BDO ZoneCONNECT: One-hour discussion with Melville, SK and Siloam Springs, AR

News and Resources for BDO Zones, Webinar

On April 5, 2022, TheDigest’s DIGESTCONNECT hosted the first-ever BDO ZoneCONNECT webinar. The virtual one-hour event was moderated by Jim Lane (Editor, TheDigest), and featured presentations from Jordan Solomon (President & CEO, Ecostrat; Chairman of the BDO Zone Initiative), Ron McCullough (City Manager, Melville, SK) and Phillip Patterson (City Administrator, Siloam Springs, AR).

BDO ZoneCONNECT is a joint platform with DIGESTCONNECT that enables ‘A’ and ‘AA’ Rated BDO Zone communities to connect, network, and socialize their rating with interested investors, bio-based project developers, financiers, community leaders, and more.

Jordan Solomon gave an overview of the BDO Zone Initiative while Ron McCullough and Phillip Patterson provided an understanding of their region, the type and availability of feedstock, their economic development goals, and why they chose a BDO Zone designation.

To view the recording of the webinar, please visit here.



Jordan Solomon (CEO & President, Ecostrat; Chairman, BDO Zone Initiative)

  • “A sustainable future means a lot of things to a lot of people, but one key component that enables that future to happen is creating more advances and more biofuel, renewable chemical, and biogas plants, and enabling them to get built faster. One of the ways that help make that happen are these BDO Zone designations.”
  • “In terms of biomass feedstock, without a designation, many of our amazing communities are lost. With a BDO Zone rating; it’s a powerful economic development instrument that we believe gets them found.”
  • “Economic development is a numbers game. Without the phone calls, there is no economic development. If we’re going to get biobased plants built across this county; if we’re going to catalyze the buildup of biobased infrastructure in both Canada and the US, we have to make those connections happen.”


Ron McCullough (City Manager for the City of Melville, SK)

  • “The BDO Zone has motivated us to pursue other opportunities. The rating is great – I would say that as a city manager, it’s meaningless if we don’t translate it into tangible outcomes.”
  • “The result has been over the last year generating in the neighbourhood of twenty to twenty-five conversations. Economic development is about generating those conversations, getting opportunities into the sales hopper, and at some point closing the deal.”
  • “When we look at the potential industry we are not interested in industry for the sake of it. We want to match and partner with industry that will achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.”
  • “We very much believe in processes we can trust…The BDO Zone, as I think I’ve demonstrated, and Jordan talked about, has opened the door to opportunities. The opportunities start with conversations. Those conversations look to closing deals.”
  • “Our network continues to expand and grow rapidly.”


Phillip Patterson (Siloam Springs City Administrator)

  • “The city became interested in the BDO Zone designation to attract investment in new, green technologies in our community, and for our environment, and to attract investments into the city’s opportunity zone”. 
  • “We recognize that we have feedstock here in our region – we began looking at this opportunity for a BDO designation.”
  • “One of the things about northwest Arkansas is that we have hundreds of poultry farms in our region. One of the things we found out by doing the BDO study, was that not only do we know we have these hundreds of poultry farms in our regions that continue to grow, but, within a 75-mile radius, we have 20 counties in a four-state region that produce poultry litter.”
  • “[The poultry litter] has been a major environmental and political issue…one of the benefits of doing a biomass project is to provide a new outlet for the by-product of the poultry industry, and reduce that nutrient runoff into the watershed.”


To learn more about investing in the City of Melville, please visit their website here. If you would like to connect directly with Ron McCullough, please contact

To learn more about investing in the City of Siloam Springs, please visit their website here. If you would like to connect directly with Phillip Patterson, please contact

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