The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council held its 2019 Annual Meeting July 10th. The theme of the afternoon was Focus Forward as the LSEDC works to align its upcoming strategic plan with the city’s Ignite initiatives, along with the goals of other PSA’s and key partners.
Guest speaker Kate McEnroe shared her recipe for the “secret sauce” to effective economic development marketing. In nearly three decades in the site selection industry, McEnroe has seen more than her share of clever marketing tactics from communities. From letters, to mass emails, even virtual reality glasses, McEnroe said there is no doubt that the means by which communities market themselves is changing.
“I’m waiting for a drone to fly through my window!” McEnroe said.
Yet even as the method of delivery changes, the message is the same. The issue, McEnroe said, is that the site selection game is ever-changing.
“You’re living in a world where what was extraordinary is now necessary, but it is not sufficient,” McEnroe said.
McEnroe said the key to effective marketing starts with solid data, but it does not end there. To really be successful, McEnroe said to seek human connection. McEnroe said that in all the marketing materials she has received as a site selector, it is the ones with meaningful, relevant and unique stories that stand out.
“Brené Brown had a great quote,” McEnroe said. “Stories are data with a soul.”
Another key ingredient for McEnroe — finding your niche and capitalizing on it. McEnroe said she encourages her clients to stray away from standing out in the crowd, but rather to separate themselves from the crowd entirely. McEnroe said instead of checking off site selectors’ wish lists, it is important for communities to focus energy on creating unique opportunities for themselves.
“Something is your ‘thing’ that will take you to a place that not everyone is in,” McEnroe said.
McEnroe’s final piece of advice was for all stakeholders to put some emotional skin in the game by taking the initiative to connect their networks to the LSEDC and other community organizations and to be authentic in doing so.
The LSEDC awarded several investors at the Annual Meeting. Past Chair Machelle Riffe received the Leadership Award. Tim Paulson of Emery Sapp & Sons was named LSEDC Champion. Polytainers received the Top Gun award for workforce development. Keith Asel from Hawthorn Bank was the winner of the BOOST award for largest increased investment. HCA Midwest Health, Lee’s Summit Medical Center was recognized with the Shovel Award for largest job creation and Mid-States Distributing won the Shovel Award for largest capital investment.
The 2018-2019 Lifetime Award was given to Bud Hertzog, owner of the Lee’s Summit Animal Hospital. Hertzog is a founding member of the LSEDC and served as chair from 2004-2005.
The 2019-2020 Chairperson Chip Moxley closed the meeting by introducing the new 2019-2020 Board of Directors. The 2019-2020 Board is as followed: Chip Moxley, Chair; Tim Paulson, Vice Chair; Todd Haynes, secretary; Larry Hillier, Treasurer; Machelle Riffe, Past Chair; Bill Baird, Mayor; Steve Arbo, City Manager; Dennis Carpenter, Superintendent of LSR-7; Will Coates; Linda Harrelson; Clint Haynes; Mike Lally; John McDonald; Dan Rexroth; Heidi Thummel; Michael VanBuskirk and Loren Williamson.
Saint Luke’s East Hospital was the title sponsor for the event.