Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52Rick Danner Mayor Diversity is a key to economic development and enriching who we are as a community When I travel to a conference to meet with peers from across the country, the topic of discussion will in- evitably turn to one of two timely subjects: economic development and the benefits of having a diverse popu- lation. I welcome those discussions because Greer has the best of both worlds. BMW and Mitsubishi Polyester have long been industrial and corporate giants in our community. They have, along with the more recent addition of Inland Port Greer, drawn international suppliers to the city. Consider that BMW has 170 suppliers in North America and 40 of those are in South Carolina alone. Then narrow the group down to Greer. In 2016, we were thrilled to host announcements that Minghua USA, Inc. – a subsidiary of Jiangnan Mould & Plastic Technology Co., Ltd. of China – and Plastic Omnium of France would construct new manufacturing facilities in Greer’s Velocity Park. As the global market continues to make the world a smaller place and cultural difference are celebrated worldwide, nations are more comfortable expanding their business interests to other countries. We know that, as the City of Greer is a key hub in this new market, our City is being enriched by a diverse workforce and citizenry. Visit a local restaurant for lunch or dinner and you may hear three or four different languages during your meal. Our annual Greer Goes Global International Fes- tival offers an explosion of colorful attire and artwork from the far corners of the globe. City of Greer employees all undergo training on respecting diversity because we realize that a mosaic of people bring to the City a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values and beliefs – all assets to the groups with which they interact. Some people would define diversity as a commu- nity separated by nationalities, races, religions or gen- ders. Those same things that make us different provide an opportunity to learn and expand our thinking about how to accomplish even simple tasks. I believe the late American entrepreneur Malcolm Forbes captured one of the best definitions of diversity when he claimed it was simply “the art of thinking in- dependently together.” People with different backgrounds, skills, atti- tudes and experiences bring fresh ideas and perceptions to organizations and communities. What makes us different is more than our skin, hair color or ethnicity. What makes us different is a gift waiting to be opened and embraced, What makes us different makes us an economical- ly and culturally vibrant community prepared to lead the world in the 21st Century. “Diversity: The art of thinking independently together.” – Malcolm Forbes