Chamber speaker says Rowan boosters need to always look forward

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 16, 2018

SALISBURY — Frank Emory, chairman of the board of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, gave pointers about how Rowan County can move forward at Thursday’s Power in Partnership breakfast at Trinity Oaks.

Speaking to the crowd of chamber members and community leaders who are invested in the growth, Emory said the county and the state need to figure out what they’re doing for economic development and strive to meet their goals.

“My view is the thing we need to do is demonstrate the value of us,” Emory said. “What do we have? We have places like Rowan County. We’ve got the mountains. We’ve got the coast. We’ve got great universities. We have lots of good private schools. We’ve got a great K through 12 system. And those things have traditionally have been real strengths of ours. But I’m going to say — without taking a breath — all of those things can be better.”

He said there needs to be an emphasis on continuously moving forward.

“If you’re not going forward, you’re falling behind,” Emory said. “Where are we now in economic development? Our state is always in the running. Sometimes we fall short. There have been a couple painful times this year.”

Branding is important, Emory said, understanding how people outside the area see Rowan County or the state.

“You are the keepers of the brand,” Emory said.

He suggested a game plan of knowing what’s special about Rowan County and said leaders should speak with unity, noting the name of the breakfast was Power in Partnership.

Rod Crider, president of the Rowan County Economic Development Commission, spoke about the help Emory and the partnership have given the county.

“EDP NC is one of our most important allies and partners in economic growth efforts for Rowan County,” Crider said. “We work with them and their staff on a daily basis to promote growth here in Rowan County.”

The next Power in Partnership breakfast will be Dec. 13. The speaker will be Warren Cole Smith on “How To Create a Thriving Community.”