We welcome you to RelocatetoIdaho.org. Since 1987, over 90 companies have taken the opportunity to expand or relocate to the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area. The strong and vibrant economic options of North Idaho are surpassed only by the quality and beauty that surrounds us. As a business owner, you will embrace the financial benefits of Idaho which allow for low taxes, affordable housing and a trained workforce. CNN Money ranked Idaho the

#1 State for small business.

#1 in regulatory and tax code friendliness.

I look forward to working with the Kootenai County communities to create that balance of taking care of our existing businesses, growing entrepreneurial activities, and recruiting new businesses to help diversify and strengthen our economy. Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation has had a long and successful program, and I know that together we can create further success to give our region a brilliant and vibrant future.
- Gynii Gilliam

Our Team

Gynii Abracosa Gilliam, President

Gynii joined the Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation in March of 2015. She is charged with helping create vital communities in the region by diversifying the economy and helping business create jobs. Since joining Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation, she’s been instrumental in building a strong community economic development team that she credits with helping 9 expanding and relocating businesses bring $36M of new capital to the region, along with 500+ new direct jobs and around $15M in new payroll.

She has over 25 years of experience in the field, in both the private and public sectors, from rural communities to urban centers. She served as the Chief Economic Development Officer for the State of Idaho, where her team helped bring over $700 million in capital investment and 3500 new direct jobs to the state over an 18-month period. Prior to joining Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation, Gynii had a private consulting firm focused on providing workshops to help “Elected Officials and Stakeholders become Champions for Economic Development.” She has also taught a graduate course in Community and Economic Development as an adjunct professor for Boise State University. Previous work in the state, also includes eastern and central Idaho, where among other things, she helped start a rural distance learning program in central Idaho for nursing students, guided the ED team in recruiting Allstate to eastern Idaho for their 4th regional center, and co-directing the Urban Renewal program for the Pocatello region. She has also worked on successful projects in Los Angeles and Detroit.

Ms. Gilliam holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and studied abroad at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. She was a California State Scholar and the recipient of the Rackham Graduate School Fellowship.

Gynii is involved in local, regional and national boards, including the International Economic Development Council, Inland Northwest Economic Development Partnership and the Idaho State Economic Development Association. She has presented at the National Council of State Governments, the Northwest Food Processors Association, the Pacific Northwest Economic Development Council, and at many other national events. Gynii has two grown boys: Jono an Architect in Los Angeles, California; and Michael, an ER nurse in Boise, Idaho.

Amber Conklin, Business Relations/Communications Officer

Amber recently joined the Coeur d’ Alene Area Economic Development Corporation after relocating from Alaska. Amber’ s experience includes representing a government agency as the Communications Director and spokesperson, several years with the Department of Labor as a job developer, and five years in Human Resources for a school district. A University of Alaska Alumni, Amber has a Bachelor of Arts in English.

A self-described “serial volunteer,” Amber has volunteered for organizations such as LOVE, Inc. –a community support organization for people in crisis, as a Board of Director member and Field Training Officer for Volunteers in Policing, as the Communications and Media Chair for the Board of Directors for the Arctic Winter Games 2014 (an international sports competition with 2,000 youth athletes), the Literacy Council of Alaska as an English as a Second Language Tutor, and most recently for the K27 Benefit concert here in Coeur d’ Alene.

Although Amber says that the skiing and lakes first drew her to consider the move, it was really the incredible heart of the people that convinced her that she had found her true home. “I passed through Coeur d’ Alene a few times on road trips, and I was so impressed with how nice everyone was. It felt like every person I met was a neighbor I had known for years. I love this community and I am thrilled to work in a field that adds to the quality of life equation. The best part of my job is that I get to give a ‘ shout out’ about how amazing the area and people are.”

Amber is excited to be part of the Coeur d’ Alene Area Economic Development Corporation and the opportunity to develop jobs and assist businesses to grow and thrive.

