For our readers that somehow equate Georgia being a “red state” with being bad on the environment, I ask you to compare our coastline to that of the Florida gulf coast. While that’s the easiest comparison to make, the work of preserving Georgia’s environment and open spaces has been decades in the making, and continues with public groups such as DNR, and private entities like the Georgia Conservancy.
This morning, the Conservancy distributed a release (below) announcing Bart Gobeil as their new President. Gobeil was most recently at the Georgia Ports Authority, one of the largest engines of commerce in the state. Some may see this as a paradox. Most will understand that the work of growing an economy while protecting the environment requires a partnership. Extremists on both sides present the conflicting issues of growth vs preservation as all or nothing. Those that get things done know that you can in fact do both, and that they actually go together more than not if the appropriate goals for all sides are respected.
Bart understands this, and is an excellent choice to ensure Georgia’s natural resources are preserved at a time when state leaders are actively trying to push the state’s growth well beyond the borders of Atlanta. The full press release is as follows:
ATLANTA (May 23, 2019) The Board of Trustees of the Georgia Conservancy is delighted to announce that they have elected Bart Gobeil as the organization’s next President following a national search.
Gobeil, most recently the Senior Director of Economic Development and State Government Affairs at the Georgia Ports Authority, will succeed Interim President Jim Timmons and past President Robert Ramsay on June 3. Ramsay, Georgia Conservancy President since 2014, stepped down from his role at the beginning of this year.
“Bart is a proven leader, advocate, and partnership builder. This has been demonstrated through every aspect of his career and life experience, and we are thrilled that he will now put all of those skills and talents to work at the Georgia Conservancy and within the greater conservation community.” says Leslie Mattingly, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We were fortunate to meet with many talented candidates during our search, and Bart’s incredible passion for our state, his understanding of its needs and his ability to forward our mission was an overwhelming positive. Bart has tremendous insights into the issues affecting the state and its citizens, as well as the challenges that conservation organizations face. We believe that he will be very successful in advancing the Georgia Conservancy’s efforts to protect and conserve our state’s land and water.”
“The Georgia Conservancy holds an incredible legacy of protecting our state’s most vital natural resources, and it is this legacy that I am immensely honored and humbled to carry forward as the Conservancy’s next President,” says Gobeil. “I am very excited about the future of the organization and our continued role collaborating with our partners to find and forward solutions to some of our state’s most pressing challenges. The work of the Georgia Conservancy has never been more important in protecting, conserving and providing resiliency to our precious natural resources, from our mountains to our coast and from our smallest of towns to the neighborhoods of our largest cities.”
Gobeil served for four years at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), developing and implementing regulatory, legislative and administrative strategies to support the customers, investors, and community partners of the East Coast’s second busiest port. During his successful tenure at GPA, he worked to negotiate and land more than $1 billion in investments from national and international retail and logistic providers.
From 2011 through 2015, Gobeil was Chief Operating Officer for the State of Georgia, where he directed more than 60 operational agencies and authorities of the State. Among his affiliations are Leadership Georgia, the Georgia Lottery Corporation Board, the Savannah Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, and the UGA Board of Visitors – Emeritus. Gobeil is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He and his wife, the Hon. Elizabeth Gobeil, reside in Savannah and Atlanta and enjoy spending time on Georgia’s coastal waterways and on the Flint River near Thomaston.
About the Georgia Conservancy: Founded in 1967, the Georgia’s Conservancy’s mission is to protect and conserve Georgia’s natural resources through advocacy, engagement and collaboration. Its vision is a Georgia where people and the environment thrive.
Learn more about the Georgia Conservancy at www.georgiaconservancy.org