Program Overview

Leadership Southeast Georgia

is a five-month region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to help them promote positive growth and improve the quality of life in the Southeast Georgia region.

The program will focus on improving leadership competencies most important to regional leadership.  Those competencies include:

Emotional intelligence or 'mastery of self'

Integrity and trust

Ethics and values

Building and sustaining collaboration

Conflict resolution and mediation through different interests

Effective communications with individuals and large and geographically dispersed audiences

Systematical thinking and long-range decision making

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This program attracts and connects seasoned civic and business leaders from the communities throughout southeast Georgia in an effort to strengthen leadership overall in our region.

Program Goals

The executive board and program participants represent a variety of industries across Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, and Screven counties. The class spends one weekend a month traveling to surrounding counties to learn about the impact of local issues such as healthcare, education, economic development, and transportation.

Increase knowledge about Southeast Georgia

Explore key issues that are common to every community

Develop informed perspective on relationship between individual communities in region

Improve individual leadership competencies of participants

Our History

Who We Are

Leadership Southeast Georgia is a regional leadership program designed to advance economic and community development in the 10-county southeast Georgia region and to build a network of regional leadership across county lines.


The 10 counties include Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven. With a focus on leadership and economic development, the program explores topics such as health and public safety, natural resources, military installations, education, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure.



The concept of a regional leadership program for southeast Georgia evolved in 1999 when leaders representing the business, local government and education communities tried to create a regional strategic plan for community and economic development.


From 2000-2009, Georgia Southern University hosted the Leadership Southeast Georgia program but then determined it could not be sustained solely by an academic institution. So a group of dedicated alumni joined forces to explore whether the program could be sustained and worked with the University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute to update the curriculum.

In 2010, the Coastal Regional Commission, whose domain covers the same 10-county area as Leadership Southeast Georgia agreed to serve as the host agency through 2014.


Looking to differentiate Leadership Southeast Georgia from similar programs and to incorporate a leadership development component, Leadership Southeast Georgia engaged facilitator Suzanne Kirk, with Employee Development Strategies, Inc., in 2013 to revamp the curriculum and enhance the participants’ professional development experience. In January 2015, Leadership Southeast Georgia became its own 501(c)3 organization.



Leadership Southeast Georgia is run by a talented and dedicated volunteer board of professionals from throughout the region and two dedicated contractors for facilitation (Suzanne Kirk of Employee Development Strategies, Inc.) and administrative support (Cynthia Cradduck and Suzanne (Suz) Smith of Cecilia Russo Marketing). Through generous alumni and corporate sponsorships, the program provides rich leadership experiences for participants.



Since 2000, the program has graduated 20 group classes representing over 442 graduates from throughout the region.