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2019 EDAM Summer Conference
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6/12/2019 to 6/14/2019
When: June 12 - 14, 2019
Where: Duluth Entertainment Convention Center: DECC
350 Harbor Drive
Duluth, Minnesota  55802
United States
Contact: Rhea Sullivan
(952) 928-4640

Online registration is closed.
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2019 Summer Conference Registration Form (PDF)

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities


Join us on the shores of Lake Superior as we explore hot topics in economic development and make new connections!


FeesLodging SponsorshipCreditsExtras


 Wednesday | June 12, 2019

4:30 - 5:30 pm

5:30 - 6:30 pm

6:30 - 6:45 pm

President's Welcome Reception
Join us to relax, connect, and kick off the conference. Engage in some friendly competition at a beanbag tournament hosted by the EDAM Emerging Professionals, or just enjoy mingling and taking in the spectacular lake view from the DECC.


EDAM President's Award Presentation
The President's Award honors an individual for outstanding leadership, contribution, and dedication to economic development in Minnesota. This year's recipient will be revealed at the conference.

6:45 - 7:45 pm

The North Shore's Craft Brewery Industry

Representatives from Lake Superior Brewing, Castle Danger Brewery, and Hoops Brewing will reflect on their rapidly-changing industry and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

 Thursday | June 13, 2019

6:45 - 7:45 am

7:30 - 8:30 am

7:30 am - 3:45 pm

8:30 - 8:45 am

5k Fun Run/Walk
Run/Walk starts at 7:00 am, and will be held rain or shine unless there is lightning predicted.
Meet outside the main entrance (parking lot side) of the Canal Park Lodge.

Breakfast on your own
A hot breakfast is included with the room rate at the Inn on Lake Superior and Canal Park Lodge. Breakfast is not included with the room rate at the Holiday Inn, but there is a cafe onsite.


President's Welcome

8:45 - 9:45 am

Keynote | 100K Ideas: Fostering Innovation & Entrepreneurship

1.0 AICP credit

David OllilaDavid Ollila, President and Chief Innovation Officer, Skypoint Ventures

Get ready to be energized and inspired! David Ollila will share his story of creating an ecosystem that fosters innovation in Flint, Michigan. A serial entrepreneur, innovator and inventor, David holds 12 patents on everything from sporting goods to wearable technology. While constantly thinking about new ideas, he provides his expertise and experience to help cultivate entrepreneurship and opportunity at Skypoint Ventures, 100K Ideas and the Ferris Wheel Innovation Center.

He learned early on that tools, resources and support are not always available to people on the ground floor. Unsatisfied with this reality, David set out to change it. He led the charge to develop the Ferris Wheel building into an innovation hub that many local businesses now call home. He also co-founded 100K Ideas to help passionate innovators create products, services and startups of their own.

Watch David in action in his Business Innovation Factory presentation

9:45 - 10:00 am

Break with Exhibitors

10:00 - 11:00 am

Breakout Sessions: Choose One

Rebirth of a First-Ring City:
Redeveloping Richfield

1.0 AICP credit

Steve Schwanke, Partner, Inland Development Partners; Melissa Poehlman, Assistant Director of Community Development, City of Richfield

This session will cover the highlights of Richfield’s redevelopment efforts with specific focus on the City’s east side.  The presenters will discuss the impetus for redevelopment, the visioning and strategies used during the planning process, and also the redevelopment tools and partnerships employed in order to attract private development.  The Chamberlain, a $50 million multi-family project located in a priority redevelopment area of the City will be featured as a case study.

