print header
Living Here Header

Nov 18, 2016

CANTON, MS – The Madison County Economic Development Authority’s (MCEDA) in conjunction with its consultant, VisionFirst Advisors, launched an online community survey regarding the county’s economic development efforts. The survey, is part of an overall competitive economic development assessment of the MCEDA, being conducted by VisionFirst Advisors on behalf of the MCEDA Board of Directors.

“We know that for our efforts to be successful, it is important to hear from members of the community,” said Ken Oilschlager, Interim Director for MCEDA. “The survey will give residents the opportunity to provide feedback on what perceptions around the economic development process exist, what type of growth and industry is wanted and how residents feel about the quality of life that currently enjoy.”

The short 10-question survey poses questions on the future development of the county, recruitment of industry, barriers to growth, workforce and quality of life. The survey will be open for several weeks and close on December 6th. The survey can be found at

“We believe the key to the successful implementation of any economic development strategy is ensuring the community is engaged in every part of the process,” said Gray Swoope, President and CEO of VisionFirst Advisors. “We are excited to be working with the Madison County community to ensure we gather the voices, experiences and ideas from all parts of the county as we conduct our competitive economic development assessment.”

In addition to gathering local feedback both through the survey and in-person meetings, VisionFirst will compare Madison County to other similar counties as well as the nation using demographic research and outlining best practices in economic development activities.

Finally, VisionFirst will develop a comprehensive assessment to connect and direct all of Madison County’s economic development offerings and stakeholders into a single core purpose. The core purpose will provide a clear course of action, milestones and a means of knowing when Madison County has arrived at its destination. The overarching goals, strategies and tactics will build upon the community’s resources and infrastructure to strategically focus the county to grow jobs, support businesses and build a collaborative network to expand economic opportunity. The final assessment will be presented to the MCEDA Board of Directors in January 2017.


About Madison County Economic Development Authority:

Madison County Economic Development Authority's (MCEDA) mission is to assist our existing businesses and attract new investments and higher paying jobs to Madison County to increase the county’s tax base and improve the quality of life and economic wealth of its citizens. MCEDA accomplishes that mission by offerings a broad array of economic development, business development, and corporate site location assistance services to new and expanding businesses and industry. In 2015, MCEDA’s projects announced, initiated or completed accounted for more than $100 million in new investment and more than 1,635 new jobs.

For more information visit:

About VisionFirst Advisors:

After 30 years of leading public and private economic development organizations in three different states, Gray Swoope helped launch VisionFirst Advisors, LLC, an economic development consulting company focused on location advisory services, economic development strategy, organizational management and result-driven marketing and communications. VisionFirst is a wholly owned subsidiary of Butler Snow LLP with nearly 400 attorneys in 17 U.S. cities as well as international offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. This unique structure allows VisionFirst to utilize the strength of the Butler Snow network, combined with the staff’s experience, knowledge and business connections to deliver results. To learn more about VisionFirst visit




Ken Oilschlager, Interim Director
Madison County Economic Development Authority

News Releases

Musee Bath Expands in Madison County, Miss.

Jan 25, 2018

Musee Bath Expands in Madison County, Miss. Canton, Miss. (January 24, 2018) – The...

Editorial / A more magnificent 2018

Dec 29, 2017

Quote from the editorial- “Joey Deason, the new executive director of the Madison County...

Click here to go to the news archive