One Valdosta-Lowndes Announces Scott Purvis as New Co-Chair

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

The One Valdosta-Lowndes initiative has announced Scott Purvis, community development manager for Georgia Power’s South Region, as its new co-chair.
Purvis will join fellow co-chair Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of Valdosta State University, in leading One-Valdosta Lowndes, a group comprised of community, education, and business leaders from the Valdosta-Lowndes County region who are seeking to develop a community and economic development strategy for the area.
“Scott has earned the respect of many in this community thanks to his long record of involvement,” Carvajal said. “In addition to being a highly valued member of the Georgia Power team, he was one of the original community leaders involved in first bringing our group together for the benefit of Valdosta and Lowndes County. He brings significant community planning and economic development experience to his work, and we will undoubtedly be the beneficiaries of his many talents and firm grasp of this community.”
Purvis is replacing Audrey King, former regional director for Georgia Power of Valdosta who has left the area to become the company’s regional director of metro south Atlanta.
“I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for all Audrey has given to this community and to One Valdosta-Lowndes in particular,” Carvajal said. “Welcoming Scott to his new role as co-chair is a great step in moving forward and building upon Audrey’s work.”
The purpose of One Valdosta-Lowndes is to develop a multi-faceted and implementable strategy to guide community and economic development over the next 15 years.
“It's a great honor to be named co-chair for the One Valdosta-Lowndes initiative,” Scott said. “This is a community-wide effort to bring people together and move the community forward. The core team has been wonderful to work with, and as we expand and bring on new members and more goals, the plan is really going to come together.”
One Valdosta-Lowndes partners include the City of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia Power, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority, Valdosta State University, the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, and South Georgia Medical Center. The strategy development is being led by VisionFirst Advisors, an economic development consulting firm that provides services focused on state, regional, and local economic development strategy and location advisory services.
“We are so excited for Scott,” said Mayor John Gayle of the City of Valdosta. “This is an important mission that he has taken on. We feel confident that he is the proper person to lead us into the vision we have for the future of our community.”
Bill Slaughter, chairman of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, added that Purvis was a natural choice for co-chair because of his “passion for our community and talent for project development.”
“Lowndes County looks forward to moving forward with the One Valdosta-Lowndes initiative under Scott’s leadership,” Slaughter said.
A recent addition to the One Valdosta-Lowndes team is Kaleigh Pfaff, a graduate assistant in the Office of the President at VSU who anticipates graduating with a Master of Arts in industrial / organizational psychology in May 2021. The Brunswick, Georgia, native will work to support One Valdosta-Lowndes committees and the community leaders engaged in various economic and community development projects.
Also joining the One Valdosta-Lowndes team is Ellen Hill, Valdosta Main Street director. Working with Pastor David Adams of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, she has agreed to co-chair the initiative’s Place Committee, which utilizes place-making activities to strengthen the community in an effort to retain existing residents and attract news ones.
“I am honored to serve as the Place Committee co-chair for the One Valdosta-Lowndes project,” she said. “The leadership group is made up of key players who can truly drive forward the vision of our community. I hope that I can add expertise and insight into how we can grow and expand Downtown Valdosta, the heart of our community, while we create a vision for our region’s future. I am excited to share ideas and engage with other leaders so we can continue to add to our thriving community.”   
All One Valdosta-Lowndes committees are meeting, and prioritized goals have been created. That information will soon be given to VisionFirst Advisors so that the community and economic development strategy can be finalized.
At the conclusion of the process, the strategy, along with a set of deliverables, will provide a clear course of action, milestones, and a means of knowing when the region has arrived at its destination. The overarching goals, strategies, and tactics will build upon the existing resources and infrastructure to grow jobs, support businesses, and build a collaborative network to expand the region’s economy in the coming years.