In the battle to win projects, attract new investment and bring in good-paying, quality jobs, the Toledo Northwest Ohio region competes daily in the highly competitive global economic development arena.

To better prepare those practitioners across Northwest Ohio who engage with business prospects, the Regional Growth Partnership recently hosted a nationally recognized consultant who specializes in economic development sales and leadership training.

Continuous Dialog founder Carol Johnson wrapped up a three-day visit to this region where she educated attendees on delivering powerful sales presentations and how to best communicate the value of what a community offers.

“We contracted with Continuous Dialog to help our entire team across the spectrum,” said Gary Thompson, executive vice president, Regional Growth Partnership. “Everyone that interacts with prospects that we bring to the region – we wanted them to have a good understanding of the best way to present to prospects the information they need to make decisions to locate in Northwest Ohio.”

The training sessions, held at various locations across Northwest Ohio, were customized for defined audiences, including local economic development officials, subject matter experts and elected officials. Over that period, more than 90 people attended one of the seven sessions.

“Carol’s piece about the risk, speed, investment was impactful,” said Shannon Shulters, administrator, village of Swanton. “Making sure that you’re not scaring a project away by saying too much … keeping to facts … focusing on the number aspect, the infrastructure aspect, making things speed along, (understanding) that time is of the essence.”

Waterville Mayor Tim Pedro highlighted the benefits he’ll relay to his team, and that continuing training programs will provide even greater value for the region moving forward. “Our city council, planning commission members and the administration will focus on getting the sites ready, infrastructure ready, and getting the community involved and engaged early on in programs.”

Johnson’s training requires communities to understand their competitive ranking as it relates to speed, risk and money. To compete for global location decisions, economic developers must mine the data and know how to present the data in a meaningful way.

“To present the business case for Northwest Ohio, the team needs to anticipate a prospect’s location requirements, and then know how to pivot when new needs and criteria for selection and elimination are uncovered. With a diverse mix of industries, talent and proximity advantages, Northwest Ohio is well-positioned for continued growth and future prosperity.”

- Carol Johnson, Continuous Dialog Founder

Johnson’s economic development sales training program has been utilized by JobsOhio and other regional network partners across the state. The RGP has already announced it will host another training session with Continuous Dialog in 2023.

The Regional Growth Partnership is the lead economic development organization serving 17 counties in Northwest Ohio. As a private nonprofit development corporation, the RGP is dedicated to fostering regional, national and international business investment opportunities across the region. The RGP serves as Northwest Ohio’s network partner for JobsOhio. Visit for more information.