Southern Pulse Newsletter, November 2022

We are nearing the end of the year and with it the close of our suite of fall programming. Our office is catching our breath, thrilled at the resoundingly successful last few months between three Policy Masterclasses, CALS, SAGE, LSA and sending various publications to print – but happy to be heading into the holiday season! Thank you to everyone who attended any of our programs, and we hope you stay engaged going into the new year and beyond.

Working hard every day for you, our members, our small but mighty team is something I am so thankful to have, not just as the engine of our organization, but as dear colleagues and friends. CSG South is incredibly blessed with talent, drive, and passion, all in equal measure and providing the fuel to fulfill our mission as your nonpartisan regional resource. This alignment of purpose and mission is the beating heart of CSG South. Our values steer us through hectic months of traveling, program management, research, writing, strategic planning, and so much more. We are truly blessed, so let us give thanks!

Finally, I, along with the CSG South family, would like to take a moment to celebrate the life and legacy of one of our dearest supporters and yearslong member, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston. During his career in the Georgia House, Speaker Ralston was steadfast in extending the virtue of civility both across the aisle and within his chamber. He treated everyone he came across with respect, regardless of background, constituency, or political party. Beyond exemplifying the kinds of qualities all elected officials work to express during their tenure, Speaker Ralston was full of humor and laughter and was a dedicated family man and friend. We thank Speaker Ralston for sharing his life with us, and we extend our deepest condolences to his beloved wife and children.

To all of our members, I wish you a blessed, peaceful and bountiful holiday season surrounded by friends and loved ones. And for those we will see at the CSG National Conference next week – aloha!

Click here to read Southern Pulse- November 2022

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Southern Pulse Newsletter, October 2022

With college football in full swing, the CSG South team is almost in the endzone and ready to bring the win home with our fall programming.

Fall Policy Masterclasses have concluded with resounding success. Nearly 80 legislators and upper management executive staffers came through three intensive classes, each focused on a unique, and regionally relevant, policy topic. We would like to thank our hosts in Birmingham, Alabama (The Future State Policy Masterclass), Atlanta, Georgia (The Future of Farming Policy Masterclass), and Savannah, Georgia (Anchors Away Policy Masterclass) for providing top-notch learning experiences for our attendees. And we are already working on our classes for 2023!

As I write this, the 2022 Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS) class has graduated!  The class of 25 elected officials and executive staff spent four full days in intensive leadership development, hearing from world-class speakers and facilitators, and making lasting connections – and friendships. Click here to learn more about the program, and cheers to the CALS class of 2022!

In addition to our fall programming, the team and I have worked hard on projects that will make CSG South an even better go-to resource for all of our members, staff, and legislators alike. As a member, we are here to provide you with anything you need to assist in the success of you and your office.

Click here to read Southern Pulse- October 2022

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Anchors Aweigh: Navigating the Policy of Ports

Legislators and staff from across the southeast gathered in Savannah, Georgia for Anchors Aweigh: Navigating the Policy of Ports. Sixteen officials from seven states – Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina – participated in the event. 

Over three days, participants heard from experts around the country on port operations, the Jones Act, workforce development, dredging, and the logistical difficulties of the modern supply chain. Participants also toured the third busiest port in the United States, the Port of Savannah. The Masterclass ended with a conversation on how states can make strategic infrastructure investments to facilitate long-term and sustainable growth at their ports. 

Experts from Texas A&M at Galveston, the Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Charleston, The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure, The American Association of Port Authorities, Savannah Technical College, Roger Williams University School of Law, and the Georgia Ports Authority contributed an in-depth learning environment for participants. 

The Masterclass was hosted by CSG South, with a panel moderated by Women In Government Executive Director Meredith Martino. By interacting with colleagues and experts from around the region, participants gained a deeper knowledge of how ports in their states can not only affect local communities but can also have a broader economic impact across the region.  

Participants included: 

Ms. Archana Cadge, Louisiana 

Representative Mack Cormier, Louisiana 

Ms. Endra Curry, South Carolina 

Representative Dean Davis, Oklahoma 

Mr. David Fleenor, Kentucky 

Senator James Higdon, Kentucky 

Senator Jason Howell, Kentucky 

Senator Patrick McMath, Louisiana 

Ms. Wanda Mehrhoff, Missouri 

Senator John Morris III, Louisiana 

Senator Cody Rogers, Oklahoma 

Representative Troy Romero, Louisiana 

Senator Vickie Sawyer, North Carolina 

Representative Margie Wilcox, Alabama 

Ms. Tanisha Woods, Oklahoma 

Representative Mark Wright, Louisiana 

Click here for photos

Click here for all presentations

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The Future State: How Policymakers Can Understand and Incubate Cybersecurity, Technology, and Innovation in the South

Southern state officials and staff gathered in Birmingham for “The Future State: How Policymakers Can Understand and Incubate Cybersecurity, Technology, and Innovation in the South” Policy Masterclass. Nineteen members from eight CSG South states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee – participated in the masterclass.

Participants engaged in programming over two days, covering myriad topics and issues across the fields of cybersecurity, innovation, and technology. Briefings covered the importance of investing in rural innovation and expanding opportunities for rural citizens to join the tech workforce, Southern state innovation in biotechnology and remote medical care, the creation and future of the Alabama Innovation Corporation, trends in state information technology and cybersecurity, and how to respond to and prevent cyberattacks on K-12 public school systems. Attendees also toured the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI). They received senior staff briefings from the United States Secret Service and Alabama Attorney General’s Office and examined the various training pieces provided to state and local judicial and law enforcement members who study at the NCFI.

