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Online Training Course: Business Retention and Expansion

Date: July 7, 2020


IEDC continues to monitor the rapidly changing situation related to the spread of COVID-19. We understand that concerns for health, safety, and the impact on meeting attendance, among other issues, are affecting our members.

Absent federal travel restrictions and/or local, state, or regional decisions to close venues, IEDC has not canceled any of its meetings. At these events, we commit to maintaining all appropriate sanitary, health, and safety measures and encourage attendees to follow guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. If there are any changes to event schedules, we will provide information to registrants about virtual options that may be available and/or other specific details.

Our satisfaction guarantees and our refund, substitution, cancellation, and postponement policies remain in place for your benefit. Please refer to specific program pages on our event calendar for details or contact us at reception@iedconline.org to be connected to appropriate staff to address your concerns.


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This interactive course presents the core components of a BRE program and why the concerns of local businesses need to be actively addressed. By building an understanding of business visitation techniques and survey methods, practitioners will be able to clearly gauge their community's business climate. Learn the "red flags" that may indicate a company is looking to move elsewhere, and learn how to structure an effective technical assistance program to respond to business concerns. This course helps participants understand how a BRE program relates to attraction, workforce development, small business finance, technology transfer and many other economic development activities.


Course Highlights:

• Establishing, maintaining and upgrading a BRE program
• Creating effective models for business visitations and surveys
• Customer-Relationship Management (CRM) techniques
• Marketing a BRE program
• Establishing an early warning system
• Cluster and industry-focused BRE programs
• Tracking and analyzing customer feedback and response
• Quantitative and qualitative economic development metrics




July 7

11:30 am

Start Time

11:30 - 11:45 am

IEDC Introduction

11:45 - 12:00 pm

Speaker Introductions and Session Framework
Speaker introductions and a brief discussion of course objectives, desired outcomes and overall course methodology

12:00 - 12:30 pm

Defining Economic Development and Our Customers
This session will dissect and define economic development and our customers. All businesses are not created equal. This session will help attendees identify and understand who their best customers how to utilize with for successful business retention and expansion. Various mechanisms will be examined that allow us to prioritize our BR&E focus and efforts.

12:30 - 1:10 pm

Global factors and trends that impact business retention and expansion policies, programs, strategies and desired outcomes
In this session, attendees will learn about and discuss post-recession global realities and how they have fundamentally changed the private sector, economic development and business retention and expansion.

1:10 - 1:20 pm


1:20 - 2:05 pm

Main Group Exercise - Anytown, Anywhere
This group exercise will provide the underpinning and set the framework for the topics covered during the 4-day course.

2:05 - 3:00 pm

Why BR&E is Essential
This session will underscore the importance of BR&E, provide examples of objectives and outcomes and examine core elements of any best practice framework.

July 14

12:00 pm

Start Time

12:00 - 1:30 pm

Multi Touch BR&E Framework
This session will examine a multi-layered, multi-touch approach to business retention and expansion.

1:30 - 1:40 pm


1:40 - 2:25 pm

Multi Touch BR&E Framework (Continued)
This session will examine a multi-layered, multi-touch approach to business retention and expansion.

2:25 - 3:00 pm

Review of Day one and two: Highlights and Core Concepts

July 21

12:00 pm

Start Time

12:00- 12:45 pm

Team Building for BR&E
This session will examine the essential role of the Resource Team in BR&E.

12: 45 - 1:30 pm

Management and Technology for BR&E
This session will examine the mission-critical role of the BR&E Program Manager. The session will also touch upon the use of CRM technology for BR&E

1:30 - 1:40 pm


1:40 - 2:10 pm

One-to-one Database Marketing and the Correlation to Business Retention and Expansion
Key principles from one-to-one database marketing for successful business retention and expansion will be examined and discussed.

2:10 - 3:00 pm

Breakout Room Activity

July 28

12:00 - 12:30 pm

Marketing and Promotion
You’ve put together your BRE program, but to connect with businesses, you first need to educate them. Marketing and branding are an important part any successful business retention and expansion program. This session will also explore the important use of social media for BR&E.

