One of the most fun and inspiring issues we publish is the June/July magazine in which we reveal the Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals To Watch for the year. This joint project between the magazine and the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce holds a good deal of suspense and strategic planning as we endeavor to keep the winners a secret until they are unveiled on the pages of this issue.
It’s interesting to look back over the past six years (this is our seventh) and see which segments of the community these young rising stars have represented. As you might imagine they have come from every facet of the community from healthcare to economic development to finance and law to arts and media. They are a reflection of the area’s continuing economic growth and the changing face of commerce in the CSRA.
Not surprisingly, this year’s group includes representatives from the city’s evolving IT sector. With the phasing in of Fort Gordon’s Cyber Center of Excellence, the support personnel, IT companies and ensuing 4,000 (by some predictions) skilled jobs it will bring are sure to have a positive lasting impact on the city’s economic and social future.
As part of the Top 10 in 10 project, the Chamber honors the winners each year at their June member economic luncheon. The Chamber also nominates each winner for consideration in the prestigious Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 competition. This luncheon is open to the public, so if you’d like an opportunity to meet and applaud these young professionals details are available by calling the Chamber at (706) 821-1300.
We also examine a different sort of project in this issue, but one of equal importance to the community—the Turn Back the Block program. (See “Miracles in the Making” on page 32.) This non-profit organization is dedicated to reclaiming the historic Harrisburg neighborhood one block at a time. Founded by businessman Clay Boardman on the belief that homeownership is the axis for community transition, the organization is slowly but steadily working to revitalize the area. Their grass-roots efforts have gained further momentum thanks to the involvement of a regimen of devoted volunteers as well as groups like G.R.O.W Harrisburg, the Georgia Nature Conservancy and other initiatives such as the Veggie Truck Farmers Market and the Fruit and Veggie Rx Program.
This is an especially exciting time to live in Augusta. I can’t help but feel like we are on the brink of a renaissance. I’m excited to see what new developments the next 12 months will bring.
This article appears in the June/July 2015 issue of Augusta Magazine.