TCIDA raises $2.2 million

Published 10:19 am Monday, June 13, 2005

By by Michele Gerlach
The Tri-County Industrial Development Authority has raised $2.2 million with which to promote economic development in Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties.
The group made the announcement Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony at its new office, located at Hwy. 41 and I-65.
In announcing the drive's success, board secretary-treasurer John Barnett of Monroeville said he had been "much surprised and overwhelmed" at the success.
"We've overshot our goal of $1.5 million and raised $2.2 million so far," Barnett said. "This is just the kick-off. We have many more people to see. We're not through, but this enables us to go to work."
Referring to the financial support the project has received as an investment, Barnett said, "This will pay off many times over."
TCIDA began with the idea of locating an industrial park at the site of its new office, board chairman Yank Lovelace said.
"Our focus was an industrial park here," Lovelace said, adding that the mission changed after the founders received feedback from the cities and counties involved that residents wanted to promote the entire area, not just one small part.
"We'd like to thank everyone for investing in our vision and being a part of this," Lovelace said.
The board hired Funding Solutions to raise the funds it would need to operate.
Tom Mucks, who heads that organization, said he often has to push clients to believe in themselves and to "lay down their differences for the sake of the team."
The public's support of this initiative has been great, he said.
"You've got a great budget," Mucks said. "Congratulations on a terrific job well done,"
Lovelace also announced that the board has hired Wiley Blankenship, formerly of Funding Solutions, as its president. Blankenship has done much of the fundraising work for the organization. (See related story, Page 2A).
The event drew a crowd of about 150 people, including elected officials, state economic development officials and local supporters. Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Seth Hammett (D-Andalusia) attended, as did Rep. Greg Albritton (R-Conecuh County).

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox