Building a Winner Town — Leaders Who Did It Tell How at Westchester County Association

WPCNR TRADEWINDS. From the Westchester County Association. May 5, 2016:

How They Did It!
Five Experts Give Their Best Advice For Transforming Westchester
Westchester County Association asked some of the most successful people from around the nation to come to Westchester: County of Tomorrow and share how they did it last Friday at The Rennaisance Hotel– how they helped transform their regional economy.
Here’s how they did it:
Anticipate Millennials’ Infrastructure Needs!
NAME: Joan McDonald
TITLE: Former Commissioner, NYS DOT
FROM: Mahopac, NY
JM: In a recent survey of American mayors, fixing America’s failing infrastructure should be the top priority for the next U.S. president. Millennials will have different infrastructure needs than current generations.
Joan McDonald
Show Investors a Density of Entrepreneurs
NAME: Jason Wieden
TITLE: CEO, HQ Raleigh/Charlotte
FROM: Raleigh, NC
JW: Communities need to be entrepreneur-led. We convened 350 entrepreneurs with opposing viewpoints and assembled a blueprint for entrepreneurship. We created density of community which attracted VC funding. We developed “sexy space” to attract entrepreneurs so they could work and bump into each other, fostering collaboration.
Jason Widen
Build the Human Infrastructure, Talent
NAME: Susan Dawson
TITLE: President E3 Consulting
FROM: Austin, TX
SD: Build your human infrastructure. Talent is key for cities. We used data to tell a story of how reducing K-12 absences and growing STEM education was worth $540 Million to Central Texas. Aggregate the data to galvanize community action.
Susan Dawson
Focus on Business Climate, Not Sectors
NAME: Seth Pinsky
TITLE: Former Bloomberg NYC Economic Development Corp. President; EVP, RXR Realty
FROM: Brooklyn, NY
SP: Our goal was to make New York the 21st century capitol of innovation. We focused on quality of life as an economic development issue, investing in lowering crime, better education, and more amenities. We looked at data to find patterns which led to a need for R&D (Governor’s Island campus development). Government is bad a picking winners and losers, so we focused on building a better business climate rather than a particular sector. We also avoided offering incentives to attract companies with 100 employees, as you’ll “race to the bottom” on cost.
Work is Changing. Invest in Fiber Networks
NAME: Andy Berke
TITLE: Mayor, City of Chattanooga
FROM: Chattanooga, TN
AB: Don’t hold on to your past for too long. We rolled out a municipally-owned 10 GIG fiber network to make Chattanooga America’s most wired city. This action sparked an innovation district downtown with arts and culture that is walkable. Downtown’s population will double by next year. The entire community is involved.
Berke DAwson





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