Event focuses on economic development

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce's first luncheon of 2013 will offer information on regional economic development. The event is scheduled to be held at the Barry County Museum, located on Highway 112 south of Cassville, at noon on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Guest speaker Jeff Seifried, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce manager of regional development, will offer information on the Springfield Regional Economic Partnership (SREP) program, which focuses on long-term regional economic development in a 10-county region that includes Barry County.

Seifried's professional career has largely been spent in the area of economic development, including an internship in Malaysia for Students in Free Enterprise in 2005. He accepted his current position at the Springfield Chamber in July of 2007. In the position, he has "direct oversight of initiating business recruitment and marketing strategies for the Springfield region."

Seifried also serves as a regional advocate in Jefferson City and works to develop relationships with legislators "to ensure that the voice of businesses in the region is heard."

In addition to serving the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, in February of 2012, Seifried was appointed to the Springfield City Council as a representative of zone 1. He currently serves on the plans and policies committee and the public involvement committee.

In May of 2012, Seifried was elected as mayor pro tem of the Springfield Council when Robert Stephens became mayor following the resignation of Jim O'Neal.

Seifried is a graduate of Drury University and holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration, with a minor in global studies. He is also a graduate of the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute.

Seifriend is a member of the board of directors for the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments and serves as chair of the Drury University Fraternity Alumni Board. He is also a member of the Network, the Missouri Economic Development Council, BancorpSouth Community Development Committee and Drury SIFE Business Advisory Board.

In 2003, Seifried received the SIFE World Cup Champion Award. He was also presented with the Radio Shack SIFE USA National Champion Award in 2003 and 2005.

"The chamber luncheons provide an outlet to become educated on something that is going on in our community," said Mindi Artherton, Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. "In the case of our upcoming luncheon, attendees will learn more about the work of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, in particular with SREP."

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Industrial Development Corporation and the City of Cassville as a regional SREP partner.

"At this partnership level, we have access to professional economic development staff support on community and economic development projects, as well as the opportunity to attend regional partnership meetings, city administrators and chamber executives roundtable discussions, benefit from activities of regional marketing, access to professional development staff and resources and receive an invitation to the annual Economic Outlook Conference," said Artherton.

SREP also represents local communities by working to grow the region though initiatives such as business attractions, existing industry support and legislative outreach.

Community members who attend the luncheon will enjoy a meal catered by Papa Vito's. The quarterly luncheon event will cost $8 per person.

To register for the event, call Artherton at 847-2814 or email her at chamber@cassville.com. The registration deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 19.

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