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2018 – Meet Your Candidates
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2018 EDAM Board of Directors Election: Meet Your Candidates

Morgan Hill, City of Hastings

Morgan HillWhat do you think should be the most important priority for EDAM?

An organization is only as good as its members. To be effective in its message and successful in its mission, EDAM needs to ensure that members are engaged. Engagement not only moves an organization forward towards its goals, but true engagement provides value to members through knowledge sharing and relationship building. Engagement starts with a complete understanding of the overall mission and strategy of the organization. A better understanding of what EDAM members want and need from the organization will help to craft future strategy and/or organizational decisions, making this organization a better resource, a stronger advocate and maintain its position as the premier economic development organization of Minnesota. 


Why are you interested in serving on the EDAM board?

Engagement ignites growth. As a member, and now Vice-Chair, of EDAM’s Marketing & Communications Committee, I have a clear understanding of the value that EDAM brings to members, partners and the economic development industry. However, I see opportunities to help EDAM grow, through membership, messaging and partnerships. As a member of the EDAM Board, I feel that I could provide a unique perspective and fresh ideas. Additionally, I look forward to the opportunity to learn from current board members and utilize experiences, relationships and best practices in service to the board, as well as in my daily work with the City of Hastings. 

Is there a particular area that you feel could be improved within EDAM?

EDAM’s success in member engagement, member diversity, advocacy, and continued organizational and industry development is dependent on the ability of the organization to communicate EDAM’s mission and value, as well as opportunities for interaction and engagement. Consistent messaging, whether it be via social media, e-blasts, networking or events, is key to developing a firm understanding of the mission and value of EDAM to current and potential members and partners. 

Please write a brief statement of your understanding of the mission of this organization.

The economic development industry is ever-changing. Success in this industry depends on relationships and continuous learning. EDAM not only serves as a resource for networking and professional development, it serves as an advocate for the economic development profession, continually pushing to share Minnesota’s economic development successes, to understand opportunities for advancement, and to share best practices with its members and partners. 

What is the biggest challenge your organization faces today?

Messaging. The City of Hastings struggles with telling the story of who we are, where we are and what we are. While we are continually working on crafting our message, we are also focused on targeting key leaders and stakeholders to increase awareness, recognition and interest in Hastings. 

Morgan's Bio:

I am currently the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Hastings. A proactive focus on economic development is new for the City of Hastings, which has allowed me to hit the ground running. Over the last ten months, I have worked closely with industry partners, city leaders and key stakeholders to review, update and enhance our current economic development programs, implement a Business Retention and Expansion program, extend and rezone the Hastings Industrial Park to move towards completing the Shovel Ready Certification, as well as lead a development/redevelopment study focused on the Vermillion Street Corridor. Additionally, I continually work towards building relationships with those in the industry that can provide insight and perspective as to the strengths and opportunities in Hastings, as well as assist in spreading the message of Hastings. 

Prior to my position in Hastings, I had the opportunity to serve as Project Manager on the Business Investment Team at GREATER MSP. In this position, I worked throughout the metro area to assist in the growth and development of current businesses, as well as marketing and “telling the story” of the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region to those outside of Minnesota. Strong relationships with city, state, and county staff, energy partners, commercial real estate professionals, industry-specific organizations, and key stakeholders was a key part of my success.

In 2016, I received my certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council and am in the process of becoming a Certified Economic Development Professional through IEDC. I am presently the Vice-Chair of the EDAM Marketing & Communications Committee and am involved with EDAM Emerging Professionals.


Gene Goddard, Springsted

Gene GoddardWhat do you think should be the most important priority for EDAM?

I believe that there are two areas where EDAM should focus. First, EDAM should provide high-quality continuing education opportunities for all its members, whether they are new to the field or have been engaged in it for many years. As the lead trade association for economic development professionals, EDAM needs to offer access to speakers and seminars that will help its members expand on the skills needed for our ever-changing economy. 

Second, EDAM must become the go-to organization at the Capitol on everything related to economic development. When a bill is introduced we should inform our members on how that bill will impact their community. When there is a bill being heard at the Capitol we should be there testifying. When the governor or a legislator is drafting a policy idea, we should be there informing them of our members' needs and concerns. 

Why are you interested in serving on the EDAM board?

Over my career, I have been involved in economic development at the state, regional and local levels. And now as a private sector consultant, I’m interested in serving on the board to because I have seen how both good and bad economic development policy can impact the strength of our state’s economy and our ability to compete on the global stage. I would like to utilize my 28 years of experience in economic development to partner with others to help EDAM play a stronger role in economic development policy decisions before they are made. 

Is there a particular area that you feel could be improved within EDAM?

Professional development and public policy advocacy. 

Please write a brief statement of your understanding of the mission of this organization.

EDAM’s mission is to support the information and educational needs of its members in helping them to be successful at their jobs. While we currently state that we consult the state on public policy, EDAM needs to position itself to coordinate and lead those policy discussions.

