Ann Harts, Principal at Hickey & Associates, LLC, to be Expert Speaker at Nearshore Nexus 2012 Conference

Ann Harts, Principal at Hickey & Associates, LLC, has been invited as an expert speaker to the Nearshore Nexus 2012 Conference on Thursday, April 19, 2012 in New York City. The Nearshore Nexus Conference is put on by Nearshore Americas, commonly referred to as, “The Latin America Outsourcing Authority.” The full agenda and expo information has not yet been released but will be available soon. Nearshore Americas recently recognized Ann as #17 on their 2011 Power 50 Rankings. Nearshore describes Ann as, “savvy, aggressive and willing to point out the areas where Nearshore needs to improve. Bottom line: she gets things done and gets answers for her clients.”

Ann blends nearly three decades of experience in corporate real estate, economic development, site selection, and incentive advisory. She has recently completed projects in numerous Latin American countries including Brazil, Mexico and Honduras as well as the United States and Canada. As a Director of Global Real Estate, Ann spearheaded the workforce and workplace activities for a $2B annual revenue global BPO with a real estate portfolio of 150+ locations in over 30 countries.

To find out more about the conference, visit:

H&A Webinar: Around Latin America in 30 Minutes

LA in 30 ImageThe “Around Latin America in 30 Minutes” webinar is hosted by Ann Harts, Principal at Hickey & Associates, LLC. The presentation provides insight on various emerging destinations in Latin America regarding foreign direct investment (FDI) and best practices in site selection.

View the webinar here: Around Latin America in 30 Minutes

This webinar focuses specifically on the following:

  • The challenging economy
  • Why Latin America / Region Risk and Concerns
  • Regional LatAm Overview
  • Q&A

Kansas trumps Louisiana on Forbes list

Wichita Business Journal – by Emily Behlmann

Thanks to Forbes magazine, we got an unexpected comparison on Thursday between Hawker Beechcraft Corp.’s home state of Kansas and the state the company has considered moving to, Louisiana.

And if Forbes’ Best States for Business list is to be believed, Kansas should win by a landslide in a competition for jobs.

The Forbes list puts Kansas as No. 10 on the list, with especially high marks for its regulatory environment and economic climate.

Louisiana, meanwhile, sits at a dismal 44th place.

The Sunflower State especially exceeded its Hawker jobs competitor on rankings for labor supply — Kansas ranked 18th and Louisiana 50th.

It suggests Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer might have been right when he recently told the Wichita Eagle that Louisiana doesn’t have the skilled aviation work force that Kansas does.

But if so, what’s up with Hawker’s consideration of Louisiana?

It could, of course, have something to do with the hefty incentives the state has offered if Hawker moves its operations to Baton Rouge.

But Jason Hickey, president of national site selection firm Hickey & Associates LLC, told the Wichita Business Journal that long-term benefits, rather than short-term incentives, are the real factors companies consider when deciding where to do business.

Those long-term factors could include availability of a qualified work force and the cost of that labor.

The Forbes list suggests Kansas has a qualified work force in the bag.

Labor costs are factored into Forbes’ overall business costs ranking, and on that count, Kansas trumps Louisiana, but not by much. Kansas ranks 23rd for business costs, while Louisiana ranks 25th.

So is Hawker’s threatened move really only about labor costs?

That could be, some analysts have suggested to the Wichita Business Journal, especially because of the strength of the aviation machinists unions.

Phil Wilson, president of the Labor Relations Institute, says it’s more than just the higher wages union workers typically earn that cost businesses. It’s the cumulative effect of higher wages, larger pension and benefit plans, strikes and contracts that can protect problem workers from being let go.

“”Unions, when they’re in there, can create a lot of problems for a company,”” he says.

But now the pressure’s on the local union to vote in such a way that a majority of Hawker jobs stay here. And they’re likely to take a pay cut in the process, reducing Hawker’s overall labor costs.

2010 Business Facilities LiveXchange program

Executive Conference

Business Facilities magazine will present a comprehensive, practical, and strategic conference program that helps corporate delegates better plan and manage their companies’ relocation or expansion projects. This unique experience will be supplemented by an all-star list of guest speakers, who will be making presentations and leading discussions on a number of hot-button issues.

The 2010 Business Facilities LiveXchange program included the following sessions — visit often for updates on the 2011 Conference Program!

