Editor’s Letter: I thought I could


Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8



Thressea H. Boyd, Editor [email protected]

Remember the childhood book The Little Engine that Could? As the small blue train climbed the steep mountain to deliver food and toys to the children on the other side, she repeated, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Faster and faster, she chugged up the mountain until she reached the top. On her way down, she shouted with excitement, “I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could.” The simple story has a powerful message of determination and vision. Much like the little train, I started up the mountain four years ago, and while there are still more mountains to climb, I continue to chug along.

With the 10th issue of South Georgia Business + Culture Magazine completed, and the start of a monthly e-newsletter, we are well on our way to changing the conversation about South Georgia.

As the region’s exclusive business publication, South Georgia Business + Culture Magazine provides informative and engaging articles focused on how agriculture, business and industry, entrepreneurship, education, healthcare, rural prosperity, economic development, tourism, the arts, and much more, all play an integral part in making this region a great place to live and work.

In this issue, we’re talking about jobs! Last year, 371 economic development projects were announced by the state, with 79 percent outside of Atlanta. In South Georgia, communities including Adel, Bainbridge, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Quitman, Thomasville, Tifton, and Valdosta all pulled out their ceremonial gold shovels and red ribbons to celebrate economic victories.

From a four-year medical college to handgun manufacturing and glass container production, food processing, blockchain technology, and distribution centers, South Georgia gained millions of dollars in investments and the creation of hundreds of new jobs.

Are you ready to be counted? Since 1790 the U.S. has held a census count every 10 years. In the 2010 Census, Georgia ranked 31st in response rate. The Peach State needs to do a better job. An accurate census count ensures Georgia gets the federal dollars it deserves.

Based on the 2010 Census count, Georgia received more than $16 billion annually from the federal government. From infants to young children to older adults, for every person counted, Georgia gets approximately $2,300 from the federal government. It’s basically our money that we get back from the federal government to fund hundreds of programs that impact healthcare, education, roads, and even the arts.

As a grassroots effort, communities are partnering with state agencies and other organizations like the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) to ensure Georgia gets an accurate count in the 2020 Census. Valdosta State University’s Center for South Georgia Regional Impact is providing census marketing materials, including those translated in Spanish, to counties across the South Georgia region, at no cost.

With 36 years of healthcare experience in Alabama, Ronnie Dean says he’s now feeling “right at home” in Valdosta. As the new CEO of South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC), Dean has quickly immersed himself as part of the community and hospital team. He is working to maintain and build a team that represents SGMC as the “best place to work and the best place to practice medicine.”

Moving forward, Jim Glass took the helm as president of Southern Regional Technical College last year. Building on SRTC’s stellar reputation for workforce development, he says the college will continue to work closely with local businesses and industry partners to develop or revamp customized training programs on a one-on-one basis.

Who will represent Team South Georgia 2020? Now in its third year, Team South Georgia recognizes community champions for their innovative spirit and the ability to obtain positive results within their communities.

We are seeking individuals representing a variety of professions, including agriculture, business and industry, chambers of commerce, community service, economic development, education, healthcare, leadership development, non-profits, public service, tourism, and the arts.

Nominees must live and work in South Georgia and have demonstrated success in improving the quality of life or advancing economic prosperity within their community.

Members of Team South Georgia 2020 will be featured in the fall issue of South Georgia Business + Culture Magazine. To submit a nomination, visit sgamag.com from March 2 through May 6, 2020.

A special “thank you” to Locate South Georgia for sponsoring the 2019 Team South Georgia recognition luncheon.

Are you receiving the South Georgia Insider? The monthly e-newsletter is a companion piece to South Georgia Business + Culture Magazine and allows us to expand coverage about the great things happening throughout the region. Subscribe to the e-newsletter or printed magazine (both at no charge) at sgamag.com

We invite you to be part of the conversation. Do you have a suggestion for an article? Join us as we continue to tell the compelling stories of growth and success in South Georgia. Send your suggestions to [email protected].


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