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Albany-Dougherty EDC board approves Jana Dyke as organization president & CEO

November 2, 2020 > Posted in News, News & Events

Albany, Ga.– The board of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission today approved Jana Dyke as the organization’s new president and CEO at a special called meeting.

Dyke is a Southwest Georgia native and has held several economic development roles over the last twenty plus years, most recently having served as executive director of the Waycross-Ware County Development Authority. 

“South Georgia is home for me,” Dyke said.  “I grew up going to school in Lee County and working in this region.  Now I want to play a role in sustaining the jobs that are already here as well as be a part of the team that builds a foundation for attracting new investments.  The opportunity to lead the organization that serves as the key point of contact for economic development in Albany and Dougherty County is an exciting challenge I look forward to.”

Dyke is a graduate of Columbia Southern University with a Bachelor of Administration and Management degree.  She currently serves as Georgia state director for the Southern Economic Development Council, the oldest and largest regional economic development association for professionals in North America.  Dyke is also a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, Leadership Georgia Class of 2020, Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Steering Committee, board of directors of the Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce, graduate of Leadership Waycross, graduate of The Georgia Academy for Economic Development, and member of the Waycross Rotary Club and Exchange Club of Waycross. 

The new executive’s start date is slated for December 1, 2020. 

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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, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announce Outdoor Network expansion totaling nearly $22 million in investment and 92 new jobs

October 21, 2020 > Posted in Industry, News, News & Events

Outdoor Network Distribution Center
Outdoor Network Albany Distribution Center

Albany, Ga. – The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, together with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, today announced the expansion of Outdoor Network in Albany, creating nearly $22 million in capital investment and 92 new jobs for the community. 

The growth stems from the consolidation and expansion of the company’s existing call center and distribution headquarters in Albany-Dougherty County, as well as the location of an advanced manufacturing operation producing 125-200 HP diesel outboard engines for OXE Diesel. 

“Outdoor Network’s continual growth in Georgia is a testament to our pro-business environment, robust logistics network, and highly skilled workforce – all of which help support the state’s manufacturing and distribution industries,” said Governor Kemp. “Our world-class economic development team remains dedicated to creating jobs for hardworking Georgians in rural Georgia, and we look forward to seeing the opportunities this creates in Albany and throughout the region.”

Headquartered in Albany, Outdoor Network has emerged as an international powerhouse dealer and distributor of marine and powersports equipment and parts, supplying renowned brands including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Can-Am, Mercury, Sea Doo, Evinrude and OXE Marine Diesel Outboards.

“It has been great working with the leadership at Outdoor Network as they, once again, made the decision to ‘Choose Albany’ as the site of their expansion of existing operations, as well as the location of their new manufacturing project,” said Matt Reed, interim president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “We are fortunate to have a partner like Outdoor Network investing in our community and providing well-paying jobs to the citizens of Albany and Dougherty County.”

Of the 92 new jobs, 52 will be created at the distribution and call center to be consolidated and expanded at 1601 South Slappey Boulevard – formerly the original site of MacGregor Golf, which has sat privately owned, but vacant, for more than 20 years. The new manufacturing operation of OXE diesel outboard motors will generate an additional 40 manufacturing jobs.

“We are delighted to announce the expansion of Outdoor Network here in Albany. After months of diligent efforts, the EDC has brought this project to realization,” said Albany Mayor Bo Dorough. “This is great news, as Outdoor Network will be restoring a large industrial property to productive use while creating over 90 good-paying jobs. The city is appreciative of the contributions Outdoor Network has made since coming to Albany in 2012 and is encouraged by the confidence expressed in our community with this historic commitment.”  

Outdoor Network first located to Albany-Dougherty County in 2012 with its distribution center and has since created over 230 jobs and generated over $4 million in sales tax revenue for Dougherty County and the state of Georgia. 

“Outdoor Network has continued to see growth since locating in Dougherty County, and we are proud to continue that success with this expansion,’ said Dougherty County Commission Chair Christopher Cohilas. “Doing business in Dougherty County makes sense; and Outdoor Network knows that from experience. Our talent, infrastructure and business-friendly environment positions Albany-Dougherty County to support industry at any stage and we’re excited to see this company take its next step in our community.”

“We are so pleased that Outdoor Network has chosen Albany and Dougherty County as their site for expansion and appreciate their investment in our community,” said Cynthia Georgia, ADEDC board chair. “Outdoor Network has seen the benefits of doing business in Albany firsthand, and their decision to choose our community is a testament to their experience here. Choosing Albany as the site of their new motor manufacturing operation validates our competitiveness as a business destination.” 

Senior Project Manager Tina Herring represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce division on this competitive project in partnership with the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and Georgia Power.

“While we promote Georgia as a location for companies from all over the world, it makes us extremely proud to see a Georgia business grow at home. Since 2012, Outdoor Network has been creating opportunities for the people of southwest Georgia, and I want to thank them for their continued commitment to our state as we work on providing the best business climate for them to be successful,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “I’m grateful to our local partners at the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission who are great partners and have helped foster the state’s long-term relationship with Outdoor Network.”

