Project Executive Committee:
Judge Mark McElroy
Representative David Rainey
Representative Robert Moore
Project Consultant Team:
The Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED), based out of the University of Central Arkansas' Division of Academic Outreach, is a broad-based consortium of educational opportunities, professional services, and outreach initiatives to support communities engaged in 21st century community and economic development. CCED houses the Community Development Institute, and also provides facilitation services for community-based projects and county-level strategic planning.
Connect Arkansas, a private, non-profit, is implementing a community-based initiative that will link all Arkansans, especially in rural areas, to the internet. The Connect Arkansas Broadband Act was signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe on March 28, 2007, to ensure the creation of a competitive broadband, or high speed internet, infrastructure that will not only improve the lives, but also the economic capabilities and prospects of all Arkansans.
Project Steering Committee:
Anyone who wants to be involved with DeshaForward can join the Steering Committee. There is currently a large steering committee of individuals who have participated in DeshaForward. If you would like to join the Steering Committee or volunteer for DeshaForward, email email@example.com.
Jim Daniels, Co-Chair
Chris Hayes, Co-Chair
e-Community Press Release--11/24/2008
e-Community Press Release--11/13/2008
DeshaForward e-Community Brochure
e-Community Strategic Plan - Coming soon!
Economic Development Sub-Committee
Ellen Westerman, Co-Chair
Doc Bilberry, Co-Chair
Don Cash, Co-Chair
Economic Development Strategic Plan - Coming Soon!
Bobbie Lehman, Co-Chair
Susan Steward, Co-Chair
Education Strategic Plan - Coming Soon!
Annett Cowen, Co-Chair
Melissa Gober, Co-Chair
Housing Strategic Plan - Coming Soon!
Kenny Gober, Co-Chair
Michael Jones, Co-Chair
Infrastructure Plan - Coming Soon!
Bob Ware, Co-Chair
Ray Shepherd, Co-Chair
Workforce Strategic Plan - Coming Soon!
Discovery -- 2-3 Months
Strategic Planning -- 3-4 Months
Final Strategic Plan Review -- 2 Months
Endorsement & Implementation
Project Organizational Chart:
After the discovery phase of the planning process, several sub-committees were formed. These sub-committees will focus on priority issues that the county will address in its strategic plan. Below is a picture of how the project will be organized.
History of DeshaForward
DeshaForward is a strategic planning project that will create a Comprehensive Community & Economic Development Plan for Desha County. This strategic planning project started with both Dumas and McGehee moving in their own directions, each trying to develop a strategic plan to revitalize their communities. With the help and guidance of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, it became clear to Dumas and McGehee that what was good for one community was good for all of the communities in Desha County.
AEDC approached community leaders with the idea of working on a common plan for the entire county. A coalition of people from McGehee and Dumas was formed to choose a consultant to facilitate and assist us with this visionary planning work. The consulting team, of the Strategic Growth Institute (SGI) and Connect Arkansas, was selected by our coalition to assist us with the planning process for Desha County and move our plan forward. On September 2nd and 3rd, citizens unanimously voted in Town Hall Meetings at Arkansas City, McGehee, and Dumas to continue with DeshaForward.