Discussion With The Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)

Discussion on Economic Development

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)

"MEDA works at economic development on a global scale and the international hub does some quite excellent work. They are set up with local 'hubs' around the world and there is a small one here in Sarasota. We have an interest in learning how to support Sarasota and its citizens more so in their economic development needs - although again, in small ways, be it microloans or mentorship or otherwise."



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Contacts / Agencies in Sarasota and Florida

City of Sarasota

Focus on Redevelopment




 Steve Cover Director of Planning Steve.Cover@SarasotaFL.gov 941-263-6480
 Onya Bates Redevelopment Manager Onya.Bates@SarasotaFL.gov 941-263-6281
 Susan Dodd Redevelopment Manager Susan.Dodd@SarasotaFL.gov 941-263-6282
 John Moran Operations Manager, D.I.D. John.Moran@SarasotaFL.gov 941-724-5578
 Brandy Wiesner Operations Manager, B.I.D. Brandy.Wiesner@SarasotaFL.gov 941-266-7599

 Steve Stancel            Economic Development                 Steven.Stancel@sarasotafl.gov       941 263 6480

EDC Sarasota County

Overall Economic Development of All County


Lisa Krouse CEO

Erin Silk Vice President of Business Development Services

Destin Wells Vice President, Business Development dwells@edcsarasotacounty.com

Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County

1680 Fruitville Road, Suite 402

Sarasota, Florida 34236

Office: (941) 309-1200 ext. 101  Fax:  (941) 309-1209

State of Florida

Focus on Major Projects For The State




Sarasota Sister Cities Economic Development


Craig Hullinger 941 312 1032 sarasotasistercities@gmail.com


Second Chance-Last Opportunity

Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 1027, Sarasota, FL 34230 - in Newtown

1933 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Sarasota, FL 34234

April Glasco   aglasco63@gmail.com  (941) 360-8660



Manasota SCORE

2801 Fruitville Road, Suite 280
SarasotaFL 34237  Tel: (941) 955-1029 


Sarasota Area Chamber of Commerce

1945 Fruitville Road Sarasota, Florida 34236
(941) 955-8187   communications@sarasotachamber.com



Discussion - Economic Development in Sarasota

Sarasota Sister Cities Strategy

Sustainable “Green" Economic Development combines environmental improvement

and traditional economic development into one discipline. Traditional economic development

can be employed to increase employment while improving our environment. Economic

Development and “Green” Development should be synergistic, improving our overall quality of life.

Sustainable Development – Definitions

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations

to meet their own needs." United Nations         


"We believe sustainable development begins at home and is supported by effective domestic policies,

and international partnerships. Self-governing people prepared to participate in an open world marketplace

are the very foundation of sustainable development." 

         US State Department    http://www.state.gov/g/oes/sus/

"We pledge to transmit this city not only not less, but far greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted

to us." Oath written by Pericles. From 594 to 404 B.C., literature, science, philosophy, and the arts flourished

in Athens. The birthplace of democracy had its golden age during the rule of statesman Pericles (c. 495-429 B.C.),

who made sweeping political reforms and actively supported the arts. Pericles is credited with the Athenian

oath of fealty.

"Leave your campground better than you found it." Scouting Principle.

“Leave your community better than you found it.” Our Principle.

Traditional Economic Development

The ongoing growth and improvement of the economy is critical for any community. Government

and the private sector work to enhance and expand business, jobs, and tax base. This is especially

important now during the "Great Recession" currently underway. A quality community requires full employment -

the opportunity for all citizens to earn a living while contributing to the entire society.

Economic development is the increase in the amount of people in a nation's population with sustained

growth from a simple, low-income economy to a modern, high-income economy. Its scope includes the

process and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.


