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Your Partner in Growing Your Community

Economic Development Methods and Strategies Book

This book is a great tool in better understanding economic development methods and strategies. Organizations can use this as a guide for training new employees on current methods and strategies, or for new board member orientations. Educational instructors teaching urban development can incorporate this book into their lectures and provide an in depth look into economic development. This book is also a useful guide for individuals whose primary job is not economic development, but have some economic development responsibilities.

Economic Developer Executives can use this book as a desk reference in their office. The book includes a CD interactive that allows you to view the content of the book through your computer. The CD interactive design allows you to pull information out of the CD for presentation handouts and reports. Click on the links below to browse the first chapter of the book, download the brochure or download the order form.

Michigan's Economic Development Basic Course

2018 Basic Course Postcard Cover OnlyThe 2018 Economic Development Basic Course is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11th - Thursday, September 13th.

MEDA has partnered with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to offer the Economic Development Basic Course. This course is a comprehensive educational opportunity with a focus on the critical areas of economic development. For those seeking national certification, the Economic Development Basic Course is the first requirement in the process towards receiving your Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification. This course qualifies as a professional development training requirement needed to sit for the CEcD examination. CEcD certification through the IEDC is a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment, and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

The course is accredited by the International Economic Development Council. For more information, click here, or call 202-942-9466. The International Economic Development Council is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively and raising the profile of the profession.


Costs: MEDA Members $625/Non-Members $850

Location: Crowne Plaza Lansing West, 925 S. Creyts Rd., Lansing, MI 48917

Accommodations: Contact the Crowne Plaza at 877-322-5544 by August 10, 2018, to reserve rooms for $129++/night. You can also use the code DEV at www.crowneplaza.com/lansingwest to reserve your stay.

Agenda: Click here for a schedule of sessions!

What to Expect:

  • 3 days of training
  • approximately 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day
  • mixture of lecture and case study work

Scholarships: Scholarships are available for MEDA members to attend the Economic Development Basic Course each year. Scholarship applications must be submitted before the Board of Directors meeting in the third week of August. Apply here by August 1, 2018.

These Dates Don't Work for You? See Professional Development at www.iedconline.com for a list of upcoming Basic Courses in the U.S.

Required Sessions

17 ED Course Group Photo 1The following 10 sessions are held at the Economic Development Basic Course each year:

Business Retention and Expansion
Business retention and expansion is critical in today’s economy. The objectives of this session will include how to organize a business retention and expansion program. We will cover how to provide examples of programs and activities that foster the growth of existing business, to recommend strategies helpful in implementing a successful program, and identify valuable local resources.

Community/Neighborhood Development
This session will provide an understanding of the steps in the community development process, and the challenges of community development in economic development practice.

Economic Development Ethics
Incorporating ethics into professional standards is critical to the ongoing growth of the economic development profession. Ethical standards ensure accountability, transparency and integrity. Learn what your economic development organization should include in its ethics policies and practices.

Economic Development Finance
This session will focus on several key elements, including: the blending of sources, capital availability, sources of long-term financing, returns to the lender, and leveraging. Once we have a better understanding of the structure, we will then look at the two sectors in financing: public and private.

Managing an Economic Development Organization
This session will cover the issues specific to economic development organizations such as; working with leaders, developing a vision for the organization and community, delegation of available resources to the right programs and the development of the most appropriate programs for that organization and community.

As an economic developer, it is important that you have a basic knowledge of the marketing process and its benefits. This session will focus on the marketing process, geographic and economic considerations, suspects vs. prospects, and advertising & promotion. Also addressed will be market research and targeting.

Germaine HanlonReal Estate Development and Reuse
In this session, participants will be introduced to the land development process, with an emphasis on the role that the economic developer plays. Participants will learn about the various tools that are available at the local level, including tax increment financing, bonds, land assembly and eminent domain, in addition to the many federal programs available.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development
This session will provide an overview of the role of small business in the U.S. economy, creation of jobs, a brief profile of the small business creation process, and an introduction to the new and emerging areas of small business creation.

