Meagan Noin is president of MN|G Partners.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In November, the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network announced the winners of its 14th annual Twenty Under 40 Awards. With the region’s economic present and future in mind, we are conducting interviews with each of the 2020 winners, to be published throughout the year. Read this week’s Q-and-A below.
Who are you?Name:
President of MN|G PartnersYears in Reno/Northern Nevada:
Q: What do you see as the top one or two biggest economic development opportunities for Northern Nevada in 2021 and beyond?
Meagan Noin: I think 2020 has been a year that made people reconsider a lot or part of their lives. And I think we’re seeing some trends, like people leaving some of the major markets. Specifically, surrounding California and some of those areas, people are looking to relocate to tertiary markets like ours, so I certainly could see some additional companies relocating for that reason.
That was kind of a trend already in place, so I think that’s probably just an acceleration of what was already in play. And I kind of deal with that more with clients. This has always been a very connected community, so in a marketing sense that means that we have to step out a little bit of more of our shells because there are a lot of people coming into the market and that shouldn’t be ignored. There’s a lot of opportunity with that.
Q: Why is it important for younger professionals to have a seat at the table when it comes to the business community in Northern Nevada?
Noin: I think we’re seeing a lot of evolution in the way companies are functioning. Part of that is generationally driven, part of it is environmental, but I think there’s a lot to contribute. And we are kind of the next generation set to take over, so as workplaces evolve, what does that look like?
A lot of that will hinge on our input. And we’re a generation who was raised with technology, and really the first one to take leadership that was raised with it from the start. So I think we’ll see that look different as well.
Q: What under-the-radar industries have the biggest opportunity for growth in Northern Nevada?
Noin: We represent a lot of the development community in the area and some of the major changes that aren’t necessarily as consumer facing are in the industrial development and logistics portion. Northern Nevada has become a huge hub, whether it’s Amazon or any of those companies that are meeting the need for e-commerce. Which is again another area that has accelerated exponentially in the past year.
But, again, it’s something that was already in place before. And it’s not always in areas of town that we all notice, because they’re big boxes, but they’re very significant. They’re becoming very big employers. And the ripple effect of that — it goes into trucking and it goes into all of these other industries.
Q: Where do you see the greater Reno-Sparks region in five years?
Noin: From the time I was a kid till now, you wouldn’t recognize it as the same city, it’s grown so much. And I suspect we might see that evolution continue.
I remember that there were certain areas of town that were in the middle of nowhere when I was younger and now they’re quite central. I think we’ll just see an acceleration of growth and people wanting to live here.
Q: If you could change one thing for the better or improve one thing about your community, what would it be?
Noin: I don’t know if it’s something that I would change, but something that I would look toward as we grow … One of my favorite parts about doing business here is how tightly connected the business community is. And I hope as it expands and grows and welcomes more people from other markets that it stays that way.
This is not a transient market by nature. So, you know, I like to see my clients at the grocery store.
Q: Lastly, why do you feel Northern Nevada is better positioned to bounce back from the COVID recession than other regions?
Noin: A lot of that has to do with some of the industrial development that we talked about and the logistics, and we are positioned to be a gateway to a lot of the different surrounding markets in a unique way. And then you combine that with a lower cost of living, and a lower cost of everything compared to the neighboring states.
That’s very favorable. And we do, of course, have gaming but it’s not as dominant economically as it is in the south. Although, I see that recovering quite well after the pandemic, too. I just think that the geographic location and the size of the market will be a big advantage. And it’s a really nice place to live, too. Some of the lesser expensive markets people talk about don’t necessarily have the standard of living.
We have the four seasons, the outdoor stuff, the proximity to the lake, all of those amenities. We have access to everything, and I don’t sit in traffic for two hours on the way home.
Note: This interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity. Go here for the full list of Twenty Under 40 winners.