b'Karen Rackley|SYLVESTER Communitymaintain and enhance relationships among residents, businesses, Champion Anand educational and governmental agencies. advocate for smallThe past has gotten us to where we are today and how we are businesses and the growthembracing the future, says Rackley. We have businesses that have of rural communities, Karenbeen here for over 50 years and are still going strong. We also have Rackley, executive directornew small businesses that are experiencing growth as well as new for the Worth Countystart-ups.Economic Development Authority and presidentWith a degree in education, Rackley is especially proud of the new of the Sylvester-WorthWorth High School College and Career Academy and its impact on County Chamber ofworkforce development. Commerce, is one of Worth Countys biggestWe produce a workforce that wants to work, she says. Our Worth cheerleaders.County School System and the surrounding universities and technical colleges are key to helping us keep our future workforce up-to-date Working as a team, Rackley says the community has seen great results. Ourand ready to work.motto is Promote, Enhance, and Maintain, and we are starting to feel the success of our labor, she says. We feel like we have accomplished a greatRackley is an active member of various local and regional boards and deal in the last ten years. I have to say it is not a journey that I have traveledorganizations including Sylvester-Worth County Family Connections, alone. Sylvester Main Street, Locate South Georgia, South GeorgiaLEADS, Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, Census 2020 Complete In her dual roles, Rackley works to build collaborations that promote,Count Committee for Worth County, and Georgia Peanut Festival. Ryan Tuten |LAKELANDPassion for Service After serving as a preacher for more than 23 years, Ryan Tuten felt that his life had a bigger purpose. It was time for a change, and Tuten moved his family from Florida to the rural community of Lakeland to open the Youth IMPACT Center. More than an after-school program, the center is focused on making a positive impact on the lives of youth, families, and the community. As the children enter the center, they immediately look for Tuten, who greets them all by name and ask about their day at school. More importantly, he gives them reassurance that someone cares.The center is not only helping children, but the entire family unit benefits from the services it provides. The IMPACT Center is the only after school program in this community, says Tuten. Many of the parents would not have a safe place for their children to go after school. We teach character development classes, help with homework, and provide a hot meal.This summer, the IMPACT Center conducted a literacy program where students read more than 600 books. Tuten works with the Lanier Family Connections to teach Raising Highly Capable Kids, a 13-week program that provides the building blocks for healthy child development. The IMPACT Center also offers recovery classes for people in the community. He is a member of the Ministerial Association Board, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Call to Care committee, which helps with foster care children in Lanier County, and chairman of the board for the Lanier County Supervisor of Election.46 SG MAGAZINE| FALL 2019 BUSINESS + CULTURE47'