From the Chairman – Rob Fowler

Some 20 or so years ago The Times published an interesting column entitled, “The Movers and Shakers of Hall County.” It was a compelling story that listed the most influential leaders in our community and the leadership skills that each brought to the table.

Among the people profiled in the article were James “Bubba” Dunlap, John W. Jacobs, Jr., James Mathis, Sr., Ray McRae, Loyd Strickland, Heyward Housch, Judge Dick Kenyon, Lou Fockele, as well as pastors of local churches.

The story pointed out that Hall County had emerged as the hub of Northeast Georgia since the end of World War II. From commerce to medicine, education and retail sales Hall County had become a magnet for the other 12 counties in the northeast quadrant of the state.

These leaders recognized the natural and man made gifts that Hall County had been blessed with in the 20th century. Together these leaders set aside personal gains in order to form a synergy of determination and vision. The results are what Hall County enjoys today.

Was everything in Hall County blessed with the Midas Touch? Everything in today’s Hall County is not perfect, but a strong foundation was constructed for the future. What is Hall County’s destiny for the next 50 years? What will our children and grandchild inherit?

One need only survey the surrounding counties to see that things are not like they used to be. Our sister counties in northeast Georgia are finding leaders who are creating a vision for the future and are grasping control of their destiny. They know where they want to be in 2054.

Let us look into the mirror here in Hall County. Who is going to step forward and become the leaders that Hall County so desperately needs in the future?

The cultural landscape of Hall County has broadened over the past 20 years. The influx of Hispanic people into Hall County has dramatically changed the fabric of the community. Growth in South and North Hall is similar to that of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties over the past two decades.

The playing field has changed, but the dynamics of leadership have not. Within our county commission and local municipalities, we must strive to work together. Individuals from every facet of commerce, education, medicine and the private sector must be willing to offer assistance to build one Hall County that is committed to growing together.

As Stanley C. Allyn said, “Leadership involves remembering past mistakes, an analysis of today’s achievements and a well-grounded imagination in visualizing the challenges of the future.”