The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
Last week's trip to the Los Angeles area was the busiest prospecting trip our office has ever taken. Our team met with 20 site selectors or food company prospects over a four day period. We are very pleased with the results - it is the most productive marketing trip I have been on in my 20+ year career. One company we met with will likely visit the Yakima Valley within a couple months to evaluate sites for a new production facility. Several other expanding companies we met at the Natural Products Western Exposition represent good prospects for the future.
Prior to the Natural Foods show a group of us including associates from the Grant County EDC and the Port of Pasco met with eight site selectors. We acquainted them with Central and Eastern Washington while learning more about their currrent business expansion projects. A couple of these corporate realtors have had companies recently looking at Washington state so it was good to point out that there are communities beyond Seattle and Western Washington that are interested in new business opportunities. One of the best meetings we had was with Scott Delphey. He is a principal with Global Food Properties, a new site selection firm that specializes in helping food processors locate new facilities. We learned a lot from meeting with Delphey and plan to stay in touch with him as he scouts out locations for his clients.
At the Natural Foods show we met with quite a few companies that were curious about or interested in our area. The show is probably the largest specialty foods show in America and it is turning out to be one of the best venues for our business recruitment efforts. The health food industry is growing rapidly and the show features many newer companies. Natural Products Expo West also attracts fast growing businesses that are often thinking about expansion plans and future facility needs. Given this environment the trade show presents an excellent marketing venue for our area.
Over the last two years we have met we met with at least 15 growing food companies at the Natural Foods show. The company I mentioned earlier that may visit soon is a prospect we met at last year's show.
It is always good to return home from a successful business trip. Now our attention turns to follow up as we provide information and support to some of the good prospective companies and site selectors we met in Los Angeles. Stay posted - hopefully one of the companies we meet on the road will turn into a new business for the Valley.