Sunday, July 30, 2017

Event - Georgia Environmental Conference

This event will take place August 23 - 25, at the LEED Certified Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island, in Georgia. This annual conference provides fresh, new, high value, well-balanced, diverse and relevant educational content with a positive impact on current and future practitioners and the environment of Georgia and the Southeast region.

This is the largest, most comprehensive and diverse educational opportunity and it will be attended by over 700 Local, State, and Federal Government Officials, Business and Industry Leaders, Attorneys, Consultants, Engineers, Developers, Land Owners, Architects, Agribusiness Leaders, Energy Experts, Water Planning Districts, Universities, Public Health Officials, Solid Waste, Enviro-Tech, and Recycling Experts, and many, many others with a strong interest in environmental activities in Georgia and the Southeast region.

Over the three-day event, GEC will host an elite group of environmental professionals seeking to exchange knowledge and share ideas around environmental concerns in Georgia and across the Southeast region. The curriculum, designed and developed by our 50-member Steering Committee, offers more than 50 unique courses, allowing attendees to design their own personalized curriculum by selecting nine educational breakout sessions, while receiving approved Continuing Education credits (if applicable). With the combined efforts of the state’s leading environmental organizations, the Annual Georgia Environmental Conference has proven to be a valued educational requirement focused on Sustaining the Future for the People of Georgia and the Southeast region.  

Who should attend

State Governments, Federal Governments, Local Governments, Economic Development Councils, Environmental Engineers, Environmental Consultants, Attorneys, Senior Project Managers, Architects, Landscape Architects, Surveyors, & Mappers, Environmental Managers, Elected Officials, Students, Non-Profit Organizations, Property Appraisers, Agribusiness Property Assessors, Local Chambers, Water Planning, Districts Builders & Contractors, Business & Industry Engineers, Planners Realtors, Landowners, Developers, Citizen Groups, Tax Assessors

Keynote speeche

General Session

Restoring the Connection between Your Health and Your Environment Today’s environmental conversation includes new global connections, resource management decisions, and environmental and public health implications. America continues to lead the conversation on environmental protection operations throughout the world. Still, environmental professionals continue to build on lessons learned, employ new technologies and broaden the environmental field to reconnect with communities and industry. Two giants of the environmental profession will share insight from their impactful careers in the fields of environmental protection, protection of human health, and water resources, as well as the critical work of leading large organizations designed to maintain a safe environment for all communities.

Conservation Champions

The Tall Timbers Land Conservancy (TTLC), has expanded its service area, particularly in southwest Georgia, with projects that further Tall Timbers’ broader research mission. TTLC is now the largest regional land trust in Florida and Georgia. Kevin McGorty coordinates and oversees work of the Land Conservancy staff and represents Tall Timbers as chief negotiator for conservation easements. He will introduce Tall Timbers and share aspects of its important mission to the ecology and economics of the Southeast.

In 2012, The St. Simons Land Trust announced purchase of Cannon’s Point, an undeveloped, 608-acre wilderness tract located on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Additional critical habitat and land purchases have been made since then. Scott Coleman will discuss the importance and impact to preserve these important natural treasures. He will share his experience and passion for the coastal conservation preservation, historic properties and wilderness.

Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company with $20 billion in revenue and 60,000 employees. Cox has operated in Georgia since 1939 and is the state’s largest private company. The Cox Conserves program, is a national sustainability program that created Seven Islands Environmental Solutions, LLC, and the new Brantley County Golden Isles Conservation Center as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and innovation. The Golden Isles Conservation Center is located in Nahunta, Ga., and recently held its grand opening for a new tire recycling center. Steve Bradley will present the story and expectations for this new sustainability model.

The mission of Georgia Conservancy is to protect and conserve Georgia’s natural resources through advocacy, engagement and collaboration. Founded in 1967, the Georgia Conservancy has a rich history of working with private citizens, business, government and academia to protect and conserve the state’s natural resources. Robert Ramsay and Beth Blalock will moderate the Conservation Champions panel.

