James Magazine Mar Apr 2020 - Page 5



P U B L I S H E R’S M E S S A G E
Time again for “Influential” listings & “Georgian of the Year”
he annual “Most Influential” issue of James is a
favorite of mine because feedback from our readers indicate great interest in who the prominent
“movers and shakers” are who make things happen in
our state. And we write about many of these individuals and their actions throughout the year. I also appreciate knowing a good number of these “influentials” in
the world of business, politics and public service due
to a journalism career that began with a 26-year tenure
at The Augusta Chronicle and continued in Atlanta
after becoming the CEO and publisher of James and
InsiderAdvantage Georgia.
Of course, this roster of Georgians— ranging from
the fields of business and public service to healthcare
and the law— is incomplete. It’s impossible to know or
list the many local influencers in all 159 counties
whose actions make an impact. But we at least hope
these short bios and various charts provide an interesting glimpse for readers of these accomplished men
and women who, for better or worse, influence where
we are heading as a state and country.
Over the years James has saluted well-known public
servants, businesspeople, philanthropists and others as
the “Georgian of the Year.” For 2020, we believe Gov.
Brian Kemp— now in his second year in office— merits
the designation as he pursues wide-ranging executive
duties that impact every Georgian (and especially affects
everyone’s wallets). A significant part of his powers
include appointments to hundreds of influential commissions and state boards such as the ones overseeing the
University System and lottery. Our exclusive Kemp interview provides perspective on his first year, as well as
what the governor hopes to accomplish in the future.
Furthermore, consider our choices for this year’s
top Georgia legislators: State Sens. Brandon Beach,
R-Alpharetta, and Ed Harbison, D-Columbus, as well
as Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta. They are part-time
elected officials and civic leaders serving on important legislative committees who our staff feels merit
special recognition for various accomplishments
since they were sworn in.
For our regular “CEO Spotlight,” we interview
Piedmont Healthcare’s Kevin Brown and the progress
made by a Georgia leader in clinical service and quality. Politics is a regular staple of this magazine, so we
thought it important that staff writer Baker Owens
investigate the preliminary rollout of the Peach State’s
new voting machines. Consider, too, the reflections of
Matt Towery (a former state legislator and veteran
pollster) on the future of Georgia Republicans and the
crucial issue of suburban female Republican voters.
OTHER DIVERSE TOPICS
Staff writer Tal Wright investigates an underreported industry taking root that could transform our
state’s agriculture industry… Wright also reports on
impressive growth and progress in Cherokee County…
Bob Jones IV— grandson of one of Georgia’s 20th century sports greats, golfer Bobby Jones— reflects on his
grandfather’s philosophy for success. … Our favorite
Georgia historian Dr. Todd Groce presents a thoughtful
essay on preparations for our nation’s 250th independence anniversary… And, speaking of history, inimitable story-teller Larry Walker goes down memory lane
and suggests a fitting tribute to an influential
Georgian of the not-too-distant past— the late House
of Representatives Speaker Tom Murphy.
OUR ONLINE DAILY NEWS SERVICE
I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend that readers
log on to and subscribe to our sister company’s daily
online political and business Georgia news service at
insideradvantage.com. Its motto is “information
before it’s news” and we have a satellite office for our
writers across the street from the state Capitol where
they gather information (especially regarding General
Assembly issues) often under-reported or not reported
in the mainstream media.
PHIL KENT CEO & PUBLISHER
4
JAMES
MARCH/APRIL 2020

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