After the Site Selectors Guild annual conference in Salt Lake City, I wanted to take a moment to share some insights from the conference and reflect on my experience as the Guild’s new and first-ever full-time executive director.
Simply stated, the Salt Lake City conference was a great success. The combination of a superb host city, generous sponsors, a broad cross section of economic development partners and engaged Guild members made for excellent thought leadership exchange and professional networking. As two-way conversational exchange leads to stronger connections and more effective working relationships, the Guild continues to transform and enhance the site selector – EDO interface.
Overall, the feedback I received about the conference was positive.
As expected, as the Guild’s new staff officer, I heard suggestions about how we can improve our conference offerings and other products. I welcome that guidance as we are, after all, directly in the business of listening to and serving our customers’ interests. It’s a key aspect of the Guild’s unique selling proposition. Our business model and value proposition are designed to respond to the needs of the market and remain highly relevant in our future meetings, events and engagements.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also share some personal thoughts as I begin this new endeavor as executive director of the Guild.
Working on the practitioner side of the economic development world for the past 30-plus-years, I have gained an understanding of the importance of relationships for success in this business. Within such a context, I must say how honored I am to now function as the Site Selector Guild’s executive director and work every day as a part of the connective tissue between EDOs and Guild members.
The business of site selection is important for many reasons… not the least of which is the impact it has on our communities and our citizens. New facility locations and new capital investments generate much needed tax revenues. Payrolls that are created arm our citizens with good jobs and salaries that give them access to and enjoyment of the American dream. The process of identifying and finding a quality location enables companies to operate successfully and make a good return on investment for their owners and shareholders. Collectively these new projects become a foundational part of the economic base of a community or region and play a key role in its economic growth and success. Indeed, the site location business is a real win-win effort.
Being a part of this process is one of the most rewarding and meaningful vocations that you, I or anyone can have. For this opportunity, I am both honored and thankful.
Over the course of the next weeks and months, I will continue to update you on the work of the Site Selectors Guild. I will do this through blog posts like this and through a new series of podcasts called “Site Selection Matters.” In these podcasts, I will interview Guild members, economic development leaders and others about relevant and timely topics. I think you will find them to be of interest and rewarding.
In closing, let me say thank you to the Site Selectors Guild for the opportunity to help advance the organization and profession. Let me also say thank you to everyone in the economic development profession who I have had the opportunity to learn from and work with over the years. I look forward to hearing from and talking with you all in the months ahead.