Area Development Conference and Forum Series
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Comments From Previous Consultants Forums

“Great ROI! Can’t wait until the next one!  This was awesome!"
Maria Toumazos, Osceola County, FL

“High quality speakers, great networking opportunities, Great value for the money!”
Rick Nelson, NPPD

“Wonderful access to very knowledgeable consultants."
Cheryl Brandenburgh, Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development

"What a wonderful conference. The Roundtables were wonderful – a powerful addition to the conference."
Sherry Rose, Wabash Valley Power, IN

“The speakers at this forum are the best collection of talent of any conference I’ve attended in the past few years.”
Marsha Wallace, Empire Electric, MO

“Always an informative event – great networking activities. Your venue gets better with each forum.”
Fred Welch, Pearland EDC, TX

“Very informative and relative to current economy. This was a very valuable experience for me. It's my first of what I believe will be many Consultants Forums.” 
Broderick Green, Cornerstone Regional Development Partnership – Jacksonville, FL

“I was glued the entire time!”
Shawnda Combs, Cincinnati USA Partnership, OH

“Wow! I wasn’t ever tempted to miss a session because of some distraction or work
issue – the content was too good to miss!”
Cheryl Scott, Kern EDC, CA

“Very good selection of consultants and cross-section of experience and perspectives.”
Michael Ogan, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

“Speakers were top notch providing timely, sophisticated information useful to us in our lead generation and prospect management responsibilities."
Mike Graney, EDC of Western Mass

“Again you continue to deliver an excellent program.  The information was fresh and addressed the most current issues.”
Julie Engel, Greater Yuma EDC, AZ

“Very informative session. The caliber of consultants participating is excellent , the topics were phenomenal, timely and informative.”
Cheri Welge, Ameren

“Excellent Forum, enjoyed the experience and learned new information.
Great social events and fun. Well done!"
Mark McDuff, Central Florida Development Council

“You are continuing to offer the most excellent conference available in the US –Great job.”
Ron Tolley, Liberty County Development Authority, GA

"I attended the first Forum. This one was even more polished . Monday’s dinner at the Canal was awesome! ”
John Clary, Lindale EDC, TX

“Great conference! This was my first consultants forum and I was very impressed!”
Jennifer Wolf, Dawson Area Development, NE

“Very pleased with coverage and access to consultants as a sponsor.  High quality venue accommodations, food, very professional, keeping to schedule appreciated."
Andrea Bereznak, Greater Yuma ED, AZ

"Very good and informative. Calibre of participating consultants was excellent."
Kim Pierce,  Macomb Area EDC, IL

“Excellent program!”
Allen Neel, East Tennessee EDA

“Tremendous job with scheduling and logistics. This type of organization helps me as an attendee maximize my day.”
James Mago, Glendale Economic Development, AZ

“A great experience! All speakers were excellent but the following speakers helped me more as a city councilor: Del Boyette, Jonathan Sangster, Mark Sweeney, Tom Stringer."
Patsy Jones, City of Opelika

“Everything was well planned. It was well worth my time.  I will be back. Great venue!"  
John Cadena, Scana Corporation, SC

“By far the best money spent by my organization on a conference.”
Julie Engel, Greater Yuma EDC

“The Consultant’s Forum is the best professional development investment our EDC makes each year. Tremendous value in how the program was focused by bringing practitioners that we deal with.
Bob Cook, El Paso Economic Development Corporation

“The Consultant Forum was awesome.”
Wanda Heath, Indiana Economic Development Corporation

“Congratulations on an outstanding Consultants Forum. Our regional alliance is pleased to be a continuing sponsor.”
David King, Central SC Alliance

“Great interaction opportunities with the consultants - thanks! Breakout sessions are a great addition to the program. The Consultants Forum is well worth the time and investment!”
Sean McMillan, Georgia Department of Economic Development

“Perfect ratio. Finally found a conference that provides great value!”
Brian Anderson, National Grid

“I remember the Chicago Forum being good…this seemed better!”
Bill Petranoff, Duke Energy

“Excellent job!”
Allen Neel, East Tennessee EDA
“I look forward to attending future events.”
Mark McDuff, Central Florida Development Council

