Economic Development Opportunity Advisors, LLC
Economic Development Opportunity Advisors, LLC provides a team approach to your economic development organizations’ needs. Founder and Chief Economic Development Advisor Mark Rantala brings 8 years public sector Economic Development experience together with 23 years of private sector Commercial Real Estate experience to your organization or project. Our team can provide a wide range of experiences to complement and support your organization and address specific needs. The following are just a few of the services Economic Development Opportunity Advisors can provide.
· Talent and Population Development Strategies
· Organization and establishment of a Port Authority
· Interim management
· Director/staff recruitment
· Strategic plans for a different tomorrow
· Community leadership development and young professional engagement
· Project Management, deal structuring and incentives
· Board training and staff development
· Opportunity Zone Implementation
· Bond Financings, deal structuring
· Commercial Real Estate Advisory Services
· Workforce Strategies, including Sector Partnership Design and Implementation
Founder and Chief Economic Development Advisor
Columbia University, NY
Licensed Real Estate Broker and Salesman in Ohio
7 Years as Executive Director - Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority
1 Year Executive Director - Nederland, Texas EDC
23 Years Commercial Real Estate
GAX Capital – Principal
40 years of experience in economic development and structured public finance.
Underwriter, Financial Adviser, Project Finance Manager, and Managing Director for Bank of America Capital Markets, Wells Fargo Bank, National City Investments, Fifth Third Securities Inc., and Stern Brothers & Company.
Member of the Council of Development Finance Agencies
Since 1990 Don has focused primarily on serving Port Authorities and other Economic Development Agencies across the country to provide the most creative and cost-effective financial strategies and solutions to meet client project needs. Don has completed over 400+ projects in 16 states during his economic development career.
GAX Capital – Associate
Social and for-profit food-based economic
Ohio University -BS in Applied Management
Experienced in non-profit organizations
Executive director of the non-profit Food Conscious
Certification from the CFA Institute in Investment Foundations
The Grindstone Institute – Founder and President
Leadership development, strategic planning, executive coaching, and government relations
Baldwin Wallace, BA
American University, MPA
University of Illinois, EdD Candidate
U.S. Naval War College, Joint Professional Military Diploma
Harvard Kennedy School, Senior Managers in Government
Commander, U.S. Navy, and Iraq war veteran
Chief of Staff, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
3-term State Representative and Majority Whip, Ohio House of Representatives
Presidential appointee of George W. Bush and principal advisor to U.S. Sen. George V. Voinovich
Past National President of Phi Kappa Tau
KIRTLAND CONSULTING, president
Market research, business planning, revenue planning, facilitation and workforce strategies.
Wharton School Univ. of Pennsylvania, BA
Weather School of Management, Case Western University MBA
Consultant McKinsey & Co. 12 years
Jumpstart Senior Partner 3 years
The last eight weeks have revealed a great opportunity demonstrating that Northeast Ohio could compete again — with any community anywhere, especially now when every community has been disrupted and all are back at the starting line.
The tragedy of off-shoring as a policy was exposed with the disruptions caused by dependence on the Chinese supply chain. It also revealed two of Northeast Ohio's greatest strengths: an incredible medical community and a legacy of advanced manufacturing that together can be foundational in a national reshoring effort and a revival of Northeast Ohio. We need to combine these two resources and use them to compete by attracting supply chain components to Northeast Ohio.
For the last five years, all of the economic development community in Northeast Ohio has wisely invested significant resources to an increased BRE (Business Retention and Expansion) program, understanding the needs of our existing businesses and how to support them. We need to use all that we have learned as a launching pad to bring complementary supply chains back to Northeast Ohio.
First, the philanthropic community needs to provide the resources, direction and leadership for a combined campaign to identify the specific opportunity components that already exist in Northeast Ohio in the next 90 days.
Second, all of the economic development community needs to launch a "blitzkrieg" to make an accelerated round of BRE calls and answer three questions in the next 90 days from as many companies as possible. We need to identify opportunities and expose obstacles. Our focus should be on the medical technology, pharmaceuticals, PPE supply chain and advanced manufacturing sectors.
These are three key questions:
1) What faults have been exposed in your supply chain during the crisis? And what opportunities have been presented?
2) Assuming a national policy to encourage reshoring (there are already several bills working through Congress to help with reshoring efforts), what U.S. companies with Chinese facilities are targets to be relocated? Which of those fit with the resources of Northeast Ohio? What regulatory or other obstacles do you see?
3) Assuming a timeline of three to five years, what talent/skills do we need to address to prepare for these new opportunities? How do we address the loss of additional retiring baby boomers? And what training programs do we have to ramp up now? Can those programs help close the inequality income gaps in the minority communities?
Third, we need to assemble a fund to use as seed money for a deal closing fund to bring these deals to Northeast Ohio. These funds can come from the philanthropic community, JobsOhio and the business community. The opportunity zone sites should be of value as well.
Fourth, we need to assemble five dealmaking strike force teams; one each for medical PPE, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing and workforce/training. The teams will aggressively pursue the opportunities identified by the responses to these three questions. We should be prepared to identify and pursue these prospective businesses by the fourth quarter of 2020.
The ability to get a plan in place immediately is critical. Too often communities get lost in "analysis paralysis".
One of my favorite quotes is from George S. Patton, who said, "A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow." Let's get started now.
Rantala is the founder and president of Economic Development Opportunity Advisors LLC.