Lori Franson, Administrative Assistant

Lori Franson joined the Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation team in May 2017, after relocating from Wisconsin. Lori’s business experience includes over 15 years in the Utility industry with Wisconsin Public Service; Manufacturing Industry, for Wausau Paper Corp, where she served in roles as a Purchasing Assistant and Executive Administrative Assistant. Lori is not new to non-profit organizations, whereas, she became the Magazine Communications Coordinator for The Great Lake Timber Professionals, serving Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan members in the logging and trucking industry. Up until her move, she was a Real Estate Agent in her local community

The draw for Lori to come to Coeur d’Alene was when she came to the area on a trip and had a passion to start a new beginning here. Lori stated “It is a beautiful place to be, there is much to be offered here. I look forward to being able to guide other new business professionals coming into the area and make them feel welcome as I have been.” Lori is excited about being part of the Economic Development group as it creates opportunities to serve as an advocate for the community that she can call home.

Anything to do with being in nature and the outdoors is where you will find Lori. Her favorite past time is horseback riding, as she brought her horse Sonny, along for the Idaho adventure.

Our Services

We offer confidential business services, free-of-charge and customized to your specific needs. Think of our office as an extension of your business development division. Our services include:

  • Identifying and locating potential sites, in partnership with our local commercial brokers and building/property owners; and gathering detailed site and building information
  • Providing economic and business development data about the communities, northern Idaho, or the whole Inland Northwest region, including, but not limited to:
    • Demographics and Economic Overview
    • Workforce Availability, Prevailing Wages, and other related labor data
    • Educational and Workforce Training Programs, both specialized and ongoing programs
  • Evaluating the available workforce and connecting you to resources that will make hiring, interviewing, screening and training your new workforce easy
  • Coordinating site selection trips, from setting agendas to arranging meetings with community partners to conducting overview tours, to managing all logistics.
  • Organizing strategic meetings, including personalized briefings and orientations, to make your visits a one-stop collaborative effort with key business leaders, government and community officials, from the local to the state level (including the Governor & Congressional delegation)
  • Delivering assistance in identifying and navigating through the various local and state incentives programs, including assistance with application submission
  • Providing assistance in facilitating the permitting processes on both the local and state level
  • Connecting you with local/state agencies and local organizations, whether it’s to address other business needs or your interests in community involvement.
  • Establishing business to other business (B2B) connections within our two-state region (north Idaho and eastern Washington) to help you strengthen existing or build new supply chains, assist with recruiting efforts, and any other operational activities
  • Promoting your organization/business through media, marketing and public relations, especially for your ground breaking, grand opening, ribbon cutting and key announcement activities.
  • Creating a personalized service to assist you in any way possible.

We offer confidential business services, free-of-charge and customized to your specific needs. For additional information and assistance on your business expansion, relocation or entrepreneurial needs, please contact us:

Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation

210 East Sherman Avenue, Suite 206
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 667-4753


Gynii Abracosa Gilliam, President

Cell: (208) 756-7889


Amber Conklin, Business Relations/Communications Officer

Cell: (907) 590-0910


Lori Franson, Administrative Assistant


    Board of Directors

  • Chair - Patty Shea, Avista Utilities
  • Vice Chair - Brad Marshall, J-U-B Engineers
  • Treasurer - Chris Meyer, Parkwood Business Properties
  • Corporate Secretary - Denny Davis, Witherspoon Kelley
  • Past Chair - Eve Knudtsen, Knudtsen Chevrolet
  • Mayor Steve Widmyer - City of Coeur d’Alene
  • Rep: Troy Tymesen
  • Mayor Ron Jacobson - City of Post Falls
  • Rep: Linda Wilhelm
  • Mayor Steve Griffitts - City of Hayden
  • Rep: Brett Boyer
  • Mayor Vic Holmes - City of Rathdrum
  • Rep: Leon Duce
  • Commissioner Marc Eberlein - Kootenai County
  • Brad Hagadone - Hagadone Corp.
  • Rick MacLennan, PhD - North Idaho College
  • Rep : Kassie Silvas
  • Gary Schneidmiller - Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty
  • Charles Buck, PhD - University of Idaho
  • Jim Glenn - Titan Spring Company
  • Mike Kennedy - Intermax Networks
  • Tag Jacklin - Jacklin Land – Riverbend Commerce Park
  • Tim Komberec - Empire Airlines
  • David Dean - Columbia Bank
  • Danny Klocko - Kootenai Health
  • Michael Wolsten - Idaho Central Credit Union
  • David Flood - STCU
  • Linda Davis - LaRiviere
  • Scott Hoskins - Ignite cda
  • Jerry Keane - Post Falls School District
  • Karen Thurston - Jobs+ Action Committee
  • Wally Jacobson - Panhandle Area Council
  • Luke Malek - State Representative