Goal I: A Balanced Economy
- Helped establish the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center and continue to partner to assist new and existing businesses reduce risks and improve profitability
- Launched FastTrac New Venture entrepreneurial training classes in Morgan County, which is now Business 101 and administered by the E-Center
- Providing valuable training opportunities such as Breakfast & Biz for small and large business owners to expand their knowledge in an effort to retain and create jobs
- Hosted Artspace, a non-profit organization that advocates for residential art spaces, for a feasibility study regarding a mixed use development in downtown Decatur
- Led a community delegation to Tuscaloosa to study the Kentuck Arts Festival and the potential of a regional arts festival in Morgan County
- Led a community deligation to Savannah, Ga. to study the impact of a fine arts center in a redeveloped downtown area
- Spearheaded the efforts to establish Sunday alcohol sales, sidewalk dining and the Arts & Entertainment district in downtown Decatur, helping keep retail and entertainment spending dollars in Morgan County and furthering efforts to attract and secure “seven-day” restaurants.
Goal II: Diversity & New People
- Host Annual Diversity Banquet honoring minority business and community leaders for their contributions to Decatur-Morgan County
- Host Annual Diversity Summit and Annual Lunch & Learn sessions, expanding the scope of the event over the last several years
- Received the Volunteer Organization of the Year Award given by the Volunteer Center of Morgan County and was awarded $250, in turn, began providing a $250 pay-it-forward scholarship to a minority business owner
Goal III: Quality Education – Attainment & Availability
- Created the “Ready to Learn” information piece to increase awareness of skill sets needed to be prepared for kindergarten
- Restructured Partners In Education program and implemented new procedures guide for partners
- Added and sponsored a second SWeETy Camp session in 2013, providing an opportunity and environment for high school girls to gain hands-on experience and technical skills that can lead to high-paying, satisfying careers in high growth industries
- Developed “Endless Opportunities,” a one day program involving all eighth graders in Morgan County where students attend an event that features area employers showcasing the work they do through hands-on activities. Based on the results of the students’ career exploration test that is given prior to the event, students get to focus on career opportunities that fit with their interests and skills
- Established the Starting Strong Pre-K initiative -- a partnership between the Chamber’s Quality Education Committee, Decatur-Morgan County’s Minority Development Association, The United Way of Morgan County and the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama.
- The team continues to apply for grants and fundraise to expand access to Pre-K for all children in Morgan County. The collaborative group has a goal of reaching 100% access to voluntary Pre-K. In 2013, the group received grants and raised money to add seven Pre-K classrooms throughout Morgan County
Goal IV: Keeping Our Best & Brightest
- Created a partnership with the Decatur Jaycees to enhance civic and social offerings for young professionals, strengthening the Jaycees’ recruitment efforts
- Hosted Summer Symposium, a three-month professional development series, to engage young professionals with dynamic speakers and local business leaders
- Created Decatur-Morgan County Young Professionals group and bi-monthly socials
- Developed Experience Leadership, an annual six-part leadership development program for young professionals to enhance their awareness of business finance, community engagement, local government, can career development.
Goal V: Leadership – Dynamic, Visionary & Community-Wide
- Hosted Political Training Institute and political forums for local political candidates
- Added community service projects to the curriculum for program, including projects supporting local schools, social service providers and organizations supporting veterans
- Created and implemented Experience Leadership (ages 21-40) to leadership programs
- Instituted procedures to place Excellence in Leadership program graduates on community and municipal/governmental boards and committees
- Established Equip Student Leadership, allowing area 8th graders to develop leadership skills prior to entering high school
- In partnership with the Morgan County Commission, Hartselle City and Decatur City, sponsored monthly dinners for elected officials to provide an environment for collaboration and synergy among governments.
- Formed a Leadership Task Force composed of members from government offices, businesses and community leaders
Goal VI: Healthcare – Quality & Access
- Encouraged Calhoun Community College to expand their training of dental students
- Supported The Community Free Clinic of Morgan County’s expansion of dental services to 3,000 patients in 2010
- Organized the effort allowing the Community Free Clinic to distribute $1.5 million in sample drugs to indigent care patients
- Supported legislation in the Alabama Legislature (Chapter 420-11-2 Alabama State Board of Health, Office of Primary Care/Rural Health) to reestablish qualifications and criteria for retired physicians and dentists to be eligible to participate in professional liability coverage while serving at established free medical clinics, thus allowing for increased capacity and services at the Community Free Clinic of Decatur-Morgan County
- Lobbied Mayor and the Decatur City Council to pass ordinance #07-3906 Smoking in Public Places; the ordinance passed
- Hosted two educational seminars for membership covering upcoming changes in public health policy and insurance stemming from the Affordable Care Act
- Established the “State of Healthcare” event for 2014, providing an opportunity for healthcare leaders in Morgan County to discuss the changing healthcare environment and how it will impact the area
To download a copy of The One Vision. One Voice. One Morgan County, click here.