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July 2017 Testimonials

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The Carl Vinson Institute of Government has served state and local governments for 90 years.

We are celebrating our 90th Anniversary year and are proud to share testimonials from our clients, stakeholders and friends.

The testimonies below show the projects we have worked on, the lives we have touched, and the impact we have made in Georgia and beyond.

Check back often as we will unveil different testimonials until the end of 2017 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily and weekly updates.

  • Matthew Gambill

Complete Testimonials

  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIOG) served you and your organization?

    In 2013, our association brought the CVIOG (Walt McBride) in to facilitate leadership training and strategic planning. That initial involvement has now lead to numerous other projects and initiatives that we have worked with CVIOG on. This includes the Partners Educating Georgia's Future Workforce statewide meetings, LEAD CTAE program, and most recently the development of the new Economic Development Partnership in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    Stacy Jones, David Tanner, Greg Wilson, Walt McBride, and Marci Campbell are the CVIOG staff that I have had the most involvement with.  I can truly say that each one of these individuals represents the very best attributes of leadership that one can possess.  They have also inspired me to think at a higher level as I consider the impact my association has on the students, teachers and programs we represent.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your organization? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    Working with the CVIOG is one of the single greatest decisions that we have made as an organization in our 80+ year history. Not only has it made us grow and stretch our focus, it has resulted in the development of work that will impact teachers and students statewide for years to come.  The new Economic Development Partnership has the potential to totally change the mindset that most school systems have when it comes to preparing students for successful careers.  I am so excited about this work and it would not be possible without CVIOG.

  4. Any additional comments?

    As I was reflecting on the impact that the CVIOG has made on me personally, I also considered how Georgia has been shaped and molded in a positive way because of CVIOG.  As CVIOG celebrates 90 years of success, I cannot imagine where Georgia would be without its leadership. CVIOG has the vision to help leaders of today and tomorrow accomplish things that by ourselves would not be possible. How fortunate we are that in 1927, the leadership of the University of Georgia recognized the need to have an organization focused on helping local and state leaders determine solutions to make Georgia great!  This work continues to this day and I am honored to be a part of celebrating the 90th Anniversary of CVIOG.

  1. In what ways or types of project work has the Univeristy of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your government?

    The Carl Vinson Institute of Government offers training programs for domestic and foreign corporations as well as local government officials and pays a visit to organizations based on abundant knowledge and resources of the University of Georgia. It also offers training programs for various countries and public officials including the Republic of Korea conducted by world-class faculty. In particular, our officer has completed the training course for the improvement of international mindset and the reinforcement of executive skills for local administration which was conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Governors Association of Korea.

    Also, Seodaemun-district has established a friendship and cooperation relationship with Athens-Clarke County, with the cooperation of Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is providing the foundation for successfully pursuing the goal of the MOU between Seodaemun-district and Athens-Clarke County by playing a pivotal role in supporting the conclusion of MOU to discussions and specific progress direction of exchange programs.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your government.

    During our visit to the United States in 2015 and 2016 for MOU program with Athens-Clarke County, my colleagues from Seodaemun-district Office and I had an opportunity to learn about the culture, education, economy, etc. of Athens-Clarke County and Georgia through the field trip schedule arranged by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Thanks to the hospitality, thoughtful consideration, and cooperation of persons concerned from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government including Director Laura Meadows, Dr. Rusty Brooks from the International Center, Dr. Yoon Tae-sik who was in charge of the program, etc. we were able to complete our schedule smoothly, and also have unforgettable and valuable experience and memories. Once again, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to those who provide great assistance to us.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your government? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    Seodaemun-district is the representative university city of South Korea where a total of nine universities such as Yonsei University, Ewha Womans University, etc. are located within the jurisdiction. Therefore, Athens-Clarke County, where the University of Georgia plays a key role, and Seodaemun-district have a common ground of being an educational and cultural city. During my visit to Carl Vinson Institute of Government in 2015, I had the opportunity to participate in the panel discussion of economic exchange between the district and universities, which was presided by Director Laura Meadows. This discussion was a useful experience where valuable information that could be benchmarked in the liaison between Seodaemun-district and local universities was shared. I hope there will be more opportunities in the future that can contribute to the growth and development of Seodaemun-district as well as the revitalization of the local economy through policy sharing and consultation in various areas with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

  4. Any additional comments?

    On behalf of Seodaemun-district, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the members of Carl Vinson Institute of Government on the 90th anniversary of the Institute. I look forward to the advanced role of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government in the enhancement of local governments efficiency and the improvement of public administration service. Once again, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Director Laura Meadows, Dr. Rusty Brooks from the International Center, Dr. Taesik Yun who is in charge of the Korean program, and the employees for their great assistance. I hope the mutual cooperative relations between the two institutions will continue in the future.

