Pataskala will look back to the future in April when the Pataskala Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors, funds and hosts a business-visioning program.

Pataskala will look back to the future in April when the Pataskala Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors, funds and hosts a business-visioning program.

"This visioning exercise will be much like the ones we did in 2007 and 2008 and will provide an opportunity to update what came from those visioning efforts," Pataskala Mayor Steve Butcher said.

He said local and regional leaders used the results of these exercises for both planning and action.

"Many of these same items identified then have been addressed, which caused the need for this update," Butcher said.

The chamber has contracted to use professional facilitator Kordell Norton, who led previous exercises.

"He proved entertaining and did a great job while keeping us on task," Butcher said.

Norton is a Twinsburg-based business growth expert experienced in marketing and brand consulting, sales and strategic planning. He said that several years ago he held a discussion with a roomful of Pataskala and Licking County government and business leaders to discuss the region's past, present and future. His job was to write down people's ideas for all to see and then encourage attendees to discuss them.

"I'd assume we'd do the same thing again," he said.

Norton said he's hosted similar programs locally in Reynoldsburg, New Albany and Gahanna.

"It's about getting people talking to each other, discussing and sharing concerns," he said.

Norton isn't sure what will be discussed specifically because he relies on local people to bring their concerns to him.

His goal is to quickly encourage those attending his program to talk about those concerns among themselves and create new ideas based upon the discussion.

"It's a lot of fun," Norton said.

Butcher said the focus of this visioning session will be western Licking County. It will take place from 3:30 to 5:45 p.m. on April 25 at the COTC building at Broad Street and Taylor Road.

Butcher said the session will have a bonus.

"I have asked (Pataskala city administrator) Tim Boland to arrange a presentation by Columbus2020 for 2:50 p.m. for that same day at COTC so that anyone not familiar with the Columbus2020 process can get up to speed," Butcher said.

Boland said he invited Columbus Chamber of Commerce client solutions officer Chris Strayer to discuss Columbus2020 and present a general overview of regional economic development.

Boland said he'd have more details in the coming weeks. Registration forms will be available in late March.