Rockford Area Economic Development Council Featured at MAEDC Conference

December 11, 2013, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS – The Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) is pleased to announce it was recently showcased along with the area’s aerospace cluster during a panel discussion at the Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC) 2013 Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum. The conference was held December 8-10 in Chicago.

Eric Voyles, Vice President of National Business Development at RAEDC, and Janyce Fadden, President at Jbfadden Enterprises and former President of RAEDC, were included on a panel regarding innovative approaches to economic development. The topics included RAEDC’s innovative business approach and the aerospace cluster development strategy.  In the session, participants learned first-hand from Voyles and Fadden about the advanced tools they developed and how they promote the Rockford region.

“Cluster development is a proven economic development strategy which we employed by analyzing our region’s assets,” said Voyles. “We looked at the businesses operating in our area and identified the Rockford Region as one of the largest epicenters of aerospace activity in the country, with more than 200 suppliers. Our successes are achieved by maximizing the available resources and growing exposure for this region as an aerospace hub.”

Fadden was also selected to discuss the transformational strategy employed to move from Council of 100 to Rockford Area Economic Development Council to Rockford Area Strategic Initiatives (RASI). 

“This prestigious opportunity to showcase the Rockford area in front of leading site selectors, real estate professionals, consultants and peers continues to promote the region and its assets,” said Fadden. “We are honored to assist the MAEDC as they promote that today’s most successful economic development organizations are more like business advisors entrenched within their region’s businesses, and they are developing more creative tools to serve their customers than ever before.” 

Additionally, Voyles lead a post-conference webinar that provided an opportunity for a more detailed conversation on the six-point leadership plan for the implementation of the RAEDC’s aerospace cluster strategy.

The Mid-America Economic Development Council is dedicated to enhancing economic developers’ knowledge, capabilities and opportunities through multi-state networking, education and site selector interaction. MAEDC represents more than 225 members throughout the Midwest including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

For more information about the MAEDC or the Competitiveness Conference, visit the website at:


The primary role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council is to collaboratively enhance wealth creation in the Rockford Region by helping employers retain and create quality jobs while promoting the region. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to learn what existing and new employers need to grow and to serve as a one-stop resource for clients.  The RAEDC seeks to improve the competitiveness of the region by taking what it learns from the region’s employers and engaging the community in the daily work of economic development to improve the competitiveness of the region. The organization was recognized by Expansion Solutions magazine with a 2012 “Top Five” award for its exceptional progress and potential for development in the Aerospace/Defense category.


RAAN (Rockford Area Aerospace Network) is a committee of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) and offers a platform for collaboration among local aerospace companies and institutions that serve the industry.  RAAN serves as the forum where the Rockford Region’s aerospace industry cluster development strategy is advanced on an on-going basis. RAAN is supported by the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge and the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce. The Challenge leverages existing resources from 16 federal agencies and award funds to regions that demonstrate the existence of high-growth industries that support a wide range of economic and workforce development activities.