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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.

Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Justin Strickland earns recertification as Certified Economic Developer

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

Albany, Ga. – Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC) President Justin Strickland has been awarded recertification as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). 

Strickland first achieved CEcD designation in 2013, following five years of required service in economic development, mandatory coursework, and a three-part, two-day examination administered by IEDC. CEcD recertification is required every three years and requires candidates to meet demanding requirements for continuing education and service within their field. 

The CEcD designation is a highly recognized accolade that denotes mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional excellence, and a commitment to personal and professional growth. 

With just over 1,110 Certified Economic Developers worldwide, IEDC’s certification program is the industry gold standard for excellence in the profession.  CEcD’s work across the globe as public officials and business leaders to create and retain high-quality jobs, establish economic vibrancy, and improve quality of life for their communities.

Strickland has worked at the ADEDC since 2007 and has led the organization as president since 2014.  During his tenure as president the ADEDC has announced major location and expansion projects, such as the recent announcement of the Georgia-Pacific Lumber plant, the re-location of the Coats & Clark North American Distribution Center, and sizeable expansions at Procter & Gamble and WebstaurantStore. He is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Georgia, served as the 2016-2017 chairman of Locate South Georgia – a regional economic development coalition of 21 South Georgia Communities, and has participated in and volunteered with an array of local programs from leadership organizations to a variety of civic groups and non-profits. 


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. To learn more, visit

About the International Economic Development Council   

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind with members working across the globe in economic development-related roles ranging from local, state, provincial and federal governments to public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. To learn more, visit

Albany-Dougherty EDC partners with Pendleton Group on comprehensive strategic plan

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

For Immediate Release
Contact: Reedi Hawkins
May 3, 2019

Albany, Ga. – The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC), at its April quarterly board meeting, approved The Pendleton Group as its partner in the development of an actionable strategic plan, designed to serve as the blueprint for economic development initiatives in Albany-Dougherty County over the next three to five years, ensuring that the community is prepared to capitalize on the growing Georgia economy and is best positioned for sustained economic growth.

“The strategic planning process provides us the opportunity to take an in-depth look at our community’s economic position within the state and country, identifying the opportunities we may have to leverage our strengths as a business destination and economic hub,” said ADEDC President Justin Strickland. “As a community, we must continue to evolve by anticipating market demands and creating opportunities to meet them.”

Over the next six months, the ADEDCwill work closely with Pendleton’s team tocreate a community wide economic development strategy that will reflect current industry standards and build on the community’s growing momentum in economic and community development from a holistic standpoint.

“In an increasingly competitive global economy, a community must have a collaborative and sustained effort of implementation to successfully compete against other markets for new growth. We are thrilled to partner with the ADEDC to help position Albany-Dougherty County to attract new business and grow their existing industries,” saidBrooke Lucas, a consultant at The Pendleton Group.

Pendleton’s vast experience in economic development and strategic planning will help to deepen the relationships of Albany-Dougherty County throughout the state, providing the community with more opportunities for partnership – a vital component for a successful economic development program.

“The Pendleton Group’s expertise in building connections around the state really stood out in their proposal,” saidStrickland. “We are confident this partnership will unite leadership in Albany-Dougherty County through the common goals of job creation and strengthened economic success through the community-wide plan.”

In addition to The Pendleton Group, the ADEDC selected the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute for Government as its strategic planning partner in the area of workforce development. The organization will work alongside ADEDC and Pendleton Group to develop a specialized strategy designed to bolster resources necessary to develop, attract and retain talent in the area for industry and commerce. 


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.

About The Pendleton Group

Based in Atlanta, Georgia and founded in 2008, The Pendleton Group was created by former Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Craig Lesser, and has grown to be a trusted name in economic, community and workforce development consulting, strategic planning and public affairs.  Comprised of experienced thought leaders with diverse backgrounds, the Pendleton team has over 100 years of public affairs expertise and a proven ability to guide clients to achieve their desired goals with measurable outcomes.

P&G Albany plant named manufacturer of the year

April 19, 2019 > Posted in Industry, News, News & Events

Via Albany Technical College

ATLANTA – April 18, 2019 — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp this week named P&G Albany as winner of the 2019 Manufacturer of the Year award in the category of Large Manufacturer with more than 500 employees at the annual Governor’s Awards Luncheon. 

P&G earned the honor based on a range of criteria, including its economic impact, community involvement and corporate responsibility, and commitment to workforce development and excellence. 

