Success for the future

CDF's capital campaign

nudges $2.4 million

The Community Development Foundation's shift in baseline priorities and methods rang the bell of success Friday morning when it was announced that the Future Focus campaign exceeded its $1.6 million goal by $780,000.

The capital campaign, started last spring to strengthen CDF's ability to meet new needs and respond to opportunities, will be fulfilled over a five-year pledge window. Additional pledges and contributions are expected to raise the total.

CDF's effectiveness, almost legendary in private-sector economic development, grew and adapted because its founding was based on an innovative idea of enlightened self-interest and shared credit for success.

Future Focus visibly shifted the foundation's goals from jobs recruitment to quality of life, profitable technology and jobs promotion through an adequately trained workforce and a broader community leadership base.

Announcement of the successful campaign (replete with patriotic themes and a speech by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove) follows closely two other important developments related to CDF and the broader concept of a focused future:

n Formation of The Regional Alliance, joining the resources of Union, Pontotoc and Lee counties with development professionals, boards of supervisors and civic leadership in developing a 1,200-acre site for a single major industry, with direct benefits shared equally by the three counties; and

n Launching of the Community Leadership Institute, a two-year, continuing program to develop leadership skills and involvement across a broad spectrum of people from Tupelo and the rest of Lee County.

CDF's historic commitments haven't changed, but the road to the bottom line is dramatically different than what was required in 1948, the year of its founding.

Response to the call for a Future Focus demonstrates confidence in CDF's new leadership and its proven positive impact on the economy and quality of life in the community.

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