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Area RDC honors its director
Vernon Martin
Vernon Martin - photo by Photo provided.
SAVANNA — The Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center’s board recently celebrated the career and accomplishments of Vernon D. Martin, executive director.
Martin’s 39 years of service to coastal Georgia and its governments was commemorated during a reception and dinner hosted in his honor at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Over 150 guests attended the affair honoring Martin.
Under Martin’s direction, the CGRDC was selected to participate in an American-German Exchange by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.  It was also the first regional agency to be selected to administer FEMA’s Project Impact program. Additionally, the CGRDC was recently selected by the Georgia Department of Transportation to develop a Regional Plan for Rural & Coordinated Public Transportation for the coastal region; if successful, this plan could be used as a model for the rest of the state.
Martin was also instrumental in developing and implementing national prototypes for a Rural Regional Solid Waste Plan and a National Rural User Guide, a Rural Ride-Sharing Program, and a Regional Hurricane/Storm Preparedness, Mitigation and host-county plans. He also participated in developing and organizing a tri-state rural Corridor Development Program, “Southern Passages: the Atlantic Heritage Coast,” along the rural portions of Highways US 17 and A1A from Charleston, SC, through Georgia, down to St. Augustine, Fla. The Southern Passages Corridor is the first multi-state Heritage Corridor in the United States.
Martin, who will officially retire Dec. 31, 2007, will continue to serve the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center on a contractual basis until the board of directors employs a new Executive Director.
The CGRDC provides a wide variety of services and programs to the 35 municipalities and 10 counties within the Coastal Georgia region-including Bulloch, Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven Counties. These services are regional planning, local comprehensive planning, small area and land-use planning, economic development and technical assistance, ordinance development, historic preservation, training and education, GIS data-gathering and mapping services, grant writing and administration and coordinated transportation planning.  
The CGRDC is also home to the region’s Area Agency on Aging. The AAA provides advocacy, planning and coordination of services and programs for senior citizens throughout Coastal Georgia. These programs include the Caregivers Assistant Program, the Community Care Services program, and the GeorgiaCares program, among many others.
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