Group takes aim at OC’s ‘Future’

Group takes aim at OC’s ‘Future’

Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 9:03 pm
By: Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Bo Pate is concerned about the future.
The 22-year-old and his wife, Holly Pate, got married May 15, 2010, and are about to become first-time parents. Their baby is due May 27.
Mrs. Pate is a native of Gibson County, while her husband was born and raised in Obion County. They both currently live in Martin, and both commute to Union City to work.
He has been working at the local Goodyear plant since September 2010.
He is one of the 1,900 workers who stand to lose his job with Goodyear by the end of this year. Pate’s father, stepfather and an uncle have all worked at the local Goodyear plant for more than 20 years and, like Pate, are facing being jobless by the end of the year.
Pate has decided he is not going to sit idly by while waiting for the plant to close.
He and a group of concerned area residents have formed a new task force to address the future of Obion County.
Pate is co-chairman of the Obion County Future Committee, along with local entrepreneur Tim Brady.
The committee first met Feb. 25 at the Obion County Public Library.
The committee will meet again at the local library from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on April 9. The upcoming meeting will utilize Brady’s Fast n’ Furious Problem Solving™ technique to address each of nine specific areas — industry, entertainment and tourism, communications, agriculture and environmental sustainability, transportation, housing and aesthetics, education, small business development, and health care and security.
“This is a chance for your opinion and ideas to be heard by people that can make a difference in our community,” Pate said. “We need individuals to step up and start motivating themselves and others to make progress in this situation.”
It is Brady who has targeted people like Pate, those in the 18 to 45 age range and who want to be involved in their future, to participate in the Future Committee.
He has promoted the committee as a solutions-driven organization that is focused on actions to keep the area’s best and brightest citizens from leaving the area.
Brady’s Fast n’ Furious Problem Solving™ program is a highly-stylized brainstorming concept that involves challenge leaders who facilitate sessions where ideas are shared. The program also incorporates an element of responsibility for those ideas, which are prioritized by the committee.
“Although some of you may not be directly affected by the future of our area, your ideas could open doors for many that will be,” Pate said. “Now is the time for our generation to speak and be heard. It only takes one idea to open countless opportunities.”
The committee has enlisted the help of at least eight volunteers who will serve as challenge leaders.
Those who are scheduled to be at the April 9 meeting at the library include Obion County Mayor Bennie McGuire, former state Rep. Phillip Pinion, former state Rep. Judy Barker, real estate broker Steve Goodrich, local businessman Eric Frilling, Reelfoot Bank president Michael Hagan, agricultural businessman Ed Simms and small business expert Dr. James T. Frakes.
Pinion has been working with the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council to promote economic development in Obion County.
Other local government and business leaders are trying to adjust their schedules in order to attend the meeting, according to Brady.
The April 9 meeting is open to the public, and Brady is hoping to specifically draw those in the 18 to 45 age group to the session.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.31.11

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