Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee by Choice Initiative Exceeds Goal – Raises $2.54 Million

August 31, 2018

Investments support new business brand and fund local efforts to generate and retain jobs, develop a stronger workforce, and create new business infrastructure

(CHEROKEE COUNTY – METRO ATLANTA) | August 31, 2018 — To a room full of investors at Reformation Brewery on Tuesday, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) team announced it has significantly exceeded its goal of raising $2 million in campaign funds for the Cherokee by Choice Initiative – a strategic five-year public/private partnership aimed at reinforcing Cherokee’s role as a leader in economic development. The final tally in five-year pledges totaled $2.54 million.

“Through the collaborative efforts of our business and community leaders, we are pleased to announce that Cherokee by Choice has secured $2,545,750 in five-year public and private sector pledges, well exceeding our campaign goal of $2 million and stretch goal of $2.5 million. We are grateful for the support of our community,” said Cobb EMC Director of Commercial Marketing and Cherokee by Choice Campaign Co-Chair Mark Goddard.

The Cherokee by Choice Initiative is based on feedback from more than 2,400 business and community leaders during COED’s recent strategic planning process and supported by a feasibility study conducted in 2017 by POWER 10, the fundraising firm assisting with the campaign.

“More than any other reason, this campaign was successful because of a solid, measurable strategy and the leadership and competence of the COED team and their Boards of Directors.  These investments from Cherokee’s business community – in partnership with the county and its cities – will make a difference that will ripple through Cherokee County for years to come. COED is primed and ready for action and everyone should be proud of this tremendous accomplishment, ” said POWER 10 CEO Sean Mikula.

Cherokee by Choice is a results-driven, community-minded initiative that enhances the efforts of COED in continuing to recruit, retain, and expand businesses to create jobs, develop a stronger workforce, and create the infrastructure and product for new businesses to locate with room to grow.

“We not only met our goal, we exceeded it. I am thankful for our partners who believe in the vision to make Cherokee a sustainable community and believe in the Cherokee Office of Economic Development enough to trust our team to carry out the initiatives moving forward. This investment will kickstart a legacy that has been years in the making as COED continues to create a culture of entrepreneurship, develop a workforce plan to create a pipeline of talent for the future, and recruit innovative industries to the county,” said COED Chairman Marshall Day.

Over the next five years, COED is expected to roll-out several major initiatives under the Cherokee by Choice platform – just to name a few:

Awareness campaign for the skilled professions, including the development of a mobile workforce training lab
High-caliber mentorship program for entrepreneurs
First ever Film Summit to engage and connect the local community to Cherokee’s growing film industry
Interactive site selection database with a real property live feed of office, industrial, and commercial sites and buildings
Online clearinghouse to market and match Cherokee’s job, internship, and educational opportunities

To further highlight its role as a leader in economic development, COED worked with award-winning design agency Stone Ward to launch a brand-new, interactive website. The site was designed to make it easier for businesses, residents, and visitors to connect with the resources they need to make Cherokee their choice to live, play, and work.

COED encourages local businesses and residents to share their Cherokee by Choice story on social media by using the hashtag #CherokeebyChoice. Anyone interested in learning more about the initiative can visit www.cherokeega.org/about/ capital-campaign or contact COED President & CEO Misti Martin or Vice President Heath Tippens at 770.345.0600.

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The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) exists to promote economic development in Cherokee by working with community investors and leaders to attract and retain a wide range of innovative industries, develop a highly-skilled workforce, and diversify the public revenue base. COED facilitates several programs such as Camera-Ready Communities, Fresh Start Cherokee, and the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative to implement the Cherokee By Choice strategy. The public-private initiative works to create economic opportunity for all residents and to make Cherokee a sustainable community and an excellent place to live, play, and work.

Media Contact: Shawna Mercer | smercer@cherokeega.org | 770.345.0600