Locate South GeorgiaLEADS

Guided by the belief that leadership is key to a region’s economic success, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the J. W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia partnered in 2014 to create GeorgiaLEADS. Locate South GeorgiaLEADS is the result of that partnership—and the collaborative efforts by economic development professionals across the 21-County South Georgia region who understand the critical importance of investing in a new generation of leaders that can champion the region and its many assets; while work collectively towards creating effective solutions to address significant challenges related to workforce development, education, and economic growth throughout the region.

Our purpose is to create a more competitive South Georgia. We invite you to join us.

What is Locate South GeorgiaLEADS?

Locate South GeorgiaLEADS (LSGL) is a 8-month leadership experience for leaders throughout South Georgia designed to facilitate awareness of issues that are essential to the future success of the region by giving participants the necessary skills and training needed to effectively lead South Georgia in the 21st Century economy.
LSGL links regional site visits and issue awareness to relevant leadership development content within the framework of the Locate South GeorgiaLEADS priorities. Emphasizing regional priorities throughout the program, each session directly links leadership skills training to issues of critical importance to South Georgia:

  • Regional Identity & Influence
Includes creating a regional brand and identity for South Georgia that is recognized internally as well as externally, enhancing both perception and influence of the region across the State.
  • Workforce Development
Includes the strategic alignment of public and private sectors—business, industry, and educational partners—to address key workforce development needs and challenges; and to increase the economic viability of South Georgia.
  • Collective Visioning & Planning
Includes developing leaders who understand the changing South Georgia economy and culture; and recognize why it is essential to both think and act within a global context, working collaboratively to ensure the region’s success.

Purpose & Objectives

The purpose of Locate South GeorgiaLEADS is to develop informed, aware, and educated leaders to promote and grow South Georgia by:
  • Increasing awareness of assets and resources;
  • Creating a shared sense of regional pride and ownership in both action and solutions;
  • Strengthening partnerships and alliances; and
  • Enhancing political influence and acuity to support the needs and opportunities of South Georgia.


A s a regional leadership development initiative, Locate South GeorgiaLEADS promotes the values of: Tenacity, Diversity, Opportunity, Prosperity, and Tradition throughout the 21-county South Georgia Region.

Costs & Logistics

Tuition is $1,250 per participant. Dates, locations and program components are detailed below.

GeorgiaLEADS Program Sessions, 2017-2018

  • Session One/Kick-Off Retreat – “Understanding Regional Leadership and Locate South GeorgiaLEADS,” August 17-18, 2017 @ Sylvester-Worth County

  • Session 2 – “Agriculture and Innovation in the 21st Century Economy: What Regional Leaders Need to Know, How Natural Resources Drive the Vision for Economic Success in South Georgia,” September 2017 @ Moultrie-Colquitt County; Camilla-Mitchell County

  • Session 3 – “Taking Risks & Growing Community: Why Regional Leaders Must Understand How to Leverage Their Economic Assets and Grow Entrepreneurs in South Georgia,” October 19, 2017 @ Thomasville-Thomas County

  • Session 4 – “Creating Strategic ‘Hubs’: How Regional Leaders Take Planning Beyond a ‘Check in the Box’ to Facilitate Growth and Access Through Transportation and Infrastructure Development,” November 2017 @ Albany-Dougherty County; Leesburg-Lee County

  • Session 5 – “Leading Change in South Georgia: How Boundary Spanners and Visionary Leaders are Changing Approaches to Education and Workforce Development in the Region,” January 2018 @ Cairo-Grady County

  • Session 6 – “Taking Control of Our on Fate With Relational Leadership: Legislative and Political Influence in South Georgia,” February 2018 @ Macon-Bibb County; Atlanta-Fulton County

  • Session 7/Graduation & Celebration – “Establishing the Regional Vision Through Collective Action: Leadership Challenge and Next Steps for South Georgia,” March 2018 @ Location, TBA

For More Information

LSGL Program Coordinator
Mary Beth Bass
Executive Director
One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, Inc.
409 Elm Avenue
Americus, GA 31709