It is truly an honor and privilege to serve as the President of the Leadership Macon Advisory Board.  I am humbled by this opportunity to serve such a fine organization that has played a part in shaping me as a leader.   I am encouraged by the work that the Advisory Board and the Alumni are doing to make the leadership program successful.  It is my desire to continue to develop and enhance the future leaders of Macon and Middle Georgia and to help them identify and meet the needs in our community.

As I think of Leadership Macon 2014, the phrase “Together we can” comes to mind. This was my campaign slogan when I ran for County Commissioner in Jones County. I really believe we can accomplish some outstanding objectives if we- the Advisory Board, Alumni, and the 2014 Leadership Macon class work together for the enrichment of Macon and our Region.

To the 2014 Leadership Macon Class, I hope you will take this opportunity to develop and enhance your skills as a leader.  The community is depending on you to make a committed effort to identify the needs in our community, collaborate with your classmates and others to develop solutions and put them into action to make our community a better place for now and years to come.  The Advisory Board will be committed to presenting an environment that sparks healthy conversations, issues that are challenging and situations that confront your current perspective. We have had some outstanding people complete the course, and I don’t expect anything less from this class.

To the Leadership Macon Alumni, thank you for being supportive; donating your time and resources to our leadership program. The Advisory Board and I will strive to continue to make Leadership Macon the best community leadership development program in the Southeast. You are the backbone of our program, and we would like to make sure you receive a positive return on your investment because it is an investment in the future of Macon and our region. I am going to challenge the board to develop events and programs that cater to the desires of our alumni of every demographic to make sure you see the value in your investment. I am also going to challenge the alumni to provide us with ideas and suggestions for these events and programs with the ultimate goal of alumni participation and productive feedback.

Last year, we offered a class on Regionalism with Houston and Monroe counties. This year, I would like to see that class grow and include Jones, Peach, Baldwin, Twiggs, Wilkinson and Crawford counties. The stronger our regions are the greater our chances are for prolonged economic growth and development. Therefore, moving forward I hope the surrounding counties will jump on board as we work to strengthen our region for the betterment of everyone in Middle Georgia.

Leadership Macon is a premiere community leadership program that is only able to accommodate approximately 45 participants each year. We know there are more leaders in our community with the aspiration to enhance their leadership skills and make a positive difference in our community.   Therefore, we are going to work to revamp our Young Professional Network (YPN) program. We are going to work to develop a curriculum and a series of events to give these leaders an opportunity to improve their leadership skills with an expectation that the YPN participants will use their new found knowledge to make Macon and our Region the best area in Georgia and the Southeast.

In closing, I would like to thank the Advisory Board and Lynn for giving me this opportunity to serve.  I would also like to thank the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce for their continuous support of our leadership program.   I look forward to what we can accomplish together for the future growth and development of Macon and our Region.