“An assembly of excellence!”
Ronald Tolley, Liberty County Development Authority

“You keep raising the bar and provide relevant content. Great opportunity to discuss timely topics and network with our peers. Terrific venue!“
Fred Welch, Pearland EDC

“Breakout sessions where we met with the consultants were excellent. Great value! Your understanding of our needs is excellent – thank you.”
Dennis Hall, Nebraska Public Power District

“Very relevant information”
Christie Myers, Oklahoma Department of Commerce

“All of the speakers were knowledgeable, prepared and impressive. I didn’t expect it to be better than Chicago, but it was.”
Lynn Pitts, Savannah EDA

"Roundtable sessions were very productive”
Roger Christianson, Omaha Public Power District

"Outstanding content. I learned a great deal from the speakers. All the speakers provided information in areas that I wanted to hear about. All presentations were well done, informative and concise.”
John Wesley, Entergy Mississippi

"Project specific examples were excellent. Another excellent conference, thank you for your efforts”
Kenny McDonald, Charlotte Regional Partnership

"Presentations with practical and useable information. Great event – thank you!
Sonya Bell, Oklahoma Department of Commerce

"Two days is a perfect time fame for a conference of this type”
Amy Parkhurst, Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance

"Well put together conference, details very well taken care of.”
Kathy Ertel, Jennings Economic Development

"Actually had take-aways from each presentation. Gained great information and contacts in a short time period. The small audience made the price worthwhile.”
Jeff Edge, Charlotte Chamber

"Was a great forum to attend, one with good exchange of ideas and conversation.”
Bryan Kamm, Pasco Economic Development Council

"Excellent event – time well spent”
Hollie Pegg, Alabama Development Office

“Well done! Great format.”
Ethan Hadley,
Chamber of Commerce of Hunstville/Madison County, AL

“Fantastic program and great speakers!”
Deborah Lohnes,
Georgia Dept of Economic Development

“Topical issues, good mix of economic development professionals. Great job by staff!!!”
Donald Jakeway,
Brooks Development Authority

“Superb group of speakers.”
Michael Graney,
EDC of Western Massachusetts

“Excellent speakers and flow to program. Also enjoyed the networking opportunities, location and dinner.”
Doug Rasmussen,
St Louis RCGA

“The Q&A was particularly good!”
Marsha Wallace,
Empire District Electric

“Great info as before in June. Have heard great comments from both consultants and attendees.”
Robin Spratlin,
Georgia Power

“Intense, targeted, concise, relevant. Liked having the speakers stay throughout the program.”
Arnie Frankel,
AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co.

“A great mix of local and global information. Speakers were very well prepared. Great networking opportunities.”
Scott Jennings,
Holder Construction

“Very well done.”
Roger Sauls,
Progress Energy

“The forum was conducted professionally. Speakers were knowledgeable and there was plenty of opportunity to meet and discuss with others.”
Shelley Smith,
Cuero EDC

“Excellent information that can be applied to local communities economic development expansion.”
Scott Christensen,
City of Republic

“Quality of speakers was excellent, flow of event very smooth, attention to detail was excellent. Responsiveness of staff was great. This was my first Area Development event, I found it to be valuable in content and in networking opportunities.”
Leslie Wagner,

Indiana Economic Development Corp.

"Very well organized and professional. The morning program was excellent."
Carmenza Gonzalez
Metro Orlando, FL

"Excellent information from very relevant presenters. I had very high expectations because of the comments I had heard about the spring Consultants Forum. This was a very well organized and managed event. Thank you!"
Jenni West,
Liberty County Development Authority, GA

"I thought the conference was well done. It confirmed many of the beliefs and thoughts that I had concerning China and FDI."
Eric Voyles, VP
Rockford, IL

“The Consultants Forum provided a great networking opportunity with some of the nation’s top consultants. The engaging speakers provided valuable insights into current trends of the global market place as well as the latest methods used in the site selection.”
Mary Jo Hanover, CEcD
Business Development Services Coordinator
Louisiana Economic Development

“Absolutely spectacular. A number of attendees echoed my thoughts: “The best two days I’ve spent at a conference in years”. Very informative, good networking and great contacts.
Thank you.”

