Director, Lee County Economic Development Office, Fort Myers
John Talmage is director of the Lee County Economic Development Office (EDO). Mr. Talmage has more than 20 years' experience in City government and Economic Development and has developed a national reputation as a leader in innovative practices by pairing better information with capital development to create new approaches for economic development in underserved communities across the country. Talmage has spent his career working in economic development for both municipal governments and research organizations.
He also served as CEO of Social Compact, a research organization serving the federal regulatory community, cities around the country, and community development organizations. In New Orleans, Talmage served as the deputy director for economic development. Prior to that, Talmage worked in New York City, focusing on communities throughout north Brooklyn to address economic development matters. John has been asked to serve on many national boards and committees to advocate for an asset-based approach, leading to opportunities to testify before Congress, work with the Federal Regulatory community, and join with mayors and community leaders throughout the nation to address the needs of underserved urban America.
John was selected to be the President/ CEO of the Social Compact Board of Directors in May of 2006. Social Compact scaled its market analytic, the Drill Down, under John's leadership, to document the market strengths of communities throughout the United States and abroad. John served as the Deputy Director for Economic Development for the City of New Orleans prior to joining Social Compact. John focused on business development issues, including workforce development, international trade and business recruitment and retention, in New Orleans. Before joining the Mayor's Office in New Orleans, John worked in New York City, primarily for the New York City Council. John collaborated with communities throughout North Brooklyn, while in New York, to address economic development, housing, and land-use matters.
Mr. Talmage holds a BA in political science from Columbia University.