Debbie Woodbridge, an IMTEC employee who has attended all four of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce’s community visioning sessions at the Ardmore Convention Center, made an interesting observation about the process Thursday.


Debbie Woodbridge, an IMTEC employee who has attended all four of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce’s community visioning sessions at the Ardmore Convention Center, made an interesting observation about the process Thursday.


“(The vision areas) are all related,” she said. “To develop business, you have to have the workforce and to have the workforce, you have to have education.”


The vision areas include tourism/facilities and events, beautification and recycling, community relations, retail development/re-development, economic development/local jobs, education, health care and community infrastructure.


The purpose of the visioning process, which is also known as Ardmore 2020, Action Today for Ardmore’s Tomorrow, is to identify the types of changes that need to occur in the community to make it a better place to live. Participants in the process are also being asked to develop specific objectives and action plans to reach the goals.


An informal sampling of a few of the participants indicated the process is meeting their expectations. This is the first time Allen Dubea, vice president and general manager of Valero’s Ardmore Refinery, has been involved in a community visioning project.


“It’s a good feeling to know your input is valued by the chamber and city leaders,” he said. “It’s a totally open forum for input.”


“The concept of creating a vision of what our community can be is valuable,” Joyce Wall said. “To get the input from as many people as possible and exchange ideas is beneficial.”


Wall’s husband David, who was involved in an earlier community visioning project, observed that the process is much more detailed this time around.


“And look how much we accomplished in the last one,” he said. “I’m very optimistic.”


Local attorney Glen Burns said he’s seen a lot of new faces at the sessions he’s attended so far.


“I think it’s gone well,” he said. “It has gotten people involved who might not have in the past.”


Ardmore 2020 co-chairperson Rick Baggett said all the volunteers in the room Thursday night had something important in common.


“They all care about their community, and they all want to help in creating a vision,” he said.

“Creating a better community ­— that’s the American Dream.”


Steve Biehn, 221-6546
steve.biehn@ardmoreite.com