Critical Aspects of Coastal Resources in the Southeast

Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Richard Dunn and U.S. Department of Agriculture State Conservationist Terrance Rudolph will address critical aspects of coastal resources managed by their agencies and important state and federal initiatives. Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols will moderate and facilitate a brief question and answer period. GEC attendees can submit question cards at the GEC registration desk.

Keynote speakers

Al Lee, Programs Director, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division

Alvin B. Lee joined the South Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jan 2014. As the South Atlantic Division Programs Director, Al oversees work in the Southeast United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He responsible for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works mission consisting of navigation, flood control, stream bank and shore protection, hurricane and storm damage reduction, emergency preparedness response and recovery, hydropower, water supply, recreation, environmental protection and recovery, and permitting. He is also responsible for real estate for the U.S. Army and Air Force. Al has a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Saint Martin’s University in Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration Georgia Southern University.

Stan Meiburg, Director of Graduate Studies in Sustainability, Wake Forest University

Dr. A. Stanley Meiburg became Director of Graduate Studies in Sustainability at Wake Forest University on July 1, 2017. In this position, Stan leads the master of arts in sustainability program and associated dual degree and certificate programs. He works with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and supports the work of the Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (CEES). Stan came to this position following service as the Acting Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to this role, Stan was the Deputy Regional Administrator of EPA Region 4 in Atlanta, Georgia, after also serving as Deputy Regional Administrator in EPA’s Region 6 office in Dallas, Texas, making him only the second person in EPA history to have been Deputy Regional Administrator in more than one Region. Stan’s 39-year career with EPA included numerous special collateral assignments and accolades. He was recognized as a Distinguished Federal Executive in 2012, and he received the EPA’s Distinguished Career Award in 2014. Stan holds a B.A. degree from Wake Forest University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from The Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife Julie live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Beth Blalock, Policy and Regulatory Consultant

Beth Allgood Blalock is an attorney with a wide range of experience working on environmental and land use issues. She has served as the Assistant Branch Chief for the Land Branch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, General Counsel for the Georgia Conservancy, and as an environmental attorney with King and Spalding and the Southern Environmental Law Center. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Agnes Scott College and Georgia State University College of Law. She graduated with a degree in ecology and political science from the University of Georgia and also received her law degree from the University of Georgia.

Steven Bradley, Assistant Vice President, Cox Enterprises

Steve Bradley is assistant vice president of environmental sustainability for Cox Enterprises. Steve helps manage the strategic plan for Cox Conserves, the company’s national sustainability program that seeks to send zero waste to landfill by 2024, and be carbon and water neutral by 2044. He has direct responsibility for alternative energy and water projects. Since 2007, his team has completed nearly 40 alternative energy projects across the country and conserved 57 million gallons of water. Prior to joining Cox, Steve worked as an engineer for Georgia Power. He is a 2012 graduate of the IGEL program and was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Who’s Who in Sustainability list. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University.

Scott D. Coleman, Ecological Manager, Little St. Simons Island

As ecological manager, Scott Coleman works to maintain, enhance and restore the natural ecological communities and wildlife populations on Little St. Simons Island, one of the best examples of coastal wilderness on the southeastern coast. Working closely with the island’s Ecological Advisory Council, he has led the development of a 50-year conservation plan for Little St. Simons Island and he worked closely with The Nature Conservancy to develop a permanent conservation easement that protects the island’s 11,000 acres. His responsibilities include coordinating the island’s research, monitoring, restoration and natural resource management, working with a wide range of public and private conservation partner organizations. Scott grew up in Fort Gaines and Blakely, Georgia, and is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School for Forestry and Natural Resources, with a degree in Wildlife Biology. Scott lives on St. Simons Island with his wife Ann and their son, Daniel, and daughter, Mary Remington.

