In A World Podcast – Tim Cowden – Kansas City Area Development Council

 

Kansas City Area Development Council

Tim Cowden – President / KCADC

Tim Cowden has nearly three decades of experience in economic development and corporate recruitment having held senior positions at the community and regional level. He’s had the excellent fortune of being able to combine this experience with five years of front line sales/customer service, marketing and operational experience in a traditional business environment.

His leadership role with the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) provides him with the privilege of working with highly accomplished professionals known as among the very best in this industry.

He works closely with economic development partners across Missouri and Kansas, covering 18 counties and more than 50 communities. The mission is to grow the OneKC region in the areas of advanced manufacturing, bioscience/animal health, transportation/logistics, manufacturing, headquarters and information technology corporate attraction.

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-Transcript-

Brad Burrow: Hello, and welcome to the In A World with Real Media podcast. Today I have a very special guest, Tim Cowden, who is the president and CEO at the Kansas City area Development Council. It’s a very long title.

Tim Cowden: It is.

Brad Burrow: Business cards got to be a little longer than everybody else’s.

Tim Cowden: It’s just because I’m old now. The older you get, the longer your title becomes.

Brad Burrow: Yeah, that’s right.

Brad Burrow: Well Tim, thank you so much for being on the podcast. There have been some amazing things happening in your life, and in Kansas City that you have been leading very cool things. We want to talk about those things with the USDA and some great future things happening in our city. Wow, what a great time. It’s great to see.

Tim Cowden: It is an amazing time to be in Kansas City. There’s so many great things occurring right now, in my organization and so many that are involved with KCDC, and grow in our region are in a great spot. We just have to take advantage of it and believe that we are.

Brad Burrow: That’s great. I wanted to really get in the story of all that, but first I wanted to just talk about your background. You have a very interesting background. I was looking at linked in and checking you out. You’ve really have 30 years of building up to this point in your career, seems like, building these skill sets. Can you talk about that a little bit, even working at Dillard’s at one point.

Tim Cowden: Yeah, back in the day another life, another career. I was an operations’ manager at Dillard’s Department Store in the early ’90s, but I great up in Oklahoma. I’m an OU guys, Boomer Sooner. I always wanted to be involved with what I’m doing today; I love cities, regions and development. As a kid I knew that’s the career track that I wanted to take. People will say there’s no way that you knew that, way back then; but I did, I love geography and maps, and all of that.

Tim Cowden: I had an opportunity, when I was at OU, to intern with the Norman Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development. So I did my junior and senior year, and I loved it; didn’t really know what I was doing, but I felt like hey, this is something that I want to try and pursue, and an opportunity presented itself.

Tim Cowden: So the CEO at the time, great guy; one of my earliest mentors, Ken Moore; I went to Ken, Mr. Moore, and said hey- yeah, Mr. Moore [crosstalk 00:02:50] Ken, believe me. I went to Mr. Moore and said hey, can you help me find a job in economic development when I graduate? And he said yeah keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll see if we can figure all that out at the appropriate time. At the appropriate time in May 1986, I had an opportunity to go to Wichita Falls, Texas, and that’s where I started my economic development career. That was an amazing opportunity at the time, great community, still have a lot of friends there. I learned a lot about adversity, because if you remember, you’ve got some gray hair like me, if you remember back in the late 80s, it was a really tough time to be in the oil patch. The farm and ranch crisis, the resolution trust corporation took over all the SNLs in Texas, and my community was in the middle of all of that.

Brad Burrow: Probably devastated by all of that.

Tim Cowden: It was a tough time, but I learned a lot about the fact that hey, adversity occurs, and what are you going to do as an economic development organization to try to address some of those ills and some of those concerns, and the damage that was being done by the economy in that part of the world. So, that was a great time for me to gain that sort of experience, because you think coming out of college that everything is going to be a bed of roses, and you’re going to have all this success immediately, and right off the bat say hey, it’s not always like that; you gotta fight through it.

