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Our Annual Conference was a great opportunity for learning and networking thanks to the more than 425 attendees and nearly 30 sponsors. GEDA’s 2014 Annual Conference theme “Gateway to Greatness” provided a memorable venue for GEDA members to congregate at the Hyatt Regency Savannah. We heard from outstanding and insightful speakers, such as Captain Alan Price of Falcon Leadership (Leadership in Times of Crisis); Dr. Roger Tutterow, Economist with Kennesaw State University (Where Are We Headed?); and Dr. Charles Bullock, Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia (The 2014 Campaign Trail).
Other significant programs included panel discussions by the ever-appreciated Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Directors (Annie Baxter, Mary Ellen McClanahan, Jennifer Nelson, and Amanda Shailendra) moderated by Pat Topping of the Macon Economic Development Commission; Georgia’s Workforce Advantage (Jamie Jordan, Kristin Laarhoven, and Brett Lacy of GDEcD Workforce Division); and Reshoring Opportunities Ahead (Alan Barfoot of Georgia Tech, Gary Bruce of PartnerTechAtlanta, Ashley Googe of McPherson Manufacturing, and John Scott of Brunswick-Glynn Development Authority).
The final, final Farewell Tour of the GEDA All Star Band, with our own GEDA members (Annie Baxter, Charlie Gatlin, David Luckie, Scott McMurray, and Bob White) performing provided a fun evening finale. Additionally, many of our members enjoyed playing golf at The Westin Harbor Golf Resort. We are very appreciative to Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. for hosting a group of GEDA aeronautic aficionados for a tour of its headquarters facility.
Thanks to our Platinum Sponsor, the Southeast Georgia Joint Development Authority, for your support! Click here to see our sponsors. Thanks to Greg Wright, President of the Coweta County Development Authority and Second Vice President of GEDA, for his tireless work in putting together the conference. Also, thanks to his right-hand woman, Brenda Washington, for keeping Greg straight—before, during and after the conference.
Other special thanks go to Ricky McGee for his stellar performance in sponsorship development; Mary Ellen McClanahan of GDEcD and Mike Worley, retired from Georgia Power, for their good humor and wit while distributing the door prize money; Gina McKinney and Danetha Belk of GDEcD for their help with nametags, ribbons & registration; and our staff of Colleen Boudreaux and Karen Ewing for their constant assistance.
Additionally,GEDA held its Business Meeting during the Annual Conference. Misti Martin, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the committee’s recommendations, which were elected with a unanimous vote. Click here to read the full document.
Many thanks to Jim Finch, who served as interim president and helped us throughout the year, and Rebecca McGee and Colleen Beaudreaux, who helped us throughout the summer and annual conference. We remain very grateful for your assistance, energy, and patience during our transition period. Big welcome to Karen Ewing, who joins GEDA as Manager of Member Services.
Be sure to send us your new jobs, promotions, or retirements as well as any new business and expansion announcements from your companies and organizations. We want to share your good news!
Carrie Barnes, Georgia EMC
Christy Bozeman, Cordele-Crisp County IDC
Michael Buhler, Stantec
Chris Carr, GDEcD
Regina Carter, City of East Point
Stacey Chapman, Pieper O’Brien Herr Architects
Frank Charles, III, Charles Family Properties LLC
James Coughlin, Camden County JDA
Jennifer Dees, Town of Braselton
Valerie Alana Duvall, Greene County
Debbie Etheridge, Manchester Development Authority
Tammy Finley, O’Neal, Inc.
Ralph Forbes, Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co.
William Gardner, Sr., Chesterfield.llc
Philip Gibson, Georgia Quick Start
M.A. Hall, Pulaski County
Serra Phillips Hall, Newton County Chamber of Commerce
Christopher Heard, Yates Construction
William Hearn, CBRE
Henry Hobbs, Georgia Institute of Technology
Meredith Hodges, GasSouth
Sharron Kelly, APD Solutions
Chanreaksmey Kim, GPTC
Maurice Lake, Student, ABAC
Kelly Lane, Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Brad Lofton, Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority
John David McLean, City of Hiram
Jade Morey, Houston County Development Authority
Storm Mull, Cobb Chamber of Commerce
Kerry Norton, GDEcD
Lisa Olens, Georgia Power
Ricardo Palacios, Georgia Power
Michelle Pfeffer, Economic Development Authority of Claxton & Evans County
Erin Phillips, Effingham County IAD
Crawford Powell, Impact Developmental Group
Ronald Roberts, HNTB
Johnna Robinson, Georgia Power
Erin Rodgers, Georgia Power
Holly Rollins, O’Brien & Gere
Beth Sessoms, City of Marietta
Crissy Staley, Berrien County Chamber of Commerce & Development Authority
Sabrena Straton, Development Authority of Douglas County
Sheila Thomas, Darton State College
Chapman Walsh, APD Solutions
Philip Weatherly, GasSouth
Joseph Weatherspoon, GVRA
Vernon D. Welch, Welch Contracting Alliance, LLC
Jody Whitt, AKTPeerless
William Jason Tinsley