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Workshop aims to define region’s personality

September 16th, 2014

News Coverage:

Workshop aims to define region’s personality

Posted: Monday, September 15, 2014 11:00 pm | Updated: 6:18 am, Tue Sep 16, 2014.

BY KATHRYN BASSETT
kbassett@kpcmedia.com

AUBURN — Traditional, genuine and determined.

Those are just a handful among the words used to describe northeast Indiana during a workshop Monday at the LaQuinta Inn of Auburn.

Avant garde, cocky and edgy were words used to describe what the region is not.

The workshop was held as part of the Our Story Project that is seeking public input to establish the region’s reputation. The Our Story Project is spearheaded by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Workshops are being held in all 10 counties of the region. Monday’s workshop in Auburn was on the topic of personality. A second DeKalb County workshop will take place Sept. 29 at the Waterloo Depot on the topic of messaging.

Consultants will take the information and input received at the workshops and develop a “story” for the region.

“There’s not any right answer today,” consultant Scott Ochander told the group of about 20 people representing a cross-section of the community. “It’s an insight-gathering process … Our goal is to hear from as many people as possible.”

“Think about northeast Indiana the region,” consultant Tyler Borders said. “Think of this as a human being. How do they behave, what are they like, their traits, what really moves and motivates this region?”

From a lengthy list, groups selected 10 traits they believe reflect the region. The list contained traits ranging from adaptive to neighborly, daring to humble.

The groups whittled the traits down to a short list. Traits suggested by the groups included down-to-earth, friendly, neighborly, traditional, humble, creative, charitable, established, industrious, proud, resilient, stable, conservative and responsible.

The group discussed the region’s agricultural heritage and its established industries that have helped the region acquire its traits.

Groups also selected traits they do not believe the region displays. Groups agreed the traits of being empowering, risk-taking and adaptive are ones they would like to see the region display. Groups also created causes that they would like to see the region pursue. Suggested causes included “develop rewarding opportunities,” “encourage imaginative improvement,” “discover positive experience,” and “produce tangible results.”

“I think you guys have a pretty good idea on who you are,” Ochander said at the conclusion of the workshop.