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News & Press: Chair's Column

Happy New Year Message 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Welcome 2016! 

As we begin a new year, let me first thank you – my fellow GEDA members – for the confidence you have shown in electing me to serve as your chairman this year.  Having joined GEDA in 1996, I know how valuable GEDA is to economic development in the state, and my commitment to you is to do my part to help make our organization stronger and to help meet the ever-changing needs of our members.

You have elected an outstanding Executive Committee of Anna Chafin (Development Authority of Bryan County), Missy Kendrick (Barnesville-Lamar County Industrial Development Authority) Brian Dill (Georgia Department of Community Affairs), and Tim Evans (Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce) to help lead the organization.

We also have an all-star team of directors to provide direction for the organization.  Serving this year are:  Dorie Bacon (Screven County Development Authority), Tom Croteau (GDEcD), Ricky McGee (Georgia EMC), Mary Ellen McClanahan (GDEcD), Sean McMillan (University of Georgia),  Chris Pumphrey (Development Authority of Douglas County), Maceo Rogers (City of East Point), Andrea Schruijer (Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority), Charles Stallworth (Georgia Power), Trip Tolleson (SEDA), Niki Vanderslice (Technical College System of Georgia), and Mike Worley (Georgia Wildlife Federation).  GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr and DCA Commissioner Camila Knowles serve as ex-officio members of the board, and GACCE Chairman Daniel Jackson serves as a Representative to the board.

The real work of GEDA gets done through our committees and shared interest groups, so I encourage you to find a committee or group that most interests you and to get involved.  My sincere thanks to the members who have agreed to chair these important groups this year:  John Scott, Business Expansion and Recruitment; Brandt Herndon, Business Recruitment; Benjy Thompson, Development Authority Executives; Greg Torre, Marketing and Communications; Andrea Taylor, Membership Services; Saralyn Stafford, Professional Development; Al Nash, Public Policy; Jessica Hood, Sponsorship; Meghan Duke, Young Professionals; Brooke Lucas, Education/Workforce Development; Donna Lackey, Entrepreneurship; Keith Ziobron, Natural Resources/Environment; Tiffany Andrews, Non-Traditional Economic Development; and, Barbara Grogan, Rural Development.

I would be remiss if I did not remind you of how fortunate we are as an organization to have Kevin Shea as our president and Karen Ewing as our manager of member services.  They are both consummate professionals and dedicated to helping grow and strengthen GEDA.

As we enter our new year, GEDA is in great shape, and we are poised to have our best year ever.  We are fortunate to have you as a member, and I encourage you to get involved and help us as we do our part to promote strong economic growth in Georgia.



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