NNBW Presents Breakfast & Business Series
Economic Development: Nevada STYLE
Nevada does economic development much differently than other states. We’ll define what this looks like in Northern Nevada, the impacts to the region and what the future holds.
- Who are the Northern Nevada organizations and how do they engage?
- What is the business-friendly legislation?
- Why is Northern Nevada a resilient region?
- How do we not become California?
- Where’s the land? Do we have the water?
- How do we support resident businesses with the influx of new business development?
- Diversification is critical, sustainability is key
- High tech: Autonomous Drones & Advanced Manufacturing.
- Tax incentives and innovations
- Beyond the borders: The super-region and megapolitans
- What are the bigger questions, provocative visions and framework for development?
- The future is here, 2020 –2030 Plans
Date: May 3, 2018
Location: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
Thomas R. Harris
Director of the University Center of Economic Development,
University of Nevada, Reno
Dr. Thomas R. Harris is a Foundation Professor in the Department of Economics in the College of Business; State Extension Specialists in Community and Economic Development in University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; and the Director of the University Center for Economic Development at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Harris has worked extensively in the area of rural economic development both statewide and nationally. Dr. Harris’ primary areas of teaching, research and extension are rural economic development, economic impact modeling, and feasibility studies.
Deputy Director, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Cory Hunt is Deputy Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. He oversees business development, legislative affairs, special projects, industry specialists, rural economic development, and office administration. In addition to his work with Tesla, Hyperloop, Google and dozens of other companies that have moved to and expanded in Nevada, Cory is a recognized expert in autonomous vehicle policy. Prior to working for GOED, Cory served as Senior Policy Analyst to Governor Sandoval and worked in private sector management consulting. Cory is a proud native Nevadan, and an alumnus of the University of Nevada (BS) and the University of Southern California (MPA).
President and CEO, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada
Mike Kazmierski joined the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) on November 15, 2011 after a national search to find a new President/CEO. Kazmierski leads a team of 14 economic development professionals committed to adding quality jobs to the region by recruiting new companies, supporting the success of existing companies, and assisting newly forming companies, to diversify the economy and have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks. In the past six years, EDAWN has assisted in the attraction of more than 175 new companies, resulting in the addition of more than 17,000 new jobs. This number is in addition to Tesla, which will be adding an additional 6,500 new jobs over the next several years. Prior to his position at EDAWN, Kazmierski managed a 14-person non-profit economic development corporation in Colorado Spring, Colorado, as the head of the Regional Economic Development Corporation of Colorado Springs.
Kazmierski is a retired Army Colonel and former garrison commander of Fort Carson, Colorado, when it was recognized as the best of the 270 installations in the Army. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, (West Point) a Masters degree in Business Administration, and a Masters degree in Military Arts & Science. Mike is a Wisconsin native and his wife, Margaret, a former attorney and school teacher, is now a realtor for Dickson Realty. They have two children, Zack, 23 and Clarie, 21.
Director of Economic Development, Northern Nevada Development Authority
Lynn O’Mara, MBA is the Director of Economic Development for Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), the state-designated Regional Development Authority for the Sierra Region of Nevada: Carson City, Douglas County, Lyon County, and Storey County. She joined NNDA in May 2017, and is responsible for the organization’s communications and for various economic development programs and initiatives which meet NNDA business objectives. Lynn represents NNDA on various advisory committees of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. She earned a Master in Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rosary College (now Dominican University), River Forest, Illinois.
A diverse business professional, Lynn has public sector experience working for Nevada state government which included regulatory oversight. Her private sector experience includes working for an international consulting firm, both large teaching and small community hospitals, and a Nasdaq microelectronics company that focused on defense electronics and imaging software. She has managed multimillion dollar federal grant programs and projects and facilitated the passage of state–level legislation. Lynn’s experience in high tech electronics included leading and managing all aspects of corporate communications, co-authoring Small Business Innovation Research grant proposals for Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health solicitations, and counseling product managers on marketing and strategic business development plans. As a Registered Dietitian, Lynn provided clinical patient care, managed a dietetic services staff of eighteen, and served as a liaison between nursing and nutrition departments.
Nathan G. Strong
Executive Director, Churchill Economic Development Authority
Nathan G. Strong is Executive Director at Churchill Economic Development Authority (CEDA) where he previously oversaw Special Projects. He serves as a trustee for the Churchill County Museum Association, on the boards of the Highway 95 Rural Development Authority and Western Nevada Development District, and will be the inaugural president of the Nevada Economic Development Association. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History, along with a Certificate in Computer Programming, from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, then began graduate school at the University of Nevada, Reno, studying Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology. Working in the archaeological lab and field as his schedule permitted, Nate paused in Fallon, Nevada during the winter of 1997 and has lived there ever since.
Since then he has married and raised two wonderful sons, being fortunate enough to stay home with the youngest until he began school. At that time, Nate re-entered the workforce as a teacher in Churchill County School District then worked for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, beginning and ending at the Tribal Court, in between holding a position where he worked to preserve, protect, promote, and manage their cultural resources. Nate began at CEDA working to identify funding sources and facilitate partnerships to support projects and services that improve the City of Fallon and Churchill County, authoring and assisting with proposals that resulted in aid to Fallon Community Theatre, Fallon Food Hub, and other entities contributing to the revitalization of Fallon’s historic downtown commercial corridor where Nate proudly resides. Now he works promoting the role of the City of Fallon and Churchill County in the rapidly growing and innovatively diverse regional economy.
Assistant City Manager, City of Reno
Bill has an extensive background in planning and development that he’s garnered through years of working in high level positions in both the public and private sector. As an Assistant City Manager, Bill is responsible for oversight of the Community Development, Parks Recreation and Community Services, Public Works, Economic Development and Redevelopment functions of the City of Reno. Before joining the City, Bill operated his own planning consulting firm where he assisted both private and public entity clients. His position as the Director of Entitlements for a large West Coast based attached home builder provided him with perspective on the private/public interactions that are such an important part of local government service. Bill was also Vice President of a Nevada based civil engineering firm where he gained experience in the land development industry.
Bill has been a resident of Reno for more than 29 years. He received his formal education from Pennsylvania State University where he studied Urban and Regional Planning. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has practiced professionally in Nevada, California and Wyoming in both the public and private sectors. Bill’s community service activities have included membership on a regional bank community board, executive committee of the Builder’s Association of Northern Nevada and president of a local non-profit service organization. He’s also coached both little league and girls softball and served as a den leader for the Boy Scouts. Bill enjoys spending his leisure time with his wife and two children skiing and mountain biking in the great Nevada outdoors.
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