Thrive 2055, a public-private initiativeaimed at plotting the course of growth in the area’s 16-county tristate region, now has a leader.

Brian Anderson Sr., president and CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, will lead the coordinating committee, leaders announced Friday.

“I’m humbled and honored to be selected,” Anderson said in a prepared statement. “Thrive 2055 represents a valuable opportunity for our region’s leaders and citizens to participate in a process to establish goals and develop the blueprint for our shared future.”

Anderson will help facilitate work of the coordinating committee, which will have 30 members who will manage the initiative.

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They aim to engage citizens in developing a long-term strategic plan for the area’s economic development and make sure growth is smart and preserves quality of life, according to a news release.

The process is open to people in a 16-county area ofSoutheast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama.

It includes counties in Alabama: Jackson and DeKalb; in Georgia: Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Murray and Whitfield; and in Tennessee: Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie.

The initiative gets 100 percent of its funding in equal parts fromlocal companies, foundations and governments.

The strategic planning initiativeis expected to take three years, leaders also said Friday.

“The first step is understanding the region,” Anderson said in a prepared statement. “During year one, we’ll be collecting both factual information such as demographics and job market numbers as well as qualitative information about local values, aspirations and priorities.”

Leaders will host community events that citizens can attend so they can provide input and ask questions.

For more information, clickhere.

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