Editor’s Note: “The Economic Development Side” originally appears in the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce’s weekly member e-newsletter. It is written by Rhonda Dishner, the Economic Development Alliance’s executive assistant.


Scores of women from around the country working in careers related to economic development met Oct. 21-23 in Denver for an annual professional conference.


It was the fourth such event sponsored by Annie Gregson, founder of New York-based Gregson & Co., who utilized years of conference-planning expertise to create the “Win ED Conference” featuring leading consultants and economic development experts covering “a wide spectrum of relevant topics.”


Nancy Lee McNew of the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County attended the forum, her first site-selection conference since her May promotion to vice president of economic development.


Two staff members of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission were the only other Arkansans listed in the program booklet.


McNew reports that the sessions were informative, but the networking opportunities were the most beneficial part of the gathering.


That included roundtable discussions providing one-on-one discussions with consultants as well as dinner conversations during which she was able to talk about Jefferson County to project decision-makers. She expects to see some of those same consultants at later conferences—or possibly bringing prospects to the community in the future.


The meeting format allowed participants to attend all program sessions rather than choosing from a concurrent schedule and missing some of the presentations. McNew still missed several minutes—here and there—as she had to step out frequently to respond to cell phone questions in connection with a working project back home.


The State of Arkansas sponsored one of the speakers on the final morning’s agenda.