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Barton Rice makes Trend's 40 Under 40

Barton Rice of Roswell, executive director of Early County 2055, has been named to the prestigious list of "40 Under 40" featured in the October issue of Georgia Trend.

The annual feature honors the state's top individuals under the age of 40 poised to lead commercial, cultural, academic and governmental institutions into the future. They will be honored at an awards ceremony on Oct. 16 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

Georgia Trend has been recognized as "the magazine of Georgia business & politics" since 1985. This is the 11th year the magazine has published its "40 under 40." This year's finalists were selected from some 200 individual nominations made by some 300 readers.

"This year's 40 Under 40 finalists represent the 'best and brightest' among the rising young leaders in our state," says Georgia Trend publisher Neely Young. "It's good to know the future of Georgia is in their hands."

"This is a true honor for me and my family," said Rice. "I am thrilled to receive this award and excited to be a part of this very dynamic group of Georgians."

Barton Rice, 38, is president of the Atlanta-based Charles and Catherine and the executive director of the EC2055 initiative.

The foundation has funded the program's initial planning and laid the groundwork for the revitalization process. Rice has been heading up the initiative since its start in the spring of 2006, and is leading a team of experts implementing short and long term action plans in an effort to create a healthy business climate for the community.

Georgia Trend's profile of Rice: It's going to take about 50 years for Barton Rice to finish his current job - executive director of Early County 2055, a 50-year revitalization and economic development project in rural Southwest Georgia's Early County.

Funded by his parents' Rice Foundation, EC2055 seeks to rejuvenate the economy of Early County (pop. 12,000), while maintaining its quiet, villagelike way of life. "This is about preserving the culture and history and all the wonderful things that are still here," Rice says. "But to also give them a new economic reality. And we are making some great headway."

When Rice early on saw potential for generating jobs and revenues from film production in Southwest Georgia, he was greeted by more than a few guffaws from the locals. But EC2055 has lured a costume company and stunt agency to the county and is partnering with a nearby motion picture and television sound stage in a number of projects. Rice has been courting legislators to help provide land incentives for filmmakers shooting in Georgia.

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updated: 8 years ago