The 2011-2012 fiscal year brought many great opportunities to the Henderson County Partnership. The publicity the organization received through project announcements encouraged many businesses in the community to take time to better understand the primary goals and functions of the Partnership. This attention led the organization, both Board and staff, to focus on membership growth. The year ended with 26 new investors in the organization and several existing members increasing their support level. Private dollars to the organization grew by 94% over the previous fiscal year, greatly surpassing budgetary expectations.
As new interest in investing in Henderson County ‘s economic development future grew, it became evident that the Partnership needed to restructure investment support levels and benefits for the following year. The organization needed to offer new outlets for members to connect, to receive current information relevant to our local economy, and at the same time provide a conduit for the organization to enhance marketing and client handling efforts.
In June 2012, the Partnership called on previous years’ Annual Event sponsors to discuss the idea of a Patron Membership Level. The level would be an annual investment of $2,500 and include enhanced visibility through sponsorship, signage and recognition at all HCPED events throughout the year. The Patron Membership concept was discussed and approved by the Board of Directors in August. Since its inception, the Partnership is very pleased to have eight members choose to elevate their support of economic development as a Patron Member. Those members include: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Cooper Construction Company, Duke Energy, First Citizens Bank, Hunter Automotive, PSNC Energy and The Van Winkle Law Firm (check out the VW holiday video here). Throughout the year, these eight companies will be the exclusive Patron Sponsors for events including the Industrial Executives Forum, Industrial Appreciation Event and the 1st Annual Investors Update Luncheon scheduled for early 2013.
We want to express our appreciation for the support that we receive from a diverse membership base, and the leadership of our new Patron Members. HCPED is a public-private partnership that serves both local government and private business in the role of protecting and building a strong local economy. We want to thank all of our members for choosing to invest in a strong local economy.