‘It’s going to be a rosy picture’

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

‘It’s going to be a rosy picture’“We are just starting to paint the picture. We are putting on the background color now, and as we move forward and begin to exploit opportunities, we will begin to paint in the details. But it is going to be a rosy picture.”

The hundreds who gathered Thursday for the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce’s annual IWV Economic Outlook Conference heard this optimistic assessment from keynote speaker Scott O’Neil, who outlined the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Just weeks after taking over as executive director of IWV Economic Development Corp. and China Lake Alliance, O’Neil assimilated input from leaders in virtually every aspect of the community to help define a vision for where we should be headed as a valley.

“I am trying to identify some opportunity and review what others are doing in the community in terms of growth and expansion — not to take credit for their work, but to put together a holistic picture.”

O’Neil echoed similarly optimistic sentiments from leaders in health care, real estate and the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, as well as locally elected officials, who also addressed the crowd during the conference.

More detailed reporting of the conference will follow in future editions of the News Review.

Pictured: Keynote speaker Scott?O’Neil delivers an information-packed report on the assets, challenges and opportunities ahead for the Indian Wells Valley. -- Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2017-02-24