By Scott Darnell
PRESIDENT OF PADUCAH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Scott Darnell is the Executive Director of Paducah Economic Development. He’s got southern roots (native of Atlanta), a solid work ethic (grew Christmas trees when he was 14 and washed cars at 16), a sound education (degree in International Economic Affairs and an MBA from Gardner Webb University), a certifiable pedigree (CEcD, Project Management Professional, Six Sigma Greenbelt), and a well-rounded resume (economic development management with two cities in North Carolina). He and his wife, Missy, have a six-year-old daughter, Madison. You’ll probably see him on the golf course, tennis court, or the Greenway Trail.
Through multiple degrees, professional certifications, years of career experience, and most importantly my role as a husband and father, what is the most important thing I’ve learned so far in my career? I’ve learned that you should always LISTEN.
In the weeks and months that I have been fortunate enough to spend in this fine community, I have had the opportunity to talk with many individuals in a wide variety of unique businesses and industries. And this is what I’ve learned.
Strong leadership has brought this community to its present level of success and strong leadership will take it forward. For example, on a daily basis I overlook the Carson Center. I don’t view it as just a building, but more of a monument to how vision and passion brought the community together to create a true community/regional/state asset.
While driving around the community I’ve observed small, medium, and large businesses, which have created thousands of jobs. I’ve seen creative options for dining, cultural experiences, healthcare, entertainment, and places of worship. And on almost a daily basis, I hear stories about future opportunities that will continue to enhance our potential.
I envision an economic development strategy that builds on the community’s significant strengths, which have brought success to date. With a diversified approach, together we can create a strong foundation for continued forward motion. Through a concerted commitment to partnerships, alliances, friendships, and collaboration, we can build the future we envision.
So what am I “hearing?” Here are just a few of the many supportive comments I’ve heard to date:
- Economic development should continue to provide opportunities for everyone in the community.
- We are free to define what we want economically, culturally, and socially because it’s our choice, our community.
- Let us know where we can serve or help. You are not alone.
- We have a great community. We just need to do a better job of letting the world know.
Paducah Economic Development will be a facilitator—bringing together people, assets, processes, ideas and more to create wealth and to create a multi-faceted atmosphere that lures the best and brightest.
I look forward to an exciting and rewarding future here. I’m listening, Paducah!