Architect of Amazon’s economic development program headlines NLEP’s 2020 Top Event

Mike Grella, who led Amazon’s global economic development team during a period of unprecedented growth for the Fortune 100 company’s e-commerce fulfillment business, will be the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) annual meeting keynote speaker. 

Grella will present “Economic Development 4.0: Next Generation Partnerships and Policies” at NLEP’s Top Event on Jan. 30, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. at Sam’s Town Hotel in Shreveport. 

The Top Event: A Celebration of Economic Development in North Louisiana is the largest regional, economic development event in North Louisiana. Each year, nearly 500 business, political and community leaders from across 14 parishes gather to focus on moving the region’s economy forward, to honor the best in economic development and to network.

Considered the architect of Amazon’s economic development program, Grella built and led the tech giant’s global economic development team from the ground up in Seattle. Over his seven year tenure at Amazon, his team created public private partnerships representing over $10 billion of capital investment and over 100,000 new jobs spanning over two dozen U.S. states and 15 countries. Amazon’s economic development team collaborated with hundreds of state, regional and local partners to construct over 50 million square feet of new development. Grella spearheaded the economic development function for Amazon web services and Amazon’s cloud computing/hyperscale global data center business, the company’s most profitable business segment.

Prior to his leadership role with Amazon, Mike spent the first 17 years of his career advising hundreds of clients, including some of the world’s most recognizable brands at three of the top four global accounting firms on economic development strategy and expansion transactions.

“I look forward to discussing a pioneering approach to economic development: Economic Development 4.0 is a new paradigm of public-private collaboration leveraging disruptive technologies and data analytics to address complex challenges and seize transformational opportunities,” said Mike Grella, Principal, Grella Partnership Strategies. “This new approach unleashes the limitless potential of a workforce, comprised of agile, life-long learners, teachers, craftspeople and creators. It engages academic, business, community and government leaders as equal partners and contributors.”

“My presentation at NLEP’s Top Event will identify ways to strengthen education and training, public health and multimodal transportation infrastructure to support diversified industries from advanced manufacturing to cybersecurity to logistics. Through partnerships, we can create a concrete foundation for resilient economic growth, where future generations will have ample opportunities to thrive in North Louisiana,” said Grella. 

After leaving Amazon in February 2019, Grella founded Grella Partnership Strategies, an advisory firm delivering value to organizations through creation of bold vision statements, future forward policies and strategies that support sustainable, inclusive prosperity, which he has dubbed Economic Development 4.0. This new economic development approach embraces disruptive technologies and data analytics to strengthen public assets and institutions to promote sustainable, resilient growth.

“NLEP is pleased to have Mike Grella as our Annual Meeting keynote speaker,” said Scott Martinez, NLEP President. “Grella’s visionary work throughout his career, particularly with Amazon, will provide valuable insight into how North Louisiana can leverage its assets in the rapidly changing economic development arena.”

The Top Event will also feature 2019’s best in economic development. Top Awards honor projects or persons that have made a tremendous impact in economic development throughout North Louisiana during the previous year.  The Top Project, the Top of Mind recipient, the Top Advocate and the Top Leader will be honored at the Annual Meeting. Tickets are $75 for general admission, and $50 for NLEP investor companies.