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GBI agent speaks at Long County chamber breakfast
0320 GBI agent
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Tom Davis speaks Thursday at a Long County Chamber of Commerce breakfast. - photo by Mikee Riddle

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Tom Davis was a guest speaker Thursday at the Long County Chamber of Commerce’s March breakfast meeting at the Ludowici Church of God.

Davis, a 29-year GBI veteran, has been assigned to several notable cases during his career, including last year’s incident involving allegations against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park terrorist bombing case in Atlanta involving Eric Rudolph and falsely accused security guard Richard Jewell.

Davis, who was at Centennial Park during the Olympics and was second-in-command of security, was notified by Jewell where a suspicious bag was located. Davis, along with other security personnel, began evacuating and securing the area, but before the bag could be removed, it exploded. Though two people were killed in the explosion, Davis’ initial actions are credited for saving the lives of those who would have died had they been in the kill zone of the bomb.

Davis, who originally is from Ludowici, talked at the breakfast about how people from the area had a positive impact on him early in his life.

"There are so many people from this area who had a positive impact on me; some are right here in this room," Davis said.

"The thing that all of these people had in common was that they had an attitude of serving other people instead of just providing a service, and there’s a big difference in those two things."

Davis then talked about how he was focused on himself early in his career.

"I worked hard, but it was primarily for me. That’s what the world teaches us that success is … but I’ve learned that success is not about what you have, but in how you serve others," the agent said.

Davis said he did not understand this revelation until a case came across his desk involving an 88-year-old woman who had been brutally murdered. He said the woman’s daughter, who was in her 60s, sat for an interview with him.

"We sat there, and she tapped me on my knee and said, ‘Agent Davis, promise me you’ll find who did this to my mother.’ After this, my whole perception changed on serving others," he said.

Davis did catch the killer, who eventually died on death row, but the agent said that one conversation with the woman’s daughter changed his life.

"If each of us had an attitude of serving, we all would be truly blessed," he said.

After Davis’ speech, chamber President Kerry Hunt presented him with a gift basket.

In other chamber business:

• Hunt thanked VIP Office Furniture and Supply, Occasions Catering, the Heritage Bank and the Ludowici Church of God for sponsoring the breakfast.

• Hunt also announced the chamber will hold a golf tournament April 30.

• Hunt wished member Wallace Shaw a happy birthday.

• Member and Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles spoke to the group and told the members that it was financially urgent that the county build a jail.

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