Economic Development Secrets

Economic Development Secrets is our ED industry podcast. Hosted by Nicole D’Souza, ED Secrets pulls back the curtain on economic development programs across the country to let the listener learn from peers in local and state economic development roles.

Subscribe to Economic Development Secrets in iTunes.

Want to Spill Your Secrets?

Please reach out using the contact form if you want to join the Economic Development Secrets podcast as a guest. We’d love to share your story!


049 – Economic Development Secrets – Sales Tax Implications of COVID-19

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we recorded a very unique episode of the Economic Development Secrets Podcast featuring Paul Scheuren, Principal and Economist at Impact DataSource. This episode is a follow up to last week’s discussion about how consumer spending is changing during the coronavirus lockdown. Paul discusses how communities can assess sales tax revenue in light of impacted consumer spending.

Check out last week’s podcast episode (here) where Paul discusses how consumer spending helps us illustrate what is happening to the economy. He describes what types of spending we expect to go down, up, or be put off during the current lockdown and how it may be impacted during future recovery. 

048 – Economic Development Secrets – COVID-19 Consumer Spending Impact

Follow the link below to check out Impact DataSource’s new COVID-19 Consumer Spending app that helps economic developers analyze these trends in their local economy.

You can access the app here.
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048 – Economic Development Secrets – COVID-19 Consumer Spending Impact

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we recorded a very unique episode of the Economic Development Secrets Podcast featuring Paul Scheuren, Principal and Economist at Impact DataSource. Paul discusses how consumer spending helps us illustrate what is happening to the economy. He describes what types of spending we expect to go down, up, or be put off during the current lockdown and how it may be impacted during future recovery. Paul introduces Impact DataSource’s new COVID-19 Consumer Spending app that help economic developers analyze these trends in their local economy.

You can access the app here.
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047 – Economic Development Secrets – Alex West, Ann Arbor, MI

This month’s special guest is Alex West, Director of Research at Ann Arbor SPARK. Alex uses the power of data to tell a compelling story about the Ann Arbor region to support SPARK’s business attraction and retention efforts. Prior to joining SPARK, Alex held various roles in international economic development, most recently for the Department for International Trade (the economic development arm of the UK government), consulting for US/UK businesses in the cybersecurity and B2B software sectors. She is a California native and has lived and worked in Italy and the UK.

Alex holds a BA from UC Berkeley and received her MA in International Trade Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is currently completing an executive master’s degree in Information and Data Science through UC Berkeley.

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046 – Economic Development Secrets – Julie Floyd, Frisco EDC

This month’s special guest is Julie Floyd, Compliance Administrator at the Frisco EDC.

Julie joined the Frisco EDC team in 2001 and has held four different positions during this time: Administrative Secretary, Senior Assistant, Office Manager, and Compliance Administrator. She has overseen Frisco’s incentive compliance program since 2007. Previously, Julie worked at the Frisco Police Department for four years. 
Julie was born in Twin Falls, Idaho and has been in Texas since 1983. She is married, has three daughters, five grandchildren, three rescue dogs, and two rescue cats. Her hobbies include gardening, yard work, and road trips. 

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045 – Economic Development Secrets – Burdette (Pete) Fullerton, Kansas City Aviation Department

This month’s special guest is Burdette (Pete) Fullerton, Assistant Director for Commercial Properties & Development with the Kansas City Aviation Department. He has held this position since 2015. The Commercial Properties & Development Department within the Kansas City Aviation Department works to increase revenues for the department through existing building/terminal leases and real estate development. Pete has been a Community Economic Development professional over 30 years. Before his current position, Pete served as President/CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and Executive Director of the Platte County Economic Development Council in Kansas City, Missouri. In his career, Pete has participated in the completion of projects that have directly invested over $3.5 billion which currently employ over 17,000 in Kansas City.

Pete, in 2017, earned his Doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi in Human Capital Development with the publication of his dissertation, The Effects of Tax Increment Financing on Assessed Land Values. Pete attended Texas A&M University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri. Pete holds certifications as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), Professional Community Economic Developer (PCED) and Certified Return on Investment Professional (CRP).

