Airport Area Chamber of Commerce

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Georgia Leaders Selected for 2023 GeorgiaForward Young Gamechangers Cohort

Staff Report

Thursday, February 16th, 2023

GeorgiaForward has selected 45 promising professionals to serve the organization’s 2023 Young Gamechangers (YG) program. YG is a unique leadership action program hosted by GeorgiaForward, a non-profit organization administrated by the Georgia Municipal Association. Young Gamechangers brings professionals from across the state to work on the persistent challenges of one Georgia community.

In 2023, Columbus-Muscogee County will host the Young Gamechangers. Columbus leaders have finalized their four “Challenge Questions” that the 2023 cohort will be charged to answer through the eight months they will spend developing specific, actionable recommendations for the community. These questions focus on economic development, community engagement, local entrepreneurship, and more.

“We are delighted to bring the Young Gamechanger program to Columbus after a very successful run in Dalton,” said AJ Robinson, chair of GeorgiaForward’s board of directors. “This program has proven beneficial to every locale in which it has taken place, bringing new and fresh ideas to cities and counties across the state.  It is a premier leadership development opportunity which produces results on many levels.” 

“We can’t be more excited to host the Young Gamechangers program in the beautiful City of Columbus during a time when Columbus is experiencing the greatest momentum this city has ever seen,” said Isaiah Hugley, City Manager. “We look forward to highlighting the many projects that are underway and in the pipeline over the next few years, and young people will play a huge role in what the future of Columbus will look like.” 

The 2023 cohort of Gamechangers will meet for the first time in the City of Columbus on April 26th, and their work will culminate with a community presentation of their findings and recommendations on October 19th. The Gamechangers are accomplished professionals aged 40 and under from across the state who wish to make an impact through civic engagement, economic development, and community partnerships. A third of the class is from the Columbus-Muscogee County area, another third is from the metro Atlanta region, and the remaining third are from greater Georgia.

“The professionals who participate in the Young Gamechangers Program in Columbus will bring fresh eyes and an openness to big new ideas,” said GMA CEO and Executive Director Larry Hanson. “Many of the innovative recommendations provided by past groups have shown that this fresh perspective can be a catalyst for positive, creative and thoughtful development for the host city. I am confident our next group will find great benefit from the program and leave a lasting impact on Columbus.”

Previous Young Gamechangers Host Communities are Americus-Sumter County, Dublin-Laurens County, Douglasville-Douglas County, Augusta-Richmond County, LaGrange-Troup County, Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Albany-Dougherty County, Monroe-Walton County, and Dalton-Whitfield County.