Brad Burrow: Drove right into the storm, huh?

Tim Cowden: Drove right in the storm. I had grown up in a family of entrepreneurs. My dad still to this day is working, he’s 80 years old, he goes to work every day; he’s in the gasoline business, so I grew up in a retail environment. In the early 1990s, I thought it’s been pretty tough in west Texas for the last 4 years, is this really what I want to do with my career, is this what I’m meant to do? I frankly just took the easy way out, and I went back, and I worked for my fathers business for about a year, and I remember the conversation very clearly with him at the time. I said dad, this just isn’t my passion, I’m just not feeling this. I think I want to move on and do something I want to do. He agreed with me 100%.

Brad Burrow: Is that right?

Tim Cowden: He did, he said yeah, I agree with you Tim, I think you should go do something you want to do.

Brad Burrow: That’s good.

Tim Cowden: So I had a bit of a reroute through Dillard’s, because I had this retail background. I knew someone that was in the management infrastructure hierarchy at Dillard’s at the time. The company was growing rapidly in the early 90s, so they needed some bodies frankly, and I was in the right place at the right time, and I was hired as an operation’s manager. Of all the places they sent me in the world, they sent me to Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Tim Cowden: We had about two or three days to get everything packed up. My wife and I had a little girl, a little baby at the time, and we took off and went to Bartlesville.

Brad Burrow: That’s funny how life works like that, isn’t it?

Tim Cowden: We were there for about four months, then I got a promotion to move back to the Oklahoma city area where I am from, and I went to a big store there. My time at Dillard’s was an amazing time for my career and personal development. Managing, and I don’t think I lead, I tried to lead, but I had to manage a lot of people, a lot resources; I was in charge of sales for about a 30 million dollar store.

Tim Cowden: It was trial by fire, I had to learn every day in the retail environment, it’s right in your face; there’s no place to run. There’s nothing more real or visceral about a sale and customer service than having somebody stand across the counter from you and tell you why they liked something that you did or why they didn’t, and how you have to handle that.

Brad Burrow: Instant feedback, right?

Tim Cowden: Instant feedback. I learned a lot about customer service in the 3 and a half years I was with Dillard’s, and I know that we’ve taken that forward, that concept of really addressing the needs of the customer, and we apply it every day to what we do at the area development council.

Brad Burrow: So then you moved on from there to Utah, is that correct?

Tim Cowden: I did. The gentleman who hired me right out of college, in Wichita Falls, had moved around a bit, and he was in Utah. He had attempted to get me back in the business about a year earlier, and at the time I said no, I need to stay with Dillard’s for a while, and really give that my full attention.

Tim Cowden: About a year+ later, this was in 1995, I was sitting with my wife, and I said to her this is not what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and my career. Dillard’s was great, but this is not what I want to do. I was about 29/30 years old.

Brad Burrow: How did you know that? You just feel something?

Tim Cowden: Inside I just knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I could have had a nice career, I could have advanced within the company, but I knew that I wouldn’t be ultimately where I wanted to be. Even thinking back to when I was a kid, and wanting to be involved with cities and development and the like. I reached out to Mike Lawson, who was working in Salt Lake. I said hey Mike, if you ever have the opportunity, I’d like to talk to you about it again. Remember, a year earlier I told him no, so I didn’t think I’d really have much of a chance, but things worked out and about three months later, someone he worked with contacted me, and said they had an entry level recruiter position with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, which is based in Salt Lake, but they represent the entire state of Utah.

Tim Cowden: I went out and interviewed, and I took less money to go to Utah. Believe me, I wasn’t making much money at Dillard’s; I won’t tell you how much, but it wasn’t a lot. I took less money, and moved my family; at that time we had two little kids, basically sight unseen, packed up a big Penske truck; pulled a car; put the cat in the back of the trailer-

Brad Burrow: Honey, we’re heading west.

