Save the Date! The Next Summit is November 1, 2017


Register Here

For the last four years SVED has put on an annual economic summit for the business, government and non-profit community.  The event has become the go-to community business event attracting a great mix of leaders, with 250 people attending last year.
Learn – Network – Engage has become the tagline for the event.  Past themes have included the Local Economy, Resilience, Innovation, Sustainability, and this year:  “The Intersection of Housing and Talent Attraction”.
SVED has prioritized shining a light on our valley housing needs for both Middle Income Housing and Affordable Housing.  We believe adequate housing availability is a foundation for any kind of economic growth and critical to attract the next generation of talent.  We think a stakeholder community conversation is the starting point for making workable changes in our housing direction that coincide with our Mission “Creating a thriving, diversified, year-round economy while maintain our quality of place.
October 6 we are bringing back a national economic development leader, Jon Roberts, of TIP Strategies of Austin, TX.  Jon will open the morning program by framing the issues and setting the stage for community discussions.
Three panels will then explore different perspectives on our housing-talent challenges / opportunities.
Business / Employer
Developer / Builder
Regulatory Authority
Jon Roberts will close by summarizing the discussion, examining how similar communities are dealing with these issues, and how best to move forward with action steps.
The event includes continental breakfast and networking starting at 8am, coffee breaks, and a buffet luncheon.
Tickets are $100 online only for the 8am-2pm program.  We have some terrific sponsors like Cox Business, Sun Valley Realtors, Power Engineers, Sun Valley Resort, Idaho Power, St. Luke’s Wood River, Magleby Construction, and Conrad Brothers Construction.  They are also providing some scholarship tickets via the various high schools.
A VIP Reception October 5 will be held for invited local government guests and sponsor / members of SVED at the Community Level or higher.  Contact for information.



Economic Summit 2015 Review –  New Strategies for Local Challenges:

Sun Valley Economic Development is privileged to have Gordon Jones, Founding Dean of Boise State College of Innovation & Design, be the keynote speaker at its Fourth Annual Economic Summit.  He is working on identifying new pathways of learning that will provide students across public higher education with skills that meet emerging workplace demands.

Prior to his role at Boise State, Gordon served as the Evans Family Foundation Managing Director of the Harvard Innovation Lab.  Hired as the Inaugural Director in 2011, Gordon has led theHarvard i-lab from launch to maturity with 600 ventures incubated and $250MM raised in professional funding since opening.

Gordon has 20 years of experience in senior roles with startups, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries.  Gordon also brings a deep passion for education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and a proven commitment to mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurial oriented leaders.  He has previously served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Bentley University, teaching marketing to MBA and undergraduate students.  Organizations with whom he has worked include:  American Biophysics (purchased by Woodstream), Universal Pest Solutions (licensing deal with ServiceMaster/Terminix), Gillette, Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, PepsiCo, and The Orme School.  He graduated from Brown University (BA) and earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

“We are hoping to build on Gordon Jones’ message of preparing for an age of innovation to our own local economy, where we see many persistent challenges in need of new strategies,” said SVED event organizer Doug Brown.

Following a brief update on our 2015 economy by SVED Executive Director Harry Griffith, three panels with local presenters and audience input will seek to identify strategies that will help us move forward:

  • Building Our Business Start-Up Ecosystem
  • Innovation in our Cultural & Recreational Tourism Sectors
  • Breaking through Housing & Land Use Obstacles

Then, over a working lunch, we will move into facilitated breakout groups to solicit ideas and strategies about how innovation can improve our economy and quality of place.  Post-conference, SVED will consolidate the Summit’s output and provide feedback to the community.  

“Earlier Summits have drawn up to 250 business, non-profit, and government leaders to network, engage in important dialogue, and come away with new insights and strategies,” said Brown.

Participants will have two attendance options.  Those interested only in the Keynote Address will be able to buy a $50 ticket, while those who want the entire program (including lunch) will be able to attend for $100.

Coffee and networking starts at 8am.  Our keynote speaker Gordon Jones will kick off promptly at 9:10 am.  The rest of the program begins at 10:15 am and will conclude by 2pm.

Tickets for this fundraising event will only be available in advance on our Website: starting September 1; click on ECONOMIC SUMMIT and pick your preferred package.  

SVED is a 501 c 6 non-profit organization with a who’s who list of over 130 business members, a 13 member voting board of directors from the private sector, a 6 member local government representative board component and the Idaho Department of Commerce.
Our mission is promoting economic vitality, diversity and quality of place throughout the communities of Blaine County, Idaho.



Last year in review:

2014 Economic Summit - Wednesday, October 8th

Summit 2014 - From Adversity to Opportunity: Building a Secure and Resilient Community

Keynote Presentation: Mayor Bob Dixson, Greensburg, KS

Wednesday, October 8th, Sun Valley Resort


Sun Valley Economic Development is thankful to Bob Dixson, Mayor of Greensburg, KS who was a fabulous keynote presenter at our Third Annual Economic Summit this October. 

Greensburg, Kansas was devastated by an EF-5 tornado, the biggest there is, in May of 2007.  The two mile wide tornado left almost all of its 1,383 citizens without a home, leveling the entire town and killing nine people.  The community came together to undergo the herculean task to rebuild and decided to do so in a resilient manner.  The greening of Greensburg was a way to rebrand the community, which was already facing a declining population and a number of other issues.  Bob Dixson, Mayor, said it was about “building a community back as our ancestors built for us – a community built to last”. 

Mayor Dixson addressed the issues of rebuilding in the face of a devastating and sudden disaster, the process of creating a plan for a more resilient, self-sustaining town, the difficulties and the triumphs in the last six years and what lessons other communities can learn from their experience.

Faced with our own uncertainties, our community finds ourselves asking how to best build a resilient community with a diversity of economic and personal opportunities.  At this year’s summit, Sun Valley Economic Development explored the resilience of our community to unexpected economic, infrastructure, environmental, and cultural changes. 


Harry Griffith

P.O. Box 4380 | Ketchum, Idaho 83340

Phone: 208-721-7847 | Email:

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