The IMPACT Independence County Steering Committee has announced the process has begun to revise IMPACT Independence County’s strategic plan.
IMPACT planning efforts began in 2015 under the direction of three co-chairs: Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC), Lyon College, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB).
After the process was launched, a leadership committee was developed to steer the initiative. The IMPACT Steering Committee has expanded to include resident leaders who have taken a special interest in guiding efforts along with strong representation from the original founders of the plan.
“The Batesville Area Chamber and resident leaders have accomplished tremendous work over the past five years via IMPACT Independence County. Their efforts set into motion economic prosperity and educational access not only for the county, but also the state,” said Deborah Frazier, chancellor at UACCB. “This success will allow the communities within Independence County and the region to return to thriving communities once we are past the COVID-19 pandemic. The demonstrated strength of the partnerships created by IMPACT provides trust and promotes engagement that will allow IMPACT to continue to move the region forward. I am proud to be a part of IMPACT Independence.”
BACC, which assumes facilitation responsibilities for the plan, intended to host training for resident leaders in March. However, due to the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not possible. Adapting to the current state of uncertainty, the chamber has developed a way to engage leaders and residents through telecommunications and social media in order to move forward with the process and timeline as the Steering Committee intended.
Residents can expect to see public invitations to join Facebook groups utilized for discussion of community development goals and objectives, as well as links to Google forms used to collect their input.
“We are already seeing online activity from residents and community leaders on the IMPACT front. We are excited to celebrate accomplishments, improve and increase the best parts of the plan released in 2016, and see what new ideas and overall vision the community has five years from the start of this work,” said Crystal Johnson, president/CEO of BACC. “This is obviously not the ideal format. We would much rather engage our residents in face-to-face communication regarding our community’s future, but we also want to capitalize on the number of people openly engaging and the creativity that we are seeing on a daily basis online.”
Lyon College President Dr. W. Joseph King added, “I want to commend the chamber for its innovation and adaptability during these unprecedented times. The Lyon community has been involved in IMPACT from the beginning, and I am confident that it will continue its support through the chamber’s social media and telecommunications efforts.”
IMPACT is a grassroots community development plan with a focus on economic prosperity, tourism, educational excellence, healthy living ,and wellbeing rooted in the core belief that every resident has the right to strive to create the environment they desire. Collaboration has driven the creation of the plan and implementation of its objectives.