Business Headlines

Kent Co Econ Dev Summit Planned at DelTech

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 12.15.10 PMBy Terry Rogers

The 8th Annual Kent County Economic Development Summit is scheduled for September 20, 2016 at the Delaware Technical and Community College Terry Campus Conference Center. Registration begins at 7:15 AM with opening remarks starting at 7:50 AM.

“The purpose of the Economic Development Summit, which is presented in partnership with the Central Delaware Business and Entrepreneurship Consortium, is to bring together government officials and leaders in business and education, as well as community members, who share the common goal of improving the economic conditions and quality of life in Kent County,” said John Painter, Public Relations Manager at Del Tech. “The first summit was held in 2009 and was put together in response to the difficult economic situations occurring at that time. Local political, education and business leaders knew they needed to work together to improve the county’s economy.”

This year, the keynote speaker at the event will be Scott Kammerer, President of SoDel Concepts. The company owns ten restaurants, a catering company and a food truck. Mr. Kammerer is also the founding partner of Hightower Management and Haley/Kammerer Restaurant Consulting. He founded SoDel Cares, a charity that raises funds for causes that benefit children, at-risk youth, adults reentering society from the prison system and the elderly. He is also a former All-American wrestler.

“I plan to share my personal story of strength, hope and perseverance as well as the company’s growth and business lessons from our tremendous success,” Mr. Kammerer said. “I will also talk about the tremendous adversity our company experienced over the past decade and a half. Success in business is overcoming adversity and the pursuit for greatness never stops. Progress is not perfection. Challenge yourself and your company to be great every day. I will discuss the structure of our company and the blueprint for growth and vertical integration. I also plan to talk about how Delaware is poised for tremendous growth.”

Mr. Kammerer says he sees the growth in Delaware to be on a vertical trajectory. He said that business in the First State can impact the experience of the Coastal Delaware visitor on multiple fronts. He said that some of the things SoDel is doing to grow the economy is by working with the Delaware River and Bay Authority to improve the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. They also serve food at local events, including Sports at the Beach. He said that SoDel has set an aggressive plan for success.

“We ‘Think Big’ and take chances,” Mr. Kammerer said. “We want to be an inch wide but a mile deep. The best advice I can give is to hone your craft and go to any extremes to gain the knowledge and experience to be the top in your industry. Develop the people you work with, make the world a beter place  and success will follow.”

Mr. Painter says that the first portion of the summit will have local government officials discussing the economic outlook for specific areas of the county. James Waddington, Director of Kent County Economic Development, will serve as moderator and provide a broad overview of the subject. Other government officials, including Mayor Bryan Shupe, Governor Jack Markell and Mayor Robin Christiansen will speak about economic development in the state.

In addition to political insight into economic development efforts, Mr. Painter said that presenters will provide a review of the previous year within their area of expertise with this year’s current theme, “Power of Partnerships,” in mind. The second part of the summit will include speakers representing different areas of Kent County, including Dover Air Force Base, Delaware National Guard, Harrington Raceway and Dover International Speedway/Dover Motorsports.

“Every day, I wake up and ask myself how I can improve the guest experience while improving the lives of people I work with,” Mr. Kammerer said. “I firmly believe this attitude has helped our company grow and is the best way for other companies to have success. Our strategy is to support the culinary coast and do our part to create a destination for repeat guests. A rising tide lifts ships and if we all work together as partners, we can raise the economic tide in our state.”

To register for the summit or to be a sponsor or exhibitor, call 302-857-1400 or visit

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