Strategic Planning
Strategic planning for a community or organization envisions its future and develops necessary procedures and actions to achieve that future. This session will focus on the background understanding of strategic planning and its process, how to design & organize the process, develop strategies, and formulate action plans.

Workforce Development
Workforce development is quickly becoming the #1 focus for economic development organizations. A skilled and educated workforce is crucial in today’s economy. This interactive session will focus on the need for the creation of workforce development programs that address both community and business needs.

Bonus Sessions

Developing a Healthy Relationship with Your Legislators
Support from legislators is important for an economic development organization and you can take part in honing a mutually-beneficial relationship with them. Learn best practices for introducing yourself, continuing to engage as needed, being a resource, and the importance of including legislative staff, from a former legislator.

The Influence of the Global Economy on Economic Development
You’ve heard of the ‘global economy’, but what is it? This session will address the global economy, what it is, how it influences business and how economic developers need to adapt to assist business with the challenges of the global economy.

How to Become Certified

For information on the complete CEcD program, including requirements to sit for the exam and an exam application, visit the IEDC website.

MEDA Emerging Leaders Spring Training

Emerging Leaders for WebsiteThis yearly event will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at the Michigan Municipal League's Lansing Offices.

This special half-day is created by emerging leaders in economic development for their peers. Sessions will let you to better understand core areas of economic development down to the terminology used by the well-versed.

In order to develop the best conference, a volunteer committee of MEDA members meets regularly to plan this event and other programs and services for emerging leaders in economic development. Click here to learn more about the Emerging Leaders Committee.

Thank You Sponsors

Antero Group 


You Can Still Sponsor this Program

If you would like to support the professional growth of successful economic developers early in their career, see this page for more details.


8:30 a.m. Registration Opens

9:00 a.m. Connecting with Elected Officials
Connecting with elected officials can be a major driver for your career and a benefit to your community. Learning their perspective early can help you develop best practices that fit your style and are mutually beneficial. We have invited a man who has held elected offices at the local and legislative level to give tips on how to work with your local elected officials to get the job done.
Andy Schor, Mayor, City of Lansing

9:40 a.m. Networking Break

9:50 a.m. Manners Still Matter: Etiquette Training
We were all familiar with “mind your manners” as children, but we learn as adults that simple acts and gestures can have an impact on how potentially strong connections might gauge our capabilities during networking events or professional dinners. Get plenty of advice on how to interact and build relationships as well as how to retain those relationships after dessert.
Cindy Brown, Vice President, Talent Development, The Right Place, Inc.

10:30 a.m. Networking Break

10:40 a.m. Learning the Developer’s Lingo
As an economic developer, you’re going to work with real estate developers and it’s going to seem like they speak a completely different langue at first. Knowing what they mean can enhance a conversation and move a project along.
Paul Hoge, Senior Vice President, Principal, Signature Associates
Doug Manix, President, Kirco/Manix Construction

11:20 a.m. Networking Break

11:30 a.m. Massaging Your Message; Quickly!
You have a well-deserved opportunity to present to your organization’s leadership team. Knowing it will take hours to prepare, how do you best use that time for a clear and high-impact message that is strong enough to fill a full appointment and still rock a reduced timeslot? Learn more on this approach and how to increase success by relating these opportunities to your organization’s business and brand strategies.
Sarah Stanley, CEO, Hoyden Creative

12:10 p.m. Networking Lunch

12:40 p.m. Communicating with the Public
Getting the stakeholders in our communities on board with our projects is essential, but it doesn’t always come easy, even when the project seems like a win/win. How do you communicate value to them? How do you deal with the naysayers? While there is not a “cure all” for this struggle, there are some tips and tricks that can help you to overcome these barriers in your work.
Kara Sokol, Director of Communications, City of Ferndale
Jordan Twardy, Community and Economic Development Director, City of Ferndale

1:20 p.m. Adjourn


Early Registration: MEDA Members $55/Non-Members $65

Regular Registration (starts at midnight one week before the program): MEDA Members $70/Non-Members $80

If you joined MEDA in the last 12 months, you may still have an unused New Member Coupon that would cover the cost of this entire training. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to check!

