Category Archives: Meta-Plan

Notes from September 11 Meta-Plan meeting

This was originally published in September, 2008 on, my first attempt at a blog about regional economic development activities. It was added to on 12/30/13.

Below are my notes from the September 11 Meta-plan meeting:

  • Meta-Plan follow-up Meeting. September 11, 2008. 8-10am. Faculty Club in the Hilton, UT’s Health Science Campus.
  • Meeting theme: A new start for our regional strategy for Northwest Ohio
  • Meeting objectives: Clear next steps for developing our collaboration


  1. Unity of vision (10 min) – Lloyd Jacobs
  2. Strategic framework for regional economic development (45 min) – Eva Klein
  3. Our challenges and opportunities (10 min) – Dan Johnson
  4. Private and public roundtable (15 min) – Tony Plath, Mark Sobczak, Tom Pounds, Tony Reams
  5. Wrap up: November event strategy – Lloyd Jacobs


Lloyd Jacobs, Unity of vision

  • Meta-plan activities started 18 months ago, making progress, esp. in the private community
  • Outside-in view, e.g., when you think of Chicago, you think of the region, city and suburbs
  • Old model was Fortune 500 as benign dictator, now about networking government, private and education (with a single purpose), not a single point a the top
  • The answer is “yes” by default; if someone has a good idea, let’s not question it, let’s support it

Eva Klein, Strategic framework for regional economic development

  • So much here, I will have to do a separate blog entry just about this piece.

Dan Johnson, Challenges and opportunities

  • Interest still in the “meta-plan” (even tho there could be a better term)
  • London conference: Quality of education, workforce and talent drives site selection (not incentives, free land or tax breaks)

Public and private roundtable

  • Tony Plath: confusion over who does what, “Extreme makeover” shows what we can do when on the same mission, get the message out about economic development activities
  • Mark Sobczak: Elected officials drive the debate and frame the issues
  • Tom Pounds: First meta-plan meeting had 7 people (lots more here today), transparency was a goal
  • Tony Reams: TMACOG was “government” but not “economic development”, football analogy (2 QBs compete but team is still more important), silos are bad

Open comments and questions (not sure of who made certain points, so not attributing anything to individuals here)

  • Need quantum leap, impatient. Meta-plan like going to church (no good if you sin Monday – Saturday).
  • Find the project and get results (better than just talking about it). Example: Collaboration with Detroit (we have stuff they could use).
  • Need a win, create momentum: Ford plant in Maumee, so close.
  • Good stuff is happening, have to tell those stories. But lacking common goals still.
  • Election cycle forces shorter term goals, hard for politicians to commit to do the right thing long term. Fearful of change, affect on our own back yard.
  • Strategic initiative chaired by CEOs. Pick an issue and just work it.
  • Grow with the companies that are here (it is not always about bringing in new).
  • “Yes we can”