Press Releases

Contact: Neal Leonard, 706-546-2207, neal.leonard@ga.usda.gov

2017 disaster relief program deadline approaches for Georgia agricultural producers recovering from the effects of hurricanes

Athens, GA, Nov. 8, 2018 – U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Georgia Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Tas Smith reminds producers that the deadline to apply for assistance under the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) is Nov. 16, 2018.
“USDA has been working hard to provide assistance to farmers and ranchers impacted by the 2017 wildfires and hurricanes,” said Smith. “I encourage producers who have not applied to contact our office by November 16 to make an appointment.”
The program was authorized by Congress earlier this year by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
Eligible crops, trees, bushes, or vines, located in a county declared in a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation as a primary county are eligible for assistance if the producer suffered a loss as a result of a hurricane during calendar year 2017. Also, losses located in a county not designated as a primary county may be eligible if the producer provides documentation showing that the loss was due to a hurricane or wildfire in 2017. A list of counties that received qualifying hurricane declarations and designations is available at https://www.farmers.gov/recover/whip. Eligibility is determined by Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees.
Agricultural production losses due to conditions caused by last year’s wildfires and hurricanes, including excessive rain, high winds, flooding, mudslides, fire, and heavy smoke, could qualify for assistance through the program. Typically, 2017 WHIP is only designed to provide assistance for production losses, however, if quality was taken into consideration under the insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy, where production was further adjusted, the adjusted production will be used in calculating assistance under this program.
Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or NAP coverage is available, excluding crops intended for grazing. A list of crops covered by crop insurance is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Actuarial Information Browser at
https://webapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/actuarialinformationbrowser.
Producers will be subject to payment limitations based on their average adjusted gross income.
Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for 2017 WHIP. However, all producers receiving 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase crop insurance and/or NAP, at the 60 percent coverage level or higher, for the next two available crop years to meet statutory requirements. Producers who fail to purchase crop insurance for the next two applicable years will be required to pay back the 2017 WHIP payment.
Each producer will be asked to provide acceptable production records which must be either verifiable or reliable production records. If a producer is unable to provide production records, USDA will calculate the production based on the higher of the producer certified production and the county disaster yield. Contact the Georgia State FSA office at 706-546-2266. To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov. For more information on USDA disaster assistance programs, visit https://www.farmers.gov/recover.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Joy Crosby, Georgia Peanut Commission, 229-386-3690

43rd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show set for Jan. 17 in Tifton

TIFTON, Ga. — Make plans to attend the 43rd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The one-day show is free and open to all farmers and industry representatives to attend.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with more than 100 agribusinesses and organizations in the peanut and agricultural industry. Farmers will be able to earn private and commercial pesticide applicator certification, as well as learn about cutting-edge research and developments during the University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminar and industry-wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar.

Farm Show chairman Rodney Dawson is looking forward to the 2019 show and having a large crowd of farmers attend like previous years. “I encourage farmers to attend this one-day show in Tifton,” Dawson says. “The knowledge they will gain from industry representatives and seminars is an investment in the future of their farm.”

The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with OneBlood, will host a blood drive from   9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. during the show. At the close of the day, there will be nearly $10,000 in door prizes presented to farmers, as well as a Grand Door Prize, vendor products, certificates and equipment.

For more information on the show, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission office at 229-386-3470 or visit www.gapeanuts.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Joy Crosby, Georgia Peanut Commission, 229-386-3690

Nominations open for Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award

TIFTON, Ga.— Nominations are now open for the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer. The state winner will be announced at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, in Tifton, Georgia. The award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF.

The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award is based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership, civic, church, and community service activities.

“We have so many young peanut farmers making a difference in their communities and I consider this awards program a great opportunity to recognize one young peanut farmer for their contributions to the agricultural industry,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The award is open for any active Georgia peanut farmer who is not over 45 years of age, as of Jan. 17, 2019. An individual may receive the award only once. There is no limit on the number of applicants from each county in Georgia.

“BASF is honored to be a sponsor of the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award,” says Dan Watts, district manager of BASF Crop Protection Products. “We are committed to agriculture and bringing new innovative solutions to producers that will allow them to continue to be successful.”

Applications are due to the GPC office by Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. The award application is available online at www.gapeanuts.com or by contacting Joy Crosby at 229-386-3690 or joycrosby@gapeanuts.com.

Previous Georgia winners include Elton Baldy of Norman Park, Brandon Branch of Baxley, Trey Dunaway of Hawkinsville, Andrew Grimes of Tifton, Randy Branch of Baxley, James Hitchcock Jr. of Tennille, Brad Thompson of Donalsonville, Greg Mims of Donalsonville, Jim Waters of Blackshear and Jimmy Webb of Leary, Georgia. The award winner receives registration and hotel accommodations to attend the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 18-20, 2019, and a sign to display at his or her farm.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Lisa Ignoto, KAMMCO

800-232-2259

KAMMCO collaboration with military health system to deliver critical health information across the globe

(OCT. 26, 2018) On August 30, the Military Health System (MHS) added critical medical information from seven physician-led health information exchanges (HIEs) across the nation.  This was facilitated by the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), KAMMCO and the eHealth Exchange. Laura McCrary, Ed.D, Executive Director of KHIN comments on the significance, “This represents the growing capabilities of HIEs to share records in all locations from which a patient has received care.”

With this new development, medical records can be shared across the world as military personnel and their families transition between multiple locations, stateside or overseas. Military hospitals and clinics now can quickly and securely access patients’ personal health information 24/7 and have access from the physician-led HIEs in Kansas, Connecticut, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri and Louisiana.

“MHS cares for 9.4 million beneficiaries, delivering care globally in military hospitals and clinics and providing coordinated, integrated care through civilian networks,” said Kimberly Heermann-Do, Health Information Exchange Office Lead in the EHR Modernization Program Management Office. Heermann-Do added, “Through HIEs, records are available securely from the private sector if the HIE is onboarded to the MHS. Having access to records for patients across the KAMMCO network will assist MHS providers with clinical decisions.”

“The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) has a long history of supporting the healthcare needs of our active duty military in New Jersey. Sharing clinical information from our physician practices with MHS through OneHealth New Jersey furthers our support in this important area,” shared Larry Downs, JD, MSNJ CEO. “With a large joint base located in New Jersey our physician members provide care to many active duty military and their families.” MSNJ is one of seven medical societies who partner with KAMMCO in the delivery of a physician-led health information exchange platform.

Kurt Scott, KAMMCO CEO said, “KAMMCO provides a critical service to make patients’ medical records available wherever they receive care.  It is a privilege that we can now deliver lab results, current medications and health histories for servicemen and women across the globe.  We are proud that MHS can query our HIEs and effectively use the clinical data they access.”

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About KAMMCO

KAMMCO is a provider-led medical professional liability insurer affiliated with the Kansas Medical Society. KAMMCO’s provider-led approach uniquely positions it to help physicians, other healthcare providers, integrated delivery networks, accountable care organizations, and others seeking to improve patient outcomes and adapt to new performance-based payment models through the use of data analytics and business intelligence tools. KAMMCO is now delivering health information exchange and analytics products and services in partnership with medical societies in six states beyond Kansas, including Georgia, South Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Missouri, and Louisiana. For more information, visit www.KAMMCO.com.

About Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN)

KHIN’s mission is to improve healthcare quality, coordination and efficiency through the exchange of health information at the point of care utilizing a secure electronic network provided by a collaboration of healthcare organizations. KHIN is a provider-led 501(c)3. Its goals are to ensure providers, patients and communities have long-term access to cost effective, sustainable health information exchange aligned with costs distributed across a broad user base. It also encourages and removes barriers so communities and regions can focus on quality improvement, patient centered medical home and entrepreneurial strategies that effect local health outcomes. For more information, visit www.khinonline.org.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Nora Sullivan

855-422-0051

Sam Williamson inducted in Georgia Auctioneers Hall of Fame

Sam Williamson, REALTOR, auctioneer, owner and CEO of Williamson Bros. Realty & Auction Co., Inc., in Athens, Georgia, was inducted into the Georgia Auctioneers Hall of Fame. This is an award of distinction determined by his peers and decided by the Georgia Auctioneers Association’s Hall of Fame Committee.
The awards ceremony took place during the association’s Summer Conference and awards banquet in Helen, Georgia, on Aug. 18, 2018, and came as a complete surprise to Williamson.
Williamson is a veteran auctioneer with over 23 years of experience. His expertise as a REALTOR & auctioneer is evident in his clear upbeat bid-calling, interspersed with entertaining commentary that keeps the audience alert. His events are effective for seller goals of obtaining top market value, as well as relaxing, informative and even fun for the crowd.
His professional career began at 21 after attending UGA. After teaching at a local middle school, Sam founded his Lock & Key business in Athens. It is now celebrating over 45 years in business. After becoming a REALTOR and auctioneer, he turned over operations of Clarke County Lock & Key to his brother, Allen, in 1995 to devote his knowledge and expertise full time to his real estate and auctioning career.
“Being inducted into the Georgia Auctioneers Hall of Fame is a very significant honor,” said Col. Chuck Beam, Georgia Auctioneers Association, Hall of Fame Committee Chair.
Williamson is a worthy recipient of this award. His additional achievements and certifications include: Certified Auctioneers Institute, CAI, Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate, AARE, Graduate Personal Property Appraiser, GPPA, USPAP-certified (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) Expert Witness in the Courts, National Auctioneers Association, Georgia Auctioneers Association 2009, GA Bid Calling Champion, Athens Area Association of REALTORS Inaugural Hometown Hero – August, 2014, Athens Area Association of REALTORS Good Neighbor Award – 2013, Chairman of the Board 2003 – 2004, President 2002 – 2003, Georgia Auctioneers Association, served on board of directors total of 10 years.
Sam Williamson and his team can be contacted by phone at 706-202-2685 or visit his website at www.samwillauction.com for additional information.
About Georgia Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame Committee:
Georgia Auctioneers Association – Hall of Fame Committee reviews nominations made by GAA members and Georgia auctioneers for induction into the Hall of Fame. Many Hall of Fame members were past presidents and GAA members who dedicated time and energy to the auction industry in the state of Georgia. Contact us if you have a Hall of Fame member and our committee can provide information about the nomination process. Any new Hall of Fame members voted and agreed upon by our Hall of Fame Committee are introduced at our Summer Conference, which is generally in August.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Marjorie Dykes, Ga. Manufacturing Alliance

770-338-0051

Fifth annual People of Manufacturing Awards presented at 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit

Atlanta, GA – The Georgia Manufacturing Summit hosted the 5th Annual People of Manufacturing Awards on October 10, 2018 at the Cobb Galleria. These awards honored the people that exhibit excellence on a daily basis and have gone above and beyond to better their organization’s manufacturing operations.

