Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 9, 2014

First day on the job

New Ashland Alliance president hits the streets

ASHLAND — Tim Gibbs planned to do a lot of listening during his first day on the job as the new top man at the Ashland Alliance, although he said he was rolling up his sleeves and diving right in before the day was half done.

“I don’t know if it’s a stereotypical day,” Gibbs said, smiling and shaking his head slightly as he reviewed his Monday activities before making one last visit to the office before starting to think about having supper and calling it a day.

The morning kicked off early with a staff meeting at the Ashland Alliance offices at 7 a.m., he said, recalling his ambition to be out in the community meeting business leaders and elected officials by 8 a.m. “That didn’t happen,” he said, explaining the Alliance staff had enough imperative issues and updates to instead hold him there for several hours.

Gibbs said he was able to meet many local business people during that day’s Ashland Rotary lunch meeting, which he attended as a visiting member, before meeting the chairman of the Alliance’s board of directors and then traveling to Greenup County for an afternoon of interactions he says excited him on a deep and personal level. Those meetings included opportunities to talk to existing business and industrial leaders, as well as county administrators and officials who have an excellent vision for the future, and have already developed a clear plan of action to reach their goals.

“I wanted to listen for common themes and what individuals need to keep going, or maybe to make the more prosperous,” he said.”I found a community that was, I think, hungry to move forward. This was a day of roll up the sleeves, take notes and names and make follow ups. We’ve been planting some seeds.”

Those he met with also seem confident the area’s business and industry can continue, and expand, while also attracting new players to the game.

“I don’t think anyone is satisfied with the rate of growth,” he said, countering that most, however, seem to be aware of positive economic factors and the potential for well-planned expansion.

“We have to be strategic and not overbuild or overextend ourself,” he observed. “We already have partners and collectively, we can present a competitive advantage.”

As his day drew closer to an end, Gibbs said he was surprised and more than satisfied with the level of “nuts and bolts” information and projects he encountered on his first day, leaving with the conclusion “I’m happy to be here. I’m happy for me and my family to be here.”

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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