Becoming a Major Player in the Economic Development Game

Posted by Polo Willman on Jun 11, 2015 12:10:00 PM
Polo Willman
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Anne Falgout joined Vermillion in November 2014, leaving her stable role as Director of Marketing Intelligence at Lafayette Economic Development Authority, for a new economic alliance for the Vermillion Parish that was previously run by a volunteer staff prior to late 2014. This however is the exact reason she made the move. 

It has been a labor of love for the Vermillion Parish, and even though they didn’t have a professional economic development organization, they shared her passion of being proactive, not just sitting on the sidelines, and to be able to compete nationally against other regions of their size.

According to Anne, complacency is a major challenge for economic development today. “Complacency is something you see in any community with even moderate success. When you have an active and successful community that is sustainable locally, complacency can set in, and the need to move forward isn’t top of mind. You don’t feel the need to change, and to plan for the future. We have to battle this continuously—by being proactive in our marketing, innovating, and getting ahead of anything that might come.”

Anne Falgout, Executive Director Vermilion Economic Development Alliance

Why wait around for something to mess up? Why not take it to the next level? Why not do better? In starting this economic development alliance, Vermillion will preserve institutional knowledge, preserve cultural legacy, and our work hard attitude. But we also embrace millennials, the eager young professionals and meld them into young leaders, empowered community members, and active young professionals (via groups born out of the chamber).

All of these things are coming together—thinking proactively of the business community, what it might look like when current leaders leave, and all of the untapped potential. And that’s exactly what drew me in.

Our vision is to bring awareness of the Parish to the rest of the nation as a great place to do business and live, but also to showcase assets and to create an identity. Our hope—to sustain success and help grow the community in a real positive way. I’m from Vermillion, and we are very proud of our region, and really care about these communities.
We are working together to develop our Parish from the inside out, with the end goal of being “a player in the economic development game.”

Topics: Economic Development

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