What is the biggest challenge your organization faces today?

Being ready for the next economic development challenge and having the workforce available to meet it. 

Gene's Bio:

My current position is the Senior Vice President/Director of Springsted’s Housing and Economic Development (HED) practice group. The Springsted HED team supports city, county and non-profit economic development organizations with development strategies, project feasibility studies, financing and business plan development, analysis and negotiation of the need and type of public sector participation and coordination of financing mechanisms. 

Prior to joining Springsted, I was the Director of Business Investment for GREATER MSP, helping to lead the coordination of new business investment projects for the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. I also spent 20 years with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), as a Senior Business Development Specialist. While at DEED I was the lead author of several handbooks on economic development authorities, shovel ready sites, as well as being the chief drafter of legislation to support economic development activities. 

Throughout my career I have gained extensive experience as a public policy leader in the development of legislative initiatives supporting business development and while assisting my local government clients on networking and partnership development, negotiation, strategic planning, business cost analysis, project leadership, lead generation, industry research, marketing, workforce and business development incentives. Working in partnership with my many public and private sector colleagues, we have coordinated over $3 billion in business expansion projects for small business to large corporate entities. These projects include the following industries: computer electronics/software/IT, medical device/bioscience, food processing warehouse/distribution, data centers, call centers, advanced manufacturing and headquarters projects for Fortune 500 and Forbes 400 private firms.

My educational background includes earning a master’s degree in public administration from Minnesota State University – Mankato and a mini-master’s degree in real estate development from the University of St. Thomas. I am a Certified Economic Development Professional (CecD) by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and have received my certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council. In 2017 I was named by Consultant Connect as one of the Top 50 Economic Developers in North America, and in 2012 I received the Progress Minnesota Life-Time Achievement Award in Economic Development from Finance and Commerce magazine. 


Patrick Connoy, Minnesota Economic Development Foundation

Gene GoddardWhat do you think should be the most important priority for EDAM?

With EDAM partners create the best nation's best professional education program for Minnesota economic developers. Coordinate with MNEDF, colleges and universities, the state and others. Customer focused serving entry level through experienced EDAM members. 

Why are you interested in serving on the EDAM board?

Professional education

Please write a brief statement of your understanding of the mission of this organization.

Serve EDAM members, advance professional education, and provide excellent learning and network opportunities. Have fun. 

What is the biggest challenge your organization faces today?

The MNEDF is seeking to provide a statewide coordinated economic development education system. 

Patrick's Bio:

Patrick has worked in economic development for the City of Fort Worth, Region 7E, the State of Minnesota, MCDA, Hennepin County, and the Minnesota Economic Development Foundation. He is a past president of EDAM and currently serves on the MN Economic Development Foundation board of directors.


Sean M. Sullivan, City of Isanti

Sean M. SullivanWhat do you think should be the most important priority for EDAM?

Promoting and creating an environment that is conducive to getting projects in the ground. This involves providing education opportunities for those in the field and advocating for state and local jurisdictions to provide the tools necessary to get projects done. 

Why are you interested in serving on the EDAM board?

EDAM is going through a major transition right now. Having stability on the board during this transition from one management organization to another is important. I currently serve on the board and feel that my experience will be helpful during this time of transition 

Is there a particular area that you feel could be improved within EDAM?

We have made great strides in increasing our presence at the state legislature. Continued effort in this area will solidify our role as an economic development advocate at the state level. Creating policy and improving the tools for economic development at the state level is very important to the success of growth in Minnesota. 

Please write a brief statement of your understanding of the mission of this organization.

Promote, support, advocate and encourage Economic Development in Minnesota. 

What is the biggest challenge your organization faces today?

Uncertain playing field when it comes to state and local economic development incentives. We need to be able to count on local and state assistance programs so we can compete with neighboring states. 

Sean's Bio:

Sean is currently serving his second term on the EDAM board of Directors. He has been an economic development professional for over 17 years, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Metropolitan State University, and in June of 2011 received the title  Economic Development Financial Professional (EDFP). He currently works as the Economic Development Director for the City of Isanti (7+ years), and as a School Board Director for ISD 15. His industry experience and knowledge includes:

  • Former Tax Abatement Specialist for Anoka County
  • Staff for Economic Development Authority
  • Former Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Ramsey
  • Website management
  • City Council and Planning Commissioner experience for the City of Oak Grove
  • Anoka County Soil and Water Supervisor experience
  • Superior knowledge in Minnesota State Property Tax system
  • Experience administrating and utilizing State and local economic development incentives (MIF, BDPI, CDBG,
  • Redevelopment, Contamination grants, abatement, etc.)
  • Development of multiple industrial parks utilizing Tax Increment Financing and Tax Abatement 

 

Your vote is important! Ballots must be received no later than November 17, 2017.

Vote Today!

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