By Donna Hilton

Ed Bee’s role in Clark County’s Strategic Planning Committee is simple, yet complex. Bee and his company, Taimerica, were hired by the committee to serve as the facilitator of a strategic development plan, but that title isn’t always accurate, Bee said.

“It’s really broader than that,” Bee said recently in a phone interview. While Taimerica’s job is to keep the process of developing an improvement plan for all of Clark County moving along, employees of the company are also helping to get that plan started. “In order to move forward, a community has to have vision and a consensus of priorities.”

The community has already made great strides toward a consensus, Bee said. “Anytime you can get this many people to agree on anything, it’s an accomplishment,” he said during the last community meeting.
The staff at Taimerica have been talking with owners and managers of businesses in the area to find out why things are the way they are. Taimerica employees provide answers from a different point of view, Bee said. “What does Clark County look like from a business standpoint?”

The company will also work within the five focus areas as agreed upon by the committee: Education, tourism, health care, economic development and housing. A sixth focus area will concentrate on financing the improvements. A subcommittees has been organized for each focus area.

By working with the entire community as members of the committee, Bee said the community’s plan will be directed by the people. “Maybe we can do something different than what’s been done in the past.”
As each of the subcommittees meet, officials from Taimerica will meet with them to make sure the members’ time is used effectively and efficiently to accomplish the goals. Taimerica will host workshops to help the subcommittees function smoothly and effectively communicate the committee’s wishes for the strategic plan.

The whole goal of the year-long process is to “come up with an actual plan of action that can be implemented by members of the community,” Bee said.

The plan’s contents will be created by the people who live in Clark County, he said. “We’ll only be working to keep people on track and function efficiently.”
Dr. Wesley Kluck, co-chairman of the planning committee, said the strategic plan will be written by members of the community. Bee and the staff of Taimerica will serve as the “grease” that keeps the wheels moving.

Bee compared his company to the “quarterback of the team.”

Taimerica is a management and consulting company based in Slidell, La. The company provides assistance to communities, companies and businesses worldwide through strategic planning, technology studies, organizational design, marketing strategies, evaluations and incentives negotiation and development.
In addition to Ed Bee, the founder of the company, Taimerica’s staff includes Dr. David Kolzow, who pioneered the concept of strategic planning in economic development; Ardyn Thriffiley, who has 15 years’ experience in research and marketing; Bob Comer, a retired Navy captain and leader in regional economic development and strategic action planning; and Lorraine Roach, a rural economic development specialist.

For more information about Taimerica, visit their Web site at www.taimerica.com.