“The People of Manufacturing Awards are designed to bring exposure and recognition to these leaders that not only perform operational excellence, but are also involved in community service,” said Jason Moss, CEO of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. “We are excited to announce the winners for 2018.”

Team Operational Excellence

Adient in West Point, GA

The winner for Team Operational Excellence was the High Performance Team (HPT) at Adient in West Point. In 2017, with the full engagement of the hourly workforce, the plant achieved outstanding improvements in terms of safety, quality, delivery and cost. This plant has become the “go and see” plant for HPT activities, hosting plant managers and HPT leads from all other plants, including those outside our business unit. Early successes driven by HPT include record level TUMS (Outbound Trailer Utilization), record low scrap levels, greater than 95% average monthly closure rate on ELPA (electronic layered process audit) findings and a 50% decrease in absenteeism. The West Point plant is very active in the community, supporting the local food bank, a local nursing home, and Christmas and birthdays for 40 children in a local boys and girls home.

 

Team Safety Award

Scientific Games in Alpharetta, GA

The winner of the Team Safety Award was Scientific Games, a global gaming entertainment company with its largest lottery instant game manufacturing facility located in Alpharetta, GA.   Over the last three years, Scientific Games’ safety culture has made impressive advancements to reduce incidents and provide a safer manufacturing workplace. Evidence that the safety protocols have been effective at Scientific Games can be seen in the reduction of the number of recordable incident reports over the last two years, which has allowed the facility to fall within the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) classification of “world class safety”.

 

Plant Manager Award

Jason Harden of Sunny Delight Beverages in Atlanta, GA

The winner for the Plant Manager Award was Jason Harden who serves as Site Operation Manager for Sunny Delight Beverages. Mr. Harden has 10 plus years of experience in manufacturing and maintenance systems with extensive knowledge in warehouse management. He is highly effective in team building and process improvements and recently served on the steering committee for the new Hot Fill Project Installation. In addition, his innovations facilitated the site to produce new configurations for Costco on demand. He has developed processes to rapidly cross train technicians to increase capacity and flexibility. Jason is active in his community with feeding the homeless and working with the Gateway Foundation and Hope House.

 

Front Line Supervisor Award

Elton Seton of KaMin in Sandersville, GA

The winner for Front Line Supervisor Award was Elton Seton who is the Production Supervisor at KaMin LLC. He is an experienced reliability engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the mining & metals-nonmetals industry. Skilled in AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Root Cause Analysis, Preventative Maintenance, Project Engineering, and Process Optimization, he is a strong operations professional with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Southern University. His first role at KaMin was a maintenance reliability engineer where he transformed the way KaMin processes machine reliability data across their three plants in GA. His community service includes building beds for needy families in Augusta, donating time to help the less fortunate, and servicing as a volunteer at every charitable event that the KaMin hosts.

Charlie Post, the CEO of TSI Solutions, was designated as the Awards Chairman and was responsible for appointing a panel of judges to select the winners. “The Georgia Manufacturing Alliance was established to promote, connect and educate manufacturers across the state,” said Mr. Post. “In support of that mission, the People of Manufacturing Awards was established to recognize the hard work, talents, and achievements of those individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to their company, their co-workers, and the Georgia manufacturing community.”

The Georgia Manufacturing Summit is produced by The Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA). GMA is a membership-based industry organization founded in 2008 to support Georgia’s manufacturing community. GMA provides monthly plant tours, educational sessions, tradeshows, and unique networking opportunities designed to help make profitable business connections for its members. The Georgia Manufacturing Directory, Georgia Manufacturing Calendar and BuyFromGA.com are additional resources produced by GMA. To learn more about the organization, membership, and upcoming events, please call 770-338-0051 or visit their website http://www.GeorgiaManufacturingAlliance.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Joy Crosby, Georgia Peanut Commission, 229-386-3690

Georgia Peanut Commission Hurricane Michael update: Impact on Georgia peanut industry

Growers and buying points assessing peanut crop

TIFTON, Ga – Hurricane Michael devastated Georgia agriculture during the most inopportune time; harvest season for many agricultural commodities. One of those commodities included peanuts, where 50 percent of the crop had been harvested. The remaining 50 percent is yet to be harvested as crop conditions deteriorate and damaged peanut buying points struggle to regain power to dry and grade the peanuts. Many unknowns remain about the devastation of the 2018 Georgia peanut crop.

The Georgia Peanut Commission has been meeting with federal and state officials discussing the current state of the peanut crop and impact on peanut infrastructure. Although it is too early to estimate the financial impact of the disaster, the GPC, working with state and federal officials, will determine as best possible the impact on growers and the industry’s infrastructure once the peanut crop is harvested.

“Hurricane Michael for peanut farmers is still an invisible problem in some locations, because we have peanuts in the ground that haven’t been dug yet and major infrastructure issues with buying points not being able to dry the peanuts or grade them,” says Don Koehler, GPC executive director.

According to the Oct. 15, 2018, crop condition index report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, the crop condition index for Georgia peanuts dropped 12 percent since the hurricane came through.

“This is the largest decline in the crop condition index over the past years,” says Stanley Fletcher, professor of policy at the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

“It’s really too early to tell the exact loss the peanut industry may face,” says Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension agronomist for peanuts. “There are a lot of factors in play to determine the estimated loss due to delayed harvest in areas where farmers can’t get into the field or issues with infrastructure at peanut buying points where peanuts can’t be dried or graded without power.”

Farmers like Tim Burch of Baker County, Georgia, have not been able to harvest their entire crop. Burch has only been able to harvest 100 of his 600 acres of peanuts.

“This year’s near perfect crop has been nearly destroyed,” Burch says. “The infrastructure has been crippled and if buying points can’t operate, then farmers can’t get back in the field to harvest their crop. We need fair weather for a month so we can get in the remainder of the peanut crop.”

Decatur County farmer Andy Bell agrees with Burch and adds that it is difficult for farmers to get back in the field while they survey the severely injured peanut plants and wonder what type of yield remains below the ground.

“Many of the late planted peanuts are showing vine damage with loss of leaves on the vine and the remaining vine turning yellow,” Bell says. “Simply put, nutrient to the plant is not happening.”

Bell adds, many farmers had to make a choice prior to the hurricane and combine what they had dug under terrible circumstances including wet field conditions. He estimates an average loss of 1,000 pounds per acre in fields harvested prior to the hurricane. Bell says, it remains to be seen the loss following the hurricane from loose shelled kernels, debris in the field and peanut grade, which ultimately lowers the price the farmer receives.

“The process of getting our food from the farmer’s field into our consumers’ hands encompasses a variety of components that often go unnoticed,” says Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “Our farmers depend on these resources and infrastructures to be operational, so they can finish the job they started. We are actively working to assist our partners in repairing damages and regaining power, so the agricultural community can continue with the important task in hand.”

Long time buying point operator, Wesley Powell, owner of Dollar Brothers, Inc. in Decatur County, Georgia, is devastated by the damage.

“In my 30 years of operating Dollar Brothers, this is by far the worst I’ve ever seen and the only insurance claim I have filed in 30 years,” he says. “We had extensive damage to the peanut drying facility and peanut warehouse.”

Powell adds, farmers in his area are slowly getting back into the fields and delivering peanuts to his buying point. He is using generators at this time to dry and grade the peanuts as they are delivered, but it is a slow process compared to normal conditions.

The GPC encourages farmers to attend an upcoming Georgia Farm Service Agency Agriculture Disaster Assistance Meeting scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22 at 2:00 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. Representatives from the USDA FSA, National Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development and Risk Management Agency will be available to provide updates and information regarding disaster programs available for farmers affected by Hurricane Michael.

The GPC plans to continue working with state and federal officials on disaster assistance for growers and industry. As more information becomes available, updates will be added to the GPC website at www.gapeanuts.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Jeffrey Harvey, Georgia Farm Bureau, 478-474-0679, ext. 5282

Georgia Farm Bureau supports Amendment 3

Macon, Georgia – The benefits of viable forest lands are well documented. They convert sunlight into oxygen, sequester atmospheric carbon and provide wildlife habitat and a wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Georgia’s forests, while doing all those things, also make significant contributions to the state’s economy. According to the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA), Georgia has the most commercially available timberland (22 million acres) of any state, is the top-ranking state in timber harvest volume, is the No. 1 state in exports of pulp, paper and paperboard mill products and the No. 1 exporter of wood-based fuel.

