The Lewiston Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting on Sept. 20, celebrating 60 years of business, success and community improvements.
After swearing in new members to the 17-member board, Chris Logan, Lewiston Development Corporation (LDC) board president and senior vice president for Androscoggin Bank, recognized the challenging economy while also highlighting recent LDC achievements.
“From refinancing deals on property in Downtown Lewiston to working with a major transportation company that brings hundreds of thousands of dollars in important tax and excise revenue to the City of Lewiston, this board has been active in the community over the last year,” said Logan.
Reiterating past achievements including the development of the Lewiston Industrial Park, Turnpike Industrial Park, creation of the first spec buildings in the Twin Cities and providing financial assistance into hundreds of companies located in Lewiston, Logan focused on the diversity of businesses assisted by LDC.
“Many of the familiar names around town such as Geiger, White Rock Distilleries, Penmor Lithographers, Systems Logistics (formerly Diamond Phoenix) and many others have gained various levels of assistance because of the work done by this board,” said Logan. “LDC has consistently been at the forefront of economic development initiatives and ensuring job opportunities for the community for six decades.”
Founded in 1952, the Lewiston Development Corporation is a private, non-profit corporation established through collaboration with the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lewiston-Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce, the Lewiston-Auburn Jaycees and L’Association Des Vigilantes. Striving to promote increased employment and living standards in the City of Lewiston while promoting civic improvement, Logan encouraged board members to think about what they could do better both for the community and for the organization.
“We’ve recognized the need to diversify our local economy for some time,” said Logan. “As the mills, textiles and manufacturing left for foreign shores, this community has benefitted from a variety of industries that have been brought in to take advantage of our educated and established workforce. But as the economy continues to move forward, I’d encourage us all to think about what we can do to improve as an organization and how we can best support city initiatives to elevate the community.”
Recognizing recent numbers released Thursday afternoon by the U.S. Census Bureau 2011 American Community Survey, Logan stressed the need and importance of drawing quality businesses into the area.
“From 2007 to 2011, Maine’s median household income dropped 7.7 percent, the number of unemployed people exploded 43 percent, and the number of people living in poverty increased 15 percent,” said Logan.
Lewiston Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau highlighted the benefits of city growth, with a younger, more diverse population.
“As technology continues to improve, tapping into the resources our five colleges and highly skilled veteran’s provide will create a more diverse and well balanced community,” said Nadeau. “If we are to grow and succeed, we are going to need their ideas, energy and initiatives.”
After providing the keynote address asking board members to focus on long-term objectives with a framework of initiatives that can be achieved over the next year, Logan praised the dedication of the volunteer board.
“Looking around the table and recognizing all the volunteer hours and professional experience from former elected officials, current officials, community leaders and regional business stake holders is encouraging,” said Logan. “If we are going to continue to bring Lewiston and Auburn to the forefront of economic achievement, we will continue to need your assistance and experience to make that difference.”
Building off that momentum, Logan highlighted that, even in the midst of a global recession, the City of Lewiston has reinvented itself as a story of resilience and renaissance.
“I think what we tend to forget is this organization works for citizens of the area and the community,” said Logan. “If you look at the success stories, the developments and appreciate the fact that our economy is radically different than it was just 30 years ago, you’ll find LDC’s name and the visionaries in city hall at the top of the list which helped make that happen. Success doesn’t come overnight, but I think if you take a look around town at all the scaffolding and construction equipment, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the progress and encouraged with the projects in development.”
The Lewiston Development Corporation (LDC) is a private, non-profit corporation established in 1952 through collaboration with the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lewiston-Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce, the Lewiston-Auburn Jaycees, and L’Association Des Vigilantes. With 17 representatives from throughout Lewiston and Auburn, LDC strives to promote increased employment and living standards in the City of Lewiston and surrounding areas, to promote civic improvement and to foster and preserve the free enterprise system.
For more information about the LDC, call (207) 784-0161, visit www.economicgrowth.org or contact a representative at the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council at 415 Lisbon St., Lewiston.