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News & Press: Chair's Column

Making a Difference

Monday, January 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Missy Kendrick
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Georgia Trend’s January 2018 edition, which includes the most influential Georgians, landed on my desk last week and I was so proud to see three of GEDA’s board members, and an ex officio board member among those considered as key influencers.  Congratulations to Tom Croteau, Andrea Schruijer, Trip Tollison and Pat Wilson!  Congratulations, also, to the numerous other GEDA members included in the Top 100 or as Notable Mentions such as Brian Anderson, Gretchen Corbin and Jeff Mullis, just to name a few.  If your name did not make the list, rest assured in the knowledge that economic developers do not have to be from a major metropolitan area to know that you have a major influence.  If each of our communities – large or small – chose the top most influential people, then you would find economic developers sprinkled throughout. 

This influence is what we hope to bring to bear on economic development issues this year at the state level.  Your voice matters, and your influence is important.  Cornerstone, our new lobbying firm, will be working with GEDA leadership and Dan McRae - Chair of the Public Policy Committee - to provide our legislators with the information and resources they need to make informed decisions and act when necessary.  If influencing public policy interests you, then I encourage you to join the Public Policy Committee. 

Other committees and special interest groups are also available for you to get involved and make a difference, so visit our website at and read about the different areas of engagement.  Many of the committee meetings are held electronically, so do not let your location deter you from joining and getting the full benefit of GEDA membership.  Additionally, do not let budget constraints be a reason to not participate.  We have money every year that is not used from our scholarship fund, and every year we try to think of different ways to make the money more available.  If you are from a community that financially supports your economic development efforts, then think about your surrounding counties and let them know of the opportunities for financial assistance.  We know that Georgia is the best state in which to do business, but we can only stay that way if we are all performing to the best of our ability, including the most rural areas within the state. 

I look forward to continuing the work of our previous Chair, Anna Chafin, and all of those who came before me.  I am honored to be representing our great organization this year, and will be working with each of you to strengthen our impact and help GEDA remain the best statewide economic development organization in the country!  Happy New Year!

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