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News & Press: Chair's Column

Economic Development is a Team Sport

Friday, May 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Anna Chafin
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You've probably heard this phrase before, especially if you have been in Georgia for any length of time. I feel this is a true statement and a realistic expression of the economic development efforts in Georgia. We have heard from some of our colleagues that this is the case and that other states don't do economic development in nearly a coordinated fashion as Georgia.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of representing GEDA on the Red Carpet Tour (RCT). It was a wonderful experience to represent all of you as members of our great organization. Several of our members were state hosts on the tour with me, including some of our GEDA board members, including Pat Merritt, Pat Wilson, Tom Croteau and Daniel Jackson. For those of you not familiar with the RCT, it is a visit to Georgia for business executives and consultants to include a couple of days at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta. The RCT usually kicks off on Wednesday evening with a dinner at the Governor's mansion, but unfortunately, this was canceled this year due to inclement weather that delayed a number of our guests' planes. We had a very good group of about 30 guests this year. Some of these guests represent active projects and others are potential projects, yet to happen.

The RCT is sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and is assisted by the Georgia Allies (a statewide group of private-sector businesses and organizations that market Georgia), in conjunction with local participants, such as the Augusta Chamber of Commerce and regional partners, who hosted us on Thursday and Saturday at the Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters, as well as the Athens area and their regional partners, who hosted us on Friday. The RCT is a great example of our Team Georgia working like a well-oiled machine. It has been going on since 1960 and is one of the most envied special economic development events in the country. The RCT has generated more than tens of billions in investments for the state, and tens of thousands of jobs have been created through the expansion or growth of Tour guest companies.

It is a fun, though grueling at times, four-day event. In spite of a bout with pink eye and a nagging blister from the new shoes I should not have worn on the Thursday of the Masters, I was able to make it through the week in fine fashion. I think Georgia's economic development is in great shape. Led by our Governor Nathan Deal, our Legislators and all of Team Georgia, it is no wonder that Georgia has been ranked as the # 1 state in the nation in which to do business.

Speaking of a team effort, thank you to those of you who are planning to join us at the Spring Workshop (SW) in three weeks at the Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge & Conference Center in Buford. There is still time to register for those of you who haven't done so yet.  Please click HERE to register today. Jonathan Sangster, this year's SW Conference Chair, GEDA's Secretary-Treasurer and Georgia Power's General Manager of Economic Development, has put together a great program of education, networking and fun. Hope that you can join us.

Thanks to all of you who participate in economic development and for working to make Georgia such a great state to do business. Thank you for your membership, support and involvement in GEDA.

Sincerely yours,

Anna Chafin

GEDA 2017 Chair


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