May 1, 2019

Dayton Development Coalition’s (DDC) annual Community Leader Fly-In.

The Dayton region has much going for it: an excellent location, great infrastructure, a deep talent pool, and a bedrock of institutions across the government, healthcare, education, and manufacturing sectors.

Underpinning these assets is a highly organized and well-regarded effort to advocate for our region: the Dayton Development Coalition’s (DDC) annual Community Leader Fly-In.

Every year, representatives from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors travel to Washington, D.C. While there, they meet with our Congressional representatives to advocate for the assets and initiatives of our region. It is one of the state’s largest and longest-running annual trip by community leaders to the nation’s capital.

The 35th Annual Community Leader Fly-In, held April 3 to 5, was one of the best-attended yet, with about 140 people making the trek. The three-day event included a mix of networking and speaking events, all aimed at ensuring our Congressional representatives understand the value and needs of our community.

Promoting Our Region

The main purpose behind the fly-in is to support the region’s federal installations, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Springfield Air National Guard Base, and the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

This advocacy works to the advantage of everyone who calls our region home. Cementing support for these organizations brings in jobs, which fuels growth in ancillary areas. This, in turn, increases the value of our area. In fact, these installations have a combined annual economic impact of $16 billion, according to the DDC.

Shaping Our Future

Endorsing the region isn’t the only advantage of the fly-in. Attendees also hear directly from Congressional leaders about developments in D.C. that are shaping our future. In addition, participants have a chance to get up to speed on key initiatives right here in our own backyard.

This year’s speakers included students from the Dayton Early College Academy; Joe Zeis, Aerospace & Defense Advisor to Governor Mike DeWine; Marti Taylor, President, and CEO, of OneFifteen; and Matthew Donovan, Under Secretary of the Air Force.

Attendees were also invited to pursue one of four tracks: discuss the economy and business issues with representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, receive an overview of federal healthcare issues, and meet with representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Speaking with One Voice

Recognizing the advantage of promoting our region with one voice, Miller-Valentine Group is a long-standing sponsor of the event. For the past 10 years, I have also been proud to attend. We believe the DDC does a tremendous job coordinating regional advocacy efforts, which elevates the visibility of the Dayton area at both the state and national levels.

The enthusiasm with which government, business, education, and nonprofit leaders come together to speak for our community puts the Dayton region in a unique—and highly enviable—position. It is yet another mark in our favor as we continue to chart a promising course for the future.

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