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Member News June 2015
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GEDA Member News--June 2015


David Garriga - Mr. David Louis Garriga, 67, of Americus, Georgia, passed away Sunday, May 24, 2015, at home after a lengthy illness.  David was married to Rhonda Gail Geiger-Garriga, who works with the Georgia Department of Economic Development as a Regional Representative in Southwest Georgia, Region 10.  David was a longtime member of GEDA and former board member, and was a Certified Economic Developer.  He retired as Executive Director of the Americus-Sumter County Payroll Development Authority in March, 2013.  He also served as the President of the Americus-Sumter County Chamber of Commerce. Click HERE for the link to David’s obituary.


Wllie Paulk will be retiring on June 30 after serving 24 years as the President of the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber and Development Authority.  Willie has been very active with GEDA.  She was our 39th President (now Chair) in 2002 and was the 2004 recipient of the Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence.  Willie also worked at the Chambers of Commerce in Adel and Cairo.  She has been the Laurens County Woman of the Year; on Georgia Trend’s “100 Most Influential Georgians;” President of GACCE; has a book written about her, “Now What Is It That You Do? Willie Paulk & The Art of Economic Development.”

Jim Lenahan, Principal at Lenahan.Biz, is relocating to Chicago, Illinois to join his wife, Betsy, who has taken on a larger role with the YMCA USA.  Jim is a longtime member of GEDA, having served in many capacities as board member, committee chair and most recently as Co-Chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee.  He has worked with Leo Daly, Sunbelt International and others.  Jim served twelve years with GDEcD as a Senior Project Manager.  He most recently represented Williams Companies.  Jim also served on the Georgia Downtown Association Board of Directors as a representative from GEDA.

Brian Williamson, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Department of Community Affairs is retiring after a long career.  He is a longtime member of GEDA and he was recognized by Commissioner Camila Knowles of DCA at the GEDA Spring Workshop in Callaway Gardens.  In his position, Brian oversees DCA’s community and economic development finance, redevelopment, job tax credit and local government assistance programs.  Brian has over 28 years of experience in the development and oversight of community and economic development.  Brian is  certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council.

Susie Haggard, Senior Project Manager, GDEcD, Region 5, recently announced her retirement.  Susie has 13 years of experience in project management with the Department.  She has also worked with many Fortune 500 companies and has served as Director of Business and Industry Service with the Athens Technical College.



Congratulations to three new Certified Economic Developers (CEcD): Odessa Archibald, Senior Economic Development Representative, Georgia Power Company; Dorie Bacon, Executive Director, Screven County Development Authority; & Kenwin Hayes, Executive Director, Griffin Downtown Development Authority!  These members have passed the rigorous Certified Economic Developer exam, which tests a practitioner’s broad-based knowledge in the economic development field.  This CEcD designation is offered through IEDC (International Economic Development Council).  Rather than testing individuals on their specialties, the CEcD test is intended to unite the field of economic development and establish a baseline of what is considered the core body of knowledge for economic developers.

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