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News & Press: Chair's Column

Great Start to 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Welcome Back, GEDA Members!

January means the start of a new year for GEDA, and I am happy to report that we are off to a great start.

First, my sincere thanks to everyone who helped make our GEDA Day at the Capitol such a huge success.  GEDA was recognized by Governor Deal, the House of Representatives, and the State Senate.  As we continue to grow this event every year, we are building new relationships and friendships with members of the General Assembly and building on the reputation of our organization.

After our Capitol event, the GEDA Board met for its first meeting of the year and took several important actions to help our organization.  Most importantly, the Board voted to accept a proposal from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to help guide our 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.  This is an important process that will help us grow and improve our organization.  You will have an opportunity to provide your feedback during the upcoming process, and I hope you will take the time to share your thoughts and ideas on the future of our organization.

Also, at the Board meeting, our committees and shared interest groups (SIGs) had the opportunity to make reports to the Board.  I am excited to hear about the great programs and activities that our colleagues have planned for the year, and I encourage you to get involved in these groups and to provide your input into these worthwhile projects.

Congratulations to John Scott, CEcD, with the Brunswick & Glynn County Development Authority.  John recently passed the Certified Economic Developer exam and is now a CEcD.  Georgia ranks second in the nation for the most CEcDs.  While the preparation for the exam can be taxing, the rewards of attaining your CEcD are immeasurable.  Grants are available through GEDA’s Professional Development Committee for a number of professional development opportunities, including the CEcD exam, so please look into a grant to help as you grow in the profession.

Finally, I was saddened to hear the news that Deborah Lohnes had passed away.  Deborah was a legend in Georgia economic development, and, in 2001, she was recognized with the Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence.  This is the highest honor that GEDA can bestow upon an economic development professional, and Deborah embodied everything for which the award stands.  Deborah was a mentor to many GEDA members and was a friend to all, and she will be missed by everyone who knew and loved her.


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