Show cover of ShovelTalk: An Economic Development Podcast

ShovelTalk: An Economic Development Podcast

At Golden Shovel, we believe thriving communities improve everyone’s lives. Everything we do connects businesses and talent with communities they’ll thrive in. We do this by empowering economic developers through groundbreaking economic development communications.


How to Implement an Effective Tourism Attraction Strategy: Tips from Suzie Kenner • Executive Director, Tourism Division of the Devils Lake (ND) Area Chamber of Commerce
Suzie Kenner is the Executive Director of the Tourism Division of the Devils Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (and of the Chamber). Since 2009, she has been promoting the City of Devils Lake, mostly in the leisure market, as a top hunting and fishing destination, growing tourism to become the #2 economic driver for the community. She joined us on Shovel Talk to share actionable tips and strategies that community leaders can use to grow their tourism sector. Listen to learn how to execute a media event, analyze tourism data, and grow your primary tourism sectors. 
46:16 5/16/24
Childcare Solutions Communities Can Implement: Tips from Rachel Kreikemeier • Executive Director, Gage Area Growth Enterprise (NGage)
Rachel Kreikemeier Executive Director of Gage Area Growth Enterprise (NGage) joins GSA Executive VP, Bethany Quinn, to discuss the innovative ways NGage is building childcare capacity in Gage County, Nebraska. From Babysitting Clinics to forming a nonprofit, NGage is leading in the childcare space. Listen to learn from Rachel and their organization. 
29:00 3/22/24
Collaboration & the Power of Persistence: Justin Sommer • Economic Development Director, Preble County (OH) Development Partnership
Justin Sommer, Executive Director of Preble County Development Partnership, joined Bethany Quinn, Executive Vice President of Golden Shovel Agency, on Shovel Talk to discuss 2024 priorities and how economic developers can make an impact in their communities. Justin began his career in economic development on the workforce side and worked for the City of Piqua and the private sector before becoming the Executive Director in Preble County. His diverse backgrounds prepared him to ‘solve the puzzle’ and tackle big challenges like developing sites, building residential homes, and attracting more workers - all goals he has for 2024. All of those projects take time and persistence. “I wanted to be a baseball player when I was a kid. If someone had a .300 batting average they are likely to get into the hall of fame because they’re really good. But that also means that they missed 70% of the time,” said Justin. “In economic development, we are going to be told no a lot. You need to keep stepping up to the plate and taking a swing, because eventually you’ll make contact.”
41:38 2/15/24
Insights & Best Practices for How to Market Your Community: Amanda Ellis • Editor in Chief, Livability
Looking for new ways to tell your community’s story? Amanda Ellis, Editor and Chief of Livability has ideas and the data to back them up. Hear Amanda’s insights and learn about her journey into economic development through the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. Oh, and did you know that she is a ballet dancer?
37:59 1/24/24
2023 Golden Shovel Year In Review and Sneak Peek to 2024
2023 was an exciting year for the Golden Shovel team. Our last episode of 2023 features Aaron Brossoit (CEO), Bethany Quinn (Vice President of Strategy & Content Development), Darren Varley (Vice President of Client Retention & Creative Services), Warren Westcott (Vice President of Sales),Greg Kolbjornsen (PlaceVR Executive Producer) and John Marshall (President) talking about what was 2023 and what will be 2024. Enjoy and Happy Holidays from the entire Golden Shovel team!
35:40 12/20/23
Meet Grapevine, Texas: Where Tradition Meets Innovation
Listen as the Grapevine Economic Development team shares about landing the 4th location for MeowWolf, how the TEXRail Commuter Rail has transformed Grapevine and their journey in starting a podcast.
45:22 10/4/23
The Power of Hyper-local, Inclusive Growth Strategies: Catherine George • Economic Development Organizer, The North River Commission
Catherine George, the Economic Development Specialist for the North River Commission, joined GSA's CEO, Aaron Brossoit on ShovelTalk, to discuss hyper-local economic development strategies. Located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, their approach encourages entrepreneurship, supports small businesses, and reaches out to the non-English speaking community. Their success demonstrates the power of promoting hyper-local growth, even if you live in a big city!