Recertification Credits

This event has been approved for (1) continuing education credit for Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from the National Development Council (NDC). Use the form on this page to claim your credit.


**Please note that while the content of this program is geared toward emerging leaders, anyone that feels a need for this training can attend.

2019 Annual Meeting, "We're Going UP!"

This conference will be held Tuesday, August 13 - Friday, August 16, 2019, at the Holiday Inn in Marquette, MI.

MEDA's biggest education and networking event of the year is its Annual Meeting. This three-day conference includes educational sessions covering the most important economic development topics and issues of the time as well as several networking opportunities.

Agenda, Activities, and Speakers

Agenda - Typically available mid-May.

Activities - Typically available mid-May.

Meet the Speakers - Typically available mid-May.

Location, Hotel Reservations, and Travel Plans

Location and Hotel Reservations

Make Your Travel Plans

Thank You Sponsors

Thank You 2019 Sponsors

Sponsor This Event

See our Sponsor MEDA page for the Annual Meeting sponsorship packages.

NOTE: The Lunch Sponsor, and New Member and Awards Reception, packages are no longer available.

Thank You Committee

Annual Meeting Committee


MEDA is proud to accept nominations for awards that honor hard-working economic developers. Award nominations can be submitted at any time, but to be considered for the 2019 Annual Meeting, the form must be submitted to MEDA by TBD.

  • MEDA Medalist of the Year
  • Mike Conboy Professional Development Award
  • Robert Seighart Award for Enthusiasm for the Economic Development Profession

To learn about the qualifications, access the nomination forms, and view past winners, click here.


Early Registration: MEDA Members $305/Non-Members $415

Regular Registration: MEDA Members $320/Non-Members $430

Optional Fee-Based Activities
Tours: TBD/tour/person

Guest (spouse, children, etc.) Fees
Opening Reception: TBD/person
New Member and Awards Reception: TBD/person
Tours: TBD/tour/person
***The Opening Reception and New Member and Awards Reception are included for registered attendees.

Certification Qualifications

This program qualifies for continuing education credits for Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from the National Development Council (NDC). Use the form on this page to claim your credit.

We will apply for recognition from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) so this event can qualify as a professional development event that counts toward recertification for Certified Economic Developers (CEcD).


Typically available mid-May.

Capitol Day

Michigan CapitolThis event will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at the Lansing Center in Downtown Lansing.

Capitol Day is MEDA's annual legislative conference, which includes sessions on the latest legislative issues related to economic development at the local, state, and federal level.

Capitol Day attendees are encouraged to invite their legislators to talk about the topics presented during the day or to talk about issues specific to their community. Legislators are welcome to attend complimentarily.

In order to develop the conference around the most important legislative issues of the time, MEDA's Advocacy Committee, a volunteer group of MEDA members, plans the agenda.

Invite Your Legislators

Legislators are welcome to attend complimentarily, but we ask that they RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. One staff person can be sent in place of the legislator. Staff receive MEDA member rate if they attend with the legislator.

Legislators on RSVP List

  • Representative Jim Haadsma - Distric 62 (staff)
  • Representative Padma Kuppa - District 41
  • Representative Tim Sneller - District 50
  • Representative Scott VanSingel - District 100
  • Senator Rosemary Bayer - District 12 (staff)
  • Senator John Bizon, M.D. - District 19 (staff)
  • Senator Ken Horn - District 32

Thank You Sponsors

Boji           ITC Fortis 

There Are Two Sponsorship Spots Left!

If you are interested in sponsoring Capitol Day, see "Membership Program Sponsorship" on this page.


