In April, the Douglas County Chamber hosted 38 individuals from various levels of community leadership and involvement at the Douglas County Strategic Leadership Visit presented by the Georgia Power Company. The group traveled to York County, South Carolina. The Douglas County Strategic Leadership Visit provided the opportunity for Douglas County business and community leaders to meet with peers in a like-minded community to learn best practices in the areas of arts, entrepreneurism, collaboration, economic development, workforce and talent development, transportation and redevelopment.
During the trip, the group visited Rock Hill and Fort Mill, two communities in York County. They spent two days learning about how York has become a top rated community and returned home with best practices as Douglas County moves forward implementing the Community and Economic Development Strategic Plan. The group met with City and County leaders, Chamber, economic development and tourism leaders as well as private business owners, downtown investment partners, and community advocates driving growth and change. The group immersed themselves in the community by visiting local eateries and touring facilities for a full experience of what makes Rock Hill and Fort Mill a truly collaborative community.
The Douglas County Community and Economic Development Strategic Plan came to fruition through a group of local leaders, citizens, and members of the business community. The process began over two years ago during the Strategic Leadership Visit to Franklin, Tennessee for inspiration and to observe best practices of the thriving community. In August 2018, Douglas UnitE3 hosted an unveiling of the Community and Economic Development Strategic Plan with an overwhelming attendance. Nearly 500 attendees heard from Avalanche Consulting on the strategy and were the first to see the new community brand, “Live Outside the Lines”. The Community and Economic Development Strategic Plan identifies four pillars of focus: Celebrate the Community, Invest with Intention, Cultivate Talent, and Build Business Success. Each pillar is led by individuals that are committed to putting the plan into action.
Strategic Leadership Visit attendee, Odessa Archibald from Georgia Power Company, commented, “Georgia Power was pleased to serve as presenting sponsor of the trip as we believe it is important to support community and economic development in the communities we serve. The Strategic Leadership Visit allowed us to learn about tools, tactics and resources utilized in a successful community. It also reminded us that Douglas County has a tremendous amount of potential. We already have significant assets, partnerships and momentum on which to build and leverage. After this trip, I believe we are poised right now to move from being a successful community to a community of significance.”
Chamber President and CEO, Sara Ray, commented, “We had exceptional representation from our business community, residents, City and County governments. Each person serves as a significant piece of the puzzle in moving Douglas forward. I anticipate seeing big strides for our community from this group.”
The 2019 Strategic Leadership Visit was supported by Douglas County businesses. Special thank you to the sponsors: Georgia Power Company, Douglas County Economic Development, GreyStone Power Corporation, Douglas UnitE3; HRC Engineers, Surveyors & Landscape Architects, and Kaiser Permanente.
For more information about the Strategic Leadership Visit or the Community and Economic Development Strategic Plan visit www.douglascountygeorgia.com/douglasunite.