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Examiner
  • Businesses, manufacturers honored

  • As the country emerges from the Great Recession, the old ways of thinking will need to be set aside and economic development organizations and leaders will need to learn to adapt to changing times quickly, a popular futurist said Friday in Independence.

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  • As the country emerges from the Great Recession, the old ways of thinking will need to be set aside and economic development organizations and leaders will need to learn to adapt to changing times quickly, a popular futurist said Friday in Independence.
    As part of his keynote presentation “Preparing for a World That Doesn’t Exist,” Rick Smyre offered his suggestions for coming out of the recession stronger than ever to business and civic leaders at the sixth annual Independence Economic Development meeting and awards program.
    Smyre is the president of Communities of the Future, described on its website as “an evolving 21st century network of people and organizations” throughout the United States, Europe and other countries. Communities should build a core group of leaders, “not just project leaders,” Smyre said, in addition to connecting citizens among networks.
    “Look to have Independence, which is in the middle of the country, become a place where people come from all over to dialogue together about the future,” he said.
    Smyre posed two questions for thought: How many people are happy with how the economy is doing right now, and how do we build a new middle class?
    “We are in a situation where the issue, in my opinion, of how we look to build a middle class again that isn’t just focused on manufacturing is a wonderful opportunity for EDCs across the country,” Smyre said. “How do we build a middle class in a more entrepreneurial society?”
    The program also included a 2012 year in review video, as well as an awards presentation. The following award recipients each described their product and its effect on the community in a video introduction:
    – Small Manufacturer of the Year, The Berry Nutty Farm;
    – Large Manufacturer of the Year, ATK Small Caliber Systems;
    – Small Business of the Year (fewer than 10 employees), Bullard Auto Service;
    – Small Business of the Year (11 to 50 employees), Office Products Alliance;
    – Entrepreneur of the Year, Becky Ross, The Freedom Chef; and
    – George Matteson Leadership Award, Steve Hunter.
    More than 30 Independence companies and businesses also received 2012 iNpact Awards for adding at least two net new full-time employees, making at least $25,000 in capital investment (equipment or facilities) during the year, or both. Those award winners include ACS; Adecco Group; Assurance Protection Services; ATK Small Caliber Systems; The Berry Nutty Farm; Boost Physical Therapy; Bradlech Construction; Bullard Auto Service; Butterfly Kisses; Centerpoint Medical Center; Children’s Mercy East; Community Services League; Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal; Crimmins Law Firm; Custom Engineering; Dainty Cakes; Detour Cafe; Dunkin’ Donuts; The Examiner; Frannie Franks; Freedom Chef; HEBCO Inc.; Lake City Business Center; MAST Technology; Mid America Facility Solutions; Milk & Honey; Murbel’s Jellies; Office Products Alliance; On a Roll Catering; Red Force Fire & Security; Scooter’s; Sweet Creations; and Vedeqsa.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think Independence can actually be one of the places in this country that helps us to move forward and rethink the future,” Smyre said. “We’re in a time period where we’re moving from independence to interdependence ... We’re going to have to learn to adapt more quickly.”
     
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