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Rock Music Helps LVEDC, Don Cunningham Market the Lehigh Valley Economy (VIDEO)

By Colin McEvoy on May 16, 2017

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham (second from left) and his band, Cunningham & Associates, playing at the NAIOP Battle of the Bands in Philadelphia.

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham (second from left) and his band, Cunningham & Associates, playing at the NAIOP Battle of the Bands in Philadelphia.

As part of its mission to market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley, representatives from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) regularly attend events to network directly with the world’s best location consultants and economic development professionals.

When competing for attention with representatives from dozens of other regions from around the world, anything that can make the Lehigh Valley stand out in the crowd is a benefit. And at two recent events, LVEDC found a unique way to do exactly that.

Rock ‘n’ roll music.

Cunningham & Associates, the Lehigh Valley rock band headlined by LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham, played and won the Battle of the Bands event hosted by Philadelphia chapter of the NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, beating out three other competing bands at the legendary performance venue The Fillmore on May 4.

Additionally, Cunningham performed at and won the talent show competition at the Site Selectors Guild 2017 Annual Conference, held last month in Tucson, Arizona. He was one of eight contestants from across the country selected to perform with the house band led by site selector and drummer Jay Garner of the Atlanta-based Garner Economics.

“It was an honor to be selected to perform at both of these events,” Cunningham said. “I’ve been playing music in bands since high school. It remains a hobby and great outlet for me. It’s been really cool to be able to combine my musical hobby with my professional life and I’ve been amazed at how many musicians there are in the world of real estate and economic development.”

The trophy Don Cunningham received from the 2017 Site Selectors Guild Conference Talent Show.

The trophy Don Cunningham received from the 2017 Site Selectors Guild Conference Talent Show.

Cunningham & Associates has steadily grown in prominence since being formed in 2011 with a group of well-known veteran Lehigh Valley musicians. In addition to opening for rock n’ roll legend Chuck Berry at the State Theater, the band is a regular at Musikfest, the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, and festivals and special events throughout the Lehigh Valley.

In addition to Cunningham on guitar and vocals, the band consists of Mike Fritz (lead guitar and vocals), Steve Patterson (keyboards) and Pete Fluck (saxophone and harmonica), John Sproat (drums), and Mark Buschi (bass and vocals). The band’s previous guitarist John Bloys filled in for Fritz during the NAIOP Battle of the Bands performance.

Cunningham & Associates was formed after Cunningham retired his Mayor and The Cabinet rock band, which had played throughout the Lehigh Valley since Cunningham became mayor in 1998.

The Site Selectors Guild is the only association of the world’s foremost professional site selection consultants. Site selectors, location consultants and national industrial commercial brokers are involved with virtually every major company relocation.

LVEDC has regularly attended Site Selectors Guild events over the past several years, working to familiarize its members with the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley.

The NAIOP is the leading organization for developers, owners and investors of office, industrial, retail, and mixed-use real estate. It is comprised of more than 18,000 members and provides strong advocacy, education, and business opportunities.

Last year, LVEDC was a gold sponsor of NAIOP’s annual I.CON conference in Jersey City, and organized a pre-conference bus tour familiarization tour of the Lehigh Valley for a group of its registrants. It was the only such tour offered at conference that year.

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