Wendy Dant Chesser knows big things are ahead for the business community of Clark and Floyd counties in the next five years.
By the time 2018 rolls around, two new interstate bridges over the Ohio River should be carrying drivers — and goods — between Indiana and Kentucky. River Ridge Commerce Center will have added thousands of jobs in that time, tied to the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville by a new connector road. And the city of Jeffersonville will look to continue to capitalize on the opening of the Big Four pedestrian bridge with restaurants and retail.
But as Dant Chesser said Thursday after leading her first meeting as One Southern Indiana’s president and CEO, Southern Indiana leaders have to plan and prepare so all the development “doesn’t just happen to us.”
At Kye’s in Jeffersonville, Dant Chesser and a crowd of about 350 celebrated 1si’s successes over the past year — but the big news was what lies ahead.
Dant Chesser outlined the strategic plan for the organization — which serves as the chamber of commerce for Clark and Floyd counties — meant to serve as 1si’s blueprint for the next five years. Five core values and six focus areas form the base of the plan. The board of directors developed the core values to help guide 1si’s strategic direction and day-to-day operations. They are:
• Collaborative — Working together with partners toward shared outcomes.
• Proactive — Working to initiate change for the better for the business community rather than reacting.
• Resourceful — Applying ingenuity and taking initiative to maximize advantages and overcome challenges.
• Integrity — Adhering to moral and ethical principles and insisting that partners do the same.
• Results-oriented — Focus on measurable outcomes that result from 1si’s actions.
The strategic focus areas are more micro in nature. They are: growth through economic development; serving members through business resource services and programming; championing ideas through advocacy; collaborative partnerships for building a world class environment; community messaging to promote 1si’s strategy; and organizational sustainability, which includes governance and financial oversight.
“We’re trying to benefit all members, investors and stakeholders,” Dant Chesser said. “We can’t be all things to all people. Now [with the strategic plan] we have priorities to guide picking and choosing our activities so businesses can decide what makes most sense for them.”