Gainesville-Hall County Leadership Summit 2005

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s 2004-2005 Business Plan titled Leadership for Community Success states that only through strong leadership will we accomplish our goals of economic success. With this year’s focus on leadership, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is hosting a one-day Gainesville-Hall County Leadership Summit on March 11 to discuss major issues facing our community and some ways these issues might be resolved in the future.

The summit will bring together a cross-section of Gainesville-Hall County leaders, including: business leaders, county and cities elected officials, government appointed officials, non-profit leaders, neighborhood association leaders and other opinion leaders. Discussion of issues facing Gainesville-Hall County and the process for resolving major issues or “visioning” is the goal of the summit.

The benefits of this Leadership Summit can be enormous, specifically in the areas of relationship building and the development of a higher level of trust between all participants. To prepare for discussions, Atlanta public-policy consulting firm, Civic Strategies, Inc., was asked to prepare a briefing paper on the long-term opportunities and challenges facing Gainesville-Hall County, based on interviews with government, business and civic leaders.

Issues fell into four broad areas: Economic, Human Capital, Leadership and Social Capital and Quality of Life. The report also reflected four overriding questions that are on leaders’ minds these days:

What will the economy of Gainesville-Hall County be in the future?

How will the demographic trends now at work affect the community in years to come?

Are we doing enough to influence our economic and demographic trends in a positive way?

Do we have the resolve and the leadership to make good choices?

Otis White, president of Civic Strategies, Inc., will be facilitating the Leadership Summit. He is one of America’s top community leadership analysts, having studied business, political and civic leadership networks across the country. Civic Strategies is a strategic planning firm that structures public policy solutions for cities and regions.

Before founding Civic Strategies, Otis was president of two consulting firms, The Community Leadership Co., which specialized in leadership analysis and training; and Market Street Services, which specialized in economic development services. He is editor of the Civic Strategies E-Letter, a twice-monthly digest of civic news and trends from around the country, and contributor to magazines and newspapers about leadership trends.