NADO Annual Training Conference 2023

November 7-10, 2023 (Tuesday-Friday)

Hilton Cleveland Downtown

100 Lakeside Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44114

Check out our reference guide containing general information to help participants prepare for the conference: Know Before You Go

See who will be attending the conference: Registration List

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.

NADO’s Code of Conduct/Anti-harassment Policy (PDF)


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.*

Airport & Transportation

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 November 1, 2023. Please note sessions are subject to change.

NOTE: The “*” denotes conference sessions that are offered through the Economic Development District Community of Practice (EDD CoP), managed by the NADO Research Foundation. To learn more, visit www.nado.org/EDDCoP. The EDD CoP is made possible through an award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (ED22HDQ3070106). The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations offered are those of the participants, trainers, and authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.   

Mobile Workshops

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

2023 Sponsors

Thank you to our 2023 ATC Sponsors.
Rock Hall of Fame Reception Sponsor
2023 Annual Training Conference Sponsors:


Tuesday, November 7

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.                                  Conference Registration

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.                                      NADO Research Foundation Advisory Committee Meeting

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.                             Concurrent Sessions

  • Regional Resilience: Making it Count: Achieving, Measuring and Reporting Results with Data Analysis
    Learn how to get the most cutting-edge data possible for your region – by recording your RDO’s everyday interactions, discoveries and activities and integrating that data with national tools. Discuss the value and limitations of Big Data for providing context for your region’s local conditions, when and how to employ various data tools, and test drive and offer your feedback about public data dashboards created by third
  • Alison Turner, Senior Economic Development Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Katie Lenze, Community Development Coordinator, North Central PA Regional Planning & Development Commission

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.  Tackling Community Revitalization through Brownfields Redevelopment

This session, led by the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) team and other subject matter expert experts, will include a case study on brownfields redevelopment in multi-county jurisdictions and two hot topics: deploying clean energy (typically solar) on brownfields and redevelopment planning for the decommissioning of a coal-fired plant. 

  • Beth Grigsby, Regional Manager for Tab Services (EPA Region 5), Kansas State University
  • Matthew Popkin, Manager, Brightfields Accelerator, RMI
  • Bill Schleizer, CEO, Delta Institute
  • Amy Yersavich, TAB Partner, Kansas State University

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.                                           Learning Lab

  • Regional Resilience: Using GIS Tools for Planning Regional Economic Opportunities

This session will utilize web-based tools to analyze demographic, socio-economic, behavioral, and business data to better understand the overall characteristics and needs of the community. This analysis helps make better policy decisions regarding developing and expanding existing business and efforts to recruit new businesses. Please note that you should bring your laptop as you will use the tools throughout the session. (Tablets and phones are not as compatible.)

  • Keith Cooke, Industry Manager, Esri

1:00 – 4:00 p.m.                                           Learning Labs

  • Equitable Regional Development: Looking through the Lens of Wealth Creation: Doing Economic Development Differently

Join us for this Learning Lab to walk through and practice the ways that the wealth creation approach and principles can be integrated into the CEDS (asset inventory, SWOT, strategies, and evaluation). Consider ways of supporting economic sectors through identifying market opportunities, value chain mapping and development. This will be a highly interactive workshop, allowing participants to practice the concepts.

Attend this session for a practical and informative exploration of the Underwriting Toolbox. This comprehensive session is designed to equip underwriters and loan officers with the essential tools and techniques necessary for success and review the key components of the Underwriting Toolbox that every lender should have at their disposal.

  • Mary Louk, Program Manager, Grow America

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.  SPECIAL SESSION: OMB Proposed Guidelines Changes

On October 5, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a long-awaited proposal to revise its “Uniform Guidance”–shorthand for the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements (2 CFR 200). The proposal attempts to build on broad implementation experience that has been gained about how these comprehensive grants management policies have worked since they were originally adopted in 2014. Because RDO’s have multiple roles as direct grant recipients, subrecipients, and pass-through entities, it is important that OMB hear about your unique regional perspective. NADO will submit detailed comments by OMB’s December 4, 2023, deadline. This special session will provide a briefing on what’s being proposed and will gather your input about what needs to change before the rules are finalized. Sponsored by Three Rivers Planning and Development District

  • Robert Lloyd, Robert Lloyd Consulting Services
  • Facilitator: Chris Fetzer, President, NADO and Executive Director, Northern Arizona Council of Governments
  • Facilitator: Joe McKinney, Executive Director, NADO

Wednesday, November 8

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.                                  Conference Registration

8:00 – 9:30 a.m.                                           Chapter Meetings Breakfast Buffet

Over breakfast you will be able to convene with peers from across your region to network and talk about issues of relevance to your regions.

