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April 2013
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Growing Agribusiness One Jar at a Time

When Lauri Jo Bennett decided to start a business, she had just four recipes handed down from her great-grandmother. Now her company has 22 employees and 37 products that are sold in 3 countries and 41 states.

“When I first met Donnie Smith, the director for the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, I didn’t have a business plan,” said Lauri Jo Bennett, founder of Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning. “I didn’t have a clue what a business plan was.” Since she began her business, the COI has provided her with business plan preparation, international business opportunities, revenue generation strategies, food analysis for nutrition labels, food label design and marketing resources.

“Doing business in Georgia is fantastic. Georgia just really has it going on. And everybody from the governor to the lieutenant governor to the ag commissioner, they are all about helping small businesses grow,” said Lauri Jo. “The Centers of Innovation—I just can’t say enough good about them.”

Sustainability Survey

Researchers from Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern University, the University System of Georgia, and the Technical College System of Georgia are working with GDEcD and several regional economic development authorities to conduct a short survey focusing on the workforce skills that are important to organizations trying to increase their sustainability. By taking the survey, you will help the research team design education and training programs at Georgia’s universities and technical colleges that better suits the needs of the state’s businesses and industries. Take the survey by clicking here.

2013 eNERGy Conference

May 14-15, 2013 at Middle Georgia Technical College

The 2013 eNERGy Conference is the opportunity to meet face to face with your counterparts in other cities, across the state; from other colleges, universities and technical schools; with the decision makers from your local military installation to explore ways to grow your local economy. Visit the website for to view the full agenda. Registration closes April 24th. Space is limited, so register today!

Spring Workshop Registration is Open

GEDA's 2013 Spring Workshop will take place at the brand new (some would say 'extraordinary') Jekyll Island Convention Center May 15-17. We will have a huge audience, a great venue and fantastic programming. The only thing we need to add now is YOU! Help us "Achieve the Extraordinary" in May! Registration is open and rooms are still available at the Beachview Club Hotel (rates $119-199). Just let them know you are with GEDA when you call them at 800.299.2228. 

CEcD Study Group and Exam

Join us for GEDA's CEcD Study Group. Georgia is home to scores of successful CEcD candidates, several of whom will be on hand this weekend. They will be teaching the Bob Koepke study model, which has helped hundreds of people pass the exam, including many here in Georgia. This training course will take place Saturday (8 hours) & Sunday (4 hours), April 27-28, 2013 at the brand new Hotel Indigo in College Park. GEDA is very pleased to be able to offer this course for only $200 for GEDA members ($300 for non-members). That is an incredible savings and almost certainly saves money on travel to/from training!  Click here to register.

What the fee includes:

  • Study materials
  • 2 months of pre-session study
  • Breakfast & Lunch Saturday
  • Breakfast on Sunday
  • Expert facilitation
  • Mock interviews
  • One-on-one mentoring with a GEDA CEcD

And more great news: GEDA will host the Certified Economic Developer exam in Atlanta December 14-15!  NOW is a great time to start your planning and studying.

Are you a Small Business Rock Star?

The August 19th GEDA luncheon will showcase small businesses – that is, the Rock Stars of Small Business. The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) have teamed together to recognize the outstanding, out-of-the-box, unique and impacting small businesses in the state of Georgia. Recognizing any type of small business that employs under 50, we want to salute the risks, the innovations, the outreach, the impact, the reasons why…all of these qualities abound in Georgia and we want to make this a special day for our small businesses!

Nominate a company, forward to your connections or send this to any company who you believe stands above the rest (companies may also nominate themselves). The DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION is JUNE 1, 2013 and the winners will be notified by July 1, 2013. This will give you enough time to coordinate any travel plans with your winners.

We look forward to saluting Georgia’s small businesses with you!
The August 2013 Luncheon Committee:
Mike Pennington, President, GEDA
Eric van Otteran, Entrepreneur SIG chair, GEDA
Mary Ellen McClanahan, Director, Entrepreneur & Small Business, GDEcD
Ryan Waldrep, Project Manager Region 9, GDEcD
Adela Kelley, Project Manager Region 7, GDEcD

IEDC's 2013 Excellence in Economic Development

International Economic Development Council’s 2013 Excellence in Economic Development awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders in 35 categories.  Georgia certainly has a number of projects that should be considered for entry into this awards program.

This is our time to shine! Send your innovative program, promotion, or project in and get the recognition you and your organization deserve. Call for Entries will end on May 17th. Enter before April 12th to receive an early bird discount. Please visit to learn more and to download the entry packet.


New Members in March

Rebecca Coppedge, Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone
James Dennis, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber & Development Authority
Lidell Greenway, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber & Development Authority
Jimmy Kitchens, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber & Development Authority
Michael Parkerson, Georgia Public Safety Training Center
Rob Ragan, New South Construction Company
Adam Smith, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber & Development Authority
Erika Smith, Fulton County Economic Development
Brian Stockton, City of Woodstock
Oscar Street, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber & Development Authority

Back in 1963

Billboard's Top 15 for 1963

   1.    Sugar Shack
          Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs 
   2.    Surfin' U.S.A.
          The Beach Boys 
   3.    The End of the World
          Skeeter Davis
   4.    Rhythm Of The Rain
          The Cascades 
   5.    He's So Fine
          The Chiffons 
   6.    Blue Velvet
          Bobby Vinton 
   7.    Hey Paula
          Paul & Paula 
   8.    Fingertips, Part 2
          Little Stevie Wonder 
   9.    Washington Square
          Village Stompers 
 10.   It's All Right
          The Impressions 
 11.   Can't Get Used to Losing You
          Andy Williams 
 12.   My Boyfriend's Back
          The Angels 
 13.   Sukiyaki
          Kyu Sakamoto 
 14.   She's a Fool
          Lesley Gore 
 15.   So Much In Love
          The Tymes 

App of the Month

Our Facebook friend Kwame suggested this month's App of the Month:  Evernote.  "Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. It lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go."


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