Chamber meets with state Economic Development leaders

Discussion centers on attracting industry to Upson

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The Thomaston-Upson Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Planning retreat in the fall at The Rock Ranch. During the planning session new divisions were formed which include Organizational Performance, Unite Community/Members, Promote Membership and Enhance Quality of Life.

During the meeting, the Chamber Board of Directors also recommended that a meeting be arranged where all Chamber Executive Board Members, Thomaston City Council Members, Upson County Commissioners, Industrial Development Authority Members, as well as representatives of the Thomaston-Upson School system all meet with Statewide Economic Development Partners to discuss what Upson County can do to become more attractive to prospects looking at our community.

On Monday, December 9, the Chamber’s Unite Division accomplished that goal by organizing a meeting with Upson County Community Partners and with State Economic Development partners Bill Dobbs, Director of Aerospace, Defense & Advanced Manufacturing Global Commerce for the Georgia Department of Economic/Community Development; Jim O’Bryan, Manager of Retail & Commercial Development for Georgia EMC; Clint Taylor, Project Manager for Georgia Power Company and Daryl Ingram, Project Manager for Electric Cities of Georgia.

The group participated in a Community Economic Development orientation process, and were given examples of communities our size that have experienced positive economic growth that Upson County could possibly study to improve on our chances of landing more industries and jobs. The Upson County leaders were also able to ask questions to the State Project Managers on the strengths and weaknesses of our community and how we can improve ourselves.

Those present and for the Monday, December 9 meeting were: Representing the T-U Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Chamber Chair Neal Trice, David Castleberry, Jeff Stribling, Bob Fletcher, Lisa Ellington, Trennis Dumas and Chamber President Lori Smith; Representing the Industrial Development Authority Board, Scott Blackstock, Billy Johnston, Frank King, Steve Daniel and IDA Director Kyle Fletcher; Representing the Thomaston City Council, Patsy Perdue, Gary Atwater, Don Greathouse, Mayor Pro-Tem Doug Head and Thomaston City Manager Patrick Comiskey; Representing the County Commissioners, Lorenzo Wilder, Steve Hudson, Frank Spraggins, County Commissioner Chairman Rusty Blackston and County Manager Jim Wheeless ; Representing the Thomaston-Upson School System were Dr. Maggie Shook and Dr. Larry Derico. Also present for the meeting was State Representative Johnnie Caldwell. Those that were invited but were unable to attend were County Commissioner Ralph Ellington, City of Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold, City of Yatesville Mayor Cecil Moncrief and Past Chamber Chair Shelley Daniel.

The Thomaston-Upson Chamber of Commerce Unite Division is in the planning process now of setting meeting dates in 2014 where all of the Community Partners in Upson County can meet and discuss ideas on how we as Upson County residents can help move Upson County forward.


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