A position formerly held by Chip Mills, MacArthur says she understands there are expectations, but she is prepared to accept the challenge. "I'm really excited for the opportunity," MacArthur says. "I think Zachary has all the right building blocks, and I'm looking forward to being part of such a dynamic community and great group of people."
MacArthur moved to Louisiana for the first time in 2006 from Mississippi, where she was an economic development research and project manager after completing her master’s degree in economic development from the University of Southern Mississippi. She spent the next five years with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber working in business development, where she researched and crafted strategies for target industry development, determined return on investment for the area, and was part of the team that facilitated business expansion in the capitol region.
In 2011, MacArthur's excitement for working with start-ups and business attraction drew her to Myrtle Beach, where she was put in charge of marketing and existing industry. "It was my job to convince companies that Myrtle Beach was a great place to visit, as well as a great place to operate and sustain a business," MacArthur said.
When she worked for BRAC, she consistently featured Zachary. "Zachary is an ideal community to relocate employees and executives to," MacArthur said. "It has lots of appeal, and I always knew it would be a great place to live, so when I got the offer, I knew this was the right opportunity for me."
MacArthur says the good thing about Zachary, besides its schools, is that the Chamber, along with the City and its leaders, are all on the same page. "Most communities have an economic development focus, but they tend to let other issues get in the way and cannot put the focus back on economic development," she said.
Besides settling in to her new job at the Chamber and seeing her 4-year-old daughter, Savannah, off to school for the very first time at Zachary's Early LearningCenter, MacArthur is beginning her initial economic development strategy.
"Over the next 60 days, I will be implementing a two-part plan that first calls for assessing where we are by meeting with community members and the mayor to determine Zachary's economic development growth in both the state and the region," MacArthur said.
Secondly, she says she will use the market assessment to put together an economic development plan, though it may be an informal one.
"I look forward to using the Smart Plus tool a lot," she said. "And I think that's the whole point, to have a concerted marketing effort."
MacArthur added that there is a lot of interest in Zachary, and she's excited about its opportunities. "It's good that everyone here who is involved with economic development is on the same page," she said. "It speaks volumes about how much people care about their community."