12:30 - 1:00 pm

Disaster Recovery and Business Retention and Expansion
This session will correlate BR&E with both disaster preparedness and disaster recovery.

1:00 - 2:30 pm

Breakout Room Activity

2:30 - 3:00 pm

Leveraging resources and final takeaways
A fast-paced summary of the course and content.


* Agenda and times subject to change. All times are EDT.



Colleen Bond
EDCD Consulting
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Colleen is a partner with EDCD and has over 25 years economic development experience. She has her diploma in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo and is a certified Economic Developer. Colleen has extensive knowledge in building economic development programs and delivering practical and realistic strategic plans.

Colleen’s skills, practical guidance and results-oriented approach have helped clients across Canada develop innovative economic development solutions. She has facilitated workshops on economic development essentials including strategic planning, business retention and expansion, business attraction, and economic recovery from disasters.

Economic development troubleshooting and community development strategies have become a specialty for Colleen and she specializes in providing elected officials and community leaders with the right information to make decisions for their businesses and communities to grow.

Erik Collins
Montgomery County Community & Economic Development
Dayton, OH

Erik Collins is the Director of the Community & Economic Development Department for Montgomery County, Ohio – the state’s fourth largest county. Erik oversees various functions for Montgomery County including Building, Planning, and Community & Economic Development Divisions.

In Economic Development, Erik is responsible for overseeing business attraction, retention and the county’s incentive programs. Erik was instrumental in developing, and is now responsible for managing the County’s first countywide business retention and expansion initiative known as Business First! For A Greater Dayton Region. BusinessFirst! has expanded outside of Montgomery County with over 32 jurisdictions in a six county region containing over 100 Regional Resource Partners serving businesses; among the communities, over 7,000 large and small companies have been visited. BusinessFirst! has received several recognitions from the National Association of Counties Achievement Award as an innovative program contributing to and enhancing county government in the United States; Business Retention and Expansion International and The Ohio/City County Management Association (OCMA). He is a national trainer for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presenting best business retention and expansion practices across North America and for the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (OUEDI). Erik serves on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA).

In addition to business retention and expansion, Erik has played an instrumental role as part of the development team in several significant new investments in Montgomery County including: Collective Brands – now Payless Shoes, the largest shoe retailer in the western hemisphere, CAT Logistics – the second largest CAT facility in North America, the 1.8M sq. ft. P&G in the City of Union, WilmerHale – the fifth largest law firm in the U.S. in addition to many small and large development projects.

Erik’s accomplishments also include development of Montgomery County’s first Linked Deposit Program in partnership with the Montgomery County Treasurer in 1999 that was a $20 million program designed to buy-down interest rates for businesses and housing developers that create and retain jobs and improve Montgomery County neighborhoods; a Buy Local Program - ThinkTwice – Buy Montgomery County. In 2015 he jointly created a Strategic Enhanced Economic Development (SEED) program to strengthen business attraction and retention efforts by aligning resources and streamlining the development process for targeted strategic investments throughout Montgomery County. He is a member of the Leadership Dayton Class of 2010. In 2000, Erik was selected as one of the Dayton Business Journal’s 40 UNDER 40 professionals-recognizing the Miami Valley’s future leaders, and in 1999 was member of a professional exchange team through Rotary International’s Group Study Exchange Program to Sweden.

Carolina Arriagada Peters
Managing Director
Cities & Collaboration
London, United Kingdom

With extensive experience in international trade & investment acquired during her time at London & Partners, the official promotional agency for the British capital, Carolina Arriagada Peters is the Managing Director of Cities & Collaboration www.citiesandcollaboration.com. She advises governments on how to lever trade and investment as drivers for local growth and is the first international consultant specialised in post-investment and FDI Aftercare. She is a visiting lecturer focused on Aftercare for the InterAmerican Development Bank and author of upcoming book ‘Aftercare Explained’ (release expected for this year).

