Mary McNamara at the Leadership exChange

Fountain in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas

Mary McNamara at the Leadership exChange

This past week, Owner and President of Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, Mary McNamara, had the opportunity to take part in the Leadership exChange in Bentonville, Arkansas, along with other members of the Independence Economic Development Council. The group spent a total of two days learning from Bentonville city officials on how they have had their own success through a number of varying strategies and efforts to grow the city into what it is today.

This program was put on by the Independence EDC, a group Mary McNamara has been involved with for many years, presently serving as Chair of the Independence EDC. Established as a non-profit in the early 80s, the Independence EDC works to support the economic growth of Independence, Missouri, the home of Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, along with over 130 other private sector investors.

As a dynamic member of the Independence community, Mary takes her involvement in groups like this seriously, continuously working to improve Cornell’s home community.  Which is exactly why she participated in the Leadership exChange program in Bentonville last week. The Leadership exChange itself is a separate program that seeks to empower the next generation of leaders and global citizens. It brings together like-minded communities to learn and share with each other.

And that’s just what happened in Bentonville, a mutual exchange of new and fresh ideas to improve Independence, over 40 local community leaders in attendance! Presentations included:

  • Downtown Redevelopment / Housing
  • Bentonville Parks and Recreation
  • Bentonville / Belle Vista Chamber of Commerce
  • Tourism
  • Downtown Bentonville, Inc.
  • RopeSwing Hospitality Group
  • Bentonville Public Schools Ignite program

There were also plenty of walking and bus tours, where participants could enjoy local culture and redevelopment projects, like the former Kraft plant currently being converted to a contemporary art space as well as downtown housing examples.

Our own Independence area civic leaders got a first-hand look at growing a successful community, and then they brought that new knowledge home. All that’s left now is to wait and see how they utilize it to strategically plan exciting new developments in Independence for a future, bright with opportunity!

Leadership exChange logo     Independence EDC logo


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