The link for leaders of Southeast Georgia
Cherise Cartwright is a 2004 Graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. She and her husband Dialo Cartwright (LSEGA Class of 2022) relocated from Sunny South Florida to Atlanta, GA in 2005 for Cherise’s career as a Project Manager at Citigroup and Dialo’s role as a Transmission Line Design Engineer at Georgia Power Company.
The couple has two very active children, in high school and elementary school, they have established homes in Atlanta, Macon, Savannah and now Saint Simons Island, over the past 18 years.
With a passion for community service, Cherise is active in multiple civic organizations including The Golden Isles Rotary, Brunswick Kiwanis. She also serves as a Board Member for the Glynn Environmental Coalition (GEC), Communities in Schools (CIS), Morningstar Childrens Home and the Coastal Area District Development Authority (CADDA).
Cherise is the Southeast Business Development Consultant for Sheridan Construction as well as the President of several businesses in Middle and Coastal Georgia.
2023 Program Manager:Glynn County
John Lester is Vice President for University Communications and Marketing at Georgia Southern University, overseeing all their advertising, PR and communications efforts. He started his career as a newspaper reporter in Tampa before moving into higher ed communications at the University of Florida. He then went to Columbus State University for 17 years before moving to Richmond Hill in July. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, a master’s degree from Columbus State, and a Doctorate in Public Administration from Valdosta State University. He is father to two beautiful girls and married to a spectacular school teacher.
2022 Site Coordinator:Bulloch County
Vice President, Jessica Hood, specializes in business attraction and business retention for the Effingham County Industrial Authority (ECIDA). Her focus includes promoting the organization and community to external audiences, coordinating and executing client visits and correspondences, and serving as the organization’s point of contact for both existing industries and potential industrial clients.
Jessica is a cum laude graduate of Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and a minor in regional development. She also earned her Masters in Business Administration from the Parker School of Business at Georgia Southern University. Jessica began her career in economic development at the Liberty County Development Authority, where she served as project manager for nearly five years. Prior to rejoining the LCDA as the Director of Business Development, Jessica worked on the business development team at the Savannah Economic Development Authority for over a year, and most recently served as the Executive Director at the Development Authority of Burke County.
Jessica is actively involved on the board of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, as well as Leadership Southeast Georgia. She is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Leadership Liberty, Leadership Burke, Leadership Effingham, and Leadership Southeast Georgia. Jessica is also an Economic Development Finance Professional as designated by the National Development Council, and a Certified Economic Developer as designated by the International Economic Development Council. Jessica was honored as one of Effingham Living’s 20 under 40 in 2021 and 2022, and was named to Georgia Southern University’s 40 under 40 list in 2022.