creativity, culture, community
Proposals include Millennial Attraction, Community Identity, and Workforce Education
Since the beginning of the year 45 Young Gamechangers have been working to provide big idea recommendations to some of the most persistent challenges in Douglasville/Douglas County, GA. These young people, between the ages of 24-40 years old, are emerging state leaders from communities across Georgia. They come from diverse backgrounds and work in a variety of business sectors from economic development, architecture, healthcare and education to banking and non-profits. Their goal is to revision Douglasville/Douglas County as a vibrant, world-class community. They will present their big, imaginative ideas and detailed recommendations on Friday, June 10 at 2 pm at the Douglasville Conference Center, 6700 Church Street, Douglasville, GA, 30134. The event is free and the public and media are invited to attend. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1VCc7ln.
“We have some of the brightest young people in Georgia working on this project,” states Kris Vaughn, Executive Director of GeorgiaForward. “I invite not only residents of Douglas County, but interested citizens from around the state, to join us to hear their forward-thinking solutions. It should be an interesting and engaging afternoon!”
Here are the project questions, and comments from a few of the Young Gamechangers.
1) As a growing county in the metro Atlanta region, how can the community align their arts and cultural offerings to attract and retain Generations X and Millennials?
2) In light of the relocation of Highway 92, how can downtown Douglasville position itself for success?
3) As a suburban county in a major metropolitan area, how should Douglas County leverage its history, assets, human capital, and rural roots alongside the Atlanta region’s growth and opportunity? What role should Douglas County play in Metro Atlanta’s eco-system?
4) What can the community do, outside of the school system, to enhance the educational opportunities of Douglas County students to prepare them for the jobs of the next century?
Jordan Stone was born and raised in Coffee County and is the Administrative Director of Human Resources at Coffee Regional Medical Center in Douglas, GA. Since 2010 he has held various roles in both clinical and non-clinical areas at CRMC, including Imaging Service, Human Resources and Finance. He graduated from South Georgia College with an AA, Political Science in 2009. Then in 2012 he graduated with a BBA, Management from Valdosta State University. Most recently he graduated with an MBA from VSU in May 2015.
“We are working on the downtown question,” explains Stone. “In a lot of ways their downtown structure is similar to my own community, so I’m looking at information I can share at home. We are exploring what it means for a downtown to have its own identity. It’s been a great learning experience.”
Jessica Ainsworth serves as Assistant Director of Assessment, Douglas County School System. She has a passion for equipping leaders to be path changers for students. She was recently named the 2015 Georgia and National Assistant Principal of the Year, received the 2015 Georgia Association of Educational Leaders Presidential Citation and named one of the Douglas County Chamber’s Top Ten Young Professionals. Ainsworth was born and raised in Douglas County, GA. She is pursuing her doctorate degree in school improvement and will finish in May.
“The Young Gamechangers program is a wonderful opportunity to see common purpose in action,” says Ainsworth. “It’s rare that you have so many people in the room working to help one community. It’s interesting to work with people who approach the scope of education from different perspectives. We’re looking at this challenge with a broad vision of what our future workforce looks like.”
Alvin Huff works as the Economic Development Project Manager for the City of Marietta, GA. He is responsible for the downtown and small business components of the City’s economic development plan. In this effort, Alvin collaborates with the Marietta Business Association and organizations around the Marietta Square for programs such as the City’s public art initiative and Small Business Week events. A native of Milledgeville, Huff received his Bachelor’s degree from Mercer University.
“My group is working on the education question,” says Huff. “Our members have diverse backgrounds in public health, education and economic development. We are exploring the idea of life-long learning from our various viewpoints. We have different ways of thinking, but the common thread is that we are all used to problem solving.”
Megan White is the Marketing Projects Manager and Media Buyer for Visit Savannah and the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce in Savannah, GA. In her current role, she promotes tourism to Savannah through media placements, budget management and the production of Visit Savannah and the Savannah Chamber’s publications and marketing projects. She also had a role in co-founding Launch Savannah, the young professional’s council of the Savannah Chamber. White earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in Spanish from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA.
“I’m fascinated with how interconnected the elements of a community are,” says White. “From technology and attractions, to location and types of businesses, they are all integral to its overall success. I think my background in tourism is helping me connect the elements in our challenge.”
Christopher Tsavatewa is the Director of the Office of Experiential Learning and Assistant Professor of Health Services Administration at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, GA. He leads the institution in the execution of its quality enhancement plan through undergraduate research, service learning, and internships. His professional expertise is in the areas of public health, strategic management, health policy, native health, service learning, and palliative medicine. Tsavatewa serves in leadership positions with the Georgia Public Broadcasting Macon Advisory Board, Star Choices Community Advisory Board, and Leadership Macon, among others.
“On June 10 we won’t be just making ‘pie in the sky’ recommendations,” says Tsavatewa. “After a great deal of analyzing and evaluation, we are providing ideas that we feel are tangible and attainable, with a road map to achieve them. I hope in 20 years, we can look back and say we did something to bring about positive change Douglasville.”
“I want to be part of the Young Gamechangers legacy,” Tsavatewa continues. “With this program we have the potential to create a network of emerging leaders and help shape the trajectory of our state.”
Sponsors for 2016 Spring Young Gamechangers program include: Commerce Club Foundation, Google, Central Atlanta Progress, City of Douglasville, Douglas County, Douglas County Chamber, Georgia Power, GreyStone Power Corporation, Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club, Georgia Trend Magazine, LaQuinta Inn, Douglas County School System, Georgia Cities Foundation, Douglas County Economic Development Authority, Sam and Rosco’s and The Centre at Arbor Connection.
GeorgiaForward is a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to improve the state of Georgia by engaging business, political, academic and civil leaders to collaboratively shape a statewide policy agenda. For more information about the Young Gamechangers program and a complete list of the 2016 spring class, visit their web site: http://georgiaforward.org/young-gamechangers.
Media Contact: Karen Hatchett – firstname.lastname@example.org