MAEDC Board Member Spotlight: Cathleen Flournoy
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Meet Cathleen Flournoy, Missouri Director
Tell us about yourself! How long have you been on the Mid-America EDC board?
I’m a proud graduate of Missouri State in Springfield, MO, and a die-hard Kansas Jayhawks fan! I’ve worked in economic development since 1999 when I started with the City of Kansas City, MO. I am wife to Dan (almost 25 years) and mom to Grace, Jack, Thad, Catie and Ellie – along with 3 dogs (Phoggy, Nikita and Luna). As you can imagine, we have a busy life but we love it! I love to run and cook, both of which come in handy with a large family. I have been involved with MAEDC since transitioning to my role with Missouri Partnership in 2020 and joined the board shortly thereafter. I’ve enjoyed getting to know economic developers from various states and communities outside of Missouri. I look forward to hosting folks in Kansas City in 2023.
Tell us about your organization, the Missouri Partnership, and your role.
Missouri Partnership is a public-private economic development organization focused on attracting new jobs and investment to the state and promoting Missouri’s business strengths since 2006. We work in partnership with the Hawthorn Foundation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the State of Missouri, and economic development agencies across the state. I am Vice President of Business Recruitment focused on working with communities and regions throughout the state. Since beginning with Missouri Partnership in 2020, I’ve been able to meet and learn about areas of the state I had not had a chance to visit. Midwest kindness runs throughout Missouri.
Missouri is pretty much smack dab in the center of the US. Tell our members more about the advantages that presents logistically for companies, and how some of the major rivers play a part in that as well.
Missouri provides a perfect mid-continent launch point for entering the US market with easy access to every corner of North America through globally connected infrastructure and unrestricted access to the Gulf. From Missouri, you can fly nonstop to 70 destinations across North America. In addition, Missouri’s central location allows you to reach more than 50% of the continental US in less than one-day’s drive, and most of the rest within two.
Besides being known as the “Show Me State” and a place to get good BBQ, what else would you like our members to know about Missouri?
Missouri has a diverse economy with industries such as Agtech, the animal health corridor, financial services, aviation, advanced manufacturing, and a rising star in the tech industry. Missouri has a phenomenal park and trail system with the Katy Trail running throughout the state as well as additional outdoor recreation at lakes such as Smithville, Lake of the Ozarks, and Table Rock. Finally, a foodie can find unique and diverse cuisine throughout the state!
What do you enjoy most about working in economic development?
I was drawn to economic development after college with the ability to influence politics from the outside. In addition, our work can help build a community, region, and state through its people.
What are some of your (you personally and/or your organization’s) top priorities for 2022?
The first quarter of the year is already over and Missouri Partnership is busy as ever. Missouri continues to be a hotspot for manufacturing and logistics projects. Our organization launched our new 3-year metrics last summer and as a result of the number of high investment and high impact projects announced, the organization has nearly met its 3-year capital investment goal in less than one year! We continue to collaborate with a number of state agencies and communities to promote Missouri as an excellent climate to live, work and play.