November's Board Member Spotlight is on Chris McGowan, President, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce & The Siouxland Initiative
Monday, November 02, 2020
Happy November Mid-America EDC Members!
Big Ten Football is back, the election season is over, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s going to be a great month!
We hope you enjoyed our very first edition of the "Board Member Spotlight" newsletter last month.
These monthly short pieces are intended to provide insight on exciting economic development projects from around the Mid-America EDC Region while also providing virtual networking / get-to knows of the Mid-America EDC board members.
This month, we are featuring Chris McGowan, President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and The Siouxland Initiative (Sioux City, IA). Enjoy!
Q.1 Tell us about yourself! Why are you in economic development? How long have you been on the Mid-America EDC board?
A lawyer by education, I am an economic development professional by choice and committed to growing the economy in the tri-state area of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, which is known locally as “Siouxland.” With nearly two decades of industry experience, I have worked closely with small privately held companies, Fortune 500 corporations, and everything in between. My organization, like all Mid-America EDC members, is dedicated to delivering exceptional value propositions for companies seeking locations in which to expand or relocate. After serving on the Mid-America EDC Board for six years, I am nearing completion of my second term and grateful for the experience.
Q.2 What’s an exciting economic development project right now in "Siouxland"?
While COVID-19 has certainly slowed activity, we just announced a $25 million expansion project with about 75 jobs. This was very welcome news amidst the pandemic. At the time of this writing, our organization is hosting an international company represented by a well-known site selection firm and we are pursuing a major greenfield project with a very substantial capital investment. The coronavirus is also impacting this hosting; however, we have adjusted and continue to aggressively pursue this project as it represents a significant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for our community.
Q.3 What’s something unique that you would like to point out about your recent project and/or your job?
People are often surprised to learn that I work in three different states. That means our organization works closely with three unique gubernatorial administrations and, has to understand the inherent advantages of several independent tax climates and multiple incentive offerings from differing geographic locations.
Q.4 Any other expertise or guidance that you have that you are willing to share with Mid America members? What’s the best way to stay in contact with your ED organization?
Our EDO has performed very well in the national economic development rankings over the last fifteen years. While we are proud of our performance, we recognize that many of our qualifying projects were organic, underscoring the old adage that we need to be laser-focused on retention and taking care of the companies that are already in our backyards. Finally, while there is no substitute for personal engagement and in-person communication, as long as this pandemic continues, any communication platform that connects people is an effective one.