Nissan deal opportunity of a lifetime"

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
If Meridian is to capitalize on the recent announcement of a Nissan plant for Madison County, economic developer Ken Oilschlager said, the community must come together as one with an overall plan of action.
Oilschlager, a Meridian native, is the president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
Oilschlager said Lauderdale County leaders need to build on education and quality of life strengths in order to attract suppliers that will be making parts for Nissan.
Oilschlager said exciting things like downtown revitalization and the renovation of the Grand Opera House are beginning to happen in Meridian, but leaders need to encourage participation from surrounding counties in Mississippi and Alabama to see everyone plays a role.
Oilschlager encouraged EMBDC members to take note of a lesson he learned earlier in his career that being open with the public helps stimulate economic development.
The development expert also cautioned EMBDC members to cover all aspects of economic development, and not concentrate on just one issue.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at