Economic development group’s board approves name change
Leavenworth Area Development has a new name.
The board of directors of the countywide economic development organization last week voted unanimously to change its name to Leavenworth County Development Corporation. The name change, officials say, more accurately reflects the mission of the organization.
Unlike a month ago, when after lively discussion board members voted 11-6 to begin the process of changing the group's name, last week's voice vote to change the name was unanimous and came with no further discussion.
Lynn McClure, the organization's executive director, said the vote surprised him, although he credited executive committee members with addressing questions about the name change that had popped up at the January board meeting.
"There was a lot of legwork done, a lot of hand-delivering of documents," McClure said, "but I had no idea the vote would go like that; 22-0 is pretty surprising."
Besides currently answering the phones with "Leavenworth County Development Corporation" and including the new name in emails from the agency's office, the organization has a timeline to gradually transition into full-fledged use of the new name.
Next month, for example, officials will purchase new marketing materials matching the name change, print new letterhead, business cards, envelopes, stamps and checks. Throughout 2006, the organization will trumpet the name change at trade shows, on a new Web site, at the annual business and industry luncheon and at the annual meeting.
McClure said getting people used to "LCDC" rather than "LAD" won't happen overnight.
"It's going to be something to take some time," he said. "There are some things we can do to move the process along, though."
Since its founding in 1981, the group has gone by Leavenworth Area Development, which has led to some confusion by outside groups that thought LAD was focused solely on commercial and industrial development in the city of Leavenworth. Funding for the private, nonprofit organization, however, comes from Leavenworth County, the cities of Leavenworth, Lansing, Tonganoxie, Basehor, private organizations and businesses throughout the county.
"It's the right thing to do," McClure said of the name change. "It's needed to be done for quite a while.
"I'm very happy for the organization. It's needed to be representative of the entire county."
Agency officials are careful to point out the organization consistently has worked for economic growth on behalf of all cities throughout Leavenworth County: board members range from Easton to Tonganoxie, its Web site, www.lvarea.com, addresses business issues and happenings from each city and a new brochure encompasses all county markets as well.