Friday, August 10
, 2001

Development forum to focus on handling success


The word is finally starting to get out on South Fulton's development potential.

South Fulton Chamber of Commerce head John Boothby has assembled some of the region's most knowledgeable development experts to discuss the region's potential at a business forum luncheon Aug. 16 at The Commons of Fort McPherson.

The panelists include George Berry, Tate Godfrey, Joe Johnson, Jeff Lynn and Mel Sorrow. The luncheon, sponsored by Georgia Power Company, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Attendees will be treated to a panel presentation followed by a question and answer session.

Boothby said that development can be a pendulum and he wants to make sure the area has quality development.

"Many times, when development starts, a lot of people don't see the big picture. We need to learn from their mistakes," he said.

Why this is happening now, what it means for the economy, what it means to current residents and how the community can best profit from this growth will be issues explored by the panel.

Panelists include:

George Berry, senior vice president of Cousins Properties Inc., is one of Georgia's most recognized authorities on economic development. Berry was commissioner of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism from 1983 to 1990, a period when Georgia experienced record business growth that ultimately lead to the Olympic Games in 1996. Earlier, he was commissioner of aviation for Hartsfield International Airport.

Tate Godfrey is senior vice president for business development for Group VI Corporation and one of only 40 certified economic developers in Georgia. Godfrey has over 20 years of economic development experience statewide including land use planning, environmental compliance, business development and chamber of commerce leadership.

He was instrumental in bringing more than $400 million worth of capital investment in Peachtree City and more than 40 new corporate facilities.

Joe Johnson is director of economic development for Fulton County and is responsible for coordinating the recruitment efforts of the county. Johnson is well known in South Fulton, having lead the development efforts of East Point for many years before joining Fulton County.

Jeff Lynn is director of project operations for the Georgia Quick Start program. Quick Start is one of the most successful labor training efforts in the United States and has been featured in Fortune magazine and the Wall Street Journal as an example of effective and well-managed labor training programs.

Melvin W. "Mel" Sorrow is one of the most experienced industrial leasing agents in Atlanta, working for industry giant M.D. Hodges. M.D. Hodges Southpark mixed-use development near Oakley Industrial Park is an example of how residential, commercial/retail and industrial projects can coexist and prosper.

Luncheon tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and $120 for a corporate table of eight.

Call Patsy Dodgen at the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 770-964-1984.

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