Conference Agenda

2018 Upstate Rising

Printable VersionPDF File

Upstate Rising: The North Louisiana Public-Private Partnership,
Real Estate Development, and Land Use Planning Law Conference
Exploring Roads, Rivers, & Rails
Thursday, August 23, 2018; 8:30 AM – 4:45 PM
Bossier Parish Community College; Building I (Gymnasium)
6220 East Texas Street
Bossier City, LA  71111

8:30-9:00 AM Registration and Networking
9:00-9:05 AM Welcome (Introduced by Neil Erwin, JD, Conference Co-Chair, Neil Erwin Law, LLC)
Dr. Rick Bateman, Chancellor, Bossier Parish Community College
The Honorable Lo Walker, Mayor of Bossier City
Glenn Benton, President, Bossier Parish Police Jury
9:05-10:30 AM Trends in Site Selection, Mike Mullis, President/CEO, and Denise Mott, Vice President, J. M. Mullis, Inc., a Site Selection Firm, (Introduced by Eric Basinger, Business Development Manager, AEP SWEPCO)

Presenters summarize global, national, and regional corporate location and expansion trends, focusing on expectations, issues, geographic preferences, and industry-specific requirements.

10:30-10:45 AM Break
10:45 AM-12:00 PM Making North Louisiana More Competitive, Mike Mullis, President/CEO, and Denise Mott, Vice President, J. M. Mullis, Inc.

Having visited north Louisiana several times over the last few decades, the presenters share their perspective on where we were then, where we are now, and where we can go in the future to increase our competitive advantage. Topics include talent supply, demand, and cost; quality of life and what that means to companies today; incentive packages versus operational factors; comprehensive metric-driven workforce development plan; and knowing your product and where its assets and liabilities fit within the needs of target industries.

12:00-1:00 PM Lunch and Keynote Speaker – Shawn Wilson, Ph.D., Secretary, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (Introduced by Dr. Gayle Flowers, Conference Co-Chair and Vice Chancellor for Economic & Workforce Development, Bossier Parish Community College)

Dr. Wilson discusses how public policy and Louisiana transportation infrastructure construction, expansion, and improvement support public-private partnerships, real estate development, and land use planning.

1:00-1:30 PM Turning Confrontation into Community Collegiality: Part 2, Mayor Bill Sanderson, Village of Choudrant, and Building Official, City of Ruston (Introduced by Neil Erwin)

Persuasive communication, especially from a hostile listener or audience, is essential, but rarely offered, training for all professions. This presenter, back by popular demand, is an elected Mayor, appointed building code enforcement official, and a nationally acclaimed speaker on this topic. He describes persuasion techniques from the book, Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, by George J. Thompson, Ph.D.

1:30-2:00 PM Getting It Right in Zoning Decisions, Neil Erwin, Attorney, and Caroline E. Mladenka, MPA, Neil Erwin Law, LLC (Introduced by Carlotta Askew-Brown, MPC Planner, Bossier Metropolitan Planning Commission)

No one likes being sued, but just about every citizen who feels threatened by a new business, apartment complex, or subdivision development near their home vocally seeks the help of elected officials in their community to stop what is seen as an invasion of their neighborhood. So how can local officials make zoning and subdivision decisions that benefit the community without inviting lawsuits? The presenters provide citations to Louisiana statutes and case law as avenues for addressing these issues.

2:00-2:30 PM Moving North Louisiana’s Economy Forward, Kent Rogers, Executive Director, Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (Introduced by Gayle Flowers)

Updates on north Louisiana transportation goals, objectives, and progress along with the impact of interagency coordination and participation guides growth and creates opportunities. Learn how north Louisiana transportation supports you and your business.

2:30-2:45 PM Break
2:45-3:15 PM Upstate Louisiana Real Estate Climate Forecast, Curtis A. Wright, Sr., Real Estate Professional(Introduced by Tony Davis, Executive Director, Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation)

Since real estate and financial forecasts drive growth, planning, and policy changes, the presenter describes forecasts related to residential and commercial sales, real estate development, and infrastructure construction.

3:15-4:15 PM Attracting Investors, panel facilitated by Liz Swaine, Executive Director, Shreveport Downtown Development Authority (Introduced by Carlotta Askew-Brown):

  • William “Bill” R. Altimus, Bossier Parish Police Jury Administrator
  • Eric England, Executive Port Director, The Port of Caddo-Bossier
  • Brian Crawford, Chief Administrative Officer, Office of the Mayor, City of Shreveport
  • William “Bill” Cooksey, Deputy Director of Airports, Shreveport Airport Authority

The panel, facilitated by Liz Swaine, Executive Director, Shreveport Downtown Development Authority, engages in a “best practice” discussion from the perspective of experts with the economic development goal of regional synergy for Upstate Louisiana.

4:15-4:45 PM Your Role in Taking the North Louisiana Economy to the Next Level, Zazell “Zell” Dudley, Vice President, Caddo Parish Initiatives & Business Development, North Louisiana Economic Partnership (Introduced by Neil Erwin)

Realizing that each individual has a “circle of influence,” the presenter outlines steps North Louisiana city planners, architects, engineers, attorneys, contractors, realtors, and concerned citizens can take to drive growth, planning, and policy changes. YOU make the difference!