2023 NADO Annual Training Conference


NADO Annual Training Conference 2023

November 7-10, 2023

Hilton Cleveland Downtown

100 Lakeside Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44114

ATC 2023 will offer attendees many networking and learning opportunities:

  • Three distinct tracks—Regional Resilience, Equitable Regional Development, and Building a Strong RDO. They will focus on wealth creation, underwriting tools for RLF operators, understanding regional data characteristics, RDO board training, tourism and recreation, intentional leadership, state associations, equity fundamentals, collaborating with universities, military planning and RDOs, energy communities and economic diversification, rural placemaking, essentials of a strong RDO, housing, reframing aging, CEDS, downtown revitalization, hazard mitigation, broadband, cybersecurity, climate mapping, and much more!
  • Seven mobile workshops that will bring attendees to locations around the city offering insights into various community and economic development initiatives. The workshops include a tour of various brownfield sites, and visits to the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, the Ohio City Neighborhood and West Side Market, Rid-All Green Partnership, the Midtown Neighborhood, EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Initiative, and Renewable Energy and Microgrid Projects. All mobile workshops require pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 per workshop. Most workshops are limited in size so please register early. Visit the conference page of our website and click “Mobile Workshops” for more details.
  • One fabulous opening reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With incredibly generous support from Jobs Ohio, conference attendees will enjoy beverages and heavy hors d’oeuvres while privately exploring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Tuesday, November 7, from 6-10 p.m. Transportation to and from the Hall of Fame will be provided for all attendees.
  • Plentiful learning opportunities will be offered throughout the week from the mobile workshops, plenaries, learning labs, best practice sessions, conversation cafés, and much more.

The NADO Annual Conference is a highly anticipated event that brings together industry leaders, policymakers, and professionals from across the country to explore new ideas, share best practices, and discuss emerging trends in community and economic development. This year's conference promises to be even more exciting as we will be in heart of Downtown Cleveland. The Rocket Mortgage Field House, Playhouse Square, and East 4th Street are located within a mile of the conference location.




Registration is now open for the 2023 NADO Annual Training Conference! Click the below link to register. 


See registration rates below. Email Karron Grant, [email protected], for assistance registering your group, to register NADO member complimentary spouse/guest registrations (to see if your membership level has complimentary ATC guest registrations click here), and with registration questions. 

 Early BirdLate Bird
Associate & General
Partner & Sustaining
Platinum & Platinum Plus
Early bird deadline: October 6, 2023

Cancellation Policy

Registrants who cancel their registrations by October 31st, 2023, will receive a refund minus a $150 administrative fee.


About the Hotel

Hilton Cleveland Downtown is located in the heart of the city with the Rocket Mortgage Field House, Playhouse Square, and East 4th Street within a mile radius. The hotel is also connected to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. There is an indoor pool, fitness center, and a top-floor bar with views of Lake Erie.


Or call the hotel directly at 216-413-5000 and choose option 1 to book over the phone.  Please be sure to mention booking code NADO23 to receive the discounted rate.

Hotel room rate:   $209 + tax
Hotel reservation cut-off date:   October 6, 2023

*This rate is guaranteed until October 6, 2023. After this date, rooms and rates are subject to availability. Additionally, this rate applies only until our reserved room block is full, which could happen prior to October 6,2023. We recommend making your reservation as soon as possible to secure this rate.*

Getting to Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Hilton Cleveland Downtown is located about 20 minutes from the Cleveland airport.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

5300 Riverside Dr, Cleveland, OH 44135

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Transportation Information (Link)

Please click here for a PDF version of the agenda.

This agenda is as of September 15, 2023. It will be updated regularly. Please note sessions are subject to change.

*Mobile workshops require an additional fee and are limited in size. Information about registering for them is in the "Mobile Workshops" tab.  

Questions about the hotel? Contact Brittany Salazar.
Questions about conference registration? Contact Krystal DeLeon.
Questions about the conference content? Contact Laurie Thompson.

Mobile Workshop Schedule

NADO is pleased to offer 7 mobile workshops this year.  All conference attendees can attend a mobile workshop, but pre-registration is required and there is an additional fee to attend them. Please note there is limited space on the mobiles and mobile workshop registration fees are non-refundable.

We will maintain a wait list for each mobile workshop as necessary.  Check in at the conference registration desk at the hotel to determine if you will be able to attend if you are on the waitlist.

Tuesday, November 7

12:30 – 4:00 pm | Tackling Community Revitalization through Brownfields Redevelopment
Join the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) team and other subject matter experts for a training session and mobile tour to learn more about how regional organizations are tackling community revitalization through brownfields redevelopment.  First, a session at the conference hotel will include a case study on brownfields redevelopment in multi-county jurisdictions and two hot topics: deploying clean energy (typically solar) on brownfields and community planning for the decommissioning of coal-fired plant redevelopment. The hotel portion of the session will be from 12:30 until 1:45 p.m.

Following the presentation, hop on the bus tour to explore various brownfields sites in downtown Cleveland from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.  The sites include the Flats District, (a former riverfront industrial site, now redeveloped with housing, hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and more), the Cleveland Port Authority – Confined Disposal Facilities #10 and #12 (the location of testing to reuse river sediments in an environmentally safe manner for beach nourishment, clean fill, and soil for brownfield projects), and a former Cleveland School District building (redeveloped as the Drury Plaza Hotel using federal and state historic tax credits).  Please plan to have lunch before the session begins.

  • Cost to attend the mobile workshop portion: $40.00
  • Cost to attend the hotel portion: $0.00
  • Mobile workshop portion is limited to 40 attendees.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes. Tour sites are subject to change.

