SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Since its inception in 1999, Leadership Southeast Georgia has contributed to business growth from St. Mary’s to Statesboro before having to suspend meetings this year due to the pandemic.
As businesses tip-toe back to normalcy while maintaining proper distancing, some local executives are already planning gatherings that will benefit business throughout the Coastal Empire.
“It gives you a real opportunity to engage with other professionals that you can learn from. That can learn from you, and really at the end of the day, I think we want to make our region and our community a better place to live and work,” JP Morgan Chase Bank Executive Director Jenny Gentry said.
That has been the goal of Leadership Southeast Georgia for 20 years, to have a new group of young professionals every year sharing ideas and best practices form their own backgrounds that can translate to any industry during five months of retreats and workshops held remotely across 10 coastal counties.
“We take a diverse cohort of emerging leaders and challenge them to learn about themselves and leadership skills,” LSEGA Board Chair Patton Dugas said.
“They visit several different counties in the region, and they talk about diverse topics. They take a deep dive into things such as economic development, education, health care,” said Kendra Lee, on the LSEGA Board.
The pandemic cut the program short this year, but applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Leadership Southeast Georgia class with the hope the program return to business as usual in February.
“What’s been so phenomenal about it is, some problem that I might have, someone has already solved it in their community, or vice versa. So, sharing folks from different counties really gives us a bigger picture,” Comcast Senior Manager for Government Affairs Ronald McGee said.
LSEGA's 2019 class was the last one to benefit their own communities through the program's diversity of backgrounds and environments.
“I met folks from the education community, obviously the governmental community, from economic development.”
The organization will soon select a new group, which will have the opportunity to work through new business challenges.
“We’re not necessarily looking for that one that stands out as a known leader, but the unsung heroes, the ones that have ideas and plans and visions for their community and want to know how do I connect to resources to better my community and the region.”