Materials Available from “Weathering the Storm” Workshop (Nashville, TN)

Posted on: August 14th, 2015 by Sara James

Nashville LogoAcross the country, many communities that have been impacted by natural disasters in recent years are looking for ways to strengthen their local and regional economies through innovative partnerships and robust small business support.  The ability of businesses to withstand natural disasters is essential for the recovery and resilience of communities and regional economies as a whole.  When businesses get back up and running quickly after severe weather events, residents are able to work and obtain access to the goods and services they need, making them more likely to return to their homes and to business as usual.  The ripple effects of business closures on interdependent businesses within a supply chain can also be avoided.  Moreover, strong business resilience can mitigate the longer-term economic impacts of disasters, such as increased unemployment, reduced tax revenues, disinvestment, and recession.  Creative public-private partnerships, collaboration, and innovative programming can make local businesses, and the regional economy as a whole, better prepared to withstand and bounce back from future disruptions.

On August 5 & 6 the NADO Research Foundation, supported by the Economic Development Administration (EDA), brought over 60 economic developers, emergency managers, planners, business representatives, state and local officials, and other key regional stakeholders from throughout the Southeastern United States together in Nashville, TN to share their experiences in the wake of recent natural disasters and other economic disruptions, to discuss lessons learned in recovering from those disasters, and to identify strategies to become better prepared for future events.

The convening included training sessions highlighting tools to identify regional vulnerabilities and to engage local businesses in continuity planning and opportunities to network with peers and strengthen regional partnerships.  Participants also learned from the expereiences of our host city, Nashville during a mobile workshop where we met with three local family-owned businesses that were devastated by the 2010 flooding of the Cumberland River and heard from local officials about ongoing community recovery and resilience-building efforts.

Event background information, the agenda, and participant contact information are available here.

Participants heard from a variety of regional and local leaders and practitioners. Here, Josh Human from Stantec discusses how important it is to root your resilience-building activities in data analysis.

Participants heard from a variety of regional and local leaders and practitioners. Here, Josh Human from Stantec discusses the importance of grounding resilience-building activities in data analysis.

Participant Presentations:

A sampling of participants delivered 5 minute, 5 slide presentations on how their communities and regions are building resilience to natural disasters and other economic shocks in their regions.  

Training Presentations: 

  • Identifying & Assessing Hazards in Your Community: What You Need to Know to Build Resilience
    Josh Human, Senior Hazard Mirigation & Resilience Planner, Stantec
  • The Importance of Having a Plan: Business Continuity 101
    Gail Moraton, Business Resiliency Manager, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
  • A Regional Approach to Business Continuity
    Jerry Mansfield, Executive Director, South Central Tennessee Development District
    Walt Wood, Consultant, South Central Tennessee Development District
    Albert Tieche, Consultant, University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services

    Three medium-sized, family-owned and operated businesses that were devastated by the 2010 flooding of the Cumberland River shared their recovery stories and lessons learned with participants.

    Three medium-sized, family-owned and operated businesses that were devastated by the 2010 flooding of the Cumberland River shared their recovery stories and lessons learned with participants.

    Mobile Workshop:

    A special thank you to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (http://www NULL.nashvillechamber NULL.com/) for all of their assistance in organizing and facilitating this mobile workshop.

    Recovering from the 2010 Flood:  The Business Perspective
    Click here for a handout developed by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce describing the impacts each business faced.

    • David Stansell, President, Stansell Electric (http://stansellelectric NULL.com/)
    • T.R. Reins, Vice President of Operations, Ajax Turner (http://ajaxturner NULL.com/)
    • John T. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Mid-South Wire Products (http://www NULL.midsouthwire NULL.com/)
    • Moderator: Tim Roach, Deputy Executive Director for Research Planning & Development, Greater Nashville Regional Council (https://www NULL.gnrc NULL.org/)

    Lunch & Lessons Learned
    A special thank you to the law offices of Butler Snow for donating their meeting space for our lunch discussion.

    • Matt Wiltshire, Director of Economic & Community Development, Nashville Mayor’s Office (http://www NULL.nashville NULL.gov/Mayors-Office NULL.aspx)
    • Ralph Schulz, President & CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (http://www NULL.nashvillechamber NULL.com/)
    • Ellen Lehman, President, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (http://www NULL.cfmt NULL.org/)
    • Daryl Phillips, Director of Community & Economic Development, Cheatham Connect (http://cheathamconnect NULL.com/)

Representatives from the Nashville Mayor’s Office provided participants with the following resilience resources:

Concluding the convening with a fascinating discussion of innovative partnership models.

Concluding the convening with a fascinating discussion of innovative partnership models.

Concluding Panel Discussion:

We concluded the workshop with a panel-led discussion of how to further economic resilience through parterships at the local, regional, and state level and how to think more innovatively and creatively about who to engage, collaborate, and partner with.

  • Phil Paradice, Regional Director, Economic Development Administration (http://www NULL.eda NULL.gov/), Atlanta Regional Office
  • David Purkey, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (http://www NULL.tnema NULL.org/)
  • Brooxie Carlton, Director of Community Programs, Tennessee Department of Community & Economic Development (https://www NULL.tn NULL.gov/ecd/)
  • Moderator: Bridget Jones, Executive Director, Cumberland Region Tomorrow (http://www NULL.cumberlandregiontomorrow NULL.org/)

For more information about this event or the NADO Research Foundation’s resilience initiatives, contact Sara James at [email protected] (sjames null@null nado NULL.org).

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