Outdoor Network is the world’s largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) distributor of marine and powersports parts, and maintains six marine and powersports dealerships across the Southeastern United States, including Powersports Plus in Albany and Boaters World in Lee County. The company has distribution facilities in Georgia and Nevada.  In 2019, Outdoor Network became the North American distributor of OXE Marine Outboard Diesel Motors, and will now be the company’s sole manufacturer of 125-200 HP motors, which will be manufactured exclusively in Albany for worldwide distribution.

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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 Outdoor Network

Outdoor Network is a premier dealer and distributor powerhouse with one goal in mind: to get enthusiasts back up and running without breaking the bank, whether they need a whole new machine or just the parts. Its e-commerce websites — Boats.net, Partzilla.com, and Firedog.com — , the world’s largest OEM distributor of marine and powersports parts, work hand-in-hand with its marine and powersports dealerships to deliver millions of genuine Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Can-Am, Mercury, Sea Doo and Evinrude parts directly to customers with no middleman to slow things down. Its dealerships have earned the BRP Platinum title as well as the Kawasaki Ichiban Dealer title — a reward reserved for the top 20 Kawasaki dealers in the country. Outdoor Network is also a Yamaha Five-Star powersports dealer and has been selected best-in-class every year since 2002 in Yamaha Marine. In 2019, Outdoor Network, became the distributor of OXE Marine outboard Diesel Motors and will be the sole manufacture of OXE outboard diesel motors 125 -200 HP for worldwide distribution.  


Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission Names Jana Wadkins Dyke as Finalist for President/CEO Position

October 20, 2020 > Posted in News, News & Events

Albany, Georgia– The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission has named Jana Wadkins Dyke, a South Georgia native, as the sole finalist to lead the public-private partnership as president and chief executive officer.  The announcement was made today by Cynthia George, chair of the organization, and Dr. Anthony Parker, chair of the search committee.

The EDC board is expected to vote on Dyke’s appointment in early November.  For public authorities with a majority of funding from taxpayer dollars, Georgia law requires a 14-day waiting period between naming a finalist and voting to employ the professional.  Matt Reed, a former board member of the EDC and Owner of Georgia CEO, has been serving as interim president for the past several months.

“The search committee has vetted many candidates over the past month,” commented Dr. Parker who serves as president of Albany Technical College.  “Jana’s successes in her current position, knowledge of economic development in Georgia and communication skills are the key reasons we have chosen her as the finalist.  She has the skill sets we were looking for to move the EDC to a new level.”

Since 2017, Dyke has been leading economic development initiatives for the Waycross-Ware County Development Authority in southeast Georgia.  Prior to her current position, she served as director of Mainstreet and Downtown Development in Sylvester; a realtor for Real Living Realty Advisors in Valdosta; and various roles with the Walton County Chamber of Commerce and Destin Chamber of Commerce, both in Florida.  She started her career in economic development over twenty years ago as vice president of the Lee County Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority in Leesburg.

“South Georgia is home for me,” Dyke said.  “I grew up going to school in Lee County and working in this region.  Now I want to play a role in sustaining the jobs that are already here as well as be a part of the team that builds a foundation for attracting new investments.  The opportunity to lead the organization that serves as the key point of contact for economic development in Albany and Dougherty County is an exciting challenge I look forward to.”

Dyke is a graduate of Columbia Southern University with a Bachelor of Administration and Management degree.  She currently serves as Georgia state director for the Southern Economic Development Council, the oldest and largest regional economic development association for professionals in North America.  Dyke is also a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, Leadership Georgia Class of 2020, Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Steering Committee, board of directors of the Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce, graduate of Leadership Waycross, graduate of The Georgia Academy for Economic Development, and member of the Waycross Rotary Club and Exchange Club of Waycross. 

“Our board has taken a very organized and strategic approach to the executive search process for a new president,” says George, who also serves as chief executive officer of Horizons Community Solutions in Albany. “We wanted to make sure we identified the most qualified professional who had the proficiency and expertise to move the EDC and community forward in terms of economic development.  I certainly believe we have found that person in Jana.


“The EDC board is prepared to retool and refresh our approach to economic development,” according to George.  “Effective communications with the community, and most importantly our funding partners, will be one of the improvements that will be seen in the days and months ahead.  Our strategy for economic development is going to be an extremely competitive, targeted approach to the types of businesses we want in our region and building strong, meaningful relationships with our existing employers.”

Dyke and her husband William, also an Albany native, have two sons.  Harrison is a sophomore and Tucker a sixth grader.  Dyke’s anticipated first day at the EDC is December 1st.

In addition to George, Dr. Parker, and Reed, other members of the search committee included Walter “Sonny” Deriso, Jr., chair of Atlantic Capital Bank; Chris Hatcher, EDC board member and CEO of Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy; Clinton Johnson, EDC board member, Dougherty County Commissioner and Director of Outreach Services for Mt. Olive Community Outreach Center, Inc.;  Farid Kahn, Senior Director Manufacturing at Procter & Gamble; Jeff Sinyard, owner of Adams Exterminators, Inc.; and Chad Warbington, EDC board member, Albany City Commissioner, and owner of Shutters Plus, Inc.

