New department helps strengthen Marana - The Explorer: Voices

New department helps strengthen Marana

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Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:00 am

When we contemplate the services municipalities provide, we generally think about the basics: public works to maintain streets and sidewalks, utilities to deliver clean drinking water, and public safety officers to respond promptly when help is needed. If Marana offered only those services, we would continue to be a very good community in which to live and work.

Great communities, however, provide more than just the basics. They demand innovative thinking, strategic investment and a commitment to planning for the future.

That approach is what guides our work in the Town of Marana’s newest department, the Office of Strategic Initiatives. Created in February, OSI combines diverse municipal functions into a single team dedicated to advancing the Marana Strategic Plan and creating a unique sense of place in our community.

Our dynamic staff includes professionals from a broad variety of disciplines, including marketing and public relations, graphic design, event planning and economic development. Together, we tackle complex, often cross-departmental issues with the goal of building a stronger Marana.

Here’s a sampling of the great work being done in OSI:

Branding: Every city or town wants a brand that speaks to what makes that community special. In Marana, we’re embarking on an exciting initiative to brand many of the elements that make us who we are. Rodney Campbell and Kelsie Hanson, our communications and marketing staff, have been busy standardizing all of our town’s visual media to ensure consistency in the way we appear to our customers. We’ve also recently begun an innovative partnership with the Town of Oro Valley to brand the northwest region as a tourism destination.

Business Environment: At the annual State of the Town Address in April, Mayor Honea announced Marana’s goal of becoming the most business-friendly community in Arizona. We’ve taken that statement seriously and are putting in place physical and procedural changes to facilitate the growth of commerce and a supportive business atmosphere. More information on this exciting project will be revealed in the next few months.

Strategic Plan Update: The Marana Strategic Plan is an award-winning document that has guided the town’s activities for the past two years. Now, it’s time for a major update to the plan to reflect significant accomplishments and key changes in the world. OSI will be managing the update process throughout 2011, culminating in the release of the updated plan in early 2012.

Founders’ Day Festival: Marana’s special events, under the leadership of Adelina Martin, have built a regional following for their high-quality entertainment and family friendliness. This year, we’ve expanded our signature event, Founders’ Day, into a celebration of Marana’s heritage that will draw attendees from across the state. The Arizona Centennial event will include a carnival, rodeo activities, live entertainment, food and drink, a parade and much more. We hope to see you there Oct. 27-30.

OSI may be a new department, but it’s already having a profound impact on the organization and the community. Our team of creative problem solvers works every day to find new ways to make Marana a community that stands out above the rest.

Josh Wright is the director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives for the Town of Marana.

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