After serving as acting president of Ogeechee Technical College for the past month, Lori Durden has been named the new president of OTC. Commissioner Gretchen Corbin announced Thursday that the state board of the Technical College System of Georgia voted during its monthly meeting to accept her recommendation of Durden to the position.
Board member Tommy David made the motion to accept the recommendation, and the full board voted unanimously to approve the appointment. Durden assumes her duties as president on Friday.
"It is an honor to assume the presidency of Ogeechee Tech," Durden said. "I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Bulloch, Evans and Screven counties and the entire region, and working with both faculty and students to continue the success of OTC."
Durden replaces Dr. Dawn Cartee, who served as OTC president for nine and a half years. She left July 1 to become director of the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens.
Durden served previously as vice president for economic development at OTC, where her responsibilities included continuing education and industry training, adult education (GED and literacy programs) and facility rentals.
She was instrumental in assisting Great Dane Trailers' job search for employees for its new Statesboro plant and facilitating a job fair on OTC's campus that hosted 3,500 applicants. Active in economic development activities in Ogeechee Tech's service delivery area of Bulloch, Evans and Screven counties, Durden supported local industrial development authorities as they worked to strengthen the economic vitality of the region.
"Ms. Durden has shown excellent leadership, both in her time as vice president of economic development and as acting president of Ogeechee Technical College," Corbin said. "With her background in economic development and outreach to local industry, as well as her academic partnerships and expertise developed while serving on the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents, she is the ideal choice to serve both students and the community."
Durden received a bachelor's and a master's degree in business administration from Georgia Southern University, and prior to her affiliation with Ogeechee Tech, she was director for the Small Business Development Center at Georgia Southern.
She is also active on many local and state boards. Her most recent appointments include the board of trustees for the Foundation for Public Education in Bulloch County, the Coastal Workforce Investment Board, the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Statesboro board of directors. In 2013, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed her to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, representing the 12th Congressional District.
Deal selected Statesboro attorney Laura Taulbee Marsh to succeed Durden on the Board of Regents.
Durden resides in Statesboro with her husband, Tim, and their three children.