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News & Press: Chair's Column

Gray Swoope Headlines March Luncheon

Tuesday, March 1, 2016   (0 Comments)
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I always look forward to the GEDA Small Business Rock Star Awards luncheon, and 2016 did not disappoint.  First, congratulations to this year’s winners and a special thank you to all nominated companies.  I know the judges had a tough job selecting the winners, but we were fortunate as a state to have so many deserving companies.  Mary Ellen McClanahan and her team do an outstanding job in organizing the event each year, and we could not do it without our great partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Our March luncheon is sure to be entertaining and educational.  I met Gray Swoope, our speaker, in 2008 when he was executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority.  I sat on a panel with Gray and Neal Wade, the former director of the Alabama Development Office.  Luckily, I got to speak first then sit back and learn from the wisdom of Gray and Neal.  I know that you will be as entertained as I was that day to hear from Gray on March 21st.

My thanks to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.  It is time for GEDA to update its five-year strategic plan, and UGA has graciously stepped up to help with the project.  Every GEDA member will have an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas on the future direction of the organization, and I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to help strengthen GEDA in the years to come.

Finally, let me remind you to please get involved with a committee or a shared interest group.  This is where GEDA can really have an impact, and I hope you will devote some time to helping these groups promote GEDA’s mission.  A list is available on the GEDA website, and I know the chairs would appreciate your involvement.


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