Slade Gulledge has been named Vice President of Economic Development for the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. The business organization is the key point of contact for new and existing business expansions. The announcement was made this week by Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer James McCoy.
“The Forsyth Chamber’s model for economic development includes building relationships with new and existing companies,” according to McCoy. “Most importantly, it focuses on shaping the future of our community in terms of infrastructure, qualify of life, education, talent and the types of businesses we feel will operate here. Slade’s understanding of government relations and what it requires of a business to be successful fits perfectly with our pattern for economic development.”
For the past 17 years, Gulledge has served as Vice President, Advocacy and Government Relations for the Cobb Chamber in Marietta, Georgia. His responsibilities included local, state, and federal advocacy efforts for the Chamber, working with a diverse group of business and community leaders to advance pro-business public policy. Prior to his long career in Cobb, Gulledge served in a similar role with the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce in Douglasville, Georgia.
The Forsyth Chamber serves as the economic development marketing arm for the community. The business organization is responsible for leading a focused effort to increase non-residential investment and support the creation of new, high-quality jobs in Forsyth County. Partners in the economic development initiative, named Forward Forsyth, include the Forsyth County Government, Forsyth County Development Authority, Forsyth County Schools, Lanier Technical College and universities with an interest in Forsyth County.
“Forsyth County is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States,” Gulledge said. “The Chamber’s broad focus on economic development in terms of cutting-edge technology companies, talent development and working with the existing industries to grow their operations are just some of the factors that interest me in this position. I believe my background of policy development and knowledge of the legislative processes will add to the solid foundation already in place with the Forward Forsyth initiatives.”
Gulledge is a 1995 graduate of Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Science / Political Science and Government degree. Other achievements include Honorary Commanders, Class of 2016; Regional Leadership Institute, Class of 2008; Leadership Cobb, Class of 2005; and Leadership Douglas, Class of 2002. He has also served as President, South Cobb Arts Alliance; Board Member, Smyrna Arts Council; Advisory Board Member, Earl Smith Strand Theatre; and Board Member, WellStar Kennestone Hospital Regional Board.
Gulledge and his wife, Eden, have two children. Colson is a sophomore at Western Carolina University and Siri is a senior at Whitefield Academy.
In a move to identify professional candidates to fill the role, the Forsyth Chamber engaged The Chason Group to lead the executive search process. The firm specializes in executive searches for economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, foundations and other non-profits.