SEED welcomes new board member

The newest board member of SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) was introduced during the group's meeting on Monday morning, Oct. 10, 2011 at the Chamber of Commerce.David Welch was appointed in September by the City Commission to begin his three-year term which starting on Oct. 1. Mr. Welch is occupying the seat vacated by previous SEED board member John Jay, who recently completed his time of service on the board.As the meeting was the very first of the new fiscal year, the board also took nominations and elected officers. Kyle Lawrence was elected to continue to serve as president of the board, while board member Arthur Maberry was re-elected to the role of Vice-President. Bill Johnson will once again serve as the group's Secretary-Treasurer.In addition, the August 2011 financial statements were reviewed and approved. It was noted by SEED Executive Director Ken Becker that the numbers were higher than the previous month and that the sales tax numbers had a significant increase due in part to two large transactions.However, even without the two transactions, the sales tax collections were still up considerably. The unemployment rates were also discussed, and Sweetwater's numbers were reported as lower than the state and national averages.Also during the meeting, the minutes from the September 2011 meeting were approved along with the payment of accounts payable as well.Kirstin Smith, the Asst. Marketing/Admin. Director for SEED, gave her monthly update with one main point in regards to the upcoming plans for a sign for the Industrial Park. Discussion took place among the board about permanent and semi-permanent signage, sizing, presentation, direction and view.The name on the sign will read "Sweetwater Business Park" in order to keep the community tied into the name as well as not limit particular types of businesses into pursuing business ventures. The board decided to survey other similar outlets for examples of signs before making any major decisions.Additionally, Ms. Smith reported that board orientation took place with Mr. Welch to offer an overview of SEED's operations. A board retreat is being scheduled for November for all members to attend, which has proven to be beneficial to SEED staff in the past.It was also noted that the SEED/Chamber of Commerce Open House has been scheduled for Friday, Dec. 16 to be held at the Chamber of Commerce from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. as a come-and-go event.Mr. Becker also gave his monthly update, recapping his recent trip to Denmark on the Denmark Trade Mission. The visit was a great learning experience in European business tactics and allowed for contacts to be made, which will hopefully be built upon in the future.Also on the trip, Mr. Becker took a tour of the Ludlum Measurement plan located outside of London, England. He gave a brief overview of the tour and reported that business was going very well.SEED will serve as the host of an entrepreneurial program scheduled for Nov. 15 in Sweetwater. The West Texas Innovation Network (WTIN) will provide training for beginning entrepreneurs and businesses who are looking toward expansion.Furthermore, logistics were talked about once again, with a meeting to take place on Thursday with Ludlum's regarding a plastics division. The Sweetwater Business Park was mentioned again on the steps to be taken with the city following completion of the street construction. Further discussion will take place at the board retreat.