36 episodes

Welcome to the South Georgia Insider Podcast, hosted by Thressea H. Boyd, editor of South Georgia Business Magazine. Join us as we chat with business and civic leaders and community influencers about the exciting—and sometimes challenging things happening throughout South Georgia. Topics range from business and manufacturing to entrepreneurship and rural prosperity, economic development, agriculture, education, healthcare, tourism, and the arts.

South Georgia Insider Thressea H. Boyd, Host

    • News
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Welcome to the South Georgia Insider Podcast, hosted by Thressea H. Boyd, editor of South Georgia Business Magazine. Join us as we chat with business and civic leaders and community influencers about the exciting—and sometimes challenging things happening throughout South Georgia. Topics range from business and manufacturing to entrepreneurship and rural prosperity, economic development, agriculture, education, healthcare, tourism, and the arts.

    PCOM South Georgia Continued Growth

    PCOM South Georgia Continued Growth

    Declining accessibility to healthcare professionals has been a topic of conversation in rural communities for decades. In 2016, the discussion moved to action when local visionaries approached the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) about establishing the first four-year medical college in South Georgia. 
    Located on a sprawling 31-acre site in Moultrie, Colquitt County, in August 2019, PCOM South Georgia welcomed its inaugural class of doctor of osteopathic (DO) medical students to its new campus.  
    In this episode, Joanne Jones, campus officer, provides an overview of PCOM South Georgia’s growth and expansion plans.
    What you will learn on this podcast: 
    ·       PCOM started more than a century ago in Philadelphia and in 2005 opened PCOM Georgia, in Suwanee, near Atlanta. 
    ·       A Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) medicine uses a “whole person” approach to medicine by treating the entire person rather than symptoms.
    ·       Upon graduation from PCOM South Georgia, the DOs will start their residency. The goal is to place as many as possible at healthcare facilities within the region, including Archbold Medical Center, Colquitt Regional Medical Center, and South Georgia Medical Center.
    ·       Statistics show that where doctors complete a residency program, a majority remain within a 100-mile radius. 
    ·       PCOM South Georgia has started pathway programs to provide high school students exposure to career opportunities in healthcare.
    ·       Expanding its outreach, PCOM South Georgia has partnered with Georgia Southern University, Valdosta State University, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to provide articulation agreements.
    ·       Looking toward future growth, PCOM South Georgia values its community partnerships, including financial contribution for developing new programs that meet regional healthcare needs. 
    Join us next time as we continue to promote South Georgia as a great place to live, work, play, and visit.
    Thanks to our sponsor Smalltown Broadcasting and WDDQ, home of the Scott James Matheson Show, where you can listen live from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday on Talk 92.1 http://talk921.com/ or through the TuneIn app https://tunein.com/radio/Talk-921
    Spencer Van Horn, Smalltown Broadcasting, produces South Georgia Insider. 
    Subscribe to South Georgia Insider (monthly e-newsletter) and follow South Georgia Business on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
     
     

    • 26 min
    Wiregrass Tech: Filling the Region’s Workforce Pipeline

    Wiregrass Tech: Filling the Region’s Workforce Pipeline

    In this episode, DeAnnia Clements, president of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, explains that providing a trained workforce within its 11-county service area is a top priority.
    With more than 20 years of experience within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Clements was recently appointed the third president of Wiregrass Tech after serving more than six months as the college’s interim president. 
    Wiregrass Tech is focused on a three-prong approach to workforce development that includes: adult education, technical and academic instruction (degrees, diplomas, and technical certificates), and economic development. 
    What you will learn on this podcast: 
    · During FY22, Wiregrass Tech’s Adult Education Program has assisted more than 975 students in improving their reading, writing, and math skills, learning to speak the English language, or preparing to pass the General Educational Development (GED) and High School Equivalency (HiSet) tests. 
    · Wiregrass Tech students are skilled and ready to enter the workforce. With a nearly 99% job placement rate, Clements says, “Every aspect of your life you’re coming into contact with someone with technical training, whether from Wiregrass or another technical college or they learned through an apprenticeship program. They developed skill sets through a technical college.” 
    · Within its economic development efforts, Wiregrass Tech offers customized training. For example, when a business or industry needs to retrain existing or new employees, Wiregrass Tech finds a qualified instructor to teach the specific skills, allowing the company to experience growth and success.
    Join us next time as we continue to promote South Georgia as a great place to live, work, play, and visit.
    Thanks to our sponsor Smalltown Broadcasting and WDDQ, home of the Scott James Matheson Show, where you can listen live from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday on Talk 92.1 http://talk921.com/ or through the TuneIn app https://tunein.com/radio/Talk-921
    Spencer Van Horn, Smalltown Broadcasting, produces South Georgia Insider. 
    Subscribe to South Georgia Insider (monthly e-newsletter) and follow South Georgia Business on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
     
