Mark Golombek

A Model for Small-Town Development

A Model for Small-Town Development

Town of Groton, CT

Sometimes, the question isn’t, ‘What’s happening?’ In the case of Groton, Connecticut, it’s, ‘What isn’t happening?’ This is a town that has everything going for it, and it is hard to keep up with the rapid progression of projects and undertakings. We spoke with Manager of Economic and Community Development Paige Bronk and Economic Development Specialist Sam Eisenbeiser to find out more.

Humming with Activity

Humming with Activity

City of Waterloo, ON

The City of Waterloo, Ontario is a hub of activity these days, and it continues to impress as one of North America’s leading innovation cities that brought the likes of the late Stephen Hawking here on numerous occasions. Incubators and research centres are bustling, and this is just the tip of the iceberg as the greater Waterloo Region is one of the fastest-growing regions in Canada.

Trendsetters in the Ice Fishing Industry

Trendsetters in the Ice Fishing Industry

Ice Castle Fish Houses

A fish house provides shelter to those who venture out onto frozen lakes to cut holes in the ice and fish in the dead of winter, and there is no better place to manufacture and sell ice houses than Minnesota, nicknamed the ‘Land Of 10,000 Lakes’ (though in truth, there are 11,842).

A Model For Rural Economic Development

A Model For Rural Economic Development

Oconto County Economic Development Corporation

The past few years have been quite the journey for the Oconto County Economic Development Corporation of Wisconsin. The organization has fine-tuned its plans for economic health, Fab Labs are starting to make an impact, and the feasibility study has produced some excellent information that is being used so effectively that other similar rural EDCs are taking notice. Once again, we had the privilege of speaking with Oconto County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Paul W. Ehrfurth.

Expanding in the Right Direction

Expanding in the Right Direction

City of Vacaville, CA

In 2016, I had the pleasure of writing about the City of Vacaville, in California’s Solano County. Ideally situated between Sacramento and San Francisco, the city has found ways to take advantage of its location, benefit from a strong labor pool, and draw from the University of California at Davis and Berkeley.

Business at the Speed of Life

Business at the Speed of Life

Boone County Economic Development Corporation

West Virginia, in general, and Boone County, in particular, have so much to offer. This land of mountains and natural beauty has amazing opportunities for businesses and thrives on a community involvement rarely seen in other states. We spoke with the Director of Boone County Development Corporation, Kris Mitchell.

The Evolution of GP Transco

The Evolution of GP Transco

GP Transco

Just a little over a year ago, I wrote about a trucking and logistics company from Darien, Illinois, called GP Transco. At the time, GP Transco was implementing its trucking management software OpenRoad TMS, changing its overall look, and dealing with a driver waiting list that is the envy of the industry. Once again, we spoke with Vice President of Marketing and Strategy Sergey Bort and Vice President of HR and Safety Marija Jamontas.

Staying Fresh

Staying Fresh

Red Mango

In 2017, when we met Red Mango, the frozen treat and healthy food chain was celebrating its tenth anniversary. We recently caught up with Red Mango’s Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Franchise Development Jim Notarnicola, Public Relations Manager Jonathan Reistad, and Director of Marketing and Product Development Nicole Taub, and asked about its progress since then.

Investing in Its Future

Investing in Its Future

Plaquemines Parish, LA

The ability to change course and diversify can make or break an area’s economic outlook. The Plaquemines Parish Government Economic Development and Tourism office has capable individuals at the helm, and this area in Louisiana is certainly not suffering. We spoke with Economic Development and Tourism Director Keith Espadron, Jr., to find out more about what’s driving success and growth in this parish.

Racing Toward Growth

Racing Toward Growth

Darlington County, SC

South Carolina’s Darlington County is well-known for its NASCAR track, called the Darlington Raceway – but it has so much more going for it. Back in August of 2015, I spoke with Darlington County Economic Development Partnership Executive Director Frank Willis about the history of the area, how transportation plays a key role in its economic development, and plans to strengthen the manufacturing sector. Once again, we spoke with Frank and found out how plans have developed over the last four years.

