NEDA’s 51st Annual Conference a Resounding Success in Norfolk

NEDA’s 51st Annual Conference a Resounding Success in Norfolk
Courtesy/Nebraska Economic Developers Association
June 23rd, 2024 | Nebraska Economic Developers Association

Norfolk, NE – The Nebraska Economic Developers Association (NEDA) hosted its 51st annual conference in Norfolk from June 12-14, drawing a record attendance of 205 economic development professionals from across the state. The conference was hosted by the City of Norfolk, Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce’s Norfolk Now initiative, and the Norfolk Area Economic Development Council through a collaborative planning committee. Norfolk was selected as the host city through NEDA’s competitive annual bid process.

The conference kicked off with a series of welcome activities for attendees, including a tour of the Nucor manufacturing facility, golf at El Dorado Hills, and tubing down Norfolk’s new North Fork Whitewater park. Wednesday evening featured a welcome event at Divot’s Conference Center’s newly expanded Rooftop Terrace, sponsored by Terracon.

Thursday began with a shuttle transporting attendees to downtown Norfolk and the District Event Center. Mayor Josh Moenning delivered the welcome keynote address, introduced by NEDA President Trevor Lee. Following the mayor’s remarks, participants broke into five groups for tours spotlighting local economic development initiatives like the North Fork Whitewater Park, Geary Redevelopment Project, Riverpoint Square, Intersect Co-Working Space, and Northeast Community College IHub.

The conference reconvened at Divot’s for NEDA’s Annual Membership Meeting luncheon and awards presentation. Honorees included Norfolk’s own Candice Alder, and longtime industry professional, Dave Dearmont as Professionals of the Year. Cathy Lang was honored with the NEDA Legacy Award for her longtime economic development career, and NEDA Lifetime Memberships were awarded to Loren Kucera, Steve Charleston, and Laurie Richardson. Dan Curran was also elected to the NEDA Board of Directors.

The afternoon featured breakout sessions exploring timely topics like community childcare initiatives, leveraging interns as innovators, sustainable financing strategies, and revitalizing downtowns through arts districts. Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen shared his vision for economic growth across the state.

The conference’s final evening offered an immersive downtown Norfolk experience, with live music from local band Neon Lights on the District Event Center patio, guided bike tours with Pedal Therapy, dining from caterer Pull’N Smoke, and a comedy show by nationally renowned comedian and actor, Steve Hytner.

“NEDA’s 51st conference showcased the incredible economic momentum happening in Norfolk and across Nebraska,” said President Trevor Lee. “The Norfolk planning committee rolled out the red carpet with an engaging lineup of tours, networking opportunities, and a host of fun activities.”

Looking ahead, NEDA announced LaVista as the 2025 host city and will partner with Grow Sarpy County to kickstart the planning process.

About NEDA
The Nebraska Economic Developers Association provides professional development for economic developers while promoting economic growth statewide. With over 230+ members, NEDA is Nebraska’s leading association of economic development professionals.


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