Ever wondered what exactly Williamson, Inc. does and why?
President and CEO Matt Largen has the answers.
Briefly Matt, what is Williamson, Inc. and how did it come about?
Williamson, Inc. is Williamson County’s combined chamber of commerce and economic development agency. Every community’s chamber of commerce is organized and structured in a different way. In Williamson County economic development is a department of Williamson, Inc. and Williamson, Inc., at its core, is an economic development organization. We are charged with growing the Williamson County economy in a strategic way and helping our members grow their business through making connections and providing professional development. Our events are designed to provide information and connections for our attendees. We play a role in developing leaders for Williamson County; leaders who will continue to put our community first and work to make Williamson County an even better place for business and families.
Five years ago, we unified four chambers of commerce and the office of economic development in response to the overwhelming demand from the Williamson County business community. A single chamber of commerce provides a single path to engagement for our business community.
Why should an individual or business get involved with Williamson, Inc.?
Return on investment is something we talk a great deal about as a team. A business should get involved with Williamson, Inc. to grow their business. Our job is to help our members grow their business by helping them make connections that lead to business relationships and providing relevant content that they can apply to their operations.
What were Williamson, Inc.’s biggest successes of the past year?
A Williamson, Inc. event is successful if our members leave with a page full of notes from the speaker and business cards from other members. Every single thing we do is focused on our members and serving their interests. We also tackle some of the large issues in our community that help create a better business environment. We are working on solutions to some of our community challenges like traffic congestion, education funding, and intentional housing. The single best thing we can do for businesses across our county is to create a habitat that
What will be the most significant activities of the organization this coming year?
Our most significant activity in 2018 is our constant dedication to serving our members. I measure our success by their success. We work very hard as a team to focus on continuous improvement to find new and better ways to provide value to our members who invest in us.
Tractor Supply Company is clear that their major operation is Brentwood is NOT their headquarters. It is their store support center. Tractor Supply’s true headquarters is in each and every one of their retail stores across the country. I feel the same way about Williamson, Inc. Our impact is seen in our thousands of members in the way they operate their business and give back to our community.
How does the economic development work Williamson, Inc. does impact the community?
The best definition of economic development I have ever heard is to help create economic opportunity for those we care for. We work with our existing companies to help them grow in Williamson County, recruit new companies to Williamson County, and work with our small business community to create an environment that fosters entrepreneurship. Businesses invest in healthy communities and create jobs by putting capital at risk. Our economic development efforts create paths to prosperity for our friends, families, and neighbors by creating a strong business environment. We then market that environment to groups who make location decisions on behalf of companies across the globe.
What do you see are the biggest challenges facing our community as we grow?
Our big challenges are long-term sustainable education funding, transportation and connectivity solutions that mitigate and reduce traffic and improve circulation, and providing intentional housing for our workers at all pay scales.
I see all parts of Williamson County continuing to grow. We want to make sure we grow and maintain the unique character of our community. We do not want to become Atlanta. We want to keep our charm and preserve our history. We are intentional about the kind of economic development we attract. We help grow and attract companies that provide careers, not just jobs. We want to provide economic opportunities for all of our residents in a way that allows the next generation, our kids, and grandkids, the chance to come back to Williamson
County and have a good-paying job that becomes a career.