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Georgia Logistics director Jannine Miller tapped for USDA position

The Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics is proving to be quite the career-maker, as yet another director is moving on to the national stage.

Logistics guru Page Siplon, the center’s first director, left nearly three years ago to head up TeamOne, a private national logistics solutions firm.

Taking over for Siplon, Atlanta transportation and logistics specialist Jannine Miller had some very big shoes to fill.

After all, Siplon’s Georgia Logistics Summit had gained national and international notice and had states across the country trying to duplicate his success.

Miller quickly proved she had impressive chops of her own, seamlessly stepping in to continue growing the center and its annual summit.

In fact, Miller recently announced that the 2018 summit is expected to be the largest ever, drawing participants from across the globe.

That summit will have to take place without her, as Miller was recently recruited by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary — and former Georgia governor – Sonny Perdue to join him in Washington as his senior advisor for rural infrastructure.

The job, a new role created by Perdue, has several facets that call upon Miller’s expertise in the areas of economic development and logistics to help support prosperity and growth for the country’s farmers

“Secretary Perdue is implementing policies set out in the 2014 Farm Bill and he wants to make sure rural America has what it needs — from an infrastructure and economic development standpoint — to grow its crops,” she said.

“He has promised our farmers, ‘If you grow it, we will sell it,’ which means we have to have the logistical ability to export crops. And that’s where infrastructure comes in,” she said. “As we in Georgia know well, infrastructure is the arteries, the vessels and the capilleries that carry the lifeblood of our economy — whether it’s freight mobility people getting to their jobs or that data that’s now the new currency of trade.

“So, to that point, we’re very interested here at USDA to fill the gap in rural broadband coverage. Some 23 million Americans in rural parts of the country don’t have access to high-speed internet, which means they aren’t as connected to the world of trade and information. And that has to be fixed,” she said.

The USDA is working with the Department of Commerce and the FCC to improve broadband availability for America’s farmers and rural businesses, thus improving efficiencies, she said.

It’s a daunting task, but she’s definitely ready.

“Everything I learned in Georgia I’m bringing up here,” she said.

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THE MILLER FILE

A graduate of Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, Miller holds master’s degrees in both public administration and business administration and has held various transportation and logistics-related positions in the state. Among those are senior transportation planner for the Atlanta Regional Commission, policy and programs consultant for the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, transportation policy advisor to Gov. Sonny Perdue and executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. In the private sector, she was senior manager of finance for The Home Depot. She was named by Georgia Trend Magazine as a “Top 40 under 40 Best and Brightest” in 2011.

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