The People's Tribune

UEDC Hires First Director

The Unified Economic Development Council (UEDC) has hired its first Director. Maggie Neff began work last week in her office at Louisiana City Hall.

Mayor Bart Niedner, who currently chairs the UEDC, said he is pleased to have such a qualified resource.

“Maggie has significant state legislative experience and is a lawyer capable of understanding and parsing the various funding and state efforts with which we need to engage,” Niedner said. “She is professional and intelligent. She has strong ties to the community, including a successful downtown business. She was an ideal candidate for this position and we are fortunate to have her on board.”

A “Louisiana girl,” Maggie graduated with her law degree from the University of Missouri in 2012 after obtaining her B.A. in Political Science from Westminster College in 2007. She is on the R-II School Board and has been active with the UM Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and UM Women’s Law Association. Maggie is probably most well-known locally as a co-owner of Fat Boy’s restaurant in downtown Louisiana – a successful business experience she hopes will transfer to other Louisiana businesses.

“I am strongly committed to the City of Louisiana and the surrounding community. As a small business owner, I am familiar with the struggles. I believe my experiences will benefit our business retention and expansion and ensure successful Chamber of Commerce and LVCB operations, fundraising, and workforce development efforts,” Neff remarked.

Neff also has significant experience as a legislative analyst with the Missouri House of Representatives (2013-2016). The UEDC board notes that Neff is well-versed in state government, with many existing connections in our state legislature.

“We feel this experience gives Maggie an advantage in researching policies that assist local governments and communities in increasing their economic growth and sustainability,” Niedner said.

The UEDC Director will work under the direction of the Board of Directors of the UEDC to improve the economic climate of Louisiana, Missouri. Specific focus of the UEDC Director includes:

• Focus on business retention and expansion (“economic gardening”).

• Entrepreneurship & new business creation.

• Planning and supervising the day to day operations of the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce and the Louisiana Visitors and Convention Bureau (with assistance of part-time administrative support staff).

• Workforce Development.

• Build a strong relationship with Pike County Development Authority (PCDA) and other state and regional partners for new business attraction.

• Manage an effective UEDC social media presence.

• Deliver formalized, quarterly communication and review with the UEDC and public at large.

The UEDC is an alliance between the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Visitors and Convention Bureau (LVCB), Louisiana Community Betterment, and the Louisiana Municipal Corporation (LMC – which represents our local government). The UEDC has additionally inherited the project-oriented focus and resources of the Louisiana Economic Development Committee. After a year of public discussions, the UEDC officially formed in late 2017 as a five-member council comprised of officers from the participating organizations. The UEDC’s purpose is to create synergy with the following functions:

• Vet and establish community-wide economic development priorities.

• Communicate the established economic development priorities.

• Encourage and facilitate the sharing of resources and best practices in pursuit of the established economic development priorities.

• Deploy support resources (human, technical, monetary) towards specific initiatives advancing the established economic development priorities.

For more information please contact Bart Niedner, City of Louisiana Mayor and UEDC Chair, at (636) 699-6328; or Maggie Neff, UEDC Director, at (573) 754-4132.

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