Pete has received the Chairman’s Award of Distinction two times and was recognized as an Honorary Life Member (HLM) by the Southern Economic Development Council. Additionally, Pete is Past Chairman for the Southern Economic Development Council and the Missouri Economic Development Council. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at Park University.

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044 – Economic Development Secrets – Christian Fletcher, Marble Falls EDC

This month’s special guest is Christian Fletcher. Christian has been the Executive Director of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation since September 2011. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce for 5 ½ years. Christian has degrees from Duke and Yale in academic disciplines only divinely connected to economic development. He and his wife, Kathy, are both natives of Marble Falls, and they have two teenage sons—one a sophomore at the University of Texas and the other a freshman at Texas State University.

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043 – Economic Development Secrets – Phoebe Fleming, Orlando Economic Partnership

This month’s special guest is Phoebe Fleming, Director of Research at the Orlando Economic Partnership. She focuses on labor market analysis, the regional economy, and community development issues. A Florida native, Phoebe studied Economics and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida before briefly leaving the Sunshine State to pursue her Master’s in Management at Duke University and study in China. After school, she moved back to Florida and has enjoyed working with passionate people who advocate daily for Central Florida’s growth and development.

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042 – Economic Development Secrets – Shelby Zaricor, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

This month’s special guest is Shelby Glover Zaricor, Director of Business Development at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. The Mobile Chamber is the lead economic development entity for Mobile County, Alabama. Her primary role is to help new industry locate and existing industry expand in Mobile County. Shelby holds a Masters degree in Economic Development as well as a Bachelors degree in Marketing both from the University of Southern Mississippi. Shelby has been with the Mobile Chamber three years and is a Baldwin County native with a passion for helping shape communities. Her professional motto is that a job changes a life and that is what drives her interest and love for economic development.

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041 – Economic Development Secrets – Will Novak, Mesa, AZ

This month’s special guest is Will Novak, Project Manager at the City of Mesa, Arizona.

Will joined the Mesa Office of Economic Development team in October 2018. Will is tasked with the continued development and redevelopment efforts around Falcon Field and in the Fiesta District.

Prior to joining the City of Mesa, Will worked in the Mayor and Council offices of the City of Phoenix. At Phoenix, Will was responsible for managing the Boards and Commissions for the City, drafting policy documents related to a wide variety of municipal issues, speech writing for elected officials, and handling the Mayor’s calendar. Will got his start in Economic Development with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) where he focused on business relocation assistance and ran the GPEC Ambassador Program.

Will graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Service and Public Policy and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Community Planning from Northern Arizona University. He is also an accredited member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU-A) and is actively pursuing becoming a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). Will is an Arizona native and enjoys cycling around the metropolitan area’s historic neighborhoods with his wife Veronica, daughter Olivia, and dog Sammy.

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040 – Economic Development Secrets – Matt Wavering, Rockwall EDC

This month’s special guest is Matt Wavering, Director of Project Development at the Rockwall EDC.

Matt was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006. While completing college, Matt earned his Illinois real estate license and begun an internship with Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty. The internship turned into a successful ten year career in commercial real estate brokerage where Matt earned national sales production awards in consecutive years from 2011-2014. In 2010, Matt was put into a leadership role and was later promoted to Director of Commercial Brokerage where he was responsible for the planning, budgeting, goal setting, and overall vision of the commercial brokerage division. Under his leadership, the company was awarded multiple “Commercial Elite” awards, signifying a top 15 affiliate in sales production worldwide.

Beginning in 2008, Matt volunteered as a member of the Job Growth & Retention Committee for the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. The committee met regularly to discuss local primary employers and provided direction to the CCEDC staff on job retention and expansion efforts. From 2012-2014 he chaired that committee while serving as a member of the board of directors of the CCEDC.

In 2014, Matt and his family relocated to North Texas where they reside today. His wife Katie is a nurse practitioner in Rockwall and their children, Bella and Charlie, attend elementary school. Matt earned his Texas real estate license in 2017 and was hired as Director of Project Development for the Rockwall Economic Development Corporation in April 2017. He utilizes his commercial real estate, property management, economics, finance, and project management experience to advance the mission of the Rockwall EDC.

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