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Azziz calls on young leaders to help transform Augusta

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In a pause from his work to consolidate Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, Dr. Ricardo Azziz called on young business leaders Tuesday night to help make Augusta more attractive to new students and recruits.

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GHSU President Dr. Ricardo Azziz speaks to the Young Professionals of Augusta about leadership Tuesday evening at the Partridge Inn.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
GHSU President Dr. Ricardo Azziz speaks to the Young Professionals of Augusta about leadership Tuesday evening at the Partridge Inn.

Speaking to the Young Professionals of Augusta, GHSU’s president, who will be president of the consolidated university, spoke of the qualities that leaders must have.

“Leadership is really an attitude, a way of thinking,” Azziz said. “Leadership is not your title. It has to do with the skills you learn.”

A key part is building a team with the best people in the best place, he said.

“The right people are your main asset,” he said, and too often leaders, in which he included himself, leave the wrong people in the wrong spot where they won’t succeed.

“We don’t move on people fast enough,” Azziz said.

Despite running a research university and an academic health center, Azziz said he stays in touch by treating patients himself once a month, staying involved in his lab and just walking around campus chatting with people, which he also does at ASU now.

“It’s always amazing what you learn when you talk to people,” Azziz said.

YPA founder Jonathan English asked for advice about how the young business people in Augusta could help transform the region into the next Research Triangle, located in North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham area.

“To be great, you have to be great to the outside world,” Azziz told him. “We need to make our community attractive to individuals outside (the area). You are the young generation that needs to do this.”

The group, which stresses socializing and networking but also outreach and service to the community, has been working on projects to try to help in various areas of the community, English said.

“We can have a good time and help our community at the same time,” he said.

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You guessed it...Frank Stallone
You guessed it...Frank Stallone 07/11/12 - 07:14 pm
The problem with Augusta lies

The problem with Augusta lies within this comment thread. If you don't believe me, then you're likely the one I'm talking about. Everything that Dr. Azziz said was 100% accurate.

Gage Creed
Gage Creed 07/11/12 - 08:47 pm
Wow! With giants like

Wow! With giants like Countyman, Frank Stallone, and and Azziz we oughta be "the fastest rising city in the southeast."

Temporarily here
Temporarily here 07/12/12 - 10:41 am
Why come here?

As a med student transplant by way of Chattanooga TN and Athens GA, I didn't come here by choice. Why would I? As a city, Augusta is inundated with liabilities. Cnoelg is right. There is quite literally nothing to do here. The most active areas of the city are Washington and Wrightsboro Rd which are literally the same road: strip mall after strip mall with endless amounts of fast food, and the cherry on top is the business-sucking Augusta Mall. Sure, there are a couple of gems around the downtown area, a few good restaurants, but take a look at downtown. Rundown buildings, failed small businesses, dead gas stations, abandoned car dealerships, bums everywhere. The only stores downtown are junk stores. Why anyone would want to move to a town where there is only strip malls, fast food and run down buildings is beyond me. Meanwhile, this is all the more frustrating considering the assets this town has. A river, a thriving medical community, a downtown with loads of potential. But what's the problem? What are the roadblocks? To me it seems the community is content with sub-mediocrity for the sake of lower taxes. In addition, from what I hear, the city council is hindered by a deep socioeconomic/racial divide, between old money that doesn't care to change and the rest being afraid that changes won't be of benefit to them. Does no one understand that if this town succeeds economically, creates new jobs, attracts productive inhabitants, that this will potentially be of benefit to the rich, middle class, and poor? In the wake of these downtown shootings I hope that Augustans will get angry and motivated to do something about this dilapidated city. Charleston did it. Chattanooga did it. Greenville did it (in a few short years). They went from shabby and dangerous downtowns to thriving centers with arts, culture, food, and history. We can do it too.

David Parker
David Parker 07/13/12 - 10:11 am
Already working on that Temp

Already working on that Temp Here. Thanks for the assurance that the problem is what it is and not something else.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 07/19/12 - 04:54 am
"There's not much courage in Augusta, GA."

Rick Azziz has a lot. So do Willie Saunders, Wayne Frazier, David Roper and Bill Lockett. Duncan Wheale did.

Name another.

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