grow Magazine - December 2017
The Chamber’s digital magazine, also named grow features three articles focused on different aspects of the campaign goals. Read all about it here.
New angel fund launches in the Triad
December 8, 2017 — Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, the EVP of Entrepreneurship for the Chamber, talks to TBJ about the Seed Fund, an important aspect of the GROW campaign, that just launched this week. Read more about it here.
Guest column: Growing the Greensboro economy requires a diversified approach
Campaign Co-Chair, Jon Bell, had a featured guest column in the Triad Business Journal on December 7. Read it on TBJ’s website, or read the full text below.
Greensboro is at a turning point. For many years I’ve heard people ask “Why aren’t we growing?” or say “Look what’s happening in Charlotte or Raleigh.” It’s no secret that we’ve taken our knocks in the past – the industries that made this city great years ago have changed significantly or gone away all together. We are at a unique point in time where we have an opportunity to reinvent our city.
We need to focus on the opportunity before us and galvanize our efforts around a bold new vision for what Greensboro can be in the future. Foundational building blocks are here today that were not present just a few years ago. Opportunities for growth at PTI Airport and through the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite seem more likely today than ever before. But we all know that we cannot put all our eggs in those two baskets.
If we are to achieve the growth that this community needs and wants, it has to be done through a strategic and diversified plan. Several months ago when I was asked to co-chair the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce’s GROW Campaign, I was presented with a plan that I think meets these criteria.
The growth of Greensboro is not a one-dimensional proposition. If we want to see our economy and community grow, it is going to take more than just new jobs.
We have a workforce that can be re-tooled to meet the changing demands of a 21st century economy, and we have numerous educational institutions positioned to help make that re-tooling happen.
There are unique small businesses and new ventures that we must invest in and support so that someday down the road they might employ 50 or 100 or more workers.
We compete at a national and global level each day, so we have to let folks know who we are. Greensboro has a unique and compelling story that we have a responsibility to share. When an employer is recruiting talent to Greensboro they compete against other cities all around the country, and in some case the world.
There’s no switch we can flip to make all of this happen. Each of these tasks is complex to address, and it will take long-term effort to see the results that we all want to see. But how many of us in our businesses make decisions each day to pursue long-term, complex changes in order to launch a new business unit, or enter a new market? Why would we not have that same outlook for Greensboro?
I believe opportunity is standing at Greensboro’s door and knocking – and it’s knocking loudly. The question is how hard are we going to work to get the door open and ensure that opportunity walks through that door and stays with us for a while. I am convinced that the GROW Campaign, the Greensboro Chamber’s five-year action plan to spur economic development, is the tip of the spear for ensuring that Greensboro experiences the growth we all want to see.
Fox 8 WGHP: "Greensboro Chamber of Commerce launches GROW Campaign"
Alexsandra Bush sits down with GROW Campaign Co-Chair Derek Ellington to talk about the Campaign. Click here to watch the interview.
WFMY News 2: "VF Giving $1.5 Million to Greensboro GROW Campaign"
VF President and CEO Steve Rendle says they’re happy to be the lead investor in the campaign and says VF hopes to inspire others in the private sector to support the cause. Rendle says it’s part of their responsibility to help Greensboro grow. Click here to read more.
Triad Business Journal: "VF CEO: Here's why we're investing $1.5M in the GROW campaign"
VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) views its $1.5 million pledge towards the fundraising campaign launched by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday “not only as an important thing, but as a responsibility,” said Steve Rendle, chief executive officer of the apparel firm. Click here to read more.
Press Release: GREENSBORO CHAMBER SEEKS $10M THROUGH THE GROW CAMPAIGN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2017
(Greensboro, NC) – Corporate and community leaders from around the Triad gathered today as the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce kicked off The GROW Campaign, which will seek to raise $10M to fund the Chamber’s economic and community development work from 2018 through 2022.
The GROW Campaign, which is being led by Co-Chairs Jon Bell (Bell Partners) and Derek Ellington (Bank of America/Merrill Lynch) is the culmination of a more than 12-month long process through which nearly 200 Greensboro leaders helped shape the five-year Strategic Plan. “Bell Partners is proud to be based in Greensboro, we feel like the best way to drive economic development is through the Greensboro Chamber.” Bell told the group, “The GROW Campaign is a critical initiative for this community. Our company is proud to make an investment in the campaign. It is my hope that others will recognize the need we have for this campaign right now.”
In sharing his conviction about the importance of broad community participation, Derek Ellington said “It is critical that all businesses from sole proprietors to our 1000-plus employers get involved in this campaign and now is the time to get onboard. We have the right people aligned to help ensure we can seize the opportunity we have before us in Guilford County.”
In a September meeting, Steve Rendle (VF Corporation), and Anita Hughes-Bachmann (UnitedHealthcare) Co-Chaired the formation of a Campaign Leadership Council which pulled together more than 70 other business leaders to endorse the goals of The GROW Campaign and work to help ensure the effort’s success.
The launch of the GROW Campaign as not the only big announcement to come, Rendle announced that VF will be the GROW Campaign’s Lead investor with a $1.5M investment. In addition to VF’s investment, an additional 64 organizations have already made their commitments to the GROW Campaign, which at the time of its Kick-Off announcement has already garnered more than $5,412,400 in investment toward its $10M goal.
Prior to kick-off, the Campaign team has engaged more than 100 local businesses, but the work is just beginning. Over the next four months, the GROW Campaign team intends to contact more than 200 additional businesses to seek their partnership and investment.
More information on The GROW Campaign can be found at Greensboro.org/GROW
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About the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the community serving more than 1,000 member businesses through programming designed to help them succeed and grow. A partner in the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, the Chamber also serves as Greensboro primary economic development organization, with special emphasis placed on community and entrepreneurial advancement through Action Greensboro and Launch Greensboro.
GROW Campaign Kick-Off
WHERE: The Public at Morehead Foundry | 433 Spring Garden Street, #105
Campaign Co-Chairs: Jon Bell, Bell Partners and Derek Ellington, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
Leadership Council Co-Chairs: Anita Hughes-Bachmann, UnitedHealthcare and Steve Rendle, VF Corporation