Forestry and related businesses contribute 144,000 jobs and more than $35 billion in economic impact, according to a 2016 Georgia Forestry Commission report. In addition, a 2011 UGA study found that Georgians receive $37 billion annually in ecological benefits – things like water filtration, carbon storage, wildlife habitat and aesthetics.

“Our state’s forests benefit virtually every citizen of the state in one form or another,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long. “We believe farmers are the first and best stewards of the land in our state, and forestland and its owners are key components of that.”

Despite all that bounty, the way the state’s privately-owned forestland is taxed puts those landowners at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states. Forests cover two thirds of Georgia’s land area, and 90 percent of that forestland is owned by private, non-industrial landowners.

Georgia’s property tax per acre of timberland is three times the average of Southeastern states, according to the GFA, because tax assessments on timberland vary significantly from county to county. Property taxes are due annually, while forests can take from 25 to 40 years to reach marketability, so if the taxes on forestland are too high, it serves to discourage individuals from conserving forestland as a part of the timber industry.

To counter the tax disadvantage, Georgia Farm Bureau supports Amendment 3, which would amend the state constitution to create a new class of land to be assessed at fair market value as determined by the Georgia Department of Revenue, setting one statewide assessment standard rather than 159 separate county assessments.

In addition, not all forestland owners qualify for the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) or the benefits of the Forest Land Protection Act. Amendment 3 would allow another avenue to ease forest landowners’ tax burden.

“We’ve been very successful in expanding the state’s forests, and GFB believes passing Amendment 3 would help continue that success,” Long said.

For more information about Amendment 3, visit https://www.fairforesttax.org/.

About Georgia Farm Bureau

Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization and has 158 county offices. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB offers its members a wide variety of benefits, including insurance, but enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Andy Lucas, Georgia Farm Bureau, 478-474-0679, ext. 5237

GFB Foundation collecting donations to aid hurricane victims

The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Foundation for Agriculture is accepting tax-deductible monetary donations to help Hurricane Michael victims recover from the storm. All donations made to the GFB Foundation’s Hurricane Michael Relief Fund will be given to Georgians, farmers and ranchers who suffered losses to the storm.

Hurricane Michael hit farmers across South and Central Georgia hard damaging row crops, pecan orchards, vegetable crops, poultry houses, farm equipment and barns. Storm damage wasn’t limited to agriculture as Michael also left homes and automobiles damaged or destroyed, and people homeless.

“With Hurricane Michael making landfall last week, the damage Georgia has experienced will leave a lasting effect on our state. As we continue to assess damage, Georgia Farm Bureau is on the ground to help begin the recovery and rebuilding process for Georgians impacted by this tragedy,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “While debris can be cleared away and structures rebuilt, we must continue to pray for the farmers who have lost entire crops, poultry houses, farm equipment and livestock.”

University of Georgia pecan experts have made an early estimate that Hurricane Michael cost Georgia pecan growers 40 to 50 percent of this year’s crop. Many mature pecan trees were uprooted, which will cost growers future production as it takes seven to ten years for a new tree to produce nuts.

According to the Georgia Cotton Commission, cotton growers are reporting crop losses from 25 to 100 percent, depending on their location. Damage to Georgia’s peanut crop is hard to estimate this early due to the crop being in various stages of harvest when Michael hit. Power loss and structure damage to facilities where peanuts are bought and graded could also impact the crop.  The Georgia Department of Agriculture reports that 92 poultry houses were destroyed and vegetable crops in hard-hit areas are a total loss.

Donations can be made online via credit card by visiting gfb.ag/stormrelief. Donations made by check should be made out to the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and specified for the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to:

Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

Hurricane Michael Relief Fund

Attn: David Jolley

P.O. Box 7068

Macon, Ga. 31209

Donors who contribute $250 or more must receive an acknowledgement from the GFB Foundation in order to deduct the gift as a charitable donation on their federal income tax return. Donors should provide the GFB Foundation with a return address at the time donations are made to receive an acknowledgement. Please contact stormrelief@gfb.org with monetary donation questions or call 478-474-8411 ext. 5142.

About Georgia Farm Bureau

Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in Georgia. It works to connect consumers with agriculture and offers its members a wide variety of benefits, including insurance, but enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.

About GFB Foundation for Agriculture

The GFB Foundation for Agriculture funds activities to educate students and consumers about how farmers grow their food. It also funds scholarships for students pursuing careers in agriculture.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Taylor Sills, Georgia Cotton Commission, 478-988-4235

Note: Photos of crop damage are available by contacting Sills.

Hurricane Michael devastates Georgia cotton crop

On the afternoon/night of October 10th and the early hours of October 11th, Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc on southwest, central, and parts of east Georgia and took an exceptional toll on Georgia’s agricultural economy, especially the cotton crop. Producers are reporting losses anywhere from 25% to a total loss, depending on location in the state, as well as structural and equipment losses and damage.

Official reports of losses will be coming in the coming weeks as University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service personnel collect data. It is however, without question that losses will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Losses will extend well beyond the farm, as cotton gins, other agribusinesses, and rural communities will feel the ripples of Hurricane Michael’s aftermath for years to come.

Producers are encouraged to document damage and losses before, during, and after cleanup as well as financial records of cleanup, repair, etc., as assistance and crop insurance may take some time. Industry leadership has been in touch with officials in Washington and Atlanta describing the effects of the storm.

The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about this and other topics please call 478-988-4235 or visit us on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Steve Rodgers, Servants Task Force, 478-960-5838

Veterans organization raffling vehicle to support restoration of Conyers park

A veterans support organization is offering a brand-new car or truck in a raffle to support rebuilding a Conyers park dedicated to veterans.

Servants Task Force is promoting its “Ride 4 WALK OF HEROES/Veterans War Memorial” to raise money for the Walk of Heroes/Veterans Memorial Park in Conyers.

The park was vandalized in an incident last December. Located by Black Shoals Lake in Rockdale County, the park is dedicated to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who fought during our nation’s wars and conflicts, and to the families of those who were killed in action.

Statues in the park that were built to honor soldiers, sailors and airmen were destroyed, and plaques were stolen from the site.

Servants Task Force is trying to raise $200,000 to restore and replace the items that were ruined in the memorial park. The organization wants the park to again “become a place for all those who served or had a family member, friend or associate in life who served to go and take in its beauty and history so that generations of children and Americans can aspire to their greatness,” said Steve Rodgers, CEO of Servants Task Force.

Tickets to the drawing are $25 each for the grand prize is selection of one of these three Chevrolet vehicles: a 2018 Camaro LT, a 2018 Traverse or a 2018 Silverado. Second prize is a set of five to 10 autographed “Collectors Series” University of Georgia football helmets, with tickets costing $10.

Tickets can be bought at www.walkofheroes.org. Click on the “Ride 4 Walk” tab. Donations can also be accepted at the site. Servants Task Force is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and donations are tax deductible.

For more information, call Rodgers at 478-960-5838 or email hotrod31014@hotmail.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Thomas E. Smith, 864-579-4433, tom_rep@bellsouth.net

South Carolina publisher reissues five Georgia county histories

The Reprint Company Publishers, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, has recently reissued its earlier printings of county histories for Baldwin, Dougherty, Lowndes, Charlton and Pike counties. These books were originally published in the early 1900s and were first reprinted by the Spartanburg publisher in 1978. Those books have been out of print for a number of years. These latest reprints are hardback books printed on archival quality paper and are now in a Print On Demand format.

The titles are “History of Baldwin County, Georgia” (1925) by Mrs. Anna Maria Green Cook; “History and Reminiscences of Dougherty County, Georgia” (1924) by the Thronateeska Chapter, DAR; “History of Lowndes County, Georgia, 1825-1941” (1942) by the General James Jackson Chapter, DAR; “History of Charlton County” (1932) by Alex S. McQueen; and “History of Pike County, Georgia, 1822-1912” (1948?) by Lizzie R. Mitchell.

As was typical of county histories during this time, the books include many county records, census records, and military records and rosters. There are biographies and sketches of the early settlers of the counties and material taken from journals and memories of people involved in the early settlement of the areas. Information is provided on the cultural, political, religious, educational, and economic events and trends during the years.

Altogether, these books represent over 1800 pages of early Georgia historical and genealogical material. To facilitate use of these volumes, new indexes were prepared and included in each book.

The books are available from The Reprint Company Publishers, P.O. Box 5401, Spartanburg SC 29304. Complete descriptive and ordering information for each title can be found on the company’s website, www.reprintcompany.com, or by contacting them at (864) 579-4433.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


 


Contact: Amy Henderson

678-686-6226

City, county leaders hold first-ever joint meeting of policy-making committees 

ATHENS — The policy-making bodies of GMA and ACCG met for the first time on Wednesday, Sept. 12 to discuss issues cities and counties have in common and how local leaders can work together to solve problems.

In an all-day session facilitated by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, the city and county leaders identified common issues such as infrastructure funding, the opioid crisis and economic development.

“City and county officials serve the same people,” said GMA Legislative Policy Council Chairman Phil Best, mayor of Dublin and GMA First Vice President. “It benefits the taxpayers for city and county leaders to work together on as many issues as possible. And where we do have differences, we need to have strong relationships that let us work through those problems with respect and consideration for each other’s viewpoints.”

“ACCG’s work with our partners at the Georgia Municipal Association extends back decades but hosting the first-ever joint meeting between our respective policy councils is something that we believe will provide a significant benefit to counties and cities throughout the state,” said Oglethorpe County Chairman Billy Pittard who serves as Chair of ACCG’s Policy Council. “County and city officials have shared constituencies and face similar challenges when trying to provide services with limited or non-existent resources. Working together on mutual areas of concern will allow us to have a unified voice when lobbying on behalf of those we were elected to serve.”