9:45 – 10:30 a.m.                                         Opening Plenary

The Fund for Our Economic Future is a network and creative space for philanthropic funders and civic leaders to learn, lead, and develop ideas together to advance an inclusive economy across the Northeast Ohio region. Since its founding in 2004, The Fund has been working on the forefront of critical place-based issues, such as advancing growth in new industries, improving workforce systems, and connecting jobs and people through improved mobility and site-selection strategies. During this plenary session you will learn more about The Fund’s innovative work to achieve equitable growth and spark new ideas that may be replicable for your region.

  • Bethia Burke, President, Fund for Our Economic Future
  • Facilitator: Chris Fetzer, NADO President, Executive Director, Northern Arizona Council of Governments

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.                             Concurrent Sessions

Maybe you were elected, maybe you were appointed. Either way you have a seat at the table and the opportunity to positively lead and influence. You will earn a reputation whether you intend to or not. Take a proactive stance on what you can offer and the legacy you can impact for the organizations or communities you represent. This interactive session will offer tips for providing excellent service as a board member.

This technical assistance hands-on session will focus on applying lessons learned from state-EDD teams on building a collaborative process to improve alignment in economic development planning and program implementation. Attendees will hear from current Academy team participants on their challenges and successes during their alignment journey, and then apply these lessons to their state-EDD relationship.

  • Matt McCauley, Senior Vice President, Regional Prosperity at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Jeff Hagan, CEO, Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission (MI)
  • Matthew Godinez, Director of Performance & Programming, Kansas Department of Commerce
  • Michele McFarlane, Community Development Planner, Region IV Development Association (ID)
  • Facilitator: Bob Isaacson, Senior Vice President, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
  • Facilitator: Brendan Buff, Director of Rural Development, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
  • Regional Resilience: The Missing Piece of the Housing Puzzle

As housing challenges have plagued regions across the country, RDOs have found their niche in partnership with local communities, developers, and non-profit groups. Come to this session to learn how successful RDOs have found the role they can play in addressing housing challenges in their regions and how your organization can take on a unique-to-your- region role in solving the Housing Puzzle.

  • Cliff Herberg, General Counsel, Alamo Area Council of Governments
  • Keith Dennis, Community Development Program Manager, Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization
  • Michael Dunn, Executive Director, Region 1 Planning Council
  • Moderator: Laura Lewis Marchino, CEcD, Executive Director, Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.                                        Plenary Luncheon

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in facilitating regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. Promoting locally-driven approaches to sustainable economic development, EDA makes investments in planning, technical assistance, and infrastructure construction that are designed to leverage existing assets in an effort to foster regional economic growth. EDA leadership will provide various program updates.

  • Craig Buerstatte, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs, U.S. Economic Development Administration
  • Facilitator: Chris Fetzer, President, NADO and Executive Director, Northern Arizona Council of Governments

1:45 – 3:00 p.m.                                           Concurrent Sessions

Communities across the nation are leveraging their natural assets to build outdoor recreation economies. However, this growth may lead to changing community character challenges, such as overcrowded infrastructure and housing affordability and availability. This session will discuss strategies for regions to balance recreation and tourism growth with preservation of local community character and quality of life.

  • Stephanie Bertaina, Senior Policy Analyst, U.S. EPA Office of Community Revitalization
  • Moderator: Beth Gilles, Executive Director, Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board
  • Building a Strong RDO:                        Engaging and Equipping Your Board

As an executive director you lead an organization and a board. What does your board need from you to support your organization’s success? How active should you be in communicating with the board? What is the most important role your board can play in the community for the organization? Learn the differences between and impacts of engaged and disengaged boards; strategies for building trust with your board; and best practices for communicating with board members.

  • Monica Scamardo, CEO and Founder, Variate Consulting
  • Moderator: Kelly Davila, Director of Regional Services and Economic Development, South Plains Association of Governments
  • Regional Resilience:                             Leveraging a Regional Data Platform for Planning

Learn how a large economic development organization with a broad rural reach is using a Regional Data Platform to leverage GIS and data sharing methods to meet the challenges of the future. The platform enhances data-driven, transparent, and collaborative planning under a common vision for the region. The platform presentation will illustrate how it links local and regional planning with GIS.