Rob O’Brian, President
Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, MO

Great environment, networking and content.”
Jim Alexander, Vice President Business Development
St Louis RCGA, MO

“Very good job in putting together an excellent event.”
Steve Johnson, Senior Vice President
Economic Development
St Louis RCGA, MO

“The best direct exchange of valuable networking.”
David Steadman, President & CEO
The Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County, TX

“Awesome event! I plan on attending in Dec 06.”
Ramon Lozano, Director Economic Development
City of Sequin, TX

“The Chicago Consultants Forum was superb.”
Don Yates, CEcD, Senior Project Manager
Location Georgia – MEAG Power, GA

“It was a GREAT forum, job well done.”
Conley A. Hilliard, Economic Devleoper
ElectriCities of North Carolina,NC

“A job well done to you and your team. The content was relevant and added value for the economic development professionals in attendance. We look forward to working with you in the near future.”
Kenny McDonald, Senior Vice President
Charlotte Regional Partnership, NC

“Congratulations to you and your staff! One of the best conferences I have attended. High caliber speakers, topics of interest, smaller group, and a start date on Wednesday evening concluding on Friday made it all work.”
Lynn Storen, Vice President of Business Development
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, GA

“Please forgive the group message, but my sincere message of appreciation for having the opportunity to meet each of you and learn from your insight during your presentations at the Consultant’s Forum is uniformly offered. Thank you individually and collectively for an excellent program last week.”
Jerry W.Giles, Director of Finance – Business Development
Virginia Economic Development Partnership, VA

“I thought the Consultants Forum in Chicago was fantastic (well organized, insightful speakers and a great location). In the seven years I have been in this position I have attended a lot of events around the U.S. and quite frankly would have to rate this near the top. It was well worth it. There was a lot of useful and relevant information that would be extremely valuable in my position. Thanks again for everything.”
John Swan, Investment Development Officer
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (Canada)

“Thank you and congratulations on a very worthwhile and successful conference. It went very well from every point of view. I look forward to hearing more regarding the Chinese Forum and the San Antonio Forum. Well done!”
Lynn M. Pitts, Senior Vice President
Savannah Economic Development Authority, GA

“Just wanted to thank and congratulate you again for the excellent job you did in organizing the Consultants Forum. Everything, from the selection of the speakers to the information presented, from the program to the venue in which it was held, was first-class.”
Sebastiano Marchese, Marketing & Promotion Manager
Invest in Italy Desk
Italian Trade Commission, Italy

“Just a quick note to thank you for the forum last week and to let you know I am interested in more details concerning the Chinese Forum in September.”
Nelson Lindsay, Director
Kershaw County Economic Development Office, SC

“Just to let you know how much I enjoyed the Consultants Forum. The speakers and their topics were of utmost interest.”
Sandra-Marie Hrycko, Industrial Development Director
Promotion Saguenay, PQ, Canada

“Great conference. First-class. I got my moneys worth from my sponsorship.”
Michael Philpot, Executive Director
West Tennessee Industrial Association, TN

“I am emailing that Nebraska would once again like a sponsorship package. We would like to receive the information on this and other sponsorships for San Antonio. We (also) will have attendees for the China Forum.”
Patricia Wood, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Nebraska Department of Economic Development, NE

“I enjoyed the Chicago event very much”
Dan Culhane
Executive Director
Ames Economic Development Commission, Ames, Iowa

“I found the Chicago event very informative”
John Frabotta
Director, Economic Development & Tourism
City of Branford, Branford, Ontario

“The Forum was excellent and well-organized event”
John Gessaman
President & CEO
Carolina Gateway Partnership, Rocky Mount, North Carolina

“The event was outstanding!”
Mike Dellinger
Director of Business Development
The Indy Partnership, Indianapolis, Indiana

“I would like to congratulate you and your team on putting the forum together”
M. Ann Broadwater, CEcD
Project Manager, Global Business Development
South Carolina Department of Commerce

“It was absolutely one of the best conferences I have ever attended. I was so impressed with the speakers knowledge and experience in global economics - I didn't want to miss a word. I heard the term used a lot during the conference -- It was a "heady" experience.”
Karin Ford
Vice President, Client Services
Economic Development Corporation serving Tulare County

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