As a sometimes rainy sky rumbled overhead, elected officials from Harrison County’s seven municipal governments, county commission, and the State Legislature gathered to meet, mingle, and, hopefully, find ways to produce meaningful and positive collaboration.
“The Harrison EDC and Chamber were proud to host the event giving our local leaders the opportunity to connect with each other, discuss common goals, and assist each other in resolving challenges,” said Katherine Wagner, president of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.
Wagner started the introductory remarks, thanking all in attendance. She was followed by Amy Haberbosch-Wilson, executive director of the Harrison County Development Corporation.
Wilson explained the close relationship between the EDC and the Chamber, with the executive directors of each body serving on each others’ boards. This ensures that they have as close a working relationship as any similar two local entities in the state.
Overall, it is often said that a county or city’s economic development corporation’s primary goal lies in attracting new business, while chambers of commerce work to help businesses maintain themselves as much as they can.
Wilson went on to discuss recent success in receiving a brownfields grant. These funds help to remove contaminants from industrial and other sites prior to redevelopment. She also briefly mentioned the EDCs priority projects and requests for information.
She specifically asked those in the room to provide information, saying “we need to know what inventory you have, what industry you have, what you want to have.” Additionally, Wilson discussed the upcoming Leadership Harrison program coming up in September.
With the focus on informal networking and exploring ways to work together, they kept their remarks brief.
The event took place at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport. Tony Kowalski, general manager, said “it sure looks like it’s a mixed crowd. Some of you, it’s your first time here and others have been coming for 10 or 15 years.” He also stated that the club had a commitment to the community, making the facility accessible to anyone, “not just our private membership.”
After the meeting, Wagner explained that “we feel it is important for all leaders throughout the County to work together to maximize our efforts to promote and support local businesses and grow our economy. Only by working together can we all grow and prosper.