How North Port Grows
How North Port Grows, hosted by Ruth Buchanan and Randy Welker, is meant to introduce listeners to local business owners and city leaders. They will discuss topics on how to grow as a community focusing on business and commerce along with policy and strategy. For a listing of times, check the programming guide.
Show Host Bios

Host Ruth Buchanan

Ruth Buchanan
Ruth Buchanan

Ruth A. Buchanan, MBA, CEcD

Economic Development Program Manager

City Manager’s Office

City of North Port

A native of Manila, Philippines, Ruth joined the City of North Port staff in March 2010 and is currently the City’s lead economic developer. Ruth views herself as a problem-solver and a win-win-win solution seeker. She accomplishes this by masterfully bringing together various points of views and interests and finding a way to satisfy stakeholders’ needs and optimally address stakeholders’ wants. Achieving this “environment of doing” includes bridging the gap between public and private enterprise especially concerning improving the overall business climate in the one of the region’s fastest growing and youngest cities.

Ruth’s business and economic development background includes international experience. She is a certified economic developer by the International Economic Development Council, and holds an MBA via a joint program between the International University of Japan and the Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth University. She enhanced her international experience by also attending the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom, and working as a management consultant in Tokyo. Her undergraduate was in economics and political science from the University of the Philippines. She brings a diverse experience from finance, economics, international business, solar energy, and sales and business development.

Leading the charge for one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and one of the youngest cities in the state, she understands the implications and the exhaustive requirements of bringing meaningful and sustainable growth to North Port. The economic development strategy currently employed by the City entails targeting and recruiting industries that resonate with the City’s young demographics – such as innovation and technology, sports tourism, lifestyle, entertainment, and connecting with the global economy.

In an effort to diversity the City’s economy, Ruth in also part of a team involved in an intensive and comprehensive policy change to re-write the City’s Unified Land Development Code, to allow the land use and zoning regulations to better accommodate light industrial and manufacturing users to locate and thrive in the largest city of the metropolitan statistical area, and recently the 10th in the US for job growth per Forbes.

Host Randy Welker

Randy Welker
Randy Welker

Randy L. Welker, JD, CEcD, EDFP

Randy Welker is the Business Advocate for the City of North Port.  He is responsible for assisting companies in North Port and serves as the point of contact for any business needing general assistance navigating the City regulatory process.  Randy also served as the Economic Development Coordinator for the city of Wilton Manors, Florida in its Community Development Services Department.  He was responsible for creating the strategies to help increase the economic vitality of its downtown business corridor as well as the creation of the tools and incentives to attract new investment.  He spent six months as the Interim Director of the Community Development Services Department overseeing the Planning and Zoning Functions, as well as the issuance of Building Permits.

Prior to coming to Wilton Manors, Randy served as the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Sarasota, Florida’s downtown historic district.   Randy has spent over 20 years in the field of economic development including positions as the Business Recruitment Manager for the Business Development Board of Martin County, the Executive Director of the Citrus County Economic Development Council, and the Business Recruitment Director in Delray Beach, Florida.  He spent 15 years in Cincinnati, Ohio where he began his career in economic development.  While with the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Randy created a regional business retention program and helped create Hamilton County’s Brownfield Program.

Randy Welker has a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV from Southern Illinois University, and is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP).

North Port Grows Archived Shows

Contact Information

Contact Ruth Buchanan: 941.429.7029 or rbuchanan@cityofnorthport.com

Linkedin