On October 10. 2016, the Magnolia Rotary Club attended the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce (MPCC) monthly meeting where Dr. Michael Fortunato & Stacey Osbourne talked about economic development in terms of Rural and Urban areas. Pictured above is Dr. Michel Fortunato talking in front of the MPCC group.
Before the main topic started, Dr. Brian Mullen, Executive Director, College Relations at Lone Star College, told the group that the area is growing rapidly and that the search for a piece of land to build the Magnolia Campus is ongoing but has not yet found that piece of land. Dr. Mullen also reminded everyone about their 2017 "Maverick Open" golf tournament is coming up on Friday April 8, 2017 and they are currently looking for sponsors and teams (teams limited to a total of 18).
Dr. Stacey Osbourne, the Willis EDC Director, talked to the group about how to create an EDC (Economic Development Corporation) group. Dr. Osbourne used football as an anology showing that many of the things that make a great football team great are also needed to create a great EDC. Like football, competition drives an EDC and each business owner as well as local Chamber of Commerce groups need to always look at how their business or group fits into the bigger business picture that they are part of. For instance, they should be aware of who and where their customers are, their suppliers, local resources, transportation resources, infrastructure resources, and what government regulations affect them. Also, any great EDC must have participation, collaboration, consensus, and a plan of action. The plan of action will include the need for a website, a task force, and monthly networking meetings. Dr. Osbourne told everyone that she helped set up the Economic Vitality Corporation that was an EDC in the San luis Obispo County, California.
Dr. Michael Fortunato talked about ten steps needed to create a great EDC. He stated that the key to making any organization work is to view change as an opportunity instead of a problem. The ten steps are as follows:
  1. Create Networks
  2. Diversity
  3. Creating a safe space for new ideas
  4. Create a common purpose
  5. Get S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely)
  6. Need Goal Hierachy (start with easy goals and work up to harder goals)
  7. Learn your A.B.C. (Autonomous, Belonging, & Competence)
  8. Celebrate success
  9. Learn from failure
  10. Repeat
For more inforamtion about Dr. Fortunato, Director of the Center for Rural Studies at Sam Houston State University, go to the following URL: