Leadership Southeast Georgia, a professional development and leadership program held throughout 10 coastal counties, concluded its 2022 programming. It had a focus on regional health and infrastructure. The participant group consists of regional leaders from business, professional and civic organizations. They were selected to participate in a five-month course of ongoing personal and professional growth. There they would build connections and learn collaboration skills that empower them to improve the region. 

Day one of the fifth and final session of Leadership Southeast Georgia began in Savannah with a welcome from Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and Chairman of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chester Ellis. The group then toured the Waters College of Health Professions building at Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus before a panel presentation by local stakeholders in public health. The afternoon session included a private tour of Enmarket Arena, and a dinner was held at Trustees Garden with a discussion with Charles Morris about cooking healthy.

A morning presentation from a panel of experts at Georgia Ports Authority opened the second day’s session. Infrastructure took center stage. The class members also toured the port and presented their group capstone projects. After lunch, a boat tour with speakers from local industry, development, and tourism sectors closed out the day.

Graduation ceremony

On Friday morning, the participants completed a final collaboration exercise before the graduation ceremony at Thomas & Hutton. Ellen Bolch, President and CEO of THA Group, delivered a keynote speech to the graduates. They received their plaques and certificates immediately following.

This year’s graduates include Chris Barr, Darrell Boazman, Karen Bogans, Cherise Cartright, Dialo Cartright, Sharri Edenfield, Mandy Edwards, Alisha Erves, Kristin Fulford, Peyton Fuller, Ronnie Hall, Nick Harty, Col. Manuel Ramirez, Jen Roberts, John Robertson, Jason Smith, DJ Spisso, Travis Stegall, Julie Streit, Joe Tallent, Gena Taylor, Jessica Thomas, Sam Tostensen, Nick Westbrook, and Tre Wilkins.

A unique aspect was that some members from the 2020-2021 program joined the Class of 2022 to graduate. Members of the Class of 2020-2021 who graduated include Matthew Coleman, Patrick Connell, Kristen Crawley, Hunter Hall, Stephanie Johnson, Maria Whitfield, Petula Gomillion, Ryan Moore, Christopher Smith and Melanie Wilson.

“This is an outstanding group of LSEGA graduates,” said Jared Downs, LSEGA Board Chair. “The relationships we’ve seen develop between participants both professionally and personally over the five months of the program and the knowledge shared from guests will serve these leaders and our community well.”

Speakers and sponsors

Other speakers during the final session included Dr. Laurie Adams of GSU Waters College of Health Professionals, Dr. Fran Witt of Effingham County Health System, Dr. Stephen Thacker of Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willet Children’s Hospital, Armand Turner of Healthy Savannah, Greg Kelly of Savannah Airport Commission, Ryan Chandler of Colonial Oil, Jeb Bush with Forsyth Farmers’ Market, Robert Grant of GSU Parker College of Business, Bryan Buchanan of Ft. Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, Cristina Pasa Gibson with Coastal Health District, Randy Weitman of Georgia Ports Authority, Carmen Foskey Bergman of Dulany Industries, Jason LaVecchia of US Army Corps of Engineers, Brandt Modlin of Wood., Beth Vantosh with Vantosh Realty and Michael Owens of Tourism Leadership Council.

LSEGA 2022 program sponsors include Evans General ContractorsMorgan Corp.Georgia Southern UniversitySavannah/Hilton Head International AirportM.E. Sack EngineeringGeorgia PowerSack Construction and Maintenance, and Gulfstream Aerospace.

The session’s sponsors include Cecilia Russo MarketingColony BankConnell Thaw & RubertiEffingham Health SystemGeorgia CEOGeorgia Ports AuthorityHunterMaclean AttorneysHussey Gay BellSavannah Area ChamberSavannah Economic Development AuthorityThomas & HuttonTQ Constructors Inc.Wood and World Trade Center Savannah.

To learn more about the LSEGA program, visit lsega.com.