Webinar Recording: Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Programs for Existing Businesses

This webinar, held on January 26, 2017, is the first of a six-part mini-series of disaster-recovery webinars targeted to small, rural communities in coal-impacted communities.  Three IEDC experts provided strategies on how to support your existing businesses through an economic crisis induced by industry contraction.  You will learn how to reach out to your businesses in an organized way, and with your limited resources. There are effective tools like technical assistance, research, workforce development, and creative financing, and you are the matchmaker between your business and the agency that provides the particular assistance that it needs. Successful economic development starts with a foundation of support for existing businesses, and this is never as important as in times of crisis.

Click here to download the webinar recording

Click here to download Penny Lewandowski’s presentation

Click here to download Hrishue Mahalaha’s presentation

Click here to download David Myers’ presentation


Penny Lewandowski Senior consultant, external relations Edward Lowe Foundation Cassopolis, MI Recruited to the foundation in 2005, Penny Lewandowski first served as director of entrepreneurship and then as vice president of external relations and strategic direction from 2013 to 2016. Now as a senior consultant for external relations, she is responsible for developing a strong national presence for the foundation, and for cultivating and managing relationships with the foundation’s partners in entrepreneurship and economic development. Recognized as a thought leader in entrepreneurship and building an entrepreneurial culture, Lewandowski is a board member of the International Economic Development Council. She is a frequent speaker on new ways to think about economic development – especially how a grow-from-within strategy leads to thriving and sustainable economies — and author of a blog, “Penny on the Edge.” Prior to joining the foundation, she was executive director of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council and served as director of entrepreneurship and education for the Morino Institute, a nationally recognized entrepreneurship program in Reston, Virgina. She also directed George Mason University’s Century Club, a group formed to build alliances between the university and business community. In 2003 the Kauffman Foundation, in conjunction with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards, named Lewandowski as the recipient of its prestigious “National Supporter of Entrepreneurship” award.  She is a native of Elkins, West Virginia.  

Hrishue Mahalaha Managing Partner Innovation Economy Partners Brecksville, OH Hrishue Mahalaha is the Managing Partner of Innovation Economy Partners. Hrishue supports an array of domestic clients and helps define, assess and deliver solutions that help improve and develop economies for communities across the nation. Previously, Hrishue spent more than 14 years working with the management consulting firm Accenture.  During this time, Hrishue worked closely with a variety of domestic and international, public, private and governmental organizations.  Hrishue also has launched a variety of entrepreneurial ventures that spanned from medical devices to a restaurant. Hrishue holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA/BS in Psychology and Business Management from Case Western Reserve University.  

David Myers Executive Director Ponca City Development Authority Ponca City, OK David J. Myers is the Executive Director of the Ponca City Development Authority, (PCDA) a position he has held since 2003.  PCDA is one of only three economic development organizations in the State of Oklahoma that is accredited by the International Economic Development Council, (IEDC). Myers holds the IEDC’s Certified Economic Developer credential.  In 2008, he was selected as the Economic Development Professional of the Year, by the Oklahoma Economic Development Council, (OEDC).  He has served as a past President of OEDC as well as a past Chair of the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team. Myers is a specialist in working with micropolitan and rural communities in many facets of economic development.  He is on the faculty of the Heartland Economic Development Course and the Oklahoma Chamber Management Institute.  He also has extensive experience consulting and working with economic development organizations throughout the Great Plains region. Prior to joining PCDA, Myers served as President for the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance, (GAVEA) in Lancaster, California.  His career includes service as a Regional Manager for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, two terms as a member of the Palmdale (California) City Council and as Chairman of the  Transportation Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments, the largest Council of Government in the United States. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Northridge and a Masters Degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management from California State University, Dominguez Hills.  His wife Janice holds a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma while their two children, Diana and Greg, both hold undergraduate degrees from Oklahoma State University.


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