Women’s Economic Development Network


WEDN Learn and Lead 2022

Thursday, April 7th, 3:00pm – Friday, April 8th, 2:00pm

Join colleagues at WEDN 2022 for professional development, training, case studies, and lots of networking. We’ll explore how the COVID-accelerated trends of 2020 and 2021 impact economic development. From record small business starts to big project announcements to the Great Resignation, we’ll dive into what it all means for economic development in 2022.

Program: COVID Accelerated Everything, What’s Next?

Registration: Early Bird Registration $225 until February 25, 2022 @11:00pm
Regular Registration $295 February 26 – March 25, 2022

Scholarship Opportunities: SC Power Team (20), Sanford Holshouser (10), and ECS Southeast (4) are offering scholarships that cover the cost of registration. Click here to fill out the application. You will be notified within a few business days if a scholarship is awarded. Do not purchase registration through Eventbrite if you will be applying for one of the scholarships.

Venue: Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte/Concord Golf Resort & Spa Address: 5400 John Q. Hammons Drive NW Concord, NC 28027 Room block closes Monday, March 7, 2022

Your Safety: We do not know what COVID has in store for April 2022 so we are planning precautions to keep everyone safe. We require proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend. We’ll work with the hotel on social distancing. The date was moved to April so some events can be outside if needed. We will evaluate whether masks will be required as time gets closer. If you have questions, please contact us.

Donate: Every year WEDN participants have donated career clothing items to the Dress for Success career closet in Winston-Salem, NC. We will be collecting donations this year, please drop off your donations upon check in at the WEDN registration desk.


What Happens After Winning the Big Project

Ashley Cagle, Assistant Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development
Stephanie Landrum, President & CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
Tiffany Harrison, Executive Director, Georgetown County, SC (formerly Deputy Director Richland County, SC)

Family Forward Certification and Conversations

Lisa Finaldi, NC Early Childhood Foundation

Lisa Finaldi is the Community Engagement Leader for the NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF), leading the NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Family Forward NC initiative. She is an experienced non-profit leader at the state, national and international levels.

Prior to NCECF, as National Campaigns Director at Greenpeace US, Lisa directed numerous successful environmental and public health policy initiatives. She designed and led the first global investigation to test ingredients in children’s toys and products, resulting in new consumer protection policies in over 20 countries.

Negotiation Skills Workshop

Elise Partin, Leadership and Public Speaking Coach

As a public speaking and leadership coach, Elise Partin empowers clients with tangible skills to support their leadership growth, increase their opportunities for success, and hone their communication skills in every setting from one-on-one meetings to the national stage. Drawing from extensive real-world experience as a current four-time elected Mayor, Elise works closely with clients to develop and conduct customized training workshops that empower leaders and their teams to successfully express ideas and gain influence through effective oral and persuasive communication.

A TEDx and keynote speaker, Elise is deeply trained in the art of teaching public and personal communication of all kinds, empowering even the most nervous. A popular speaker herself, Elise is passionate about helping others find their voice, set and achieve their goals, and gain leadership skills. She infuses her clients with confidence while helping them to navigate challenges to powerful results.

What do Bubble Wrap, Post Pandemic Cities and Economic Resilience have in Common?

Christina M. Danis, Ph.D., AICP

Christina Danis has over 25 years of city and regional economic development experience related to community revitalization, affordable housing, housing rehabilitation, water/sewer/stormwater infrastructure enhancements, regional resilience, downtown innovation and small business growth. She serves as the lead for the Centralina USEDA Regional Resilience Collaborative program that examines how Emergency Management and local governments can foster shared practices to support effective and efficient recovery from natural disasters and economic shocks.

Christina supports the Centralina Economic Development District (EDD) tackle community economic concerns; coordinates regional and local government actions to address equity issues; and assists Centralina in the development and administration of federal, state and local grants to advance regional economic resilience.

How to Leverage Record New Business Starts in Your Community

Heather McWhorter, Regional Director, SBTDC
Amanda Forrester, Director, Roanoke Regional SBDC

Industrial Market Forecast

Ashley Rogers, Senior Market Analyst, CoStar Group

Ashley Rogers is the Senior Market Analyst at CoStar Group, covering the Raleigh and Durham areas. Since joining the team in June 2021, Ashley brings more than seven years of experience as a researcher within the commercial real estate and economic development sectors.

As part of the Market Analytics team, Ashley produces meaningful insights and analysis on trends impacting real estate market conditions, focusing on weaving industry and economic trends into a meaningful narrative that portrays the latest happenings in the Triangle.

Before joining CoStar in June 2021, Ashley was the Senior Research Analyst at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), leading local research efforts for Raleigh, Durham, and Charleston.

Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Furman University, along with a concentration in urban studies.

Conference Book

We selected Adam Grant’s Think Again, The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.

We love Adam Grant’s work and hope that you will too.

The Women’s Economic Development Network and Leadership Forum was started in 2016. The forum is sponsored by Creative EDC as one of the nonprofit things we do to give back to the field of economic development. The Forum invites economic developers to come together to LEARN and return to the office prepared to LEAD. The Forum focuses on leadership development, professional and career development, current topics in economic development, and strategic networking.


NCEDA logo

Thanks to Brand Acceleration who has supported the marketing materials for WEDN since it started in 2016.

Creative Economic Development Consulting