It’s been a long time since I was appointed as president of Butler County Community College.
Shortly after being named CEO in 2007, I was asked to serve with other Butler County leaders to create a unified economic development plan for the county. While spearheaded by the Butler County Chamber of Commerce in concert with Delta Development, the ultimate goal of a unified approach never materialized.
Thanks to the assistance of an anonymous donor, BC3 revived the previous plan and hired Fourth Economy to develop a new model. Although a new organizational structure and defined partner roles based on stakeholder engagement and best-practice research were developed, efforts again stalled.
Enter a new board of Butler County commissioners in 2015. Each commissioner believed in the underpinnings of both studies. Better yet, Commissioners Leslie Osche, Kimberly Geyer and Kevin Boozel comprehended the need. Mark Gordon, a former steel company executive, was hired as Butler County’s chief of economic development shortly thereafter.
With support from the commissioners and a chief of economic development in place, the Butler County Growth Collaborative was soon born. Advisory members from key organizations in the county developed a mission, vision, value statements and a strategic plan.
The Butler County Growth Collaborative also created a national marketing campaign for our terrific county. A shout-out to Patricia Pritchard, one of our part-time instructors, and to Dr. Belinda Richardson, our vice president for academic affairs, for their roles in the production.