Tim Cowden: -… and we’re going west across the great American desert. That was probably without a doubt the best decision I ever made. I had an amazing experience in Utah for about the next four years. Had a lot of success. It was great to be completely out of your comfort zone; we’d never lived outside of Oklahoma and Texas.

Brad Burrow: That had to be a bit of a culture shock.

Tim Cowden: It was a culture shock, but in a really good way. We enjoyed our time in Utah. When we were there, I had the opportunity to meet Bob Marcus, Steve Johnson, and Martin Menning. Martin still works at the area development council, he’s our CMO. We had done a peer-to-peer exchange, where the team from Kansas City had come out to Salt Lake to ask us how we were doing some the things as it related to recruiting companies at the time; they were the big wafer chip manufacturing operation, so intel was putting these big wafer fat plants, and Utah had some success with that, with a big one that Micron Technologies still operates.

Tim Cowden: Bob, Steve, and Martin had come out, and met me, and we had gone out to dinner. One evening, my boss Mike Lawson said why don’t you take these guys from Kansas City to dinner. I took them to dinner, and we hit it off, and about a year later Jeff Burger … Jeff was working at KCADC, I don’t know if that name rings a bell with you. He had just gone to work for the speedway, so that spot at KCADC was open. The guys, Bob, Martin, and Steve remembered me, and knew that I had a connection to this part of the world, and they contacted me and said hey, would you consider Kansas City? I came in, and interviewed, and that was in 1998; 21 years ago almost to the day that we record this, and I’ve been here ever since.

Brad Burrow: Well, you’ve made a huge impact on Kansas City. I was reading through Linkedin again, and some corporations that you’ve helped move into Kansas City is amazing. It’s an incredible list.

Tim Cowden: Well, you’re giving me a lot of credit. The credit goes to a lot of people, and our community partners. We say at KCADC, the organization has been around for 43 years. What we do is we focus on selling, marketing and branding this region as one to the world. There’s a lot of individuals, a lot of organizations, a lot of companies, and communities in both states, and the utilities to make all of that happen. We describe KCADC as a coalition of the willing. There are all of these entities, there’s no mandate that they’re investors or partners with KCADC, but we all understand that we have a much better chance of competing and winning if we coordinate and we partner and we take this product that we call Kansas City into a highly competitive marketplace as one. We have a much better chance to win that way, I think that really showed very well with the whole process to relocate the two agencies of USDA to Kansas City.

Brad Burrow: Do you think that the Kansas City people, the mentality, plays into that narrative? We shoot interviews all over the world actually, but I hear people talk about Kansas City; they love it here, and they love the people here. Do you see that coming together, as that team that’s willing to go out and work together to accomplish that goal.

Tim Cowden: I’m a Kansas Citian now. I grew up in Oklahoma, and I was born there, but I’ve lived here, and we’ve raised our four kids in Kansas City. There is a pride here, there is a belief, there is just a strong sense of community for Kansas City, by Kansas Citians. When I say Kansas City, or Kansas Citians, I’m talking about everybody; Kansas side, Missouri side; it’s the metro area.

Tim Cowden: It’s something really unique that we have here- I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but I’ve experienced it many, many times, and I hear it all the time when I talk to people, that you’re in an airport on the east coast or the west coast, and you see people walking through the concourse at LAX, or at DFW, or at LaGuardia; they are wearing the Charlie Hustle heart KC shirts. It’s nothing to do with the Royals or the Chiefs, and you see enough of that gear out there too, but it’s really unique, because I don’t see people in the airports on the west or east coast wearing something that just says Dallas, or DFW, or even Denver.

