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This webinar series provides practical information on key topics in disaster preparedness and economic recovery for economic development organizations and chambers of commerce. Each seminar hosts economic recovery practitioners with real world experience and leadership in the subject matter. Each seminar will feature efforts made in disaster-impacted communities. Attend these interactive sessions to learn how your organization can be better equipped to handle a major disruption - whether caused by nature or manmade events.

With funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the 2017 Disaster Preparedness and Economic Recovery Webinar Series is produced by IEDC. This training series provides practical information on key topics in disaster preparedness, recovery and resiliency for economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and community stakeholders. The views and statements expressed in these webinars are those of IEDC and presenters, and do not necessarily reflect the views of EDA.

Please note: Web seminars in this series are not eligible for CEcD recertification points.



Reinvigorating Downtown: Strategies to Drive Traffic Post-Disaster

Date: Thursday, August 24
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Downtown is the heart of many communities. It is the local gathering spot, the place to shop local, and the place to be part of the community. When a disaster strikes downtown, citizens can feel disconnected or lost. Returning downtown into a thriving center of activity is an essential part of the recovery. Come along with us in August as IEDC explores the ins and outs of rebuilding post-disaster and driving traffic into impacted downtowns.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• What to consider when rebuilding downtown
• How to create an inviting atmosphere for locals and visitors to downtown
• How communities have been successful at creating a thriving downtown post-disaster



Larry Twele
Howard County Economic Development Authority

Full Bio


Retail Boomtowns: Creating an Atmosphere for Retail Attraction

Date: Thursday, September 14
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

In a rural region, a thriving retail sector is a phenomenal asset, bringing in both people and tax revenues. Though many national retailers gravitate towards larger cities, with the right strategies, small communities also can earn their attention and investment. Discover how your community can lay the groundwork for retail attraction and creatively tell its story to gain the interest of local, regional and national firms, growing both employment opportunities and the tax base.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• Use data and visuals to tell your community's retail story
• Create programs to encourage local and regional retailers to open stores
• Learn how other small communities have become retail hubs and identify replicable strategies




Chad Miller Ph.D.
Chad R. Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the College of Business, is Graduate Coordinator of the Masters of Science of Economic Development program. He is Assistant Director of the Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (CLTT), which helps promote economic development through improved freight transportation. He teaches economic development organization management, research data analytics, real estate development & land use planning, and coordinates the International Economic Development (IEDC) accredited True South Basic Economic Development course. He has extensive private and public sector experience including managing shipping and global distribution for American companies based in China and Vietnam. He was also an Army Officer stationed in the Pacific Rim. He first became involved with economic development as a trade specialist in Maryland. Prior to joining USM, he worked for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. Chad has a Ph.D. from the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration & Policy, a MBA from Boston University, and a BA in Government from the College of William & Mary. Chad, his wife Susan, and son Duncan live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Colby Tanner
AVP of Economic Development
BNSF Railway Company

Colby Tanner joined BNSF Railway in 2015 as the AVP of Economic Development. In this role, he is responsible for directing, planning and implementing the location and expansion of industries to the BNSF System through collaborative efforts with customers, developers and communities. Prior to joining BNSF, he spent 12 years leading strategic real estate initiatives at various divisions of Walmart Stores, Inc. Mr. Tanner’s previous experience included managing business development and site location projects for Carter & Burgess, Inc. and the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Throughout his career, he has led teams that developed over 35 million square feet of industrial and commercial space throughout the United States. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Missouri State University. Mr. Tanner currently resides in Haslet, TX with his wife, Kelly, and their two boys, Kannon and Kolt.

Larry Twele
Howard County Economic Development Authority

Larry Twele is CEO of the Howard County (Md.) Economic Development Authority. HCEDA played a key role in the immediate and ongoing response to the flooding of historic Ellicott City, Md., in 2016, for which it received the Maryland Economic Development Association’s inaugural Transformative Excellence Award.

Before joining the HCEDA, Larry was the director of the Carroll County (Md.) Department of Economic Development, where he spent over six years guiding business development, business retention, workforce development and tourism. Before that, Larry spent almost seven years with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, where he held several positions, including managing the statewide regional office system.

Larry has launched a regional business retention program and played a key role in coordinating and facilitating major expansion projects in the Baltimore region. Larry also spent seven years in management at a Fortune Global 500 manufacturing firm and three years as a manager of a small business.

Larry holds a master’s degree of business administration from Loyola University, Maryland, and a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Maryland. He earned Certified Economic Developer credentials in March 2009.


Instructions and Technology

Instructions and dial-in information will be sent up to three days in advance and a minimum of two times. If you do not receive an email from IEDC or GoToWebinar 24 hours prior to the start of the web seminar, it is your responsibility to email webinar@iedconline.org. No refunds or credits will be given for not receiving the dial-in information for the webinar.


  • Using a telephone: A touch-tone telephone
  • Using Desktop VoIP: A computer equipped with the following:
    -- a supported sound card
    -- speakers or headphones
    -- a microphone (for speaking during the conference)


  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, Mozilla Firefox 1.5 for Windows/Mac/Linux, or Safari 2.0 for Macintosh
  • Broadband Internet connection

Learn more about GoToWebinar please review the Attendee Quick Reference Guide (PDF)