“The strength of local government is dependent upon the collaborative efforts between all of its leaders and the entities they represent,” said ACCG President and Harris County Chairman Harry Lange. “The collaboration between ACCG and GMA on key policy issues is a true representation of that strength and, ultimately, the solid foundation that supports Georgia’s vibrant communities. I am excited about the future of our two organizations, both with new executive directors, and the benefits the citizens of the cities and counties of Georgia will reap from the cooperative efforts of ACCG and GMA.”

“Too often, the focus is on the issues that divide us,” said GMA Second Vice President Vince Williams, mayor of Union City. “This meeting reminded us of all the things we have in common, and how, by working together, we can accomplish many things for the betterment of Georgia.”

Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to its 521 member cities.

ACCG is a nonprofit instrumentality of Georgia’s county governments. Formed in 1914 with 19 charter county members, today ACCG serves as the consensus building, training and legislative organization for all 159 county governments in the state.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Alex Coffey, 404-223-2263, acoffey@gachamber.com

Christina Tuck, 404-223-2272, ctuck@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber named State Chamber of the Year

ATLANTA– September 13, 2018- The Council of State Chambers, (COSC) named the Georgia Chamber of Commerce the 2018 State Chamber of Year at its annual award ceremony held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“I am proud to say for the second year the Georgia Chamber has been named Chamber of the Year by two accrediting organizations. Our success is the result of hard work and dedication of our investors, Governmental Affairs Council, Board Members, local chambers and staff who have been instrumental in our efforts to strengthen our organization and represent the state of Georgia as the largest business advocacy organization.”

The State Chamber of the Year recognizes member-chambers who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and measurable success over the course of the last year, legislative session, or election cycle in areas of achievement including, Public Policy, Political Engagement, Membership and Development, Best Communications Program, and Membership Services. The selection of the State Chamber of the Year is a thoroughly vetted, three-stage process consisting of application review, finalists interview, and awards ceremony in which finalists and recipients are selected by a panel of three experienced chamber professionals.

The Georgia Chamber was recognized for the success of their current 8 for 18 initiative, which serves as a statewide prosperity agenda and nonpartisan resource that seeks to inform elected officials, political candidates, and voters on a series of policy recommendations and issue areas that are critical to Georgia’s economic future. The Chamber has successfully used this 8 for 18 platform to showcase their top priorities for 2018, statewide endorsements, and candidate assessments taken by candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State.

The annual State Chamber of the Year award highlights innovative initiatives and best practices that advance state chamber’s mission and efforts to provide deserved recognition to state chambers and their leaders who have distinguished themselves by providing exceptional services and results for their members and communities.

For more information on the Georgia Chambers 8 for 18 initiative, visit www.8for18.com.

About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

As the state’s largest business organization, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce represents investors in every county of our state with a diverse cross-section of over 500 industry sectors. Our membership includes both small storefronts and large corporations-no matter the size or type of business, we provide proactive policy, aggressive advocacy and meaningful investor services that impact your bottom line. Our number one mission is keeping, growing and creating jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. We work to ensure economic competitiveness, innovative solutions to challenges that state faces, and a commitment to high quality of life.  The Georgia Chamber serves as a partner for local chambers across the state. While we have many of the same goals, the Georgia Chamber focuses on statewide issues that impact Georgia’s entire business community.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber announces launch of the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition

ATLANT(September 12, 2018) | Today, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition (GSEC), a statewide advocacy group focused on ensuring the long-term viability and success of Georgia’s screen entertainment industry.

“The founding members of GSEC represent Georgia’s top industry and private sector leaders, coming together in a unique collaboration with Georgia’s deep crew base, united by their commitment to protect and promote the screen entertainment industry in our state,” said Chris Clark, President & CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “With the incredible economic impact this industry has on our state, we’re proud to introduce GSEC as the unified, cohesive voice of the industry at the Capitol.”

“Georgia’s screen entertainment industry has become one of the most competitive in the world, thanks in large part to the leadership of Governor Deal and the General Assembly,” said Frank Patterson, GSEC Chair and President of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. “GSEC’s ultimate goal is to serve as the expert resource for policymakers as they steward the state’s successful tax credit program and develop legislation that will impact this industry and our partners.”

GSEC will advocate for policies that strengthen infrastructure and support workforce development within the screen entertainment industry. GSEC will also serve as a voice and resource for the Georgia owned and operated local businesses who provide services and products to the industry. “We’re proud to be part of the leadership shaping the future of this industry in Georgia,” said Steve Mensch, Vice-Chair of GSEC and President and General Manager of Studio Operations at Tyler Perry Studios. “The scale of private investment in production infrastructure in Georgia is indicative of the enormous potential for additional job creation and positive economic impact for all Georgians.”

GSEC seeks to educate policymakers and the general public about the tax credits that have made Georgia a very cost-effective and popular location for film, television, and digital media production. Bolstered by the 2008 Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, Georgia earned the nation’s number one spot for feature film production and is currently number two in the world. The record 455 film and television productions shot in Georgia during FY 2018 represent a total economic impact of $9.5 billion, and $2.7 billion in direct spending.

The screen entertainment industry has contributed to the relocation or expansion of more than 300 new businesses within the state since 2010. Other media platforms such as eSports, video game development, digital animation, virtual reality/augmented reality, and mobile app development continue to round out and contribute to the overall success of Georgia’s screen entertainment industry.

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The Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition (GSEC) is the state’s leading advocate for film, television, and digital entertainment production at the Georgia state Capitol. An affiliate of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, GSEC advocates for public policy that positively impacts theentertainment industry, as well as the Georgia-grown businesses that serve the industry. GSEC’s 24 founding members represent the broad business and entertainment ecosystem.

The Executive Committee includes: Atlanta Metro Studios, Blackhall Studios, Georgia Chamber, IATSE Local 479, Pinewood Atlanta Studios & Tyler Perry Studios.

Members Include: Bento Box Entertainment, Cinelease, Columbus GA Film Commission, DeltaAirlines, Floyd County Productions, the Georgia Department of Economic Development- Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, (ex officio), Georgia Film Academy (ex officio), Georgia Game Developers Association, Georgia Film Tax Credit Fund, Georgia Power, Greenberg Traurig, Herc Entertainment Rentals, Lightnin Rentals, MBS Equipment Company, the Savannah Area Film Office, Synovus, Teamsters- Local 728, and Turner Broadcasting.

GSEC invites businesses, both directly and indirectly serving Georgia’s entertainment industry to join as a partner and fellow advocate at the Georgia State Capitol. For a full list of the founding members and additional information about GSEC leadership and advocacy efforts, visit www.GSEcoalition.com or contact Kelsey Moore, Executive Director, Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition at kmoore@GSEcoalition.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Alex Coffey, 404-223-2263, acoffey@gachamber.com

Christina Tuck, 404-223-2272, ctuck@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber of Commerce: 8 for 18 Infrastructure Op-Ed

It’s no secret that the state of Georgia is the transportation hub of the Southeast. Atlanta was founded as the terminus of the Western and Atlantic railroad and the state’s transportation leadership legacy is clear: we now boast the world’s busiest airport; the fourth busiest port in the U.S.; the largest rail network in the Southeast; and the 12th largest air cargo hub in North America. Additionally, 80 percent of the U.S. population is within a two-day truck drive and Georgia interstates facilitate the movement of more than $620 billion of cargo each year.

Over the last decade, that momentum has increased dramatically as Georgia leaders have advanced important legislation to improve infrastructure. Since 2012, thirteen counties and four regions have passed local transportation project funding referenda to repair and expand local infrastructure.  In 2015, Governor Nathan Deal signed the Transportation Funding Act to provide predictable and sustainable revenue for the repair and maintenance of statewide roads and bridges. In May 2018, Governor Deal also signed legislation into law creating the Atlanta Region Transit Link Authority creating integrated transit planning for the 13- county Metro Atlanta area and opportunities for those counties to raise funds through transportation local optional sales taxes. Over the last eight years under the leadership of Governor Deal, Speaker David Ralston, and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, the state has invested almost $300 million in the Savannah Harbor deepening project.

However, our state is growing – rapidly. By 2030, Georgia will experience an estimated 60% growth in port traffic; 16% energy demand growth; and 1.4 million more cars on our roads. Georgia’s population will grow by 19% and flights through Hartsfield Jackson International Airport will increase by 130,000.

Clearly, Georgia leaders must prioritize investment in infrastructure to keep up with this growth and remain competitive. Investments are needed to expand our freight and logistics network by completing the Savannah Harbor deepening project; improve the Port of Brunswick; expand Hartsfield Jackson International Airport cargo capacities; and build a plan to expand all our statewide freight assets. The expansion of broadband technologies is essential to economic development, health care, education, and public safety. Providing solutions that lead to improved economic opportunities including critical infrastructure needs that increase access to broadband, continues to be a priority for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.  As the quality of life and business climate are directly impacted by broadband connectivity, we must be intentional in our efforts to create an effective and sustainable solution in expanding broadband deployment.

We also must encourage infrastructure development through streamlining the regulatory framework and market-based incentives. Georgia can’t afford to be grounded by lagging infrastructure. Companies depend on the ability to move their products efficiently through the state. When businesses thrive, opportunities for employment and improved quality of life will abound for citizens.

It is also critical that people are able to move efficiently throughout our great state. There must be increased focus on growing and developing transit networks statewide. Strategic plans that include benchmarks for predictable commutes for commuters and job access for consumers must be developed and maintained to strategically prioritize investments. Georgia must increase mobility by driving down congestion, allowing individuals to spend more time at work, school, and home with their families.

