“We focused on Walker County, it’s time to move Walker County forward,” Mickelson said.
The four initiatives contained in that campaign are:
1. Retail and Commercial Growth
Mickelson said this means taking care of existing businesses as well as adding businesses that would figure in to the community well.
The company previously oversaw the six-year “Focus Walker County” campaign.
2. Education and Workforce Readiness
“Our high school seniors, when they graduate, must have the ability to choose,” Mickelson said. “If they choose to go to a university, wonderful; if they choose to go to Bevill State, wonderful; if they choose to go into the trades, wonderful.”
3. Tourism and Image
Mickelson said his company uses the Walker County bass tournaments as a model for success throughout the country.
4. Leadership and Community Engagement
“The youth leadership programs here are second to none,” Mickelson said. “The ability to teach youth how to be engaged in their community is one of the hallmarks of chamber protocol.”
Mickelson then welcomed Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey to the podium to announce that the Jasper City Council had voted unanimously to give $50,000 to the campaign each year.
The chamber’s goal was to raise $700,000, or $140,000 each year for the course of the five years to fund the campaign.
Mickelson said that, between local municipalities and local business owners who contributed to the campaign, the chamber was able to exceed that goal by 64 percent, raising $1,124,000 for Forward Walker County.
During the luncheon, the Chamber also honored past chairman Richard Fikes and the 2013 Volunteer of the Year, Kevin Callahan.