The citizens of the CSRA owe a great deal of thanks to Walter Sprouse and his staff members, Robbie Bennett and Laurie Davis, at the Development Authority of Richmond County. The announcements of Rockwell and Starbucks investing in our community are huge.
I have gotten to know Walter and his staff over the past few years, and they are true professionals. I have watched them strike out time and again with prospects for one reason or another, yet they always step back into the batter’s box. A good friend of mine who has been highly successful in life insurance sales always tells me that the word “no” is the beginning of a long conversation. Walter and his staff epitomize this. They never give up.
The authority’s board, led by Henry Ingram, should be commended also. The authority is run like a very successful business. The staff operates out of a spartan office with no clerical staff. Augusta commissioners donate a small part of their budget, less than a dollar per citizen. Our peer cities in Georgia, such as Savannah, Macon and Columbus, practically support their development authorities.
It is refreshing in this day and age to see a well-run, lightly subsidized government authority bring so much back to the community. Now I understand the euphoria my father and uncle felt when Augusta landed Continental Can (now International Paper) and the Miracle Mile industries back in the early 1960s. The Augusta commissioners and the mayor also should be thanked for their financial contribution to these projects and their expeditious due diligence.
It is a great day to be from Augusta! Keep swinging!