 Wednesday, November 8

1:45 – 4:15 pm | Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (sponsored by Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University)

The Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland have become a global innovation model for creating more sustainable regional economies. Over 280 local residents earn an ownership stake as they create thriving businesses, while playing a transformational role in building vibrant neighborhoods. The Evergreen Cooperatives showcase a local ownership and control model consistent with the wealth creation framework for economic development, across a variety of sectors, including laundry services, food systems, renewable energy, manufacturing, etc.  Join us for this mobile tour to learn more about the history, social mission and employee ownership model of the Evergreen Cooperatives while visiting the Evergreen Laundry operation in action. You’ll have an opportunity to learn more from employee owners about their experience and what being an employee owner has meant to them. Evergreen’s portfolio is diverse, providing insights into supply chain diversification and protection, keeping wealth local, and connecting with anchor institutions. 

  • Cost: $40.00
  • Limited to 15 attendees.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.

1:45pm – 4:15pm | Ohio City and West Side Market Tour - SOLD OUT (waitlist available)

Join this tour for a multi-faceted view of the Ohio City Neighborhood! Begin with a tour of the neighborhood provided by Ohio City Incorporated, the community development corporation responsible for preserving, promoting, and developing the Ohio City Neighborhood. Next, you’ll visit Refugee Response, an organization formed to help refugees adjust to life in Northeast Ohio that currently supports over 700 refugees each year, providing opportunities for hundreds of Clevelanders to mentor and volunteer. The tour will end at the West Side Market, a large indoor market with 100 local vendor stalls offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices, and nuts, that has been in operation since 1840. You’ll hear the story of the market and have some time to shop before heading back to the conference.

  • Cost: $40.00
  • Limited to 30 attendees.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.

Thursday, November 9

9:15 – 11:45 am | Rid-All Green Partnership

Three high school friends turned an empty and forgotten lot in the Kinsman neighborhood into a 18-acre urban farm where they grow produce to bring healthy, local food to area institutions, engage the community, and maintain diverse revenue streams. The Rid-All Green Partnership features a wide array of programming including a culinary kitchen, farmer’s market and restaurant facility, youth and veteran training programs, aquaponics, composting, tree nursery, and more. The Partnership also developed a 5-month Community Urban Agriculture training program, which includes a focus on entrepreneurship. Join the tour to learn more about this incredible story, how it has positively impacted the surrounding neighborhood, and why “every community deserves a Rid-All farm.”

  • Cost: $40.00
  • Limited to 40 attendees.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.

 9:15 – 11:45 am

The Story of Midtown

This tour will visit the Midtown neighborhood, where you’ll learn about the transformative work taking place there to develop a dynamic neighborhood. The tour will be hosted at MAGNET, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping small and medium-sized manufacturers increase sales, create jobs and generate cost savings through technological innovation, workforce training, and improved management practices. Staff from the Cleveland Foundation and the Midtown Community Development Corporation will join to tour to share about their work, the history of the neighborhood, and its exciting future development plans. Expect to hear about how they are building partnerships, creating a sense of ‘place’ and much more!

  • Cost: $40.00
  • Limited to 30 attendees.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.

1:45 – 4:00 p.m. | Renewable Energy and Microgrid Projects

Visit and learn from innovative energy projects across the Cleveland region led by Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability.  In the working-class suburb of Brooklyn, Ohio, the department worked with municipal officials to install 4 MW in solar panels on top of a 17-acre former landfill site, which powers local government buildings at an estimated $3 million in energy savings. To support residential solar, the county has launched solar co-op programs designed to use group buying power to obtain discounted prices, including a pilot project geared toward low-to-moderate income homeowners. Cuyahoga County is also seeking to become a microgrid hub and developed its own county-run utility, which is working to develop energy storage and microgrid projects to support resilient energy operations during hazard events.

  • Cost: $40.00
  • Limited to 20 attendees.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.

1:45 – 4:00 pm | EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute

Learn how one man’s belief that everyone, despite their past, should be given the opportunity to have a fair and equal future evolved into a successful model for vocational training.  EDWINS provides training in the restaurant and hospitality industries to formerly incarcerated adults.  Students are also provided free housing, legal services, medical care, clothing, literacy programs and more throughout the program.  Students work at EDWINS restaurant, butcher shop, and bakery. 

  • Cost: $40.00
  • Limited to 25 attendees.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.




As a sponsor, you will also get a cost-effective opportunity to market products and services to a diverse network of local elected officials, city managers, regional council staff and development professionals in our conference exhibit area. Your sponsorship will allow you to attend conference meals and events, providing you with maximum opportunities to meet face-to-face with potential clients.

Click here to view 2023 Sponsorship details.

If you are a NADO member, click here for 2023 Sponsorship details.

The registration form for Exhibitors can be found here

Thank you to our 2023 ATC Sponsors.

Rock Hall of Fame Reception Sponsor

2023 Annual Training Conference Sponsors: 






Presentations will be made available after the conference.

Search NADO.org

Contact Karron Grant

Applications cannot be saved and returned to at a later time. It is recommended you compile all of your information in advance in a word processor and cut and paste into the application below.

2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence.

Organization Address

Project Location (if different from Organization Address)

Executive Director

Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected]. Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

Contact Melissa Levy

Contact Krishna Kunapareddy

Contact Andrew Coker

Contact Lara Gale

Contact Katie Allison

Contact Jack Morgan

Content Questions Form

Registration Questions Form

Hotel Questions Form

New Speaker Inquiry

Job Listing Inquiry

Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

Contact Danny Tomares

Contact Dion Thompson-Davoli

Contact Ciara Ristig

Contact Bret Allphin

Contact Brett Schwartz

Contact Carrie Kissel

Contact Scott Brown

Contact Jamie McCormick

Contact Joe McKinney

Contact Krystal De Leon

Contact Brittany Salazar

Contact Laurie Thompson

Contact Mirielle Burgoyne