By MATT CRANE
Starkville residents will have the opportunity meet the staff of one of the city’s most influential organizations when the Greater Starkville Development Partnership hosts its Holiday Open House 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at its offices on Main Street.
GSDP Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Tourism and Development Jennifer Gregory said the office will be open for GSDP members throughout the day and residents will have the chance to hear first hand what the organization is bringing to Starkville.
“People will have the opportunity to visit with the staff and get to know what we’ve done in the past year and what our plans are for the future,” she said. “We’re inviting all our residents to come and learn more about the partnership and really get to know our staff.”
Gregory said the GSDP’s partnership with the Golden Triangle Development LINK will allow for the organization to focus more on community development in the future as it releases some of its economic development duties.
“With more community development and focusing on enhancing the quality of life in Starkville, people will have the opportunity to talk about some of those changes,” she said. “The GSDP has important missions and goals and successes we want to share. We are still an important organization to the community, just a bit different than last year.”
Gregory said she hopes the transparency of Thursday’s open house builds confidence in residents’s minds about the future of the GSDP and the community.
“We want to be very open so the community and our members feel secure in our goals and missions,” she said. “The open house gives people the opportunity to get to know our staff and build relationship with us.”
With the year coming to a close, Gregory said 2012 has been a successful year due to increasing membership in the city’s Chamber of Commerce and successes in the tourism industry.
“The sales tax collections have really grown and the Main Street Association has put a large focus on shopping locally, spending a majority of the year on retail promotion,” she said. “We’ve seen all of our events grow including our New South Weekends, Pumpkinpalooza, the Holiday Bazaar and our recent Christmas parade.”
Gregory said refreshments will be served throughout the day Thursday, and organizers are hopeful for a good turnout to share exciting news on upcoming projects.
“We are currently working on projects that will visibly enhance the community in the coming months,” she said. “We are looking forward to visiting with our membership as well and the general community.”
For more information, call 662-323-3322.