Published On: April 16, 2024458 words2.3 min read

(MIDWAY & LIBERTY COUNTIES, Ga.) Leadership Southeast Georgia, the premier leadership development program for the 10-county coastal region, wrapped up a successful session focusing on rural health and public safety in McIntosh, Liberty, and Long Counties.

The 29 dynamic leaders of the 2024 cohort – representing diverse sectors, civic groups, and communities – delved into critical issues facing the region.

“Addressing rural health and public safety is crucial for our communities,” said Program Manager Kate Karwacki. “Through in-depth discussions and frontline presentations, participants identified opportunities for positive change.”

The program kicked off in Midway with greetings from local leaders, including Hinesville Mayor Karl Riles, together with Liberty Co. Chairman Donald Lovette, and an impactful presentation on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) by Dr. TaJuan Wilson.

Other highlights of the session included:

  • Collaboration for Success: Col. Mark Austin, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Garrison Commander, showcased the exemplary teamwork between regional military forces and civilian emergency responders.
  • Life-Saving Skills: Experts Joshua Bain and Andrew Altman empowered attendees with essential “Stop the Bleed” techniques.
  • Community Health Discussions: Experts like Danielle Sayre, Dr. Kavanaugh Chandler, and Dr. David Deuser led insightful conversations on mental health, poverty’s impact on health, and rural healthcare realities.
  • Firsthand Experience: Participants gained valuable insights into crisis management at the Wiregrass Emergency 911 Center.
  • Safety Measures: A panel led by McIntosh County EMA Director Ty Poppell, EMS Director Frankie Wallace, Major Chris Mitchell of the McIntosh County Sheriff Department, and Lt. Mike Ward of the McIntosh County Sheriff Department shed light on vital community safety measures.

The session concluded with a collaborative review, solidifying the gained knowledge and fostering a commitment to implementing solutions in their communities.

“The program fosters reflection and collaboration,” said Kendria Lee, Chairwoman of Leadership Southeast Georgia. “Participants left motivated and unified, eager to implement these valuable insights for the betterment of their communities.”

The Leadership Southeast Georgia 2024 overall program sponsors include Evans General Contractors, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Georgia Power, Georgia Southern University, M.E. Sack Engineering, Thomas & Hutton, International Paper, The Sack Company, Coleman Company, Goodwill Southeast Georgia, Bouhan Falligant, Rhowe Design + Build, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Economic Development Authority, World Trade Center Savannah, HunterMaclean, Hussey Gay Bell, Bank of Newington, Strategic Biz Solutions Unlimited LLC, Global Business Development Strategist LLC, Cecilia Russo Marketing, Dabbs Hickman Hill & Cannon, LLP and Georgia CEO.

Sponsors of Session 2 in McIntosh, Liberty and Long counties include City of Darien, Darien Downtown Development Authority, Darien-McIntosh County Chamber of Commerce, Darien Telephone Company, Liberty County Development Authority, McIntosh County, McIntosh County Board of Education, McIntosh County Industrial Development Authority, Osteen Law Group, Seaboard Real Estate, Inc., Southeastern Bank, The McDonald Firm, The Studio, and Waterfront Wine & Gourmet.

To learn more about the Leadership Southeast Georgia program, visit

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