Previously, she ran the FDI team of London & Partners www.londonandpartners.com attracting investment from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, securing thousands of jobs for London. Together with her team, she designed and delivered high-impact investment attraction strategies, managed complex multi-stakeholder projects, and developed an investment pipeline from over 80 countries. Following the successes of the Mayor of London’s Business Programme during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and the World Islamic Economic Forum in 2013, she set up the Consultancy Unit of the agency to advise other locations on London’s best practices in economic development. Prior to that, she joined Asia House www.asiahouse.org, a premier British trade and advocacy centre, where she helped built business bridges between the UK and Asia.

With a passion for sustainable development, some of Carolina’s current work expands the frontiers of international trade. For example, she levers her 8-year experience supporting the impact sector in roles such as judge in start-up competitions, mentor to changemakers and public speaker, to advocate governments to embrace start-up-led innovation as a driver for FDI. She is currently consulting on how to articulate FDI value propositions tailored for early-stage start-ups that are having significant impact locally but would not consider and/or qualify for international expansion. A second example is Women in FDI (WinFDI), a network of practitioners re-imagining how FDI could look as seen through the lens of gender advancement. A third example is her work with indigenous communities to shine a light into how extractive FDI is enriched when applying principles of ancestral thinking.

Laith Wardi, CEcD
ExecutivePulse, Inc.
Erie, PA

Laith Wardi, CEcD, is President and founder of ExecutivePulse, Inc. He has worked in the economic development professional for over 21 years. Laith has comprehensive experience in business retention & expansion that includes one-toone outreach to hundreds of value-added client companies, work as a resource provider, and 15 years of regional program management in his home state of Pennsylvania. During his tenure in economic development, he also worked in business incubation and provided small business mentoring services to entrepreneurs.

Laith provides skills training, technology and management consultation to clients seeking to implement systematic and sustainable business retention and expansion programs. In 1994- 95, he pioneered the first web-based system for business retention. Today, The ExecutivePulse CRM System is an industry leading technology solution for all facets of economic development and the most widely used database for business retention & expansion in North America. ExecutivePulse is now being used in Australia as well as the United States and Canada. Laith has provided training on business retention and expansion for International Economic Development Council (IEDC) since 1996. He has trained over 5,000 persons for IEDC during that timeframe. In addition to IEDC, Laith provides BR&E online instruction for the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (OUEDI). He has also presented to hundreds of economic development and allied audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico on customer retention, one-to-one database marketing and technology assimilation.

Laith is a graduate of Mercyhurst University and received his economic development certification through IEDC in 2002. In addition to economic development, Laith has experience in real estate management, media sales, and as a strategic planning consultant for both public and private sector clients. He currently serves on a variety of local economic development boards and committees in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Dale Wheeldon
President and CEO
BC Economic Development Association
Chilliwack, BC, Canada

Dale Wheeldon brings 30+ years of knowledge and a varied background in economic development and local government. With years of experience in both rural communities and a major city in British Columbia, Dale understands the unique challenges and opportunities differing sized communities face. With this knowledge, he was asked to take on the role as the President and CEO of the BC Economic Development Association. His working relationships with all levels of government and industry associations have helped to increase the profile of EDO's and the importance of the profession in BC. Dale has a real passion in Business Retention and Expansion and in the area of Economic Disaster Recovery. Dale first introduced in Canada the concept of structure economic disaster recovery in 2012.

Dale is also a partner with EDCD Consulting. As an economic development consulting firm, EDCD focuses on working with local communities in overcoming challenges and focusing on opportunities. Dale is a frequent speaker at economic development events and seminars and has been retained as an instructor by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Through both EDCD and BCEDA, Dale and his business partner Colleen Bond have worked with communities throughout North America and most recently Cambodia, in helping local leaders understand the value and practice of economic development.



  CEcD logo

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.




By May 29

May 30 - June 26

After June 26

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Refunds less a $75 cancellation fee will be issued for all cancellations received in writing to fax: (202) 223-4745 or email: prodev@iedconline.org at least 10 business days prior to the course - please allow 3-4 weeks. All registrations regardless of payment status are subject to the $75 cancellation fee. No refunds or credit transfers to a future course will be issued for cancellations received within 10 business days of the course. Telephone cancellations are not accepted. Attendee substitutions for a course may be made at any time prior to the course.