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Tonya Parker Named to Georgia Downtown Association Board

Downtown Vidalia Association Director Tonya Parker has joined an elite group of downtown directors in the state as she joins the Georgia Downtown Association Board of Directors. The Board is composed of 15 elected positions for each region throughout the state. Parker was nominated and chosen to represent Region 9 by local legislators in the 10-county region. Upon this appointment, Parker attends monthly meetings in Macon to strategize state efforts for downtown revitalization and improvement, and will attend a conference regarding such in the spring.

“It is many people from many places, from tiny towns to big cities,” she noted. “It is a large range of populations and city sizes so that we can network. Also, we will be creating education and professional development programs for other Downtown Associations in the state.” She added, “I cannot really reveal much about what we are working on right now, but I can say we are working with the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government to develop a new program for these associations. It’s really cool. and I’m excited to share more on it in the future.” Parker feels that this experience is not only a learning experience for the betterment of herself, but also the betterment of the Downtown Vidalia Association. “I was not always a director of a downtown association; in fact, I was a teacher at J.R. Trippe Middle School for 12 years,” she explained. “I also was in real estate and flipping houses for four years after leaving the education field. I had worked small business retail in this town since I was 15 years old, and I have always had a passion for that. This job presented itself, and I had several community leaders and local individuals that encouraged me to do this. Here I am almost four years later, and I love it.”

Parker said her passion is working for the improvement of the community; and the tools, networking, and resources, which being on the GDA gives her, have been instrumental in that effort. “I love this community, I love our local businesses. We have such great potential to progress,” she emphasized. “We don’t want to be other towns, we want to keep what makes us different and highlight that better.” She ensured great things will continue to come to the Downtown Vidalia Association through her participation in the state board. “I know great things are coming for us, and I cannot wait to be able to share about them as they come in the future,” she concluded.

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