Rising Economic Development Star of the Week: Matt Forshee

May 4, 2015

Matt Forshee Georgia PowerMatt Forshee, 37, is Regional Manager of Community and Economic Development for Georgia Power Company in Augusta, Georgia. DCI is pleased to honor him as a winner of our 40 Under 40 awards—the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development profession. Matt is the first and only 40 Under 40 winner to be recognized twice by DCI with this prestigious accolade.

Matt joined Georgia Power in May of 2014, eager to recruit and assist new industries in East Georgia, as well as aid existing industries with expansions. Prior to entering his current role, Matt served as the Film Commissioner of Film Fayette and the President/CEO of Fayette County Development Authority in Georgia as well. His knowledge of leadership development and strategic planning has played a significant role in his ongoing success in his community and state.

Since July of 2014, Matt has been involved in recruiting projects that will bring over 1,100 new jobs to the region and over $225 million in new capital investment. Matt is also involved in developing and leading programs focused on community leadership and economic development education in the region.

Another one of Matt’s proudest achievements is his announcement of the location of the 900-acre Pinewood Atlanta Studios, the first purpose-built film studio complex in Georgia and the largest film studio complex on the East Coast. Pinewood is the film production home of James Bond, the new Star Wars movies and most of the recent Marvel Studios films, including “Thor,” “Captain America” and “The Avengers.” Matt led the recruitment of the project and ensured that all parameters were met perfectly. At full build out, the studio projects a total of 35 stages, which would allow for up to six $200 million productions to film concurrently, potentially creating over $1 billion annually in new and local expenditures. The project was named “Deal of the Year” by the Georgia Economic Developer’s Association and given an Honorable Mention as Project of the Year by Site Selection Magazine

What have you learned so far in your career? Successful people and successful communities have three attributes in common: strategy, execution and adaptability. Successful people and successful communities know where they want to go. They look at the big picture and have a vision of five years, 10 years, and 15 years ahead, planning how step one gets them to step two. They take this road map and they execute it, using goals and actions as mile marker check points.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I expect to be making an impact on my profession and my communities through thought leadership and leadership by example.

What’s your passion for places? I grew up moving every few years, so there’s not one place that I consider home; there are many places. Some I am closely connected to and some are just memories. From this, I’ve learned that places are nothing without people.

About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship form the cornerstones of the company’s promise to 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, 21st-century coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind.  Consistently recognized as a leader in customer service, Georgia Power was recently ranked highest in overall business customer satisfaction among large utilities in the South by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com.

Susan Brake

Written by Susan Brake

Susan Brake is Vice President at DCI overseeing the digital media strategy for all the firm's economic development clients. Since joining the company, she has effectively leveraged traditional and social media tactics to reach target audiences for her clients large and small.

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