Building Blocks

August 25, 2011

Originally released August 15, 2011

Last Friday the Columbus2020! team, along with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and The Columbus Partnership stepped away from our daily duties in order to discuss our various roles in moving this Region toward its goals.

I think it is important to write about this meeting and a few other activities that Columbus2020! is conducting. Notably, Columbus2020!, along with the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange (MODE), is conducting the Economic Developers Advisory Committee (EDAC) meeting each month for two to three hours to discuss, debate and align our efforts with economic development practitioners from the 11-county Columbus Region. Additionally, Columbus2020! is hosting an event with its private and public investors for a half-day dialogue about our Region’s challenges, opportunities, and threats. JobsOhio will join our team at each of these events to ensure that we are aligned and informed about the State of Ohio’s economic development strategy.

At first glance, these are just meetings. Upon closer inspection, these activities are essential to the effort and indispensible to our team. First, we must sew the core team together and align it with its direct leadership, our Board of Directors. In short, we must be able to lead ourselves if we are to lead others and great progress is being made in this effort.

Our EDAC meetings bring together local and regional groups at the practitioner level, and are of growing importance. It is a lot of work, a big commitment for our communities, and worth every minute. If we do this every month for the next nine years, will our Region be better off? My belief is that we will be aligned, we will know each other, no one will pursue their goals in a community in a vacuum, and we just might achieve something incredible!

Finally, how do we engage over 200 investors regularly to “get on the team,” and help inch us closer to our goals? September 7th’s Regional Economic Development Dialogue will be another step to engage our investors, both public and private, in a conversation about how to leverage each and every ounce of our potential to attract, retain, and grow business in the Columbus Region. In the next year, we will begin to break that down into smaller groups and more regular communication.

Our premise is that if we continually do these three things, our Region will become more informed, more enthusiastic, and more able to communicate to others about the assets and aspirations of our Region.

Columbus2020! Update
Our team will be in the Columbus Region this week concentrating on follow up and meeting with companies and communities across the Region. We continue to prepare for our mission to Japan by meeting with Japanese companies from around the area in order to build awareness and interest in this mission.

Kenny McDonald
Chief Economic Officer