(Editor’s Note: This is part of an occasional series of interviews with each of the five members of the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County.)
Conner Eldridge said he was proud to become part of “a great group” like the board of the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County.
Eldridge, president of Summit Bank, called the appointment of the EDCCC a “historic opportunity” to “make investments in Clark County that will pay dividends in the future.”
Eldridge said he plans to use the recently-completed Clark County Strategic Plan as a base for the board’s work. “We won’t be re-inventing the wheel,” he said.
He is perhaps most concerned about the public’s perception of the work that will be done by the EDCCC and others. “It’s very important for everyone to understand (progress) doesn’t happen overnight,” Eldridge said. He used a baseball analogy as a means to explain. “You have to hit a lot of singles before you knock one out of the park.”
The first step for the board, he said, is to define the opportunities we have in the county, he said. “There are different avenues available to us,” he said. “We have to narrow our list” to the ones that are most feasible.
The next step will be to hire “a really strong” executive director, he said. “We need someone who lives economic development,” he said. That caliber of executive director could cost a pretty penny, he said. “You get what you pay for,” he said.
But he admits the board also needs to remember that the citizens of the county are the paying customers for this service. “We need to spend that wisely,” he said.
One way to accomplish the goal of economic growth is to remove politics from the process, Eldridge said. “Economic development is a matter of recruiting companies and businesses that are not tied to local politics,” he said. “Instead, we need to do what’s best for the county.”
Eldridge was elected treasurer of the board during last week’s first organizational meeting.