REDI Report – September 19, 2015

Conference all about working together

As I mentioned two weeks ago in the “Lebanon-REDI Report,” this week I will briefly recap the 2015 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development. This annual event was held this year in St. Louis and brought dozens of economic development professionals from around the state together to increase our knowledge about our state and chosen profession.

I was really impressed with this event as it was my first governor’s conference since coming home to the state of Missouri six months ago. We discussed a lot of various items but two things truly stood out as far as I am concerned – working together and creating opportunities for everyone.

The word “collaboration” was used over and over. Company representatives were on hand to discuss how they worked to bring jobs to the respective communities that they call home. Each person talked about how the local community worked with the company, state and other partners to make projects a reality. And that made the key difference in those companies choosing to relocate or expand their businesses in the state of Missouri as opposed to somewhere else. It made me really proud to think of all the local collaboration that is going on right here in Lebanon and Laclede County in an effort to yield similar results. And we are certainly seeing the fruits of that labor coming to life.

And when discussing opportunities for everyone, this is an area that I have a strong passion for. We certainly want to keep our “best and brightest” but sometimes I think we accidentally give others a bad label and make them feel like they are not in that category. Everyone can contribute something to our community and society. That is why we must continue the effort of giving our workforce each and every opportunity we can through various programs that are designed to help them be more productive – professionally and personally.

One of the best things about going to a conference like this is the chance to get “fired up” about the work we do in communities. And that certainly happened for me. I was very proud to be there on behalf of Lebanon and Laclede County economic development efforts.

Speaking of working together, I want to thank the Lebanon City Council for its continued support. The council voted Monday night to renew its annual agreement with Lebanon-REDI and we look forward to another great 12 months in our long-term partnership.

In closing, I want to urge everyone to attend this weekend’s Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce and Local Makes Sense “Business Expo, Fun Day and Job Fair.” The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Lebanon-REDI will have a booth at this event and I hope everyone stops by to say hello. I also want to commend the Chamber and Local Makes Sense organizations for all the hard work they have put into this event. A lot of the effort goes unseen “behind closed doors” as they say. Well, I personally have been impressed by the work of the two boards and the Chamber staff. Be sure to thank them this weekend for all they do for our community and county when you see them.

Have a great weekend everyone!

(Brian Thompson is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Lebanon-REDI. He may be reached at his office at 200 E. Commercial Street at 417-533-5627, by mobile phone at 417-288-9737 or by e-mail at

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