Building and maintaining modern infrastructure is more than transportation. The state of Georgia must modernize investments in energy infrastructure to include a diverse mix of sustainable, reliable and affordable sources. Additionally, Georgia must continue to fund water management and conservation efforts to ensure long-term, statewide quality water access. Our state must have the necessary resources to support growth of existing businesses, attract new businesses and increase economic opportunities for Georgians.

Georgia has been named the number one state in the nation in which to do business for five consecutive years. To further this success, our state must prioritize investments in infrastructure that increase opportunities for mobility for Georgians. Put simply, infrastructure investment equals economic opportunity, and opportunity should define Georgia’s future.

This is the second in a series of eight opinion pieces by Chris Clark, President & CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, on the Georgia Chamber’s 8 for ‘18 initiative. For more information on these issues and to see how candidates for statewide office responded to the Georgia Chamber questionnaire, visit 8for18.com

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Rob McClure, 877-700-8047, rob@thelifefm.com

“Today’s Gospel” for Statesboro and Southeast Georgia

Statesboro, Ga. – The award-winning LifeFM Radio Network would like to announce the on-air debut of its new station, WQTS 102.9 FM.
Beginning on Friday, Sept. 7, Bulloch County and surrounding area residents can enjoy the top sounds in Southern Gospel, featuring long-time favorite groups such as Greater Vision, The Hoppers and the Booth Brothers, plus present-day artists and bluegrass music.
The opportunity to launch a station in the southeastern area of Georgia was welcomed with much enthusiasm by co-founder Rob McClure and his LifeFM staff, headquartered in Greenville, S.C. In addition to the non-commercial, all-music format offered on its broadcasts, The LifeFM plans to provide a closer connection to Southern Gospel music fans. “We hope to bring more quality Christian events to the local community,” states McClure.
The LifeFM Network consists of 25 radio stations, covering geography from Illinois to Florida. Since the launch of its first station in October 2010, The LifeFM Network has continued to make a mark in the industry, receiving the 2017 Radio Impact Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association. Rodney Baucom, The LifeFM’s Program Director, is an award-winning broadcaster who presently hosts the weekly Singing News Top 20 Countdown Show. Baucom also hosts The LifeFM’s Get-Up & Go Morning Show, aired live every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00.
The LifeFm is a 100 percent listener-supported radio ministry of the nonprofit 501(c)3 Power Foundation. The LifeFM tells its audience that they are “Living Life Together.” Navigating through the challenges of each day can be tricky and tiresome, but The LifeFM strives to remind them that they are not alone.
More information about The LifeFM Network can be found at: thelifefm.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Alex Coffey, 404-223-2263, acoffey@gachamber.com

Christina Tuck, 404-223-2272, ctuck@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber of Commerce: 8 for 18 Business and Legal Climate Op-Ed

Over the last decade, Georgia’s business climate has been highly ranked by a number of national publications. You have no doubt heard that Georgia has been ranked the Best State for Business for five years in a row. Private and public sector leaders have worked hard with Governor Deal to bring new investments and jobs, improving the quality of life for Georgians. To continue this prosperity, Georgia leaders must maintain the momentum and prioritize improvements in our business and legal climate. Keeping Georgia open for business leads off our discussion of the Georgia Chamber’s 8 for 18 initiative, which highlights the issues that our elected officials must address during the 2018 election cycle.

While Georgia has made great progress in criminal reform our neighboring states have taken steps to improve their civil judicial systems.  Entrepreneurs in Georgia are too often trapped in a legal system that hasn’t kept up with a fast-changing digital business world. While there is more work to do in the coming years, Georgia voters have the opportunity this November to make great strides in improving our legal fairness by voting Yes on Amendment #2 to create a statewide business court. A statewide business court reduces litigation costs by removing complex, time consuming cases from the general docket and allows this opportunity to be available to all Georgia business owners, regardless of zip code. Statewide business courts already exist in the Metro Atlanta area and we need to expand this opportunity to the rest of Georgia. Businesses of all sizes will benefit from a system that helps speed up complex litigation between two businesses and lets our existing courts focus on serving everyday citizens.

But our legal climate isn’t the only area where Georgia can make improvements. The state made significant progress this year when Congress and the General Assembly both passed legislation that reduced federal and state income taxes at the personal and corporate levels. Taxes are a bottom line issue for companies of all sizes, and we’ve been thrilled to see so many Georgia companies immediately pass these tax cuts on to their employees through bonuses, raises and by further investing in their communities. A strong tax policy environment will help businesses of all sizes make long-term investments that will help Georgia for generations to come. Even with these successes, there are still issues that have the potential to slow down our economy while helping maintain Georgia’s strong credit rating.

Small businesses constantly tell us they are frustrated by the level of government regulations that make it hard to start or expand their operations. Our regulatory environment should encourage innovation. Small businesses want to work to remove outdated mandates and regulations allowing authentic, innovative ideas to flourish in our state. Permitting and licensing reform should be pursued to make it easier for individuals to transition into new careers, and government services should be modernized to lower costs and improve these services. Our systems should be pathways to opportunities, not obstacles to prosperity.

Georgia’s success has been the result of the partnership between the private and public sectors, providing consistent leadership and deliberate actions. To continue our success and further prosperity for more Georgians, our leaders must stay focused on the issues that matter most to ensure we remain competitive. Our opportunities are numerous when we work together to bridge gaps and find common ground for success.

This is the first of a series of opinion pieces by Chris Clark, President & CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, on the Georgia Chamber’s 8 for 18 initiative. For more information on these issues and to see how candidates for statewide office responded to the Georgia Chamber questionnaire, visit www.8for18.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.



Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Alex Coffey, 404-223-2263, acoffey@gachamber.com

Christina Tuck, 404-223-2272, ctuck@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber of Commerce endorses candidates for state legislature 

Atlanta, GA – August 30, 2018 – The Georgia Chamber of Commerce announced its endorsement of several candidates running for state House and Senate in the upcoming General Election. Endorsees include Matt Bentley­—House District 40, Alex Kaufman—House District 51, Bonnie Rich—House District 97, Noel Williams —House District 148, Greg Dolezal— Senate District 27, Matt Reeves—Senate District 48, Randy Robertson—Senate District 29, Donna Sheldon—House District 107, and Ken Wright —House District 79.

“As the advocacy arm for businesses statewide, the Chamber is committed to electing strong, pro-business candidates for office who are dedicated to improving the quality of life and business climate,” said Chris Clark, Georgia Chamber President & CEO. “We look forward to working with each candidate if elected to build on Georgia’s legacy as the best state for business.”

“The Chamber is a long-time proponent of policies that advance legislation to secure economic growth and competitiveness. We are proud to endorse candidates who are proven allies of the business community,” said David Raynor, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. “I am confident in their ability to represent Georgia businesses of every size, sector, and region with principled leadership.”

As the unified voice of the business community, the Georgia Chamber is a nonpartisan organization that is dedicated to working with elected officials to ensure a future of economic growth for Georgia businesses, workers, and families. For more information about Georgia Chamber endorsements, visit www.gachamber.com.

About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

As the state’s largest business organization, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce represents investors in every county of our state with a diverse cross-section of over 500 industry sectors. Our membership includes both small storefronts and large corporations-no matter the size or type of business, we provide proactive policy, aggressive advocacy and meaningful investor services that impact your bottom line. Our number one mission is keeping, growing and creating jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. We work to ensure economic competitiveness, innovative solutions to challenges that state faces, and a commitment to high quality of life.  The Georgia Chamber serves as a partner for local chambers across the state. While we have many of the same goals, the Georgia Chamber focuses on statewide issues that impact Georgia’s entire business community.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Susan Moore, smoore@mag.org, 877-921-7196, www.healtheparadigm.com

MAG applauds innovative patient data analytics solution’s early adopters 

(August 29, 2018) Four medical practices in Georgia that have more than 40 physicians who care for thousands of patients have announced that they are now using HealtheParadigm – an innovative health IT solution that enables physicians to generate sophisticated patient data analytics that they can use to improve patient outcomes and meet today’s quality metrics.

The practices include Albany Surgical, PC, Cairo Medical Care, LLC, Griner Medical Group, LLC, in Valdosta, and North Atlanta Primary Care, PC.

“This is a significant development for patients and physicians and Georgia’s overall health care system,” says Frank McDonald, M.D., M.B.A., the president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG), which endorses HealtheParadigm. “We applaud these physicians and practices for demonstrating great vision and leadership.”

North Atlanta Primary Care CEO and Medical Director Thomas Bat, M.D., explains that, “There are dramatic changes taking place within the health care system, which means that we need to adapt and evolve as physicians and practices. Having assessed this solution in great depth and detail, we are confident that HealtheParadigm will help us to deliver better patient care in a better and more cost-effective and efficient way –and we are also convinced that it will give us a strategic business advantage.”

Griner Medical Group Chief Medical Officer Brian Griner, M.D., adds that, “Deploying the MAG-endorsed HealtheParadigm across our practices drives the common goal of delivering the best possible patient care and benefits our entire state’s medical community. We are excited to be a part of this physician-led solution.”

North Atlanta Primary Care has nearly 90,000 active patients, while the Griner Medical Group has about 15,000.

Dr. McDonald stresses that, HealtheParadigm enables physicians to share patient data in a near real-time and seamless way – whether the patient or physician is in downtown Atlanta or a small town in a rural part of the state, 24/7.”

He also notes that, “Physicians can use HealtheParadigm’s data analytics dashboard features to enhance patient care and reduce duplicities and inefficiencies and costs.”

And Dr. McDonald explains that, “HealtheParadigm enables the use of sophisticated analyses across patients’ longitudinal medical records, which includes clinical data submitted by every other participant that is part of the HealtheParadigm health information exchange network.”

