During the March 2018 meeting of the Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development's Board of Directors, the group unanimously voted to change its name to Grow Hays.

The change in name to Grow Hays is one of several changes associated with the organization's ongoing evolution and rebranding effort.

Long known for its efforts to promote a robust local economy through business creation, retention/expansion and recruitment, Grow Hays has offered support toward numerous community successes. A few recent projects include the arrival of Hobby Lobby, a soon to be constructed convention center, development of innovative job training initiatives, and BriefSpace, a co-working space.

Grow Hays manages and will relocate to BriefSpace in early July. BriefSpace, located at 219 West 10th Street in Downtown Hays, is a shared working environment for work at home professionals, start-up entrepreneurs and traveling business owners/employees and consultants.

Grow Hays also reduced the size of its governing board from 23 to 13 members, with the stipulation that the communities of Ellis, Hays and Victoria will be represented by at least one voting member.

2018 board members include Ron Fields, Joannah Applequist, Lance Bickle, Joseph Boeckner, Les Brown, Karen Dreiling, Eddie Herrman, Mary Martin, Bob Muirhead, Deron O'Connor, Doug Williams, interim director, and Mike Downing (Ellis representative). The Victoria representative seat is currently vacant and the group continues to seek applications for the remaining position.

“Grow Hays is dedicated to promoting economic growth in Ellis County. The re-branding, new board of directors and BriefSpace co-working project are examples of how we are working towards our mission of business creation, retention/expansion and recruitment,” Williams said.

For more information, call Williams at (785) 650-7901 or Ernee Sly, office manager, at (785) 628-3102.