The Savannah Economic Development Authority will hold its annual meeting and luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. May 23 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will deliver the keynote address.
Reed will speak about the collaborative efforts among state, regional and city leaders to secure federal approval and funds for the deepening of the Savannah Harbor and the continued growth of the Port of Savannah.
He also will share his perspective on the economic challenges and opportunities facing the city of Atlanta, the metropolitan Atlanta region and the state of Georgia.
Among the other topics he will touch upon are recent economic initiatives led by Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, including the final approval of hotel-motel tax funds for the construction of a new Falcons stadium in downtown Atlanta.
“Strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions, which in turn, are essential for a globally competitive America,” Reed said.
“My administration has set a tone of collaboration with our regional partners and the state, from working together to recruit companies, growing our entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem and supporting the deepening of the Port of Savannah.”
Reed was inaugurated as the 59th mayor of Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2010. Since then, he has hired more than 700 police officers, re-opened all of the city’s recreation centers as safe havens for young people and improved such core city services as fire-rescue response times and sanitation operations.
The mayor began his term facing a $48 million budget shortfall. Under his leadership, the city has had three years of balanced budgets with no property tax increases, and its cash reserves have grown from $7.4 million to more than $126 million.
Working with the Atlanta City Council and the city’s employee unions, he successfully initiated a series of sweeping reforms to address the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability.
He has received numerous accolades since taking office and has been nationally recognized for his civic leadership on programs such as Meet the Press and on numerous national news outlets.
Prior to his election as mayor, Reed was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1998 and served two terms. From 2002 to 2009, he served in the Georgia State Senate, where he was vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. He is a former partner of Holland and Knight LLP, an international law firm.
IF YOU GO
The SEDA annual meeting and luncheon will be held May 23 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island. Networking begins at 11:30; the luncheon starts at noon.
Cost is $40 per person or $320 for a table of eight. For more information and to reserve seating, visit seda.org or contact Lory McDaniel at 912.447.8450.