  • Keith Cooke, Industry Manager, Esri

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.                                           Concurrent Sessions

  • Equitable Regional Development: RDO and Tribal Partnerships

Tribal governments have the power to determine their own governance structures, pass laws, and enforce laws. They are sovereign entities with relationships with the federal government. RDO service areas sometimes include or are adjacent to Tribal lands, and many Tribal members live in communities served by RDOs. How are RDOs currently working with Tribes? What might RDOs want to know to develop new relationships with Tribal governments?

  • Kevin Klingbeil, Managing Director, Big Water Consulting
  • Joanie Buckley, Business Architect, First Nations Development Institute
  • Moderator: Errin Clocker, Executive Director, Grand Gateway Economic Development Authority
  •   Building a Strong RDO:                        5 Keys to Building a Strong RDO

During this session you will learn how embracing 5 key strategies will result in a strong and impactful RDO. You will learn how sharpening your vision, developing staff and board talent, building new and enhancing existing alliances and partners, cultivating strong relationships with your stakeholders, and innovating to promote organizational growth will build a stronger organization. Sponsored by Three Rivers Planning and Development District

Research, development, and implementation of transportation programs is improving the safety and mobility of people and goods. In this session, attendees will hear about ways to engage with innovative transportation projects and approaches. Project examples on various topics including safety, travel information, and coordinating planning across multiple regions will be shared.

  • Andi Hamre, Director of Policy and Research, Eno Center for Transportation
  • Randy Lane, Statewide Planning Manager, Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Moderator: Cindy Hultz, Executive Director, Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments
  • Building a Strong RDO:                         Conversation Café: State Associations

This session will reprise the success of last year’s best practice sharing session! Hear from three State Associations about their current programs, budget, organizational structures and more. Group discussions will follow the brief presentations- expect to engage in lively discussions and learn from your peers.

  • Ginny Lewis Ford, Executive Director, Texas Association of Regional Councils
  • Sheldon Johnson, Executive Director, Northwest Regional Planning Commission
  • Chris Chiles, Executive Director, Kentucky-Ohio-West Virginia Interstate Planning Commission

Thursday, November 9

7:30 a.m.  – 5:00 p.m.                                 Conference Registration

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.                                         Concurrent Sessions

Now more than ever, RDOs are exploring ways to better incorporate equity and economic inclusion principles into their plans, programs, and outreach efforts to ensure that all residents have an opportunity to be a part of shaping their community’s future. This session will provide a foundational understanding and language for approaching equity and inclusion as an individual and an organization.

  • Chinenye Nkemere, Director of Strategy, Enlightened Solutions
  • Bethany Studenic, Managing Director, Enlightened Solutions
  • Moderator: Matthew Dolge, Executive Director, Piedmont Triad Regional Council
  • Building a Strong RDO:                        Building a Relationship with your EDA University Center

Building and maintaining relationships with your EDA University Center can be difficult, despite the incredible resources they can provide. How can EDDs develop and maintain effective UC relationships? What factors make these relationships successful? Discuss this and more at this session led by two UCs in Ohio.

  • Nichole Fifer, Director, Center for Regional Development, Bowling Green State University
  • Molly Schnoke, Director, Center for Economic Development, Cleveland State University
  • Nancy Gilbert, (Acting) Networks Program Manager, Office of Regional Affairs, Economic Development Administration
  • Regional Resilience: Infrastructure Resilience Planning Framework: A Model for Resilient Regions

    The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has recently released the Infrastructure Resilience Planning Framework (IRPF) that gives regional organizations a new tool for resilience planning with local communities and Focused on dependency analyses in local and regional infrastructure systems, the IRPF is an actionable tool for CEDS and hazard mitigation plan alignment. This session will provide input from CISA planners and Green River Area Development District (KY), who piloted the IRPF in their last regional hazard mitigation planning update.
  • Colie Smith, Regional Resiliency Coordinator/Economic Development Specialist, Green River Area Development District
  • Addison Coley, RSP Planning Program Specialist, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Moderator: Blake Edge, Director for Community and Economic Development, Green River Area Development District

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.                             Concurrent Sessions

Join staff from Bowling Green State University, an EDA University Center, to learn about their Reimagining Rural Regions, or R3 Program which provides expertise and capacity to assist communities in undertaking a placemaking process to identify assets that could be reimagined to improve quality of life and to aid in the retention and attraction of talent. The program also offers paid positions to undergraduates, tapping into a population interested in making an impact in rural communities.

