Marcus Rummery

Wild Sunsets, Wild Horses, and a Sense of Community

Wild Sunsets, Wild Horses, and a Sense of Community

Town of Fountain Hills, AZ

Fountain Hills is a unique community – the town is centered around, and gets its namesake from, a spectacular fountain that reaches 560 feet. “The town was built to take advantage of the views throughout the entire area, including our iconic fountain, the Sonoran Desert and the McDowell Mountains,” says Mayor Linda Kavanagh, who, along with Town Manager Grady Miller and Economic Development Director Scott Cooper, spoke with us from Fountain Hills’ Town Hall.
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The story of Fountain Hills is a distinct tale from the sun belt of the United States. A California developer, McCullough Properties Inc., bought a former cattle ranch of some 12,000 acres to build a “master planned” lakefront community. Disneyland designer Charles Wood Jr. designed the town around the world’s tallest fountain, which started flowing in 1972 to greet the town’s first residents. The community was incorporated in 1989 and today is home to more than 23,000 individuals.

Industry, Metals, Agriculture & Lifestyle the Oregon Way

Industry, Metals, Agriculture & Lifestyle the Oregon Way

Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corporation

There is something special about Oregon. The mix of rural simplicity with urban hipster progressivism and twenty-first-century industrial technology creates a cultural hybrid of old and new, country and city that produces some of the smartest and funniest people you will ever meet.
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John Pascone is the president of the Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corporation (AMEDC). Upon completing his undergraduate degree in engineering, John got a degree in business administration before completing his MBA at Santa Clara University. In the thirty-five years since, he has been a pillar of commerce in the region. For nineteen of those years, he was a business counselor at Linn-Benton Community College and moved over toAMEDC in 1997. He spoke to me from his office in Albany.

From 19th Century Paper and Lumber to 21st Century Tech

From 19th Century Paper and Lumber to 21st Century Tech

City of Camas, WA

Camas is a town built around economic opportunity from its origin surrounding three lumber mills and a paper mill that remains the largest west of the Mississippi to the late eighties when the technology sector took the State of Washington by storm. Despite growing from lumber and pulp to technology and gaining thousands of citizens, Camas retains its hometown small town feel. Paul Dennis and Scott Higgins spoke to me from their offices in city hall.
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Paul Dennis got ‘tricked’ into being on the city council in 1997. He was volunteering downtown, and a vacancy opened. Then, in 2003, there was a mayoral election, and the voters decided they wanted to make a change. So he served as mayor from 2004 through 2011. Now Paul is the chief executive officer of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, which is a group project funded by the city of Camas, the city of Washougal and the Port of Camas-Washougal. Current Mayor Scott Higgins began serving on city council in 2002 and in 2011 won his first term as mayor.

Over Two Hundred Years at the Heart of American Industry

Over Two Hundred Years at the Heart of American Industry

Richland Community Development Group

Richland County was named after the fertile land settlers found there just a few years before it was first incorporated in 1808. By the middle of the twentieth century, the area was at the center of the American manufacturing belt, which has deteriorated in the last few decades…
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The Richland Community Development Group (RCDG) was formed in 2009 to move the county forward from the declining pace of some of its industries into a brave new world of innovation. I spoke with the Director of Economic Development Barrett Thomas from the group’s headquarters to find out more.

Designing the Future

Designing the Future

Thermwood

Thermwood has made its home in Dale, Indiana since it began operations at the end of the 1960s. Jason Susnjara has served as vice president of marketing for ten years at the pioneering company and spoke to me from his office.
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“Thermwood was established in 1969, not as a computer numerically controlled (CNC) router company but as a plastic molder with our own process involving thermoforming woodgrain parts for the furniture industry.” Thermoforming is the process of heating a thermoplastic material and shaping it in a mold.

Smarter Shipping

Smarter Shipping

iDrive Logistics

While many companies are capable of integrating new technology, iDrive Logistics creates its own. Two notable new products are its shipping software—called ShipCaddie—and its new online parcel auditing system.
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ShipCaddie is a cutting-edge shipping software that allows shippers to manage orders, print shipping labels and send packages anywhere in the world. It works with any major carrier and users are able to import and ship orders from such marketplaces as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify and several others. Despite this critical functionality, it’s the business intelligence tools that gets iDrive Logistics’ Founder and CEO Shaun Rothwell excited.

The Future of Aviation Technology and Education

The Future of Aviation Technology and Education

Working to diversity an economy that has the highest reliance on a single industry in the United States is indeed a challenge. The primary business of Atlantic County, New Jersey, has always been gaming, casinos, poker tables and tourism. Since the seventies, taxes from this industry have supported the Atlantic City region, but today casinos are shuttered, leaving 8,000 to 12,000 people out of work and causing the highest residential foreclosure rate in the country.
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Atlantic County Chief of Staff Howard Kyle is one of the major proponents of the economic alliance to bring change, to bring new industries and companies with higher paying jobs to the area. His speech is quick but determined. “We are facing significant challenges. However, we do not believe that we are unlike hundreds of other areas around the country that have had to face an economic challenge. There are numerous other ones; Pittsburgh and Cleveland are two. I could give you a list of names. In all those areas, they were able to both conquer those challenges by grouping together, looking at regional economic development and developing a strategy and a plan and working together on implementation.”

Healthcare Close to Home

Healthcare Close to Home

Paris Regional Medical Center

Ninety miles from the urban density of Dallas, Texas lies Paris, a midsize town of some 25,000 souls at the nexus of the old railroad and the Red River that divides the lone-star state from neighboring Oklahoma. At the heart of this down-home community immortalized in Wim Wender’s film of the same name is the Paris Regional Medical Center.
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The Center’s CEO Patti Monczewski was quick to ‘humble brag’ about her town’s illustrious past. “Paris has a very interesting history. Back at the early 1900s, Paris would have been the Dallas of the time. Then fire destroyed the community over a hundred years ago.”

Relationships and Innovation

Relationships and Innovation

TimeLine Logistic

TimeLine Logistic was launched in 2010 and had its sights set on the on the front of the end of the nuclear fuel cycle from the beginning. “We do everything from hauling the ore out of Saskatoon here to taking fuel into the power plants. With the depressed market in oil and gas, this past year’s been a struggle, but we’ve been able to keep our core customers, and with our nuclear business being ready to come online, it’s actually been able to boost us up and help compensate for the depressed oil market,” says President Troy Stimpson.
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To say TimeLine Logistic President Troy Stimpson has an unusual attitude about audits would be a considerable understatement.

Specialization, Strategy and the Science of Win-Win

Specialization, Strategy and the Science of Win-Win

Skeena Resources

When Walter Coles Jr., the CEO of Skeena Resources, discusses the junior mining company’s Chairman of the Board Ron Netolitzky, he speaks in the slightly hushed tones reserved for the legendary. As Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky enjoy membership in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Ron earned a similar distinction in the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 2015. Mr. Netolitzky has also been honoured with the Prospector of the Year Award from the PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) and Developer of the Year Award from the BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines.
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Coles explains, “I worked for an investment bank for a bunch of years; then for a hedge fund, and I left that business to create a company around family farmlands with minerals, and through that endeavour I got to know Ron, and he ended up being on the board of that particular company. Once I fully appreciated his uncanny ability to find precious metals, I approached him and said ‘Why don’t you let me focus on raising money for whatever idea you have for your next company, and you can do what you love: the geology, the rocks.’ That has been our partnership since.”

Growing the Future

Growing the Future

City of Miami Gardens

Oliver G. Gilbert became the Mayor of Miami Gardens in 2012, merely nine years after the City came into being in 2003. “My mom still stays here in the house that I grew up in. I bought the home I lived in until I was ten (10) years old from my parents and live there with my son. My sisters still live in the city as well,” he says. “I went to elementary, middle, and high school here; I’m really a small town kid. I want people to see the Miami Gardens that I see. We can look at where we were twenty years ago and compare it to where we are now and look forward to where we can be.”
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Situated a few semi-tropical miles east of the Florida beach district and home to the Hard Rock Stadium where the Miami Dolphins play, the City of Miami Gardens has enjoyed a lot of advantages throughout its brief 13-year history. “We have $100 million of private investment already on the way. The flea market is being redeveloped; Marshall’s, Burlington, O’Reillys, and other new businesses are going in there. We have the redevelopment of the Calder area. We have industrial parks, commercial, retail, and industrial with park warehouse spaces being developed. We have the Amazon Center and we have the pending Top Golf facility that should start construction around December,” says Mayor Gilbert.

Teamwork, Innovation and Ambition

Teamwork, Innovation and Ambition

Gage Brothers Concrete Products

Despite joining the Gage Brothers in 1980, Company President Tom Kelley doesn’t feel that he has ever worked a day in his life. “I wake up every morning, and I can’t wait to get here. I just thoroughly enjoy every day. When I got here in 1980, there were about 80 people and about $4,000,000 a year in sales; now in 2016 we are doing about $60 million a year in sales with three times the workforce.”
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Although Gage Brothers will have moved to its new state-of-the-art facility by the middle of 2018, the plant currently sits on the same thirty-acre plot on which it originated. Gage Brothers began as a family-owned enterprise in 1915 when William Gage Sr. began pouring concrete sidewalks in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. When his two sons Bill and Al Gage returned from their service in World War II they took over.

Bringing Brands to Texas for over One Hundred Years

Bringing Brands to Texas for over One Hundred Years

Del Papa Distributing

You know you are talking to Texas when Del Papa’s Vice President of Corporate Relations & Communication Peter Williamson comes on the phone. There is no mistaking that Lone-Star accent. “A focused and targeted sense of urgency is our theme,” he says.
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“That’s the call to action we share with our employees to motivate and inspire them to share our vision for the future,” says Williamson. The future began to arrive in 2012 when the company’s cutting-edge, state of the art 155,000 square foot distribution center opened on 27 acres in Texas City, moving from its home of 102 years in nearby Galveston, Texas.

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