Gina Stephens

Open for Business

Open for Business

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar, MN

Located just two hours west of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, is the City of Willmar, in Kandiyohi County. Business in Focus spoke with Aaron Backman, the executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC); Joanna Schrupp, business development officer for the MinnWest Technology Campus; and Betsy Bonnema from co-working space WORKUP, to learn more about this dynamic county and what it has to offer for existing and prospective businesses.
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Kandiyohi County is an area that is seeing solid growth, new investments, and thriving local businesses with a focus on agriculture technology, advanced manufacturing, medical health and life sciences. It boasts some of the most innovative companies and public/private collaborations in west-central Minnesota.

Tennessee’s Best Kept Secret

Tennessee’s Best Kept Secret

Greene County Partnership

The Greene County Partnership is an umbrella organization located in Greeneville, Tennessee, that brings together the Greene County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development, Tourism, Education & Workforce Development, and the county’s environmental arm, Keep Greene Beautiful. Business in Focus spoke with Matt Garland, Greene County Partnership’s President and CEO, to learn more about this dynamic and growing county.
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Centrally located in the Eastern United States, Greene County is in one of the prime locations in Tennessee. Easily accessible by Interstate 81, and 70 miles northeast of Knoxville, Greene County is a hub for more than 20 manufacturing and distribution companies. The Greene County Partnership (GCP) was founded in 1993 as a partnership between business and local government to provide all-encompassing services to the community. The GCP provides collective leadership and services to existing businesses while also serving as a facilitator for businesses seeking to locate in the county.

A Wealth of Experience

A Wealth of Experience

BDA Partners

BDA Partners is an investment bank which specializes in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), capital raising, valuation and financial restructuring. BDA primarily executes in cross-border transactions involving Asia and specializes in deals with enterprise values of up to $1 billion USD.
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BDA Partners has over eighty professional staff working from ten offices located in New York, London, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo. Business in Focus spoke with Euan Rellie, one of BDA’s senior managing directors and co-founders.

Strengthening and Supporting Local Business

Strengthening and Supporting Local Business

St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation (STEDF)

Recently, Business in Focus spoke with Chief Executive Officer Brenda Bertus and Development Director Ashley Cangelosi Llewellyn of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation (STEDF) to learn more about this rapidly growing, diverse, and business-friendly parish and how its focus on people and place has created a community that is ripe for business opportunity.
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Located close to New Orleans, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, St. Tammany offers wide-ranging opportunities for both businesses and people. As one of the fastest-growing parishes in the state, St. Tammany is attractive to businesses because of its prime location – three interstates and a rail line pass through the parish – as well as its top-rated school system and high-quality healthcare facilities. St. Tammany is also home to a vibrant art and cultural scene in addition to its natural beauty.

A Winning Location for Residents and Business Alike

A Winning Location for Residents and Business Alike

Oldham Chamber and Economic Development

With a population of just over 64,000, Oldham County is one of the top three fastest growing counties in Kentucky and has the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Oldham has the highest per capita family income and one of the best educated workforces in Kentucky, combined with an award-winning school system and a number of rich cultural offerings, including a vibrant art scene and even an artisanal distillery.
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Business in Focus spoke to David Bizianes, the Executive Director of the Oldham Chamber, to learn more about this rapidly growing and exciting community and the strategies that the Oldham Chamber is pursuing to support its growth. Bizianes observes that his county offers tremendous benefits in terms of its workforce and prime location.

Working Collaboratively for Community Development

Working Collaboratively for Community Development

Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation

Formed in 1965, the Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) was created by the Guernsey County Commissioners and designated by resolution to perform the economic development functions for the County, the City of Cambridge, and the Village of Byesville. Later, in 2000, the Guernsey County Port Authority was formed to also contribute to these functions…
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Presently, both the CIC and the Port Authority operate out of a single office and offer a “one-stop shop” for businesses seeking assistance in setting themselves up in the county. “The vision was that this organization would provide the marketing, the contacts with new businesses, and maintain contacts with existing businesses to help them grow, provide funding if necessary, and whatever was needed for economic development – that was assigned to the CIC as part of its mission,” notes Norm Blanchard, CIC Director of Economic Development.

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