Members involved in the Community Strategic Planning process

Members involved in the Community Strategic Planning process include Dr. Betty Adams (chair) of Southern Virginia Higher Education Center; Grey Watson (chair) of Sentara Dominion Health Medical Associates; Dennis Witt (chair) of the board of supervisors; Lezlie Bryant of Realty Resource; Virginia Byrd of Southern Virginia Higher Education Center; Petrina Carter of Tri-County Community Action Agency; the Rev. Kevin Chandler of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church; Ryland Clark of ABB; Mattie Cowan; Carl Espy of the town of Halifax; Mark Estes of Halifax County Public Service Authority; Chelsey Garrett of Edward Jones; Blair Hall of Waller Brothers Farm; Lin Hite of Longwood Small Business Development Center; Earl Howerton of Southside Outreach Group; Stanley Jeffress of Jeffress Funeral Home; Kristy Johnson of Halifax County IDA; Adam Layman of Staunton River State Park; Bradford Lee of Presto Products; Dr. Mark Lineburg of Halifax County Public Schools; Nick Long of WHLF 95.3; Mitzi McCormick of Halifax County Chamber of Commerce; Connie Nyholm of Virginia International Raceway; Tom Raab of town of South Boston; Phyllis Smith; Jason Studley of Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital; and Angela Yancey of The Prizery.

The public is invited to the rollout of the Halifax County Community Strategic Plan at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, at The Prizery when members of the steering committee will introduce key initiatives and tactical recommendations.

The community is invited to attend to learn more about the plan and how to get involved in the implementation process.

“A plan is only valuable when it is implemented,” said Chamber President Mitzi McCormick. “A realistic work plan will ensure that the Community Strategic Plan is activated and sustainable for the next five years and beyond.”

Halifax County began the process of carrying out a community-driven strategic planning initiative on Monday, Oct. 15. Public, private and non-profit leaders in Halifax County have come together around a holistic community and economic development initiative that will help the community achieve a more prosperous and successful future.

Members of a 27-person steering committee headed by three chairs — Halifax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dennis Witt, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center Executive Director Dr. Betty Adams and Executive Director of Sentara Dominion Health Medical Associates Grey Watson — led the process.

A diverse steering committee guided this process to ensure it lays the foundation that will allow people and businesses to thrive and wealth to accumulate in the community.

The process concluded in March.

The Halifax County Community Strategic Plan is a comprehensive, actionable and consensus-based strategy to guide the community’s collective actions in the years to come.

The Strategic Plan seeks to make the county a better place to live, work, play and do business. It addresses the full range of competitive factors that influence a community’s competitiveness, including talent, education and training resources, infrastructure, business climate, quality of life and place and so on.

The strategic planning process began with a stakeholder engagement process that included interviews, focus groups, and an online survey that received nearly 1,600 responses from individuals who live and/or work in Halifax County.

This public input was synthesized with in-depth analysis of demographic, socioeconomic, economic and quality of life data to create the community assessment.

This foundational research document directly informed the creation of the Community Strategic Plan. The strategic framework begins with a core goal: “Raise levels of prosperity, increase economic opportunity and improve quality of life for all residents of Halifax County.”

This statement is consistent with the reality that community and economic development is fundamentally about building wealth and raising standards of living, according to McCormick.

Individually and collectively, the components of this Community Strategic Plan seek to improve the lives of all current and future residents of Halifax County. This process has resulted in a Community Strategic Plan that will guide the community’s collective actions in the coming years, she added.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results of the strategic plan. This plan represents an opportunity for the community to shape its own future,” said McCormick. “We hope to see a full house at the rollout on May 22.”

Market Street Services, a national community and economic development firm based in Atlanta, facilitated the strategic planning process. Founded in 1997 as an alternative to traditional community and economic development consulting firms, Market Street’s staff has worked with more than 165 communities in 34 states throughout the country to devise measurable, achievable strategies. Market Street helped the Halifax County Community shape its previous holistic community development strategy, Vision 2020, in 2004.