North Star CEO to Speak at International Economic Development Council’s Conference

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Don McEachern, CEO of community branding agency North Star, will be leading a panel discussion on regional economic development branding at the International Economic Development Council’s 2013 Conference being held October 6-9 in Philadelphia, PA.

Don McEachern, CEO of community branding agency North Star Destination Strategies, will be leading a panel discussion on regional economic development branding at the International Economic Development Council’s 2013 Conference being held October 6-9 in Philadelphia, PA.

According to McEachern, regional economic development branding is an approach many communities are pursuing to be more nationally, or even globally, competitive, but it can pose challenges.

“At its heart, regional marketing requires historically competitive communities and organizations to work together collaboratively,” he explained. “Such partnerships often stall in the early stages when faced with the questions of organization, responsibility, and speaking with a common voice.”

McEachern and the panel will be exploring how the process of branding – which by design pulls everyone together to speak in one voice – can build trust and a collaborative mindset amongst regional economic development stakeholders. Innovative regional marketing strategies will be examined along with the practical considerations of taking a shared approach.

One of the speakers on the panel will be North Star client Chuck Peters, a stakeholder and brand driver for the regional economic development branding initiative that uncovered, defined, and marketed Iowa’s Creative Corridor, an area reaching from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids. Among other things, Peters will discuss how the brand process helped establish the organization and cooperation of the communities that would be working together.

The International Development Council is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their jobs more effectively and to raising the profile of the profession. Members create more high-quality jobs, develop more vibrant communities, and generally improve the quality of life in their regions. IEDC’s 2013 Annual Conference explores strategies for “Creating Tomorrow’s Economy Today.”

With more than 170 clients from 40 states across the nation, Nashville-based North Star Destination Strategies is considered the leader in the field of research and branding for communities. Areas of emphasis include economic development, downtowns, tourism, and community-wide branding. In response to growing interest in business branding for communities, North Star has hired a team to state-level ED experts including Lori Odom, Vice President of Research and Economic Development and Rupa DeLoach, Director of Research. Lori and Rupa both served the state of Tennessee under numerous administrations in the areas of recruitment/marketing and research respectively.

A recognized expert in community branding, Don McEachern, CEO of North Star, will speak, present, or teach at several major conferences in 2013 including the National League of Cities, the International Association of Business Communicators, the City-County Communications & Marketing Association, the Florida Main Streets Conference, and IEDC

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