35 named to expand leadership efforts across South Georgia area

Published 4:15 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

AMERICUS — Locate South GeorgiaLEADS announces its second cohort, with 35 participants named to continue the development of a strong leadership pipeline across South Georgia. Presented by Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG), Locate South GeorgiaLEADS (LSGL) will kick off this month on Aug. 17 at Southern Woods in Sylvester-Worth County.
With representation from 21 counties across South Georgia, LSGL is an eight-month leadership experience that develops individual leadership skills while engaging participants in discussions of regional importance around economic development, identify and influence, workforce development, and community growth that are both unique and relevant to South Georgia. Developed in 2015, as a partnership of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia, and the region’s economic development professionals and affiliates that make up Locate South Georgia, LSGL engages its second class of emerging leaders.
Presenting sponsor Daryl Ingram, senior vice president for External Affairs and Economic Development for ECG states, ““LEADS is a dynamic and powerful leadership experience that empowers current and future leaders of Southwest Georgia. Its regional participation aligns with today’s need for regional foresight and collaboration.”
Echoing Ingram’s support for the program and its impact to the region, Locate South Georgia Chairman Justin Strickland, who also serves as the President of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, agrees. “As an organization, Locate South Georgia exists to build collaboration and partnerships throughout the state’s southern region in order to maximize our area’s potential. The LEADS program is an important initiative of the group as a means of identifying and developing high-potential leaders to carry on that mission and spread the message of regionalism throughout all circles.”
The 2017-2018 Locate South GeorgiaLEADS class members from Sumter County are Whitney Kimbrough of the Southwest Georgia Project; Ivy Oliver of the Americus-Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, and One Sumter; and Rachael Oliver, Georgia  Family Connection Partnership.
Director of the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Matt Bishop commends Locate South Georgia’s innovation and investment in South Georgia and its leadership.  “Locate South GeorgiaLEADS is an outstanding leadership program that inspires graduates to be regional leaders, and it’s when regional leaders come together and work on challenges and opportunities that cut across their jurisdictions that regional success occurs. With our leadership development mission, the Fanning Institute is excited to be a part of the Locate South Georgia LEADS program.”
The purpose of Locate South GeorgiaLEADS is to develop informed, aware, and educated leaders to promote and grow South Georgia by increasing awareness of assets and resources; creating a shared sense of regional pride and ownership in both action and solutions; strengthening partnerships and alliances; and enhancing political influence and acuity to support the needs and opportunities of South Georgia.
As the largest regional leadership program in the State, South Georgia is raising the bar for leadership, economic development and civic engagement for existing leaders.
Sponsors of this year’s program include:  Electric Cities of Georgia, AT&T, Georgia Power Company, Georgia CEO, Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Development Authority, One Sumter Economic Development Foundation Inc., Leadership Worth, and the Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about Locate South Georgia, visit  http://www.georgiaresourcecenter.com/LocateSouthGeorgia/2/communities.html.

For more information about Locate South GeorgiaLEADS, contact Mary Beth Bass, executive director, One Sumter Economic Development Foundation Inc., at 229.815.1669; or at marybeth@onesumter.org.