Dana Short Letter to the Editor on Economic Development Session
On December 17th our class met once again to discover more hidden treasures that our great parish has to offer. We learned how each component plays a major role in continuously making our community prosper and shine. We kicked off the day well as we headed to the north end of the parish where we were greeted by Mayor Harold Smith of Kentwood. He provided us with a very warm welcome along with coffee and a tasty treat. Next in line, we stopped at Kentwood Spring Water where we met with the Head of the whole operation, John Polito. He gave us a guided tour and explained to us their daily operations. He also mentioned to our class something that I feel has become a struggle in today’s economy “Motivation, Drive and Heart” are some of the main factors missing in today’s employees. On our next adventure, we stopped at Smitty’s Supply, Inc. Raymond Cutrer greeted us, he did and exceptional job providing the history, today’s highlights and a guided tour that was phenomenal. Did you know that Smitty’s Supply, Inc. is from right here in Roseland, LA? They manufacture, package and distribute their product around the globe; that’s pretty awesome!
Where to next? We had a really fun time at Liuzza’s farm thanks to Lizzie Liuzza’s hospitality. Our mouth-watering lunch was provided by the Louisiana Small Business Development Center. Jimmy Maurin with Stirling Properties gave us a special presentation; he is a lifelong resident of Tangipahoa Parish and developer of the New Hammond Square Mall. I am really impressed with the layout of our new shopping center and proud to Shop! Shop! Shop! Different economic development agencies from Tangipahoa Parish did a panel discussion to educate us on their contribution to the community.
Thanks again to everyone that made our day so educational, productive and eye opening. I want to give a very special thanks to Parish Councilman Tom Tolar. He provided us with transportation from North Baptist church of Kentwood and did an outstanding job explaining the history and diversity from the north to the south end of the parish. This lesson has taught me the diversity of our unique parish is what continues to make our community push through the ruff struggles of our economy. I encourage everyone that’s just hearing about our program or maybe you have already been exposed to the idea but still kind of question what we are all about; check out our website to learn more about Leadership Tangipahoa at www.leadershiptangi.org. It is a great way to learn how to be more involved and make a positive change in our community.
Dana Monistere Short