Progress at UCDA

The effort of the Union County Development Association to reinvent itself is beginning to pay off.

The organization struggled a bit with its mission after much of its traditional work—economic development, marketing and tourism, as well as Tallahatchie RiverFest—was siphoned off to others.

But we see progress being made. Under Phil Nanney’s leadership, the group has started two events designed to bring business people closer together to work for common goals. Earlier this year UCDA started a monthly breakfast meeting designed for local chief executive officers, plant managers and human resource managers.

And last month Nanney started a “Business 2 Business Roundtable” luncheon focused on networking between small business owners and retailers in the area. The Business 2 Business Roundtable is underwritten by a grant from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi.

The Toyota plant, under its new vice-president for administration Sean Suggs, is becoming a more active community partner in Union County, rather than just a focus on the Tupelo area.

More than 40 people turned out for the first Business 2 Business lunch and the event is expected to grow. The next one is Aug. 21 at the Civic Center.

Nanney also has crafted a new UCDA marketing slogan for New Albany and Union County, which he has started using in advertising. It is “People. Place. Potential.” We think it is catchy and represents a step forward for our area.

We see renewed interest in UCDA. It and the New Albany Main Street Association are the groups that mean business in our community.