Leadership Southeast Georgia Begins 2024 Class with a Focus on Natural Resources

Leadership Southeast Georgia Begins 2024 Class with a Focus on Natural Resources

(GLYNN & CAMDEN COUNTIES, Ga.) Leadership Southeast Georgia, the premier regional leadership development program, launched its 2024 programming with a focus on the role of natural resources in the ten-county coastal region. The 29 members of the Class of 2024, representing diverse industries and communities, gathered for an immersive session exploring the challenges and opportunities surrounding water, land and wildlife.

“Southeast Georgia is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, which are a critical component of our regional economy and the perfect topic to start off the year,” said Kendria Lee, Chair of the Board of Directors for Leadership Southeast Georgia. “By bringing together these leaders from across the State of Georgia, we can foster collaboration and innovation to ensure a bright future.”

Organized by Leadership Southeast Georgia alumni and session one program manager Kristin Fulford, the program kicked off with a panel discussion on managing and protecting Southeast Georgia’s unique ecosystems, including barrier islands, marshes and waterways.

Class members then embarked on a boat tour of the St. Marys marsh, experiencing firsthand the delicate balance between thriving natural habitats and sustainable human activity. During the tour, local experts provided insights into the importance of the marsh for coastal protection, fisheries and recreation.

The day concluded with a networking reception where leaders, including Ralph Staffins, III, Director of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber; Regina McDuffie, City Manager of Brunswick; William Fallon, County Manager of Glynn County; and Jamie McCurry, Chief Administrative Officer of the Georgia Ports Authority, addressed the group. These prominent figures emphasized the critical role of responsible leadership in ensuring the long-term health and prosperity of the region, tied directly to the management of its natural resources.

Highlights of the program also included a tour of Sea Island facilities and a presentation by a Sea Island naturalist, offering a glimpse into the island’s distinctive coastal environment and commitment to sustainability. The professional development aspect of the program, which sets Leadership Southeast Georgia apart from other regional programs, explored communication preferences using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator with facilitator Suzanne Kirk of Employee Development Strategies, Inc. And finally, a dinner discussion with Bryan Fleuch, Associate Director of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and Karl Burgess, Assistant Director of Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division, hearing expert perspectives on natural resource policy.

The first session ended at Epworth by the Sea on St. Simons Island with a thought-provoking speaker sharing information on the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, recognizing the rich cultural history and traditions of the region’s African American communities.

“This was an invaluable opportunity for the class to connect with the natural beauty of Southeast Georgia,” said Fulford. “Through insightful discussions with each other and other experts, we gained a deeper understanding of how we help shape the future of our region.”

The Leadership Southeast Georgia 2024 overall program sponsors include Evans General Contractors, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Georgia Power, Georgia Southern University, M.E. Sack Engineering, Thomas & Hutton, International Paper, The Sack Company, Coleman Company, Goodwill Southeast Georgia, Bouhan Falligant, Rhowe Design + Build, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Economic Development Authority, World Trade Center Savannah, HunterMaclean, Hussey Gay Bell, Bank of Newington, Strategic Biz Solutions Unlimited LLC, Global Business Development Strategist LLC, Cecilia Russo Marketing, Dabbs Hickman Hill & Cannon, LLP and Georgia CEO.

Specifically for the Glynn and Camden Session, local sponsors include 1608 Liberty, Ameris Bank, Anchor Excursions, Atlantic Salt Realty, Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, Camden County Joint Development Authority, Emerald Princess Casino, Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Power, Golden Isles CVB, Golden Isles Development Authority, Goodwyn Mills Cawood, Joe Tanner & Associates, Kaufman Development Group, Lighthouse Benefit Advisors, McQuigg, Smith and Corry, Okefenokee EMC, Roberts Civil Engineering, Social Impact Community Partners, Southeast Georgia Health Systems, Southeastern Bank, St Marys Downtown Development Authority, Torras Properties, Tourism Leadership Council, United Community Bank, and W.H. Gross Construction Company.

Throughout the year, the Leadership Southeast Georgia Class of 2024 will explore a variety of other topics relevant to the region, including health and safety, infrastructure and workforce, education and agriculture. The program culminates in a graduation ceremony in June, where participants will showcase their leadership skills and commitment to serving the community.

To learn more about the Leadership Southeast Georgia program, visit lsega.com.

About Leadership Southeast Georgia
Leadership Southeast Georgia is a five-month, region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to most effectively advance positive growth and improve the quality of life in Southeast Georgia. The program brings together participants from various industries across 10 counties, fostering collaboration and regional understanding on issues such as healthcare, education, natural resources, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit lsega.com.

Cecilia Russo Marketing

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