The Chason Group, an executive search firm specializing in economic development, assisted the EDC board and search committee with the process.

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About the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.

The EDC is designed to foster new investment and job creation through the recruitment, retention, and expansion of industry in Albany and Dougherty County.  The new professional will be held accountable to the board of directors.  The EDC is funded by the City of Albany, Dougherty County Board of Commissioners and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  The twelve-member board is appointed by the funding partners for staggered terms.


Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission initiates executive search for new leader

July 16, 2020 > Posted in News, News & Events

For Immediate Release
 
Contact: Reedi Hawkins
rhawkins@choosealbany.com
229.434.0044
 
July 16, 2020

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission has initiated an executive search for a new president and chief executive officer to lead the public-private partnership.  The economic development organization is designed to foster new investment and job creation through the recruitment, retention, and expansion of industry in Albany and Dougherty County.  The new professional will be held accountable to the board of directors. 

“Our board is taking a very organized and strategic approach to the executive search process for a new president,” said to Dr. Anthony Parker, chair of the search committee and president of Albany Technical College.  “We want to make sure we identify the most qualified professionals who have the skill sets required to move the EDC and community forward in terms of economic development.  Our board is open to traditional and non-traditional candidates.”   

The search process will be broken into three phases. The first stage, which is already completed, has focused on determining the skill sets needed for the professional in the position.  Over 25 community, regional and state stakeholders have been interviewed in order to provide input on the qualifications needed of the new executive. A position description and profile has been established as well as a position announcement.

The second phase of the executive search process will be the casting of the net for candidates and specifically identifying professionals who may fit the role.  The final segment will be to interview candidates best suited for the position. The process is expected to take 100 to 120 days.

“The EDC board is prepared to retool and refresh our approach to economic development,” said Cynthia George, chair of the board and chief executive officer of Horizons Community Solutions in Albany.  “Effective communications with the community, and most importantly our funding partners, will be one of the improvements that will be seen as the EDC selects a new president.  Our strategy for economic development should be an extremely competitive, targeted approach to the types of businesses we want in our region and building strong, meaningful relationships with our existing employers.” 

The EDC is funded by the City of Albany, Dougherty County and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.  The twelve-member board is appointed by the funding partners for staggered terms.

The position announcement is available here on the EDC’s website.  Postings have also been placed with the Georgia Economic Developers Association, Southern Economic Development Council and the International Economic Development Council.  The deadline to apply is July 24.  A cover letter and resume can be uploaded at www.thechasongroup.com

Matt Reed, a former board member of the EDC and owner of Georgia CEO, has been serving as interim president for the past several months.

The Chason Group, an executive search firm specializing in economic development, is assisting the EDC board and search committee with the process.

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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.

Request for proposal for executive search firm for Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission

June 5, 2020 > Posted in News, News & Events

Issuing Organization: Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission
Issue Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Due Date for Proposals: Friday, June 12, 2020

Contract Contact

Chair, ADEDC Board, Cynthia George: cynthiageorge370@gmail.com

I. Purpose 

The Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC)  is requesting proposals from executive search firms with proven experience, capacity and expertise to assist the organization with the selection of a President/CEO 

II. Organizational Background 

ADEDC is a 501 (c)(6) nonprofit organization established to foster business growth and expansion in Dougherty County. Overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of public and private sector representatives, ADEDC is committed to growing the county’s vibrant business community and leveraging its strengths, assets to build an even stronger, more stable, and diverse economy. 

III. Scope of Services 

The Executive Search Firm shall assist the ADEDC in attracting, interviewing, and hiring of a new President/CEO. The President is responsible for the executive functions of ADEDC and will champion the drive to promote economic growth and help to build a thriving business ecosystem through its public/private partnership. The President will build on the momentum established over past 11 years. Services required by the Executive Search firm include: 

  • Solicitation from the Board, the Search Committee and other relevant stakeholders selected by the Search Committee, of information which will help better define the role, responsibilities, and qualifications required for the next President/CEO. 
  • Develop a recruitment strategy, process, and timetable for the successful hiring of a President/CEO. 
  • Develop an updated job description. 
  • Source and screen all potential candidates, through directed initiatives, including advertising and outreach, which best target the type of C-Suite executive ADEDC is seeking to hire, based on the job description developed. 
  • Assess the qualifications of potential candidates, screen the pool of applicants, and conduct appropriate levels of interviews to create a candidate pool of finalists. 
  • Support the Board/Search Committee in selecting a final candidate, conduct references, and assist with the final hiring process, including contract negotiations, and assisting in the development of an onboarding plan. 

IV. Pre-Proposal Bidder’s Preparation 

Please submit any questions regarding this RFP to Board Chair, ADEDC Search Committee by email to: Cynthia George cynthiageorge370@gmail.com with the subject line ADEDC Executive Search RFP Questions prior to the RFP submission deadline. We will respond in a timely manner.