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Dear Colleague:

On behalf of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council, I extend to you an invitation to join us in Cleveland for our 2016 Annual Conference. IEDC's Annual Conference is the largest event of its kind. During Annual Conference sessions we will cover the topics which are essential to you as economic development practitioners. We anticipate that this year's conference will be one of the largest attended in history. This year's conference offers the added benefit of taking place during the year of IEDC's 90th anniversary as the premier professional membership organization for economic developers.

The 2016 Annual Conference program will highlight best practices and rising trends in our profession. This year's program is also informed by the inspirational story of Cleveland, and the overall story of Northern Ohio as a powerhouse economy. You can expect to learn about Cleveland's adaptation to new economic realities, its rebirth through reinvestment in institutions, infrastructure and relationships, and most importantly, how you can take their success stories and lessons learned back to your community.

Our line-up of keynote and concurrent session speakers is unmatched in the economic development world. We'll be joined by Clarence Anthony, Executive Director for the National League of Cities in Washington, DC; three time elected Mayor Frank Jackson for the City of Cleveland, and many, many more.

You'll also have a chance to meet site selectors during this year's conference.

Conference program highlights include:

• Concurrent sessions on topics such as the sharing economy, greyfields, preparing for a reduction in defense spending, how to better assist startups in your community, predatory lending in the small business world, and a series of town hall meetings for every community population size

• Receptions galore, including a networking reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a new members and nonmembers of IEDC reception, one for young professionals, and our ever popular Chairman's reception which will include special celebratory activities for this anniversary year

• Workshops on topics, such as business retention and expansion, and a primer on what you need to know about the Certified Economic Developer exam process

While in Cleveland, you'll also get to experience an assortment of local educational tours, providing you an up-close and personal experience of economic development projects in the greater Cleveland community. Tours to University Circle - Uptown - Little Italy, a neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland; the Health Tech Corridor & Regional Transit Authority, a leading biomedical, healthcare and technology region; the Cleveland Clinic, a multispecialty academic hospital located in Cleveland, which is ranked as #1 in Cardiology and many other services and the Ninth and Euclid Project, of which this $170 million redevelopment project ranks among downtown Cleveland's biggest and brightest symbols of revival. These are but a few tours you'll have a chance to experience during Annual Conference. I encourage you to visit the conference website to see the full list and to register.

You'll also find information about our pre-conference professional development course titled "Neighborhood Development Strategies" which takes place from September 22 - 23. This course uses the case study method to complement current neighborhood development theory. With IEDC's course leaders, you'll examine social capital linkages, networks and talent, environmental capital, economic capital, and solutions to address all these local needs.

Be sure to book your room at the Westin Cleveland Downtown, our hotel headquarters. Call them direct at 888.627.8085, and mention the IEDC Annual Conference to receive the block rate.

On behalf of the IEDC Board of Directors, thank you to IEDC's 2016 Annual Conference sponsors. Sponsorship dollars assist in making all our conferences a success. While at the annual conference, be sure to visit the exhibit hall to spend time with our sponsors and exhibitors.

I look forward to seeing you in Cleveland.

Cheers to 90 Years,

Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM
IEDC 2016 Board Chair
President & CEO
Greater Richmond Partnership
Richmond, Virginia

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