Improving Regions, Not Just Sites:
A Duluth Story

1.0 AICP credit

Donovan Hannu, Group Manager of Environmental Services, Bay West LLC; Jay Demma, Senior Planner, Perkins+Will;  Chad Ronchetti, Economic Developer, City of Duluth

The City of Duluth identified the need to not only spur redevelopment, but to improve the quality of life for the residents of a few Study Areas along the St. Louis River Corridor.  The Study Areas were identified by the City of Duluth as having potential for revitalization and re-use, but with several properties facing potential development challenges.  The City of Duluth obtained an EPA Brownfield Grant, then conducted preliminary environmental reviews of all individual commercial properties within them, eventually preparing a Limited Area-Wide Brownfield Inventory (AWBI) for each of the sites with potential development challenges within these neighborhoods.  This information was reviewed, then used to inform a community-led plan for revitalizing key catalyst sites in the Duluth neighborhoods of Irving and Fairmount. The neighborhood plan was funded by an EPA grant through the Area-Wide Planning program (AWP) and was designed to help communities confront local environmental and public health challenges related to brownfields and benefit underserved and economically disadvantaged communities.  The panel will discuss how the community is currently using the results of these efforts and provide lessons/tips for other municipalities that might contemplate similar activities.

11:00 - 11:15 am

Break with Exhibitors

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Breakout Sessions: Choose One

Setting the PACE: Brownfields, Business Centers and Beyond

1.0 AICP credit

Tonya Bauer, Director of Strategic Development, Saint Paul Port Authority; Jeff Shopek, President, Loucks Engineering; Peter Klein, Vice President of Finance, Saint Paul Port Authority & MinnPACE

Whether it is redeveloping brownfields sites into prosperous business centers or implementing cost-effective strategies and investments to reduce energy expenses and carbon footprint – it’s economic development, and it can often be challenging, multifaceted and come in many forms. Join us as we highlight complex brownfields projects including the redevelopment of the 46-Acre Former 3M headquarters on the East side of Saint Paul into Beacon Bluff Business Center, along with the redevelopment and small area plan for the Bemidji Railroad corridor.   We will also unpack how creative financing through MinnPACE is advancing sustainable development and spurring energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout state.

Ask a Developer: Small Group Roundtable Discussions

1.0 AICP credit

Dave Anderson, Senior Vice President, Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate; Lonnie Provencher, Principal, Interstate Development; Leslie Roering, Senior Project Manager, AEON

Back by popular demand! Those who attended our Winter Conference roundtable have told us they want to keep the conversation going. This session will provide an opportunity for small group discussion with a diverse cross-section of developers who work in the various classes of real estate. These casual, interactive discussions will focus on what makes a site or a community attractive for development, what policies and actions communities can adopt to engage developers on projects, how developers evaluate business risk in a project, and timely market information. Participants will change tables several times throughout the session to have a chance to meet with several developers.

12:15 - 1:15 pm


1:30 - 3:45 pm

Mobile Tour: AAR's Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Facility
(at capacity - additional registrants will be added to waiting list)

1.5 AICP credits

The bus will begin boarding at 1:15 pm at Door C of the DECC and will depart at 1:30 pm.

Daniel Fanning, Director of Institutional Advancement, Marketing, and Public Relations, Lake Superior College; Dr. Patrick Johns, President, Lake Superior College; Pete DeSutter, Senior Program Manager, AAR MRO Services; Chad Ronchetti, Economic Developer, City of Duluth

Tour the leading North American provider of aircraft maintenance, AAR’s Duluth aircraft Maintenance and Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility and hear about how AAR worked with APEX, Minnesota Power, Lake Superior College, the City of Duluth, St. Louis County and other partners to bring high wage jobs into the region.

AAR has been a partner in this DEDA-owned facility for nearly 7 years. Currently, AAR employs 273 direct employees and an additional 70 contractors, for a total of nearly 350 mechanic, inspector, and other technical support personnel positions. AAR will soon bring the facility to full operational capacity; it is anticipated that there will be in excess of 400 direct jobs at the MRO.

The aviation and aerospace industry is a major industry cluster in Duluth. Directly contributing $894 million and more than 2,500 jobs, the aviation and aerospace industry has a total impact of $1.2 billion and nearly 5,000 jobs

Get a sneak peak with these videos:

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Training Employers for the 21st Century Worker: A New Form of Workforce Development

1.0 AICP credit

Daniela Lorenz, Business Development Coordinator, City of Brooklyn Park; Breanne Rothstein, Economic Development and Housing Director, City of Brooklyn Park

The top stated business need across the state of Minnesota is access to qualified talent. This need will only continue to grow as workers in the state age out of the workforce. BrookLynk, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center’s workforce development training program, has trained over 500 youth and 30 employers in the workforce development space since 2015. This session will highlight a successful model of workforce development that not only provides youth from underrepresented communities with skills and training related to the workplace, but also provides employers and workplaces with the training to understand the needs and desires of the youth/future workforce. Come see how Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center are collectively committed to addressing economic disparities with a focus on workforce development through cutting edge and youth-centered career pathways programming.

