Press Releases

Barton Rice Honored By Georgia Trend Magazine as a 2007 40 under 40 Award Recipient

Atlanta " Barton Rice, executive director of Early County 2055, an economic revitalization program in Southwest Georgia, has received Georgia Trend Magazine's prestigious 40 Under 40 award, honoring the state's top individuals under the age of 40 who are poised to lead commercial, cultural, academic and governmental institutions into the future.  The finalists will be profiled in the magazine's October issue cover story and honored at an awards ceremony on October 16th at the Fox Theater.

"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."

Since 1985. Georgia Trend has been well-known as "the magazine of Georgia Business & Politics". This is the 11th year the magazine has presented this honor.  This year's finalists were selected from some 200 individual nominations made by some 300 readers.

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

Early County 2055 (EC2055), a non-profit organization, was created from a grant by the Atlanta-based Charles and Catherine B. Rice Foundation in the spring of 2006 to support the revitalization, economic development and preservation of Blakely and Early County. Barton Rice is president of the foundation and the executive director of the EC2055 initiative. The Foundation funding has supported the program's initial planning and laid the groundwork for the revitalization process.  Rice has been heading up the initiative since its start and is leading a team of experts to implement a short and long term action plan that will create a healthy business climate for the community.

Rice says the work that he is presently involved with in Early County is not only exciting, it is moving ahead with a great deal of success.  "This is about preserving the culture and history and all the wonderful things that are a historically a part of the area, while at the same time giving the people of Early County a new economic reality through generating jobs and revenue from a number of target businesses that we are pursuing," he said.