27:09 8/1/23
Hockey Broadcaster Turned Economic Developer Talks About New York's Advantages & Why Now is the Right Time for the Renewable Sector to Grow in New York: Bob Ahlfeld • Business Development Specialist,
Bob Ahlfeld from St. Lawrence County IDA shares his insights on how upstate New York is the ideal location for renewable energy expansion and companies looking to do business across the U.S./Canadian border. Oh, and Bob's been a Broadcaster for NCAA Division I Hockey for the past 25 years with fun stories to tell!
43:09 6/12/23
Revitalize Your Community through Entrepreneurism: NeTia Bauman • CEO of Greater Fergus Falls (MN)
Does your community have empty downtown buildings? Are you struggling to attract investment? Take a page out of NeTia Bauman’s book and focus on the entrepreneurs in your own backyard. Since becoming CEO of Greater Fergus Falls, NeTia and her team have helped over 200 entrepreneurs start or grow their business. Their downtown went from over 20 vacant storefronts to four in three years. The best part? These entrepreneurs are creating jobs and larger investments are rolling in. Listen for best practices you can use in your community. 
40:10 5/23/23
2022 Golden Shovel Year In Review and Sneak Peek to 2023
2022 was an exciting year for the Golden Shovel team. Our last episode of 2022 features Aaron Brossoit (CEO), Bethany Quinn (Vice President of Strategy & Content Development), Darren Varley (Vice President of Client Retention & Creative Services), Warren Westcott (Vice President of Sales) and Greg Kolbjornsen (PlaceVR Executive Producer) talking about what was 2022 and what will be 2023. Enjoy and Happy Holidays from the entire Golden Shovel team!
34:27 12/15/22
Meet Iowa's Champion for Regionalism & Mentorship: Shannon Landauer, CEcD, President & CEO • Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation
Shannon Landauer, CEcD, is the President & CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor and the immediate past President of the Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI).Shannon champions mentorship and is a fierce advocate for young economic developers looking to grow within the industry. On this podcast she explores ways to engage economic developers in mentorship programs.Having started her career working for a small rural community, Shannon understands the power of community and regional partnerships. She advocates for a regional approach to economic development as a way to make rural America more competitive. "One community may not have a technical and community college while another may lack a large industrial park. But together, they have what companies are looking for. We win by pooling our resources." 
43:50 11/22/22
Remote Worker Mini-Series (Episode 3): Tayler Gill • Remote Worker and Travel Coach
In episode three of the remote worker mini-series you'll meet Tayler Gill (aka "Traveling Tayler"), a remote worker, travel coach and trip facilitator for Hacker Paradise. Amanda met Tayler through Hacker Paradise, a company that curates experiences for remote workers in communities across the world. Listen as Amanda chats with Tayler about what Hacker Paradise looks for when scouting new communities and businesses to work with, all about Youtube, her coaching businesses and of course, remote work!Learn more about "Traveling Tayler" on social media!
52:09 7/30/22
Remote Worker Mini-Series (Episode 2): Adim Ofunne • Remote Worker, Entrepreneur & Business Owner
In the second episode of the remote worker podcast mini-series, Amanda introduces you to Adim Ofunne who is an entrepreneur and business owner from Nigeria. Adim shares his journey to owning two very different businesses, one being a product based business he started mid-COVID using Kickstarter. Listen in to hear about the successful crowdfunding campaign and his experiences working remotely.Links:
43:05 6/30/22
The First Economic Developer for John Hopkins Discusses the Important Role Major Employers Can Play in Community Growth & Development: Alicia Wilson, VP for Economic Development • Johns Hopkins Univer
Alicia Wilson is the first Vice President for Economic Development at John Hopkins University and John Hopkins Health System. As the largest employer in the City of Baltimore and state of Maryland, John Hopkins recognized the impact the organization could play on the economic development of the city of Baltimore specifically. Creating this department and hiring Wilson is a historic first for the organization.
