Gallery Offers a Photographic Tour of the County
Collaboration was imperative when the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) teamed up with Chattahoochee Technical College and the Woodstock Office of Economic Development to create a unique downtown campus with bustling students, entrepreneurs, and prospective and existing business professionals.
“This project was a startup itself,” COED Chairman Marshall Day said. “No other technical college campus in the state has this exceptional opportunity to pull together three entities and touch education, talent development, entrepreneurship and overall economic development like this does.”
Cherokee County and Woodstock’s economic development teams moved into the newly renovated Chattahoochee Technical College Woodstock campus last year. With business prospects from across the globe, COED needed a way for their many visitors to experience all that the county has to offer during a short visit. They wanted to showcase Cherokee’s quality of place by connecting the visitor through photos.
“The people who visit our office are potential investors in our community,” COED President Misti Martin said. “Whether they are corporate prospects, startups, state and regional partners, or locals, they are considering doing business in Cherokee. We only get one chance to make a great first impression. Having this photo gallery will help support us in telling the story of why they should invest in this place we call home.”
Since COED has been facilitating the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative and its efforts to increase internships and co-ops for students with local businesses, they decided to hire an intern to spearhead the “Cherokee in Photos” campaign. Mercer University student Ellie Colt was hired for the summer.
“It was exciting to lead this project. The response that we received from the community was more than we could have ever expected. Over 130 photos were submitted, and I was humbled that photographers were so willing to share their lives with us. Misti and her team were so helpful and willing to teach me the ropes, and the opportunity to play a small part in connecting them to the community was very rewarding,” Colt said.
Local professional and amateur photographers were asked to send photos of anything that they thought makes Cherokee County feel unique. Once COED started to receive pictures, a social media campaign began, receiving a great response from the community. Residents voted for their favorite photo.
Once the submission period ended, Colt led the selection committee made up of Bill Grant (president of Grant Design Collaborative and Canton councilman), David Simmons (vice president of facilities at Chattahoochee Technical College), Brian Stockton (director of economic and downtown development, Woodstock), Misti Martin (president, COED), and Heath Tippens (senior project manager, COED) met to choose the pictures they felt best represented the community. The 22 pictures were revealed in conjunction with the grand opening of the Cherokee and Woodstock offices of economic development as well as The Circuit, Cherokee’s first co-work space. The grand opening event was held on Aug. 10 and was attended by contest winners, local government representatives, county industry and entrepreneurs, and community partners.
COED welcomes the public to visit the Cherokee in Photos gallery. It is these showcased events, landmarks, and faces that tell our county’s story and reveal our quality of place. COED is located at One Innovation Way, Woodstock.
Provided by Cherokee Office of Economic Development