     
     

    • 31 min
    Veterans & Football: A Winning Combination

    Veterans & Football: A Winning Combination

    In this episode, we are talking about Thomas University’s new football program, the first in the nation designed specifically to assist veterans and military personnel in their transition from military to civilian life. 
    Giving us insights into this unique combination of academic and athletic programs is Stephen Ferguson, vice president for military and corporate relations at Thomas University.
    Located in Thomasville, Georgia, Thomas University is a regionally accredited, non-profit university that offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and education specialist degrees at its main campus, online, and satellite locations in Tallahassee and across Georgia.

    What you will learn on this podcast: 
    In 2017, Thomas University opened the Center for Military Life to provide resources during the entire life cycle of military service, from pre-enlistment, career advancement to transition support back to service life.Thomas University accepts up to 64 college credits from military training toward a college degree. The valuable on-the-job training is evaluated for credit and is part of the student’s Joint Services Transcript ((JST) or Community College of the Air Force transcript. Offering multiple online programs for global access, Thomas University’s on-campus classes—with an average class size of 10 to 15 students—provide veterans with an easy transition to college life. The university is an academic partner with the National Defense Industrial Association to help connect veterans and military personnel in job placement. Ferguson says it creates a “crosswalk from higher education to industry.” Earlier this year, Thomas University established the nation’s first football program explicitly designed to assist veterans in transitioning from military to civilian life. To lead the Night Hawks football team, the university hired seasoned football coach Orlando Mitjans, Jr., who brings more than 20 years of coaching experience, including positions at The Citadel and West Point.The football team will include military veterans, active reservists, and members of the National Guard.The inaugural football team is on track to start during the fall 2023 season. Thomas University is exploring options to build a permanent stadium on its campus; however, they will use a local high school stadium in the interim.Thomas University is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Sun Conference.Ferguson says the Thomasville community has provided an “outpouring of support” and positive feedback from local businesses and residents.
    “It’s not just football; it’s a transition program that allows veterans to be together and play together and continue the camaraderie that they are used to in the United States armed services.”
    Join us next time as we continue to promote South Georgia as a great place to live, work, play, and visit.
    Thanks to our sponsor Smalltown Broadcasting and WDDQ, home of the Scott James Matheson Show, where you can listen live from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday on Talk 92.1 http://talk921.com/ or through the TuneIn app https://tunein.com/radio/Talk-921




     
     
     

    • 26 min
    Wild Adventure: New Sights, Sounds, and Tastes

    Wild Adventure: New Sights, Sounds, and Tastes

    Straddling the Georgia-Florida line, just a few miles from Valdosta, people of all ages are finding Wild Adventures Theme Park to be their ticket for an affordable day of fun. 
    Part of Herschend Enterprise, Wild Adventures started as Liberty Farms Animal Park in 1996 and has morphed into a 177-acre theme park with thrilling rides for all ages, a waterpark, a zoo with hundreds of exotic animals, and an all-star concert venue.
    But there is more, and in this episode, Jon Vigue, vice president and general manager, and Patrick Pearson, director of sales and marketing, provide an update on the new sights, sounds, and tastes coming to Wild Adventures when the 2022 season opens on March 19.
    What you’ll learn in this episode:
    The new Water’s Edge Brews & Bites will include great food, live entertainment, and a place for a bit of relaxation. Teaming up with Georgia Beer Company, the restaurant and entertainment venue will feature locally brewed beers, wine, and food, all in a shady spot to listen to live music around the “water’s edge.” Take a walk on the wild side, and visit the Wanyama Overlook, the park’s largest new animal habitat featuring exotic animals native to Africa and Asia, including giraffes, zebras, water buffalo, wildebeests, and more. 
    The 2022 Concert Series kicks off April 30 with Gabby Barrett, ACM New Female Artist of the Year and Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2020. This year’s shows will not disappoint, with John Fogerty, Danny Gokey, Brothers Osborn, Three Dog Night, Jeff Foxworthy, Skillet, Grand Funk Railroad, and much more are part of this year’s concert lineup.
     Making a significant investment in employee education, Wild Adventures employees can participate in Herschend’s GROW U program to pursue a college degree. 

