Business men and women from around the Coastal Empire gathered Thursday morning for the Savannah Critical Issues Forum on Logistics.
The forum was moderated by Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chaim Management Professionals. Panelists Frank Casaine, distribution center director, Pier 1 Imports); Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, and Jay Neely, vice president of law and public affairs at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. joined Blasgen to address several issues related to logistics in coastal Georgia.
Big on the list of topics was the deepening of the Savannah River, which is the shallowest port river in the world. Foltz stressed that Savannah must keep moving forward to stay competitive with other countries.
"I think it's good for everybody to come together and to see the issues and challenges from 30,000 feet. That was the value today, to galvanize this community to help them understand it is not just about a ship, a truck, a railroad. This is about a broader infrastructure challenge that we face that really serves logistics and the value of logistics through the state of Georgia," said Foltz.
The need for education programs and collaboration that allows students to prepare for jobs in the logistics world was another important topic discussed.
"So whether we are preparing our engineers, our business leaders, our liberal arts and humanities students, they are all going to end up with jobs in logistics. This supply chain management discussion was critical to me. I will go back to my faculty and my Deans and discuss whether we are doing enough to collaborate to prepare these students with the tools and knowledge that the panelists asked today," said Cheryl Dozier, president of Savannah State University.
The event marks the 17th discussion in an ongoing series of Savannah Critical Issues Forums, which addresses timely issues affecting the Savannah community.