It was an awesome sight. Close to a hundred of Greensboro’s best and brightest leaders gathered in the Empire Room to learn what the City’s business and higher education CEO’s envision for our future. Their plans are the result of an unprecedented collaborative effort that was initiated by Action Greensboro about a year ago. Most of them have relocated here to take the helm of their organizations. Some, like Martin Weissburg, CEO of Volvo Financial Services, have moved their entire company to Greensboro. Each of these transplants admits to having had an initial uncertainty about what living in Greensboro would be like. But newcomers and natives alike agree that ultimately the City exceeds their expectations and those of the other faculty members, staff and workers that they have recruited.
Having seven colleges and universities within a 20-mile radius of Downtown is key to the quality of life we enjoy here. They contribute educational, intellectual, cultural and recreational offerings that far surpass other cities of our size. It is the creative energy that we enjoy because of them that tends to be such a happy surprise to newcomers.
So the leadership group decided to harness and direct that energy to make Greensboro even more attractive for new jobs, new talent and keeping our college graduates here. Calling themselves “Opportunity Greensboro: A Business and Collegiate Partnership,” the group has developed exciting plans for collaborative projects – such as a downtown university district – and K-12 offerings. They also want to let the world know that this is an exceptional place to learn, earn and live.
Enter Bouvier Kelly. This has been one of the most exhilarating projects of my career. It’s a thrill to work with this group of decision-makers who prefer action over committee-think. It is also a treat to work with the Advisory Team, made up of professional marketing communications folks. We are proud of the “Opportunity Thrives Here. So Can You” billboards presently displayed on the I-85/I-40 corridor (like the one pictured at the top of this page), the airport signage and the program’s web site at OpportunityGreensboro.com.
But the key is participation by everyone in the city. Please make it your own. Let your employees, customers, suppliers and prospects know that our national model of business and collegiate collaboration is creating immense opportunity for anyone who chooses to learn, earn or live here! Use the slogan on your signage, advertising, newsletters, social media, press releases and stationery. Be creative and let me know how you used it so I can share your ideas with others.