Economic Development Summit 2019

Join IDA and the Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership for the 2019 Economic Development Summit May 1-2, 2019. Master Talks and breakout sessions will explore how downtowns serve as economic development generators and how social equity and diversity plays an important role in the work that we do. Experts will share best practices on enhancing downtowns' economic impacts on cities and states, discuss retail and development strategies, and trends impacting downtown progress. Downtown Oklahoma City is growing at an unprecedented rate, and many types of funding and programs are at play in the development community. See you there!

Attend the Event

The Economic Development Summit will be held at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 and at various locations throughout downtown Oklahoma City.


Online registration is now closed for the 2019 Economic Development Summit. You may register onsite at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel (1 Park Ave) May 1-2 2019. The onsite registration rate is $225.
Registration Hours:
•Wednesday, May 1: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
•Thursday, May 2: 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 

For further information or assistance, please email the IDA registration team at


The Program

View the program (program is subject to change).

Get social! What questions will you come ready to ask? Share them on Twitter using #IDAEconDev19.


2019 Master Talks 

Ron Frantz, Architect
Ron Frantz is a licensed architect who has spent the last 38 years working in over 100 Oklahoma towns and neighborhoods while promoting the historic architecture and landmark businesses. As the Director of Small Town Studios for the Institute for Quality Communities, as the Coordinator for the Environmental Design Program, and as an Associate Professor in the Division of Architecture at the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture at The University of Oklahoma, Frantz, as an aging Baby Boomer, gets to hit the road with young, energetic, exploratory, and optimistic Millennial students who are eager to discover all the cool, quirky, unique places in Oklahoma.

Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Partner, HR&A Advisors
Andrea Batista Schlesinger leads the Inclusive Cities practice at HR&A Advisors. As a former leader in government, think tanks, philanthropy, and political campaigns, Andrea uniquely understands the capacity and role of government, advocacy, and philanthropy in making cities just and dynamic places. Her current work focuses on supporting equitable economic development and removing barriers to opportunity for all communities in cities, by working to effect change in workforce development, education, criminal justice, racial equity, and other fields. Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and holds Masters degrees in history from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, where she focused her studies on how global cities have constructed their responses to inequality during the latter half of the 20th century. Andrea also serves on the board of The Nation and the New York Women’s Foundation.


More Master Talk speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

2019 Keynote Speaker

Christopher B. Leinberger, Metropolitan Land Use Strategist
Christopher Leinberger is a land use strategist, teacher, developer, researcher and author, balancing business success with social and environmental sustainability. Mr. Leinberger is currently: The Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor & Chair, Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis and Founding Partner of Arcadia Land Company, a New Urbanism and transit-oriented development firm. He was voted one of the “The 100 Most Influential Urbanists” in a poll conducted by Planetizen, the urban planning web site, in 2017. Leinberger is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Harvard Business School and lives in Washington, DC.


Pre-Conference Tours

Downtown Oklahoma City Bike Tour: Public Art, Architecture, and Beer ($25)

Wednesday, May 1st | 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Meeting location: Skirvin Hilton Hotel Plaza

Go for a spin on rented bikes for the afternoon and see the best of downtown OKC's public art, check out historic and modern architectural gems, and visit a few local breweries and markets that are creating big changes in the "Big Friendly."


Downtown Oklahoma City Walking/Streetcar Tour: History, Development, Shopping, and Coffee ($25)

Wednesday, May 1st | 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Meeting location: Skirvin Hilton Hotel Lobby

Ride the new streetcar and hear about Oklahoma City's history and it's recent rebirth as a cultural destination. Stop by several of our favorite downtown retail shops, and sample coffee and sweet treats from some popular establishments along the way.


Post-Conference Breakfast

Breakfast with Downtown Oklahoma City staff (no charge)

Friday, May 3rd | 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Location: Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership Offices (211 N. Robinson Ave., Suite 225, Oklahoma City, OK 73102)

Join the Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership staff of 12 to learn about their role in the city and their mission driven efforts. Guests are encouraged to meet with staff individually or as a group to learn more about the Downtown OKC BID setup, programming, services, and advocacy efforts. Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided. RSVPs kindly requested via email or text to or 405-623-7206.



Hotel: Deadline Extended

The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Downtown Oklahoma City, located at 1 Park Avenue, is offering a rate of $169 per night per room. Please book your room by April 5, 2019 online.


IDA Logo

Downton Oklahoma City Partnership


Urban Champions

Downton Oklahoma City Partnership      ICSC     

District Advocates

Cube84          Earthplanter-80       RobinsonPark-80   


The Alliance for Economic Development
PLENTY Mercantile
Wiggin Properties

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received or postmarked by April 12, 2019 will receive a refund less a $100 processing fee. Refunds will be processed approximately 30 days after the event. Cancellations received after April 12, 2019 will not be refunded.


Sponsoring the Economic Development Summit allows you access to an audience of urban leaders from around the country who want to learn how your product or service can work for them. Download the 2019 Spring Sponsorship PDF to review sponsorship packages for the 2019 Economic Development in Downtown Oklahoma City, OK. Contact Tracie Clemmer, IDA Director of Corporate Relations at for more information.


Interested in hosting a future event? Contact Carolyn Dellutri, IDA Director of Professional Development at