Companies such as P&G, Gov. Brian Kemp said, “have created jobs, proven their commitment, and are critical to our state’s prosperity. Today we honor some of the best, most advanced manufacturers who have been thriving here in Georgia for years.” P&G has been in the Albany community for more than 45 years. 

Werhner Washington, plant manager at P&G’s Albany plant, which makes paper towel and tissue paper, including brands Charmin and Bounty, thanked the community leaders of Albany and Dougherty County for their support over the years, but said the plant’s success would not happen without its employees. “It is an honor and privilege to serve you,” he said. 

He also thanked Albany Technical College and Georgia Quick Start. “Over the past year, our company shifted about 5 million cases of Charmin and Bounty production line to our Albany plant,” he said. 

To make that increase in production possible, Quick Start designed and executed a training program to help for new hires to meet that demand, Washington said. “Quick Start is a tremendous resource for the manufacturers of Georgia.” 

Washington said P&G’s Albany plant will experience another shift in production soon “and we are going to need you again.” 

Previously, Quick Start partnered with P&G in training projects in 2001 and 2002. 

P&G’s Albany Plant, which has a $300 million net impact on the Albany economy and a $1 billion impact on the state’s economy, recently celebrated 45 years of community advocacy, educational partnerships and civic involvement in Albany. For every job at the local plant, which employs more than 600, four non-P&G jobs are created. 

P&G’s Albany site is the largest contributor to the United Way annually. P&G employees also volunteer at The Boys & Girls club, Strive2Thrive and other organizations.

“P&G has long been a valued partner in this community and region and are most deserving of the recognition and honor,” said Anthony Parker, president of Albany Technical College. 

Other winners included Briggs & Stratton Corporation in Statesboro, Ga., which won the Medium Manufacturer category, and Erdrich USA Dublin, which won the Small Manufacturer category.

This is the 25th year celebrating Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia. This year’s sponsors included the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Power, and Aprio. 

In his proclamation declaring April 15-19 as Manufacturing Appreciation Week, Gov. Kemp noted the tremendous contribution manufacturing makes to the state’s economic growth. According to the proclamation nearly 9,802 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, providing 406,602 jobs and generating more than $22.7 billion in wages for Georgia’s citizens. Manufacturing contributed more than $61 billion to the state’s economy last year. 


EDC honors existing industries with annual awards, extends #MadeInAlbanyGA campaign

April 10, 2019 > Posted in Industry, News, News & Events, Uncategorized

For Immediate Release
Contact: Reedi Hawkins
April 10, 2019

Albany, Ga.– The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission today honored existing industries WebstaurantStore, LMC-Ag, Phoebe Putney Health System and SouthernAG Carriers for their achievements in global commerce, innovation, economic impact and corporate citizenship at its 2019 Albany-Dougherty Industry Awards.

“Albany-Dougherty County is home to a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing, to defense, to call centers to healthcare. With many industries having been located in Albany for multiple decades, employing our citizens and investing in our community, existing industries are a vital cornerstone of our local economy,” said Justin Strickland, president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “Our annual Industry Awards are a great opportunity to emphasize their importance to our community.”

In addition to recognizing the four award winners, the EDC also celebrated local manufacturers through the announcement of a second phase of its “#MadeInAlbanyGA” campaign. 

The extended campaign features multimedia components highlighting all 13 of Albany’s major manufacturers and their respective products, emphasizing the benefits of doing business in Albany. 

In conjunction with the campaign, consumers will soon be able to easily identify Albany-made products through store signage featuring the “Made in Albany, Georgia” seal displayed on the doors and shelves of local retail partners. 

“Our Made in Albany campaign celebrates what it means to have a product that is made here in Albany and produced by our outstanding workforce. This week, and our annual Industry Awards, echos the same pride in that level of world class excellence, which is what ‘made in Albany’ has come to signify,” said Strickland. 

The EDC’s Industry Awards are the highlight of Albany-Dougherty Industry Celebration Week, during which the EDC celebrates and promotes the impact of the community’s existing industries.

Global Commerce Award: WebstaurantStore

WebstaurantStore – the world’s No. 1 online retailer of restaurant and kitchen supplies and equipment – located its Southeastern distribution center and accompanying customer solutions center here in Albany in 2015, creating more than 200 jobs and $10 million in capital investment in the community. 

Since then, the Albany distribution center has done its fair share of maintaining Webstaurant’s prominence in the global market through the fulfillment of orders traveling from Albany to many destinations throughout the world, sometimes in as little as one business day. 

In its three years of operation here in Albany, Webstaurant has accounted for more than $23 million in international sales with exports primarily headed to Canada, Puerto Rico, the UK, Australia and Mexico. 

