Join us for the 3rd annual NWCT Economic Development Summit! Last year was a terrific success with over 125 attendees.  Come tour this beautifully renovated 19th century mill building, hear success stories and updates on economic development initiatives in our region and provide feedback on our regional economic development plan update.

NWCT Economic Development Summit 2018: Think Regionally, Act Locally: Support local businesses, grow jobs, attract youth!

TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018    6:00pm-8:30pm

Mad River Lofts, 10 Bridge Street, Winsted, CT

There is no cost to attend but please do RSVP at: www.

GOAL: The goal for this event is to highlight how the public sector (municipal leaders, volunteers, and local economic development committee members) in our 21-town region can support the retention and expansion of local businesses and attract young people, entrepreneurs, home based businesses, and visitors.

PROGRAM: Doors will open at 6pm. From 6-7pm there will be an interactive Open House with opportunities to:

  • Tour the newly renovated spaces at Mad River Lofts,
  • Provide input on the strategies that the region should invest in as part of our region’s 5-year CEDS (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy), and
  • Visit info tables to get the latest resources from CT Small Business Development Center, SCORE, CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development, NWCONNect, USDA Rural Development and others!

From 7-8:30pm we’ll hear news and updates on projects and initiatives that affect our towns and have a lively, interactive panel discussion.


  • NWCONNect (Fiber-Optic Network Collaborative) Felicia Jones, Project Coordinator
  • NWCT Regional Food Hub- Renee Giroux, Hub Manager
  • Regional Recreational Trails Map website- Rick Lynn, NHCOG Executive Director
  • Working Cities Challenge- JoAnn Ryan, President & CEO NWCT Chamber
  • Regional Plan of Conservation & Development and CEDS update- Jocelyn Ayer, NHCOG
  • Regional Housing Council- Jill Musselman, Chair NWCT Regional Housing Council
  • CelebrateCT Award winners- Hurley Manufacturing and Whiting Mills, presented by First Selectman Dan Jerram and Mayor Candy Perez


Panel: Attracting young people, entrepreneurs, remote workers, home based businesses, and visitors to NWCT

  • What can our towns/EDCs do to attract young people to live/work here? Christian Allyn: millennial, just elected Selectman in North Canaan, member of Canaan EDC and Housatonic River Commission, entrepreneur
  • What can our towns/EDCs do to attract entrepreneurs with life-based businesses and remote workers? Janet Carlson: CEO, One Eleven Group, healthcare entrepreneur, Chair Cornwall EDC
  • How can our towns/EDCs better attract visitors and promote Tourism, Arts, Culture? Amy Wynn: Executive Director, NWCT Arts Council
  • What can our towns/EDCs do to attract entrepreneurs and innovators? Ben Paletsky: CEO, South Farms, tech entrepreneur, Chair of Morris EDC

Who should attend: Members of local economic development committees, chambers and business groups, land use commission members, staff and municipal leaders in Northwest Connecticut.

PARKING: There are at least 100 parking spaces within a 5-minute walk from Mad River Lofts. See parking map here.

FOOD: Support a local business by having dinner on your way to the summit! We’ll have dessert and coffee waiting for you there.

HOSTS: The Summit is organized by the Northwest Hills Council of Governments and co-hosted by the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

WEATHER: If dangerous driving weather is forecast we will post a notice on our website ( by noon on the day of the event to postpone. We will also email everyone who as registered for the event.


Questions? Contact: Jocelyn Ayer, NHCOG Community & Economic Development Director