Tim Cowden: There’s this pride for Kansas City, and it’s something that we are leveraging, and we’re harnessing, and that’s being communicated to these companies, and these decision makers on behalf of companies and organizations that could put their operations anywhere in the country. That sense of community, of pride … and I don’t mean to be too dramatic about it, but it is a distinguisher of our region versus others. We say this, I mean, Kansas City is an amazing place, but when we are really honest about it, there are a lot of amazing places to live and to do business in this country. When you communicate about Kansas City on a piece of paper or through video, that can be compelling, but there’s nothing more compelling than getting people here. We call it the epiphany of the visit.

Tim Cowden: So when someone who has not been to Kansas City before, and I’m surprised how many people have not been to KC before, or they’ve been to Kansas City years ago. They remember a much different Kansas City than what we know Kansas City today. You get people here, they spend a little time and their eyes are just wide open and looked at the possibilities. Again, not to sound too dramatic, but I see it over and over again. As we look to bring people here; more and more companies and decision makers, I think we’re going to have a lot more that are going to ultimately decide this is where they want to expand or relocate their businesses.

Brad Burrow: That’s great. We’re just gonna touch on the USDA thing, the big thing that’s happened; what an incredible story. What is the story … This podcast, I really like to get into the storytelling aspect of business; every business has a story; when you’re presenting to the decision makers for the USDA about Kansas City, I assume you’re the guy that’s kind of [crosstalk 00:18:03] bringing-

Tim Cowden: Well I’m one of the team. I’ll say this, we have an amazing team. Not just at KCADC, that 24 people who I work with every day that are very, very talented. Believe me, they’ve got to be talent to cover up for my flaws. So, they are tremendous; we have great sales people, we have great marketers, we have storytellers; graphic design. We have a tremendous team, but then when you expand that out, we have a tremendous regional team. Nothing we do gets done without the support, without the leadership of our community partners; the leadership at the state level. So, the USDA was a great opportunity for Kansas City to show the rest of the country that this region is here to compete, and is going to win. There’s a number of projects that we have in the pipeline right now that are really exciting, and I don’t know when the podcast will actually air; the next month or two months, but there’s going to be more companies that are moving and announcing their move to Kansas City that I know people in Kansas City are going to be pretty excited about.

Brad Burrow: That’s awesome, we’ll have to have you back!

Tim Cowden: Yeah! Have more of the team back, that’s actually doing the work.

Brad Burrow: I’d love to do that.

Tim Cowden: With USDA … it was last fall, we saw an RFI that was circulated like typical RFIs are generated, and then circulated to various economic development organizations across the country.

Brad Burrow: So it comes right to your organization?

Tim Cowden: Often times it’ll come to our organization or to come to our partners at the state; sometimes it’ll go to the community, but in this case it basically was sent across the country. Any entity; any state or any regional group or city could respond to it. One of the real strengths of our organization is that we’re able to [crosstalk 00:20:14]

Tim Cowden: …but all I did was went out and smile. Everybody knew that the decision was going to be coming down soon, and I don’t know how many of those folks saw me smiling, or felt that something was in the works. Then the next morning, the announcement came, and that was a big day. A lot of media that we were answering their requests for comment; the Washington Post, all sorts of trade pubs, and the like. Certainly, there was a reaction from D.C., and those that are within the USDA, say okay, you’re telling me I’m moving to Kansas City, and I have thirty days to make a decision? If I’m going to move my life, and my career and my family? That’s tough. We know that’s tough. You know, flip the switch. If somebody came to me, or came to you, and said you have thirty days to decide that you’re going to move from Kansas City to D.C.; wouldn’t really be anything against D.C., it’d be like well, I only got like thirty days to make a decision.

Tim Cowden: That’s the way it came down, and we, in working with the USDA, said we’ll work with you, we’ll work with the employees; we’ll go to D.C.; we’ll do all that we can to answer questions, so that the employees of both agencies have the opportunity to make an informed decision on if they want to take the relocation. Everybody that’s involved, that has a job with ERS, and NIFFA, in D.C., those are the two agencies that are moving here, have a job if they want in Kansas City. We work with a lot of private sector company over the years, and relocations happen; there might be a reduction in force, so if a company is moving from point A to point B, they will do it for any number of reasons, but often time it’s to basically impact the bottom line favorably. Often times, individuals that are in the original community are told you don’t have a job when we go to the new community. We’re going to lay you off here, and we’ll hire there.

