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Bryan County's Anna Chafin to get emerging leader award
Anna Chafin
Anna Chafin

The Southeast Georgia Leadership Forum, organized by Morris Multimedia, owner of the Bryan County News, recently announced they will be presenting three awards to regional leaders on Tuesday, March 1.

The Legacy Leadership awards will be presented to The Honorable Otis Johnson, former Savannah Mayor and Cliff McCurry, Director of Community Development for Sterling Seacrest Pritchard. The Emerging Leader Award will be presented to Anna Chafin, Executive Director of Bryan County Development Authority. Details about each of the award winners are below.

The 2022 Southeast Leadership Forum will be held February 28 - March 1, 2022, at the Kehoe Iron Works at Trustees’ Garden.  The Forum is designed to bring established and emerging leaders together in an innovative environment promoting leadership development, networking and collaborative teamwork for the betterment of our growing Coastal Georgia Region. 

Sponsoring this inaugural event with Morris Multimedia are Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Power, Georgia Southern University and Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. The Forum fee is $395/person. Limited scholarships are available for community leaders who may need financial assistance to attend the Forum.

This immersive leadership experience will feature world-class presenters to include: 

  • STEDMAN GRAHAM  - Chairman and CEO of S. Graham and Associates, Graham is the author of 12 books, including two New York Times bestsellers and one Wall Street Journal bestseller. 

  • HORST SCHULZE - A legend and leader in luxury hotels, Mr. Schulze served as President and COO of The Ritz Carlton Corporation, responsible for the $2 billion operations worldwide. It was under his leadership that The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company became the first service-based company to be awarded the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award — twice. 

  • ERICA DHAWAN - Erica Dhawan is the world’s leading authority on 21st-century Collaboration and Connectional Intelligence. She challenges audiences and organizations to innovate faster and further, together. Her newest book – Digital Body Language – decodes the new signals and cues of effective collaboration and teamwork in a  digital-first human workplace. 

In addition to these three renowned presenters, participants can expect to learn thought-provoking content from statewide CEOs, business futurists, and regional community leaders, as well as have the opportunity to connect with nearly 400 participants expected to attend. 

For more information and to register, please visit Southeast Georgia Leadership Forum

About the Morris Legacy Leadership Award Winners:

Otis Johnson was born and raised in Savannah. He attended Paulsen Street Elementary School, Cuyler Street Junior High School in Savannah, and graduated from Alfred E. Beach High School. Johnson earned his A.A. degree in liberal arts from Armstrong State University, his B.A. degree in history from the University of Georgia, his M.S.W. degree in social work from Clark Atlanta University, and his Ph.D. in social welfare from Brandeis University in 1980.

Johnson worked for the Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc. and the City of Savannah Model Cities Program before joining the faculty at Savannah State University. Johnson later joined the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education, serving for four years. He was elected as mayor of Savannah in 2003. After leaving the mayor’s office in 2012, Johnson became a scholar in residence and professor emeritus at Savannah State University.

In 2001 and 2006, Johnson was featured in Georgia Trend magazine’s list of “Most Influential Georgians.” He was the recipient of Armstrong State University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2005 as well as the Notable Alumnus Award in 2010.

Cliff McCurry, CPCU has more than 50 years of commercial insurance brokerage and risk management experience. During his career, he has held executive management positions with Seacrest Partners, Willis HRH, HRH, and Jones Hill & Mercer and holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter professional designation.

McCurry earned a BBA in Risk & Insurance Management from the University of Georgia, and has been an active supporter of his community and throughout the state of Georgia for decades. He volunteers his time and talent with numerous organizations, including serving as Board Member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chairman of Communities in Schools/Savannah, Vice-Chair of St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System Foundation, and is an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation, a Trustee of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business/Risk Management & Insurance, and is a Trustee for the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation.

In recognition of his community service, McCurry has received a number of prestigious awards, including being inducted into the Savannah Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame and was honored as the recipient of a Distinguished Alumnus of Armstrong State University, named a Community Hero by the Southeast Georgia Chapter American Red Cross, Alumnus of the Year by UGA Terry College of Business Risk Management & Insurance, and Outstanding Alumnus by Armstrong State University.

Anna Chafin is the CEO of the Development Authority of Bryan County and represents the 1st Congressional District on the Georgia Student Finance Commission Board of Commissioners. She joined the Development Authority of Bryan County as CEO in November 2013.

Chafin has worked in economic development in the coastal region for over ten years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Mercer University with minors in Business Administration and English. She is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Leadership Bryan, Leadership Southeast Georgia, and Leadership Georgia. Anna has also held various leadership positions in the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

Former Governor Nathan Deal appointed Chafin to serve as a board member of both the Georgia Student Finance Commission and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and currently serves as Chair of the Georgia Student Finance Commission board of directors. She is also a past chair of the Leadership Southeast Georgia Alumni Association and is a member of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill. In 2015, Chafin was named one of the Top 5 under 40 by Richmond Hill Reflections magazine.

“I am extremely honored to be recognized by the Southeast Georgia Leadership Forum,” Chafin said. “I am blessed to be part of great teams like the Development Authority of Bryan County and the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority, working to create quality jobs and investment. Our region s positioned for continued success, and I am so thankful I have the opportunity to live and work in southeast Georgia and collaborate with forward-thinking leaders.” 

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