It is always easier to look back than to look forward or even to look at the present since it is difficult to see the moment while you are in it.
Make no mistake about it: There is always room for nostalgia, and there is always room for optimism. But nostalgia shouldn’t be confused with a strategy, and optimism can turn toxic when it is combined with a high dose of reminiscence.
There is, of course, always a chance that General Motors will beg to return to the city, but I would not want to pay the salary of someone to sit at a phone bank and await that call.
There is also the possibility that the Wigwam could be converted to a high school and the possibility that the local pool of natural gas could turn out to be endless after all. But I wouldn’t take those odds.
The truth is that Madison County has a lot going for it right now, and too much of it gets overlooked.
Some of the hidden gems that we should celebrate include:
- BI Monitoring, the world’s leader in electronic monitoring (correctional, detention and residential services for federal, state and local governments) was started as SRI in Anderson and still calls it home while monitoring offenders all over the world from this location.
Similarly, Reflectix, in Markleville, is the world’s largest manufacturer of reflective insulation, and Kleenco, in Alexandria, is a leader in providing solutions to builders and contractors around the U.S. These three are giants within their industries and quiet success stories that you rarely hear about.
- Red Gold continues to be a winner in its market and branch into a few others, as well.
We share some of their operations with a neighboring county, but Elwood and Madison County would not be the same without Red Gold’s presence and continued support of the community. Red Gold is a neighbor anyone would be proud to have.
- The Flagship Enterprise Center is the second-largest business incubator in the state, at almost 200,000 square feet of space. The FEC has a goal of nurturing companies through the early stages of growth. The fact that the FEC was formed by a partnership between a nonsecular university and the city is something of an anomaly that you’ll be hard pressed to find repeated.
- The high-speed fiber ring that runs through Anderson is available to companies needing Internet access, and it is also something to brag about. It is this connectivity that made Google give Anderson a look when the company was seeking a city to adopt.
This connectivity makes wireless networking available throughout the city, as well.
Space limitations for this column prohibit listing more positives within the county.
But there are plenty, and they tell a story that doesn’t always come through when you look only at the statistics.
Columns from the Falls School of Business at Anderson University appear Tuesdays in The Herald Bulletin. This week’s columnist, Emmett Dulaney, teaches marketing and entrepreneurship.