When Steve Weathers resigned abruptly in September after two years as president of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the SEDA board didn’t have to look far to find a new leader.
Trip Tollison, former vice president and chief operating officer for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah, had played a critical role in helping SEDA with various economic development projects, including both phases of major Gulfstream expansions.
He negotiated a resolution between the state, county, Georgia Ports Authority and Caterpillar related to ad valorum taxes on Caterpillar goods-in-transit through GPA — the last issue to resolve before the company’s announcement of a major new facility near Athens and substantial exports through the Port of Savannah.
And he has worked with Georgia Ports staff for the past decade, representing the business community’s support of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project in both Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
With Weathers’ departure, his appointment as interim president and CEO of SEDA was immediate and unanimous.
“We are fortunate to have Trip on board during what we expect to be a very smooth transition for SEDA,” said David Paddison, SEDA board chairman.
Board vice chairman Bob James agreed.
“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,” the longtime Savannah business leader and president of Carver State Bank said.
Perhaps the most tangible evidence of the SEDA board’s confidence in its new hire is that no search for a permanent replacement is under way.