Monday, November 24, 2014
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Opinion

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LIGHTNING EDITORIAL: Collaboration emerges as 2013 key

Chuck Edwards, the new Henderson County Chamber of Commerce chairman, was talking in an interview with the Lightning about the chamber's 2013 goals.

One is a collaborative effort to work with other organizations to come up with a common brand that promotes Henderson County. (See our profile of Edwards on Page 28.)
It's not an easy marketing project to pull off, given the range of interests, economic and otherwise.
What's the common goal? Real estate development? Home sales? Jobs? Tourism? Parks and recreation?
Jobs has to top the list but in Henderson County many different organizations are involved in the business of creating new jobs or expanding our current base.
Beth Carden, the director of the Tourism Development Authority, has been talking, too, of the power we could unleash with a more united approach and a better coordinated strategy.
To her credit, Carden organized the first Henderson County Tourism Conference, which this week will bring the state's top tourism marketing executive and a tourism research expert to BRCC's Conference Hall. But more than that, it will bring together the boots on the ground who prosper in a good tourism economy and suffer in a bad one, and know a lot about both.
"I think it will shake things up a bit, help them rejuvenate how they approach their business," Carden says. "It's going to give them a shot in the arm and let them know they're not alone. We're all working toward the same goal."
The Hendersonville City Council, in a session earlier this month, described to executive search consultants the skills they wanted to see in a new city manager and the biggest challenges the new leader will face. High on the list was communication with other levels of government and with businesses.
Even the county Board of Commissioners, when it is not exhausting its energy on a punching bag like the Flat Rock Playhouse or the soccer complex, manages to keep a strong focus on jobs. The board has a good record of responding when a good jobs recruit is on the hook.
And it goes without saying that Andrew Tate and the Partnership for Economic Development have a impressive batting average landing new employers, especially given the very sluggish recovery.
We bring up these examples as we march ahead into 2013 because the examples seem to revolve around one theme. We're on the cusp of a lot of good things in Henderson County, we believe, and a lot of different leaders are recognizing that. We're not talking the irrational exuberance, real estate wise, of the 1920s or the early 2000s. A good-old fashion recovery would be a good start. We see a better season ahead. It makes sense to plow the ground together.