Parting Words from a Valued Board Member
Today the Wayne County Development Alliance, Inc. celebrated the work of two valued board members; Ed Wilson and George Kornegay. Both gentleman have been instrumental to the successful creation and execution of the Development Alliance. At our board meeting one of parting members graced us with some final remarks that we felt needed to be shared. The following are George Kornegay’s remarks to the Wayne County Development Alliance, Inc. June 13, 2012.
Prior to 2005, there were three committees of 100 in our county: Fremont, Goldsboro and Mount Olive. Sometime prior to 2005 the Fremont Committee of 100 merges with the Goldsboro Committee of 100. In that same year, we started talking about merging the two committees and incorporating Wayne County Development Alliance, Inc.
There were several meetings held; the first was at BB&T, and those involved were Jimmie Edmundson, Charlie Gaylor, Jack Best, David Kornegay, Ed Wilson, Joanna Thompson Helms, me and several others. We employed Ernie Pearson, an attorney with expertise in economic development, from Raleigh, at the firm of Sanford-Holzhouser. The final meeting, at which we agreed to the merger, was at Southern Bank in Mount Olive.
The Wayne County Commissioners, the Goldsboro Committee of 100 and the Mount Olive Committee of 100 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on December 15, 2005. The articles of incorporation were filed in March 10, 2006, incorporating Wayne County Development Alliance, Inc. as a 501(c)3 non profit organization.
The directors of the corporation were George Kornegay, Ray McDonald and David Kornegay (from Mount Olive); Charlie Gaylor, Jimmie Edmundson, Keith Gunnett, and Ed Wilson (from Goldsboro); from the county commissioners, Jack Best, Andy Anderson, and Lee Smith, County Manager. Charlie Gaylor was chairman, David Kornegay was vice chair, Lee Smith was secretary-treasurer, and Joanna Thompson Helms was president.
Bob Smithwick, an economic development consultant, said at one time that Goldsboro was the heart of the county. The heart pumps blood to the other parts of the body, but without the other body parts the whole body will die.
Since the organization’s creation, there have been two five-year fund raising campaigns. The last campaign was able to secure commitments in excess of $1.3 million from local businesses to attract new industry and expansion of local industry. Joanna has assembled a good staff which is second to none. Wayne County is considered a model of how effective cooperative efforts can be.
There must be total cooperation within the county. Everyone must be on the same page. We cannot let individuals, with separate agendas, create problems.
In addition, there must be a cooperation on a regional basis if the east is going to be successful. A good example of that is the US 70 Corridor Commission, consisting of several eastern NC counties along US 70; it is a perfect example of how working together on a regional basis enabled us to move up construction dates on parts of the highway. This is a transportation artery that is most important to the counties if they are to develop economically.
Jack Best, Lee Smith, and all of the county commissioners have worked closely with this commission. We are lucky to have Lee Smith as our county manager, who has experience in economic development with a good understanding of what the county must do in order to be successful. I am proud to have been a part of this partnership. Sometimes we have to know the history in order to avoid making the same mistakes of the past.
Thank you George, it has been our pleasure to have you serve as a board member for the Wayne County Development Alliance, Inc.