Finally, Dr. McDonald believes that HealtheParadigm participants have “additional peace of mind” knowing that its advisory committee consists of physicians from different specialties and practice settings.

A number of other medical practices are expected to begin using HealtheParadigm in the near future.

About HealtheParadigm

HealtheParadigm is a physician-led health information network endorsed by the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and delivered in partnership with KAMMCO. HealtheParadigm offers a suite of health information technology tools to help health professionals share patient information while employing powerful analytic reports designed to help improve clinical outcomes, reduce inefficiencies, and positively impact patient safety.

HealtheParadigm is a member of the KAMMCO Network. KAMMCO is a physician-led healthcare organization affiliated with the Kansas Medical Society that is uniquely positioned to help physicians, other healthcare providers, integrated delivery networks, accountable care organizations, and others seeking to improve patient outcomes and adapt to new performance-based payment models through the use of data analytics and business intelligence tools. The KAMMCO physician-led health information exchange model is now delivering analytics products and services in partnership with medical societies in six states beyond Kansas, including South Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Missouri, Louisiana and Georgia. Go to www.healtheparadigm.com/Home.aspx for additional information on HealtheParadigm.

About Medical Association of Georgia
Founded in 1849, MAG is the leading advocate for physicians in the state of Georgia with more than 7,800 members, including physicians in every specialty and practice setting. MAG focuses on legislative, legal and third party payer issues.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Alex Coffey, 404-223-2263, acoffey@gachamber.com

Christina Tuck, 404-223-2272, ctuck@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce establish partnership 

Atlanta, GA – August 29, 2018– On Tuesday, August 28th, the Georgia Chamber and Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of their strategic partnership as their newest initiative to promote inclusive economic growth and development. As both organizations have a long-standing history of supporting businesses across the state, their alliance seeks to foster the relationships between Hispanic and Non-Hispanic businesses, elected officials, governmental agencies, and industry leaders.

“Today marks the beginning of a unique partnership that will increase economic opportunity and mobility throughout the Hispanic business community. With a growing Hispanic population, there has been a 73% increase in Hispanic-owned businesses. We are committed to working with our partners to ensure that our state provides the climate and resources necessary for minority businesses to expand their operations to build a competitive and highly skilled workforce,” said Chris Clark, Georgia Chamber President & CEO. “Hispanic entrepreneurship is extremely important to our state and our country. We are proud to partner with the Georgia Hispanic Chamber and look forward to working with them in our pursuit to support the growth and diversification of Georgia’s emerging industries and communities.”

“A diverse workforce is integral to a strong economy. We are excited to announce our partnership with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. As the state’s advocate for Hispanic businesses, we are dedicated to working with stakeholders and community leaders for the implementation of policies that support the enterprises that drive our local economies,” said Georgia Hispanic Chamber President & CEO, Santiago Marquez. “Through our collaborative effort we will work to facilitate entrepreneurship, growth, and job creation to ensure that Georgia not only remains the best place to live but is also an ideal location for Hispanic-owned businesses to thrive! It is an honor and a privilege to be part of a partnership that is dedicated to improving the quality of life and business climate for Latino businesses and the communities they serve.”

Minority business development is a critical component of Georgia’s economy as Georgia is home to a diverse business community of large and small companies across various sectors, which employ and serve a multicultural demographic. Through their leadership, the Georgia Chamber and Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will actively promote the economic growth, development, and interests of minority-owned businesses statewide. To learn more about the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce visit https://ghcc.org/. Click here to learn more about the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.Photos from the official signing ceremony can be accessed here.

About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

As the state’s largest business organization, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce represents investors in every county of our state with a diverse cross-section of over 500 industry sectors. Our membership includes both small storefronts and large corporations-no matter the size or type of business, we provide proactive policy, aggressive advocacy and meaningful investor services that impact your bottom line. Our number one mission is keeping, growing and creating jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. We work to ensure economic competitiveness, innovative solutions to challenges that state faces, and a commitment to high quality of life.  The Georgia Chamber serves as a partner for local chambers across the state. While we have many of the same goals, the Georgia Chamber focuses on statewide issues that impact Georgia’s entire business community.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Alex Coffey, 404-223-2263, acoffey@gachamber.com

Christina Tuck, 404-223-2272, ctuck@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber of Commerce announces InVenture Prize Competition 

Atlanta, GA –August 28, 2018– The Georgia Chamber is proud to announce its newest initiative to establish Georgia as a leading state for innovation, entrepreneurship, and small business success.

In partnership with the Georgia Department of Education, University System of Georgia, Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, and private colleges the Chamber launched its “Georgia InVenture Prize” statewide competition. As a concept modeled after Georgia Tech’s existing InVenture Prize contest, the initiative seeks to enhance entrepreneurial culture and strengthen Georgia’s pipeline of inventors and start-up companies.

The statewide initiative will provide opportunities for growth and development in emerging industries across all sectors. Students in K-12 and higher education are eligible to participate. The Georgia colleges and universities competition will represent teams comprised of full-time, degree-seeking, undergraduate students who are the original creators and owners of the invention or intellectual property conceptualizing their business plan. A First Place, Second Place, and People’s Choice Award will be awarded upon the conclusion of the final round. Divisions featured in the K-12 contest include high school, middle school, elementary school, and K-2.  This contest will represent teams from Georgia’s public and private schools throughout the state. Both contests will be judged on the quality of their idea, business model, entrepreneurship, and probability of success.

“As the largest statewide business advocate, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce understands the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation, as it is a long-standing Chamber position to support the implementation of policies that promote commercialization, research activity, and collaboration among the private and public sectors,” said Chris Clark, Georgia Chamber President & CEO. “We encourage participation and look forward to working with our Georgia InVenture Prize partners in our continued efforts to develop local talent and increase access to venture capital.”

To learn more about the Georgia InVenture Prize Competition, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.georgiainventureprize.org. Pictures from the InVenture Prize Summit can be accessedhere.

About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

As the state’s largest business organization, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce represents investors in every county of our state with a diverse cross-section of over 500 industry sectors. Our membership includes both small storefronts and large corporations-no matter the size or type of business, we provide proactive policy, aggressive advocacy and meaningful investor services that impact your bottom line. Our number one mission is keeping, growing and creating jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. We work to ensure economic competitiveness, innovative solutions to challenges that state faces, and a commitment to high quality of life.  The Georgia Chamber serves as a partner for local chambers across the state. While we have many of the same goals, the Georgia Chamber focuses on statewide issues that impact Georgia’s entire business community.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Kathryn Igou

Turknett Leadership Group
770-270-1723

  2018 Leadership Character Awards announced by Turknett Leadership Group and Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership

