I think the word is pretty much out that our local business community will soon be losing one its most ardent supporters and accomplished leaders.
Dr. Ron Shiffler, dean of the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern, has accepted the position as dean of the McColl School of Business at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. His last day at Georgia Southern will be July 31. Ron and his wife Barbara came to Statesboro in 2002 when he accepted the position with Georgia Southern. Prior to that, Shiffler was dean of the College of Business at Western Carolina University.
In the 10 years that Shiffler has been here, Georgia Southern's MBA program has grown extensively establishing a presence in Savannah, as well as creating options for those seeking their MBA.
In addition, Georgia Southern's MBA was ranked one of the top Part-Time MBA programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools. Georgia Southern's WebMBA program is ranked in the Top 20 as a "Best Buy" by Geteducated.com. Also, Georgia Southern's business programs are recognized in the most recent issue of America's Best Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
In my opinion, what has made Shiffler's 10-year stint so unusual has been his passion for our business community. Shiffler served in a number of leadership positions with the Statesboro Bulloch Chamber of Commerce including chairman of its Board of Directors.
Past Board chairman Beth Mathews commented on Shiffler's contributions.
"Ron's level of involvement was really unprecedented," Mathews said. "He brought a very progressive business sense to the chamber, a focus on looking toward the future, and what the chamber could be. We have been very blessed to have Ron and Barbara here for as long as we have."
I can say from a personal standpoint that any time I have ever had a question or was seeking information from Shiffler to share with you all, he has always been available and forthright. I really believe that he has felt it his duty to our community to serve, to partner, and to make a better place for those who live here.
I agree wholeheartedly with Mathews. There will be a void that will be very difficult to fill when the Shifflers leave. I think that I can speak for many when I say, good luck, and we are grateful for all that both you and Barbara have done.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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