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Governor Perdue Launches The Commission For A New Georgia

Tuesday, May 27, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Innovative Task Forces Will Bring Private Sector Expertise & Approach To Government Issues

Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue today announced The Commission For A New Georgia, an innovative public-partnership, using a corporate model of strategic, short-term task forces.

"Many times, I've articulated my vision that Georgians join me to build an educated, healthy, safe and growing state. The Commission For A New Georgia (Commission) provides an ideal opportunity for committed Georgians from the private sector to lend their expertise in the areas of policy development and governmental operations. I fully expect that the Commission model for continuous improvement will become an integrated part of the culture of governing and providing services for the people of Georgia," said Governor Sonny Perdue.

"Let me be clear. We're not looking for ideas about how to maintain an average level of performance. We're looking to Commission members to suggest ideas for attaining the same high performance corporations aspire to. We're aiming for Georgia to be recognized as one of the nation's best-managed states by 2007," added Governor Perdue.

Governor Engages Recognized Georgia CEOs to Lead Commission's Charge

Governor Perdue has asked two recognized Georgia business leaders to co-chair the Commission - Robert Hatcher, Georgia Chairman - Branch Banking and Trust and Joe W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer - Waffle House, Inc.

Bill Todd, who recently joined Governor Perdue's staff as an executive-on-loan will serve as the Commission's executive director.

Hatcher is the Georgia Chairman for Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T). He was previously President and CEO of First Liberty Financial Corporation and First Liberty Bank until its merger with BB&T. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Georgia in 1964 and graduated from the School of Banking of the South in 1975. His civic involvement includes the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Cancer Coalition, Mercer University, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Board Member, Macon Rotary Club and the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. Hatcher and his wife, Georgia, have one child and two grandchildren. The Hatchers are members of Christ Episcopal Church.

Rogers is the Chairman, President, and CEO of Waffle House, Inc. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1968 and his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University in 1971. His civic involvement includes Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, Associates of the Harvard Business School Board of Directors, Atlanta Arts Center Trustee, and Woodruff Arts Center Trustee.

"I am excited to have such a strong team of recognized executives to lead the Commission on a New Georgia," said Governor Perdue. "Robert Hatcher, Joe Rogers and Bill Todd each bring strong leadership, extensive experience and valuable insight from the private sector. Their leadership will be essential to reforming state government by challenging the old ways of doing business and encouraging new ideas and strategies for governing our state."

The Governor and his leadership team will work with the newly appointed Commission co-chairs and executive director to identify and recruit task force chairs over the next few months. Additional Commission members will be assigned to task forces and each task force will adopt a timetable to generate a report over the next several months. Monthly task force reports will be shared with the Governor and members of his leadership team.

Commonly-Used Business Model To Bring New "Twist" To Government Operations

So, how will this new Commission actually work to serve Georgians? "Before my election as governor, I led a successful small business. This background has allowed me to bring a different approach to statewide leadership and a different viewpoint of government operations," said Governor Perdue.

The Commission will be comprised of small, highly focused working groups created around 12 to 15 major themes. The working groups will be organized as task forces and headed by prominent Georgia business leaders.

Once study areas are identified, each task force will be asked to review and analyze various aspects of state government, learn as much as possible about the issue, share best practices, and issue ideas for improvement.

The creative ideas generated will be forwarded to the Governor, his Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for review and transfer to the appropriate agency or department with guidance for implementation.

"Although there is no difference in the amount of dedication to excellence between the public and private sectors, government operations have often been plagued by large, long-standing bureaucracies that didn't facilitate the creation or implementation of new or better approaches to problems. The nimble, strategic makeup of the Commission will address these historic barriers and bring a new 'twist' to how Georgia operates," concluded Governor Perdue.