“The Georgia Academy for Economic Development provides great resources, knowledge, and opportunities to help our communities attract new employers to our communities.. The courses are designed to provide all graduates with the tools necessary to assist in job creation and expansions, not only our community, but state wide. I have developed a much broader understanding of economic development, and I am better equipped to assist. I appreciate the opportunity to be a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.”

—Clay Fisher, Director of Retail Revenue

“The Georgia Academy for Economic Development brings educators, business leaders, and elected officials together to understand the impact of tourism, downtown development, education and workforce development within each community. This unique program identifies how each member is an integral part of the community, and when we all work together, the community is stronger and better for it.”

—Brenna G. Taylor, Director of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education

“The Georgia Academy of Economic of Development is a resourceful tool effective in helping us align community leaders to our mission. Whether those leaders are seasoned with years of experience or newly elected, our community makes it a point to ensure we are well represented in each year’s sessions.”

—Jason Dunn, Executive Director

“My experience of Georgia Academy as a new Executive Director was beneficial. Each month a new topic was discussed that involved community, leadership and economic development. The speakers provided statewide resources and kept the classes interactive. Overall, Georgia Academy provided me with a tool belt of resources and information to implement into our community.”

—Mandi Tanner, Executive Director

“This is a fabulous course of study that develops the regional perspective of how we all succeed together. Building the knowledge base of where we all connect, and even more importantly, the personal relationships the program enables, enhances the regions and the State of Georgia. I draw on the resources and relationships developed from this program daily.”

—Daniel Rhoades, Chief Operations Officer

“The course was a great tutorial for the ‘How To's’ of community development, not only what to do and examples of where success has been achieved, but also how to find funding. I took the course two years ago and still use the materials today, both in the community where I work and where I live.”

—Joe Vogt, NA Toll Manufacturing Manager

“I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Academy. In addition to the leaders I met in my local communities who I continue to reach out to, I was introduced to incredible resources that are available to our communities through the State of Georgia. It opened my eyes to the wonderful services that Georgia provides to our citizens, businesses, and industries. I would encourage all community leaders to participate.”

—Erica G. Harden, President

“Top quality succinct training and professional networking from both a local and regional perspective. Amazing course…well done all around. Relevant to both my day to day operations and community engagement to engage informed economic development efforts and resources in a tangible manner. Both educational and inspiring!”

—Don E. Gray, Jr., Director of Facilities Management

“My attending the Economic Development Academy has proven to be an asset to me in my duties as Mayor. The Academy is a great resource not only for newly elected officials but for all Public Servants that want to be an effective leader, and continue their personal growth and development.”

—Joyce E. Denson, Mayor

“I believe the Georgia Academy for Economic Development (the Academy) is invaluable to elected officials, community leaders, or anyone interested in building their community. Graduating from the Academy taught me that no matter how much experience a person has they will greatly benefit from this program.”

—Len Robbins, Publisher, AIR Publications

“The Georgia Academy of Economic Development was a valuable experience for me both in my professional and personal development. The group breakout sessions and small group activities were beneficial in connecting with others from the region. Through our group discussions, it was enlightening to learn about other communities’ strengths and weaknesses and current challenges they face.”

—Ashley Hardin, CEcD

“I'm so grateful to have attended the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. In the class I learned about critical issues facing our community such as taxation policy, infrastructure planning, industrial and residential development, driving tourism to our area, and so much more. If you have a vested interest in your town or county, and want to help serve your community, I heartily recommend this series of classes. Having taken this class before I was elected Mayor definitely enabled me to ‘hit the ground running’ once I took office.”

—John Borrow, Mayor

“The Georgia Academy of Economic Development is the most beneficial economic development program that I have attended. It opened my eyes to aspects that I had never considered.”

—Courtney Umbehant, Mayor