In addition to direct distribution, Webstaurant also commonly engages freight forwarders for third-party logistics management of order delivery, which accounts for an additional portion of global sales. 

With Albany-Dougherty County’s recent passing vote on freeport exemption, which expands inventory tax exemption to include fulfillment centers, Webstaurant will be even further benefitted from its location in Albany and therefore able to continue making an impact in the global market, and in our local market as a valued industry partner.

Excellence in Innovation Award: LMC-Ag

Innovation at LMC-Ag means more than just new products, it means offering the best customer service, beginning to end, while still maintaining old-fashioned values – a process that starts in their manufacturing plant here in Albany where they produce agricultural irrigation equipment, and ends with point-of-sale interactions with customers across the country. 

Over the last two years, LMC-Ag has dedicated its time and resources to the growth of its product line, manufacturing capabilities and innovation on existing products. This growth has resulted in expansion through the acquisition of land, providing the ability to store an increased volume of inventory in order to achieve short delivery times – a valued asset in today’s market. 

The expansion has provided additional space for assembly on new product lines, such as peanut dryers and root rake grapples. LMC-Ag has nearly quadrupled daily output in its paint division through its new state of the art paint facility – not only will this increase paint capacity but will also result in a better finish and longer lasting product. 

Of all the recent advancements at LMC-Ag, none has been more impactful than the instillation of two new plasma tables, which have opened the door to a whole new level of innovative production by redefining the approach to how products can, and should, be designed.  

LMC-Ag is dedicated to continuing making great strides toward new markets through innovative practices in its mission to be number one in customer care and product design in the ag machinery industry.

Economic Impact Award: Phoebe Putney Health System

Since opening its doors in 1911, Phoebe Putney Health System has always been committed to providing the best possible care and meeting the needs of the communities it serves. Not only does Phoebe provide the highest quality of healthcare in Southwest Georgia, but is a major contributor to the local and state economies.

Last year, the Georgia Hospital Association released a report stating that Phoebe generated more than $1.28 billion in revenue for the local and state economy in 2016 – an impact that is expected to continue to increase. During the same period, Phoebe supported more than 8,000 full-time jobs in addition to its more than 4,000 Phoebe Family members. 

Phoebe is an economic engine, and plays an integral role in the economy for Dougherty County and Southwest Georgia. At a time when many hospitals and health systems are struggling to survive and are reducing their capital investments, Phoebe continues to make massive investments to improve and expand its services. 

Over the past three years, its combined capital budget totaled more than $120 million – demonstrating a continued commitment to reinvest in programs and technology that benefits patients and supports the economic growth of our community. 

Additionally, Phoebe proudly supports other local employers through its Corporate Health program by offering an array of health and wellness services that help corporate partners save money and help their employees stay healthy and productive. 

To Phoebe, caring for the community is more than just healing the body. It also means helping to fuel growth and promote economic stability. Whether partnering with educational institutions making sure home-grown talent has the opportunity to thrive locally, or investing in top-notch talent and cutting–edge technology, Phoebe is dedicated to its mission of helping our community live healthier and happier lives.

Only One Albany Award for Corporate Community Citizenship:SouthernAG Carriers

On Sunday, January 22, 2017 an EF-3 tornado came through Albany, Georgia and completely demolished SouthernAG Carriers’ corporate headquarters and Albany terminal. Through hard work stemming from a determination to continue delivering quality service and providing support to its badly hurting agricultural partners throughout the region, SouthernAG Carriers was back up and running within 48 hours.

Dedicated to its work in the Albany community and the surrounding area, SouthernAG used the loss of its original structure to its advantage, making the decision to rebuild in place, reinforcing its commitment to the Albany community as a corporate citizen. 

In addition to its own experience with natural disaster, SouthernAG is a proud volunteer transporter of peanut butter to disaster locations throughout the country in times of need. 

As a regional leader in the transportation and logistics field, SouthernAG has been a strong contributing partner in the development and funding of the Albany Transportation Academy at Albany Technical College, designed to increase the pipeline of freight drivers in Southwest Georgia through industry-standard training and the obtainment of a Commercial Driver’s License. In addition to its work in the development of the program, SouthernAG also donated a semi-truck to the Transportation Academy, providing students the opportunity to gain hands-on training for easy transition into the field. 

SouthernAG Carriers is proud to provide support to a variety of organizations and programs, both here in Albany and in its other four locations across the southeast, including the Peanut Institute Genomic projects, Peanut Proud, the Boy Scouts, 4H, the Dougherty County School System and various athletic programs and 5k runs.


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.