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Natchez, Inc. selects VisionFirst Advisors to develop Regional Economic Development Strategic Assessment
from Staff Reports - NEWS
September 4, 2019 -

Press Release:

NATCHEZ, MS – Today, Natchez, Inc.’s executive director Chandler Russ announced the selection of VisionFirst Advisors to develop an Economic Development Strategic Assessment to create a community strategy with a corresponding action plan for implementation.

Natchez, Vidalia and Adams County are at a point of great opportunity to recognize and leverage our key assets to better define where we to go in the future. Globally, the competition for jobs and private capital has become increasingly more demanding and complicated. This is why we selected VisionFirst Advisors to help us plan new strategies to increase our competitiveness.”


To kick-off the planning process, VisionFirst will conduct interviews with local stakeholders and will launch an online survey to gather input from the community. In addition to gathering local feedback, VisionFirst will utilize demographic research to benchmark the region against the state and the nation while outlining best practices in economic development activities. In addition, VisionFirst will work with community leaders to develop a comprehensive approach to connect and direct the efforts of the key stakeholders as each implements its part of a collaborative economic development program of work to achieve measurable goals.

The plan will identify how the broader community defines economic development success, and will provide recommendations to improve the organization’s structure, operations and goals to guide Natchez, Inc. over the next five years. The overarching goals will build upon the existing resources and infrastructure to strategically grow jobs, support businesses and build a collaborative network to grow the economy.

“The Natchez community has made bold steps in recruiting new jobs and investment to the region and is constantly striving for improvement. A competitive stance is critical to sustainable economic growth,” said Gray Swoope, President and CEO of VisionFirst Advisors and former executive director of Mississippi Development Authority and Florida Secretary of Commerce. “We are pleased to be chosen to serve as the catalyst to align the resources and stakeholders to drive a program of work which clearly articulates the value proposition to the end user.”



About Natchez Inc. »

Natchez, Inc. is Natchez, Vidalia and Adams County’s lead economic and community development agency.  Our staff is engaged in providing services to businesses, communities and workers in the region.  Our mission is to serve existing and new business and industry – all with the goal of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of area residents. To learn more about Natchez, Inc. visit


About VisionFirst Advisors »

After 30 years of leading public and private economic development organizations in three different states, Gray Swoope helped launch VisionFirst Advisors, LLC, an economic development consulting company focused on location advisory services, economic development strategy, organizational management and result-driven marketing and communications. VisionFirst is a wholly owned subsidiary of Butler Snow LLP with nearly 400 attorneys in 17 U.S. cities as well as international offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. This unique structure allows VisionFirst to utilize the strength of the Butler Snow network, combined with the staff’s experience, knowledge and business connections to deliver results. To learn more about VisionFirst visit | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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