The MEDC Spring Conference Local Economic Development: Tools to Make Downtowns Work was held on Friday, May 10, 2013 at Alberto’s Restaurant on picturesque Main Street in Hyannis over 50 attendees were in attendance from all over the commonwealth. We were thrilled to see our colleagues from Western Massachusetts make the trip to the Cape on a beautiful sunny Friday.
The event was kicked off with a bang with a presentation Charles Smith of Eastern Bank our event Gold Sponsor.
The audience was fully engaged and thrilled to hear an update on the legislative work of Senator Dan Wolf (D Harwich). Senator Wolf is also the Founder/CEO of Cape Air.
The morning panel presentation focused on Creative Placemaking: Tools to make Downtowns Work and was moderated by MEDC Past President Kathleen McCabe of McCabe Enterprises. Panelists included Allan Blair, President & CEO, Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, Ellen Spear, President & CEO, Heritage Museums, Sandwich, MA, JoAnne Miller Buntich, Director, Town of Barnstable Growth Management, Rick Penn, Owner, Puritan Clothing, and Elizabeth Wurfbain, Executive Director, Hyannis BID.
Rick Penn did a great job explaining how Puritan Clothing has focused on the intangible experiences his customers have that keep them coming back year after year. I bet you didn’t know there is a full service spa inside of the Puritan Clothing store on Main Street in Hyannis?
Ellen Spear had everyone laughing as she described the importance of “weirdo’s” to the creative economy! Weirdo’s is her friendly term for all the great creative types that drive the innovation and placemaking in growing local downtown economies.
The conference attendees were excited to hear an update on the State of the State Economy by Dr. Michael Goodman, Co-Editor of MassBenchmarks and Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Public Policy, UMASS Dartmouth. Dr. Goodman is an engaging and lively presenter and was willing to answer questions from the audience.
We wrapped up the day with a great panel discussion on the Creative Economy: Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Cultural District Designations moderated by Wendy NorthCross, President and CEO Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.
Panelists included Melissa Hersh, Arts and Culture Coordinator, Town of Barnstable, Kevin Howard, Executive Director, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and Helena Fruscio, State Director of Creative Industries.
Helena Fruscio shared all the resources and tools that are available to support and develop local creative industries, including Non Profit Organizations (museums, theaters, etc.), for profit businesses (design companies, architecture firms, etc.), creative individuals (freelance designers, sole proprietors, etc.) and of course our local communities (cities, towns, regional groups, etc.).
Finally many thanks to our Gold Sponsor, if you would like to sponsor a future MEDC Event please contact our Executive Director, Jennifer True.