Tim Cowden: It’s different with the federal government, and the USDA. Everyone that has a job right now in Washington D.C. can have a job in Kansas City if they want it. The relocation will be paid … but again, that’s really an aside regarding the whole human context of it.

Brad Burrow: Your life is there.

Tim Cowden: Your life is there. Elderly parents in some cases that you are taking care of, kids with special needs, whatever it is. It’s tough. We took a group to D.C.; last week we were there, and very proud of the effort; we took about 29 experts from Kansas City there. Experts in housing, experts in healthcare, you name it. These individuals were also senior, in many cases, senior HR executives from various companies here. They went there on their own time and their own dime. We asked them to go, and we basically set up an explore KC event. It was very well attended, a lot of great information was shared, but we told them we’re not there to sell you as a USDA employee on Kansas City; we understand this is a tough deal. What we want to do is at least provide you with a base of data, of factual data and information, that if you want to make the move, you’ll at least have the information on Kansas City that you can do that.

Brad Burrow: That went over-

Tim Cowden: It went over very well. We’ll see over the course of the next period of weeks what happens with how many move here or not. It was a great message, a great tone, and this is not me saying that, we heard that from the individuals there. Some stuff you’ve read in the media about the employees there not wanting the relocation to occur, sure there’s-

Brad Burrow: There’s some.

Tim Cowden: Well, absolutely there’s pushback on the relocation, it’s not pushback on Kansas City. It’s not at all a pushback on Kansas City, it’s a pushback on the fact that they’re being moved, and having basically 30 days to decide. That’s the deal, and we’re there to make it work for those that want to move.

Brad Burrow: My dad used to be the director of HR for Ewing Kauffman at Marion Labs; Ed Borough. So growing up, and having dinner, hearing stories, I used to hear all the time that when they relocated executives from the east coast or west coast, that they were always shocked at the cost of living, and the things you could do in Kansas City that you couldn’t do on the coast. I would imagine that is still probably the case. They could have a completely different lifestyle here than they could potentially in Washington D.C.

Tim Cowden: They will have a completely different lifestyle. Those that move, and we experience this all the time; I know you have too; that people that move here, and didn’t have any exposure to Kansas City before, move here and live here for a couple of years, by and large they don’t want to leave. When the company comes to them and say your time is up here, and we are going to relocate you to another place in the United States or somewhere in the world, there’s a lot of pushback; because people love Kansas City, and those individuals in your audience that are listening to this, they are going to be shaking their heads up and down in agreement with me, because I know we all experience that. By and large, when people move here, they have a great experience; they don’t want to leave Kansas City. It’s a great place. Sure, it’s less costly than Washington D.C., but the quality, and the value that you extract from living here is so high. The lifestyle here, the options that you have-

Brad Burrow: Housing, the cost of housing.

Tim Cowden: -the cost of housing, compared certainly to Washington D.C. They are going to be getting a big promotion; a big promotion in just take home pay by moving from the Maryland/Virginia/D.C. area, to Kansas City. We had a gentleman who is one of the top executives with the office of personnel management, his name is Jason Parman; he lives here Kansas City, but he spends a lot of time in D.C., and he covers a number of markets throughout the United States. He’s been with the federal government, I believe, for about 22 or 23 years. We had him come in, and speak to the groups there in D.C., and it was very, very pos- I mean he does it all the time; he moves people in and out of D.C., in and out of Kansas City. His personal experience has always been that; employees or federal workers that are moving into Kansas City, particularly from the district, they see a big bump in pay.

