Strategic Partnerships Commission Preparing For Economic Development Summit

An economic development summit is being planned for May.

Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission members are continuing their discussion on a meeting with an expert management educator and author.

The group of volunteers who meet throughout the year to discuss various methods of improving life in the community are talking about bringing back Russ Linden. Linden is an expert in change management, performance improvement and collaboration. He has written five books, with his most recent being “Leading Across Boundaries: Creating Collaborative Agencies in a Networked World.” Linden has included work he has done with Chautauqua County officials in previous books like “Working Across Boundaries: Making Collaboration Work In Government and NonProfit Organizations.”

Jennifer Gibson, Strategic Planning and Partnership Commission co-chair, said Linden will be available in May for the economic development summit. She said a subgroup of the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission has made a list of local organizations to invite to the summit. The list included inviting officials from the city, county, Industrial Development Agency, Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, local school districts, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and local community foundations.

The group then discussed whether heads of local businesses should also be invited to the summit.

“They might have a different perception,” said Linda Swanson, Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission member.

Swanson also added the commission needs to define how exactly to use Linden’s expertise during the summit.

In order to discover what local officials are looking for from a change management, performance improvement and collaboration expert, the commission has created a survey. The plan was, at first, to send the survey to local officials to have them complete. However, Gibson said it might be better to meet with local officials with the survey.

“I think we will get more information by having a face-to-face conversation,” she said.

Gibson said it might be better to talk to local economic development officials first before deciding who will be invited to the summit. She said the plan by March’s meeting is to try to meet with county economic development leaders. The commission’s next meeting will be Thursday, March 20.