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Feeding the Masses, and Your Economy

Date: June 20, 2019

Time:  2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Price:  $95 for IEDC members, $135 for Nonmembers

Registration Deadline: June 20 at 11:00 am ET

Instructions will be emailed on Tuesday, June 18

Last date to request a refund or cancel registration: Monday, June 10

Questions? Please contact webinar@iedconline.org


Everybody eats! And the path to economic growth might just be through the stomach. Food-centric economic development strategies include myriad topics, from urban agriculture, to maker spaces, to business improvement districts and digital marketing. When it comes to supporting this industry, there is always more to learn, and knowing first is key to staying ahead of the competition.




Carol Kraus Lauffer
Business Cluster Development
Palo Alto, CA

As Principal and owner of Business Cluster Development (BCD), Carol has helped more than 75 communities, universities and corporations across the U.S. to plan and deploy successful strategies and programs that support entrepreneurship, create new businesses, move innovative products to market, and build strong ecosystems and clusters, resulting in economic diversification, job creation, technology commercialization, and economic growth. Carol has direct experience with a range of entrepreneurial support programs, including accelerators, incubators, coworking, maker spaces, and various hybrids. She has both planning and implementation experience with accelerators, incubators and coworking.

Prior to BCD, Carol was Managing Director of Panasonic’s corporate, venture-backed incubator in Cupertino, California and a Principal in its $100 million venture fund. Carol has 30+ years of experience supporting entrepreneurship and small business, and economic development. In addition, she has served on the management teams and advisory boards of several incubators.

As a dedicated member of the industry, Carol served on the board of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), holding the post of Chair of the Board of Directors of InBIA in 2010-11. Currently, she serves on the board of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Carol is a course instructor for both organizations’ professional development programs, and a frequent speaker on best practices for entrepreneurial support organizations, ecosystem assessment and development, and targeting technology clusters and other verticals for economic development. In April 2015, InBIA honored Carol with the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing her significant contributions to the association and the industry.

Carol earned a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Northwestern University. She is a travel enthusiast with visits to more than 50 countries across 6 continents, and 46 states.

Ryan Sharp
Associate Director for Economic Engagement
UC Davis Venture Catalyst
Davis, CA

Ryan Sharp has extensive experience in the private and non-profit sectors as a regional economist and economic developer. Within UC Davis Venture Catalyst, he is responsible for economic engagement, building productive networks and facilitating connections between university-associated startups and the regional innovation and economic development ecosystem. Ryan’s previous work includes senior leadership roles at a regional economic development organization in Northern California and a consulting group with a focus on regional economics, real estate and land use, and economic development. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of California, Davis and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from California State University, Sacramento and holds the designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council.

John Wechsler
Founder & CEO
Indiana IoT Lab, Launch Fishers
Fishers, IN

John has founded, co-founded or served in C-level roles in several high-growth and venture-backed startups including Formstack, Formspring, DeveloperTown, Vontoo, Wishoo and beenz. In 2012, John founded Launch Fishers, a 52,000 square foot launch pad for start-ups and high-potential enterprises. In 2014, John founded the statewide entrepreneurial mentorship initiative, Launch Indiana; he continues to serve as an active advisor to entrepreneurs and startup teams. In 2017 John founded The Indiana IoT Lab in Fishers, a 24,000 square foot innovation and commercialization hub for Internet of Things (IoT)- related enterprises. John was recognized as the 2018 Trailblazer Award recipient by Techpoint. The award recognizes “visionaries whose contributions have had lasting and significant impact on our technology ecosystem and our state.”

John has been a lifetime volunteer with community organizations and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of several organizations including the Indiana State Museum, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, where he co-chairs the Technology & Innovation Committee, and the Indiana Technology and Innovation Association where he is a founding board member and serves as vice chair.

John started his career at IBM where he achieved membership in the Golden Circlerecognizing the top 1.5% of the IBM sales force. Prior to joining IBM, John earned a marketing degree from Indiana University where he participated in the School of Business Overseas Study Program in Maastricht, the Netherlands. John served in the US Army where he learned the art of rappelling from helicopters as an Air Assault-Qualified Combat Engineer in the First Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas!


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)


Cancellation, Refund and No-Show Policy

• Refunds are available with cancellation until Monday, June 10. There are no refunds for cancellations received after Monday, June 10.

• All cancellations must be received in writing by email, fax or mail to Cherrika Gordon (e-mail: cgordon@iedconline.org / fax (202) 223-4745). Cancellations by phone are not accepted.

• All cancellations and requests for a refund after Monday, June 10 need to be submitted in writing to Cherrika Gordon and will be considered on a case by case basis. There is no guarantee of a refund or credit after Monday, June 10 and each will be given consideration under unforeseen circumstances.


Attend Web Seminars and Earn Recertification Credits from the Comfort of Your Office

We understand that CEcDs have a constant yearning to grow and improve their knowledge and expertise in economic development. Therefore, the IEDC web seminars have been approved as professional development programs for recertification. The web seminars provide a convenient and cost-effective online environment for economic developers to learn about cutting-edge research, techniques, and tools that are prevalent in the field.

CEcDs participating in a minimum of three (3) web seminars during a three-year recertification cycle can now earn recertification credits. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact certification@iedconline.org.