Press Releases

Lisa Collins hired as Project Manager

New hire will play a key role in the community planning and historical restoration project 'EC2055'.
Blakely, GA—April 3, 2006 — Early County officials and the Charles and Catherine B. Rice Foundation, today announced that Lisa Satterfield Collins has been appointed Project Manager for Early County 2055 (EC2055), a long-term revitalization effort scheduled to get underway in early May. In her new position, Ms. Collins will oversee the execution of an economic development master plan for Blakely and Early County Georgia, which will focus on preserving the historical foundation of the area while reviving its economic base.

EC2055, initiated through a gift from the Charles and Catherine B. Rice Foundation, will kick off April 29-30 with an economic visioning work group, followed by a week-long planning session —the Charrette Process — May 7-14. These meetings will involve the entire community and be led by PlaceMakers, the Miami-based land planning and development advisory firm. The initiative will focus on raising the quality of life for current residents while developing a long-term strategy designed to build a diversified economic structure and master plan for the future. The initial planning, funded completely by the Rice Foundation, will help the community preserve its assets — a charming, close knit southern community, great location, low cost of living and rich heritage, as well as enable them to merge history with a viable economic future for growth and prosperity.

"We are delighted to have Lisa join the Early County 2055 team and look forward to working with her to help create a healthy business climate for the local community," said Barton Rice, the executive director of the Rice Foundation. "She has played an integral role in a number of community and business development initiatives in the state of Georgia, and her experience in advocacy, issues management and business development will be key to the success of the Blakely and Early County revitalization. We welcome Lisa and support her efforts."

Ms. Collins, a Georgia native, comes to Blakely with over 10 years of experience in facilitating and implementing various comprehensive urban design projects for state and community organizations. Most recently, she was the president and chief executive officer of UPtown Columbus, Inc., a non-profit organization in Columbus, GA where she facilitated the economic revitalization initiatives throughout the city's central business district, riverfront, and overall uptown area. Before working for UPtown Columbus, Ms. Collins was senior vice president of governmental affairs and transportation of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, working closely with governmental, business and community leaders on issues affecting the economic development and quality of life in the region.

Earlier in her career she served as legislative affairs coordinator for the Albany, GA Area Chamber of Commerce and was county coordinator for a congressional campaign and two gubernatorial campaigns. She served as a Columbus Consolidated Government Airport Commissioner, was a steering committee member for the Columbus River Restoration Project, a member of the Columbus Economic Development Advisory Board and a special invitee to the Columbus/Muscogee County Development Authority.

"Working on the Early County 2055 project is a great opportunity. I am looking forward to making my home in Blakely, which is an attractive, charming community steeped in rich tradition," said Ms. Collins. "I know I will gain a great sense of fulfillment working through this economic development process with the wonderful people in Early County. Together we will build on the cultural and historical foundation of the area and ultimately create long-term stability to the community."

Ms. Collins added that being involved in EC2055 from its beginning is an exciting proposition. "We have made cities complicated when they don't need to be. I believe that people like to be in an environment that is peaceful and secure. That is why Early County2055 is so important. Its goal is to bond the community together, to expand upon existing industry while developing new economies that will grow and prosper."

Ms. Collins will live in Blakely with her son, Samuel.

A reception is planned for Ms. Collins on Thursday, April 6, 2006, 5:30 — 7:00 PM, at the Funny Girl Deli in Blakely, GA. The community is invited to attend and meet Ms. Collins.

To learn more about Lisa Collins, read her bio.