Dale Fowler: One way to pitch Victoria to outside interests

Dec. 22, 2010 at 6:22 a.m.
Updated Dec. 23, 2010 at 6:23 a.m.

By Dale Fowler

The Victoria Economic Development Corporation has many partnerships on a local, state and national level that help us provide value to the Victoria region.

One such partner is an organization called TexasOne. Established seven years ago, TexasOne is a member organization run by a board of directors to market Texas. The membership ranges from Fortune 100 companies to small businesses, communities and economic development organizations from across the state.

TexasOne has become a driving force behind the governor's initiative to market Texas around the globe.

The VEDC has been a lower-tier member of TexasOne for about four years. The TexasOne marketing strategy closely matches ours. VEDC has found value in identifying key site location consultants from around the country (as well as key industry leaders) and making routine calls and visits to educate them about the positive business attributes of our region.

After all, we can't get them to Victoria if we can't get them to Texas.

TexasOne does the same thing from the state's perspective, educating the audience about Texas as a great place to do business. As a TexasOne member, VEDC has had the opportunity to travel with the group, which may include Secretary of State Hope Andrade or First Lady Anita Perry. Sometimes Gov. Rick Perry leads these missions.

While VEDC has developed a good reputation for being able to meet with consultants and business decision makers, it never hurts to be able to tag on to what TexasOne has planned. When the State of Texas is calling, the door is usually wide open. These call trips usually only last a few days and are full of preset meetings with all the key people from a given region of the country.

Usually, no more than about five communities are allowed to attend so as to not overwhelm the consultants. Each community is given an opportunity to help sell Texas and then their community.

Recently, Adrian Cannady, the VEDC vice president of marketing, participated in one of these missions to South Carolina.

As the conversation went around the room, each representative had a short amount of time to introduce their community to the consulting firm. Before concluding the meeting, David Cabrales, president of TexasOne, asked the consultants if they had more questions for the group. The only question asked was for more information about Victoria and the Caterpillar project.

Yet another consulting firm (during this same trip) stopped David as he was introducing Adrian and enthusiastically said, "We know all about Victoria and the work VEDC is doing," and then proceeded to tell our story.

These types of comments and questions from the site consulting community add validity to our brand of marketing and credibility to our message. It was also great to have our friends at TexasOne receive confirmation that Victoria is an asset to the team.

TexasOne members and their contributions have made a difference for Texas. The organization is directly responsible for some great success in attracting new jobs to Texas.

Forbes rated Texas No. 1 for growth prospects in 2010; in July, Texas was recognized by CNBC as the "Top State for Business."

We are confident TexasOne will keep up the good work, and we know VEDC will continue to maximize the benefits for Victoria.

D. Dale Fowler is president of the Victoria Economic Development Corp.



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