Three new members of Regional Economic Development Inc.’s board of directors were introduced Tuesday as the group held its annual investors meeting.
Quaker Oats manufacturing manager Rick Allio, Hallsville City Clerk Cheri Reisch and Columbia Insurance Group CEO Bob Wagner join the 13-member board of the quasi-public organization that tries to further local economic development.
“They’re a lot of capable folks with a lot of talent,” said Roger Clark, REDI’s outgoing chairman.
Allio and Reisch were elected by businesses in REDI, and Wagner was selected by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Members serve three-year terms and may serve two terms. New members’ terms begin Oct. 1.
REDI is also getting four new officers. George Carney will become REDI’s new chairman, Bob Black will be the new treasurer, Jacquelyn Jones will be the new secretary, and Paul Land will be the new vice chairman.
Members discussed Discovery Ridge, a joint effort between REDI and MU’s College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, to bring life sciences companies to Columbia. The research park is at MU’s South Farms, about three miles south of Columbia.
“Discovery Ridge is really the culmination of a lot of work done by REDI, by the university, by the county,” Clark said.
Analytical Biochemistry Labs, a pharmaceutical research and development company, recently agreed to move its regional headquarters to Discovery Ridge.
Scott Ward, senior vice president and chief administration officer at ABC Labs, said moving to the research park makes sense for the company.
“This will be great for both meeting clients and retention and recruiting of employees,” he said.
Clark said when companies like ABC Labs move to Discovery Ridge, Columbia benefits.
“It’s going to be a lot of good economic development for the city of Columbia,” Clark said.