Get Involved

Much of the work of GEDA is accomplished by the Committees. There are currently 9 standing committees and 7 Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) within GEDA. Each year at the GEDA Planning Retreat, the incoming Chairs of these Committees meet with the GEDA elected leadership to form an Action Plan for the year.

Join a Committee Today!

This is the best and easiest way to get involved with GEDA! If there is an area of interest (or two) below, send follow this link and fill out our online form to let us know which Committee you'd like to be a part of. Many of GEDA's Officers and Directors will tell you that they first started serving GEDA through Committee work. What you will find is, when you give to an Association, you get more back in return.



Business Retention & Expansion Brian Sillitto, Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Business Recruitment Al Nash, Development Authority of Fulton County
Development Authority Executives Melinda Lemmon, Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development
Marketing & Communications J.R. Charles, Carroll Tomorrow
Membership Services Mitch Griggs, Union County Development Authority
Professional Development Saralyn Stafford, The University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government
Public Policy Dan McRae, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Sponsorship Jessica Hood, Effingham County Industrial Development Authority
Young Professionals

Ashley Varnum, Georgia Development of Economic Development

The full 2018 Action Plan for all committees.

Shared Interest Groups 

What is a SIG?

One of GEDA's strengths is facilitating peer-to-peer information exchange. Shared Interest Groups provide members with another layer of professional development and foster better relationships and information exchanges more easily. They are optional, and vary widely depending on the individual preferences of the group.

There is no cost to join a SIG, but participants must be GEDA members. SIGs follow the same program year as the organization, but participants can join in or drop out at any point.

How do SIGs work?
  • SIGs have the autonomy to meet as they choose.
  • Most SIGs will meet face-to-face several times a year at a time and location that meets the needs of its members.
  • There will be no charge for these meetings.
  • SIGs may also have reserved tables at GEDA luncheons.
  • If SIG members find it convenient, SIGs may also conduct their meetings prior to or after GEDA luncheons, or online.

The most successful SIGs usually have a topic announced ahead of time, though not a formal program. These are not symposia with speakers. They are opportunities for people with similar interests to come together to share experiences and resources and ask questions.



Education & Workforce Development

Jennifer Nelson, The University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government

Entrepreneur Development Donna Armstrong-Lackey, CarrollTomorrow
Infrastucture & Transportation Stacy Watson, Georgia Ports Authority
Natural Resources & Environment Ralph Forbes, Thomas & Hutton Engineering Company
Non-Traditional Economic Development Elyse Davis, Georgia Power
Rural Development Grant Buckley, Cordele-Crisp County IDC
Research Tracey Ussery, Georgia Power

Click here for the full 2018 Action Plan for all SIGs.