Stephens County Graduates from the Georgia Academy for Economic Training

The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development announces Stephens County graduates from the 2014 Region 2 Multi-Day Training Program. Class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from 13 counties in Region 2 Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.
Stephens County graduates are Chuck Wright, Debbie Whitlock, Tug Carter, Brittany Ivey, Gail Fry, and Brian Akin.  They are pictured with Pat Merritt (Georgia EMC Facilitator), Dennis Chastain (Georgia Academy for Economic Development Board) and Rope Roberts (Georgia Power Facilitator).

Created in 1993, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all twelve service delivery regions in Georgia.  The Board of Directors of the Academy represent public and private economic development organizations and agencies from across Georgia.  Since its organization, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually. Georgia EMC and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support to this important program.

“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Corinne Thornton, Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.  “Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.”

The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development,  planning, and other essentials for community success.  In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development.  Local elected officials may receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program.

Currahee Club: Georgia's Number 1 Golf Course

Currahee Club's Jim Fazio designed course has been named the number 1 best golf club in Georgia and included in the top 100 courses in the nation list for 2015.

Currahee Club was selected by the Georgia Golf Course Owners/Operators Association (GGCOA) as its 2014 Club of the Year.  Matt Brown, GGCOA’s Executive Director said that “with 7,513 yards from the tees, significant elevation drops, bentgrass greens, over 250 acres of ‘golf course’ and 9 miles of cart paths to maintain, Currahee Club is a significant agronomic challenge.”  Brown continued, “what Andrew and his team have done at Currahee Club in such a short period of time is very impressive.  I have had the pleasure to work very closely with Andrew over the years, and it is quite apparent that his vision and leadership are helping to make Currahee Club one of the premier destinations in the SE USA.”

Currahee Club will now compete with other prestigious golf courses in the nation.  The 2014 National Course of the Year will be announced at the National Golf Course Owners Association Annual Conference held in February.

“Everyone at Currahee Club is beyond thrilled to receive these outstanding recognitions of our course and club,” said Andrew Ward, managing partner at Currahee Club.  “At Currahee, we strive to set the standard for real estate and golf communities, not just in the Southeast, but across the nation.  These recognitions show what our members and residents have known all along- that the Currahee lifestyle is extraordinary.”

In addition to this award, Currahee Club was also picked by Southern Living Magazine to become one of only 7 Southern Living Inspired Communities in America.