At the end of June 2013, Southern Alberta experienced the “Flood of all Floods”. According to Environment Canada, three major storms, a week apart drenched the region, generating record high water levels, inundating many southern Alberta towns, forcing thousands to evacuate. The flooding wasn’t just isolated to Alberta though. A number of communities in Southeastern British Columbia were also impacted.
Although the community of Slave Lake, Alberta and Burns Lake, BC are good examples of how communities can rebuild after a disaster, in those two cases there was really only a single community involved. In the June 2013 floods, about 40 municipalities identified infrastructure damage, a total of 27 local states of emergency were declared and 28 emergency operations centres were activated.
Economic Developers of Alberta (EDA) and Economic Development Association of BC (EDABC) realize their members will, and must play a lead role in their respective region’s economic rebuilding efforts. According to the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) web portal “Restore Your Economy”:
In disaster-impacted communities, economic development organizations (EDOs) and chambers of commerce often lead economic recovery efforts by helping local businesses respond to impacted employees, facilities, customers, and supply networks. They have the existing relationships with local businesses, which are crucial during and after a major event as communication channels have become disrupted and chaotic. They can also facilitate a strategic planning process for economic recovery and work on recovery actions by coordinating involvement and leveraging resources from the business community.
Economic development organizations throughout our region will play a critical component of our future economic recovery efforts. As Alberta and BC’s key economic development networks, EDA and EDABC are committed to providing resources and information required to ensure economic recovery efforts take place as quickly as possible.
For this webinar, we are pleased to have three extremely experienced, well-respected leaders from IEDC and its “Restore Your Economy” project as panelists. Webinar participants will learn about the various stages of economic recovery and hear tangible examples and advice on how to begin to undertake successful economic recovery efforts in their communities.
Jeff Finkle, President & CEO, International Economic Development Council (IEDC)- As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) - the world's largest economic development membership organization – Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and international authority on economic development. From his native Ohio to the Far East and most points in between, he has established multi-lateral partnerships and advised on pertinent economic development issues in the United States, Europe, China, South Africa, Latin America and Oceania.
With the formation of IEDC in 2001 following the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) - where he was president for 15 years - and the American Economic Development Council (AEDC), Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential organization. Today IEDC is a $5 million annual operation that is renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development.
· Developing economic restoration action plans for the Tampa Bay Catastrophic Disaster Recovery Plan, Tampa-Hillsborough County Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan and the Seminole County (FL) Business Recovery Plan.
Mickie Valente, President, Valente Strategic Advisers, LLC- For more than a decade, Mickie has worked with local governments, economic and workforce development organizations on innovative projects that build more resilient, diversified economies and communities. She helps create business and economic recovery plans by engaging a broad spectrum of local stakeholders in developing strategies and plans to help their communities better prepare for and recover from a significant economic disruption. Some of her other work includes:
· Serving as a lead project coordinator for an initiative that created the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center, a collaborative effort of the state’s emergency management, economic development and leading academic institutions and the first of its kind in the United States.
· Being called upon as a subject matter expert for economic assessment teams. Most recently she served on an IEDC team to develop a long-term economic redevelopment strategy for Houma-Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
· Leading the design, development and implementation of Emergency Support Function 18 for Business, Industry and Economic Stabilization at Florida’s State Emergency Operations Center. This national model integrates public agencies, private sector businesses and non-profit organizations with Florida’s disaster preparedness, response and recovery programs.
· Organizing a series of workshops focused on business disaster preparedness and economic redevelopment at both the annual Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference and the National Hurricane Conference.
· Working on-site to assist the state and local economic development officials in Louisiana and Mississippi to create business recovery and communications strategies following the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Katrina.
· Participating as a member of an on-site team of experts to advise economic development and city government leaders in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on redevelopment and communications plans following the 2008 floods.
Shannon Full, President & CEO, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce- Shannon currently serves as the President & CEO for the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce serving 18 communities. Prior to this, she served as the President & CEO of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Melbourne-Palm Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce. While at the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, she learned valuable lessons on flood recovery after the June 2008 flood. Since then, she has served on a disaster recovery working group of 27 assembled by the Business Civic Leadership Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Development Organizations and International Economic Development Council. She has also participated in more than 25 hours of conference calls to provide guidance to leaders of recovery efforts in Nashville and Clarksville, Tennesee, responding to massive spring floods. Meyer said timeliness was key to one of the chamber’s most successful flood recovery efforts undefined a fund that provided $25,000 grants to flood-affected businesses about one month after the flood from a $6 million fund assembled with public and private donations. Some businesses have said they wouldn’t have survived without the liquidity provided by the grants.
Charmaine Hammond, Hammond International Inc.: Transformational speaker, best-selling award winning author, “Bounce Forward” expert, respected for helping businesses and communities be resilient and inspired. With a Master's Degree in Conflict Analysis & Management, Charmaine has facilitated strategic planning, community development and communication processes for corporate and government clients. She is a professional speaker having presented to more than 75,000 people in five countries on the topics of courageous dialogue, resilience, building resilient and inspired teams, and moving through change and challenge.