Gonçalo L Fonsesca at the New School for Social Research defines economic development as "the

analysis of the economic development of nations.  http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/het/contact.htm

The University of Iowa's Center for International Finance and Development states that:  "'Economic

development' or 'development' is a term that economists, politicians, and others have used frequently

in the 20th century. The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries. Modernization,

Westernization, and especially Industrialization are other terms people have used when discussing economic

development. Although no one is sure when the concept originated, most people agree that development is

closely bound up with the evolution of capitalism and the demise of feudalism. http://www.uiowa.edu/ifdebook/

The Canadian Center for Community Renewal defines “Community Economic Development as the process

by which local people build organizations and partnerships that interconnect profitable business with other

interests and values - for example, skills and education, health, housing, and the environment. In CED a lot

more people get involved, describing how the community should change. A lot more organizations look for ways

to make their actions and investments reinforce the wishes and intentions of the whole community. Business

becomes a means to accumulate wealth and to make the local way of life more creative, inclusive, and sustainable

- now and 20 or 30 years from now.” http://www.cedworks.com/CEDdefinition.html

Sustainable Economic Development

KISS (Keep it Sweet and Simple) 

Our simple rule set and acronym for sustainable economic development:


Keep the businesses and jobs that you have

Expand the businesses you have

Enhance your community to attract new businesses

Protect and continuously improve the environment

Sustainable Economic Development is the art of keeping and expanding your businesses

while continually improving the Environment. As economic developers we provide information

and assistance to companies who create new jobs. We create the policies and incentives to

retain our existing businesses and support expansion. A good economic development office

strives to have the most comprehensive and current information available on the following

subject matter areas:

• Local demographics

• Quality of life

• Public infrastructure

• Business assistance

• Real estate

• Taxes, fees, regulations

• Market the community to targeted business industries

Both successful economic development and continuing improvement to the environment

are a hallmark of a quality community. Some people still think that economic development

is chasing smokestacks and that economic development hurts the environment.

But that view is outdated. Working intelligently, business and government can expand the

economy and retain and attract quality jobs while enhancing and improving the environment.

Sustainable Economic Development Strategy

Feel free to use this adapt this brief strategy to your own local situation.


Our communities will provide quality jobs at good wages while improving our environment.

Mission Statement

We are committed to providing an environment in which our natural resources, our people,

and our economy are balanced. We will not compromise the future by focusing solely on the

needs of today. We aspire to make our communities regional leaders who develop, promotes,

and improves the quality of our community through sustainable practices.

Mission Statement

The following are our recommended improvements to "Green" our communities that we

will pursue that are aimed at retaining and expanding our businesses and jobs:

· We will retain our existing businesses and jobs

· We will help our existing businesses expand

· We will attract new businesses

· Energy efficiency in all businesses is encouraged

· Developers are encouraged to create green buildings

· Mixed use development will be emphasized

· Historic buildings will be adaptively reused

· Walk ability of the city will be encouraged

· Incentives will be employed to support improvements

· Energy efficient buildings will be required

· Sedimentation and erosion controls will be enforced

· The ecology of waters edge areas will be enhanced

· Bike trails and racks will be emphasized

· Transit will be maintained

· Trees and natural landscaping will be planted

· Renewable energy sources will be sought

· Recycling will be supported

· Air and water quality will be improved

· We will ensure a just and fair society

· We will seek to provide jobs for all of our citizens


We will follow the principles below:

Promote efficient buildings

Use recycled material in buildings

Recycle building material waste

Encourage rain harvesting and irrigation

Use passive solar orientation of buildings

Encourage solar and wind energy systems

Employ green roofs

Support the use of natural landscaping

Improve municipal staff knowledge of “green” techniques

Support quality construction for long lived buildings

Encourage mixed use development

Support walk to work programs

Encourage development that supports transit

Support efforts to redevelop older communities

Permit Live / Work Space development

Support natural open space and parks

Use open surface natural drainage where feasible

Design wetlands, drainageways and retention into parks

Support the local production of “green” technology equipment

Incorporate bikeways and pedestrian path

Minimize pavement widths & cost & material

Update codes to encourage “green” development

Encourage geothermal energy

Require street trees

Sustainable Land Use Planning

Smart Growth


Growth presents a tremendous opportunity for progress and change.

