MONROE, March 17, 2016: Over 50 people attended last evening’s Monroe County BDC’s Annual Investors’ Meeting held at La-Z-Boy Headquarters in Monroe, Michigan.
The event kicked off with a meet and greet while attendees enjoyed culinary delights directed by La-Z-Boy’s Hospitality Manager, Tina Joseph. The program began with Board of Director’s Chairman and Monroe Bank & Trust CEO and President, Doug Chaffin welcoming the group and detailing the BDC’s recent strategic alignment process. To conduct the strategic alignment, the Board contracted with Dr. Donald Spencer of the Michigan Leadership Council. Dr. Spencer presented the goals of the BDC in moving forward along with a new vision statement for the BDC and a revised mission statement. They are as follows:
It is the vision of the Monroe County Business Development Corporation that the community will thrive as a result of a diversified business and industrial base that provides capital investment and quality jobs.
The Monroe County Business Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that attracts and retains a diverse range of business and industry by leading initiatives that create an environment for economic growth.
Dr. Spencer shared that the BDC will continue their work in the three broad categories of: (1) Attraction of new business and industry to Monroe County, (2) Retention and Growth of our existing business and industry in Monroe County, and (3) Marketing and Communication.
Charlene Page, BDC VP of Business Development and Tim Lake, President and CEO, provided an overview of the work they have been doing over the last year. Notable accomplishments in 2015 included:
- Assistance to with business growth – The BDC assisted in 8 projects that resulted in projected capital expenditure of over $44 Million, retention of 654 jobs and creation of 219 new jobs.
- Generation of over $110,000.00 in training dollars coming into the county in a partnership program with the Michigan Works! of Monroe County and the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCOG).
- The continuation of work with the Monroe County Intermediate School System, the 9 local school districts and the Community College to deliver a county-wide Career and Technical Education program.
New initiatives started in 2015 include the feasibility study of a soy bean processing facility locating in the area and the advanced study of the I-75 corridor and subsequent action plan that will lead to development opportunities due to the Gordie Howe International Bridge Crossing between Detroit and Windsor.
The keynote address was delivered by La-Z-Boy CEO and Chairman, Kurt Darrow. Mr. Darrow detailed the steps leading up to La-Z-Boy’s construction of their new headquarters, which will be celebrating their one-year anniversary next week. During his remarks Mr. Darrow commented that (La-Z-Boy) “is a shining example of what economic development can be.” He went onto say that, “We are living proof that private and public partnerships can work,” in describing the cooperation between the company, contractors, and the City of Monroe, Frenchtown Township, County of Monroe and the State of Michigan.
The event was wrapped up with Mr. Lake thanking La-Z-Boy for their involvement in the BDC over the last several years and thanking all of the BDC investors in contributing to the growth of Monroe County.
Tours of La-Z-Boy’s facility were conducted highlighting their impressive building concept and technology incorporated workspace.
About Monroe County Business Development Corporation
Monroe County BDC, a non-profit organization, is Monroe County’s local economic development organization. The Monroe County BDC is dedicated to attracting new businesses, retaining and expanding existing businesses and serving as a catalyst for capital investment and quality job growth in Monroe County. Formed in 1982, Monroe County BDC is led by President and CEO Tim Lake and a 15 member Board of Directors consisting of some of the area’s top leaders, including representatives from manufacturing, banking, utilities and local government.