80 Years of Excellence in Farming

80 Years of Excellence in Farming

Eighty years of history is certainly something to brag about – especially since the VanSingel Farms business has been in the same area of Grant, Michigan since its inception. This third-generation, family-run leader in fresh produce has been a staple of quality for decades. This year has been exciting and full of healthy-looking crops, and we spoke with Cal VanSingel, one of the three brothers who own and run the company, to find out more.

New Name, Renewed Purpose

New Name, Renewed Purpose

Shawnee Forward Business Alliance

In 2017, Business in Focus spoke with Economic Development Director Tim Burg about Shawnee, the eastern gateway to Oklahoma City. A lot has happened since then, and amongst other things, the development organization name has changed from the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation to the Shawnee Forward Business Alliance. I had the privilege of speaking with one of the new people brought on board: President and Chief Executive Officer Tracy Qualls.

To Alberta and Beyond

To Alberta and Beyond

Trappers Transport

Back in 2016, I spoke with Dustin Omeniuk, the son of Dan Omeniuk, founder of Trappers Transport Ltd., the leading provider of temperature-sensitive transportation services in the West. At the time, a switch to electronic logbook devices was underway, and expansion into Alberta was in full swing. We recently caught up with Dustin.

Smart Growth in Arkansas

Smart Growth in Arkansas

City of Conway, AR

Arkansas is a unique place known for its diversified economy; as such, it is somewhat sheltered from the national ebbs and flows. The City of Conway is no different and has managed, through astute city and state planning, to develop into a successful hub of activity with advanced urban planning. Business in Focus spoke with Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Jamie Gates to find out more.

Delivering Freshness Every Day

Delivering Freshness Every Day

Keany Produce and Gourmet

Established in 1978, Keany Produce and Gourmet is a family-owned produce distributor. Whether it transports fruit, dairy, or vegetables, the utmost care and professionalism go into every effort. The company, celebrating its fortieth anniversary, has recently undergone a warehouse expansion, and is currently experiencing phenomenal growth. We spoke with Social Media and Marketing Coordinator Cassidy Williams.

Wood By-Products – The Way Forward for a Sustainable Future

Wood By-Products – The Way Forward for a Sustainable Future

Cloverdale Fuel

Cloverdale Fuel is the largest licensed wood-waste processor in southwest British Columbia and works with wood products in every way, including disposal, transport, and sales. It maintains a fleet of thirty-five trucks and trailers to convey wood waste and pick up finished product throughout the lower mainland and Washington State. We spoke with its General Manager Robby Gill, grandson of the company’s founder.

Seeing Waste Differently

Seeing Waste Differently

Anaergia

Anaergia’s proprietary technologies create renewable energy and fertilizers from municipal, agricultural, and industrial waste, generating new revenue sources for clients while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Burlington, Ontario-based company has fourteen satellite offices and three manufacturing plants from which it serves nearly two thousand resource recovery customers around the globe.
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Back in 2015, we spoke with Anaergia’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Benedek. He took us through a journey of environmentally conscious practices spearheaded by his company that made the future look increasingly bright. From innovative resource recovery projects to wastewater and solid waste management, new technologies were enabling the company to surge forward in areas such as California in reducing our carbon footprint.

The Land of Opportunity

The Land of Opportunity

Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department of Manatee County

In May of 2018, Business in Focus wrote about the Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department (REO) of Manatee County in the state of Florida. The focus was on job creation and incentive programs. The county’s population is growing rapidly, and the cost of housing is skyrocketing; however, new development initiatives include affordable housing and plenty of land to work with in and around Fort Manatee. We spoke with REO Director Geri Lopez and Manatee County Economic Development Manager Karen Stewart.
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Since last we spoke, the biggest accomplishment for REO has been the completion of a strategy for the southwest district of the county. The incentive programs put in place have been expanded to attract more medical, office, warehouse distribution, and hotels. Emphasis is also placed on local hiring, so businesses that are expanding would attain additional incentives if they hire local people.

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