The SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) Board of Directors met for their monthly meeting on Monday morning, Sept. 19, 2011 at the Chamber of Commerce.
Outgoing board member of SEED, John Jay, was honored for his nine years of service to the organization. SEED President Kyle Lawrence made the plaque presentation to Mr. Jay, recognizing him for his great service to the community through various meetings locally and abroad.
Mr. Jay's most notable assistance while serving with SEED was in the arduous task of bringing the Argentina-based company EMA into the community. Mr. Lawrence — along with the other board members — thanked Mr. Jay for his great service to the board.
In turn, Mr. Jay offered his praise to the SEED board for their progress throughout his nine-year tenure — especially thanking SEED Executive Director Ken Becker for his initiative and continual hard work. He also promised to continue to support and work with SEED and the city as necessary within their collaborative efforts.
Several action items, additionally, were considered during the meeting. Approval was given on the July 2011 financial statements, which were reviewed by Mr. Becker. The sales tax numbers were reported as very well with several factors playing into the high numbers. Both from a monthly and yearly standpoint, the outlook continues to remain positive as the number continues to increase.
In addition, renewal of the employment contract for Mr. Becker was approved through the end of September 2013. Furthermore, one amendment for the 2011-12 fiscal year budget was cited — to offer a 3.3% pay raise for SEED employees. Following the approval from the city commission, the SEED board also gave their approval on this issue.
Also, approval was given for the minutes of the August 2011 meeting and the payment of accounts payable.
In the update from the Asst. Marketing/Admin. Director, Kirstin Smith gave notice on some recent logistics research which has been taking place. While meeting with some locals to gather more information, focus is being made toward more smaller warehousing.
Some of the information gathered suggests that while Sweetwater is a great location, businesses are seeking larger hubs. However, further research is being conducted of local businesses in ways that SEED can assist in their expansion or even permanence in Sweetwater; research is scheduled to continue on the entire project.
Ms. Smith also informed the board of various opportunities within trade shows and marketing for SEED, yet are looking for specific forums to attend. A possible strong direction would be towards a plastics meeting, and the board was encouraged to offer their ideas in seeing what will work from a local perspective.
Mr. Becker also offered his monthly Executive Director's report, discussing the construction at the local Industrial Park. One slight problem within the transmission line has been resolved, resulting in the continued progress being made on the road construction.
The Denmark Trade Mission trip is less than a week away with several contacts lined up during the trip. Mr. Becker will also get to tour the London plant of Ludlum Measurements on a layover, meeting with Larry Ludlum during the tour as well.
Other discussion stemmed from interest in custom training — in which SEED plans on pursuing and looking into the opportunities for the short and long term pending approval. A briefing on the progress of Tenaska was also held in that the company continues to remain positive while three major factors are still pending.