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Joint efforts with TVA key to economic develpment locally

Joint efforts with TVA key to economic develpment locally
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter          
When it comes to promoting Obion County to industrial prospects, one of Lindsay Frilling’s key allies is the Tennessee Valley Authority. Mrs. Frilling is the economic development director for the Obion County Joint Economic Development Corporation and she serves as the county’s most important contact when it comes to economic development.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Frilling and her local marketing team met with the TVA’s regional marketing team to go over Obion County’s sales pitch to industrial prospects.
The meeting served as an opportunity for the local marketing team to have its sales pitch reviewed by a team of experts. For the five TVA officials who participated in Tuesday’s meeting, it was a chance to become more familiar with Obion County’s infrastructure.
Mrs. Frilling presented an informative PowerPoint presentation to the TVA group and also provided the  TVA officials with a 30-page marketing plan.
She purposely scheduled Tuesday’s meeting at the local airport, which she described as a “regional transportation asset.”
“I just feel it’s an asset we need to show off,” Mrs. Frilling said.
As she worked her way through her PowerPoint presentation, she commented to the group, “We’ve got some good statistics.”
One of those statistics was the fact that the total population for Obion County’s trade area is just over 93,000.
The PowerPoint presentation spotlighted the county’s low cost of living, good quality of life and all the amenities that exist in and around Obion County. Mrs. Frilling highlighted recreational and arts opportunities such as Reelfoot Lake, the soon-to-be-open Discovery Park of America, Community Concerts Association, Masquerade Theatre, Dixie Gun Works and the new Veterans Park in Union City.
She also noted the county’s sound governmental structure, quality health care, strong school systems and the community’s trained workforce. Mrs. Frilling’s presentation included a breakdown of the county’s top industrial employers, beginning with Tyson Foods.
Obion County’s marketing plan also places significant emphasis on the county’s strategic geographic location and its quadramodal transportation access — highway, air, rail and water. Mrs. Frilling talked positively about the local airport, access to highways and the planned I-69, access to the Canadian National Railroad and proximity to the planned Port of Cates Landing and the Hickman, Ky., riverport.
“We also have a lot of assets we can capitalize on just across the border in Kentucky,” Mrs. Frilling said.
There was also a significant amount of attention paid to Obion County’s commitment to industrial development, and specifically the Northwest Tennessee Regional Industrial Center on the north side of Union City.
In Union City’s 548-acre industrial park is the city’s 100,200-square-foot industrial building. It is that $3.25 million building that Mrs. Frilling and her marketing team are promoting to industrial prospects. The expandable spec building is situated on a 20-acre lot in the industrial park.
Showing off her sales pitch and marketing materials for the TVA marketing team resulted in a few suggestions from members of the team.
The marketing specialists appeared very impressed by Obion County’s proactive approach and commitment to industrial development.
Others in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting at the airport were Union City Electric System manager Jerry Bailey, Union City city manager Kathy Dillon, Union City Industrial Development Board chairman Bedford Dunavant,  Mike Philpot and Jim Blankenship with the West Tennessee Industrial Association, state economic development official Blake Swaggart and TVA official Chuck Marquis.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 1.17.13

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