Local leaders bring home fresh ideas for economic growth from Rural Development Conference

COOKEVILLE, Tenn., April 15, 2011—Daryl Phillips, Executive Director of Hickman County Economic & Community Development Association, in Centerville, TN, joined leaders from across the state April 13-14, 2011 as a participant in the Sixteenth Annual Rural Development Conference: Promoting Economic Success, hosted at Tennessee Technological University.

Dr. Chris Kuehl, managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence in Kansas City, opened the conference with an economic overview of rural America. Kuehl’s company provides business strategy for clients using competitive intelligence, economic forecasting and strategic planning. Major clients include Mid-America Capital, Hallmark International and the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association among others.

Workshops by nationally recognized authorities focused on a variety of topics including, Best Municipal Practices in Renewable Energy, Entrepreneurs and Growing Your Economy, Workforce Development and Mechatronics, Technology and Broadband, and Live Green and Prosper. “. The conference was sponsored by USDA Rural Development, Tennessee Technological University College of Business Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. During the last two years the agency assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses, investing more than $1.3 billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. More than 86 percent of these investments will be paid back with interest. The rest is at work creating jobs, broadening the local tax base and increasing opportunities in education, training, healthcare and public safety.

Tennessee Technological University College of Business hosts the annual conference. TTU is committed to meeting the need for economic development in Tennessee’s rural areas, and the university is engaged in both basic and applied research. The College of Business, especially through the Business Media Center and the Small Business Development Center help transfer that research into real life applications for products and services locally and worldwide. The University recently launched the new TECH-REDI (Regional Economic Development Institute) initiative, leveraging TTU resources to enhance the economic environment in the Upper Cumberland and surrounding region.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development. TVA Economic Development, working with distributors of TVA power, regional, state and community organizations, helped companies invest $4.3 billion in projects and add or retain 41,000 jobs across the region in fiscal year 2010.

About Daryl Phillips, CEcD

I am a professional economic developer. I presently work for communities and companies in developing and implementing workforce and economic development solutions as CEO of Phillips Economic Development Solutions (Phi EDS). Prior to September 2017, I was the economic development professional who served a community team of elected officials, business people, community leaders and dedicated stakeholders for economic development in Cheatham County, Tennessee (pop. 39,880) and its four towns. During my five-year tenure, I served the team as Cheatham County grew over 1,700 jobs, turned around population declines at the start of this decade into healthy population growth, increased tourism expenditures 20.3% and local tax revenue from tourism 25.4%, grew sales tax revenue 36%, focused on developing the local workforce and was recognized by SmartAsset as having the 9th highest Incoming Investment Index of all the 95 counties in Tennessee. I am a member of International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, Tennessee Economic Development Council and International Council of Shopping Centers. I have earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from National Development Council and hold a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
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