Official: Area’s future ‘bright’
POCATELLO — Bannock Development Corp.'s new executive director, John Regetz, told a group of civic and business leaders on Tuesday, that the resources needed to take the area's economy to the next level are already in place.
“The future for Bannock County, Pocatello and Chubbuck is indeed very, very bright,” Regetz said. “We have great resources here. With Idaho State University, colleges of business, engineering and medicine, the Idaho Technical College, as well as research facilities like the Idaho National Laboratory, and your accelerator laboratory, they provide great opportunities for high-tech development.”
Regetz was speaking at the ISU RISE Complex, located on Alvin Ricken Dr., during a gathering at which he was officially introduced as the BDC's new top official. Tim Forhan, chairman of the BDC's board of directors, introduced Regetz, telling those in attendance that the search for a new executive director was an aggressive one, and something they wanted to get done relatively quickly.
“The last three months has actually been very busy. There has been a lot of activity,” Forhan said. “Economic development is largely a thing of momentum. We had some momentum and we didn't want to lose any momentum.”
Former BCD Executive Director Gynii Gilliam left in December to take a position as Idaho's chief economic development officer, starting that position on Jan. 1.
Forhan said Regetz immediately recognized some of that momentum the BDC had going, but also brought several ideas of his own to the table when interviewed for the position. Gilliam's thoughts were sought about some of Regetz's ideas.
“I was impressed when Gynii said, 'Wow, those are good ideas and that will help take us to the next level,'” Forhan said.
He revealed that more than 70 applicants submitted information seeking the position.
Regetz, who has made it clear that helping existing businesses grow is among his top priorities, also talked about working together regionally.
“We need to look at some of the neighboring communities,” he said. “They have some strengths, we have some strengths and we want to learn how to build off of each others strengths, or at least refer to those communities some of the opportunities that we may not be able to carry so that we all can realize more opportunities.”
BY JIMMY HANCOCK