Leadership Southeast Georgia Class Hears Regional Economic Development Talk

June 6, 2022

Brent Stubbs, Vice President of Economic Development at Savannah Technical College holds up a virtual reality headset demonstrating the unique ways the college is integrating technology into workforce development.

BRYAN COUNTY — Leadership Southeast Georgia, a professional develop- ment and leadership program throughout 10 coastal counties, continued its 2022 pro- gramming in Bryan and Effingham counties.

LSEGA is a five-month course of ongoing personal and professional growth to build connections and learn collaboration skills that empower the participants to improve the region. The session four agenda focused on how infrastructure lures organizations to Southeast Georgia, the nonprofit perspective of economic development and the realities of poverty statistics. Program Managers Jessica Hood, vice president of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, and Justin Farquhar, vice president of the Development Authority of Bryan County, developed and led the session.

“A modern and highly functional infra- structure is essential to bring businesses to the region,” said LSEGA Board Chair Jared Downs. “Understanding how to achieve and maintain that is vitally important for growth in Southeast Georgia. We learned a lot about how to continue to expand economic oppor- tunity here.”

Class members also reviewed how non- profit organizations see and promote eco- nomic development, as well as the effects of poverty in the area. In all LSEGA sessions, participants examine leadership styles and best practices in the organizations they meet with and visit. During this session, there was a specific emphasis on tips and strategies to improve business writing.

The first day began with a trip to Effingham College & Career Academy. Craig Lesser, managing partner at The Pendleton

Group, presented an “Overview of Economic Development,” explaining how various authorities work together for the betterment of the region. The LSEGA class then partici- pated in an immersive exercise, examining the site selection factors that impact a com- pany’s decision to locate in the region.

Next, the group briefly toured the Georgia International Trade Center in Rincon before stopping at QuickStart Advanced Manufacturing Center in Pooler. A lunch- time labor panel, “Regional Workforce Outlook and Initiatives,” was held, followed by a tour of QuickStart. Next, a visit to Caesarstone in Midway included a tour and remarks from General Manager Yossi Binyamin on why the business chose to relo- cate to the region.

Day two began early with a discussion of the I-16 Joint Development Authority and other infrastructure projects of regional sig- nificance. This was followed by a business writing workshop and a presentation on non-traditional economic development. Before adjourning, participants received an update on the recent Bryan County tornado from Freddy Howell of Bryan County Emergency Services.

Other speakers during the two-day ses- sion included Chance Raehn of Chesterfield, Maria Whitfield of DRT-Pinova, Stacy Watson of the Georgia Ports Authority, Brent Stubbs of Savannah Technical College, Susan Williams of Georgia Quick Start, Brian Wiederhold of Pacific Cycle, Justin Farquhar of the Development Authority of Bryan County, Brandt Herndon of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, Ben Taylor of Bryan County, Ralph Forbes of Thomas & Hutton, Amy Condon of The Refinery Writing Studio, Suzanne Kirk of

Employee Development Strategies, Erin Phillips of the City of Springfield, Kathryn Johnson of the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, Christy Sherman of the Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Glenn Newsome of Georgia Hi-Lo Trail.

“It was our pleasure to host Leadership Southeast Georgia in Effingham County,” said Herndon. “We were happy to work with our partners in Bryan County to showcase the economic opportunities that we have in our communities, and to give a first-hand account on how economic development works at the community level.”

Sponsors for the overall 2022 program include Evans General Contractors, Morgan Corp., Georgia Southern University, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, M.E. Sack Engineering, Georgia Power, Sack Construction and Maintenance, and Gulfstream Aerospace.

Sponsors of this fourth session include Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, Effingham College & Career Academy, Gray Pannell & Woodward, Development Authority of Bryan County, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, Planters Broadband Cooperative, Bryan County Board of Commissioners, Chesterfield, Coastal Electric Cooperative, The Fortune Image, Effingham County Board of Commissioners, Broe Real Estate Group, Carlson & Co., C&H Precision Weapons and Carellas Murphy Law.

To learn more about the LSEGA program, visit lsega.com.


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