  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your agency?

    CVIOG has been contracted to do ordinance development legal review and research. We have funded CVIOG to do Community Rating System work and they have partnered with us on our 2016 Climate Conference.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    The staff have been very eager to work on new project ideas and is easy to communicate with.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your agency? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    Having CVIOG at our finger-tips when we need them helps to make our work go smoothly, timely and adds an extra layer of quality.

  4. Any additional comments?

    It's comforting to know that we have this great resource that we can depend on when we need it.

“Here in Cobb, we’ve enjoyed over 3 decades of relationship with the Carl Vinson Institute in developing our executive management training program. But far beyond that, we’ve developed programs for our supervisor development employees, our executive support positions, which are very key to us here, in Cobb. We, in Cobb, see training as a tool rather than a luxury. At the state level, were the ACCG and GMA. They’ve designed and facilitated training for our managers, raised the level of training for our city and county managers. Our partnership with the Institute, we’ve enjoyed our relationship which [has made] us overall better public servants.” 

“Macon-Bibb County is grateful to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government for the assistance that they gave us both during the transition task force period where we were ironing out the details of how this new consolidated government in Macon-Bibb County was to work, but also they helped us to formulate a strategic plan after the mayor and the first commission was elected during that critical first year. The expertise and attention to detail and level of support from Carl Vinson was very effective in getting us to this point. As a result, we have a renewed sense of enthusiasm and optimism in Macon-Bibb County that had been previously absent for decades.” 

  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your government?

    Fulton County Government has engaged the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government to provide public leadership training under the Institute's Certified Public Manager program. I am a member of the trainee cohort.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your government.

    The Institute's faculty and staff have provided excellent instruction, leadership coaching and mentoring as part of the curriculum of the CPM program. In so doing, the program's leaders have gone beyond the call of duty to be supportive of cohort members/trainees.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your government? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    The Institute has provided needed business tools and leadership strategies appropriate for public managers, which have strengthened cohort members' communication, conflict management and other personal-professional skills. This impact is most evident in members' willingness to lead collaborative efforts, better working relationships with subordinates and keener understanding of supervisor's challenges.

  4. Any additional comments?

    The UGA Carl Vinson Institute is to be commended for re-implementing this valuable training program. It is a needed resource for public managers, especially those tasked with managing change in large and small government entities.

 

Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program

Georgia’s Juvenile Justice Incentive (JJRI) grant program was created to reduce juvenile felony commitments to the DJJ and reduce short-term program sentences through the use of diversion programs and aftercare programs. 

As part of reform, we found that we were over-utilizing these costly options and still experiencing a poor return on taxpayer dollars with high recidivism rates of 65%.

The goals of the grant programs include:             

  • increase public safety through an effective juvenile justice system

  • demonstrate potential cost-savings for taxpayers through the use of evidence-based options

The DJJ contracted CVIOG to assist with implementation of the grant evaluation plan. CVIOG’s ability to ramp up quickly at the start of the project to provide 5 workshops around the state to orientate juvenile courts on how to analyze their data and prepare to apply for a grant.

CVIOG is the evaluator for the incentive grant program and community services, providing on-site visits, technical assistance, monthly data reports, and coaching on how to use data effectively. This included quarterly and annual reports that kept track of how grantees in the program were performing. CVIOG provide helpful ad hoc reports and is our trusted third party to make sure the grantees are doing what they are supposed to do.

The reform effort and the successes:

Year One Evaluation

  • 62% reduction in short-term program sentences and felony commitments, exceeding reduction goal by 15%

  • Total participation: 1,122 youth

Year Two Evaluation

  • 48% increase in the utilization of community-based programs from Year One

  • 54% reduction in short-term program sentences and felony commitments, exceeding reduction goal by 20%

  • Total youth participation increased to 1,666 in Year Two

Bottom line – 50% fewer youth are going into a lockup situation and being treated in their community with behavioral health type programs.  We are addressing the root causes of delinquent youth behavior and with some programs the whole family is being treated through programs like functional family therapy.  

