The Grant County Economic Growth Council focused on strategies to communicate their brand and mission effectively in the community during their meeting Tuesday.
During each meeting, a round table discussion probes conversation among members so the staff serving on the Growth Council can glean information for future projects. They asked for member comments on community perspective of the Growth Council, assumptions made on the group, and how they can be more effective in making their mission known to others.
Wendy Puffer, professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and co-founder of Marion Design Co., serves on the Strategy and Evaluation Committee on the Growth Council and said the new focus in telling the council’s story shouldn’t be previous successes, but current ones.
“We’re much more relevant than maybe we have been perceived in the past, and so it’s important for us to tell that story in a relevant way,” Puffer said. “So moving away from how we’ve developed business in the past to how we’re developing business now.”
She suggested that the council takes a focus on mentoring small businesses, helping them develop “soft skills” in the workplace, and making their generosity known.
“We’re a very generous organization, we give quite a bit and yet I don’t know that people understand that,” she said.
Puffer also provided a preview to the premier of student installations into the downtown area. According to Puffer, she has been working with a combination of art and design classes at IWU in conjunction with Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County to bring beautification to Downtown Marion. On Wednesday, the temporary installations will be displayed in windows and building facades surrounding the courthouse and an open house will be held at Marion Design Co. from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Growth Council voted to approve a lease to Cianbro Corporation for storage space connecting to the Thompson Building on South Adams Street.
The council approved the lease for the amount of $500 a month for 22 months. According to Alex Wolf, of Cianbro, they plan to store construction equipment in the area. He also said he expects “sporadic activity” during their 22-month lease, with potential for an office trailer to be installed as well.
The Growth Council also announced plans to have community office hours in local coffee shops, starting with Joe on the Go in Upland next week. Mikayla Marazzi, director of media communications, said they are working to meet a demand for them to be in the community outside of Marion. The details of their office hours in the various locations have not been released.