Opening Keynote

Selling Out a Superpower:
Where the U.S. Economy Went Wrong
and How We Can Turn It Around
Ronald R. Pollina, PH.D.
President, Geoeconomist
Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc.

Think Tank

Site Selection Case Study
Jason Hickey
Hickey & Associates


Logistics and Supply Chain
David Atkins
Chairman and CEO
Atkins International, LLC

Keys to Successful Back Office Location
Dennis Donovan
Wadley-Donovan-Gutshaw Consulting

The Art of the Deal
Don Holbrook
The Vercitas Group

Renewable Energy and Green Incentives
George Tobjy
Tax Director
KPMG Global Location and Expansion Services (GLES)


Mark Sweeney
Senior Principal
McCallum Sweeney Consulting

Issues in Facility Consolidation Analysis
Jerry Szatan
Szatan and Associates

Closing Session

KPMG Competitive Alternatives Report/Q&A
Glenn Mair
MMK Consulting, Inc.

Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation’s (Metro Denver EDC) annual 2011 Site Selection Conference

e1911aa3-7Ten national site selection consultants attended the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation’s (Metro Denver EDC) annual Site Selection Conference September 28-30, 2011. The event was coordinated in partnership with the Metro Denver EDC’s investors and economic development partners throughout the nine-county Metro Denver and Northern Colorado region.

Over the three-day familiarization tour, the site selectors experienced the region’s business assets first-hand with the area’s top business and economic development leaders as their guides.

Their agenda included a welcome by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock at an economic briefing/industry overview at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The consultants also toured the massive region by helicopter, making stops to for briefings by company leaders in Metro Denver’s major industry clusters. They viewed the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Jefferson County, toured the LEED-platinum Research Support Facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, and walked through Vestas’ nacelles manufacturing plant in Brighton. They experienced Metro Denver’s cultural scene when dining with area companies at the Denver Art Museum.

In the conference’s final event, site selectors participated in a panel discussion about site selection trends,Making the Cut: Factors Driving Today’s Site Selection Decisions. Moderated by Jim Mulligan, partner with Snell and Wilmer and presenting sponsor for the breakfast, the guests spoke about their perceptions since getting an in depth look at the region.

Mulligan asked the site selectors how Metro Denver stacks up against its other competitor regions.

“What makes this region unique first and foremost is its talent and central location. Talent attraction and access to markets as well as the related infrastructure are most important today. We heard from Vestas yesterday how important these were to their decision-making process,” explained Angelos Angelou, principal executive officer for AngelouEconomics based in Austin, Texas.

The panel also shared information on the most current trends in the corporate site selection process. Ann Harts, principal of Hickey & Associates LLC of Manhattan, Ks., mentioned several trends as a result of a challenging national economy, including longer decision cycles, back shoring, mergers and acquisition activity, and a renewed focus on company retention.

“If I could say anything today it would be retention, retention, retention,” said Harts. “You all knocked on California’s door. I guaranty you there are people knocking on your company’s headquarters as well.”

Colorado has never been a “high-incentive” state and Mulligan questioned the importance of incentives in site selection decisions today.

“Some states are getting rid of tax incentives entirely,” said Eva Laurence, senior manager with Ernst & Young LLP in San Antonio, Texas. “They say, ‘Does this really make sense?’ Here in Denver, you have a really good quality of life and quality of workforce. You just need to advertise that more.”

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper attended the breakfast and shared updates with the audience and consultants on the state’s Bottom-Up Economic Development Plan as well as initiatives to brand the state.

The Metro Denver EDC’s economic development partners served as hosts to the visiting consultants.

National site consultants tour region, advise on latest location trends

Chinchilla and CINDE Focus on Courting Investors in New York City

By Luke Bujarski

Before heading over to the UN General Assembly, President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla took the morning to engage investors at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. In addressing those lining up for a closer look at what the “”Rich Coast”” has to offer, Madame President left much of the talking around investment opportunities up to her senior delegation. Of course, the group would not have been complete without Mr. Jose Rossi, President of CINDE Costa Rica’s  renowned investment promotional agency in charge of promoting the country as the “”best export platform in the Western Hemisphere.””

Indeed, if anything can be said about CR’s promotion strategy it’s FREE TRADE – Free trade agreements and free trade zones specifically. “”As of August 1st and our signed FTA with China, we now have nine official agreements that tightly connect 43 percent of our GDP to global industry value chains,”” expressed Mrs. Anabel Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Trade.

