This week Thursday, September Programs Chairman Jimmy Brown brings Bill Parham, Director of Ware County Emergency Medical Services to speak to us about one of our most important and unsung public safety agencies. Next week Monday, Al Jacobson makes us aware we are to give blood at our September Exchange Club/Red Cross Blood Drive from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Our luncheon speaker next week will be Scott Moye, Ware County Manager.
Jonathan Daniell, Okefenokee Fair Manager, sadly reported that Amusements of America Midway owner, Morris Vivona has passed away. His son and family will take over the business functions.
Also, locally Roger King who faithfully served our club helping set up and pick up after meals has passed away. He was devoted to coming each week to volunteer to help. We will miss Morris Vivona and Roger King for their service to our club.
President Chris Tatum reported two new members have been approved by the Board but unfortunately one member had to be dropped. He reported that water heater is still not wired, that the rental contract is printed and three copies are on file in the club office. Clean-up day at the Fairgrounds is set for Saturday, September 9 from 8:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Food booths for 4-H and non-profit are ready, and time is now to sign up for committees to work at the Fair. The midway will have a FFA Cow Bingo to play as their fundraiser. Tickets are to be brought to play.
National Exchange Club President Scott Warren sent certificates of recognition of Exchange Club of Waycross years of membership in the club to: Earl Tapley, Steve Smoak, Jim McGee, Phil Wysong, John Middleton, and Frank Eldridge.
Thank you for your years of service.
JANA DYKE ECONOMIC GROWTH
Jimmy Brown, September Programs Chairman introduced Jana Dyke, Executive Director of Waycross-Ware County Development Authority, hired January 1, 2017. Ms. Dyke has worked twenty years in Chamber of Commerce, real estate and economic development in Florida and Georgia. Since starting to work in Waycross-Ware County, 80 million capital investment dollars and 250 new jobs have been created.
Another interest of the Authority is working on reducing poverty level in this area of Georgia. One in three children in Ware County do not know where their next meal will come from. The reconstituted Development Authority hired Janet Wood, Executive Assistant who serves as Office Manager and runs the office while Ms. Dyke travels to the capital for meetings.
Our development authority was created under a constitutional act of Congress which gives it leverage to negotiate with potential industries. GATX is expanding while we compete with Texas for jobs. Our city and county are the joint hub of transportation, industry and business for this area. We can send/receive rail traffic in any direction. We also have heavy vehicle traffic on four-lane highways that radiate in all directions.
We are a distribution hub. Railroad “hump” yard is one of only two this large in the United States with 7-day service.
The Industrial Park has a 200 acre site ready for rail track service.
They are working with schools to improve student skills to work by taking students on tours of business and industry.
A lot more is underway now that DCA grants are available to apply for. Great/interesting program, Chairman Brown.
911 SERVES CITY AND COUNTY
Executive Director of 911 office, Fay Cooper brought Robert Dean, Supervisor of 911, and Debra Hendricks, Assistant Director, with her to our last luncheon meeting. The agency handled 92,000 calls for first nine months this year. Employees have to multi-task to follow 3 TV screens, telephone calling modules and the national language interpretation unit, if needed, while listening to caller and making location calls to safety units. They can’t be emotional to do their jobs. But, they do take their emotions home each day. Can’t get mad but be sympathetic to caller situation. They have new consoles, a new floor and new equipment thanks to the SPLOST referendum. Fay prays daily for all staff by thanking God for the job and opportunity to be of service and that they can do all things through Christ who gives Grace to do it. They are blessed to have a job and be able to do what they do. Great program of service, Chairman Brown.