takes Logan County wind to Windy City
Send a link to a friend
[April 20, 2010]
Joel Smiley, executive director of the
Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, recently concluded a
busy two days in Chicago. On behalf of the partnership and county,
Smiley attended the U.S. Wind Turbine Supply Chain conference at the
Windham Hotel in downtown Chicago on April 12 and 13.
Smiley said approximately
250 people representing several countries were on hand for the
conference and networking opportunity.
The executive director said
his time at the conference allowed him to come in contact with
perhaps 50 company officials who have businesses in either the wind
farm or wind farm supply and distribution fields. Of those contacts,
Smiley said at least 10 companies expressed an interest in Logan
County. He intends to follow up with phone calls and offer site
visits to anyone interested in seeing all that Logan County has to
Smiley said that in addition to wind farms, ancillary businesses
that provide components, warehousing and distribution needs will
find our area an excellent centralized location to deliver to not
only area wind farms, but to farms in adjoining states.
He found one Midwest company that was developing a new wind
turbine product and looking for a site, which would bring 100 new
jobs. Companies like these are what he is targeting besides wind
Smiley said he also made contact with several site selectors:
companies that tour areas dealing with logistics for wind farm
development and then make recommendations to wind farm companies. He
said one such contact was with a senior consultant of one of the
five largest firms in the world.
The partnership director said he also spoke with a vice president
of Nordex, the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbine
components, which moved from Germany to Chicago in 2008. He is
excited about continuing dialogue with him and that company.
Smiley said attending such conferences is important in order to
make sure Logan County and the benefits to locating here are known
not only to wind farm developers, but to all the other ancillary
businesses growing right now in the wind industry as well.
[to top of second column]
There is more wind in the partnership's sails in the upcoming month,
when Smiley will coordinate organizing the partnership along with
the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and
Wind for Illinois, an Illinois wind working group, at the
annual convention in Dallas, Texas, from May 23 to 25. Smiley said
that working together as a team will allow the Illinois group to be
a major presence at the convention.
On another positive note, Smiley said that the newly formed
Center of Success has a major prospect that would be a "job maker,"
bringing 50 new jobs to the county.
Additionally, there are several other major events happening in
the upcoming months, including a luncheon and fundraiser for the
partnership titled "Logan County's Future Is in the Wind," which
will feature Kevin Borgia, executive director of the Illinois Wind
With all the cards cast, Smiley will take a few weeks off for his
April 24 marriage to Patti Emert. The two plan to honeymoon in
Israel. When he returns he'll be back in the game, ready to make
some winning plays.
Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership
Executive Director Joel Smiley
1555 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656