Brad Burrow: That’s awesome. Let’s transition to one of the things I wanted to talk about just a bit; this is going to be a big benefit to Kansas City moving forward. You think about having these offices here, that’s going to attract more animal health companies, wouldn’t that be the case? We can’t even just look at it from the 500 jobs, there’s going to be a lot of tentacles going out that are really going to bring in a lot of opportunities.

Tim Cowden: Absolutely. You think about it again, these two agencies with the USDA, they are the very, I guess, the brain trust- They are the crown jewels of USDA, these two agencies. So when you bring them, and you put them in Kansas City, you think about all the opportunities that you just referred to. Those other companies, not just in the animal health space, but those that want to innovate in that space. That want to be here. You talk about your fathers experience with Ewing Kauffman. I just had the opportunity yesterday to meet with Wendy Guillies, who’s CEO of the Kauffman foundation. We were talking about this very thing, that once the two agencies move here, what can we do as a region to take advantage of that, particularly from an entrepreneurial standpoint; from an innovation platform standpoint; from bringing other companies, or other entrepreneurs, others that are looking to innovate-

Brad Burrow: Startup community.

Tim Cowden: -startup community, that want to be close to basically these two agencies that are determining often times, the direction of the USDA; not just the USDA, but of the stakeholders that are here. Again, I was talking to somebody about this recently, if I’m a rancher down in Franklin or Miami county, or maybe I’m a soybean farmer up in Livingston county on the Missouri side; I’m thinking that the individuals that have a direct impact on my livelihood through these agencies are going to be located inside the 435 loop in Kansas City, as opposed to the beltway in Washington D.C.? That’s a really positive thing for me. It’s positive for the industry.

Tim Cowden: I heard this too, one of the gentlemen who made the presentation to USDA, that he hasn’t really heard about companies that are in the farm and ranch sector that go to Washington D.C., to start up their companies to be close to that in D.C. It doesn’t happen, but it’ll certainly … the opportunity to have that happen in Kansas City are much greater.

Brad Burrow: It really feels like Kansas City’s got a lot of momentum going right now, even in the … you know I’m kind of involved in the startup community; we do content for some things that are happening, but it really feels like we are trending in the right direction right now.

Tim Cowden: I couldn’t agree with you more. I look at it maybe this way, and I’ve described it in this way to a number of people over the last couple of years; that every generation or so there’s a city in America that emerges as the ‘it’ city. When I was back in college, I remember Charlotte, North Carolina all of a sudden just burst upon the American scene. A lot of good stuff was happening in Charlotte; a lot of companies were moving there particularly from New York. It became a financial services capital of the south, and that’s to Atlanta. There was just a lot of buzz about living in Charlotte.

Tim Cowden: Then Austin … Austin, Texas back in the 80s and 90s, all of a sudden it became where like … and think about the momentum that they have continued with up to this day. Really the tech capital outside of Silicon Valley is Austin; so, that city emerged.

Tim Cowden: Right now we hear a lot about Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville’s that ‘it’ city; a lot of great stuff has happened in Nashville. There’s just basis of lifestyle; they’ve got a great music culture there obviously; great food culture. Austin has that as well. We believe Kansas City has the opportunity to be that next ‘it’ city, and you touched on it, the momentum that we have. I tell you, we’re just getting started; but wins like the USDA … what’s going on with our sports teams, that contributes to a pride, but a lot of places in the country will have great sports teams from time to time.

Tim Cowden: You look at what’s going on in the startup community here; the entrepreneurial community, it’s a place where talent wants to be. This is a great place for foodies, it’s a great place for music. We have a cultural heritage here that is very, very unique. A lot of cities and regions that we compete with, the real high growth cities like Dallas, or Atlanta; sure those are great places, but they’re highly transient too, and there’s not a lot of … I don’t believe there’s much soul there. Kansas City, not only do we have a lot of heart, but we’ve got soul, and we have a history here. That is conveyed; people get that, that aren’t from here.

