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Reviewing lessons learned
County, city officials meet Wednesday to discuss Caesarstone deal
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Local officials will meet today at the Richmond Hill City Center to discuss lessons learned in the successful recruitment of Caesarstone Technologies to the Belfast Commerce Centre.

The meeting, which is open to the public, gets under way at 9:30 a.m. Among those who will attend is Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler.

“From my perspective, it’s just a way of getting together with all the parties involved to discuss what we might do together to bring another industry in,” he said.

“It’s like anything else. After that first one, you need to look at it and see what you can do better, what you might have done differently and what you can improve on for the next meeting.”

County leaders also will be there, including County Administrator Ray Pittman, who discussed the agenda with the Bryan County Board of Commissioners during a Monday called meeting in South Bryan.

Pittman said the recruitment of Caesarstone, which is expected to bring 180 jobs and some $70 million-$100 million in investment into Bryan County, was a comprehensive effort that took a great deal of teamwork.

“There were a lot of people involved, a lot of moving parts,” Pittman told commissioners. “So we’d like to have a ‘lesson’s learned’ meeting to improve our process.”

Development Authority of Bryan County officials, state economic development representatives and Rayonier and TerraPointe executives are also slated to attend.

Agenda items range from “teamwork – cooperation and moving forward with professionalism” to “DABC processes – streamlining the marketing and contractual process for future industry.”

The county’s successful recruitment of Caesarstone, an Israeli company that manufactures quartz countertops used by builders, was part of a process that included Richmond Hill’s annexation of the Belfast Commerce Centre and the approval of a new I-95 interchange nearby.

“It was a very successful year,” Pittman said at Monday’s meeting.

“It was a grand slam,” Commissioner Steve Myers responded.

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