Regional Program Focused on Creating Homegrown Leaders


Embedding leadership development within the region is a cornerstone principle of South GeorgiaLEADS.

An eight-month professional development program presented by Electric Cities of Georgia, South GeorgiaLEADS seeks to create networking and community awareness opportunities for leaders representing professional, civic, nonprofits, and educational organizations throughout the region. 

Anne Shenton

With the goal of providing an innovative and engaging environment to discuss challenges that impact the region, the program is focused on topics of importance to South Georgia’s future growth and success. 

During the 2019-2020 program, class members will examine critical regional issues, including regional identity and influence, workforce development, and collective visioning and planning.

Anne Shenton, marketing agency director for Ascend Inbound Marketing, says she chose to participate in the program to expand her knowledge of the region. 

“I was born and raised in South Georgia, but like so many people I know, never took the opportunity to explore our surrounding communities,” says Shenton, who represents Lowndes County. “This experience has opened my eyes to all our region has to offer. I hope that our class will continue to work together long after this program is finished to bridge the gaps between our communities and strengthen South Georgia’s economy and quality of life.”

Tift County entrepreneur M.Jay Hall Jr., says networking and creating a vision for the region attracted him to the South GeorgiaLEADS program.  

M. Jay Hall

“I wanted to be a part of the class of South Georgia LEADS to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to network with and learn from a diverse group of individuals, who all shared a common vision for the need of good leaders to move South Georgia forward,” says Hall, CEO of Collins, an event venue in Tifton. “I hope to gain a greater appreciation for the unique issues that we face in South Georgia and to help develop strategies to address them. I would like to become more aware of my role as a leader and be able to serve my community in ways that will create more opportunities for growth and development.”

South GeorgiaLEADS was developed in 2015 as a partnership with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the University of Georgia J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, and Locate South Georgia. This year, Valdosta State University partnered with South GeorgiaLEADS to provide administrative, promotional, and creative support to the program. 

Sponsors for South GeorgiaLEADS include Georgia Power, Georgia CEO, AT&T, Colony Bank, CTSI, Andrew College, Moultrie-Colquitt County Development Authority, Mitchell County Development Authority, Phoebe Worth, Leadership Worth, and Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce. Visit for more information.





South GeorgiaLEADS Class of 2019-2020

Ben Hill County: Hope Harmon

Brooks County: Tiffany Holmes

Coffee County: David Hughes

Colquitt County: Josh Lovett and Preston Mobley

Crisp County: William Edwards

Decatur County: Amanda Glover and Lauren Minor

Dougherty County: Bo Bird, A.L. Flemming, Reedi Hawkins, and Brianna Wilson

Grady County: Julian Brown and Courtney King

Irwin County: Cathy Stott

Lee County: Taylor Brown and Patsy Shirley

Lowndes County: Thressea Boyd, Stan Crance, Hilary Gibbs, Corey Hull, Patrick Pearson, Anne Shenton, Joe Sumner, and Angela Ward

Mitchell County: Kasey Blackburn and Lindy Savelle

Randolph County: Kathryn Brown, Malanie Burnett, James McCoy, and Rebecca White

Sumter County:  Torrance Choates, Raven Payne, Will Peterson, and Allison Stewart

Thomas County: Lacey Ansley

Tift County: Chris Chammoun, M. Jay Hall, and Wendy Harrison

Worth County:  Lisa Dylinksi and Karen Singletary






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