50 Young Gamechangers Start Project in LaGrange this January

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Some people begin an exercise program or clean out their closet to kick off the new year, but 50 of the state’s brightest young leaders will celebrate the beginning of 2017 by starting an ambitious new project in LaGrange, GA. As part of the Young Gamechangers program they’ll explore the area’s industries and natural resources, gather historical data, and meet with business and community leaders. Over the next six months these Young Gamechangers will create a plan that includes big ideas and innovative solutions for some of the area’s most persistent challenges.

The opening session of the Young Gamechangers project will kick off on Thursday, January 19 at 10 am at the LaGrange Troup County Chamber of Commerce, located at 111 Bull Street. Parking is available at the corner of Broom & Bull Streets. Media are welcome from 9:45-11:30 am.

“The Young Gamechangers program brings together some of Georgia’s most forward-thinking young professionals from the ages of 24 to 40 who volunteer their time to help communities around the state,” states Kris Vaughn, Executive Director of GeorgiaForward. “The program is unique because it’s a leadership action program. Not only are there opportunities for networking and professional growth, but these young leaders roll up their sleeves and create real blueprints for change.”  

Here is an introduction to a few of the Young Gamechangers in the Spring 2017 Class:

After growing up around family businesses in tourism and marketing Sarah Beth Snider decided to make her own mark in the industry. In 2013, she graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.  Currently Snider is the President of Advertising Made Easy, a family business in Troup County, GA.  She is active in the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce where she serves on the board for the young professionals group, HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Engage). She is a 2016 Leadership Troup graduate.

“I am excited about the Young Gamechangers project in LaGrange,” states Snider. “I am looking forward to sharing my personal experiences of living and working here, and I’m eager to hear fresh, new ideas.”

“It’s important to become civically involved, especially for millennials,” adds Snider. “We are the future.”

Adam Ross is originally from Irwin County, GA, where he grew up on his family’s farm. After earning his Political Science Degree from the University of Georgia in 2013, Adam accepted a fellowship in Governor Nathan Deal's office where he served six months in the Office of Chief Operating Officer. Then he joined Lt. Governor Casey Cagle's re-election campaign in 2014 as Field Director. After an overwhelming victory, Lt. Governor Cagle invited Adam to join his office as Communications Officer. After serving two years with Lt. Governor Cagle, Adam started his own public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, graphic design and web services. He lives in Gainesville, GA.

“Having worked in state government, I see things from broader perspective,” states Ross. “We are all interconnected. Small communities are the backbone of our state. What’s good for them is good for all of Georgia.”

“As a millennial, I’ll look at what LaGrange offers in terms of job availabilities and work-force development which is vital for their future and attracting and keeping young talent,” adds Ross.

A West Palm Beach, FL native, Dr. Brittany Marshall received her Bachelors in Health Education from the University of Florida, Masters in Public Health from the University of South Florida, and Doctorate in Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Her practice and research interests include HIV prevention among vulnerable populations, program evaluation, and implementation science. Currently, Dr. Marshall is an ORISE Evaluation Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta where she works in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. She lives in Atlanta, GA.

“I have only driven through LaGrange a couple of times,” explains Marshall. “Going there and working on this project is a great way to learn more about Georgia.”

“It’s fulling to get involved in service projects,” continues Marshall. “I don’t want to just work and go home each day. I want to do something that matters and puts my professional skills to good use.”

Kent Patrick was born and raised in Leesburg, GA and came to Valdosta in 2009 to attend Valdosta State University. He graduated from the Langdale College of Business in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. As a Wealth Advisor at Bush Wealth Management, Kent currently holds a Series 7 and Series 66 registration with LPL Financial as well as Life & Health Insurance, and Variable Annuities. He serves on the firm’s investment management committee to create and manage portfolios. Outside of work, he enjoys fishing, hunting, playing golf, and spending time with his friends and family.

“The things we benefit from in our lives are because people got together to better the next generation,” Patrick says. “Now it’s our turn. I see this as a great opportunity to work with like-minded people on a worthwhile project.”

Wesley Brown is the Project Manager of Planning and Capital Projects at Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) Downtown Atlanta’s Community Improvement District. He is responsible for managing infrastructure improvements and planning efforts, and strategically coordinating CAP's investments with constituents of the Downtown community to create sustainable public spaces and improve mobility in Downtown Atlanta. Previously, Brown worked for HDR, Inc., Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and Alta Planning and Design. He received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University and a Master’s of Science in Urban Design from Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

“Since inception GeorgiaForward’s Young Gamechangers program has engaged civic minded young people to solve tough problems around the state,” states Brown. “I’m glad that I can contribute to advancing the communities in my home state.”

Sponsors for the 2017 Spring Young Gamechangers program includeCommerce Club Foundation, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Troup County Center for Strategic Planning, LaGrange/Troup County Chamber of Commerce, Troup County Development Authority, Development Authority of LaGrange, Georgia CEO, The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, Georgia EMC, LaQuinta Inn and Suites, West Point Development Authority, LaGrange College, West Georgia Tech/Thinc Academy, Hills & Dales Estate and City of West Point.