Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2006

Name change needed at LAD

January 19, 2006

What's in a name?

The age-old question spurred quite a debate last week when members of the board of directors of Leavenworth Area Development voted 11-6 to change the organization's name to Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

The name change isn't final; it will take a majority vote of the 22-member board at the group's Feb. 9 meeting to new name official.

The change is necessary and should be done without delay.

Whether by design or by accident, the name "Leavenworth Area Development" conjures the image of a group serving one community: Leavenworth.

Don't get us wrong: The First City is a wonderful community and we wish only the best for our neighbors to the north.

But the preamble to Leavenworth Area Development's bylaws points out it is a countywide organization. As such, it should have a name that reflects its countywide economic development mission.

LAD director Lynn McClure, who is on the front line of trying to position Leavenworth County for success in the economic development arena, is soundly behind the move for the name change.

He said he had favored the move ever since he was hired to lead the organization two years ago, and he has continued to tell his executive board members of his view.

Why confuse business prospects looking at the county with potentially their first contact? Suppose you're a businessman looking to locate in a small town near an urban center, say Kansas City. Tonganoxie fits the bill. But you don't know that; you've never heard of Tonganoxie. You've heard of Leavenworth County from your limited research of the Kansas City area. But in looking for economic development organizations to assist you, all you can find is Leavenworth Area Development. Why would you call it when you're looking for a group that serves the entire county? Planting a seed of confusion is not the way to gain a foothold with a prospective business.

Those who are so parochial as to insist a name change isn't necessary should sit back and ask whether they'd have the same attitude if the organization's current name were "Lansing Area Development" or "Tonganoxie Area Development" or "Basehor Area Development."

Of course they wouldn't.

That's why the move to change the name to Leavenworth County Development Corporation is proper.

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