As I See It: Critical Components for New Regions

By Janet Ady, President/CEO Ady Advantage


You've heard me talk about the increasingly important role of regional groups in economic development. I've had the pleasure of working with quite a few regions and their leadership during their formative and early years. I recently interviewed five leaders who have been through the experience of starting up (or repositioning) a regional ED group.  


What advice would they give to another region that is just starting up?


Their advice included building trust, practical tips for gaining buy-in and building a budget, the importance of setting ground rules, and interestingly, recommendations for the first programs a new region should focus on right out of the gate.


AS I SEE IT, getting a new regional EDO off on the right foot is a high-risk, high-reward proposition. Learning from those who have lived through it, and retaining a guide to help lead you through it, are worth considering. The alternative is a lot of wasted time and money, and the potential to tarnish reputations and the willingness of stakeholders to embrace regionalism for years to come.




Looking for an expert speaker to engage, energize, and equip your EDO board, leadership, staff, or stakeholders with practical tips, anecdotes, and insights? Janet Ady is a recognized thought leader and public speaker on a wide variety of topics centered on site selection and economic development marketing strategy. Contact Janet at, call her at 608.663.9218, or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Ady Advantage Services


Ady Advantage (formerly Ady Voltedge) is a comprehensive and integrated economic development and site selection consulting firm. Our clients include more than 300 economic development organizations, for which we provide support on the full range of needs, including economic strategy, market differentiation, and implementation. Our corporate services focus on helping manufacturers and other sectors grow their businesses through an integrated solution set that includes various components, including facility expansion.

Our focus on both sides of the economic development equation is unique. It gives us important insight into the perspectives, challenges, needs, and sensitivities of site selectors and economic development organizations alike, bringing added value to both. 


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