  • Melissa Hopfer, MPA Project Manager, Center for Regional Development, Bowling Green State University
  • Lisa Lawson, Project Manager, Center for Regional Development, Bowling Green State University
  • Building a Strong RDO:                         How to Excel as an RDO Leader

Participate in this interactive session to learn key steps for becoming a strong RDO leader. Whether you are on the path to becoming an executive director, have recently become an executive director, or have been in the position for a while, you will learn specific strategies to enhance your leadership skills. Sponsored by Three Rivers Planning and Development District.

Solar energy, brownfields to brightfields, microgrids, and energy resilience: all are tools that can be utilized to increase the resilience of your region to extreme weather events, provide cost savings, and redevelop sites with development constraints. Learn from peers and experts how to provide solutions for your region as the number of programs and amount of funding for renewable energy continues to increase. This session is a great accompaniment to the Mobile Workshop ‘Renewable Energy and Microgrid Projects’.

  • Matthew Popkin, Manager, US Cities & Communities, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Sam Sharp, Energy and Sustainability Planner, Region 9 Development Commission
  • Mike Foley, Director, Department of Sustainability – Cuyahoga County, Ohio
  • Moderator: Elijah Sharp, Deputy Director, New River Valley Regional Commission                      

1:45 – 3:00 p.m.                                           Concurrent Sessions

  • Regional Resilience: Capitalizing on Remote Work as a Rural Economic Development Opportunity

    Recent research by the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service concluded that changes to conventional work models caused by the COVID pandemic were creating a transformative opportunity for “remote work ready” rural communities. The researchers found the remote working accelerated emerging trends and revealed market preferences that create opportunities for rural areas to both retain and attract remote Learn more about the research outcomes regarding categories of economic and community development benefits, strategic options for capitalizing on remote work’s opportunities, and requisite elements of rural community “Remote Work Readiness”.

  • Brent Lane, Executive in Residence, Ohio University George Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service
  • Moderator: Jade Powell, Deputy Director, Southeast Utah Association of Local Governments
  • Regional Resilience:                             CEDS Content Guidelines and Best Practices

In April 2023, EDA revised its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Content Guidelines to include sections on equity, climate resilience, and workforce development. During this session, hear how EDDs are incorporating these themes in their CEDS and other planning efforts and a CEDS update from EDA staff.

  • Erica Anderson, Economic and Community Development Director, Land of Sky Regional Council
  • Kirsten McGregor, Principal, SAGAX Associates
  • Nancy Gilbert, Acting Networks Program Manager, U.S. Economic Development Administration
  • Brett Schwartz, Associate Director, NADO Research Foundation
  • Equitable Regional Development: Investing in Rural Downtowns

There has never been a better time for rural communities to invest in downtown revitalization. Investing in downtown redevelopment creates jobs, increases property value, and encourages tourism. Learn more about the Downtown Revitalization Playbook, use the readiness assessment to identify what you have in place to leverage and what barriers need to be overcome, learn about types of investments and capital stacks, and learn from Economic Development Districts supporting downtown revitalization in their regions.

  • Melissa Kraemer Badtke, Executive Director, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
  • Melissa Levy, Regional Development Researcher/Wealth Creation Specialist, NADO Research Foundation
  • Stephanie Gilbert, Transportation Planning Coordinator, Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission
  • Moderator: Kaitlyn Jared, Executive Director, Skagway Development Corporation and Board Member, Southeast Conference

Friday, November 10

9:45 – 11:00 a.m.                                         Concurrent Sessions

Economic development and workforce development are intrinsically linked – each is evolving as historic federal investment is happening across the nation. Regions are reorganizing, and new funding streams are asking for innovative cross-sector and cross-regional partnerships with a shared commitment to equity and job quality. Join EDA Networks, Jobs for the Future, New Growth Innovation Network, and the University of Michigan for an interactive discussion to inform your own partnerships and coalitions, prepare for future funding opportunities, and keep equity at the center. Be the first to hear of UofM and NGIN’s early observations from equity research across the 32-grantee Good Jobs Challenge Community of Practice.

  • Sarah Crane, Senior Research Manager, Economic Growth Institute, University of Michigan
  • Swati Ghosh, Vice President, Insights and Innovation, New Growth Innovation Network
  • Nate Humphrey, Director, Communities of Practice, Jobs for the Future
  • Genna Petrolla, Senior Manager, Workforce and Regional Economies, Jobs for the Future
  • Nancy Gilbert, Acting Networks Program Manager, U.S. Economic Development Administration
  • Regional Resilience:                             The Future of Military Planning and RDOs

Regional organizations can serve as a community liaison and regional planner for local military installations in their regions. RDOs that take a proactive approach to community-installation relationships can create real dividends for their member communities. This session will provide best practices to improve community-based relationships and communication, show examples of what kind of planning RDOs are doing for local military installations, and give insight from partners at the federal level.

  • Steve Bonner, President and CEO, SONRI,
  • Margit Myers, Installation Resilience Program Activity Lead, U.S. Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation
  • Moderator: Elizabeth Baxter, Manager, Disaster Recovery and Economic Development Planning, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission
  • Regional Resilience:                             Broadband: Continuing Connections

In this session hear how states are implementing recently allocated federal BEAD funds focused on unserved and underserved areas in Ohio and across the country. Speakers will share information on specific deployment initiatives as well as other critical topics including digital inclusion planning taking place in local regions.

  • Ryan Collins, Local Subject Matter Expert, Marietta Ohio
  • Caroline Smith, Economic Development Manager, Apalachee Regional Planning Council
  • Moderator: Tom Bliss, Executive Director, Southeast Nebraska Development District 

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.                             Concurrent Sessions

As many cities, counties, school districts, and infrastructure systems are coming under threat from cyberattacks and hacking, learn what your organization needs to do to prevent these attacks. This session will focus on the basics of cybersecurity and what measures you need to implement now to protect your organization and region.

  • Michael Rosenberg, Projects and Communications Coordinator, Western Arkansas Planning and Development District
  • Shawn Hufstedler, Chief Operating Officer, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
  • Moderator: Andrew Coker, Regional Development Researcher, NADO Research Foundation

What to Know Before You Go...

NADO welcomes you to this year’s Annual Training Conference (ATC) in Cleveland, OH November 7-10. The reference guide below contains general information to help participants prepare for the conference.

See who will be attending the ATC. Download the conference program (PDF).

General Hotel Information

Conference Hotel: The Hilton Cleveland Downtown is in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, with the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Playhouse Square, and East 4th Street within a mile. The hotel is connected to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, and has an indoor pool, fitness center, as well as a top-floor bar with views of Lake Erie.

Address: 100 Lakeside Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44114 | Phone: (216) 413-5000

Check-in: 4:00 p.m. | Check-out: 11:00 a.m.

Hotel reservation questions? Email NADO’s Meetings and Membership Manager, Brittany Salazar at [email protected].

Parking is located at 1141 West 3rd St, Cleveland, OH 44114. Please note that when self-parking, there are convenient, reserved spots on the second level for hotel guests. 

Self-parking is $38 per day | Valet is $48 per day

Wireless Internet
Complimentary Wi-Fi will be available in your guest room as well as in the meeting rooms. To access Wi-Fi in the meeting space, log in with the following credentials:

Network: Hilton_Meeting

Passcode: 2023NADO

Pool & Fitness Center
Both located on the 6th floor, the pool is open from 6am-10pm each day & the fitness center is open 24/7.

Hotel Dining

Bar 32
Sip in the sky while relishing breathtaking views of Lake Erie. Perched atop the building 32 stories up, Bar 32 is the destination for drinks and bites in a cool, elevated setting.

Hours: Tue – Thu: 4:00pm – 12:00am | Fri – Sat: 4:00pm – 1:00am

Eliot’s Bar
Eliot’s Bar, named for famed Clevelander and prohibitionist Eliot Ness, offers an all-day dining menu as well as a selection of cocktails, wine, and an extensive beer list.

Hours: Sun – Thu: 11:00 am – 12:00 am |Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 1:00 am

Need a snack? Forgot your toothbrush or a last-minute gift from Cleveland? Stop by the conveniently located lobby self-serve Noshery for Starbucks® coffee and breakfast sandwiches, yogurt parfaits and salads, and all your on-the-go essentials. Open 24 hours.

The Burnham Restaurant
The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Burnham, is open for breakfast and lunch daily as well as for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. From 3-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, enjoy happy hour on the open-air patio or at the bar.

About Cleveland, OH

Time Zone
Cleveland, OH is in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone (GMT-4).


Getting to the Hilton from CLE 

Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (12 miles from conference hotel)

Hotel-Airport Shuttle: Not available

Pickups only are at the taxi entrance at the south end of Baggage Claim by carousel #11.  

Authorized Taxi Companies:

Ace Taxi – 216.361.4700 or 877.361.8294 | Americab – 216.881.1111 | ABC Taxi – 216.651.7777

Ride Share
Pick-up and drop-off can be coordinated on either the upper (departures) or lower (arrivals) roadways. 

Public Transportation
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) offers service to and from the airport and conference hotel. RTA’s Red Line provides regular service between CLE and downtown Cleveland via the Tower City Station – .5 miles away from the conference hotel. The trip takes less than 30 minutes and trains depart from CLE every 15 minutes.