2:30 - 2:45 pm

Break with Exhibitors

2:45 - 3:45 pm

Competing for Equity Investment: An Opportunity Zone Collaborative

1.0 AICP credit

Karl Schuettler, The Northspan Group, Inc.; Lynne Osterman, Executive Director, Community Exchange; Jamie Stolpestad, Managing Partner, Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors

For the past year and a half, opportunity zones have been the hot topic in economic development. A group of partner organizations including The Northspan Group, Inc., Community Exchange, and MN-OZA recognized the potential value of this new tool upon its creation. Northspan worked to educate stakeholders and certify census tracts with investment opportunities as OZs and built a pilot project portal for Duluth LISC, Community Exchange educated stakeholders and developed a challenge to spur projects along, and MN-OZA created a Minnesota-focused opportunity fund. Since then, these partners and several other organizations have come together seeking ways to turn these OZs into genuine vehicles for investment by connecting communities, developers, and investors.

The result is the Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative (MNOppCo), a statewide resource for opportunity zone information. Its website,, features a directory of opportunity zone projects and sites, builds awareness and outreach through a statewide collaboration, and facilitates events to help train stakeholders, market investment opportunities, and bring projects to reality. MNOppCo invites partners from across the state to engage with the Collaborative to coordinate efforts in their areas and provide input on MNOppCo’s work. This session will offer EDAM members the opportunity to engage with MNOppCo, learn about its efforts to date, and develop a shared approach to project marketing and development.

3:45 - 5:30 pm

Relax, recharge, or explore.

5:30 - 8:00 pm

Networking Harbor Cruise on the Vista Fleet

What better way to enjoy a summer evening in Duluth than from the water?
The boat will board at 5:30 pm outside Door G at the DECC and depart at 6:00 pm.
Your ticket includes heavy appetizers and a drink. The boat will cruise rain or shine.

The fun doesn't have to stop after the cruise - join us at Canal Park Brewing, our unofficial late-night happy hour gathering place. The late-night happy hour is not hosted by EDAM.

 Friday | June 14, 2019

7:30 - 8:30 am

Breakfast on your own
A hot breakfast is included with the room rate at the Inn on Lake Superior and Canal Park Lodge. Breakfast is not included with the room rate at the Holiday Inn, but there is a cafe onsite.

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

8:00 - 8:30 am


Conference Prize Entry

8:30 - 9:30 am

Legislative Update: What Just Happened??!!

Invited panelists: Sen. Eric Pratt (R) District 55; Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL) District 07; Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL) District 67A; Rep. Bob Gunther (R) District 23A; Rep. Barb Haley (R) District 21A; Moderated by Kevin Walli & Sam Richie of Fryberger Law Firm

Join us as we recap the legislative session with some of the key players - what happened and what's next?


9:30 - 9:45 am

Break with Exhibitors

9:45 - 10:45 am

Virtual Reality for Economic Development

1.0 AICP Credit

Aaron Brossoit, CEO & Founder, Golden Shovel Agency; Brian Hanson, President & CEO, APEX; Tom Lambrecht, Economic Development Director, Great River Energy

Few technologies are changing the way economic developers communicate with prospective businesses and site selectors more than virtual reality. We will explore how VR is being used successfully by Minnesota economic developers to give virtual familiarization and site tours. We will demonstrate how VR is used locally and internationally and what to expect over the next year and beyond. This exciting new technology is why the Financial Times recognized virtual reality as a 2018 trend economic developers cannot ignore.

