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GEDA April 2018 Luncheon
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Registration for this event is now closed. We will be accepting walk-up registrations on a first come first serve basis. Seating is limited for this event.

When: April 16, 2018
11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Where: Yanmar EVO Center
5889 Old Alabama Road
Cherokee County
Acworth, Georgia  30102
United States
Contact: Kelly McLendon

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Registration for this event is now closed.  We will be accepting walk-up registrations on a first come first serve basis.  Seating is limited for this event.

GEDA April 2018 Luncheon

About Our Location

The YANMAR EVO//CENTER was created to help empower the YANMAR global mission of creating a sustainable future.

Opened in the Fall of 2017, the EVO//CENTER is a 50,000+ sq. ft. facility featuring a product showroom/museum, a 300 person auditorium, a state-of-the-art training academy, private meeting and event space, outdoor common areas, a product demonstration field, and more.

The facility also supports the local community with an active calendar of events focused on empowering sustainability.


To learn more click HERE.


Corporate Tourism & Training Centers

Panelists include:
  • Elyse Davis, Georgia Power Company, Northwest Georgia Community & Economic Development Manager - As Georgia Power’s community and economic development manager in the Northwest Region, Elyse assists local communities with existing business expansions, new company locations, leadership development, and job creation strategies.   Elyse joined the Georgia Power team in 2014 after serving as a local community and economic development practitioner for more than 20-years.   She served as President/CEO of chambers of commerce and economic development organizations in Georgia and North Carolina and in those positions helped local community leaders create/retain thousands of jobs. Elyse is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, where she chairs the 2018 Non-Traditional Economic Development Special Interest Group; Southeastern Economic Development Council, International Economic Development Corporation, and American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association.  She became a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) in 2004.   She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute, Center for Leadership Development, Leadership Georgia (1996), Leadership North Carolina (2003) and numerous local leadership development programs.  She holds an Associate in Science in Business degree from Shorter University.  A native of Polk County, Georgia, Elyse currently lives in Bartow County with her husband Bill.   She enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as archery hunting, cooking, and collecting pottery.
  • Misti Martin, Cherokee Office of Economic Development - Misti Martin is a native of Canton, Georgia and has been in the Chamber and Economic Development field since 1991.  In February 2004, she was named as President of the Development Authority of Cherokee County, now known as the Cherokee Office of Economic Development. Martin worked for the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce & Development Authority and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.  She served as President & CEO of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce in Covington, Georgia from 1998-2004 before returning to Cherokee.  Ms. Martin received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management from the University of Georgia and earned her MBA from Troy University.  She is also a graduate of University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (EDI) as well as the University of Georgia’s Institute for Organization Management.  Misti became a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council in 2000 and is a 2005 Graduate of Leadership Georgia.  She was featured as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2011 and as a “Notable Georgian” in 2012 and 2013. Martin has held numerous positions on state boards for Chamber and Economic Development organizations and served as Chairman of the Board of the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) in 2012. 
    Misti is married with three sons.
  • Arne Irwin, Division Manager, Yanmar America Corporation - Over the past 4 years, Arne Irwin has led the turnaround of the Energy Systems business unit;  revising strategy and leading his team to execute tactics across multiple business functions, including engineering, service, sales, marketing and supply chain.  Prior to YANMAR America,  he progressively worked in a number of management roles, the most recent being with Brunswick, Mercury Marine – Fond du Lac, WI, where he served in a variety of positions ranging from Director of Strategic OEM Sales to Business Development Manager.  Arne has also led sales teams and excelled as an individual contributor while working for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., MCI and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. He also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.  During his career, Arne has been recognized as a strategic thinker and collaborative leader who effectively communicates and engages clients, co-workers and senior management to move opportunities through the sales process and accomplish objectives. 
  • Tim Miller, Sr. Manager, Learning & Development, EVO//Center, Yanmar America Corporation - Tim Miller joined YANMAR America just over one year ago.  Upon arrival he was the YANMAR project manager for the construction of the EVO//CENTER in which we are meeting today, which has won two construction industry awards this year.  He also began developing the training efforts of YANMAR America, with global influence, and began their events and community outreach program.  Tim is a native Georgian and is a fifth generation farmer.  He has 30 years of experience in the equipment industry, with the majority of that time in the area of Learning & Development.  In fact, he has led teams in two previous companies to win multiple, global learning industry awards.  His history includes Komatsu, AGCO, and Kubota.  The YANMAR Academy is the fourth learning department which Tim has started from grass roots. With a strong belief in personal growth and leadership Tim has chaired and serves on the GA FFA Foundation Board, UGA’s Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry Advisory Board, and the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Alumni Board. 
  • Janet CochranJanet Cochran, Georgia Department of Economic Development Region 1 Director - Janet Cochran has worked in the tourism industry since 1995 following a varied background of civic, educational and retail experience.  She began her career at the NorthWest Georgia Trade and Convention Center before moving into the role of Executive Director of the Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau.  During her tenure at the CVB, Janet also held several leadership positions with the Historic High Country Travel Association including President of the 17-county tourism marketing organization.  In 2006, Janet assumed a position with the Georgia Department of Economic Development where she now works as a Regional Tourism Project Manager for 17 counties of NW GA.  She also manages the Regional Tourism Project Manager program in GDEcD’s Tourism Division.  Janet graduated from Lee College in Cleveland, TN, with a B.A. in Communication.  She is also a graduate of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College, Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Tourism Management and Development Institute at the State University of West Georgia, and Leadership Dalton-Whitfield.  Janet resides in Tunnel Hill, GA, with her husband Hubert.



Parking is free of charge at the facility

April 2018 Event Pricing


Early Registration Regular Registration Late Registration
Dates Until 03/31/2018 04/01/2018- 04/10/2018 04/11/2018-04/16/2018
Member Pricing $40.00 $45.00 $50.00
Non-member Pricing $55.00 $60.00 $65.00


Tables (10 seats per table) are available as part of registration as well for $400 per table.  If you purchase a table please provide a list of who will be at your table to Kelly McLendon via email at


·         A registrant who does not submit a written cancellation, or attend the luncheon, is considered a "No Show.”  No-Shows are not eligible for refunds or credits, and are still liable for outstanding balances.  Those who are ill and have a doctor’s excuse or a death in the family will be excused.

·         Substitutions will be accepted at any time.

·         There will be no refunds or credits for cancellations after the close of business (5 p.m.) on seven days prior the event.

·         All cancellation requests must be received in writing (email or hard copy) and must be received by the stated cancellation deadline.

·         Refund requests must include the name of the attendee.

·         When possible, refunds will be credited back to the original credit card used for payment.

·         For those who have registered and choose the bill me or pay by check option you are still subject to the refund policy.


Thank you to our sponsor:

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75 Fifth St., NW, Suite 1200
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 962-4110 or (404) 962-4109