In the past there has been little attempt to sell east Mississippi as an economic development region, according to Mike McGrevey, new president of the Montgomery Institute in Meridian.
"From time to time, we as economic developers would gather, but as a general rule we were working our own priorities within our region," McGrevey said. "If you're going to be competitive for grants or certain designations that may bring in resources, mainly dollars, you're going to have to come at them from a regional perspective."
McGrevey said he does not see his organization as competitive to the
East Mississippi Business Development Corporation or any other group, but rather as a partner to them.
"The purpose of the Montgomery Institute is to compliment what all the economic developers are doing, what the educators are doing and what government officials are doing," said McGrevey. "Our primary purpose has been to focus on leadership development and then the next step through the commission has been to bring the region together to start focusing on regional issues. But in no way are we competitive. We're complimentary."
McGreavey echoed comments made recently by Cong. Chip Pickering and EMBDC chairman Wallace Strickland in creating a "togetherness approach" to economic development in our area.
"First, if we're going to to deal with anything, we've got to be one team. But it's got to be more than just one team within the local city or local county. We've got to become one team within the region and when you get on ahead we've got to work together," McGrevey said.
McGreavey says the Montogomery Institute's role is to develop leadership in sast Mississippi that will lead to a regional foundation and new competitive attitude.