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News & Press: Chair's Column

Get in the Game

Wednesday, June 7, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Anna Chafin
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Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

Have you ever heard this expression?  Or maybe, “Get your head in the game?”  In order to be successful, we need to focus on those things that are important.  Georgia has been ranked as the # 1 Business Climate in the Nation by being in the game and by having our collective heads in the game.  I mention these sayings because it applies to each and every one of us in this business of economic development.

Another way this might be expressed would be to get involved.  My involvement in GEDA began many years ago by someone encouraging me to become active in this great organizationThe position of Chairman that I hold today began when Peggy Jolley asked me to Chair the Special Service Awards Committee over ten years ago.  Not everyone who gets involved in GEDA will become the Chairperson, but it is possible, and your involvement will allow GEDA to become a better organization. 

There are many ways to become engaged in GEDA.  The GEDA Nominating Committee meets this month on June 19th.  Chaired by our Past, Past Chair, Tim Evans, this nine –member group will recommend four board members and a Secretary-Treasurer to be elected to serve in the upcoming calendar year.  You have an opportunity to suggest individuals to be considered for these positions.  A form is available online, which you can access by clicking HERE.

Another great way to get in the game is through Public Policy.  Earlier this year, your board approved a new five-year strategic plan for GEDA.  In the area of Public Policy we adopted a new statement:  “GEDA will influence public policy through proactive education.”  Formerly we stated that our role is to “educate, not advocate.”  This slight change provides a glimpse into the board, and even the general membership (meaning you) that we need to be more focused on efforts to shape public policy in Georgia.  Over the next few months, we plan to finalize our Public Policy agenda for the upcoming year.

How can you be involved?  Let us hear from you about your thoughts and ideas.  Contact a GEDA Board Member, Committee or Shared Interest Group Chair, the GEDA officers, including me, or our President, Kevin Shea.  A great way to become engaged is to contact your legislators.  Let them hear from you, share your interests and concerns about economic development in our great State, whether they be talent development, taxes, transportation, incentives or the independence and integrity of Development Authorities.  If you don’t know your legislator, call them and begin a relationship today!  In a breakout session on Public Policy 101 at the recent Spring Workshop (which was fabulous, by the way… thanks Jonathan Sangster!), Marisa (Marsay) Simpson, Director Community Relations and Economic Development, Atlanta Gas Light, shared how working in this arena is like sports.  As a former football player, Marsay said that the hard work, “the heavy-lifting,” is done in the off-season, in order to be in the best shape for the regular season. The same is true in Public Policy… most of the preparation is done in the off-season of the General Assembly; in other words, now.  GEDA can do its work as an organization, but it can’t do it without your involvement and support.

Other ways to get involved are to join a Committee or SIG.  It is easy, just go online and sign-up, or call a Committee / SIG Chair and ask to be included on the committee/sig.  Attend the monthly meetings, Spring Workshops and Annual Conferences.  If you don’t have the funds, there are scholarship grants available through the Professional Development Committee.  Other avenues of action are to write an article for the newsletter, or just read it, at least.  Update your profile on the website.  Sponsor an event… there are plenty of opportunities. 

Take time, or make time to get involved in GEDA!  Your more active involvement will make our organization stronger and better than it already is.  We have a superb statewide economic development organization and we can only get better through your engagement.  An old ball-coach once said: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”  - Vince Lombardi

Get in the game / get your head in the game and help keep Georgia at the top of the pack as the # 1 State to do business in the United States of America!

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