RTA’s station at CLE is located on the lower level of the main terminal. To reach the RTA station, travelers should use the elevators or escalators located in the center of the ticketing and baggage claim levels. 

During the Meeting

Conference Mobile App – WHOVA

The ATC is using the Whova mobile app again this year! From your mobile device, you can easily search the conference agenda, create your own customized schedule, engage with other attendees, send messages to conference organizers, post photos, access important conference materials and handouts, and much more. There will be no formal printed agendas available onsite for attendees. If you would like a hard copy of the agenda, we encourage you to print the PDF linked in the Agenda tab above. We recommend using Whova to view the most up-to-date conference program.

Already have the Whova app on your mobile device?
If you signed up for Whova using the same email address you used to register for the conference, the 2023 ATC will automatically appear under the ‘My Events’ tab in the app. If you used a different email address to sign up for Whova, you may enter this invitation code to join the event: CLEATC2023

New to Whova?
Download the Whova app onto your mobile device via the App Store or Google Play store. Sign up using the same email address you used to register for the conference. Once you have signed up for the app, you should be taken directly to the event. If you aren’t directly added to the event, you may enter this invitation code to join: CLEATC2023

Please do not share the invitation code with people who are not attendees of the event.

Questions? Email NADO’s Administrative Specialist, Karron Grant, at [email protected].

Don’t Miss Tuesday’s (11/07) Opening Reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

With incredibly generous support from JobsOhio and the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, conference attendees will enjoy beverages and heavy hors d’oeuvres while privately exploring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Transportation to and from the venue will be provided for all attendees (although it is within walking distance). Buses will load from the hotel lobby starting at 5:45pm.

Conference Registration Hours

Upon arrival, please stop by the registration desk located in the Lakeside Foyer (5th floor) of the hotel to pick up your name badge and conference materials.

  • Tuesday, November 7 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday, November 8 | 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Thursday, November 9 |7:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Friday, November 10 | 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Daily morning coffee and hot tea will be available in the registration area for attendees during the conference.


The conference is meant to be a comfortable learning experience for attendees and business casual dress is encouraged. The meeting room temperatures are not completely within our control, and we suggest you plan accordingly and bring layers in case the room is too cold. If you are attending a mobile workshop, we suggest that you dress warmly. 

Social Media

Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook – please tag NADO and/or use the hashtag #NADOATC23 in your social media posts.


Getting Around Cleveland

Cleveland’s transit system is rather substantial with bus, trolley, and train lines all throughout the city. Use the RTA Transit App to purchase fares and plan trips with real-time arrival information from your phone. 

According to Walk Score, a popular internet site for ranking pedestrian-friendly cities, Downtown Cleveland is considered a “walkers paradise.” Most attractions in Downtown Cleveland can be reached within a 20-minute walk.

Yellow-clad Downtown ambassadors patrol the streets to ensure safety and cleanliness, answer questions, offer friendly greetings, or give helpful directions.

Both Lime and Bird offer ebikes in Downtown Cleveland. Lime bikes are active from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bird bikes are active 24/7.

Fridrich Bicycle
Located on Lorain Avenue near Ohio City, Fridrich Bicycle offers basic bike rentals (including kids bikes and tandems) to visitors and locals alike.

Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op
OCBC is a non-profit, volunteer-driven cooperative bicycle education center offering riding and repair classes, hands-on learning, and refurbished used bikes for sale or rent.

Scooter Share
Rent shared mobility scooters for quick and easy transportation around Cleveland. E-scooters are available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Things to do During Non-Meeting Times

Closest Pharmacy
CVS Pharmacy, 840 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114 (0.6 miles from hotel)

*The Noshery in the hotel lobby sells pain relievers and other medicine as well as a selection of basic toiletries.

Check out these nearby restaurants.

Explore the city’s official tourism site, This is Cleveland! Here is a brief list of some of the many fun things happening in Cleveland during the week of the conference.

See you soon! 

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

Search NADO.org

Contact Joe D'Antonio

Regional Development Researcher Andrew Coker joined the NADO team in March of 2023 after spending two and a half years as the Regional Economic Resiliency Coordinator at West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix College and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

At NADO, Andrew conducts research on the newest economic and community development best practices from Economic Development Districts across the country. He helps produce easily digestible information on complex regional issues through case studies, tip sheets, and research reports. Andrew also hosts training and professional development opportunities including conference sessions and virtual webinars for member regional development organizations.

