Cenla Advantage Partnership hosted the first Summit on the Future of Central Louisiana on Monday, April 19, at the Wesley Center in Woodworth. The summit was for business and civic leaders throughout the region. It was designed to create an ongoing conversation on Central Louisiana’s future, particularly on the economic challenges and opportunities faced by the region.
David Cole, president of Itawamba Community College in Tupelo, Miss., delivered the opening keynote address. Cole has been president of ICC since 1993. He was previously superintendent of the South Panola School District in Batesville, Miss., for almost 20 years. ICC provides academic, credit enrollment to more than 7,000 students and workforce training opportunities to more than 50,000 adults annually.
Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, delivered the Summit’s closing keynote address. The partnership leads economic development efforts in the 16-county region around Charlotte, N.C. Bryant previously served as president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and was senior vice president of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. He began his economic development career working for the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. He is a former board chair of the International Economic Development Council.
The summit also featured a special presentation on entrepreneurship and the regional economy. It addressed such questions as:
• What could the Future of Central Louisiana look like?
• Who will live here? What will they do for a living?
• What actions can be taken now to improve Central Louisiana as a place to live, work and do business?
• What is Central Louisiana’s brand? What should it be?
Jim Clinton, CAP’s president and CEO, said, “The Summit was the first step of a six-month project using civic engagement tools to help reinvigorate the region’s economy. We want to involve hundreds of residents in community forums throughout the region.”
More and updated information regarding the conference is available at www.cenla.org.
Cenla Advantage Partnership is a nonprofit organization that works to build more and better economic opportunities in Central Louisiana. CAP is funded in part by The Rapides Foundation.