Strickland named GEDA Volunteer of the Year

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In recognition of his efforts to secure thousands of jobs and more than $2 billion in projects for Bartow County over the years, Eric Strickland recently received the Volunteer of the Year award from the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

Currently chairman of the Bartow-Cartersville Second Joint Development Authority, the Cartersville resident has served as acting chairman for the Development Authority of Bartow County for the past five years and is a member of the Bartow-Pickens JDA.

“Our family has always wanted to give back to our community ... that we feel has given so much to us,” Strickland said. “My father has served in nonprofit organizations since 1976 and [is] very active today. His example led me to get involved in various community organizations. I am also encouraging my children to do the same things.

“... The two biggest factors in our community’s economic development are recruiting industry and creating jobs. Our community leaders, Development Authority members, elected officials and especially our Economic Development [executive] director, Melinda Lemmon, and her team have been very instrumental in the success of our community.”

Presented during the GEDA’s luncheon in Atlanta, Strickland received the accolade Monday.

“As a member of GEDA, I had the opportunity to nominate Eric for this award,” Lemmon said. “There are many deserving in our community, but this just seemed like Eric’s year. I knew I had better take a ‘forgiveness rather than permission’ approach in nominating him. Many helped me pull together facts, photos and more without his knowledge. We all thought Eric was a great candidate, and obviously GEDA did as well.

“... Some of the projects Eric has supported on one authority or another include Georgia Power Plant Bowen near Euharlee, Vista Metals in Adairsville, Shaw Industries Group Plant T1 in Adairsville, LakePoint Sporting Community in Emerson, voestalpine and Constellium in Highland 75, among many others.”