Atlanta-based Turknett Leadership Group and The Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership have announced the nominees for the 13th Leadership Character Awards. The awards will be held at a luncheon on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at the Georgia Aquarium.
Andrew J. Young- civil and human rights pioneer, former U.S Ambassador to the UN, and former Atlanta Mayor – will be the 2018 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Leadership Character. “It is a privilege to recognize Ambassador Young with this prestigious award. Few of us have been tested the way he has been throughout his life yet he continues to serve the needs of others. He is a role model of courage, character and servant leadership,” said Pat Falotico, CEO, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.
The award recognizes exceptional leaders who exemplify the highest standards of character, integrity, and servant leadership over a lifetime of organizational service and service to the larger community.
Since 2003, the Turknett Leadership Character Awards have recognized Georgia leaders who demonstrate character in leadership based on alignment with The Leadership Character Model™, a model developed by Bob and Lyn Turknett in 1995. Nominated individuals demonstrate integrity, balance respect and responsibility, and pass Robert Greenleaf’s Best Test™ of servant leadership by nurturing servant leadership in others.
All nominees are recognized at the event, and a top nominee in each category will be selected by the Advisory Board. Members of the 2018 Advisory Board include: Ann Cramer, Senior Consultant with Coxe Curry & Associates; Tom Crawford, Principal/Founder of Crawford Corporate Coaching, former Leadership Character Award winner; David Ratcliffe, former President, and CEO of Southern Company; Conchita Robinson, President and CEO of C Robinson Associates, Inc.; Ann Stallard, Senior Advisor of Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs and former Leadership Character Award winner; and Advisor Emeritus, Dr. Betty Siegel, President Emeritus & Endowed Chair of Siegel Institute of Leadership, Ethics & Character, Kennesaw State University.
2018 Nominees
CEO/President/Managing Partner – Large Company Category:
* John Dwyer, President – AT&T Prepaid Portfolio
* Alex Gregory, Immediate Past CEO/Chairman – YKK
* Shane Jackson, President – Jackson Healthcare
CEO/President/Managing Partner – Small/Medium Company Category:
* Clint Bailey, Managing Partner – HUNTER Technical
* Tom Burnside, CEO – LendingPoint
* Aaron Goldman, President – Perennial Properties
* Walter Griggs, President/CEO – SquarePac
* Mark Lloyd, Owner/CEO – The Lloyd Group, Inc.
* Donna Morgan, President/CEO – Columbus Hospice of GA & AL
* Arnie Silverman, President – Silverman CPM
* Katerina Taylor, President/CEO – DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
* Moira Vetter, CEO – Modo Modo Agency
Executive/Manager Category:
* Monica Anderton, VP HR – Mondi Paper
* Michael Blake, Director – Brady Ware
* Martin Davis, EVP & CIO – Southern Company
* Rich DeAugustinis, VP Global Communications & Planning – Coca-Cola
* Resha Gadson, Associate Director – AT&T
* Stacy Hughes, SVP – Global Payments
* Angela Long, VP/Chief People Officer – Colonial Pipeline Co.
* Dianne Miller, Director – AT&T
* Leon Morales, Managing Director – DNA Behavior International
* Greg Morrison, SVP/CIO – Cox Enterprises
* Kishia Powell, Commissioner – City of Atlanta Watershed Project
* Nzinga Shaw, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer – Atlanta Hawks/Phillips Arena
Education Category:
* Dr. Robiaun Charles, VP for College Advancement – Agnes Scott College
* Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, President/Dean – Morehouse School of Medicine
* Rita Sheffey, Assistant Dean for Public Service – Emory University School of Law
* Mark Whitlock, Founding CEO – Central Education Center
Non-Profit Category:
* Maria Balais, Executive Director – Leadership DeKalb
* Larry Campbell, Executive Director – Corners Outreach
* Robin Collins, VP – League of Women Voters of Georgia
* Darlene Duke, Executive Director – Sweetwater Mission
* Patrick Gahan, Founder – Enduring Hearts
* Jack Harris, President/CEO – Junior Achievement of Georgia
* Kevin James, Acting CEO – 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
* Kwame Johnson, President/CEO – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
* Matt Lindenberg, Founder/President – Global Conservation Corps
* Beth Messer,Chief Program Officer – Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta
* Dr. Amy Pelissero, Head of School – Global Village Project
* Len Ramano, President/CEO – Christian City
* Cati Stone, Executive Director – Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta
* Viola Thompson, President/CEO – IT Senior Management Forum
* Kyle Waide, President/CEO – Atlanta Community Food Bank
* Dave Ward, President & CEO – Tommy Nobis Center
* Dr. Dakira Watkins, Director of Student Services – Year Up
Inspiritor Category:
* Donna Buchanan, Former COO – United Way Greater Atlanta
* Randy Hain, Founder – Serviam Partners
* Nikki Jefferson, SR HR Business Partner /Mgr. – Cox Communications
* Lloyd Knight, Director – UPS
* Bill McGahan, Chair/Founder – Georgia Works!
* Rose McKeever, Nurse Navigator – DeKalb Medical
* Tricia Molloy, President – Working with Wisdom
* Brenda Morant, CEO – Womens’ International Think Tank
* Dianne Rogers, Charter Member – GA Commission on Women
* Theresa Spralling, Associate Director – AT&T
* Richard “Ricky” Steele, CEO – Steele Technology Partners
* Forrest Tuff, CEO – One Vision Productions, LLC
* Dr. Lana Wachniak – Orange Duffel Bag Initiative
The awards will once again be presented under the auspices of the Greenleaf Center for Servant LeadershipTM, a nonprofit [501(c)3] with international reach. Net proceeds from this year’s awards will be used to fund Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership Journey Online™ scholarships for student members of their Georgia chapters of Golden Key International Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity.
Pat Falotico, Bob and Lyn Turknett, and the Host Committee invite everyone in the community to attend the Leadership Character Awards. 2018 Host Committee members include:
Cathy Adams, Federal Home Loan Bank
Teanna Alexis, AT&T
Ron Alston, SunTrust Bank
Letty Ashworth*, Delta
Veronica Biggins, Diversified Search
Becky Blalock, Retired – So. Company
Shan Cooper*, Community Servant
Amy Corn, Marketing/Communication
Paulette Corbin, Corbin Executive Coaching
Tracy Crump, Foundation of Wesley Woods
Tom Darrow, Talent Connections & Career Spa
Kathy Dowling, United Way Women United
Nellie Duke*, Georgia Women’s Institute
Rita Evans, Merrill Lynch
Tracy Garner*, AT&T
Mary Ellen*/Patsy Garrett, Merrill Lynch
Kym Harris, Ph.D., Your SweetSpot Coaching & Consulting
Ardie S. Harrison, Board Member VEO
Steve Hennessy, Hennessy Automobile Companies
Bob Hope, Hope-Beckham, Inc.
Stuart Johnson*, Barnes & Thornburg
Bob Littell, Littell Consulting Services
Wonya Lucas, Public Broadcasting Atlanta
Allyson Lundquist
Susan O’Dwyer, Aprio
Michael Petrik*, Alston & Bird LLP
Katerina Taylor, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Liz Ward, United Way Greater ATL
Jessie Pottsdamer Watson
John Yates*, Morris, Manning & Martin LLP
* Indicates former Leadership Character Award Winner
For ticket information, please go to https://members.greenleaf.org/event/lca18. Barnes & Thornburg LLP will be the presenting sponsor for the 2018 Awards, and are also
sponsoring at the time of this release. Additional information about sponsorship can be
found at https://www.leadershipcharacterawards.org/sponsors/.
About the Leadership Character Awards
Since 2003, the Turknett Leadership Character Awards have recognized Georgia leaders who display character in leadership based on alignment with The Leadership Character Model™, a model developed by Bob and Lyn Turknett in 1995. The 2018 Awards will be presented under the auspices of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and will be held on October 9, 2018 at the Georgia Aquarium.
About the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership
Founded in 1964, the Greenleaf Center is an international nonprofit organization that
serves students, individuals, workplaces and the community by growing servant-leaders
through education and programming. Robert K. Greenleaf was the author of “The
Servant as Leader,” a landmark essay that coined the phrase “servant-leader” and
launched the modern servant leadership movement. Today the Greenleaf Center
nurtures students, enhances workplaces and builds the servant leader community
through education, leadership development and conferences. To find out more, please
visit www.greenleaf.org.
About Turknett Leadership Group
TLG’s expertise is Leadership. With over 30 years’ experience, TLG is Atlanta’s premiere resource for Executive Coaching, Talent Assessment, Leadership Team Development, Culture Assessment and Change, and more. Through an approach grounded in science and guided by the Leadership Character Model™, TLG helps organizations hire the best people, identify and develop high potentials, and create high-performing cultures. To find out more, please visit www.turknett.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: James Nixon, 404-223-2294, LeadershipGeorgia.com

Leadership Georgia announces 2018 award winners 

Leadership Georgia honors Johnson, Hunt and Staub

(ATLANTA, Ga.) – The Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees is pleased to announce recipients of three coveted awards to be presented at this year’s annual gala. Leadership Georgia’s Annual Gala and Awards Presentation has become a signature event for honoring and celebrating the outstanding accomplishments and contributions that have been made by alumni and others to Leadership Georgia, our communities and the state as a whole. Over 650 people attend the event to honor the award recipients, reconnect with friends, and relive memories in true Leadership.

This year’s awards and honorees are:

The FREDERICK B. KERR Service Award – Honorable Horace J. Johnson Jr. of Covington

An award presented in memory of Frederick B. Kerr to Leadership Georgia members who have demonstrated enthusiastic and active support of Leadership Georgia on a continuing and consistent basis.

Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr., a Newton County native, has served his hometown community as a superior court judge in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit since 2002.  Judge Johnson, an Emory University and University of Georgia School of Law grad, was one of the first black students to integrate Newton County Schools. Judge Johnson presides over a Parental Accountability Court, serves as past president of the Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia, is founder of Newton Mentoring and serves on the Judicial Council of Georgia.

Through the years, he has been appointed to various statewide and community boards and committees, including the Georgia Accountability Courts Funding Committee; the Access, Fairness, Public Trust & Confidence Committee, and the Judicial Council’s Domestic Violence Committee. Judge Johnson and his wife, Michelle, are proud parents of two sons. The Johnsons are alumni of the 2002 class of Leadership Georgia and Judge Johnson served as the 2009 president of the organization.

The J. W. FANNING Award – Mrs. Julie Ewing Hunt of Tifton

An award presented in memory of J.W. Fanning to a Georgian whose statewide contributions through progressive leadership and service have been broad in scope and rich in achievement.

Hunt is the president of J.H. Services, Inc. She is an entrepreneur with experience in the restaurant, advertising and real estate industries, as well as a former school teacher. Hunt serves as a member of the Georgia Ports Authority, a member of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College President’s Club, an emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation and a former Regent of the University System of Georgia. She is the chair of the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association and a past president of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce. She is also the chamber’s 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year recipient.

Hunt is a former member of the Commission for the Privatization of State Government and the Georgia Economic Development Authority. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Valdosta State University. Hunt has two children and seven grandchildren. She resides in Tifton.

The E. DALE THREADGILL Community Service Award – Mr. Eddie Staub of Gainesville

An award presented in honor of E. Dale Threadgill to Leadership Georgia members who have taken the principles learned in Leadership Georgia and put them to work in their communities.

Eddie Staub is founder and executive director of Eagle Ranch, a community uniquely designed to help make life better for children and families going through a crisis. For nearly 35 years, Eagle Ranch has served as Georgia’s foremost family reunification program. Staub has been honored for Eagle Ranch’s contributions to youth and families throughout Georgia.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Staub graduated with a B.S. in science education from Auburn University and was a member of the varsity baseball team. He also has a master’s degree in physiology from Auburn. He is married to the former Kayanne Morris of Atlanta, and they have five children. The Staubs are alumni of the 1999 class of Leadership Georgia.

The 2018 Leadership Georgia Annual Gala will be held Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in beautiful Athens, Georgia, at the Classic Center! “We as vested Georgians are privileged to honor these great individuals who have had significant impacts on their communities and the state at-large,” stated James Nixon, trustee and chair of the 2018 awards committee.

Leadership Georgia is excited about the Annual Gala and Awards Presentation that gives the 4,000-plus alumni the opportunity to connect, honor and continue the legacy of Leadership Georgia. In addition to the fun of reconnecting with friends, the event is a unique way Leadership Georgia ensures its continued success. Proceeds from the Gala and Awards Presentation offset the costs of future programs, thus enabling Leadership Georgia to continue its legacy of developing and inspiring leaders from all walks of life in Georgia. More information on Leadership Georgia is available at leadershipgeorgia.com.

