Nisa Miranda addresses a crowd at the chamber of commerce Quarterly Luncheon Tuesday at First Baptist Church. Miranda talked about regional economic efforts and building leadership across communities. | Alison James

Archived Story

Chamber talks tourism

Published 6:47pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Quarterly Luncheon for Alexander City Chamber of Commerce members Tuesday featured speaker Nisa Miranda, who spoke on economic development and other topics.

Miranda, director for the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, explained why she got involved in working with small towns and small rural areas.

“Places like the southern part of the United States are very much like developing countries,” Miranda said. “You have your areas that have a lot of wealth, a lot of educated people and a lot of technology, and then you have everywhere else.”

In Tallapoosa County, Miranda has been involved with the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail, developing the Lake Martin Loop, and the East Central Alabama Tourism Initiative, which is a regional tourism effort incorporating Talladega, Chambers, Coosa, Randolph, Cleburne and Clay counties, in addition to Tallapoosa County.

Miranda enforced the importance of knowing, as a community or a region, the resources you have to offer and marketing the best of the area, like the Talladega Superspeedway, Lake Martin or the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.

“If you’re a small community, you have to look at all the components that make up your community, and you need to have a plan of action for each one of those components,” Miranda said. “If you just focus on industrial recruitment, a lot of things are going to fall by the wayside.”

Miranda also emphasized the importance of team building and leadership.

“This project really has been about organizing teams and helping evolve the assets you have,” Miranda said. “We’re not really in direct competition with each other … none of us individually have all the strengths, so get together with your neighbor and figure out, ‘These are your strengths, and these are my strengths – how can we combine them and make our region even more attractive?’”

The Tuesday luncheon at First Baptist Church is the last of the year for the chamber.

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