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Economic development takes center stage at Tri-State Development Summit

Tri-State Summit in Hannibal on Wednesday

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Summit is next month on the campus of Hannibal LaGrange University

The Tri-State Development Summit Steering Committee has announced the names of some of the featured speakers and honored guests that will be presenting at the 10th Tri-State Development Summit on May 7th in Hannibal, Missouri.

"Our theme this year is "WATERWaterways, Transportation &Regionalism" and our speakers reflect this," said Steering Committee member Tom Boland of Hannibal, Missouri. "The caliber of individuals and the array of topics they will cover will make for an action-packed session." 

Among those addressing the issue of the importance of our inland waterways system is Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.  Their presence at the Tri-State Development Summit demonstrates their support for the jobs and safety a strong inland waterways system represents. 

"Modernizing and strengthening our nation's inland waterways transportation system, including the lock and dam infrastructure, is critical. It will create American jobs, increase exports and keep our nation competitive in world markets. A reliable inland waterways system is also vital to maintaining a strong national defense infrastructure," said Steering Committee Member Dan Wiedemeier of Burlington, Iowa. 

Shawn Rana, President of the Iowa Fertilizer Company, a subsidiary of Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries, will offer an inside view of the Iowa Fertilizer Company plant located in Wever, Iowa, including a construction and hiring update. The plant will be one of the top five nitrogen-based fertilizer plants in the world when it begins production in the 4th quarter of 2015. The Wever area was selected because of easy access to plentiful supply of natural gas and water, as well as proximity to river, rail and highway transportation. Distribution of product from the Wever plant will cover five continents. The Lee County plant is one of the largest capital projects in the State of Iowa's history. 

As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Jeffrey Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development.  The IEDC is the world's largest economic development membership organization and is renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development. Mr. Finkle will give a presentation entitled; "The Three R's: Resiliency, Recovery & Regionalism," in a nod to the Tri-State Summit's history of being founded as a result of the Great Flood of 1993. 

The mission of the Tri-State Summit is to bring together leaders in Southeast Iowa, Northeast Missouri and Western Illinois to define common issues; to develop an on-going dialogue to effectively address those issues; and to improve the quality of life of the entire tri-state region through economic development activities. 

The 2014 Summit will take place in the Roland Fine Arts Center which is located on the campus of Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri. The location for the bi-annual Summit rotates among all three states. The Summit consists of a four-hour agenda from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Additional speakers and a full agenda will be announced in the weeks leading up to the May 7 event.


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