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Economic forum focuses on issues in southeast Georgia
Public invited to event on Thursday at GSU
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      A free, public forum on how southeast Georgia can prosper despite a struggling national economy will be held on Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m. in the College of Information Technology Auditorium on the Georgia Southern University campus.
       The forum, titled "Growth in Tough Times: How Southeast Georgia Can and Will Thrive During the Current Economic Downturn," will take a look at the economic advantages in southeast Georgia and the positive impact they can have during this time of economic uncertainty. Anyone who would like a deeper understanding of the current economic climate and how our region is affected is encouraged to attend.
       "In the current economic climate, communities are struggling to sustain economic development and growth. They need to figure out how to maintain the current jobs and attract those businesses that continue to prosper. This Regional Economic Development Forum will provide a look at how some successful communities in our region are meeting the challenge," said Dr. Donna Fisher, an associate professor of economics at Georgia Southern University and the program coordinator for the Regional Economic Development major.
       The keynote speaker will be Chris Clark, who will begin serving as the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in April. "Chris Clark has extensive experience in economic development at both the local and state level. His new position with the DNR will provide a vital link between growing jobs and business and utilizing the state's natural resources to keep this growth sustainable," said Dr. Ronald Shiffler, dean of the College of Business Administration. Clark is the current executive director of the Georgia Environmental Authority.
       Following his keynote address, Clark will moderate a panel discussion. Panelists include emcee Shantell Wilson, Savannah Economic Development Authority; Stacy Watson, Georgia Ports Authority; Peggy Chapman, CEO Statesboro/Bulloch Development Authority; Peggy Jolley, Georgia Power; and Ron Tolley, Liberty County Development Authority.

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