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From Site Selection magazine, November 2010

Where To Find the Intelligence You Need

Mark Arend
Illustration by Bob Gravlee


y last 2010 column presents an opportunity to tie up some loose ends and clear the slate for the New Year that's just around the corner. Where to begin?

I'll start with the recent IAMC Fall Professional Forum at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., which concluded on October 6. This gathering saw the highest number of active members in attendance to date, the passing of the Chair's gavel from Jim Winter of Alcoa to Doyle Shea of 3M and the re-introduction of the Excellence in Corporate Real Estate Awards. The latter was as much a re-engineering as a re-introduction, and I am grateful to former IAMC Chairs Charles McSwain, formerly of CSX, Rick Little of Weyerhaeuser and Pete Garra of The Linde Group for their service on a task force formed to make these awards an integral part of the IAMC learning and Site Selection readership experiences going forward. You will be reading a lot about these awards and the work they recognize in these pages and in IAMC communications in 2011 and beyond.

The Fall Forum was also the venue for the presentation of the IAMC Health & Sciences Industry Group's much-anticipated white paper on surplus property disposition — a topic of interest to IAMC members and Site Selection readers in all industry sectors with specialized facilities operating in these challenging economic times. I served as an advisor to the group as it finalized the white paper, and I will detail its significance in an article in the next issue of the magazine. In the meantime, you can peruse the paper at

The Spring 2011 Professional Forum will be at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort in Albuquerque, N.M., April 30 to May 4. I encourage those readers who have yet to attend an IAMC Professional Forum to put this event on their calendars and in their budgets now. Professional Forum programming content and networking opportunities are second to none in the corporate real estate executive conference world. For the regular attendees, I look forward to seeing you there.

Next, I want to salute the states listed in our annual Business Climate Ranking in this issue, particularly those at the top of the list. North Carolina won't relinquish its first-place finish easily, it seems, but lots of other southern states are nipping at the Tar Heels. Some of the governors whose strategies are outlined in the cover story were term limited and will turn over the economic development reins to a new team in January. Others, like Governors Bev Perdue of North Carolina and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, are just getting started. The mid-term elections taking place as this issue is published will recast the political landscape in 2011 in ways that we hope will make the entire U.S. a more business-friendly capital investment location. Will a different region emerge in the next few years as the area to beat in our ranking? The Northeast? The Mountain West?

Finally, just a reminder to make Site Selection Online part of your intelligence-gathering routine. You'll find award-winning, original content at, and that is solidly need-to-know. The editors of Site Selection also produce two monthly online newsletters — the Site Selection Energy Report and the Site Selection Life Sciences Report — that deliver content of immediate interest to practitioners in those sectors and many related ones.

My colleagues and I appreciate your making the Site Selection brand one you could count on in 2010 for the best media-delivered location intelligence available, and we promise to make that brand even more valuable to you in the year ahead.

Till next time,

Mark Arend
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