By Ryan Kelly –

Such a simple question is a helpful one for us to ask.

With all of the organizations that exist to support industry and economic development, why chose BREI for membership and involvement?

The answer is in the focus.  Business Retention & Expansion International is laser-focused on BRE.  We provide two certifications designed to provide grass-roots training for implementing a BRE program, complete with survey tools and methodologies for implementing these tools.  We provide a huge number of BRE-specific resources and a wealth of institutional and professional knowledge on the subject.

BREI is not an economic development association that does everything plus BRE.  We ONLY do BRE, and we go in-depth with the offerings that we provide.

You will not find this anywhere else but with BREI.

You must know who you are to be successful, and we have and will continue to be the world leader in business retention and expansion training and education.  We are continuing to find new ways to education and empower our members, and we are continuing to learn the latest and greatest strategies for accomplishing the needs of a changing and evolving world economy with emphasis on the nuances of the local environment.

We believe in what we do, and we believe in our membership.  Do you know someone that is not yet a member of BREI?  Be sure to recommend them to join and earn your $50 credit to use for membership or educational activities.  They can join online by clicking here.

BREI 2018 Award Recipients and New Officers

Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) recently held it’s annual Awards Program, and deserving applicants were announced Applications for these awards are accepted throughout the year, and judging takes place each spring through a professional awards committee. The 2018 Award Recipients include:

The State/Province/Territory Award was granted to Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) for its work on the Women’s Economic Forum Drivers of Growth project.

The Outstanding Single Community with a Population Under 20,000 Award was granted to Athens Economic Development Corporation for its work on the Freeport Tax Exemption project.

The Outstanding Multi Community with a Population Over 50,000 Award was granted to the Municipality of the District of Digby for work on the Investment Readiness Project.

And finally the organization’s largest award of the year for creating significant change, the IMPACT Award, was granted for to the Athens Economic Development Corporation for the work on the Freeport Tax Exemption project.

BREI 2018 Officers

BREI welcomes several new officers to its board of directors for the 2018-19 year.

Teresa Evans BREP, moves into the lead role as president of BREI, replacing John Bennette, BREC. John will move into the Past-President role. Teresa is the Economic Development Coordinator at City of Blue Springs and has a specialty in Nonprofit Organization Management. Teresa has been a long-time member of BREI and holds an impressive list of experiences in the Business Retention and Expansion field.

Angela Groenveld, BREC, a Business Coach & Consultant in Alberta Canada, will be moving into the position of President Elect. With certifications including BREC, BIA and CED, Angela retains years of experience and practice within the realm of business including, but not limited to, the title of business owner for over twenty-five years.

David Bossemeyer, BREP will be coming back onto the board as a member at large. David is an Economic Development Director at the West Plains Economic Development Council with more than 30 years of experience in the business retention and expansion. Bossemeyer is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute in Norman, Oklahoma, and Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.

Kelly Kinsey Overby will also be ascending into the role of board member at large. Kelly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from LeTourneau University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Tyler. She is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. Kelly serves as a Business Retention & Expansion Director for the Longview Economic Development Corporation.

What’s in a name? Changing the face of BRE

By Ryan Kelly –

During a BREI board meeting today, there was an interesting conversation that began regarding the use of the term “BRE.”  There is a trend with many economic development organizations and chambers that use business retention and expansion models, but they are increasingly moving away from the term “BRE.”

So we must ask the question that begins the foundation of what we do, “What is BRE?” Lorraine Boyd of the Province of Nova Scotia put it well.

BRE is one tool in the economic development tool box.   It along with other activities are used to engage with business communities in identifying and addressing situations in their area.  (Lorraine Boyd, BREP)

BRE is a tool in the toolbox of economic development organizations.  This tool helps to grow local businesses and reinforce communities.  It leverages relationships and local resources for maximum impact.

So, does changing the name of a program change what it is?  As William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Boyd commented that new names are given to BRE activities such as BusinessNow and SmartBusiness.

No matter what name is given to a BRE program, it is essential that it follows the core components of BRE training and that it brings partners to the table to share in the burdens and successes of economic development.

BRE is a proven strategy for growing and retaining local businesses.  Let’s capitalize on the efforts and brand it how we need to market the program to the community.

Last Chance to Register for BREI’s Upcoming Fundamentals Course – Web Based Training


September 19-28, 2017

The Fundamentals Course in BREI’s training for economic developers and community professionals for basic business retention and expansion skills.  This course is focused on the volunteer visitor model, which is pertinent especially for small economic development organizations where volunteers are needed to assist with business surveys.  

The tools and skills obtained in this workshop will allow communities to better meet the needs of its local businesses.  Successful completion of the course will allow one to obtain the BRE Coordinator certification.


Hartnell College – Industrial Refrigeration: Fundamentals & Introduction to Systems

A new training program is underway at Hartnell College East Campus — Industrial Refrigeration: Fundamentals of Refrigeration and Introduction to Refrigeration Systems. The program provides an introduction to industrial refrigeration using the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) Industrial Refrigeration Course 1 manual. When mature, the program plans to include a full array of skill topics to address the needs of the region’s employers: (1) Packaging / Production, (2) Technician, (3) Maintenance Mechanic, (4) Facility Refrigeration Technology, and (5) Management. The program, in part, grew out of a need expressed for refrigeration engineer and technicians to replace retiring staff, by industry leaders who participated in a Salinas Valley targeted business retention/expansion survey.

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