39:37 5/4/22
Remote Worker Mini-Series (Episode 1): Alexis Ramos • Remote Worker & TikToker
In the first episode of our new remote worker podcast mini-series, Amanda introduces you to Alexis Ramos, remote worker and TikToker from the US who lives and works abroad. Alexis shares a bit about current conditions and humanitarian efforts in Eastern Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine. We dive into her professional background, what brought her to remote and travel life, and pros and cons for companies who employ remote workers and digital nomads. Don’t miss her tips and tricks for remote work, travel and TikTok for business. She also shares some of the most important things a community can provide to attract remote workers and of course, a few fun travel stories she has experienced with Amanda and other remote workers she has met along her journey.Find Alexis on Social Media: Humanitarian/Donation Efforts for Ukraine:Razom for Ukraine (Ukrainian NGO): Nova Ukraina: UNICEF: Polska Akcja Humanitarna (Polish NGO helping displaced persons in Ukraine and in Poland): Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are matching up to $3 million USD for humanitarian relief for those who have fled Ukraine in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and surrounding countries:
44:34 3/17/22
How Video is Changing the Nature of Economic Development: Greg Kolbjornsen, PlaceVR Executive Producer • Golden Shovel Agency
Video can reach your audience in powerful ways. In this podcast, Greg Kolbjornsen walks our audience through developments in video and the metaverse and how economic developers can use these powerful tools. We also take a trip down memory lane, hearing hilarious stories from video shoots throughout the world. Listen to discover what Greg's most adventurous shot was (and how he wasn't wearing a proper harness!). 
39:46 2/9/22
The Role of Electric Cooperatives in Regional Economic Development: Gerri Lawing, Economic Development Coordinator • Guadalupe Valley Economic Development (GVEC)
Gerri Lawing knows what it takes to further complicated development goals at a regional level. As the economic developer for GVEC, Gerri promotes growth in a large territory that includes rural and urban areas of Texas. Hear her insights and learn how working with Golden Shovel has made it easier for Gerri to get the job done! 
48:59 12/20/21
Connecting a Region, Tribes and States In a Shared Vision for the Future: Arvin Trujillo CEO • Four Corners Economic Development (NM)
As a passionate advocate for his community and tribe, Arvin Trujillo builds bridges between a wide group of stakeholders and communities. His approach to economic development is collaborative and inclusive - something that has made it possible for historic agreements to be reached and projects to be completed. Learn from his strategic approach to community building that is both optimistic and forward-thinking. This is a must-listen for anyone looking to collaborate on a broader scale or promote a regional mindset. 
46:47 11/16/21
A NextGen Economic Developer Tackles Transitioning Economies: Sara Harris, Executive Director • Midland (TX) Development Corporation
Sara Harris is the next generation of economic developers and she's tackling a legacy challenge - transitioning an energy economy into one that is diverse and attractive to younger residents. Her strategies, and the collaborative efforts of the MDC, are working. A historic oil and gas community, Midland is undergoing a transformation with notable achievements that include being recognized as a startup hub and developing a Spaceport Business Park.
33:00 10/25/21
A Leader's Perspective: Caring for Our Communities & Caring for Ourselves: Lisa R. Hurley, Executive Director • York County (NE) Development Corporation
Lisa Hurley is an award-winning economic developer who has made her mark in rural Nebraska. Her forward-thinking ideas have put her at the forefront of economic development innovation. She was an early adopter of new technology like virtual reality videos and integrated social media campaigns. Her strategies have resulted in economic growth and job creation, but in this episode of Shovel Talk, Lisa takes the conversation one step further by examining what it means to care for yourself while you care for your community. It's time to get real with Lisa Hurley. 
59:06 10/3/21
Building An Economy That Works for Everyone, A Leader's Perspective: Commissioner Steve Grove, Minnesota DEED
Steve Grove, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, joins the Golden Shovel team on this episode of Shovel Talk. Formerly with Google and YouTube, Commissioner Grove has a unique perspective on what it takes to build a system that is equitable and accessible by all. That mindset is at the focus of his department’s efforts to spur economic recovery and growth in Minnesota. He shares strategies, insights, and recommendations for how leaders can work to build an economy that works for everyone. Oh! And he also played Shovel Toss. You’ll never believe his answers to Amanda’s questions!
36:59 8/1/21
An Economic Architect Rethinks How We Grow Communities: Mark Lautman
Mark Lautman is a visionary who foretold today's workforce shortages in his 2011 book, When The Boomers Bail. As an economic architect who led the development of master planned communities, Lautman takes a data-driven approach to community building, job creation and talent attraction. Learn about his transformative approach to economic development and how it can be implemented by economic developers throughout the country. 
