Client Spotlight- Lisa Hurley
2 Feb 2020
Client Spotlight: Lisa Hurley
As a way to show recognition of some of the greatest economic developers that we work with, we will be sharing a client spotlight to share insights, bring awareness to successes and challenges our clients face, and inspire you.
We welcome Lisa Hurley to our Client Spotlight!
Lisa Hurley entered the industry in 2006, previously working in the nonprofit world. She started at an Economic Development District. At that point, she was mostly focused on community development, but as she went through the Economic Development Institute, she discovered a love for the Economic Development side.
Lisa became involved in the field to make a long-lasting impact on communities. She has a passion for identifying a problem and collaborating to bring a solution to the table. She also loves being able to lift people- and this happens as jobs and opportunities in the community come together.
In 2013, Lisa moved to York County Development Corporation (YCDC) to be the Executive Director. Read more about her current position here. She loves being able to see projects come together. In particular, it was rewarding for her to have spent time with a company before it even opened, watched the construction, and then meet people in the community who are taking jobs at that new business.
Similar experiences occur with housing projects for her. For example, opening 24 duplexes, then watching apartment buildings going up, and knowing that she's creating a great impact on the families and overall workforce for the business community.
For Lisa, it is all about the people of York County and building a better future. In her current position, she loves telling the county's stories about businesses, families, and individuals. Ultimately, those stories are what help "sell" the community to business and talent.
While Lisa has been through many successes, she has also faced a variety of challenges. She recalls that it took her a long time to realize no movement on a project can be a win. She states, "an individual realizing they are not ready to move forward is a win because when they decide it's time, they will have a much stronger business." Politics also brings a challenge for Lisa to work with. However, she realizes that at times, there is nothing to do to fix issues, which can be difficult to accept. Finally, there are times where people are afraid of change. She has found that with some people, you're never going to convince them that change is a good thing. However, Lisa loves the support given by others in the community.
Lisa also provides advice for other communities and economic developers: "Don't give up. When people are fighting a project, keep using data to show the need. Never leave a business hanging in a controversial moment and make sure they have all the honest facts going into it."
She also encourages her followers not to lose a positive focus between work and life. For herself, she refers to it as "blended" versus a "work-life balance." For example, her family understands that she may need to talk with community members while out to eat or grocery shopping. On the other end, she may need to leave during the workday for her kids. In the end, it all evens out.
Another tip she advises is to find thought-leaders that speak to your style- read, listen, or watch- whatever works for your learning style. Lisa spends a lot of time not only staying up to date on Economic Development Trends, but also following marketers, connectors, and reading books that remind her she's making a difference. Finally, she suggests truly connecting with people. "Don't just network, but connect person-to-person," Lisa explains that here, you'll find the interesting stories behind the business and how you're going to build your support network. "It's important to get to know people behind the government or business person." Want more tips? Here are our 30 greatest lead generation tips for economic developers.
Lisa has been through a multitude of great successes as an economic developer including new business expansions, company technology upgrades, and the creation of the housing revolving loan. However, she states, "I truly believe that building the YCDC culture and integrating it throughout the County has been my greatest success. This success has resulted in increasing YCDC's capacity and trust through York County."