Share with us your background that led to you founding Carrollton GreenBelt.
I am from Carrollton, but left in 1990 to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Then I moved back in 2009. While I was away, I biked across the United States and then led as a European guide for Vermont Bicycle Touring. That’s when it clicked for me regarding trails. I first rode with guests on trails separated from roads in the Netherlands. There I saw people holding hands while they biked and carrying pets and their groceries to the extent that it became more than a trail, but a really busy public space. Our Greenbelt serves that role as one of Carrollton's newest parks and showcases local natural wonders. It’s a great way to enjoy the great outdoors.
What’s the most rewarding part of what you do/have done at GreenBelt?
To see the city of Carrollton submit its application to be a bike friendly community was the most rewarding part to me. That designation is through the League of America…
Alexander High School Principal Nathan Hand laughingly said recently that the school has been in need of a new gym for the past 20 years.
This is similar situation that many schools find themselves in these days. About 10 years after the school was first built, the areas growth had far surpassed all expectation. The school was built to handle 1,200 students, but that number has swelled to 1,700. While additional classrooms had been built, the gym still looked like it was built in the 1980’s… which it had.
“Our outdated and undersized gym was having a negative impact on the school,” said Hand. “Coaches where having to share offices, the various teams were crammed into one locker room, multiple physical education classes were being held at the same time and team practice were being held late at night or at different schools to accommodate everyone.”
Oftentimes, a school these days will have two or three gymnasiums to handle the increased need to field numerous men’s and women’s sports.
As the season changes, it brings a sense of renewal at RKR. Hopefully the brisk temperatures refresh you during the Holiday Season. I am excited to share the latest issue of the Strong Foundations newsletter.
In the first article, we spoke with West Georgia Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jennifer Shunn. She’s made a tremendous impact on housing across the entire region. RKR is honored to work with this extremely worthwhile non-profit organization to help construct homes for those in need.
In a previous issue, we shared how workforce development was a focus for the construction industry, and it’s a topic that is still very relevant. In fact, I recently participated in an Atlanta Journal Constitution interview, along with the Associated General Contractors Association.
May you enjoy the Holidays filled with love, laughter and family.
Q: What is the day to day like for you as UWG President?
A: It’s interesting to be a president of a university in today’s environment and it’s not what someone might think it is. It certainly encompasses many facets with the belief that transforming lives via educational obtainment being at the center. I think the most successful presidents are the ones that always remind their administrators, faculty and staff that any strategic planning or implementation of any actions or initiates need to be reviewed through a filter and lens of student success. What will this mean to focus and to allow our students to be the most successful - not only here as they enter our gates - but also beyond our gates. Our job is to prepare the students to be ready for an ever-complex world. The reality of the job is interesting, because it’s a 16- hour-a-day job, which I love and feel incredibly blessed to be a part of. And, there are multiple constituencies to serve and to help align, which can be challeng…
Q: Share with us a little bit of your background at Tanner Health System?
A: I have been president and CEO of Tanner Health Systems since 1994. We certainly have grown dramatically in that time period, as our community has grown. We’ve expanded from two loosely associated hospitals to what will soon be a five-hospital system. We have grown in medical staff from less than 100 to more than 400 physicians. We’ve transformed into a regional medical center during that time period.
Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Working with the community. As a community hospital, it’s starting initiatives and programs and seeing them play out over time. Through serving patients, that helps patients and families stay close to home for high quality health care so they don’t have to commute to Atlanta. I think it is very rewarding that people are better off today and healthier because of the programs that we have started. That really is what excites me every day when I get up…