"State of Our Community" to focus on future

The recently released Regional Economic Benchmarking Report for Aiken County will provide the springboard for the Aiken Chamber’s annual State of Our Community Luncheon.  The event, to be held on August 20 at the Convocation Center, is sold out. 

“The benchmarking report has generated much discussion, and the State of Our Community will carry that interest to the next level,” said Aiken Chamber President and CEO J. David Jameson.  

“There are many questions to be answered. What is Aiken’s future?  How does a community even go about building a new future? This year’s State of Our Community Luncheon will feature an internationally recognized futurist specializing in the area of preparing local communities for a different kind of future,” Jameson said. 

Keynote speaker Rick Smyre is president of the Center for Communities of the Future, specializing in the area of building “capacities for transformation” in local communities.  His work emphasizes the idea of preparing communities for a future that “does not exist.”  He will share community success stories and new ways communities are moving forward. 

The State of Our Community Luncheon, now in its eighth year, gives business, civic, community, and education leaders the opportunity to hear firsthand what is in the works, and what is on the horizon, for the community. 

Updates from local leaders will be presented in a news magazine format in a professionally produced video.  The four speakers are: 

Aiken County Council Chair Ronnie Young – State of the County

Mayor Fred Cavanaugh – State of the City

Aiken County School Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Everitt – State of Education

Aiken Chamber Chair Deidre Martin, Ph.D., USC Aiken – State of Business 

They will provide answers to the following questions. 

  • The community benchmarking report identifies some key areas in which performance does not appear to match our aspirations as a community.  How will your organization use the report to reawaken and re-engage the general public and the business community about the needs necessary for business growth and job creation? 
  • Cities and counties play a major ambitious and creative role as drivers of our economy by establishing and maintaining an environment for innovation, competitiveness, and productivity through business friendly policies.  What policies and practices is your organization working on that will strengthen a free enterprise system that grows our economy and delivers quality of life? 
  • What is your organization doing to attract investment, high quality jobs, entrepreneurs, and professional talent? 
  • A community’s long-term prosperity means taking risk, rewarding success, and growing families.  What infrastructure do we need, and what avenues is your organization pursuing, to attract and retain the next 1,500 families to our community? 
  • Where do you see our community in 20 years? 

“As a model chamber, we strive to keep our programs fresh and vibrant, so community energy levels stay strong and focused,” said Jameson.  “I think this year’s attendees will walk away with valuable information that will help us move our community into the future.” 

The “State of Our Community” Luncheon is sponsored by: 

Title Sponsor – SRP Federal Credit Union

Platinum Sponsor – Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC

Gold Sponsors – M.B. Kahn Construction Company, Inc., MTU America Inc.

Silver Sponsors – Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Savannah River Remediation, Shaw AREVA MOX Services, LLC, USCA Convocation Center/A Global Spectrum Managed Facility,  and WJBF-TV 6 ABC.

icon-circle-arrow-up Top