By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Miller is the new director for the Dayton Community Development Corporation. Her first day on the job was Aug. 1. An Oklahoma native with a background in agriculture, Miller has 14 years of economic development experience.
Most recently, she was the executive director for the Buda, Texas, Economic Development Corporation. Prior to that, she was vice president of economic development for the Ada Jobs Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit.
“Ada was one of a few cities in Oklahoma that funded economic development with a sales tax. The Ada Jobs Corporation was contracted to provide economic development,” she said.
When she took the job in Buda, the town was similar in population to what Dayton is today.
“Now the town of Buda is about 18,000 in population. I helped them with a lot of downtown revitalization, including a historic grain mill that is now a retail and entertainment district,” she said. “Hopefully we can do something like that here.”
The projected growth coming to Dayton was what led her to take the job, she said, as she enjoys helping smaller cities grow in “positive ways while maintaining their unique identity.”
“I want to see Dayton grow without losing its identity. In both Ada and Buda, and I see Dayton the same way, they are going through a period of growth. You can either be supportive, and control and manage how that happens, or bury your head in the sand. Then it comes and you are not prepared,” Miller said.
As head of the DCDC, Miller plans to take a more proactive, not reactive, approach to new businesses.
“There will potentially be some changes to our incentive and grant program. My goal is to keep what we have, enhance it and create some targeted incentives and grants for the downtown district,” she said. “The board just adopted a strategic plan, so we will be working on that as well.”
Miller said to look for a DCDC newsletter in the future.
“We will be rolling that out soon to the community. We really want to educate and inform the citizens about the economic development opportunities in the city,” she said.