The link for leaders of Southeast Georgia
Justin Callaway is Executive Director of United Way of Coastal Georgia, serving Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh Counties in Southeast Georgia. Before joining the staff at United Way, Justin served as President and CEO of NewCity Brunswick, Inc., a nonprofit organization developed to direct investment in the residential resurgence and revitalization of Downtown Brunswick, GA. Justin helped to form NewCity after serving over a decade at SunTrust Private Wealth as VP and Investment Strategist.
Locally, Justin serves on the Board of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce and formerly served on the Boards of United Way of Coastal Georgia and Historic Brunswick Foundation. He also founded and directs the Community Leadership Council, a program that equips community leaders with tools to better serve on nonprofit boards.
Justin and his wife, Sarah, own and operate Sandy Bottom Bagels, a local restaurant on St. Simons Island. They live on St. Simons with their 3 boys: Hunter, Chase, and Jack.
2022 Site Coordinator: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
Director of Economic Development & Existing Industry, 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 Developer Association, and has served on the boards of the Greater Savannah Regional Alliance, an Leadership Southeast Georgia. She is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Leadership Liberty, Leadership Burke, and Leadership Southeast Georgia. Jessica is also an Economic Development Finance Professional as designated by the National Development Council.
2022 Site Coordinator:Effingham County