40:05 6/23/21
Preserving History and Surviving a Pandemic on Main Street U.S.A.: Molly and Tom LaFleche, Brunson's Pub (St. Paul, MN)
Owning and running a 'public house' has always been a dream for this successful couple. Get to know Tom and Molly as they share their journey to (or back in Molly's case) a historic East St. Paul neighborhood, opening Brunson's Pub in 2017. You will also learn about their community involvement, the origin of some of their famous menu items and even a review of some high school fashion choices.
50:39 5/19/21
Powerful Things Come in Small Packages: Amy Madison, Pflugerville (TX) Economic Development
From the smallest kid in school to the largest presence in Pflugerville's economic development, Amy Madison's journey is one of grit, constant determination and the refusal to take "no" for an answer. Join us to learn more about Amy's journey, how her refusal to accept "no" has won dollars and projects for her community and to hear funny stories from her childhood and past economic development conferences. You won't want to miss it! 
49:32 5/4/21
From Juilliard and the Cowardly Lion to Landing Major Projects for East Kentucky: Chuck Sexton, One East Kentucky
The road to economic development is sometimes long and winding, or in this case it may just be a yellow brick road. Chuck Sexton has always loved to perform. From being invited to audition for Julliard, to becoming a radio personality and playing the Cowardly Lion in theater productions of the Wizard of Oz, Chuck knows how to entertain and how to put on a show. Those same skills have been quite useful when serving as the President & CEO of One East Kentucky - a regional economic development organization. "When people think of Appalachia they hear banjos playing in their head but I've never seen any banjos. Instead, we have a skilled workforce and companies using the latest technologies," said Chuck. Now, he's using traditional video, virtual reality and virtual tours to put on the biggest show of all - the one that gets people to see the truth about East Kentucky and the people who call it home. Click to hear more, including an impression and song from Chuck's theater days!
33:44 4/13/21
From Legos to Entrepreneurship: Aniki Allen, Creator of Ice Cream Bowties
Meet Aniki Allen, the inspiring Founder and Creator of Ice Cream Bowties. This teen youngpreneur is blazing the trail for other aspiring entrepreneurs. Listen to hear how an eight-year-old playing with legos turned a hobby into a business, and a business into a movement. Through the Youngpreneur Workshops Aniki hosts with his mother and co-founder, Marsha, they are showing kids that it is possible to pursue their dreams, start a business, and forge their own path through entrepreneurship. This form of youth empowerment is inspiring and can become part of any economic developers strategy to cultivate the next generation of business leaders in their communities. 
30:20 3/23/21
Dedication to Dream: Ryan Tanke, Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx
Meet the COO of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, Ryan Tanke. Ryan shares his career path from selling tickets to unpaid intern to NBA executive. Ryan's story is a testament to perseverance and 'stick-to-itiveness' in pursuit of a dream. Also learn about what helped shape Ryan as adolescent and he also happily accepts the role of guinea pig for a new ShovelTalk game.
49:06 2/26/21
Supporting Entrepreneurs and Startups: Steve Radley and Erik Pedersen, NetWork Kansas
Meet the two inspiring minds behind NetWork Kansas, a supportive and resourceful network for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Steve Radley and Erik Pedersen share their own journey in entrepreneurship, from the failures to the successes, and of course, starting NetWork Kansas. We’ll find out how they spend their time “off the clock” (because who doesn’t need an excuse to go to Vegas) and they reveal the top three action items that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to know and can start today to set out on the path to entrepreneurial success.Visit the NetWork Kansas website: 
44:36 2/2/21
'From the Projects of D.C. to Rural Nebraska:' Garry Clark, Greater Fremont, NE Development Council
Bethany and Amanda follow the journey of Garry Clark, President and CEO of the Greater Fremont, Nebraska Development Council, published author and public speaker. Listen as he shares his experience growing up in the projects of Washington D.C. and his career path that lead him to rural Nebraska. Garry shares his motto of resiliency through COVID-19 and advice for tackling fear. Stick around until the end to hear the story behind his staple, everyday neckwear - his bowtie.
46:02 1/4/21
'Eyes Wide Open:' Horton Hobbs, Greater Springfield OH Economic Development
Bethany and Amanda interview Horton Hobbs, VP, Economic Development at Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Find out what it was like growing up around notable scientists, how he ended up working in economic development and how his team has handled the pandemic. Horton shares advice he’s received along his career path and even gives us a glimpse into his family life.
45:22 12/2/20

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