Tuesday, Jan. 22 2013 4:49PM
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
‘A good sign for Lee’s Summit’
Chamber’s yearly breakfast focuses on ‘sunny side’ of the community
By Toriano Porter
The theme was sunny-side up, and judging by the numerous, rapid-fire style presentations at the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce’s latest yearly breakfast, things are indeed looking up in the Lee’s Summit business community.
Several Chamber members gave two-minute presentations on behalf of their companies or organizations and several subplots emerged from the original topic Jan. 19 inside Gamber Center, 4 S.E. Independence Ave. One of them focused on the return on investments in the Lee’s Summit community.
“There are two kinds of investments,” Jim Devine, president of the Lee’s Summit Economic Council, said to the group. “Dollars and people. I think people here in Lee’s Summit really need to fully celebrate the fact that there’s tons of wealth here in each and every person in the community. The EDC’s job here is to attract to and retain investment in Lee’s Summit and part of our mantra is make sure the people and the businesses here thrive, which makes the return on investment even larger here.
“One of the things we do is work with existing companies and I’m proud to tell you that we’ve talked to over 28 companies here in the last six months and they are talking of adding roughly 250 jobs in the next two years. Local companies are doing well. The national economy is beginning to come back but our existing companies, despite the ups and downs since 2008, frankly have done quite well. So that’s a good sign for Lee’s Summit.”
Devine added civic and business representatives will sit down with state officials to discuss ways to improve the Missouri 291 and U.S. Highway 50 corridor.
“We are trying to help the 50 and 291 corridor,” Devine said. “We will be meeting (this week) with state officials, our representatives and local businesses to see how we can help the city move forward on 50 and 291 to see how we can make that a better intersection.”
Tom Lovell, administrator of parks and recreation for the city of Lee’s Summit, also talked of a return of investment in Lee’s Summit with the city’s recreation centers such as Summit Waves Water Park, Gamber Center and Legacy Park. Lovell said more than 74,000 visitors were counted who walked through the doors of Gamber Center last year and more than 76,000 visitors have taken advantage of Summit Waves.
More than 260,000 have visited Legacy Park Community Center in the last year, Lovell said, and Harris Park Community Center has had more than 120,000 visitors at its site.
“I just wanted to share that with you and give you a little of an idea of the return on investment,” Lovell said.
Among the speakers also giving community updates were David Gale of Gale Communities, Carolyn McKnight from the UCM Summit Center, Fred Grogan from MCC-Longview and Dan Rexroth from John Knox Village.