Leadership Southeast Georgia (LSEGA), a professional development and leadership program throughout 10 coastal counties, continued its 2022 programming in Bulloch County in March. The 26 members of the Class of 2022, regional leaders from business, professional and civic organizations, participate in a five-month course of ongoing personal and professional growth to build connections and learn collaboration skills that empower them to improve the region. The agenda for the second session emphasized education and agriculture.
“Exploring education and agriculture in the same session reveals the connection the two have to each other, to this region, and to the people of coastal Georgia,” said John Lester, LSEGA 2022 site coordinator for Bulloch County. “Our hosts and the speakers at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and those in Sylvania provided eye-opening information we can use to take on challenges facing this region and improve on what already works.”
Attendees reviewed regional educational settings with various student populations, methodologies and outcomes. The region’s agribusiness and economic development, including the impact of natural disasters, were also explored, along with workforce development realities. In all areas, best practices and opportunities for increased diversity and inclusion were identified.
Day one of the session began with an introduction to arts in workforce development by Dr. Steven V. Harper of the Gretsch School of Music at GSU. Next, Bethany Gilliam of Bulloch County Schools presented “Career Technical & Agricultural Education & Workforce Development.” The morning concluded with a discussion on inclusion and diversity from Dr. TaJuan Wilson, former associate vice president at GSU and current managing associate at Diversified Search Group.
After lunch, participants attended a presidential roundtable at GSU entitled “How does higher education impact workforce development?” This was followed by a tour of a robotics lab, a panel discussion on economic and workforce development in the Statesboro-Bulloch County area, and a review of critical foundations of education presented by Early Childhood Care and Education Director Paula Clifton of Ogeechee Technical College.
Day two in Sylvania began with a discussion of performance management strategies, followed by an overview of agriculture in the state and region. The group then traveled by bus to a cattle farm for a tour hosted by operator Lindy Sheppard. After returning, the group reconvened for a final review before the session adjourned.
Other speakers included Mayor Jonathan McCollar of Statesboro, Bulloch County Commission Chair Roy Thompson, President Kyle Marrero of Georgia Southern University, Vice President for Economic Development Jan Moore of Ogeechee Technical College, President Dr. David Schecter of East Georgia State College, developer and Tormenta FC owner Darin Van Tassel, co-owner of NeSmith Construction and president of the Blue Mile Foundation Keely NeSmith Fennel, Mayor Preston Dees of Sylvania, human resources consultant and facilitator Suzanne Kirk, and UGA Southeast District County Extension Agent Jason Mallard.
LSEGA 2022 Program sponsors include Evans General Contractors, Georgia Southern University, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, M.E. Sack Engineering, Gulfstream Aerospace, and Georgia Power. To learn more about the LSEGA program, visit lsega.com.
ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST GEORGIA
Leadership Southeast Georgia is a five-month, region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to most effectively advance positive growth and improve the quality of life in the southeast Georgia region. The executive board and program participants represent a variety of industries across Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven counties. From February through June, the class spends two to three days a month traveling to surrounding counties exploring regional issues such as healthcare, education, natural resources, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit lsega.com.