North Star CEO to Speak at Illinois City/County Management Association’s Winter Conference February 25-27

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Don McEachern, CEO of community branding agency North Star Destination Strategies, will speak on the topic of putting a community’s reputation to work at the Illinois City/County Management Association (IILCMA) winter conference being held February 25-27 in Normal, Illinois.

Don McEachern CEO of North Star

Don McEachern CEO of North Star

According to McEachern, in today’s highly-competitive global marketplace it’s critical that community leaders understand how to leverage an area’s reputation to attract positive economic growth.

Don McEachern, CEO of community branding agency North Star Destination Strategies, will speak on the topic of putting a community’s reputation to work at the Illinois City/County Management Association (IILCMA) winter conference being held February 25-27 in Normal, Illinois.

According to McEachern, in today’s highly-competitive global marketplace it’s critical that community leaders understand how to leverage an area’s reputation to attract positive economic growth.

“Every community has a reputation,” he explained. “But not every community has the tools at their disposal to affect what others are saying and build a successful place brand.”

McEachern will explore the unique role local government plays in place branding. Each community has a different set of strengths and challenges and for that reason there is not a “one-size fits all” solution. By examining the differences in focus, footprints and funding, McEachern will explain the pros and cons of different approaches.

North Star’s approach, applied in more than 200 communities nationwide, uncovers what others are saying about a place through quantitative and qualitative research tools. Gaining an understanding of a place through carefully considered research ultimately uncovers a community’s most distinct identity.

North Star has put several Illinois communities’ reputation to work for them in recent years, including: the Villages of Lake Bluff, Godfrey, and Oak Park as well as the cities of Highland Park and Aurora.

The Illinois City/County Management Association is comprised of over 700 members serving cities, villages and counties state-wide as well as those with an interest in local government management. Members strive to support and improve local government throughout Illinois. ILCMA’s winter conference explores strategies for “Cautious Optimism in Challenging Times.”

Nashville-based North Star Destination Strategies, established in 2000, 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 state-level ED experts including Rupa DeLoach, Director of Research. DeLoach served the state of Tennessee under numerous administrations heading up research efforts for the Department of Economic and Community Development.

A recognized expert in community branding, Don McEachern, CEO of North Star, is available to speak, present, or teach on a series of industry-related topics. Past speaking engagements have included the National League of Cities, the International City/County Management Association, the International Association of Business Communicators, the City-County Communications & Marketing Association, and the Florida Main Streets Conference among others. For more information, visit: http://northstarideas.com/speakers.

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