GEDA Hosts Annual Awards to Recognize Exceptional Individual Achievements & the Top Deals of the Year

Staff Report

Monday, November 27th, 2023

At its Annual Awards luncheon, the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) recognized top deals of the year and excellence by individuals.  Awards included the Deals of the Year, Committee Chair and Member of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence.  Nearly 200 economic developers from around the state attended the ceremony at the Georgia Tech Hotel at Tech Square in Midtown Atlanta.

Deal of the Year Awards

The GEDA Deal of the Year Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the location or expansion of new businesses in the state of Georgia that meet community economic development goals and involve significant community program support, such as financial or permitting assistance, workforce development, state financial support, etc.

Winners were selected in three community categories: Small, Mid-Size and Large. 

Small Deal of the Year: 

Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County / Anovion Technologies

Mid-Size Deal of the Year: 

Development Authority of Bryan County / Hyundai MOBIS Electrified Powertrain LLC

Large Deal of the Year: 

Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development / Hyundai Motor Group and SK On

Rip Wiley Award

Charles Stallworth, a recent retiree from Georgia Power with 37 years of service was named the 2023 recipient of the Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence.  The award is named after H. W. "Rip" Wiley, who worked for the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism (now the Department of Economic Development) as Director of the Industry Division when he passed in October 1978.  This award was established upon his death in 1978 to be presented to the person in economic development who best represents his spirit of excellence.

Volunteer of the Year Award

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual economic development volunteer for outstanding service to an economic development organization or community. This year’s recipient is Darryl Hicks with Fayette County Development Authority.

Honorary Life Member Award

The Honorary Life Membership Award recognizes individuals for long, exceptional and/or exemplary career and service to GEDA, or for extraordinary efforts directly related to the purposes of GEDA. This year’s recipient is member Rope Roberts, a Georgia Power retiree with 44 years of service to the company. 

GEDA Committee Chair and Member of the Year

These awards are given each year to honor and recognize outstanding performance for the Georgia Economic Developer’s Association through work in their committees. This year’s Committee Chair of the Year recipient is Heath Tippens of Cherokee County Office of Economic Development, GEDA’s Chair of the Existing Industry and Workforce Committee.  For similar excellence, Dylan Horne, of Metro Atlanta Chamber, was recognized for his efforts with GEDA’s Young Professionals networking and events.