Press Release

National League of Cities University and Retail Strategies Host 3rd Cohort for Economic Development Certificate

nlcu retail as a catalyst education course


CONTACT: Courtney Hall
Retail Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (June 21, 2023) – Offered in partnership with Retail Strategies, the National League of Cities University (NLCU) is pleased to announce the third cohort for the economic development certificate, Retail as a Catalyst for Economic Development. The cohort will begin on August 31 and end on October 5. To date, elected officials and city staff from 37 communities in 17 states have received the certificate from previous cohorts.

“NLCU believes in the importance of empowering local officials with the expertise needed to effectively plan for and attract retail establishments to their communities,” said Dr. Robert Blaine, senior executive and director for the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute). “We are pleased to continue offering the Retail as a Catalyst for Economic Development certificate to support NLC’s belief that retail plays a vital role in any comprehensive economic development plan.”

The course features interviews with industry executives from a variety of organizations:

  • Clarence Anthony, President and Executive Director, National League of Cities
  • David Downey, President and CEO, International Downtown Association
  • Nathan Ohle, President and CEO, International Economic Development Corporation
  • Jazmen Johnson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, ICSC
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council for Finance Development Agencies
  • Larisa Ortiz, Manager Director of Public Non-Profit Solutions, Streetsense

“The Retail as a Catalyst for Economic Development program through National League of Cities University has been a great tool for newly elected officials, board members, and municipal professionals over the last year,” said Lacy Beasley, president of Retail Strategies.

“The industry executive interviews are exclusive to the course and provide immense value for members of the public sector. Retail Strategies is proud to partner with NLCU to provide education on the importance of including retail in an overall economic development plan.”

Lacy Beasley, President, Retail Strategies

The eight-week virtual course is accompanied by four live virtual sessions with Retail Strategies’ staff to start or continue a city’s retail and economic development journey. Interested participants can learn more about the course here:

Early bird pricing for the course is $1,500 by July 31.
Regular registration is $1,920.

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About NLC University

NLC University (NLCU) delivers real-world solutions – and innovative new approaches – to the challenge’s city leaders face every day. NLCU is the collaborative executive education and leadership development initiative developed by the National League of Cities to help municipal leaders – both elected and appointed – build the skills they need to better govern, serve, and advocate for their communities. Focused on skill and knowledge exchange, NLCU brings leading national experts and practitioners to local leaders to support, coach and inform local solutions.

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My relationship with the Retail Strategies team has been extremely valuable over the last couple of years as I’ve searched for sites in the Southeast. They have been persistent and provided any information they could gather for available properties that fit my criteria. If they received news that a space was coming available they made sure to immediately give me a call and connect with the owners. I would recommend using this service to any of my colleagues looking in their client cities.

Walter Kelly, Broker

Arc Realty

walter kelley arc realty

Retail Strategies has been a tremendous asset to Cypress. They have access to industry and business intelligence in an immensely competitive retail environment. The relationships they develop with commercial/retail property owners delivers results for the city because Retail Strategies excels at marketing their clients.

Peter Grant, City Manager

Cypress, CA

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