Amidst the crowd of current and would-be investors including Medtronics, Panduit, and L3 Communications, heavy hitter Patricia Cronin, IBM’s General Manager for Global Technology Delivery spoke on behalf of Costa Rica’s relatively small, yet talented labor pool. “”Our decision to locate in Costa Rica in 2004 went above and beyond our expectations, and we have now initiated plans to expand with a new global delivery center that will add an extra 1,000 to our already 1,200 existing professionals in Costa Rica.””

IBM wasn’t the only tech firm voicing out on Costa Rica’s ability to deliver on technology services and innovation. Trevor Kaufman, CEO of Possible Worldwide, an interactive media firm and subsidiary of advertising mogul WPP, showcased the latest marketing applications coming out of their delivery center in Costa Rica. Among the highlights was a top 50 iPhone app “”Blendr,”” a GPS-driven social networking tool that helps you connect in real time with like-minded folks at conferences and events. In a face-to-face chat, Trevor also mentioned the need to be in other LatAm countries – specifically Mexico and Brazil – but would anticipate an “”uphill climb”” compared to their positive experiences in CR since 2005.

Yet, amid the fanfare and talk-up around impeccable education rates, shiny incentives and a streamlined administration, more than one attendee expressed apprehension over market saturation and scalability. In a final Q&A session, VP of Infosys Sandeep Dadlani, commented that “”[Infosys] is very serious about Costa Rica, but we also like to expand with scale.”” In her response, Minister of Trade Gonzalez stressed “”transparency”” and the full commitment on the part of CINDE and the government to ensure a “”steady pipeline”” of talent.

Site location guru Ann Harts of Hickey and Associates was cautious about high costs and availability of real estate in San Jose, but noted that the Costa Rican market remains strong. Likewise, these and other hurtles have not deterred smaller companies like contract manufacturer Micro to prefer Costa Rica over markets like Mexico. “We’ve looked at Mexico, but the social unrest there frankly scares us, so we like Costa Rica,” explained Micro Head of Sales Frank Semcer.

To this, President Chinchilla reminded the audience that Costa Rica did away with its military to focus on education and the economy instead of “preemptive wars.”

Ann Harts Invited to Speak at Area Development Forum in Austin, Texas

Ann Harts, Principal at Hickey & Associates, LLC, has been invited to speak at Area Development’s 12th Consultants Forum in Austin, Texas from December 4-6, 2011.

Ann blends nearly three decades of experience in corporate real estate, economic development, site selection, and incentive advisory.  Ann is fluent in domestic and international site selection, providing strategy and services on corporate site selection and public incentive advisory to global companies, as well as Community Screening Studies for M&A transactions.  She has recently completed projects in numerous Latin American countries including Brazil, Mexico and Honduras as well as the United States and Canada.  As a Director of Global Real Estate, Ann spearheaded the workforce and workplace activities for a $2billion annual revenue global BPO with a real estate portfolio of 150+ locations in over 30 countries.

The Area Development Forum provides an opportunity for the country’s leading economic development consultants to network with the who’s who of global site consulting, corporate real estate, and economic development strategy.  The Forum will focus on the larger picture issues that affect Economic Development Corporations (EDCs) in today’s unstable and competitive market.

IAMC Volunteer Event – Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, PA

309075_10150280546205684_85850200683_8178017_2000413245_nIn a constant effort to give back to our nation’s communities, IAMC organized yet another volunteer event for the Fall 2011 IAMC forum in Philadelphia, PA, similar to the Spring 2011 IAMC volunteer event which took place in Albuquerque, NM.  IAMC approached United By Blue, an eco-friendly company that sells products and uses the profits to organize and host area cleanups, to coordinate a volunteer event for IAMC participants during the Fall 201 IAMC forum.

On September 10th, United By Blue and IAMC volunteers cleaned up and removed a total of 355 pounds of trash from Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, PA. Jason Hickey, President of Hickey & Associates, and IAMC member, participated in the Bartram’s Garden clean up making this his second time partaking in an IAMC community service event. These events are not only a great opportunity to lend a helping hand to a community, but also to spend quality time making friends and networking with fellow IAMC members and great organizations such as United By Blue.

YouTube Video: UBB presents IAMC’s Cleanup of Bartram’s Garden.