10:45 - 11:00 am

Break with Exhibitors

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

The NORTHFORCE Effect: Powering the "North by Choice" Talent Economy

1.0 AICP credit

Krissy Johnson, Twin Ports: Strategy & Development Consultant, NORTHFORCE; Stephanie Skraba, Greater NE MN Development Consultant, NORTHFORCE; Ian Vincent, Senior Business Developer, APEX

Over the course of five years, the nationally recognized NORTHFORCE initiative has stood the test of time as a leading workforce development system in Minnesota. In a time of ever intensifying national concern over skilled talent availability, NORTHFORCE’s employer and candidate usership has never been stronger, and community buy in has never been higher. While soaring far beyond a talent matching system, the heart of NORTHFORE remains dedicated to business attraction, expansion, and growing a stronger economy.

Come learn how NORTHFORCE’s regional approach, digital infrastructure, and industry thought leadership is helping the arrowhead stay ahead of the curve.

Facilitated by NORTHFORCE staffers Krissy Johnson and Stephanie Skraba, this “North By Choice” panel will feature fresh and diverse regional perspectives. Panelists will include longtime NORTHFORCE partners, Ian Vincent, Senior Business Developer with APEX and Shawn Herhusky, Workforce Strategy Consultant with CareerForce, in addition to representatives of Private Industry and Higher Ed.

12:00 pm

Conference Prize Giveaway & Adjournment



Full Conference
Payment received by May 17: $315
Payment received after May 17: $340

Single Day (Thursday OR Friday)
Payment received by May 17: $215
Payment received after May 17: $240


Full Conference
Payment received by May 17: $415
Payment received after May 17: $440

Single Day (Thursday OR Friday)
Payment received by May 17: $315
Payment received after May 17: $340


Full Conference:$50
One day: $50
The student rate is only available to full-time students.
Please contact the EDAM office with questions about eligibility.


Additional Tickets

Attendee Ticket for Thursday morning group fun run: No additional cost
Guest Ticket for Wednesday evening activities: $50
Guest Ticket for Thursday evening boat cruise: $50
Guest Ticket for Thursday morning group fun run: No additional cost


Duluth Canal Park MapEDAM has secured room blocks at three different hotels. All are within walking distance of the DECC/conference location. 

Canal Park Lodge

250 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN 55802
Standard room rate: $129 (includes hot breakfast)
Room block deadline:
Monday, May 13, 2019
Booking instructions:
Call the hotel at (218) 279-6000 or (800) 777-8560 and mention the June EDAM conference to receive the group rate.

Inn on Lake Superior

350 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN 55802
Standard room rate:
$139.99 (includes hot breakfast)
Room block deadline:
Friday, May 17, 2019
Booking instructions:
Call the hotel at (218) 726-1111 and mention the June EDAM conference to receive the group rate.


Holiday Inn & Suites Downtown

200 West First Street, Duluth, MN 55802
Standard room rate:
$119 (does not include breakfast, but there is a cafe onsite)
Room block deadline:
Monday, May 13, 2019
Booking instructions:
Call the hotel at (218) 722-1202 and mention the June EDAM conference or book online to receive the group rate.

Questions? Contact Rhea Sullivan at or (952) 928-4640.


Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities

Sign up as a sponsor or exhibitor to gain visibility for your organization while supporting economic development education.
Learn more & reserve opportunities


AICP: EDAM has applied for credits through The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) for selected sessions for Certification Maintenance (CM) credits. See session descriptions for details.

NDC: Each day of participation in the EDAM 2019 Summer Conference has been approved by the National Development Council (NDC) for 1 recertification unit (3 units total for attending the entire conference).

IEDC: The 2019 EDAM Summer Conference is a recognized recertification event by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Conference Extras

Group Fun Run

Get outside and get moving - start Thursday morning with a group run! All ability levels are welcome. More details to come.


Cancellation Policy: With written cancellation notice, received no later than May 24, 2019, you will receive a full refund, less a $50 administrative charge. Cancellations after that date are nonrefundable. Notices of cancellation must sent in writing to Substitutions will be allowed by same-company attendees if EDAM is notified before their arrival. No-shows will not receive a refund.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance: EDAM has taken the appropriate steps to maintain PCI compliance. In order to protect your privacy, please do not email your credit card information to our office.

Audio/Video Policy: Registration or participation at association events constitutes an agreement by the registrant/participant to association’s use and distribution of the registrant/participant image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities.

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