I just got back from the Texas Economic Development Council’s Annual Conference in Austin, where I was reminded how fortunate we are to be in Texas and how blessed we are to have the members and leadership of TEDC blazing the way to even greater prosperity.
The conference was not all fluff and optimism, but rather a good balance between new data, techniques, best practices, lessons learned, and cautionary tales. We heard from thought leaders on a variety of topics, and we used the time between sessions to discuss what was happening in each of our communities.
One highlight was when Marble Falls was recognized with a Community Economic Development Award (CEDA) in our population category for “exemplary achievement in community economic development.” I accepted congratulations from dozens of state leaders on behalf of our board and staff, who worked with the management of CorWorth Building Systems to make sure that their corporate headquarters landed in Marble Falls and not in another community.
Another highlight was the closing keynote on the state of the Texas economy by Dr. M. Ray Perryman, who was named “Texan of the Year” by the Texas Legislative Conference in 2011. I’ll close with a quote below–after all, Dr. Perryman has been called “the most quoted man in Texas”–but I’ll digress momentarily to say that someone ought to start a petition to name him the Illustrious Potentate Over All Budgets and Economic Forecasting. He is that engaging.
To conclude, I’ll share a few of my favorite quotations from the conference…
“There is greater value in cultivating talent than in cultivating industry.” – Anatalio Ubalde, CEO, GIS Planning
“Baby boomers will soon move from being capital generators to being capital consumers, creating pressure on capital systems.” – Karen Hooper, Director of Latin America Analysis, Stratfor
“Business funds everything.” – Dr. David Summers, Associate Professor of Management, University of Houston-Victoria
“The road does not create growth; growth justifies the road.” – Duane Gordy, Executive Director, Real Life Community Development Corporation
“(Congress) is twenty-five cents short of a quarter on being able to cut the debt ceiling.” – Dr. M. Ray Perryman, President, The Perryman Group