Tim Cowden: Just going downtown, and you see all the old buildings that have been renovated. A lot of cities don’t have that old warehouse, brick building stock like we do here. Then you look at what’s going on out in the ‘burbs; it’s so cool what’s happening in downtown Overland Park. The remaking of downtown Overland Park. Look at Lee Summit … Have you been to downtown Lee Summit recently? It’s amazing what’s going on … and Lenexa, with Lenexa city center, they’ve created a whole new community that’s walkable.

Tim Cowden: So we’ve got all these great things that are just not occurring in one part of our region. I could go around … up north all the great things that are going … Liberty just recently meeting with their leadership. Cool stuff that’s going on in Liberty, but we have all this that’s occurring in our region. Just to remember that it’s about the region, that companies and talent, first and foremost, looks at a large area. They are going to say I’m going to look at Kansas City, I want to look at Dallas. People don’t understand really where the state line is when they’re looking at it from so far away. They’re looking at it just a regional unit.

Tim Cowden: Then when you get here, you start to focus upon where do I want to be, what makes more sense for my lifestyle; for my family, or whatever it might be where I am in stage of my life. We have all those options in Kansas City. It’s one of the great things about KC that we provide, is we provide choice. Not just the obvious with two states, but a vibrant urban center; dynamic suburban communities; a rural lifestyle if you want that. All within really 45 minutes to an hour, easy drive of the central core.

Brad Burrow: Well I want to go ahead and wrap it up here, but just give me a little glimpse of your future, not you personally, but the KCADC; what does that look like? Maybe even five years out, it’s got to be really exciting.

Tim Cowden: It is exciting. We need to take advantage of the time that we have right now. This is a great time-

Brad Burrow: Got to capitalize on this moment.

Tim Cowden: -we have to capitalize, we have to push hard; those that are associated with KCADC, and I’m very proud of the work that we’re doing; we have great leadership, we have a great board. They see that there is a real energy within the organization, and that energy is reflective organizationally of what is occurring in the region, and that’s what has to happen. If you look back just a couple of years ago, the work that was done to get the new single terminal approved. That wouldn’t have happened. Joe Rearden, and his team at the chamber; the civic council, and a bunch of entities; Alicia up in the north land.

Tim Cowden: On, and on, and on, people came together to make that happen. That was a huge momentum builder there, but where the organization is today and where we are going, we have to really maintain, and push what occurs regionally. We have to reflect that energy, and then to take that energy that’s occurring throughout, and drive it. We’re the chief storytellers; we’re the marketers and branders, so if you imagine Kansas City as a big product, our division, or our responsibility as an organization at KCADC is to sell market and brand. That’s what we do.

Tim Cowden: Others are focused on existing companies, and growing existing companies. Others are focused on product development, and on, and on. Our lane is sales and marketing. Where it’s appropriate, we cross over and we collaborate with all these other entities across the region, because we are all working on behalf of the same thing. The same thing is Kansas City. There’s a lot of entities that are doing great work, organizations that are doing great work, just support existing companies, the entrepreneur; you name it in Kansas City. That’s not what we do necessarily every day; our charge again is out selling and marketing the region, but we are all working on behalf of this big entity that we know and love as Kansas City.

Brad Burrow: Well, very exciting. Tim, thank you so much for being on the In a World with Real Media Podcast, it’s awesome. Love to have you back anytime; Kim if she’d like to come-

Tim Cowden: Kimberly Young can come in and talk about the animal health corridor initiative, which is world class, and Jessica Palm can come in and talk about Teen KC; Chris Guterris, haven’t really talked about the great work that he’s doing in the manufacturing and logistics space. Tremendous. Those are the three primary initiatives that make up KCADC, and then our team that does the work every day to go out and make this a bigger and better place for companies to relocate and expand.

Brad Burrow: Well, thank you very much, and we’ll talk to you next time.

Tim Cowden: Awesome. Thank you very much.

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