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2012 UEDA Summit

Award of Excellence Winner

Jim Gann, center, pictured receiving his Community Connected Campus Award of Excellence at the 2012 University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Summit.

  Jim Gann and Dave Schmidt

Jimm Gann, Director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center and
Dave Schmidt, Director of BRIDG (Business Research and Information Development Group)

An innovative approach to a community and economic development project has been nationally recognized by the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) with the 2012 Award of Excellence.

The project, “Kemper Military School Redevelopment Project: Repurposing historic structures, maintaining community values,” facilitated by Boonville resident Jim Gann, director of technology business development at the University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship housed with the MU Small Business & Technology Development Center, was developed as an approach to use the 46-acre Kemper Military School campus, which closed in 2002.

Its loss cost the city of Boonville, Mo. its sole institution of higher education and hundreds of cadets as well as positions for instructors and administrative support staff. Through a series of planning sessions and meetings with educational administrators and city officials, a partnership was established through which State Fair Community College opened a new campus on the Kemper grounds in September 2012. The campus is expected to draw hundreds of students, many of whom will be local residents who no longer have to commute, and up to 50 part- or full-time jobs.

“Winning this prestigious award is a great honor,” said Max Summers, director of the MU Extension Business Development Program, the administrative home for the SBTDC and the University Center. “It speaks to the dedication, imagination and persistence of Jim, our organization, State Fair, the city of Boonville and other partners in growing Missouri’s economy by smart, sustainable means. This project is a model of effective redevelopment that can be replicated nationwide.”


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