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Ciara, Russell Wilson to headline Leadership Forum
Event set for Feb. 27-28 at Trustees Garden in Savannah

The Southeast Georgia Leadership Forum announced Monday that the wife and husband team of Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Ciara and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson will be the keynote speakers for the 2023 Forum set for Feb. 27-28, inside the Kehoe Iron Works at Trustees Garden in Savannah. 

A multi-platinum-selling star, Ciara has sold more than 23 million records worldwide over the course of her 17-year career. Also, she is the founder and CEO of her own label, Beauty Marks Entertainment, a company at the vanguard of the fast-changing music industry.


In 2020, Ciara, along with her husband Wilson, launched The House of LR&C, a new concept in retail built upon the principles of “Love, Respect and Care.”

In keeping with her entrepreneurial spirit, Ciara is the co-owner of Ten To One rum and recently launched her skincare line OAM (On A Mission) which provides clinical-level results through vitamin C.

Wilson won the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 and is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. No only a professional athlete, Wilson is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and more.

As a nine-time Pro Bowler who helped pave the way for dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL, Wilson ranks among the greatest players of his era. However, it is his commitment to his community off the field that has provided him with his most cherished experiences and memories, he said.

In 2021, Wilson was recognized with the prestigious 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, an honor bestowed upon one NFL player each season in recognition of his commitment to philanthropy and community impact, as well as excellence on the field. 

Wilson and Ciara co-founded the “Why Not You Foundation” with a focus on pediatric cancer, fighting poverty and education.

Since 2014, they have raised more than $10 million for pediatric cancer research. Recently, they became New York Times Bestselling authors with the release of their first children’s book “Why Not You” Through the foundation, the Wilsons have also funded a charter school in Seattle, which opened in late 2021.

Russell Wilson.jpg
Russell Wilson


2023 Southeast Georgia Leadership Forum

With its core mission being to include, listen, learn, act and grow, the Forum was founded to help our region break the cycle of systemic issues holding the Savannah and Southeast Georgia community back from reaching its fullest potential. 

This 2023 theme is “Expecting Excellence.”

Forum attendees include emerging, established and diverse leaders from civic groups, non-profits, neighborhoods, government, and businesses.  

In addition to Ciara and Russell Wilson, featured 2023 speakers include:

John O’Leary - New York Times Bestselling Author, “On Fire; The 7 Choices to Live a Radically Inspired Life” and “In Awe: Rediscover Your Child Like Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy”

Lynsey Dyer - Seven-time overall winner of the extreme skiing tour/first woman to appear on the cover of Freeskier magazine/co-founder of charity 

John Guydon - Inspiring and Innovative Entrepreneur/Motivational Speaker/Startup Expert

Mashama Bailey/Johno Morisano - Partners behind Grey Spaces, which operates The Grey Market and The Grey/Co-Writers of Black, White and The Grey. which explores how two unconventional partners built a relationship and a restaurant that would inspire conversations around gender, race, class and culture.  

Lt. General Leslie Smith, US Army Retired/Former Inspector General of the Army/W.E. Carter Chair of Leadership, Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business.

Hala Moodlemog - President and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, home of the High Museum of Art. Alliance Theatre, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Amelia Nickerson - CEO at First Step Staffing, a multi-market employment social enterprise company aiming to hire individuals with barriers to employment and help them take the first step to self-sufficiency.

Bird Blitch - Chief Payments Officer at Waystar/Started multiple technology companies/Served as an advisory board member of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology and Development Center (ATDC).

The cost to attend the 2023 Forum is $490 and includes all speaker presentations, morning coffee/beverage bars, special events during the forum, daily snacks and beverages and lunch on Monday and Tuesday. 

Sponsorship and scholarship opportunities are currently available.

Tickets may be purchased online at:


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