For its annual membership meeting, the Leavenworth County Development Corporation returned to its roots Friday.

For its annual membership meeting, the Leavenworth County Development Corporation returned to its roots Friday.

The guest speaker for the annual meeting was William Martin. Martin served as the first executive director of Leavenworth Area Development, which is now the Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

“I always tell people that I spent five years in Leavenworth,” Martin said.

That is the amount of time he served at the helm of LAD.

He joined the then new LAD in 1981. He remarked Friday about the progress that has been made since the nonprofit economic development organization was started.

“I am so proud of what has happened here in the last 37 years,” he said.

Martin praised, Steve Jack, the current executive director of LCDC.

“He is one slick salesman,” Martin said.

Martin said Jack is a salesman who also can follow through.

Martin also offered tips about economic development. Martin, who is now retired, worked in the field of economic development for 40 years.

During the meeting, David Schroeder, president of LCDC's Board of Directors, reviewed the organization's successes of the past year. He said LCDC facilitated the creation and retention of 112 jobs in 2017 and capital investment of $22.4 million.

After the meeting, Schroeder said he believes LCDC is well positioned for 2018. He said a big focus of the organization will be the marketing of two new industrial parks in Leavenworth and Tonganoxie.

The city of Basehor did not renew its financial participation in LCDC this year. Schroeder said this is unfortunate because LCDC has always tried to be a united front. He said LCDC will work on bringing Basehor back to the organization.

Other cities in Leavenworth County and the county government continue to support LCDC. The organization also receives support through private sector membership.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR