May 20, 2010
By Darla Martin Tucker
The city of Riverside is embarking on its most detailed and ambitious economic development plan to date and La Sierra University will do what it can to support the effort, university President Randal Wisbey stated.
The president made his remarks following a presentation by Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge during a meeting on May 4 of La Sierra University’s Foundation board.
The mayor outlined Riverside’s latest development strategy titled “Seizing Our Destiny,” a project approved by the Riverside City Council in December. This plan, detailed in a 52-page booklet and available on the city’s Web site, incorporates 11 different routes to achieving the city’s goals, Loveridge said. “At the center of this is the quest for quality of life,” to be the location of choice for businesses and university students and faculty, he said. The city is creating a Web site for the project.
“This is a document that I think is going to put Riverside on the national map if it can keep focused on the different routes and initiatives,” Loveridge said to the Foundation board of which he is also a member. “Here’s this initiative. We need your help. It’s the single most important document we’ve seen in the city in 30 years here.” Loveridge is also president of the National League of Cities, a Washington D.C.-based federal lobbying and legal advocacy organization that represents the interests of municipal governments around the United States.
This latest economic development strategy for California’s 12th largest city involves 11 routes, or paths leading over the next 10 or 20 years toward the vision of Riverside as a close-knit, entrepreneurial community of innovation with a high quality of life. Those routes include attracting and growing certain types of companies, developing a skilled workforce, fostering education by showcasing student and faculty research, increasing k-12 achievements, strengthening local philanthropy and bolstering arts and entertainment through such venues as an artists’ colony, innovation museum and expanded convention center.
“These are things we need to be thinking about as a university,” and find ways to support the city’s plan, Wisbey said. He added that the university will present the plan to the various deans for their input on ways of helping fulfill the vision.
Foundation board member Craig Blunden, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Provident Financial Holdings Inc., asked Loveridge about ways the city plans to keep the strategic document “growing and alive long term.” Loveridge responded that the effort involves 90-day progress checks with City Manager Brad Hudson and Dave Stewart, dean of the A. Gary Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Riverside, one of the plan’s main architects. The strategic effort brings together teams of business owners, education leaders and city officials toward the plan’s fruition.
“This is setting our destiny. We need to take charge of it. We’re all involved. We need to get this out there,” said Cindy Roth, board member and chief executive officer and president of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.
The La Sierra University Foundation is comprised of 87 board members who are leaders in business, government and education. The board serves as a link between the university and the regional community, providing insight, direction and collaboration that strengthens both entities.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University