Experts from the Center on Rural Innovation, Southern Research Institute, OnMed, Alabama Innovation Corporation, Alabama Legislature, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, National Association of State Chief Information Officers, North Carolina Department of Information Technology, West Virginia Office of Technology, and the Alabama State Department of Education briefed attendees.

The Masterclass was hosted by CSG South. By interacting with subject matter experts and colleagues from other Southern states, participants increased their knowledge of cybersecurity, government operations, workforce development, innovation, technology, and policies related to these issues.

The Masterclass participants included:

Senator Sam Givhan, AlabamaRepresentative Jeremy Gray, AlabamaRepresentative David Faulkner, AlabamaMs. Jessica Sanders, AlabamaMr. Connor Johnston, AlabamaRepresentative Carol Dalby, ArkansasRepresentative Jack Fortner, ArkansasRepresentative Roger Lynch, ArkansasRepresentative Leesa Hagan, GeorgiaMs. Josselyn Hill, GeorgiaRepresentative Jason Hughes, LouisianaRepresentative Dale Goodin, MississippiRepresentative Carl Mickens, MississippiRepresentative Orlando Paden, MississippiRepresentative Donnie Loftis, North CarolinaMr. Brian Shea, South CarolinaMr. Mark Hendrick, South CarolinaMs. Endra Curry, South CarolinaMr. Scott Sloan, Tennessee

Click here for workshop photos

Presentations:

Alabama State Department of Education

Center on Rural Innovation

Examples of Innovation- OnMed

Examples of Innovation – Southern Research Institute

North Carolina Department of Information Technology

National Association of State Chief Information Officers

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Southern Pulse Newsletter, September 2022

It’s been a busy month of traveling and preparation here at CSG South, and our small but mighty team is excited to roll out all the programming, training, and publications planned for the final 3 months of the year.

We would like to thank everyone who attended our first Policy Masterclass, Growing Prosperity: Agriculture, Technology and The Future of Farming. Attendees gathered in Atlanta to learn from industry experts, toured top research laboratory Georgia Center of Innovation at Georgia Tech, as well as the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and enjoyed closing remarks and dinner with Former Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. Our next Policy Masterclass, The Future State: Cybersecurity, Technology, and Innovation in Government Operations will take place next week in Birmingham, AL, September 27-29.  Our third and final Policy Masterclass, Anchors Aweigh: Navigating the Policy of Ports, will be a deep dive into shipping logistics and post-Covid challenges, the local and regional economic impact of ports, and the incredible technology that supports port operation. Held in none other than Savannah, Georgia, we hope you join us at the Port of Savannah this October 4-6. To submit your interest form click here.

I am so excited to welcome and congratulate the Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS) class of 2022! Twenty-six legislators and state agency directors from across the region were selected out of an overwhelming response from our member states. CALS is an intensive, four-day, application-based leadership development program held from October 15-19 at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in LIttle Rock, Arkansas. We can’t wait to see greet this incredible cohort next month! To see CALS alumni, and to learn more about this unique opportunity for top Southern legislators and upper management executive and judicial leaders, click here.

As fall is yet another busy time at CSG South, always stay connected through this newsletter, website, and social media for updates and new publications. We don’t want you to miss a second of the action!

As always, thank you for all your hard work in your communities and states, and know that our staff is always here to assist you.

Click here to read Southern Pulse- September 2022

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Growing Prosperity: Agriculture, Technology, and the Future of Farming

Southern state officials gathered in Atlanta for the “Growing Prosperity: Agriculture, Technology, and the Future of Farming” Policy Masterclass. Twenty officials from 11 CSG South states –Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia – participated in the event. 

Over two days, participants learned about recent developments in agriculture, technology, and relevant state and federal legislation. Briefings covered the current state of agriculture, farm labor shortages, food insecurity, agricultural trade, and the struggle of small rural farmers. Attendees visited the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Agricultural Technology Research Program to see new devices and techniques being developed to enhance agricultural methods and participated in roundtable discussions to hear from their colleagues about agricultural issues in Southern states. 

Experts from the Georgia Institute of Technology, American Farm Bureau Federation, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Center of Innovation, and AppHarvest shared their knowledge and insights with attendees through presentations and interactive briefings. Participants also met with Chancellor of the University System of Georgia Sonny Perdue to learn about his time as a state Senator (1991-2002), Governor of Georgia (2003-2011) and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (2017-2021). 

The Masterclass was hosted by CSG South and moderated by Senator Tyler Harper of Georgia, chair of the CSG South Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. By interacting with subject matter experts and colleagues from other Southern states, participants increased their knowledge of agriculture, farm labor shortages, agricultural technology, and policies related to these issues. The Masterclass participants included: 

Representative Randall Shedd, Alabama 

Representative Harlan Breaux, Arkansas 

Representative Roger Lynch, Arkansas 

Representative Christine Hunschofsky, Florida 

Representative John Corbett, Georgia 

Representative Robert Dickey, Georgia 

Senator Tyler Harper, Georgia 

Senator Larry Walker, Georgia 

Representative David Wilkerson, Georgia 

Representative Phillip Pratt, Kentucky 

Senator Robin Webb, Kentucky 

Mr. Nicholas Cole, Louisiana 

Senator Tyler McCaughn, Mississippi 

Senator Benjamin Suber, Mississippi 

Representative Kenneth Walker, Mississippi 

Representative Jim Grego, Oklahoma 

Representative Russell Ott, South Carolina 

Representative Vincent Dixie, Tennessee 

Delegate Riley Keaton, West Virginia 

Commissioner Kent Leonhardt, West Virginia 

Click here for workshop photos

Presentations:

App Harvest

Small Rural Farmers

GA COI Ag Tech

Farm Labor Shortages

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