CDF to focus on community building


HOUSTON – The Chickasaw Development Foundation voted to change their mission statement and will now focus more on community building, attracting businesses and improving the quality of life for Chickasaw County.

CDF bylaws require the organization to have a mission statement and leaders are charged with following it and using it as a guide in pursuing economic development in the community.

“The old one has been around since 1953 and has served us well,” said John Walden, President of the CDF Board of Directors. “But times have changed and the new mission statement gives a stronger direction to our leaders and this organization.”

“The hiring of Regional Economic Developer Josh West and the formation of the Pontotoc, Union and Chickasaw County Alliance last year has reshuffled some of the duties of Chickasaw Development Foundation. The change in the mission statement will allow the Chickasaw Development Foundation to focus on drawing new businesses to the community, address transportation issues, lobby for community projects and get involved in more quality of life events and issues that before.

“We have sort of separated the industrial development from the community development,” said Walden. “They are linked and there will be some overlap, but this will help us work on community development.”

Walden said landing an industry for the new Chicksaw County industrial mega-site South of Okolona is still key issue with CDF.

CDF also used the Oct. 15 meeting to unveil new committees and its new website.

The four committees are:

• Retail/Small Businesses.

• Recreation/Tourism.

• Marketing.

• Community Activity.

While each committee will focus on specific aspects of the community, all are seeking to improve the quality of life of Houston and Chickasaw County.

“These four committees have or will hold seven meetings in September,” said Joyce East, CDF Executive Director. “The goal is for people with a passion for an event or segment of our community to plug in with like-minded people and get to work.”

Committee are:

RETAIL/SMALL BUSINESS – John Walden, Bob Pearson, Rayburn Parks, Gene Childs, Keely Hardin, Amanda Parish, Justin Teasley, Gail Baird and Kirbi Dendy.

RECREATION/TOURISM – Jason Brooks, Talitha Hudson, Judy McQuary, Debbie Peel, Angie Abrams, Kay Davis, Russell Brooks and Jessie Garner.

MARKETING – John Walden, Talitha Hudson, Magaret Futral, Floyd Ingram, Robin Mathis, Shane Presley, Teresa Moore and Donna Griffin.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITY – Jason Brooks, Betty Holder, John Walden, Allison Harrell, Becky Johnson, Angie Abrams, Gail Turner and Kelly McManus.

East said to become a member of CDF or to get involved in CDF projects call 456-2321.

The new CDF website has been several year in the making and it has also been redesigned to reflect the new mission statement and direction of the organization.

The website can be viewed at


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