Tag Archives: economic development

How our city will, and should, look in the near and distant future

Baird_Lindsey Headshot 2By Lindsey Baird
Brown & Brown Insurance

Class 29 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

A transportation hub connecting our unique city to the expanse of the state and the world, the Scottsdale Airport seemed to me a fitting location to host Economic Development Day. Watching planes take-off and land, surrounded by hundreds of local businesses, drove home the idea that progress in our thriving city is ever-present.

IMG_5738Councilman-elect David Smith opened the day with his views of progress in our city. To some members of the community, progress means moving forward while essentially staying the same, not losing the essence of the city they have grown with and loved. As the day progressed, we were exposed to differing perspectives from the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, Scottsdale’s Economic Development Department, and others in public and private enterprise. We heard from multiple panels that discussed what current demographics look like in our city compared to other areas of the state, what is being done to attract business to the area and whom they look to attract, and what development looks like from each of these unique perspectives.

Throughout the course of the day it was clear the amount of pride and passion that exists within the citizens of this city. There certainly are various ideas and visions that exist about how our city will, and should, look in the near and distant future.

IMG_5739A great example of a unique perspective came from Dr. Dennis Hoffman, Director of L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University’s Department of Economics. He shared with us facts and figures in a way that had us laughing and beginning to think differently about the numbers before us. While he had us laughing, our afternoon group exercise had us tackling issues associated with the Scottsdale Tourism Advisory Task Force. My group specifically looked at issues related to attracting young, well-educated and well-compensated professionals to our city and how to keep them here long term. We discussed transportation development as a key feature of this movement, as well as housing and ways to create a more urban downtown district while maintaining a unique identity that belongs solely to Scottsdale.

The information shared by our extremely knowledgeable lineup of presenters was bar none. I would also like to thank APS and CAP on behalf of the entire class for their sponsorship of this class day and for contributing to the wealth of information that was presented via their representatives who joined us!

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Eureka! There’s Help in Them Thar Libraries!

LloydBy Stacy Lloyd, Class 28
Lloyd Media Group

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program.   The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership. 
 

I wasn’t expecting to evoke the California Gold Rush when writing my blog about Scottsdale Leadership’s Economic Development Day.

After all, economic development is the process of building strong, adaptive economies not searching for gold. In fact, Danielle Casey, Economic Development Director for the City of Scottsdale, defines it as, “the process of creating wealth through the mobilization of human, financial, capital, physical and natural resources to generate marketable goods and services.”

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Class 28 was exposed to many economic concepts that day – from an economic update to economic trends shaping our community; all things you would expect during a crash course on Economic Development. But I was surprised when Casey had a spot in her presentation for Carol Damaso, Scottsdale’s Public Library Director, to talk about the Eureka Loft.

The Eureka Loft, located at the Civic Center Library, is a co-working space. It’s part of a new initiative between the Scottsdale Public Library and ASU Venture Catalyst, the startup unit of Arizona State University. This joint effort is designed to help entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses.

(Full disclosure: the Eureka Loft is actually named after the famous “Eureka” moment of Greek astronomer, inventor, mathematician and physicist Archimedes. It has nothing to do with finding gold. But hey, I understand the concept of panning for gold much more than I do Archimedes’ principle.)

The Eureka Loft combines elements of collaboration spaces with expert library fact-finding services and ASU startup resources all in one place. On top of that, they can get advice and access to some pracademic classes both online and in the library. (Pracademic is the mixture of academic and practitioner.)

Michael Beck, Class 28 classmate and Adult Services Coordinator at Scottsdale Public Library, runs the Eureka Loft program and says its benefits are numerous.

“Anybody can come into the library and get free one-on-one assistance with mentorship, access to library databases, business databases, mentorship with ASU and business community leaders”, said Beck. “They can also receive help with their filings for limited liability corporations.”

Members of the Scottsdale library staff have become champions of the program. Each library champion has gone through ASU’s Rapid Startup School which is an introduction to entrepreneurship.

The long term goal of Eureka Loft is to support Scottsdale’s entrepreneurs, inventors, small businesses and the like that need help to advance their ideas. The collaboration spaces allow these people to gather to connect, network and share ideas. They are free and open to the public during normal library hours.

Here’s what I like best about the Eureka Loft… economic vitality shouldn’t just be on the backs of Scottsdale’s high powered movers and shakers. Thanks to the Eureka Loft, we can all take part.

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Economic Development: Do or Die!

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the ninth of a 17 article series recapping Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month Core Program. The program educates, connects and empowers citizens who are interested in community leadership.

What is Economic Development; How does it happen?
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24 members tackled this question on our last Topic Day. We examined it from a local, regional and state level…it was a fascinating day.

Economic development is a complex, multi-dimensional concept. Economic development is not possible without growth but growth is possible without development. Scottsdale is an established and resource-wealthy community. We’ve had many years of strong economic development. But in these tough economic times, it is important we have a clear economic development strategy.

To read the rest of Suzanne’s blog click here.

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