Archive for Thursday, February 16, 2006

Economic development group’s board agrees to name change

Leavenworth County Development Corp. moniker OK’d

February 16, 2006

Lansing Area Development has a new name.

The board of directors of the countywide economic development organization last week voted unanimously to change its name to Leavenworth County Development Corp. The name change, officials say, more accurately reflects the mission of the organization.

Unlike a month ago, when after lively discussion board members voted 11-6 to begin the process of changing the group's name, last week's vote to change the name was unanimous and came with no further discussion.

Lynn McClure, the organization's executive director, said the vote surprised him, although he credited executive committee members with addressing questions about the change that had popped up at the January board meeting.

"There was a lot of legwork done, a lot of hand-delivering of documents," McClure said, "but I had no idea the vote would go like that; 22-0 is pretty surprising."

Besides currently answering the phones with "Leavenworth County Development Corporation" and including the new name in emails from the agency's office, the organization has a timeline to gradually transition into full-fledged use of the new name.

Next month, for example, officials will begin the purchase of new marketing materials matching the name change, print new letterhead, business cards, envelopes, stamps and checks. Throughout the remainder of 2006, the organization will trumpet the name change at trade shows, on a new Web site, at the annual business and industry luncheon, during the annual membership drive and at the 25th anniversary annual meeting.

McClure said getting people used to "LCDC" rather than "LAD" won't happen overnight.

"It's going to be something to take some time," he said. "There are some things we can do to move the process along, though."

Since its founding in 1981, the group has gone by Leavenworth Area Development, which has led to some confusion by outside groups that thought the group was focused solely on commercial and industrial development in the city of Leavenworth. Funding for the private, nonprofit organization, however, comes from Leavenworth County; the cities of Leavenworth, Lansing, Tonganoxie and Basehor; other private organizations; and businesses throughout the county.

"It's the right thing to do," McClure said of the name change. "It's needed to be done for quite a while.

"I'm very happy for the organization. It's needed to be representative of the entire county."

Agency officials are careful to point out that the organization consistently has worked for economic growth on behalf of all cities throughout the county: board members range from Easton to Tonganoxie; its Web site, lvarea.com, addresses business issues and happenings from each city; and a new brochure encompasses all county markets as well.

Also at Thursday's meeting:

¢ Board members learned of the resignation of Deirdre Gammill-Hock, the organization's economic development coordinator. The organization has posted the job opening on its Web site.

¢ The board heard a presentation by the city of Leavenworth, which played host to the meeting. City Manager Gary Ortiz discussed economic development projects in which the city is involved.

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