“It’s not the money, not these great ideas that you have or will have. Towns succeed because of the people in them,” said Chilton Rogers. “You develop the strategic plan. This is your future.”
St. Pauls met Rogers, its new coach throughout the NC STEP program at the leadership team’s first official meeting Tuesday evening at SP Presbyterian Church. Thirty six people from the St. Pauls area, plus two from the NC Rural Center, attended and participated by going to work on a consensus vision statement after five groups presented five different versions. The composite emerging from these various visions will be adopted at the leadership team’s next meeting on Tuesday, August 14 at a site to be determined. Members of the vision statement committee are Sue Garrett, Karen Weindel, Bill Millar, Norma De Dios, Suzanne Malloy, Ghee Johnson and Debbie Ayers.
Another committee was created to begin establishment of a digital community profile. “This group will, with a critical eye, come up with a visual presentation of the good, the bad, the ugly and the lovely of your town,” Rogers explained. Members of this committee are LeeAnn Porritt, Ghee Johnson, Doris McLean, Paul Terry, Jerry Quick, Sue Hudson, Cynthia Quick, Dezi Stanley, and Buddy Westbrook. They will meet for a photo and information gathering walkabout on Wed., July 18 at 6 p.m. at The St. Pauls Review office, ahead of their presentation at the September meeting on September 8.
That September meeting will be the official kick-off of the NC STEP program, with invited guests to include local, state and national political figures, will be held in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce’s Night Out event downtown. Members of this kick-off committee are Norma De Dios, Stuart Turille, Thad Davis, LeeAnn Porritt, Robert Leggett, Paul Terry, Sue Garrett, Annie L. Ray Pearson, and Dezi Stanley.
The leadership team also completed a survey describing their thoughts on the quality of life here, including the quality of education, government and other resources.
The leadership team is urging anyone interested in the future of St. Pauls to join with them on the NC STEP program. NC STEP stands for North Carolina Small Town Economic Prosperity.
“This is really important to the future of St. Pauls,” said Town Administrator Stuart Turille, who did or organized much of the work leading up to Gov. Bev Perdue’s recent declaration of St. Pauls as one of the 11 towns across the state accepted into the NC Rural Center’s STEP program this year.
“It kicks off a two year program to take control of the future of St. Pauls through our collective vision. Working together on the economic future of our town, we have one direction to go from here—up.”
“The nuts and bolts come from you,” Rogers said. “My job is to tease this out of you. It’s a process, a blueprint for how you all want to move St. Pauls forward by creating a vision of how you want it to be over the next 10 to 20 years. Growth depends upon your strengths and your capacity to work the plan you create for those years ahead.
“I leave you with the knowledge and the leadership capacity by establishing a pipeline of leaders. You,” she said.
Those attending the first NC STEP leadership team meeting were: Olga Westbrook, Annie L. Ray Pearson, Buddy Westbrook, Ghee Johnson, Sue Garrett, Suzanne Malloy, Debbie Ayers, David Ayers, Sara Hayes, Linwood Hayes, Jerry Quick, Doris McLean, Moises De Dios, Dezi Stanley, Evans Jackson, Joe Barnhill, Bill Millar, Norma De Dios, Freddy Cabrera, LeeAnn Porritt, Karen Weindel, Tommy Hall, Duncan Mackie, Stuart Turille, Vivian Millar, Porchia Foley, Ellen Rea, Ann Jackson, Sue Hudson, Jerry Weindel, Angus McCormick, Paul Terry, Jerry Jackson, Robert Leggett, Allen Robb, and Pat Hash.