Vazquez, Sneller and Robbins Voted to PCDI Board

Rick Robbins, PCDI President

Rick Robbins, PCDI President

Holly resident, Kenia Vazquez and Lamar resident, Ryan Sneller were voted to the Prowers County Development Incorporated board of directors during the annual meeting, Friday, March 27.  They will be first-time members.  Rick Robbins, currently PCDI President, was re-elected with the others, from a field of five nominees.  Vazquez and Sneller are replacing Lawrence Brase and Larry Lusher on the board and will assume their directorship at the PCDI meeting in April.  Vazquez is employed by Colorado East Bank and Trust in Holly and Sneller is employed by the Prowers County IT Department and Southeast Networks and Support.

Setting Up Dining Area for Meeting

Setting Up Dining Area for Meeting

The annual meeting was held at the Holly High School this year with members of the National Honor Society conducting tours and catering the smothered steak dinner.  The major construction costs of the multi-million dollar school were provided through BEST funds and a city-wide referendum approval vote of local residents.

Middle School Media Room

Middle School Media Room

Two keynote speakers were featured at the annual gathering; Emily Neischburg from Healthy Places Initiative and Kari Linker, Economic Development Director from Morgan County, provided insights on various levels of community and economic development.  Each noted some of the ways in which these pursuits can be interconnected to provide a greater base on which to build a physically and financially healthier community for residents of Prowers County.

Neischburg noted that a community which featured diverse amenities for physical exercise and an active lifestyle, would serve to attract potential businesses seeking to locate to that area.  She has been involved in marketing a three year, $1M grant for the community, creating a broad-based coalition of neighborhood representatives who are working to develop walking trails, improved parks and a healthy diet for local residents, all in the aid of reducing the county’s obesity rate, the highest in the state.

Kari Linker provided information regarding basic economic development for a community through the introduction of primary dollars, derived from sales of local goods or services to a buyer that lies outside the community.  “Agriculture is the number one economic engine in the state, followed by tourism,” she explained, adding that southeast Colorado, with its diverse ag base, needs to attract out of state or out of region buyers.  The outside dollar that comes to the county can be spent seven times before its cycle is completed.  She agreed that outside businesses will research a community to see if it offers, among other amenities, a broad-based level of activities for a healthy lifestyle.  “This is also a means by which you can increase local property values,” she said.

PCDI President Robbins and Vice-President, Aaron Leiker, spoke about PCDI’s goal to develop additional sources of funding for the organization, beyond the annual contributions from the City of Lamar and Prowers County.  Leiker detailed a list of membership fees for a business, based on the number of full time employees and associated discounts.  He and Robbins noted that a series of seminars, including a group of four, focused around a business’s workforce, will be paid for from a single new membership.  The most well attended seminar held earlier in the year, forklift operator certification, has been scheduled for later this spring.  Robbins said a quarterly newsletter will also be sent to members and area businesses, to provide an update on PCDI activities.  It’s expected that following this annual meeting and several ones held earlier with the city and county, PCDI will begin a search on a new executive director, employing the suggestions that were offered.  Robbins also thanked Lawrence Brase and Larry Lusher for their service on the PCDI board, noting Brase had served in that capacity for over ten years. Representatives from all the communities in Prowers County attended the annual meeting.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEducationEventsFeaturedHollyLamarProwers CountySchool


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.