, Dennis Wilmsmeyer, and SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook. The panel was moderated by Morris Taylor, PhD, associate professor and chair of the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis. Panelists included:

- Eric Gowin: Founder of Contegra Construction Company

- Jo Ann DiMaggio May: director of the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at SIUE

- Tim Sullivan, PhD, instructor in the SIUE School of Business Department of Economics and Finance

- Brett Stawar: President/CEO of Great Rivers and Routes Convention and Tourism Bureau

- Dennis Wilmsmeyer: Executive director of America's Central Port

SIUE and MCCD intend to partner to offer additional educational opportunities with the shared goal of providing local and regional support to Metro East communities.

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