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Social Media Club Louisville Expands Mission, Changes Name

Social Media Club Louisville Expands Mission, Changes Name

At our December gathering tonight, president Jay Garmon unveiled a new name and direction for Social Media Club Louisville. Welcome to the first post from the Louisville Digital Association, a rebranded and refocused effort of the former Social Media Club Louisville that is focused on growing the digital economy in Louisville and the region.

As you know, we added new board of directors member and elected new officers in October. In that month's board meeting, we began to plan for this new focus, which will call upon you as well as us, to help foster a more welcoming environment for technology companies, startups, investors, engineers, students and more in the Louisville community. We are not moving away from social media, but rather widening our focus to include a broader spectrum of the digital world and help cultivate our technology and digital ecosystem moving forward.

Please review tonight's brief presentation to better understand our direction and thinking behind it:

Garmon summed up the reason behind our move nicely when he opened his remarks with this:

“I want to live in Louisville. I want to work in the digital space. Let’s make doing both easier.”

As part of its expanded mission, the Louisville Digital Association has formed four specific action committees to address key areas of development.

The LDA Publications Committee is headed by Garmon, CBS Interactive’s Jason Hiner and Doe Anderson’s David Finch. It will operate the group’s blog and email newsletters, and will serve to publicize key digital industry events, trends and tactics from a Louisville perspective.

The LDA Events Committee is headed by me and HealthCentral’s Chris Hall. It will plan and promote the lectures and guest panels offered by the LDA. As was the case under the Social Media Club masthead, these events will continue to feature some of the most prominent and well respected figures in the technology industry.

The LDA Education Committee is headed by Jason Loehr of the agency Mad*Pow, Humana’s Elle Waters, and Consuming Louisville’s Michelle Jones. It will conduct instructional seminars and bootcamps for LDA members and professionals in the region, with the goal of fostering more and better digital innovation in and around greater Louisville.

The LDA Membership Committee is headed by Jim McDonnell of Papa John’s and Nick Huhn of local startup Keepio. It will oversee the interpersonal networking opportunities for LDA members, with the ultimate goal of fostering connections that lead to the creation of more local digital startups and the local placement of more digital professionals.

The collective goal of these committees — and the Louisville Digital Association as a whole — is to grow the digital economy in and around Louisville. That’s means getting more existing businesses involved in the digital space, attracting more tech-oriented jobs to the region, fostering stronger educational efforts for the changing technology economy from our local universities and encouraging the formation of more local technology startups.

As expected, those in attendance were quick to not only offer suggestions, connection points and volunteer to serve on committees for the new organization. We know we have challenges ahead of us in bridging positive relationships with Greater Louisville Inc., Mayor-elect Fischer and Metro Council, the local investment community and other digital economy related groups, clubs and associations. Our goal is to help anyone whose job touches the digital world grow and grow here. We're confident that our mission will be compelling to these and other stakeholders and we can continue to serve you and them to make Louisville a more vibrant technology community.

We will accomplish none of these objectives without your help. We'd love you to be involved in a committee or to offer your reaction, feedback and input to our new direction. Again, social media won't be lost in this. We will still evangelize, educate and discuss social media. But we feel we have a greater contribution to make to the Louisville and Southern Indiana region. We hope you'll help us do that.

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