Terry Jones, who was appointed to the position by the city council in late April, said he wants to see Marion continue to grow while reflecting the values and goals of its residents and business stakeholders.
?I am working for, and with, the entire community,? Jones said.
It?s a sustained effort, he said, by preserving earlier economic development endeavors while continuing to improve the local economy and protect the well-being of citizens and their quality of life.
He said he hopes to bolster commerce, attract new companies, strengthen current businesses, encourage entrepreneurs and look at ways to create new jobs.
In addition to learning more about the city, Jones said he is also looking at strategies for economic development, including surveys and other tools.
On the city?s website, marionks.com, Jones and other city officials are encouraging people to prioritize where they think money should be appropriated.
Jones said a few programs available on the city?s website can help local businesses offset the cost of training new employees, promoting employment across the state and machinery and equipment tax incentives.
As economic development director, Jones said it is important for him to pursue grants and other funding that might be of benefit to the city?s economic growth.
?The job is very exciting,? Jones said. ?Unlike many of my previous jobs, my success doesn?t just affect my company and myself, it affects a whole town and community.
?Conversely, if I fail, I don?t fail just myself or my company, I fail the whole community.?
Jones quickly added that even the thought of failure motivates him ?to give 110 percent, day in and day out.?
The position also involves working alongside community boards and meeting with community and business leaders as well as business prospects.
Jones said his years of experience in sales make him a good fit as the city?s economic development director.
?I?ve been tasked with convincing businesses to buy my ink for their printers over competitors ink,? he cited as an example. ?Or convincing school districts to purchase my professional development products.
?Getting a school district to part ways with six figures of cash is not something that is easy to do,? he added.
The hard work and determination he has acquired will pay dividends when it comes to convincing a new business that Marion is the right place for them.
Originally from Topeka, Jones said he met his wife, Chelsi Carlson, while attending Kansas State University.
He earned a degree in economics and is working toward a bachelor of science degree in marketing, with a minor in German.
The couple, along with their 18-month-old son, Dawson, moved to Marion from Topeka and bought a home last summer.
?God willing, (Dawson) will be gaining a sibling come this winter,? Jones said.
While attending KSU, Jones said he worked for the Kansas Forest Service. His hobbies include KSU football, golfing and woodworking.
?I also consider myself a student of U.S. military history, and have collected two World War II rifles, a Nazi helmet, bullets from the Revolutionary War and a couple of other things.?
Jones said he enjoys learning and improving himself, which helps him in his job.
Determined to do the best he can, Jones said: ?The future doesn?t depend on me or the elected leaders. The future is in the hands of each and every member of the community.
?We all have to be willing to work together for an extremely bright future,? he said about the long-term commitment needed for economic development.
Jones can be reached at 620-382-3703 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. His office is at 208 Santa Fe St.