Agenda subject to change due to the unpredictable nature of legislative schedules.

8:30 a.m. Registration Opens

9:00 a.m. Really Off the Record
Join the longest-serving political journalist in state history as he informs and entertains on what’s happening with a Democratic Governor and a GOP Legislature, and how it will impact your life.
Tim Skubick, Senior Capitol Correspondent

10:00 a.m. Networking Break

10:10 a.m. The Really Big Picture
Congressman John Moolenaar has a big role. The leader of Michigan's 4th District not only represents a district that spans several counties in Michigan, he is also part of the House Committee on Appropriations. He will share the current activity related to economic development that could, or will, impact Michigan.
Congressman John Moolenaar, Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District

10:40 a.m. Networking Break

11:50 a.m. Coming Together to Move Michigan Forward
Three leaders who have worked with the previous administration will share their insight into how economic development initiatives will move forward with a new balance of power. What do they think Michigan needs to do to be competitive in retaining, growing, and attracting business, and what policies need to be put in place to make that happen?
Moderator: Dennis Muchmore, Government Relations and Regulatory Advisor Leader, Government Relations and Regulatory Practice Group, Honigman Business Law Firm
PanelistsRepresentative Sara Cambensy, 109th District
Representative Darrin Camilleri, 23rd District
Representative Ben Frederick, 85th District

11:50 a.m. Lunch and Membership Meeting

12:50 p.m. Keys to Successful Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones are a federal benefit to those investing in designated low income census tracts. The benefit allows tax payers to deposit their capital gains in Opportunity Funds that will then provide equity financing to projects located in Zones. The key to success is how local organizations work together to identify potential projects and market them to Opportunity Funds. Learn how the Zones work, what qualifies, combinable incentives, tips for maximum utilization, and more.
Gary Heidel, Chief Housing Investment Officer, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
Lori Mullins, Director of Community Development Incentives, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

1:40 p.m. Networking Break

1:50 p.m. Creating Communities that Can Attract and Retain Talent
Michigan Future’s new report “A path to good-paying careers for all Michiganders: Creating places across Michigan where people want to live and work,” outlines why a welcoming environment, strong regional partnerships, infrastructure, and other placemaking components, are more likely to attract companies than having low business taxes. Hear a synopsis of the findings as well as policy shifts that need to take place to create more desirable locations.
Lou Glazer, President, Michigan Future, Inc.

2:40 p.m. Networking Break

2:50 p.m. What We Need to Succeed
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. Does that still hold in these unpredictable times? Regional CEO’s from across the state will discuss what they need from their legislators, constituents, and partners as they continue to face the struggles of negative perception in conjunction with the challenges of a changing administration. In short, what do they need to be successful?
Marty Fittante, CEO, InvestUP
Birgit M. Klohs, President & CEO, The Right Place, Inc.
Barry I. Matherly, CEcD, FM, HLM, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Partnership

3:50 p.m. Adjournment


Early Registration: MEDA Members $110/Non-Members $180

If you joined in the last 12 months, you might still have an unused New Member Coupon! Ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Regular Registration (starts at midnight one week before the program): MEDA Members $125/Non-Members $195

Ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. how you can attend this program for free by joining MEDA!


There are a limited number of "run of house" (type can be requested, but it not guaranteed) rooms available for $135.95++/night. For a guarantee of that rate, reserve before January 29, 2019. To reserve, call 800-333-3333 or visit www.radisson.com/lansingmi and use code 2MEDA9.

Recertification Credits

This program has been approved for (1) continuing education credit for Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from the National Development Council (NDC). Use the form on this page to claim your credit.

We have applied with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) so Capitol Day can be recognized as a professional development event that counts towards the recertification of Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs).


Corporate Sponsors

consumers-energy dte-energy
michigan-economic-development-corp  TIA Work Share logo stacked

Contact Us

Michigan Economic
Developers Association
P.O. Box 15096
Lansing, MI 48901-5096
PH: 517-241-0011

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