Thursday, May 8, 2008
Renick leaving IDA for Three Rivers
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is losing executive director Bill Renick. He has accepted the position of division director of Workforce Investment with Three Rivers Planning and Development District.
Renick will be leaving IDA June 30 and pick up with Three Rivers in Pontotoc July 1.
Randy Kelley, executive director at Three Rivers, said the agency is very excited to have Renick come on board for the experience he brings.
“Bill brings a tremendous amount of public and private partnership experience,” Kelley said. “He has a proven record of being able to work with business and industry, Republicans and Democrats.”
The fact that Renick has served as chief of staff for a Republican lieutenant governor and a Democratic governor, has work experience in hospital administration and his own private business, and has political experience as mayor of Ashland, means that Renick brings a lot to the job, Kelley said.
“We consider Bill to be a great fit and ourselves very fortunate to have enticed him to come to Three Rivers,” he said.
The Mississippi Partnership, a private, non-profit, is the recipient of federal dollars and contracts with Three Rivers to serve a 27-county region in workforce investment programs. The large region works closely through subcontracts, with community colleges and WIN Centers and MDES, to provide training for existing jobs and new jobs in the state.
“The workforce area Bill will be over will handle $14 million this year,” Kelley said.
Three Rivers is applying for a $250,000 grant with the Department of Labor for a study to see what training and incentives would help existing industry to stabilize, expand and flourish, Kelley said.
“If we lose 22,000 furniture jobs in North Mississippi, we don’t gain anything with our Toyota project,” Kelley said.
“Therefore, we want to see what can be done to help maintain existing industry’s position in the national and world market. We see that as a real positive for Mississippi.”
Renick came to Marshall County IDA July 1, 2005.
Upon arriving, he said to the board of supervisors that Marshall County “just happens to be sitting in the ideal place of all for the next 10 years.”
And his spirit for public service was renewed.
He said working with IDA was “the first thing that has really excited me...as far as getting back into the public work since I left Jackson.”
Renick served as chief of staff for former governor Ronnie Musgrove.
He has been in public service since age 18 and was elected twice to the board of aldermen in Ashland, then elected to mayor of the Benton County Board of Supervisors.
Renick also owned and published The Southern Advocate and operated A&R Trucking. He served president of the Mississippi Retailers Association, and has several other privately-owned businesses.
Rodney Whaley, member of the IDA board of directors, said Renick will be missed.
“It’s a big loss,” he said. “Bill has done an outstanding job. He’s a good detail man and has closed a lot of deals. We’re going to miss him.”
Whaley summarized some of Renick’s contributions to economic and industrial development in his three years at IDA.
“He was a big player in closing the deal for the Cargill facility in Byhalia,” Whaley said. “Renick was with the Lund Precision Group from start to finish.”
He also helped get all vacant buildings but one in the Holly Springs Industrial Park occupied by industry.
“The Holly Springs Commons was initiated on his watch,” Whaley said. “Bill had a big hand in getting Alliance Hospital and Williams Clinic to the Commons. He played a big role in getting the highway and intersections planned at the Holly Springs Commons and he worked with the City of Holly Springs and Don Hollingsworth to get funding for West Boundary Extension to the Holly Springs Commons.
“He assisted and facilitated everything that has happened as far as bringing in industry and developing the infrastructure in the county.
“There’s not much he didn’t do something to help promote,” said Whaley. “He helped bring in several million dollars for new and existing businesses.
“Bill had an outstanding three-year term with us and Marshall County is definitely in a better place because of him. We will continue to work with him in his capacity at Three Rivers.”
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