The Creative Coast’s blogspot is Savannah’s sounding board for local thinkers, innovators, wanderers and wonderers. Guest bloggers share their thoughts, opinions and creative noodling from all over the map. This week’s blog is from Angela Hendrix, public relations director for Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA). Read on for Angela’s announcement on the changing of the guard at SEDA…
Last week the Savannah Economic Development Authority announced that Trip Tollison, former chief operating officer and vice president of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah, has been appointed by the SEDA board of directors as SEDA’s new interim president and CEO. Steve Weathers, the former president and CEO has resigned to pursue other opportunities.
In making the announcement, SEDA Chairman of the Board of Directors David Paddison thanked Steve on behalf of the board of directors. “The SEDA board would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve for his dedicated service to the organization and for his efforts to launch World Trade Center Savannah and SEDA Innovations.”
Weathers stated, “I want to thank the board for the opportunity to have led SEDA. Having achieved many of the objectives I set out to accomplish, I have decided it is now time for me to move on to the next challenge.”
“We are fortunate,” Paddison said, “to have Trip Tollison on board as our interim president and CEO during what we expect to be a very smooth transition for SEDA.”
“Trip Tollison brings a wealth of experience and extensive relationships with our economic development partners at the local, state and regional level,” according to Bob James, SEDA vice chairman. “Trip has been involved in nearly all of the major economic development initiatives in Chatham County in the last decade and has worked closely with SEDA staff for many years.”
Tollison, who began the transition to interim president and CEO on Monday, said, “I look forward to this incredible opportunity to work with the SEDA board of directors and staff. I have had the benefit of working closely with SEDA staff for many years and I am excited to be more involved on a daily basis in SEDA’s mission to attract jobs and bring investment to our community. “
Before joining SEDA, Tollison served as the chief operating officer and vice president of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah. He previously served as U.S. Senator Sam Nunn’s state field representative and aide from 1995 to 1997. He also served as U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston’s legislative aide and district representative from 1997 to 2001.
Originally from Brunswick, Ga., Tollison has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia’s School of International Affairs and Public Policy. He is a member of the board of directors for USO Savannah, serves as membership chairman for Rotary Club of Savannah and is a member of the board of directors for America’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Savannah. He is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and Leadership Savannah.
“I have worked with Trip Tollison for many years and look forward to SEDA’s next chapter,” said Brooks Stillwell, SEDA’s secretary treasurer. “Trip is a dedicated community servant and has a bright future with this organization.”