Note: High-resolution head shots available upon request

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About Leadership Georgia …

Leadership Georgia stands apart as one of the nation’s oldest and most successful leadership-training programs for young business, civic and community leaders with the desire and potential to work together for a better Georgia. Its primary purpose is to identify, train and inspire a network of emerging young leaders, whose ages typically range from 25 to 45 years old. Affiliated with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the organization has fielded numerous highly influential state and national leaders. Among the ranks of Leadership Georgia alumni, there are leaders in business, not-for-profit organizations and elected officials, including U.S. senators, U.S. congressmen, state legislators and a Georgia secretary of state. Leadership Georgia 270 Peachtree St. Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303. www.leadershipgeorgia.com

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Neisha McGee, 404-223-2493, gmcgee@gachamber.com

Alex Coffey, 404-223-2263, acoffey@gachamber.com

Christina Tuck, 404-223-2272, ctuck@gachamber.com

Georgia Chamber of Commerce announces endorsements for statewide candidates 

Atlanta, GA – August 21, 2018 – The Georgia Chamber of Commerce announced its endorsement of Gary Black for Commissioner of Agriculture, Chris Carr for Attorney General, Mark Butler for Commissioner of Labor, Chuck Eaton for Public Service Commissioner District 3, and Tricia Pridemore for Public Service Commissioner District 5 in the 2018 general election.

“The Chamber is proud to announce our support and endorsement of their candidacy in this year’s election,” said Chris Clark, Georgia Chamber President & CEO. “We look forward to working with each candidate to strengthen our growing economy and remain increasingly competitive in our efforts to maintain our status of being the No. 1 state in which to do business. Each of these incumbents have demonstrated unwavering commitment for economic growth and have proven their ability to represent the interests of Georgia businesses and working families.”

“The administration and operation of these governmental agencies play a vital role in advancing economic opportunities, and it is critical that we elect pro-business officials who are dedicated to protecting and promoting sound policy,” said Georgia Chamber Political Affairs Council Chairman, Ben J. Tarbutton, III. “I am confident that these candidates will continue to provide the effective leadership that Georgians deserve.”

As the largest statewide business advocate, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce has a membership of over 40,000 investors. The Chamber is dedicated to working with all elected leaders to improve the quality of life and business climate in every community throughout the state.

About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

As the state’s largest business organization, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce represents investors in every county of our state with a diverse cross-section of over 500 industry sectors. Our membership includes both small storefronts and large corporations-no matter the size or type of business, we provide proactive policy, aggressive advocacy and meaningful investor services that impact your bottom line. Our number one mission is keeping, growing and creating jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. We work to ensure economic competitiveness, innovative solutions to challenges that state faces, and a commitment to high quality of life.  The Georgia Chamber serves as a partner for local chambers across the state. While we have many of the same goals, the Georgia Chamber focuses on statewide issues that impact Georgia’s entire business community.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Ashley Bush

770-832-4577

Southwire launches 2017 sustainability report

Annual report features updated materiality assessment, highlights progress toward sustainability goals

Carrollton, GA – August 15, 2018: Building upon the company’s strong commitment to sustainability, Southwire recently launched its 2017 sustainability report, written in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core option. This online report details Southwire’s progress toward its sustainability commitments and features the company’s management approach and achievements in its most significant, or “material,” sustainability topics.

The report covers all areas of sustainability at Southwire, including the company’s most significant impacts, opportunities, sustainability goals and strategies, which align with its five tenets—Growing Green, Living Well, Giving Back, Doing Right and Building Worth.

“At Southwire, we work hard every day to discover, develop and distribute sustainable solutions that exceed the expectations of our stakeholders around the world. In doing so, our goal is simple: We want to go from good to great,” said President and CEO, Rich Stinson. “We continue to build on our nearly seven decades of rich history by looking to the future—a future where needs will be met through high-end systems and solutions, and a future guided by the technologies, forces and trends shaping our industry. This report helps us clearly define the steps we are taking to ensure the sustainability of our business and maximize the positive impact we can have for our stakeholders.”

Southwire released its first GRI report in 2015, detailing the company’s progress on sustainability goals from 2014. This first report demonstrated Southwire’s strong commitment to transparency around the company’s sustainability initiatives. Southwire’s 2017 report features an updated materiality assessment, further guiding Southwire’s focus on the sustainability topics most significant to the business and its stakeholders.

“As we look toward the 2021 goals we’ve set for our company, it’s incredibly important that we focus on the topics that will most significantly contribute to our progress and our improvement,” said Jeff Herrin, SVP of Sustainability, EHS and Quality. “Our updated materiality assessment helps to clarify what is most important to those we interact with daily and those who will be influenced by our decisions, both today and in the future.”

As referenced in the report, 2017 yielded positive growth for Southwire, highlighted by strong business results, the definition of a five-year growth strategy, a deeper focus on the environment, significant efforts toward safety improvements and much more. A major highlight of the 2017 report included the company’s commitment to the UN Global Compact.

“We signed the UN Global Compact in July of 2017, becoming one of more than 12,000 signatories in 170 countries who are working to take actions that advance societal goals,” said Herrin. “To be a company that can sustain itself through many generations, it is important to align with these initiatives so that our communities around the world continue to prosper and thrive.”

Some of Southwire’s other notable accomplishments for 2017, within its tenets of sustainability, include the successful acquisition and integration of DCN Cables; the grand opening of its Thorn Customer Solutions Center; the development of a formalized inclusivity program and record efforts through Giving Back, specifically in the area of disaster relief.

“As I’ve said before, it is our priority that Southwire remains generationally sustainable for 100 years and beyond,” said Stinson. “I am incredibly proud to lead this great organization, made up of now more than 7,500 talented people across the globe that are working together to ensure we remain an industry and community leader for years to come.”

Full access to Southwire’s 2017 sustainability report is available at southwiresustainability.com.

A leader in technology and innovation and an emerging influence in the industrial electrical space, Southwire Company, LLC, is one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. In addition, Southwire supplies assembled products, contractor equipment and hand tools. For more on Southwire’s products, its community involvement and its vision of sustainability, visit southwiresustainability.com.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Joy Crosby

229-386-3690

Georgia Peanut Commission seeks National Peanut Board nominees for Alternate position

TIFTON, Ga. – The Georgia Peanut Commission seeks eligible peanut producers who are interested in serving as an alternate member on the National Peanut Board. The Georgia Peanut Commission will hold a nominations election to select two nominees for alternate position to the National Peanut Board during a meeting on Sept. 13, 2018, at noon at the GPC headquarters in Tifton, Ga. All eligible peanut producers are encouraged to participate. Eligible producers are those who are engaged in the production and sale of peanuts and who own or share the ownership and risk of loss of the crop.

Neil Lee of Bronwood, Ga., serves as the current alternate for the state of Georgia. The term for the current Georgia alternate expires Dec. 31, 2018.

The United States Department of Agriculture requires two nominees from each state for the alternate position. The National Peanut Board will submit Georgia’s slate of nominees to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who makes the appointments.

The National Peanut Board encourages inclusion of persons of any race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation and marital or family status. NPB encourages all persons who qualify as peanut producers to attend the meeting and run for nomination.

It is USDA’s policy that membership on industry-government boards and committees accurately reflect the diversity of individuals served by the programs.

About the Georgia Peanut Commission

The Georgia Peanut Commission has been working on the behalf of Georgia’s peanut farmers since 1961 in the areas of promotion, research and education.

About the National Peanut Board

The National Peanut Board represents all USA peanut farmers and their families. The mission of the Board is to improve the economic condition of USA peanut farmers and their families through compelling promotion and groundbreaking research.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.


Contact: Carol Pryor

Expanding transportation for people with disabilities

Georgia test case presents viable transportation option

ATLANTA, GA. – August 8 —Veterans, older adults and people with disabilities have countless obstacles to employment opportunities in Georgia and across the nation. Transportation should not be one of them.

Through a test case introducing Lyft as a flexible, cost-effective transportation option for people with disabilities, Georgia has used this transportation option for adults using supported employment services through a Medicaid Waiver Program.

The purpose of the test case was to respond to the major barrier to work that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience: lack of affordable, flexible transportation. The solution is just as viable for older adults and veterans who are unable to drive.

The compelling force behind the test case has been a mother who has been a long time advocate for a daughter with disabilities. In recognition of her efforts and leadership in developing and expanding the test case, Carol Pryor of Atlanta was presented the Aging and Disability Resource Connection 2018 Service Award.

Carol recognized the transportation barrier which is ever present for many Georgians with disabilities.

Utilizing the test case model on a wider scale will create tremendous opportunities for people with disabilities who are trained and ready to work. Success of the Georgia test case has generated interest among legislators, agencies and non-profit organizations in multiple states. Implementation of the test case model throughout the nation is the long-term goal.

The Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services is reviewing Georgia’s test case as a viable transportation option for senior mobility. When a scalable and sustainable model is implemented, Georgia will be the first state in the nation to have created a solution to address the dire need for transportation among older adults and people with disabilities and to provide people with disabilities an opportunity to work and live a life of inclusion in their communities.

https://news.gsu.edu/2018/07/17/how-the-gig-economy-could-aid-planning-for-older-adult-and-disability-services-in-georgia/

To learn more, visit the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities at https://dbhdd.georgia.gov/ or the Georgia DHS Division of Aging Services at https://aging.georgia.gov/.

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Disclaimer

The content and accuracy of all information contained in this press release is the responsibility of the originating company or group. All information contained in this press release may be independently checked prior to any use or publication. Information and/or opinions expressed in this press release are not necessarily the views of Georgia Press Association or its affiliates.

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