30 Aug 2020 Conway chamber, city seek input
In November 2009, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce launched a community-wide strategic planning process that led to the creation of the Conway2025 15-year plan.
Conway2025 is based on survey results from 1,400 residents who identified 12 focus areas from 43 options. More than 200 volunteers collectively held 50 meetings to determine the final 132 goals. These goals are spread across seven sectors: Keep Conway Active, Keep Conway Building, Keep Conway Creative, Keep Conway Learning, Keep Conway Moving, Keep Conway Safe, and Keep Conway Working.
The Conway City Council voted in April 2011 to make the Conway2025 plan the official “strategic vision for the City of Conway.” Since that time, many of the goals outlined in the plan have seen measurable progress.
The Chamber and a team of volunteers revisited the plan in 2015 to get a sample of the progress the community made from 2010-2014. Two-thirds of the goals requiring action had either been accomplished or showed progress. This progress demonstrated that Conway2025 has influenced the decisions of a number of Conway residents and public bodies.
For example, in the Keep Conway Active section, one of the goals states: “Conway has a variety of park products, including parks designed for special needs children, dog parks, recreational parks geared toward adults, and small neighborhood parks.” Braves Field, a baseball field and playground for special-needs individuals, was completed in 2014, and the PetSafe Conway Dog Park opened the following year.
One of the goals under Keep Conway Building states: “In 2025, there is a signature entrance feature to downtown at Oak and Van Ronkle streets.” The arch and fountain at Earl Rogers Plaza were completed in 2013.
In addition to updating the community on which of the Conway2025 goals had been achieved, the 2015 report that revisited the plan also detailed which goals showed little or no progress. The report recommended the community re-evaluate the goals that have seen little to no action and determine if they are still a priority.
It has now been a decade since the Conway2025 plan was launched and five years since the plan was revisited. Because the current plan is set to expire in five years, the Chamber and City of Conway are seeking public input to begin the process of creating a new strategic plan.
A link to a survey to gather public input is available at conwayarkansas.org/futureofconway and will be open until Sept. 25. The five-question survey takes approximately five minutes to complete. The first question asks respondents to select from 36 broad focus areas which topics should be included in a strategic plan for Conway. There is also an open response section to submit a topic not listed.
From there, respondents are asked to rank the top five topics that are most important to them. The final questions give residents an opportunity to volunteer to participate in the strategic planning process as a committee member.
The Chamber has named a steering committee to help lead the volunteer committees and guide the creation of the plan after public input is gathered. The 13 steering committee members include Judge Troy Braswell, Dr. Hira Cheema Imad, Terry Coddington, Crystal Floyd, Gilberto Garcia, Carl Harris, Maria Kramer, Ray Kordsmeier, Claudia McDivitt, Denise Perry, Jim Rankin Jr., Lisette Washispack and Amy Whitehead.
Those who would like a printed copy of the survey can request one by calling the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce at 501.327.7788.