A new plan for EcoDevo in Cass Co.

May 16, 2014 

This may be one of those times when the second choice really was the correct one.

And for economic development sake in Cass County, perhaps it is for the best that the first one didnt work out.

Word came down recently that already-announced Sandra Allison, of Rolla, who was on tap to fill the director position at the Cass County Corporation for Economic Development, wasnt coming to town after all. This is a spot that has been open since Melissa Freeman left in October of last year.

Instead, it was back to the drawing board for the CCCED board and county commission.

Fortunately, they didnt have to shuffle through a stack of resumes for long.

On the table already was a little firm called Spectrum Strategies run by a guy, Bill Brown, that knows as much about this economic development as anyone in the area.

Brown is involved in other regional EDC projects and his firm is the perfect fit for a county that could be considered still nowhere near reaching its EcoDevo potential.

Brown will come in, get a look at the lay of the land and start asking questions.

New team in place, new leadership, so how do we do this now? Brown asked rhetorically during a recent interview.

There is a ton of development in Cass Countys future. I think the I-49 has been something thats been fully vetted relative to the impact it could have.

Jeff Cox and the commissioners should be applauded for putting Plan B in place so swiftly when it became apparent their first choice was not going to pan out.

Brown and his team at Spectrum will dive in and make an impact in a similarly swift manner.

Cass County isnt starting from scratch. There is so much upside, if you like doing economic development, thats a wonderful playground to be in, he said.

Brown will analyze the countys strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

One of the first things I would focus in terms of what we have here, Brown noted. Ive got to get out and meet with those business people.

Its long overdue to hit the reset button with CCCED and development in Cass County.

County leaders and others need to make sure Brown and his team have the tools to help move it forward.

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