AED Executive Luncheons Provide Networking, Opportunities

As economic developers, one of our roles is to reach out to companies in Arlington, let them know that we are here to assist them and inform them of the benefits of staying in Arlington. Over the years, we've learned one of the most effective outreach and business retention methods is to create a forum in which company executives can mingle with each other to exchange ideas and network. Today, Arlington Economic Development facilitates these discussions with its Executive Luncheon series. Twice a year, 30 senior level executives from across Arlington come together to discuss current issues, exchange information and network, in the interest of creating new relationships and potentially new collaborative partnerships.

Leading the event is a keynote speaker, most recently Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), headquartered in Crystal City. ( CEA is a nonprofit trade group that represents roughly 2,000 American firms that make and sell electronics and software. Shapiro discussed the latest trends in consumer technology, patent protection, and the importance of strategic immigration reform with the execs. He also mentioned Arlington's abundant attributes and that the region has so much to offer to businesses and residents alike.

His statement embodies exactly the message we are trying to convey to new businesses here at AED. Arlington is the County with the highest percentage  of 25 - 34 year olds in the nation; it is natural that these talented and highly-educated young people are attracted to live and work in a progressive environment, with lots of amenities and activities for them to enjoy. These young people are also entrepreneurs, starting innovative companies with disruptive technologies. As economic developers, we are glad to hear that for the past few years, Arlington Economic Development's strategy of growing our entrepreneurial and high-growth technology industry is leveraging on our talented workforce, and building on our strengths. These luncheons give us an opportunity to hear directly from executives what is needed in the marketplace; we look forward to meeting with these esteemed guests again in the future.



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