Newly Founded South Georgia Women’s Leadership Initiative Program Launch

Friday, June 9th, 2023

The South Georgia Women’s Leadership Initiative (SGWLI) launched Thursday at Chehaw Park with over 90 women from across the region present, embarking on a new era of women-driven leadership in South Georgia. SGWLI seeks to instill confidence and capability in women across South Georgia to grow and thrive professionally and personally, and in turn, create a more vibrant and flourishing region, and to support, empower and amplify the impact of women across South Georgia.

The newly founded organization, sponsored by Georgia Power Company, held their inaugural kickoff luncheon today in Albany at the Creekside Center at Chehaw Park. Georgia Power Region Vice President Audrey King was the keynote speaker, who encouraged women to “leave the ladder down,” for other women to come along. Georgia Power Tifton Area Manager Toni Reid shared, “Having the opportunity to connect and grow with other women, enhance strengths and collaborate with leaders across the area will provide a unique opportunity to accelerate growth in our area that will lead to many positive impacts. While this program is designed to empower women, having space for everyone to be involved was essential. We look forward to partnering with community and business leaders across the region.”

The luncheon featured a dynamic panel of women from across South Georgia who spent time talking about their respective paths to leadership and the opportunities others have given them along the way. Panelists included Tift County Commissioner Melissa Hughes, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) President Tracy Brundage, Albany State University (ASU) President Marion Fedrick, Tifton City

Manager Emily Beeman, T31 Owner and Fashion Designer Elena Carne Lorenz, and TMC Tax Accountants Owner Elaina Lockart.

With a message of encouraging women to focus on what needs to be done, Albany State University President Marion Fedrick shared how important it is to give others a chance. “Surround yourself with the right people and challenge yourself to see them for who they are and what they have to offer.” Across the panel, each woman spoke to faith and perseverance as key components of their success.

As the panel concluded, Reid announced the launch of the South Georgia Women’s Leadership Initiative. As a first of its kind leadership initiative for our region, we seek to create a program that will establish a stronger network of women who can work to elevate issues around economic and social equity for the region, but to also create a platform where women support women—helping them thrive in their own leadership journeys.

SGWLI aims to achieve this goal by:

  • Building compassion and capacity to support others in their journeys to improve the vitality of South Georgia;

  • Educating and strengthening female leaders to tackle the issues that impact the lives of women and families across the region;

  • Empowering women to serve as advocates for the region and those who live here; and

  • Establishing a strong network of impassioned women who are committed to the curren and future success of South Georgia. 

The program will officially launch in September and will consist of six sessions, concluding with an Empowerment Celebration event in March 2024, during Women’s History Month. SGWLI is hoping to have an initial cohort of 25-30 women. Sessions will rotate throughout the southwest Georgia Power service area and will bring in a panel of experts for each content area, focusing on the issues that women need to know to be successful and thrive in their respective leadership journeys of service to the region. Each session will offer resources and tools to supplement the cohort’s development.

Tuition is $1,000 per participant, with a limited number of scholarships available.
Applications will open in July. For more information about the South Georgia Women’s Leadership Initiative, please email [email protected] and follow South Georgia Women’s Leadership on Facebook and Instagram.