Andrew is one of our Missouri-based team members and enjoys reading and training for his next triathlon.

Jack Morgan came to the NADO team in 2022 after seven years with the National Association of Counties (NACo) as a Program and Senior Program Manager. Prior to NACo, Jack was a Policy Analyst for Friends of Southwest Virginia. Jack holds a bachelor’s in geography from Emory & Henry College and a master’s in geography from Appalachian State University.

As a NADO Senior Program Manager, Jack leads capacity-building and peer-learning work supporting energy communities in economic transition, regional resilience, and recreation economies. He also helps with the EDA-Austin training program Emerging Leaders.

Jack is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) in the Regional & Intergovernmental Planning division. He also serves on the Emory & Henry College Alumni Board.

Taking road trips, reading non-fiction, and indulging in top-notch barbecue and coffee round out Jack’s days. He loves maps, mountains, and of course, all things sports.

Karron Grant joined the NADO team in 2023 as Administrative Specialist and is the first face (or voice) you’ll see or hear when reaching out to NADO. As Administrative Specialist, Karron manages our database and coordinates NADO event operations. He ensures members’ needs are met, contact information stays current, and NADO’s office is running efficiently.

Karron came to NADO after four years in the classroom teaching at The New Century School and Old Mill Middle North where he received the Patriot of the Year award. He attended Towson University and the University of Maryland Global Campus and holds a bachelor’s in international studies and humanities.

Visiting art galleries and museums, playing basketball and bowling, and taking in movies and music are some of Karron’s interests and hobbies.

Deputy Executive Director Laurie Thompson has been with NADO for 25 years. Laurie helps keep the NADO and NADO Research Foundation wheels turning through management of the daily operations of the Research Foundation, securing financial resources and overseeing grants management, and helping execute NADO’s Annual Training Conference each year.

Laurie holds a bachelor’s in public affairs and government from Mount Vernon College and a master’s in health services administration from The George Washington University. Prior to NADO, Laurie spent time as a Field Specialist and an Eagle Staff Fund Director at First Nations Development Institute.

When she’s taking a rare reprieve from her NADO work, Laurie enjoys traveling domestically and internationally to visit friends and family.

Jamie McCormick joined the NADO team as a Policy Fellow first in 2019, then moved into her current role as Legislative Associate in 2021. As Legislative Associate, Jamie keeps NADO members apprised of any policy and regulatory issues and communicates NADO’s policy priorities to federal stakeholders and partner organizations. She is also the first stop for members with inquiries on policy issues. The planning and execution of NADO & DDAA’s annual Washington Conference is also managed by Jamie.

Jamie holds a dual bachelor’s in political science and international relations from The State University of New York College at Geneseo and a master’s in international development studies from The George Washington University. In addition to her roles at NADO, Jamie also worked as a Legislative Assistant for the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association.

Outside of her NADO work, Jamie is an active volunteer with the VOLO Kids Foundation and a fundraiser for YMCA youth programs. She is also NADO’s resident baker regularly providing treats for those in NADO’s D.C. office. Traveling, taking her pup on walks, and hiking in the northeast keep Jamie busy. 

Brett Schwartz began at NADO in 2012 as a Research Fellow after earning his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. The following year, he was promoted to Program Manager and has now been leading as an Associate Director since 2018. Brett is responsible for managing NADO’s Economic Development District Community of Practice (EDD CoP), as well as researching and monitoring the latest trends in regional economic development and resilience, including best practices for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). With more than a decade of experience on the NADO team, Brett is a dynamic relationship builder helping connect and build capacity among the national network of regional development organizations.

Brett also holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s from Trinity College Dublin, as well as a certificate in mediation training. He’s a member of Catalyst Grantmakers of San Diego and Imperial Counties and was a participant in the 2021-22 Field Trips to the Future Cohort.

Brett is one of NADO’s West Coast team members residing in San Diego, CA where he enjoys spending time outdoors, attending concerts and festivals, and soaking up life as a parent of two young children.  

Communications Manager Katie Allison joined the team in 2023 to lead the strategic communication efforts of NADO. Katie creates and develops print and online materials, communicates NADO’s updates to members via weekly emails, and maintains content for nado.org and NADO’s social media channels. She also works with different departments to generate new ideas and strategies to effectively describe and promote the important work NADO is doing for EDDs and RDOs across the country.

An experienced nonprofit communications professional, Katie has worked for organizations in western North Carolina for nearly a decade. She holds a bachelor’s in communications from Wingate University where she was a four-year student athlete. Katie has also completed Vision Henderson County, a comprehensive leadership development program that promotes informed and committed civic volunteerism.

