ECIDC Current Newsletter
Published February 1, 2012
Downstate Voice Initiative Moving Forward
On September 29, 2011, ECIDC hosted Creating a Common Voice for Downstate Illinois at the Keller Convention Center, Effingham. The event brought together over 200 community and economic development leaders from throughout the state to network and collaborate on common development issues facing rural Illinois. By the end of the Summit, 125 attendees volunteered to serve on various task forces to carry forward the Downstate Voice initiative. The 2011 Downstate Summit Executive Summary and presentation materials are available at DownstateVoice.org. Please visit this site and create a free user account to receive future updates from DownstateVoice.org.
A steering committee and task force chairs have been appointed and will focus on key issues such as TIF Districts, Enterprise Zones, and Making Illinois More Competitive. The leaders will meet again in January, 2012 for strategic planning of each task force and initial planning for a second Downstate Summit to be held this coming fall.
To date the following are the appointed Steering Committee members:
~Jerry Townsend, Chair, Rural Partners
~Christopher Merrett, Director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA)
~Norman Walzer, Senior Research Scholar, Center for Government Studies
~Robert Wesley, SIU School of Medicine – Robert Wesley
~Illinois Development Council (IDC) representative – Angela Griffin (Current IDC Education Chair)
~Edward VanHoose, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives – Ed VanHoose~Christina Rogers, Rural Affairs Policy Advisor to Lt. Governor Sheila Simon~Stepheny McMahon, Director, President, Sullivan Chamber
The appointed Task Force Chairs are:
Brian Moody, Executive Director, Tuscola Economic Development Inc. (TEDI) and ECIDC Vice President - Making Illinois More Competitive Task Force
Steve Kline, President, The Economic Development Group, Ltd. - TIF Districts Task Force
J. Craig Coil, President/CEO, EDC of Decatur & Macon County - Enterprise Zones Task Force
Brett Gilsinger, General Manager, Frontier Communications - Communications Task Force
Members of the Communications committee are currently working to update the DownstateVoice.org website with contact information and details for each steering committee member and task force chair, goals for each committee, and developing more effective means for virtual communication of interested Downstate Voice members.
Look for more to come in the near future from DownstateVoice.org!