Business and community leaders kick off Six Pillars effort

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 11:53 AM.

Six Pillars would be Okaloosa County’s first county-wide strategic plan for economic development. The pillars are talent supply and education, innovation and economic development, infrastructure and growth leadership, business climate and competitiveness, civic and governance systems, and quality of life and quality of places.

Okaloosa’s movement to become a Six Pillars-certified county started as with the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce about four years ago. Chamber President and CEO Shane Moody spearheaded the work, but he eventually realized the project was too big for just his chamber. Moody eventually was able to get the other chambers and EDC involved.

The next step is to create a strategic plan. The Destin chamber has contracted with St. Peter’s College Collaborative Labs to assist with the effort, and a public meeting is scheduled for March 21 to discuss what should be included.

A time and location had not been finalized as of Wednesday.

“It’s up to the people involved (to make sure the strategic plan doesn’t set on a shelf when it’s finished),” Moody said. “Strategic plans don’t sit on the shelf because one person puts it up there and lets it sit there. Things don’t get followed up on by the group as a whole, and that’s why. This is going to be something that the entire community and the entire county has to continue to push forward. You do that by having other meetings, other sessions to keep everybody up to date and to keep them accountable to what they want to get done.”

St. Peter’s work to develop the plan will cost $30,000. The chambers and EDC have collected about $10,000 from local businesses already and are looking for donations to help cover the rest of the cost. Anyone interested in donating can contact Moody at the Destin chamber at 837-6241.

Contact Daily News Business Editor Dusty Ricketts at 850-315-4448 or Follow him on Twitter @DustyRnwfdn.

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