The River Region's Wave of the Future!
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In the early morning on Tuesday, Jan. 11, leaders and members of the community from Elmore County gathered for breakfast at the Wetumpka Civic Center to, for a second year, try to encourage unity among municipalities and rural communities in the area.
In attendance at the event were Jerry Willis, mayor of Wetumpka, Jeff Langham, superintendent of Elmore County schools, and many others from their respective areas of influence.
Bill Canary, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, was the guest speaker at the morning meeting.
Canary told the more than 100 who gathered that unity has paid off for Elmore County since the program began about a year ago.
"Elmore County is one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama," Canary said. "Unity has paid off."
The BCA president went on to share what he said were several qualities that have made Elmore County successful.
"Self knowledge, commitment to mission, willingness to take risks, and commitment to listen and to communicate," he said. "Also personal responsibility and persistence. You must believe in miracles. Unity is not just a random feeling -- it's a choice."
Canary also told the crowd that the BCA would be in the process of beginning a pro-business/ pro-education partnership this year.
The speaker rounded out his presentation by listing the five numbers of unity that he feels will be at the heart of a strong Elmore County in both business and education.
"I think of the number 124, which is the number of Alabama chambers of commerce. I think about the number 750,000, which is the number of Alabama workers represented by the BCA," Canary said.
The speaker went on to list the number 71,000, which represents the number of children entering first grade and the number 40-percent, which is the percentage of students who drop out of high school every year.
"Lastly, I think of the number $6 billion. That's the amount of money paid into the local and state governments by the BCA," he said as he thanked those in attendance and ended his speech.
In an email communication after the meeting with Elmore County Economic Development Authority (ECEDA) project manager Lindsey Jordan, the purpose of the organization's unity event was explained.
"The unity series is facilitated by the ECEDA to bring all those community and business leaders from across the county into one room talking, networking and building relationships so we can work together as a cohesive unit to accomplish what needs to be done for the county," Jordan said.
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