Georgia Leaders Selected for 2024 GeorgiaForward Young Gamechangers Cohort

Staff Report

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

GeorgiaForward has selected 45 promising professionals to serve the organization’s 2024 Young Gamechangers (YG) program. YG is a unique leadership action program hosted by GeorgiaForward, a non-profit organization administrated by the Georgia Municipal Association. Young Gamechangers brings professionals from across the state to work on the persistent challenges of one Georgia community.

In 2024, the City of Valdosta will host the Young Gamechangers. Valdosta leaders have finalized their four “Challenge Questions” that the 2024 cohort will be charged to answer through the eight months they will spend developing specific, actionable recommendations for the community. These questions focus on economic development, green infrastructure, corridor redevelopment, and community togetherness.

“Each year, our Young Gamechangers, through the energy and innovation of our state’s best minds, help improve our cities and counties,” said Amir Farokhi, chair of GeorgiaForward’s board of directors. “This year, we are excited and grateful to partner with Valdosta/Lowndes County. Great ideas come from all over Georgia, and we cannot wait to see our Young Gamechangers in action.”

“We are all excited to welcome this impressive program and equally as impressive list of young leaders and professionals into our community! The deep look, the fresh set of eyes, and the programs and projects they bring back to us will be received by an enthusiastic team ready to coordinate City staff and civic leaders on implementation. The future is theirs, the time to act on that future is now…welcome Gamechangers!” said Valdosta Mayor Scott Matheson. 

The 2024 cohort of Gamechangers will meet for the first time in the City of Valdosta on April 24th, and their work will culminate with a community presentation of their findings and recommendations on Thursday, October 10th. The Gamechangers are accomplished professionals aged 40 and under from across the state who wish to make an impact through civic engagement, economic development, and community partnerships. A third of the class is from the Valdosta-Lowndes County area, another third is from the metro Atlanta region, and the remaining third are from greater Georgia. 

  • Darius Anthony – Hahira, GA – Valdosta State University 

  • Marquese Averett – Columbus, GA – Partnership For Southern Equity

  • Madison Beaumarchais – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta State University

  • Jacob Bell – Valdosta, GA – Renasant Bank

  • Eric Bell – Jonesboro, GA – Georgia House of Representatives

  • Hope Brown – Valdosta, GA – Legacy Realtors

  • Claire Chan – Atlanta, GA – Georgia Municipal Association

  • James Howard – Valdosta, GA – James Howard

  • Jada Carithers – Adel, GA – City of Valdosta

  • Michael Carpenter – Pooler, GA – City of Pooler

  • Shantanu Chakraborty – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta State University

  • Andrew Clark – Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Michael Conger – Valdosta, GA – Camp Rock of Georgia

  • Jeremy Daniel – Watkinsville, GA – University of Georgia

  • Kiondre Dunnam – Douglasville, GA – The Brookman Group

  • Adam Fulbright – Hull, GA – North Georgia Technical College

  • Alexus Garrett – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta State University

  • Erica Grier – Valdosta, GA – Georgia Municipal Association

  • Kara Hope Hanson – Valdosta, GA – SGMC Health

  • Abigail Harrell – Hahira, GA – Valdosta State University

  • Jamie Hill – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta City School Board of Education

  • Rebecca Hunt – Thomasville, GA – Carl Vinson Institute of Government

  • Sara Kamppi – Valdosta, GA – South Georgia Regional Library

  • Jamiya Miles – Valdosta, GA – South Georgia Medical Center

  • Andrew Moody – Newnan, GA – City of Newnan

  • Brandon Moore – Lakeland, GA – Georgia Power Company

  • Hoa Nguyen – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta State University

  • Kvonne Oliver – Valdosta, GA – Coastal Plain

  • Destini Osby – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta State University

  • Britney Pooser – Augusta, GA – Medical College of Georgia Foundation

  • Ashlie Prain – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta State University

  • Jennifer Price – Hahira, GA – City of Hahira

  • Chanel Randolph – Lake Park, GA – ACE Loans

  • Victoria Ray – Valdosta, GA – Country Financial

  • Xavier Ross – Fayetteville, GA – City of Stonecrest

  • Allyson Sealy – Valdosta, GA – City of Valdosta

  • Britney Smith – Warner Robins, GA – FVSU

  • Taylor Smith – Thomaston, GA – City of Thomaston

  • Zahnay Smoak – Port Wentworth, GA – City of Port Wentworth

  • Korrelle Trollmann – Valdosta, GA – Greater Valdosta United Way

  • Samantha Trust – Brookhaven, GA – City of Brookhaven

  • Angela Ward – Valdosta, GA – Game Changers Marketing, Consulting, and Investments

  • Jason Weaver – Screven, GA – City of Screven

  • Arlena Williams – Talbotton, GA – In the Door

Previous Young Gamechangers Host Communities are Columbus-Muscogee County, Americus-Sumter County, Dublin-Laurens County, Douglasville-Douglas County, Augusta-Richmond County, LaGrange-Troup County, Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Albany-Dougherty County, Monroe-Walton County, Dalton-Whitfield County, and Columbus-Muscogee County.