Leaders from the Zachary Chamber's second Leadership NORTH program were treated to a paneled discussion centered on recent and upcoming economic development in several communities in East Baton Rouge Parish and in the northern region.
Invited to speak on the panel were Mayors David Amrhein (Zachary), William "Billy" D'Aquilla (St. Francisville), Robert Jackson (Slaughter), Robert Myer (New Roads), Harold Rideau (Baker) and Mac Watts (Central). Mayors D'Aquilla and Jackson were unable to attend.
Special guests included Kate MacArthur, Zachary's new director of economic development, and her predecessor, Chip Mills, who was visiting the Aug. 16 program from Austin.
MacArthur, who has eight years of experience in the industry, told leaders that economic development is different for everybody, as well as every community.
Mills paid tribute to DEMCO, who was a "key component in getting Leadership NORTH going by devoting time and resources."
DEMCO's Turk Tines and Roxane Barnes, of Cleco Power Co., both spoke about their companies' involvement in community development and economic endeavors.
Dr. Marilyn Cantrell, economic and community development consultant for the City of Central, presented a consultant's perspective to the group, focusing on several primary objectives: Increasing local tax base; improving residents' quality of life; raising the standard of living of citizens; and engaging in business retention activities.
Mayors Amrhein, Myer, Rideau and Watts all spoke about recent achievements in their communities, as well as the barriers each municipality faces.
For more on the Mayor's panel, please pick up a copy of the Zachary Plainsman on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
About Leadership NORTH
Leadership NORTH is an annual leadership development program for the north Baton Rouge region hosted by the Zachary Chamber of Commerce with assistance from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and the LSU AgCenter, as well as cooperation from Metro Councilman Trae Welch and DEMCO’s Brent Bradley. Mills, director of economic development for Zachary until recently, was instrumental in starting the leadership program.
Participants in the program - persons living or working in Baton Rouge, Zachary, Central, Baker, Pointe Coupee and East and West Feliciana - have the full support of the organization or business they represent.
The program is designed to engage emerging leaders in the region and prepare them to meet the future needs of their communities.
The inaugural class of Leadership NORTH was held in 2011. The 2012 Leadership NORTH class began Feb. 16 and concluded Aug. 16. Graduation details, not yet determined, but will be announced soon, as well as information about applying for the 2013 Leadership NORTH program.