Kevin McGorty, Director, Tall Timbers Land Conservancy

Kevin McGorty is the director of the Tall Timbers Land Conservancy, which is a department of Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy. Founded in 1958, the mission of Tall Timbers is to foster exemplary land stewardship through research, conservation, and education. Created in 1990, the Tall Timbers Land Conservancy has saved 123,000 acres of land on 86 properties in northern Florida and southwest Georgia via donated conservation easements. For his outstanding achievements and dedication to land stewardship, the Florida Wildlife Federation honored Kevin in 2003 as Florida’s Land Conservationist of the Year. Kevin previously served as director of the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board, an agency of the Florida Department of State. Kevin currently serves on the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance to build and recognize strong land trusts, foster public confidence in land conservation and help ensure the long-term protection of land.

Robert Ramsay, President, Georgia Conservancy

A native of Toccoa, Georgia, Robert Ramsay graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Anthropology. To put himself through college, Robert worked as a professional fly fishing guide, a career that he enjoyed for a decade while splitting his time between Montana, Alaska, Patagonia, Argentina, and Arctic Russia. Coupled with a childhood spent in the woods of northeast Georgia, his conservation ethic was formed at an early age. After an early career in the financial services industry, and longing for an opportunity to work in the conservation field, Robert accepted an offer to become the first full-time president of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. Robert became President of the Georgia Conservancy on July 1, 2014, following three years’ service as the organization’s Vice President of Development. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians in 2016 and 2017 by Georgia Trend Magazine. Robert remains an avid fly angler and takes every opportunity to enjoy Georgia’s natural wonders with his family and friends

Richard Dunn, Director, Georgia Environmental Protection Division

Richard Dunn was named Director of Georgia Environmental Protection Division by Governor Nathan Deal in June 2016. Prior to becoming EPD Director, Richard was Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB). He previously served as director of the Health and Human Services division where he worked closely on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the behavioral health settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, state health care programs and child welfare. Richard came to OPB in 2011 from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities where he served as the deputy chief of staff. He has also served as the acting director of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families and chairman of the Georgia Occupational Regulation Review Council. Prior to his career in public service, Richard taught courses on politics and public policy at Dickinson College and College of Charleston. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University, and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia. Richard and his wife, Susan, have one son. They reside in Atlanta.

Tim Echols, Georgia Public Service Commissioner

Tim Echols was elected to the Public Service Commission in 2010, after spending 15 years in the nonprofit sector. His primary job is energy regulation. When Tim took office, Georgia was 34th in solar power. Now, seven years later, the state is in the top eight in the nation in approved solar. Tim’s commitment to promoting clean energy has resulted in not only in millions of solar panels being installed in Georgia, but has resulted in more electric vehicles as well. Our state is fourth in the nation in electric vehicles—only behind California. Tim created the Clean Energy Roadshow that has traveled the state every summer for the last seven years, helping commuters, businesses and municipal governments evaluate alternative fuel for their transportation and residential use. He leads by example by personally using sustainable energy solutions such as driving alternative fuel vehicles, and using solar heating and energy conservation in his home. Tim and his wife, Windy, have been married 33 years, they have seven children, and now live in Jefferson, Georgia. Tim has a B.A. and two Master’s degrees from the University of Georgia.

Terrance Rudolph, State Soil Conservationist, USDA

Terrance O. Rudolph was named Georgia State Conservationist for NRCS in July 2014. Previously, Terrance served as Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Knoxville, Tennessee from October 2007 until July 2014. In that position, he directed the field office operations over 26 counties in Eastern Tennessee. Terrance has held various other conservationist roles in his 19-year Federal government career in states including, North Carolina, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin, as well as several detail assignments in Washington D.C. He has been an active member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society for more than 17 years. Terrance received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. He and his wife, Teri, have two children, Taelor and Tamera.

To see the agenda click here. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your participation, please contact: David Mook – GEC Executive Director 678.427.2430 or Dr. Jill Geraghty – Sr. Program Manager 678.630.3275

To register click here.

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