Water on a stoneWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes it seems as if economic development moves at a glacial pace. Major deals can take a long time to forge; that’s a fact of smart business. That process takes even longer in Northwest Ohio, where far too many layers of government slow forward motion (or in cases such as Toledo City Council vs. Dashing Pacific and the Marina District, stop that motion altogether).
The Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), a leader in privately funded economic development, is entering a new era under recently appointed President Dean Monske. At two recent events we were given some insight into how the RGP is approaching the long-term task of bringing business to our region.
At the May 17 Eggs and Economics program, former deputy mayor Monske and Toledo Mayor Mike Bell discussed their plans for marketing Northwest Ohio and their current trip to China.
The day before, at its annual meeting, RGP officials had stressed past and future regional collaboration as one key facet of its work.
“Most important is the spirit of cooperation among all the economic partners working together on growth and development for the region,” Dave Waterman, chairman of RGP’s board of directors, said at the meeting.
“It’s not all about RGP. It’s a true celebration of real collaboration for economic development, where everyone is working together on the same page,” Monske said. “Northwest Ohio has been a leader in regionalism on local, state, federal and even global levels. The biggest change is that we’re going to be laser-focused on being more proactive in promoting our region on all those levels. The new direction of RGP will focus on attraction of business and jobs for Northwest Ohio.”
Monske announced that RGP plans to open an office in Shenzhen, a business center located outside Hong Kong.
As reported by Toledo Free Press Senior Business Writer Duane Ramsey, Shenzhen has grown from a population of 50,000 to more than 14 million in the past 20 years.
That kind of rapid growth is antithetical to how things seem to move here, where progress is measured like drips of water wearing away at a stone.
But if RGP and its collaborators can tap into the waterfalls of motion and investment occurring in other parts of the world, perhaps we can move from trickles to opening the floodgates.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.