We would not have been able to experience this type of success, so quickly or so lasting an impact, without our PARTNERSHIP WITH CVIOG.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your organization?

    In 1993, Dr. Mark Foster with the CVIOG designed a promotion process for supervisory ranks in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Investigative Division. Subsequently, he and CVIOG staff have administered assessment centers for promotions to the ranks of Assistant Special Agent in Charge and Special Agent in Charge. Their service has been exemplary.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    Dr. Mark Foster and the CVIOG staff have always been extremely professional and responsive to the needs of the GBI.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your organization? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    Since we implemented the CVIOG design and manage the promotion assessment center process, there has not been one legal challenge to the process.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your agency?

    In 2004, the Commission for a New Georgia recommended the State gather and maintain information on all State-owned real property. CVIOG and [its Information Technology Outreach Services] ITOS division built the State's Building, Land, and Leased Inventory of Property (BLLIP) database. BLLIP's web-based platform allows for public searches, reports, and GIS mapping of all State Capital Assets. BLLIP is a nationally-awarded system (NASFA innovation award) and is a model for other states.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your agency.

    [The CVIOG] ITOS division is a great partner with the State Properties Commission.  Their staff have always made themselves available whenever we've called upon them regardless of how big or small of the request.  ITOS has provided one-on-one specialized training to our Agency for QLIK to ensure we were comfortable using the system and building reports. Their customer service and professionalism have been OUTSTANDING at every level of the organization.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your agency? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    The BLLIP web page is accessed by many other countries. The true impact of the system may be far greater than we can measure. Citizens are able to view property information online which reduces the number of calls and requests to SPC staff. SPC staff utilize BLLIP daily to look for space efficiencies across state government. The GIS mapping allows SPC staff to quickly see the State's footprint in a defined area and create metro plans for potential consolidation.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your government?

    The CVIOG has facilitated Board of City Commissioner retreats for a number of years. These have resulted in numerous successful outcomes. Most recently, the Institute has assisted with a Strategic Planning Process to develop a five-year Strategic Plan. Additionally, the CVIOG has also conducted a study of shared delivery services for fire services and the results used.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your government.

    The CVIOG staff has had a positive impact on [our] staff. In particular, Gordon Maner has been a long-time partner with the City. He has a great relationship with our Board of City Commissioners and staff. He is professional yet never afraid to respectfully communicate candidly and honestly.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your government? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    The CVIOG study on the shared delivery fire service has been used as the basis for the City and the County to equitably divide the costs associated with this service and is part of our current 489 agreement. The results of the study were accepted by both parties and will be used for many years to come.

  4. Any additional comments?

    The CVIOG has a great reputation of providing objective, relevant and needed services to the City of Albany. The most recent effort of the development of a strategic plan will be used as a roadmap for the City to follow. I would never have been able to do it without you. Thanks for all that you do and for being such a great resource to governments in the state of Georgia.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your organization?

    The UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government has worked with our agency on many different fronts. They have provided excellent technical assistance and data collection for our Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program. They have also assisted us with research, data compilation, and reporting in other areas, like our work with domestic minor sex trafficking.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    CVIOG staff have been excellent partners in both our juvenile justice and domestic minor sex trafficking initiatives. They are engaged in the issues around the state and bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. They are always willing to assist and are considered true partners by our stakeholders and staff alike.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your organization? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    Due to the Institute's wok on our Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant, we are now able to collect information about funded programs through an online database. This allows us to better assist our grantees through real-time monitoring of program goals.

  4. Any additional comments?

    We have been exceptionally impressed with CVIOG and each staff member we have had the pleasure of working with. Their organizational culture seems to be one that fosters the highest level of customer service while always striving to deliver on any request from their client. We value our partnership with CVIOG and appreciate their dedication to our joint projects.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your government?

    The CVIOG conducted the Long-Term Financial Analysis of our city in the Fall of 2016.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your government.

    From my original contact with staff to the completion of the study and the presentation of the findings, the CVIOG staff was helpful, friendly and professional and provided outstanding financial and planning expertise.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your government? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    The research provided by the study will help guide strategic decisions to be made by our City Council regarding future revenue sources.  These decisions are mandatory for the overall future health of our city.

