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Forward Together Launches Public Outreach with more than 200 Attending the Visioning Summit

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Participants from across the county offer their input

Over 200 people attended the Steering Committee’s first public meeting on May 14th. The Visioning Summit on Economic Prosperity was held at Baker College and open to the all members of the public. During the two-hour session, the planning team introduced the Forward Together process, shared initial findings from the economic research and engaged participants in a series of fun and interactive discussions and activities.

Community members received information on the County’s economic potential based on the real-world conditions in 2019. Nationally recognized economist Kevin Hively, with Ninigret Partners, delivered a keynote address focusing on the Ten Points of Potential, or the brightest economic opportunities in the community today. Following the keynote, participants were challenged to think creatively and develop their thoughts around the major question prompts below.

  1. When you look forward to the next 15 years, what are our best opportunities to create greater economic investment, activity and benefit?
  2. What outcomes from this process are most important to you, or what does success look like?

Opportunities to provide input are still available online. Those who missed the Visioning Summit can answer the same question prompts here: https://forwardtogethergenesee.org/visioning-summit-online-activities

The planning team is now working to enter all the input received into a database. Online input will be added to the database as it is received and then used to create a report. Upon completion, the report will be published on this website and findings will be integrated into the countywide vision planning process. Stay tuned!

Meet the Steering Committee

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It is crucial that the Economic Vitality Action Agenda be built on the community’s needs and aspirations. To ensure this happens, a diverse group of community members has been convened to guide the planning process. The 24-member Steering Committee began meeting in February 2019. Over a period of approximately 8 months, the committee will be working closely with the Planning Team and other community members to advance both the public process and the substance of the Economic Vitality Action Agenda.

Forward Together Steering Committee members include:

  • Tim Herman, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Karen W. Weaver, City of Flint
  • Scott Bennett, Grand Blanc Township
  • Ed Benning, Mass Transportation Authority
  • Jason Caya, Tenacity Brewing
  • Ted Henry, Chairman, Genesee County Board of Commissioners
  • Gary Hurand, Management Diversified Inc. Real Estate Services
  • Ebonie Gipson, I’m Building Something Consulting, LLC
  • Lisa Hagel, Genesee Intermediate School District
  • Phil Hagerman, The Hagerman Foundation
  • Heather Kale, Ferris Wheel
  • Kevin Keane, City of Flushing
  • Robert Landaal, Landaal Packaging Systems
  • Dr. Robert McMahan, Kettering University
  • Isaiah Oliver, Community Foundation of Greater Flint
  • Kyle McCree, Consumers Energy
  • Michael Perez, General Motors Flint Assembly
  • Pastor Patrick Sanders, New Jerusalem Baptist Church
  • Raquel Theume, Ruth Mott Foundation
  • Greg Viener, The Huntington National Bank
  • Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, Mott Community College
  • Ridgway White, C.S. Mott Foundation
  • Jane Worthing, The Genesee Group
  • John Wentworth, John Wentworth Real Estate Group
  • George Wilkinson, NorthGate
  • Adam Zettel, City Of Swartz Creek
  • Asa Zuccaro, Hispanic Technology & Community Center

Forward Together Launches with First Steering Committee Meeting

By | Steering Committee
Image: Forward Together Steering Committee holds its first meeting at the Ferris Wheel in downtown Flint

Forward Together – an ambitious process to establish a shared vision for Flint and Genesee County’s future – kicked-off on Tuesday, February 19 with the first convening of the 24-member Steering Committee. The process is backed through a unique partnership between the City of Flint, Genesee County, and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. The Steering Committee will guide the process and is made up of individuals representing a diverse set of professions, businesses and organizations from across the County. This group is expected to meet several times throughout the eight-month planning process and will work closely with the Planning Team to share insights and perspective that will contribute to the final Economic Vitality Action Agenda.

“Several challenges have hindered the County’s positive momentum, but a lot can be accomplished when we work together to move the community forward; and the Chamber is excited to be a part of this ambitious process.”
Tim Herman, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce CEO

The collaborating entities (including the City of Flint, Genesee County, and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce) initiated the process to create a county-wide vision for economic vitality. The process will be facilitated with the support of a consulting team including Planning NEXT of Columbus, Ohio and Ninigret Partners of Providence, Rhode Island. This effort is intended to establish a common vision for guiding the County forward and will focus on promoting systematic and long-term change in such a way that existing institutions (government, civic groups, non-profits, etc.) can be more responsive to the community’s needs and aspirations.

“With our challenges and potential in mind, now is an important time for county-wide collaboration to address economic concerns and build upon our assets.”
Mayor Karen Weaver, City of Flint

“The most important element of the Economic Vitality Action Agenda is the development of a community-owned vision that will begin to guide our economic development efforts ensuring that our future is not left to chance.”
Ted Henry, Chair, Genesee County Board of Commissioners

During its first session, the Steering Committee committed to an open process and will invite the public to contribute their ideas and feedback. The Committee emphasized the need for the county-wide vision to represent the voice of the full community. To ensure these voices are heard, two public engagement sessions will be facilitated during the process. The first of these workshops will focus on defining the community’s vision for economic prosperity. The Planning Team will use this valuable feedback to craft a draft Action Agenda that will then be tested through additional engagement activities. The input will serve as the foundation for the community’s vision statement, contribute to the Action Agenda’s goals, inspire actions, and set the course for implementation. The Action Agenda is set to be completed in the third quarter of 2019.