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President & CEO Mark Litten, left, and Trevor Keyes, vice president of economic development.

67% OF GOAL: Bay Future Fund Drive Heads to Public Phase

April 13, 2016       Leave a Comment
By: MyBayCity Staff

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A large gathering of business and community leaders were in attendance on April 6 as The Future is Now launched the public phase of the $1.2 million campaign to support economic growth in Bay County over the next three years.

Bay Future Board members, holding individually numbered cards, revealed that $801,405 had already been pledged by leading area entities.

Congressman Dan Kildee addressing the crowd of more than 100 attendees.

Keynote Speaker, Congressman Dan Kildee, lauded the effort of Bay Future and campaign leadership on raising two-thirds of the campaign goal. He also mentioned he'd push his peers in Congress for a simplified tax code to make companies more competitive.

Bay City Manager and Platinum Division Co-Chair, Rick Finn, spoke of the importance of the public and private sector working together and funding Bay Future:

"An organization like Bay Future is of critical importance. The City and County are not able to carry out these functions alone and that is why it is of critical importance to have a strong partnership between the public sector and our private sector."

Jeff Mayes, Director of Economic Development Strategy, Consumers Energy and former Bay Future Board Chair, provided the audience with an overview of the strategic planning process, which began in January 2015 and led to the eventual launch of the campaign last fall.

He pointed out the disparity in funding for Bay Future when compared with regional and national economic development organizations and that currently Bay Future is not competing on a level playing field. Jeff concluded with encouraging everyone to learn more about the plan, get involved, and support Bay Future in bringing the campaign to a successful conclusion in the next few months.

Platinum Division Co-Chair and owner of Firehouse Soft Car Wash, Tim Boutell provided a passionate presentation on how the goal of 600 new jobs at $19.25 per hour and $300 million in capital investment over next three years will impact Bay County.

He stated "The truth is, that a community that is not growing is dying! A community that is not investing in its future is failing that future generation!"

Boutell's closing remarks were that Bay County could be a community that makes things happen, watches things happen or wonders what happened when it comes to economic growth.

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