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By CHERI TAYLOR, Guest Columnist
Perry County is participating in the Indiana HomeTown Competitiveness program based on a successful application submitted by the Perry County Chamber of Commerce. The Indiana HomeTown Competitiveness is a program to empower our "hometowns" to enhance their prosperity and quality of life. IHTC is operated out of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs and is based on a similar program that began in Nebraska to help their communities that had been shrinking for over 100 years.
Indiana HTC has five pillars: youth, leadership, entrepreneurship, charitable wealth and rural families economic success. Pillars are areas of focus found to be important to rural community success.
Ferdinand has participated in the program since 2008, and we can all relate to the successes they have experienced with their economic boom just off the interstate.
Currently, each pillar is assessing the current state of Perry County in their area of focus. The assessment will ensure Òdue diligenceÓ of where we are. The pillars will use the assessment data to determine needs and opportunities to be pursued. The assessments will include surveys, interviews, focus groups and reviewing current plans.
Tara Bishop leads the Youth Pillar. Members are Laura Noble, Rob Moskos, Brad Ramsey and Jody French. The pillar is working to:
The group plans to circulate surveys in the coming weeks.
Contact Tara for more information or to volunteer for this pillar at email@example.com.
Chris Cail leads the Leadership Pillar. Other pillar members are Glenda Baumeister, Vince Luecke, Jenny Bruner, Judy Ashby, Betty Cash, Margie Zoglmann, Karen Lyons, Tony Kimbril, Beth Bruggeman, Danny Bolin, Julie Hakes, Penny Newlin and Bev Minto. This pillar is working to:
Phil Wittmer is the leader of the Entrepreneurship Pillar. Other pillar members are Jim Ashby, Kenny Simpson, Don Neill, Tom McCart, Carol Hagedorn, Mayor Barbara Ewing, Patty James, Pat Crawford, Isiah Glenn, Tony Hollinden, Eric Kehl, Ed Morey, Jeff Rogers, Breanne Walsh and Dr. Matt Butler. This pillar is working to:
The pillar members have put together a survey that can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BKZX6QK.
Contact Phil for more information or to volunteer for this pillar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Winter is leader of the Charitable Wealth Pillar. Other pillar members are Julie Huber Bishop, Glenda Gogel, Sally Houzanme, Rebecca Fenn, Jamie Hoesli, Martha DuPre, Rita Mahoney and Tina Ziegelgruber. This pillar is working to:
Mary Roberson is the leader of the Rural Family Economic Success Pillar. Other pillar members are Tom Hauser, Mary K. Cardinal, Joan Hess, Harriett Neill, Bill Borders, Gerald James, Lisa Lutgring and Chris Kinnett. This pillar is working to:
Please participate and give your honest answers to the questions on our surveys so that we can develop an action plan to help Perry County succeed. If you would like to request paper copies of the surveys, contact Cheri Taylor, HTC community coordinator, at the Chamber of Commerce, at 547-2385. Copies can be picked up at the Chamber office, library and The Perry County News.
Surveys should be returned by Nov. 30.
Taylor is executive director of the Perry County Chamber of Commerce.