Dane Carlson, Director of Economic Development of Galveston County and host of The Econ Dev Show Podcast (EDS), has always had a passion for business. Dane is energized by his day-to-day experiences in attracting new development to Galveston County and acting as, in his words, “the herder of cats.” And Dane is never content to sit still for long, which is why he’s been pouring all his free time into making The Econ Dev Show into an industry “go-to” for new ideas and actionable strategies. We had an opportunity to get to know Dane, discover his passions, and talk about the future of the EDS.
A History of Helping Businesses
“If I had to nail it down, it all started in 2001 when I began running my first business blog,” says Dane about how he became so passionate about the business of building businesses. The blog’s focus was on helping potential franchises/franchisees and small businesses find innovative solutions to increase their revenue. That first blog grew into multiple blogs and other spinoff platforms. He eventually sold everything in 2015 and took his “retirement job” running a Chamber of Commerce just outside of Yosemite Park. It was here he realized how strongly he believed in helping businesses grow, and how he could apply what he learned as a successful business blogger to eco-dev marketing. Yosemite was a great opportunity for Dane to grow but he knew he could affect more change in a larger community. He soon realized that greater adventures awaited in Galveston County. “The community in Yosemite was smaller and more resistant to big changes…Texas was more friendly to eco-dev and more appealing long-term for me,” he explained.
Pandemic Quarantines Provide Opportunity
When the worldwide pandemic struck in 2020 and people were unable to connect in person, Dane envisioned a solution. “I’ve always been a big believer in contact marketing, and with fewer conferences and chances to see people face-to-face and make connections, we as EDC professionals needed something to bridge the gap,” he told us. And so, The Econ Dev Show Podcast was born. Dane’s vision was to highlight the successes of econ dev pros around the country with the goal of sharing what works.
Paving New Paths
Since its inception in 2021, Dane has interviewed many fascinating guests on the EDS. Topics range from inter-tribal economic development, to crafting an elevator pitch for your city and the rise of rural migration. KathodeRay was there for an episode on May 2, 2022 discussing digital marketing, and we had a great time!
So how is Dane feeling about The Econ Dev Show and its future? “The entire experience has been fantastic…I really feel like the podcast is working and I’ve been helping people find the ideas and strategies they need to succeed,” he joyfully explained. Moving forward, Dane plans on starting several more “niche” eco-dev podcasts to help even more EDCs find their own paths to success, and, as he joked, “…maybe taking on a co-host, just to make things a little simpler.”