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News & Press: Chair's Column

GEDA – Lite

Thursday, August 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Anna Chafin
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Summer is a time of vacations and possibly a bit slower pace of life due to the warmer weather.  GEDA, as you know does not have an official meeting during the month of July, so even our organization experiences a bit of a slower pace during this time of year.  You might even call it a bit of “GEDA-Lite.”

Even though we do not have an official GEDA lunch, there are opportunities for smaller regional meetings throughout the state.  Rope Roberts, community & economic development manager for Northeast Georgia for Georgia Power, hosted the 10th Good News Gathering for Northeast Georgia.  Rope started the event in the depths of the recession when there was a dearth of good news to allow his region to be uplifted with some “good news.”  Over 110 people attended this Good News Gathering on Monday, July 17th at Chateau Elan that was sponsored by AT&T, Georgia Power, Pattillo Construction Corp., Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, RAI Industrial Fabricators LLC and Rooker Construction.  

Another regional meeting was held on July 7th in region four at Kyle Fletcher’s cabin.  Kyle is Executive Director, Thomaston-Upson IDA and GEDA Chair, Rural Development SIG. Northwest Georgia held its second annual regional meeting, hosted by Elyse Cochran-Davis, community & economic development manager for Northwest Georgia for Georgia Power at the Northwestern Technical College in Calhoun on Wednesday, July 19th.  Sponsors included Georgia Power, JM Williams Contractors and Williams & Associates.  The format of these meetings was to have community representatives share about several items in their areas. 

Andrea Taylor, president, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber and Development Authority, served as host along with Georgia Power, for the Region 11 meeting of GACCE/GEDA on Monday, July 17th in The Atrium Event Center.  Dorie Bacon, executive director, Screven County Development Authority, provided the program.

Coastal Georgia was not to be outdone and held its regional meeting at the Richmond Hill City Center on Thursday, July 27th.  This regional meeting was co-sponsored by GEDA and Jason Coley, community and economic development manager, Georgia Power, for Coastal Georgia.  A number of state and regional project managers and directors from the Georgia Department of Economic Development were able to attend, in concert with a regional tour of Coastal Georgia. 

We are getting back in the groove with school starting in August, along with the GEDA monthly luncheon on Monday, August 14th at the Crowne Plaza Midtown Atlanta Hotel.  The program will be on Placemaking, with Ethan Kent, senior vice president, Places for Public Spaces; Andrea Taylor, president, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber and Development Authority and Jerald Mitchell, director of economic development, Atlanta Beltline as panelists and Jessica Hood, executive director, Development Authority of Burke County, serving as moderator. 

Additionally, GEDA is considering a more aggressive Public Policy initiative.  The Executive Committee and several members of the Public Policy Committee have met to discuss details of such a new venture. The participants decided to follow up with a Request for Proposal (RFP).  The idea is to have a proposal to present to the GEDA board and membership at the September Annual Conference at the Hyatt in Savannah.

Speaking of Public Policy, make sure that you are aware of upcoming legislative study committee meetings.  There have been a number of these meetings held already, including ones on Rural Development and Special Tax Exemptions. Here is the link to the meetings that we feel might be of interest to you, our members. 

Lastly, make plans to attend the GEDA Annual Conference in Savannah on September 20-22 at the Hyatt Regency.  Pat Merritt, vice president, Community and Economic Development, Georgia EMC and GEDA Second Second Vice Chair and 2017 Annual Conference Chair has put together a super program on “Georgia:  The State of Momentum,” with emphasis on Collaboration, Education, Motivation, Innovation and Elevation.

GEDA has had a “Lite” period during this summer, but we are getting ready to enter back into our normal busy, hectic and productive state of affairs.  Thank you, our members, for your involvement and support!  We are a better organization because of you.  Continue to push us to be a better organization for you.  And, as always, let us know if there is ever anything that we can do to make your member experience a better one.

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