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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. 


Georgia Chamber welcomes business prospects for 32nd annual ‘Georgia Quail Hunt’ in Albany

February 4, 2020 > Posted in News, News & Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               

                                                                                
February 5, 2020
CONTACT: Reedi Hawkins
Albany-Dougherty EDC
rhawkins@choosealbany.com

Albany, Ga.– This week, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce hosts its 32nd annual Georgia Quail Hunt in Albany as31 business leaders representing state recruitment and expansion prospects joined local, state and economic development officials to learn about the benefits of doing business in Georgia.

The hunt, sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Allies, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and Locate South Georgia, provides an opportunity for relationship development among statewide leaders and guests whose companies or clients are looking to locate to or expand in Georgia.

The recruitment event utilizes various hunting preserves throughout Southwest Georgia and is based out of Albany. 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was on hand for the event.

“Business thrives in Albany and Southwest Georgia, and we’re proud to show off our region of the state every year during the Georgia Quail Hunt, an incredible collaboration between local, regional, state and corporate partners,” said Justin Strickland, president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “Albany’s skilled workforce and low cost of doing business makes us an attractive option for industry location and expansion, and this event has been key in helping to facilitate exactly that.”

Since 1994 alone, guests of the Georgia Quail Hunt have invested more than $2.5 billion and created more than 8,500 jobs in the state as a result of corporate locations or expansions.

Industry locations in Albany-Dougherty County such as Coats and Clark, Outdoor Network Distribution, PowerSports Plus and WebstaurantStore are sited as local projects facilitated through the hunt.

“Georgia has established itself as the nation’s top state for business, and this event allows us the opportunity to showcase Georgia’s people and business friendly environment,” said 2020 Georgia Quail Hunt Chairman Daryl Ingram, chief external officer and senior vice president of Electric Cities of Georgia. “Economic success, in large part, is due to collaboration between public and private entities coming together to create opportunities for businesses to thrive, and therefore creating thriving communities along with them. This event is a perfect example of the collaborative atmosphere businesses can expect when they choose to locate or expand in Georgia.” 

Event organizers say the hunt has been successful in recruiting businesses to the state.

“For more than thirty years, the Georgia Quail Hunt has helped facilitate the creation of thousands of jobs and tens of billions in investment in Georgia’s economy,”said Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “Hosting the event in Albany provides an incredible opportunity to showcase Southwest Georgia as a premier destination for business, giving guests a first-hand look at the region’s high quality of life and exposing them to local and state leaders who are eager to help them take their business to the next level.”

In addition to the Georgia Allies, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and Locate South Georgia,corporate sponsors include Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, MillerCoors, PowerSports Plus, Glock,Trulock Choke Tubes, BPI Outdoors and Taurus Holdings.

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About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is the state’s largest business advocacy organization that focuses on state and federal issues. The Chamber has worked to keep, grow and create jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. The advocacy, policy and thought leadership help ensure Georgia’s economic competitiveness, attract new investments as well as promote growth and prosperity for all businesses.

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, Chamber to present community-wide workforce development strategic plan

January 22, 2020 > Posted in News, News & Events, Uncategorized

For Immediate Release 
Contact: Reedi Hawkins 
rhawkins@choosealbany.com 
229.434.0044 
January 22, 2020 

Albany, Ga. – The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (ADEDC) and Albany Area Chamber of Commerce (AACC) will hold a launch event to present the findings from their joint strategic planning initiative on community-wide workforce development in Albany-Dougherty County. The event is open to the public and will be held on February 18 beginning at 11 a.m. in the Candy Room at the Riverfront Resource Center. At the event, information will be presented as to how community members may support and participate in the implementation of the workforce strategy. 

The strategic planning initiative kicked off in May 2019, with the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG) facilitating the process.    

Throughout the discovery process, CVIOG met with community members, employers, job seekers, students and educational institutions to gain a holistic understanding of the workforce climate in Albany-Dougherty County. A steering committee of local stakeholders, working with CVIOG, guided the plan’s development, identifying priorities and strategic actions after reviewing significant qualitative and quantitative information. The February 18 plan presentation will syndicate that information into an all-encompassing strategic proposal designed to focus and bolster resources necessary to develop, attract, and retain talent in the area for industry and commerce.   

“As the center for business and culture in Southwest Georgia, it’s vital that Albany-Dougherty County be adequately prepared for the coming trends in workforce development in order to lead the region into the next era of economic and community development,” said ADEDC President Justin Strickland. “The extensive research conducted through this planning process has resulted in the necessary directives to accomplish that goal.” 

As a component of the long-term strategic plan, various stake-holding leaders volunteered to spearhead specific initiatives through the oversight of working groups.      

“Representing the interests of hundreds of Southwest Georgia businesses and industries, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the ADEDC, saw it uniquely fit to lead the initiative to conduct a comprehensive strategic plan on workforce development, as workforce needs consistently top the list of challenges to all businesses,” said Albany Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bárbara Rivera Holmes. “The Albany Area Chamber, as well as our member organizations, is committed to the long-term initiatives that strengthen Albany’s position as the driver of our region’s growth. Talent creation and retention are foundational to broad-based prosperity, and this plan will ensure these pieces fit into the framework of success for Albany and Southwest Georgia.”  

The public event will begin with the strategic plan presentation at 11 a.m., with lunch to follow.  

Pre-registration is required at bit.ly/37ojVQw or by calling the Albany Area Chamber at 229.434.8700. 

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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 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 Carl Vinson Institute of Government  

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that provides customized assistance, applied research and professional development to help state and local governments operate more effectively and deliver improved service to the public.