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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Department News, summer 2017


Staff Updates

Please join us in welcoming senior planner Lauri Cowhy to our business outreach and communications group.  Lauri comes to us from SMART where she was a marketing coordinator and responsible for promoting the importance of mass transit and SMART bus needs to reach out to the public, riders, employees and potential employees.  Lauri has a master’s degree in marketing from Wayne State University and marketing degree from Siena Heights University. 

Over the summer, we also welcomed intern Jenna Russell back to the team from Oakland University.  Jenna had a busy summer writing a boatload of wonderful blogs as well as helped to develop the newly launched listing of community-based performing arts organizations for the Make Macomb Your Home website. 

Staff Happenings

Department staff, especially graphic designer Matt Pierscinski, worked with Brig. Gen. John D. “Odie” Slocum and other base officials to create a detailed 140-page magazine outlining all of the reasons why Selfridge Air National Guard Base is the best place to beddown the new F35 fighter jets.  The resulting Selfridge Advantage was distributed to the U.S. Air Force team that visited the base in July to develop a recommendation.  (A final decision is expected sometime this fall.)

Land and water resources program manager Gerry Santoro and associate planner Brent Geurink were invited to speak at the first-ever Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference held at Cobo Center in early spring.  They provided an overview of Macomb County’s Blue Economy and Green Macomb initiatives.

Economic development specialist Janelle Arbuckle attended the Paris Air Show where she made a diligent effort to meet with international companies that are supplying Lockheed Martin with components for the new F35.  Her task was to promote Macomb County as a great place to expand their business.

Economic development program manager James Ahee and economic development specialist Nick Posavetz attended SelectUSA’s Annual Conference at National Harbor in Maryland in June. Hosted by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, more than 3,000 registered participants attended from 64 international markets. Jim and Nick met with business leaders from across the globe looking for potential investment opportunity leads and to promote Macomb County to a large international audience.

Selfridge Advantage.jpg

Director John Paul Rea was honored as a “Hometown Hero” by the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce during their annual Evening under the Stars event.  Held in early August on the grounds of the chamber in downtown Romeo, the event featured delicious treats from area restaurants and wineries, art demonstrations by local artists, and raffles.  County Executive Mark A. Hackel offered a glowing introduction of John Paul to the crowd that gathered.  

Project coordinator Camille Silda, Nick Posavetz and Lauri Cowhy attended the Michigan Economic Developers Association's (MEDA) Annual Meeting in Holland, MI. A statewide gathering of practitioners, the conference focused on effective economic development and marketing. It is MEDA's biggest education and networking event of the year. The conference includes educational sessions covering the most important economic development topics as well as several networking opportunities.

John Paul was also appointed by Executive Hackel to serve on the Huron-Clinton Metropark Authority board of directors.

Business outreach and communications program manager Maria Zardis was appointed by Executive Hackel to serve on the board of directors for the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board.  She will also represent the department on the youth subcommittee which is focused on helping young people discover meaningful careers.