Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Strategic Plan Moves Ahead; Organizations Sign on to Assist

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Strategic Plan Moves Ahead; Organizations Sign on to Assist

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Woods, Shorelines staff writer

As the massive St. Johns Vision county development plan moves into the implementation phase, three Ponte Vedra Beach and Palm Valley organizations have taken on the role of Vision Partners.

As partners, the Palm Valley Community Association, the Knowledge Guild and Friends of the Library of Ponte Vedra Beach have agreed to endorse the plan and find ways to meet its goals for St. Johns County's development during the next 20 years.

The plan touches on six areas -- education, quality of life, infrastructure, economic development, government and private sector leadership. In the initial process, county residents came up with about 165 strategies to accomplish the goals.

Now the plan is entering implementation, the process in which leaders in each of the six areas choose the top three plans and bring those to residents for ways to accomplish them.

Rolf Engmann, owner of the Knowledge Guild, a Ponte Vedra Beach investment and consulting firm, volunteered to monitor the plan's progress.

"We volunteered to share our business expertise relative to measuring success," Engmann said. "We are committed to being instigators and trying to get the private sector more involved on the planning end."

One way Engmann plans to do this is through recruiting retired corporate executives to "angel invest," or invest in and mentor entrepreneurship. His group hopes eventually to boost the county's economy.

"Ponte Vedra is unique in that it has attracted a lot of corporate executives who have retired too young, who have some money to make investments," Engmann said.

Pat Yost, the Friends of the Library's liaison to St. Johns Vision, said his organization will focus on the education strategy, particularly skills training and lifelong education. They'll try to expand the county library and encourage the use of libraries for the arts, community service, research, enjoyment and learning. …

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