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Gamechangers like Bacon to present ideas to Milledgeville

For the last five months, 50 of Georgia’s brightest young professionals have researched Milledgeville’s history, met with community leaders, toured campuses and neighborhoods, interviewed retirees, and re-imagined downtown in their quest to come up with big ideas and innovative solutions to some of the area’s most persistent challenges.
Dorie Bacon, the executive director of the Screven County Development Authority, is among the group of professionals.
Their hard work will be revealed when they present their final recommendations on Friday, Dec. 8 from 2-4 pm. The event will take place at Simply Southern Barn, 135 Forte Drive NW, in Milledgeville.
“The businesses and political leadership in Milledgeville/Baldwin County have given the Young Gamechangers tremendous support during our time here,” said Kris Vaughn, executive director of GeorgiaForward. “I knew we were going to enjoy working with this community when we had a full house welcome us at Georgia Military College on the very first day of the program! We are excited to share the final recommendations with area leaders and the community.”
The Young Gamechangers are made up of professionals from across the state between the ages of 24 and 40 who work in diverse sectors including business, law, non-profit, arts and culture, education, finance, politics, tourism, marketing, urban and economic development.
“We are working on the education question, which has to do with the perception of what public education means,” said Sylvania resident Bacon. “It’s a complicated issue, but we have some interesting ideas about how to define success in public education and even how to celebrate it!”
Bacon has been involved in economic development for more than a decade. She has experience in tourism, small business development and industrial recruitment.  Bacon has worked on regional and statewide initiatives, including serving as a member of the GEDA Board of Directors and former Chair of the Greater Savannah Regional Alliance. She is an MPA and a Certified Economic Developer. Bacon is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and Leadership Southeast Georgia.
“I like the Young Gamechangers formula for putting together each class with one third being from the host city, one third being from Atlanta, and one third from Greater Georgia,” Bacon said. “It provides a great balance of viewpoints and perspectives that brings together the mosaic of all that is Georgia.”
The four challenge questions the Young Gamechangers have been working on:
* Education: In what ways can the citizens of Milledgeville/Baldwin County positively support and promote the public-school system, thus strengthening the opinion of our future workforce and its economic impact on the community?
* Retirees: How can Milledgeville/Baldwin County incorporate and engage their growing retirement community and, in turn, provide an exceptional quality of life and the necessary resources to retain them?
* Branding/Signage: With Milledgeville/Baldwin County’s central location and gateways created by major traffic thoroughfares, in what ways can the community improve its entrance points through the creation and incorporation of a unique brand image?
* Economic Development: How can the community realign and refocus Milledgeville/Baldwin County to become the booming economic driver it once was while diversifying its employment sectors?
Sponsors for the 2017 Fall Young Gamechangers program include Commerce Club Foundation, Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Georgia EMC, Community Foundation of Central Georgia, Baldwin County, City of Milledgeville, Milledgeville Baldwin Chamber, The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County, Magnolia State Bank, Century Bank and Trust, Exchange Bank, Union Recorder, Leslie Outdoor Advertising, Georgia Trend, Williams & Associates, Georgia CEO, Milledgeville Main Street, Milledgeville Rotary, Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority, Georgia College, Central Georgia Technical College, Milledgeville CVB, Georgia Military College, Simply Southern Barn, Coca-Cola, Tri County EMC, LaQuinta Inns and Suites and M&R Marketing Group.
GeorgiaForward is a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to improve the state of Georgia by engaging business, political, academic and civil leaders to collaboratively shape a statewide policy agenda.  For more information about the Young Gamechangers program and a complete list of the 2017 fall class, visit their website:  www.georgiaforward.org.