EDP president ‘enthusiastic’ about reorganization

The planned reorganization and refocusing of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership has EDP President and CEO Jody Lassiter feeling “the most enthusiastic I’ve been about economic development in five years.”

“I think that there are a lot of good things in the offing and I am just thrilled that we are moving in this direction,” Lassiter told magistrates last week. “It gives a whole new wind in my sails going forward as your economic development professional.”

Lassiter was similarly optimistic at last week’s Danville City Commission meeting. Lassiter attended both meetings in order to introduce Hal Goode, the new chief operating officer for the EDP and one of the reasons Lassiter said he’s feeling good.

The EDP reorganization is part of a strategic economic development plan developed with the help of RKG Associates during the last part of 2016 and the first half of 2017. It calls for restructuring the EDP’s board of directors, consolidating “core” economic development activities within the EDP, focusing on target industries likely to choose Boyle County for new business, and increasing the EDP’s staffing level so it can accomplish more.

Addressing the staffing levels with the hiring of Goode is one of the first steps completed in that reorganization, Lassiter said.

“I don’t feel as a mile wide and an inch deep as I have been for the last almost 10 years,” Lassiter told city commissioners last week. “Critical things are happening within not only our board governance, but our staffing and the way we interact with our partners.”

Goode, a Washington County magistrate and former economic development professional at the state level, started work Sept. 5.

“I’m getting settled in, but I’ve always been settled in to Danville and Boyle County,” Goode, who worked early in his life for Danville Office Equipment, told magistrates. “… I look forward to really getting back out in the community, working in economic development. … I’ve always been over the Boyle County line looking over the fence.”

Goode said he’s looking forward to using the county’s strategic economic development plan. He mentioned workforce development; developing entrepreneurs and small businesses; and working regionally with others as goals of his job and the strategic plan.

“The strategic plan has caught a lot of attention,” Goode said. “It’s going to be one that we’re going to be utilizing on daily basis.”