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2019 Summit Outcomes

Posted on: April 29, 2019
Tags: Conference updates, Summit, Summit outcomes

Notes from Think Regional 6th Annual Summit – Friday, April 26, 2019

The 6th Annual Think Regional Summit was held at the Hilton Garden Inn at Austin Landing on Friday, April 26, 2019.  The purpose of Think Regional is to facilitate collaborations across our region between business, community, and elected leaders to achieve greater growth in economic development, job creation and quality of life improvements than any county or city can achieve on their own.

This year’s Summit focused on one of the factors driving economic and job growth: Innovation and Entrepreneurial Support.  Our morning panels were deftly moderated by Doug Bolton, President & CEO of Cincinnati Cares, the former Publisher of the Cincinnati Business Courier and the Dayton Business Journal. 

The first panel included insights on Innovations in Agriculture, the number 1 industry in the State of Ohio on, Business and Education. 

  • John Surber of Premier Feed & Grain Solutions, spoke of the role that technology is playing in connecting smaller farms with international markets, which used to be dominated by the large conglomerates. 
  • Dan Evers, Director of the Clinton County Port Authority, spoke of the technology innovations that new clients of the Wilmington Air Park, such as Amazon Air, are bringing to the region.
  • Nicole Foster of GE Aviation, spoke of the innovations that GE is bringing to the global aviation engine industry from the Evendale plant facility.
  • Jonathan Cooper, Superintendent, Mason CSD, and Matt Miller, Superintendent, Lakota Local SD, spoke about the education innovations underway in both high schools, involving increased collaborations with businesses to identify skilled internship opportunities and a new Cybersecurity Academy at Lakota High School.

The second panel provided insights on Innovations in Healthcare, Manufacturing and Technology.

  • Yannick Schilly, President & CEO and Anne Cappel, Chief Marketing Officer of Altix Consulting, spoke of the innovations in advanced manufacturing processes and robotic manufacturing designs they help client companies to implement.
  • Chris McWhinney, President & CEO of Millennium Reign Energy, spoke of their innovations in the design, manufacturing and distribution of hydrogen refueling stations that will enable the transition from fossil fuel powered vehicles to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  They have announced that they will begin building 27 stations across the US, mostly across I-70, to provide the first Transcontinental Hydrogen Highway, enabling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to drive coast to coast, and accelerate the energy transition.
  • Michael Uhl, President of Miami Valley Hospital, Premier Health Partners, spoke of the many innovations in the health care industry regarding advanced medical devices and treatment procedures that have improved patient outcomes and dramatically shortened recovery times.

Our Keynote Speakers were William Harrison III, Director, Small Business Development, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and Kim Frazier, Director, Growth Initiatives, The Entrepreneurs Center (TEC) in Dayton.  Together, they outlined the extensive programs and processes for supporting small business and entrepreneurial growth in the Region through the TEC, by leveraging the technology and funding available from the AFRL. 

After lunch, Bill Muse, the President Emeritus  of the National Issues Forum Institute, presented an example of one of the Issue Guides that frame a Deliberative Discussion of the options for a solution that represents common ground.  In addition, he presented a video of the new online interactive platform for conducting Deliberative Discussions on key issues and arriving at common ground solutions.

During the networking time after the Summit, Chris McWhinney demonstrated the education electrolyzer he designed to teach students about the hydrogen production and use in a fuel cell to generate electricity.

The Summit ended with the announcement of the 2020 Think Regional Summit on April 24, 2020.  The topic will focus on Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in business and neighborhoods, as an element of Regional growth.   Mark your calendars!

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