Communities around the country are looking for methods to optimize development

and to amend zoning rules that make it difficult to place workplaces, homes, and

services closer together. Citizens are faced with economic pressures and seek ways

to save on car and gas use and on commuting time.

To address these challenges we must make a commitment to sustainable land use

planning, often called "smart growth." Taking steps such as preserving open space,

providing a variety of transportation choices, encouraging compact building designs

and creating walk able communities will help the city choose smart growth strategies

that encourage social, cultural and physical activity. Smart growth is a way to offer

more choices to citizens in terms of deciding where to live, how to get around, and

will protect the environment while stimulating economic growth.

Sustainable Economic Development operates within a social and economic context.

Smart growth also strongly supports the revitalization and/or redevelopment of established

and emerging urban neighborhoods. It promotes neighborhood-centric activity centers

that employ a smart growth development template that integrates a mix of uses, multi-modal

circulation options, public spaces and other elements.

Environmental sustainability is a part of this operation and is best achieved when integrated

with other components. A sustainable economic development organization seeks to participate

within its community, integrate economic development with environmental protection, and

minimize the impacts of development on the community. Through seeking balance, an

organization will take into account the needs of future generations.

With financial difficulties and environmental concerns facing the global and national economy,

we will place a high priority on sustainable economic development, energy efficiency, and

responsible growth management.


Sustainable Economic Development will be the standard for future economic development

and “green” environmental improvement efforts. We can and will improve our environment

while providing jobs and tax base for our community.

This Article Can Be Found At:


















Craig Hullinger is the Vice President of Economic Development forn Sarasota Sister Cities. He has 40 years of experience in economic development, city planning, and transportation planning. He is a Partner in the consulting firm Ruyle Hullinger and Associates. He was formerly Planning Director of Will County and a Village Manager for several communties. He was the Economic Development Director of the City of Peoria, Illinois, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Lamda Alpha. He publishes a number of blogs on economic development, planning, and sustainability which can be found at http://craighullinger.com/. He can be contacted at craighullinger@gmail.com or sarasotasistercities@gmail.com or by phone at 941 312 1032.

Powerpoint Presentations
Sarasota Sister Cities
These Were Made to Sarasota Sister Cities



Discussion Items



Import / Export - Lessor Developed Countries could export arts and crafts to a business created with EB-5 - an entreprenuer from the LDC sets up shop in a redevelopment area, imports goods from the LDC, also sells by catalogue.

Medical Services - Sarasota is a center of medical service because of our large retirement population and excellent health care services, especially geriatric. We could market the region for medical services for persons from other countries with less robust medical servics - ala Mayo Clinic.

Tourism - Sarasota is a major center for tourism.  Anything we can do to facilitate this helps our economy. Cultural tourism emphasizing our musems and arts in addition to the warmth and seaside. Smaller cultural venues that coiuld be popular.  New York has the major facilities in the US, but we have great culture on a smaller more intimate scale.  

Transportation - We have reviewed the 2070 Plan for the Sarasota Manatee County Metropolitan Planning Area (MPO). We advocate for a more detailed and aggressive development of the grid road system - interconnect and extend roads where possible. Show them on the map and aggressively develop them. 


Animation Video - Ringling to produce tourism animation to market Florida and Sarasota  https://animationsarasota.blogspot.com/

Improve our Parks  https://honorepark.blogspot.com/

Create a Town Square in Sarasota  http://sarasotatownsquare.blogspot.com/

Gift Catalogue for Sarasota   https://giftsforsarasota.blogspot.com/

Green Sculpture   https://sarasotagreensculpture.blogspot.com/

Merida Sarasota ED  https://sarasotameridaeconomicdevelopment.blogspot.com/

Discussion - Possible Joint Efforts MEDA and SSC Economic Development