MBREDC meeting buzzing with energy, optimism (update: media round-up)

The new logo and identity campaign was unveiled at today's meeting.

Update July 29th: Here's some of the other media's take on the event and new direction.

  • MBREDC emphasizes involvement - The Sun News
  • Jobs coming to Grand Strand hopefully by 2012 - WMBF
  • MBREDC presents strategic plan - WBTW

First Report: Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation had its annual membership meeting this morning and presented the strategic plan for the revitalized organization.

The overall feel the entire morning was excitement and positivity from both the presenters and the attendees. The entire MBREDC organization is refreshed with new staff, new identity provided by The Brandon Agency, new funding, and a cohesive plan to create jobs and recruit companies.

The meeting was held at the Marina Inn in Grande Dunes and the packed crowd in attendance was a who's who of Grand Strand government officials and business leaders. Chairman Doug Wendel hosted the meeting and said MBREDC explicitly invited these community leaders to get their commitment for working directly with Brad Lofton, the recently hired CEO of MBREDC. It is a strategic goal of the group to become the main point of contact for making development deals in Horry County and Wendel says municipal support is an important piece to making that happen. 

Presentations were also made on a few existing projects like the Bucksport Marina Industrial Park and of course the recently kicked off iTAP projectMyrtle Beach International Airport Executive Director Mike LaPier also gave a brief update on the airport expansion by stating it was "on schedule and under budget".  

Strategic Development Group Inc had been hired by MBREDC to "assess its organizational structure, develop target markets and accelerate job creation." Mark Williams, president of Strategic Development, presented on the results of that study.

Williams identified key assets and liabilities to Horry County economic development. He said the lack of an interstate would deter heavy manufacturing or other industry that relies on trucking logistics from selecting Horry County. One surprising asset that came from the study was our telecommunications infrastructure. "For whatever reason, [Horry County] has connectivity that rivals metro areas like Atlanta and New York. It's an anomaly of sorts." This infrastructure would make us ideal for industries such as call centers and software development. Williams also noted that we are double the state and national average for hospitality jobs.

MBREDC isn't wasting any time, either. Lofton has hired a new Director of Marketing, Kate MacArthur, from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce. She will begin work on Monday and they are quickly closing in on making an offer to a Director of Recruiting. Wendel also mentioned more than once that he expects at least 2 major deal announcements within the next 60 days. 

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