Katie stays busy trying to keep up with her two young sons whom she enjoys exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains with. Traveling to new and favorite places and cheering on the Atlanta Braves are some of her family’s favorite pastimes.

Senior Program Manager Ciara Ristig has been a member of the NADO team since 2021, and helps with NADO’s EDD Community of Practice, EDD staff capacity building and other grants on a range of subjects, including equity and solar energy. Before NADO, Ciara worked as a Planner for the County of Santa Barbara and an Assistant Project Manager for REM Consult. Ciara holds a bachelor’s in urban studies and French from Bryn Mawr and a master’s in urban studies from Ecole d’Urbanisme de Paris.

When she’s not traveling, you can find her outrigger paddling and serving on the board of the Blue Sky Center in New Cuyama, CA, near her home base of Santa Barbara.

Carrie Kissel has been a member of the NADO team since 2005 when she began as a Research Fellow. She later moved into the roles of Program Manager in 2006, and then Associate Director in 2011. Carrie holds a bachelor’s in anthropology from Ball State University and a master’s in public anthropology from American University. As Associate Director, Carrie oversees NADO’s work in rural transportation and rural wealth creation. She provides technical assistance and support to rural regions on transportation and economic development issues and develops training and peer exchange events on transportation issues and rural wealth creation as an economic development strategy.

Carrie is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and secretary of TRB’s Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council. She is also a member of the American Anthropological Association and the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology.

Reading, gardening, hiking, and kayaking are a few of Carrie’s hobbies, and she organizes and facilitates a DEI/social justice-focused book club in her community.

Melissa Levy has worked at NADO as a Regional Development Researcher since February 2023 and is the Principal Consultant at her own firm specializing in wealth-based economic development consulting. With a career spanning nearly 30 years, Melissa brings a breadth of knowledge to her role as a Regional Development Researcher. Melissa provides in-depth research, coaching, and training on regional economic resilience, rural wealth creation strategies, and economic development.

Melissa is a North American Food Systems Network trained AgriCluster Resilience and Expansion (ACRE) facilitator and a WealthWorks coach, facilitator, and trainer. In addition to her professional work, Melissa serves on the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Council, on the board of the Hinesburg Community Resource Center, and on the Hinesburg Economic Development Committee.

A true outdoorswoman, Melissa enjoys cross country and downhill skiing, paddleboarding, hiking, biking, and kayaking, as well as yoga, and teaching Tai Chi.

Program Manager Krishna Kunapareddy began her role with NADO in February of 2023 after 14 years of service at Boonslick Regional Planning Commission in Missouri. Krishna manages NADO Research Foundation’s Planning and Environmental Linkages and Center for Environmental Excellence projects. In addition to researching and writing, Krishna also conducts virtual workshops on innovative tools and techniques related to transportation planning.

She holds an undergraduate degree from Andhra University and a master’s from JNT University in India, as well as a master’s in city and regional planning from the University of Texas at Arlington. Krishna is also a certified Smart Cities Academy Practitioner and holds the Location Advantage certificate from geographic information system software company ESRI.

In her spare time, Krishna volunteers with Mentors4College helping high schoolers better plan for their post-high school paths. She is also a dedicated advocate for documented H4 Dreamers.

Krystal DeLeon joined the NADO team in October of 2020 as Database & Grants Manger, but in January of 2022 transitioned to her current role as Operations Manager. Krystal keeps NADO running through behind the scenes work of invoicing, solving any database issues that may arise, producing membership reports, and much more. Her organizational skills and thorough knowledge help the NADO team operate more efficiently across all departments.

Prior to NADO, Krystal was the Conference Services Coordinator for State Services Organization. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), a licensed realtor, and holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Liberty University. When she’s not keeping NADO’s operations in order, Krystal enjoys running and rock climbing, and adventuring with her husband and son.

Senior Program Manager Bret Allphin joined NADO in April of 2022 bringing with him a wealth of knowledge after a 20-year career with Buckeye Hills Regional Council in Marietta, Ohio. In addition to his bachelor’s in political science and master’s in public affairs, Bret is licensed Geographical Information Systems Professional (GISP). He is NADO’s go-to team member for all things mapping while also supporting members with transportation and economic development technical assistance services.

An avid sports aficionado and former collegiate athlete, Bret enjoys cheering on his Cincinnati Reds, hitting the trails on his mountain bike, and improving his golf game whenever possible. Bret is an involved community member in Marietta dedicating much of his spare time to serving on local nonprofit boards.

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