    The best deal to explore Wild Adventures is with a 2022 Season Pass that gives you access to rides, slides, exotic animals, and general admission to the entire All-Star Concert Series. Join us next time as we continue to promote South Georgia as a great place to live, work, play, and visit.
    Thanks to our sponsor Smalltown Broadcasting and WDDQ, home of the Scott James Matheson Show, where you can listen to live from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday on Talk 92.1 http://talk921.com/ or through the TuneIn app https://tunein.com/radio/Talk-921
    Spencer Van Horn, Smalltown Broadcasting, produces South Georgia Insider.  
    Subscribe to South Georgia Insider (monthly e-newsletter) and follow South Georgia Business on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
     

    • 27 min
    Valdosta Young Professionals Making the Connection

    Valdosta Young Professionals Making the Connection

    It started with a casual conversation, and now the Valdosta Young Professionals (VYP) group has about 300 registered members.
    In this episode, we're talking to VYP co-founders Chloe Wade, membership and events director at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, and Lauren Pope, director of public relations at Lowndes County Schools. 

    Are you between 21 and 40 years old? Do you live, work, or conduct business in the metro-Valdosta area? Then, VYP may be the right fit for you to get "plugged" into the community. 
    Part of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Georgia Power, VPA provides accessible programming and partnerships that help boost careers, conversations, and engagement within the community. 
    To find out more about VYP membership and how to sponsor an event, call the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce at 229.247.8100.
     For more information, visit the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber website to register. Also, get updates on upcoming events by following VYP on Facebook. 
    Join us next time as we continue to promote South Georgia as a great place to live, work, play, and visit.
    Thanks to our sponsor Smalltown Broadcasting and WDDQ, home of the Scott James Matheson Show, where you can listen to live from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday on Talk 92.1 http://talk921.com/ or through the TuneIn app https://tunein.com/radio/Talk-921
    Spencer Van Horn, Smalltown Broadcasting, produces South Georgia Insider. 
     
     
     
     

    • 27 min
    It's OK Not to Be OK

    It's OK Not to Be OK

    In this episode, we're talking to Michael Smith, executive director of the Greater Valdosta United Way (GVUW), and Emily Anne Vall, PhD., executive director of Resilient Georgia, about Georgia's escalating mental health challenges.
    Before COVID-19, mental health issues like anger, stress, worry, and depression were rising globally. 
    According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, more than 1.4 million adults in Georgia have a mental health condition. 
    Consider by many health professionals as the "new pandemic," in 2021, 44% of adults in Georgia reported having symptoms of anxiety or depression, with 29% unable to receive counseling or therapy. 
    Part of a regional coalition, the GVUW received a grant from Resilient Georgia to increase mental health awareness, reduce stigma, and promote behavioral health services for children and adults within 10 South Georgia counties. 
    What you'll learn in this episode 
    · How Resilient Georgia is building a statewide coalition of public-private partnerships to prevent and heal childhood adversity, highlight trauma-informed awareness and care, and promote resilience among children and adults. 
    · Domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking were a concern before the pandemic; however, high levels of isolation and financial stress have put a "magnifying glass" to these issues and more. 
    · GVUW is sponsoring awareness training programs for first-responders and healthcare workers to build awareness and training that will better support children and adults coping with adversity and trauma. 
    · How to guide the conversation that "It's OK not to be OK."
    · The lack of mental health professionals in Georgia is a statewide crisis, especially in rural communities. According to a report by the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation, within Georgia's 159 counties:
    150 are considered to have a mental health professional shortageApproximately 77 counties have no full-time psychiatrists52 counties have no licensed social worker60 counties have no pediatricians Visit the Resilient Georgia website to register for its newsletter and receive more information focused on:
    Interactive training opportunities: https://www.resilientga.org/trainingroadmapResilient Georgia’s 16 region coalition: https://www.resilientga.org/regional-coalitionsAdverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) prevention:  https://www.resilientga.org/_files/ugd/08ae45_dac5c65d288a4e22a0aca536fc17604e.pdf Join us next time as we continue to promote South Georgia as a great place to live, work, play, and visit.
     Thanks to our sponsor Smalltown Broadcasting and WDDQ, home of the Scott James Matheson Show, where you can listen to live from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday on Talk 92.1 http://talk921.com/ or through the TuneIn app https://tunein.com/radio/Talk-921
    Spencer Van Horn, Smalltown Broadcasting, produces South Georgia Insider. 
     
     
     

    • 37 min

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