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Albany-Dougherty EDC wins “Best of Class” in Southern Economic Development Council’s annual communication awards

October 30, 2019 > Posted in News, News & Events

Contact:  Reedi Hawkins
October 30, 2019

Albany, Ga.– The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC) received top honors in the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC)’s Communication Awards for its #MadeInAlbanyGA industry marketing campaign, which was named “Best of Class” at the annual awards. The honor was received in the category of Overall Marketing Campaign for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000.

In addition to its Best of Class honor, the organization was also recognized with a certificate of merit for the print advertising component of its #MadeInAlbanyGA campaign. 

“These Annual Communication Awards recognize and showcase the leading communication and marketing work done by economic development professionals throughout the south. The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission hit the mark this year with its communication piece, ‘#MadeInAlbanyGA Industry Marketing Campaign: Albany, Georgia as a destination for world-class manufacturing,’ said SEDC president, Gene Stinson. “This piece not only showed creativity, but also solid messaging and effectiveness at reaching their target audience. We were wowed by all the entries we received this year and were impressed with the high level of marketing work being done in economic development by SEDC members.” 

The #MadeInAlbanyGA industry marketing campaign – comprised of print, digital and in-store marketing components – seeks to celebrate the supreme craftsmanship of the Albany-Dougherty County workforce and the products they create though encouraging the local community to take pride in and ownership of these products and industries, while also providing industrial prospects with a glimpse into Albany’s capabilities and benefits as a manufacturing destination.

“We are very proud to have the Made in Albany campaign recognized at this level. It truly is because of our local manufacturers and workforce that our community has earned this honor,” said Justin Strickland, president of the Albany-Dougherty EDC. “The EDC’s objective is to support the efforts of our existing industries while promoting the many benefits of doing business in Albany-Dougherty County in order to expand our industry base. The Made in Albany campaign has been a wonderful way to help do just that.”

Designed to increase community awareness on the operations of existing industries and the products produced by real people in Albany-Dougherty County, to be used all over the world, the first phase of the campaign kicked off in 2017 featuring a new manufacturer each month over the course of a year, highlighting the personal story of an employee working to produce an Albany-made product.

The second phase, which launched in 2019, features compiled elements of each manufacturer along with store signage indicating Albany-made products at local retailers including Homerun Foods, Mike’s Country Store and Woodall’s. 

The campaign has collectively produced hundreds of thousands of impressions across multiple platforms, ensuring that “made in Albany, Georgia” continues to evoke pride and respect, as it signifies the world’s finest products produced by its most capable workforce.

The awards were presented during the 2019 SEDC Annual Conference, August 4-6, 2019, in New Orleans, LA.

Judges for the SEDC Communication Awards are economic development consultants and communication and design professionals from across the southern United States who work with clients in developing strategies for growth in their communities. Judges are chosen based on their knowledge of economic development, the site selection process, content creation and graphic de­sign. 

Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC) Director of Marketing & Research Reedi Hawkins (left) and ADEDC PresidentJustin Strickland (right), pictured with 2019 SEDC Chairman Raul Peralta (center) as they receive the Best of Class Communication Award at the 2019 Southern Economic Development Council Annual Conference, August 4-6, 2019, in New Orleans, LA. The ADEDC received the prestigious recognition in the category of Overall Marketing Campaign for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000.

Community Listening Session on Workforce Development in Albany-Dougherty County

September 6, 2019 > Posted in Events, News & Events

Water Works in Albany – An Update on Water Utility Systems

September 6, 2019 > Posted in Events, News & Events

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard and her Coalition for Economic Development will host a public forum on Tuesday, September 17 providing information on the newly contracted water infrastructure management company Constantine.

Albany-Dougherty EDC, Albany Area Chamber to host community listening session on workforce

September 3, 2019 > Posted in News, News & Events

Albany, Ga. – The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC) and Albany Area Chamber of Commerce (AACC), in partnership with the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG), will host a community listening session on workforce development strategy on Monday, September 16, at Merry Acres Inn and Event Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. 

The event, which is open to the public, will allow community members the opportunity to interface directly with CVIOG representatives to share ideas and learn about the community’s opportunities in workforce development. 

“As a part of our joint strategic planning initiative on workforce development, it is important that our community members have an opportunity to engage in the process directly, providing feedback and insight on what they know and what they would like to see as a result of this new endeavor,” said ADEDC President Justin Strickland.

The event is a function of the ADEDC’s workforce development strategic planning initiative announced in May 2019 in partnership with the AACC. The strategic plan is a collaborative effort by the two organizations to develop a specialized strategy designed to bolster resources necessary to develop, attract, and retain talent in the area for industry and commerce. 

“The public listening session will allow for direct input from those who stand to gain the most from the community’s first comprehensive work force strategy – our citizens and our employers,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber. “The demand for talent is strong and it will only get stronger; this work force strategy better positions our community and better aligns our efforts so as to maximize resources and opportunities for employers and job seekers.”

CVIOG, a public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia aimed at enhancing the capacity of governments to provide services, is serving as the work force development plan consultant.

Development of the work force strategy is expected to be completed by early 2020, and will have a targeted implementation period of three to five years.


About the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce

Since 1910, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce has advocated for business success through leadership and economic development.

About the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission is a public-private partnership whose mission is to foster new investment and job creation through the recruitment, retention and expansion of industry for Albany-Dougherty County.

Albany-Dougherty EDC elects new chair, approves new contract for president

July 24, 2019 > Posted in News, News & Events

Albany, Ga. – The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission today held its annual shareholders meeting, followed by its quarterly board meeting during which staff presented comprehensive updates and board members representing the ADEDC’s partner entities – the City of Albany, Dougherty County and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce – elected Cynthia George as 2019-2020 ADEDC chair and approved a new contract for President Justin Strickland. 

George succeeds Jay Smith, area manager at Georgia Power, as the organization’s chair. Smith has represented the Chamber on the ADEDC board since 2007, having served 8.5 years as chair. 

“In my more than eight years as chair, I’ve been honored to support the recruitment, retention, expansion, and marketing efforts of the ADEDC.  Also, I am very proud of the recent announcements of impactful projects like Georgia-Pacific Lumber and WebstaurantStore, as well as expansions at many of our existing industries,” said Smith. “I look forward to continuing to serve on the ADEDC as a board member.”

George, CEO of Horizons Community Solutions, has previously served on the ADEDC board through her capacity as 2013 chair of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“I’m thrilled to support the efforts of the ADEDC as the organization’s incoming chair,” said George. “This is an exciting time for growth and development in Albany-Dougherty County, especially through the EDC’s new strategic planning venture.  I’m honored by the opportunity to help spur business investment and job creation in our community during my time as chair.” 

In addition to the change in chairs of the organization, a new contract was approved for ADEDC President Justin Strickland, who has served in that capacity since 2014. 

In the last five years, Strickland has worked to facilitate announcements of new industries including the location of Georgia-Pacific Lumber, WebstaurantStore, and Pretoria Fields Collective brewery, along with expansions at existing industries such as Coats & Clark, Procter & Gamble and Mars, collectively totaling to more than 1,000 new and retained jobs and more than $400,000,00 in investment. 

During his tenure as president, the ADEDC has produced award-winning marketing campaigns “There’s Only One Albany, Georgia,” a 2014 community rebranding initiative, and “#MadeInAlbanyGA,” the ongoing industry and workforce marketing campaign promoting world-renowned, locally made products. 


The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission is a public-private partnership whose mission is to foster new investment and job creation through the recruitment, retention and expansion of industry for Albany-Dougherty County.