B U S I N E S S + C U LT U R E 5 EDITOR’S WELCOME Building South Georgia’s Team Thressea H. Boyd Editor I am not a sports enthusiast, but I am a fan of the team concept. As legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” Within a team each member has a specific responsibility, often there are “star” players that receive the majority of the attention, but every player or member plays an essential part in the team’s overall success. One of the best examples of leadership and teamwork is in the book of Nehemiah. For many years Nehemiah had been living away from his hometown of Jerusalem and was greatly distressed when he heard that the city was in ruins and the wall was broken down. The city’s wall represented more than protection it was also a symbol of status. The broken wall signaled to others that Jerusalem was in disgrace and defeated. Under God’s direction, Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and began leading the people in the arduous task of rebuilding the massive wall and its gates. The project was not about one person. Each person used their talents to complete one small part. In Nehemiah chapter three: “Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah ruler of the half district of Keilah carried out repairs for his district. Next to him…” The list goes on as it describes the work of each person and the one next to him as they completed their part of the project. It was teamwork that rebuilt the wall in only 52 days. Where was Nehemiah, the leader during all this work? He was right beside them doing his part. When asked to attend a meeting with the opposing leaders, Nehemiah replied, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah was a leader that stayed with his team. In Nehemiah 4:6, “So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” They had a “mind to work,” means they were dedicated and motivated to rebuild their city. Earlier this year nominations were accepted for individuals to be part of Team South Georgia 2018. We received nominations representing agriculture, business and industry, economic development, education, government, leadership development, public service, tourism, community service, and the arts. In this issue of South Georgia Business + Culture Magazine, we are pleased to recognize 26 community champions for their innovative spirit and ability to obtain positive results. They are not necessarily the leaders of their companies or organizations, but they are individuals with a commitment to use their skills and talents to achieve positive results. Within a team, there is a coach who provides leadership and works to motivate others to win the game or complete a task. We have selected Dr. Tina Anderson, president of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, as this year’s coach for Team South Georgia. Anderson is not only an outstanding leader, she is also passionate about encouraging students to pursue an education and acquire skills needed to grow South Georgia’s workforce. As we recognize members of Team South Georgia 2018, we encourage our readers to consider who they will nominate next year. It is our goal to have representation from across South Georgia. We will begin accepting nominations in March 2019. I hope you enjoy this issue of South Georgia Business + Culture Magazine, it is our salute to small businesses. We are honored to have Heather and Kelly Abbott, owners of SouthLife Supply Company in Thomasville, as our cover story. They have an inspiring story of entrepreneurial success that gained them the coveted recognition as a 2018 Rock Star from the Georgia Department of Economic Development. As we work to move South Georgia forward, will you stand next to someone and do your part? You don’t have to be the leader of a business or organization, as you can see from the story in Nehemiah it took every person working together to build Jerusalem’s massive wall. I challenge you to become part of the solution and encourage those around you to use their talents. Together we will continue to make South Georgia a great place to live and work. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17 For more articles and information visit sgamag.com /SouthGeorgiaMagazine/ /SouthGAMag /SouthGeorgiaMagazine/