Kudos to Buys for leadership and vision

Published 7:06 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

If there is one thing that is certain, change is constant. We have all undergone it and some deal with it better than others. The best change is when it can be accomplished together rather than alone.

Outgoing Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce President Mark Buys described this past year as “a year of change” as he passed the gavel to new chamber chairman Nick Jones during Wednesday’s annual chamber luncheon and awards ceremony at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Buys, of course, is correct. This past year has been full of change. But he also pointed out the change has been a good thing for Vicksburg and Warren County.

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Buys should be acknowledged for bringing positive change to our community. As head of the chamber, he was instrumental in bringing new county economic development director Pablo Diaz to Vicksburg this past year.

Since coming on board, Diaz has been able to orchestrate some major changes to how our leaders view economic development. Creating “The Partnership” by combining the Economic Development Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and the Port Commission into one entity was a major change.

Convincing our leaders that an economic development strategy and hiring a top-flight firm to help create a vision and “north star” for our community has been instrumental. This week, VisionFirst Advisors have been in town conducting one-on-one meetings with stakeholders in the future of economic development in our community. It’s the next step in the change and prosperity that Diaz and Buys and other economic leaders have envisioned. The hope is the strategic plan for our economy will be complete by mid-year.

In replacing Buys, Jones has some big shoes to fill, and as the owner/operator of a successful franchise restaurant in Vicksburg seems more than capable to be up for the challenge. We look forward to seeing him take the baton from Buys and lead the way.

Buys has helped put our economy on a new track and direction and now it’s up to Jones and our economic leaders to get us there.

It can be done if we all work together through this change.