  4. Any additional comments?

    In addition to my recent experiences working with the UGA Carl Vinson Institute to conduct a study for my city,  I have enjoyed many years of working with this outstanding organization in other arenas and I have had nothing but exceptionally fine dealings with them. Deadlines were met and the quality of their work has been superb.  I have the utmost confidence in the work of the CVIOG and recommend them without reservation.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your organization?

    In July 2016, the Clarke County School District (CCSD) became a charter system, which meant we would form School Governance Teams at all 21 schools. That's a total of about 220 people needing instantaneous and quality training on a number of different education topics in a short period of time. Luckily, CVIOG teamed up with the University of Georgia's J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development to facilitate this training and advise the process.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    CVIOG took on our project with a collaborative approach to training design and delivery. We were able to custom-build the training for our Teams in concert with school district and community experts. CVIOG was able to synthesize information in a clean and clear design with a number of themes that run throughout the training. I look back now and am very thankful for their foresight in the design at the outset.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your organization? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    The premise behind forming the School Governance Teams was to bring diverse groups of people together (teachers, parents, community members, students) to learn about our schools as a means of empowerment through information and awareness. We invested in people with CVIOG's guidance, and now we are reaping the rewards. By empowering them, Teams are starting to make sound decisions about their schools and their students.

  4. Any additional comments?

    Dr. Russ Cook was the lead on this project for CVIOG. He not only led the training design process, he was invaluable in advising the whole charter system implementation process, serving on our Advisory Team, and helping me personally with issues and snags along the way. Dr. Cook has wisdom and experience and a sense of calm that put us all at ease with this mammoth task, and especially me as a new director doing something we had never done before in Clarke County.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your organization?

    After impressive work with the Governor's High Demand Career Initiative, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) engaged the Institute to facilitate the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative. This collaborative has developed a blueprint that will guide talent development in Cherokee County for the future.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    David Tanner, Greg Wilson, and Mercy Montgomery were incredible at helping us pull stakeholders together to form a foundation for talent development that can be community led. Their organizational skills and experience in building consensus among differing types of leaders are commendable.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your organization? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    The Institute brought best practices from various areas and helped us customize a plan based on our demographics, unique assets, challenges and greatest opportunities.  The foundation was set by bringing groups together who were previously working in silos. We now have a plan for talent development that will help us retain and expand existing business and recruit new companies to our county and region.                              

  4. Any additional comments?

    The team from the Institute helped us establish "reach goals" for creative changes in education and alliances with the business community that will impact the talent pipeline supplying the region with skilled professionals needed today and in the future.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your organization?

    Digital Georgia Program, Broadband data analysis and Mapping, GIS, Website development

    Community outreach and organizing

    Data Analysis and visualization for K12 technology grant program with GOSA

    Data Analysis and visualization for K12 E-Rate program in Georgia and more

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    All personnel have been dedicated, responsible, responsive, committed to quality and professional.

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your organization? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    The CVIOG Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) team was integral to the overall success of the Digital Georgia Program that GTA was responsible for. [There is a] continuing call for the resources, talent and expertise of ITOS from GTA and the legislature.

  4. Any additional comments?

    Through the Digital Georgia program as a statewide effort we experienced working with many state and local organizations. We found the CVIOG/ITOS team to be the best value of all our partners.

 
  1. In what ways or types of project work has the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government served you and your organization?

    CVIOG helped the City of Clarkesville develop a Master Plan for our Downtown.  Through this strategic planning process, they facilitated with surveys, focus groups and town hall meetings.

  2. Please share any positive impressions made by the Institute faculty and staff on you and your organization.

    Working with the staff of CVIOG was a wonderful experience.  They were knowledgeable, experienced, flexible, open-minded and fully in tune with the needs of our community.  They provided an "out-of-the-box" approach to downtown planning and projects, and their enthusiasm for our success was contagious!

  3. What type of impact has the work of the Institute made on your organization? What evidence can you share of positive change made as a result of the Institute’s work?

    Since the inception of the Downtown Master Plan for Clarkesville, we have completed over two dozen community improvement projects, created new downtown events and further engaged our citizens, business and property owners.

  4. Any additional comments?

    CVIOG stepped in to help us immediately following a devastating fire that destroyed many businesses and buildings in our downtown.  Their constant reassurance and positive attitudes helped restore our community and created a new excitement and energy for our downtown.