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Tuesday May 23rd, 2017 6:42AM

Lanier Tech to host N. Ga's first digital conference

CUMMING - North Georgians are invited to join business and community leaders, economic developers, local educators, and students for a one-day conference focusing on North Georgia s digital future.

The North Georgia Digital Economy Conference will be held Thursday, December 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center in Cumming.

Organizers say the conference is the first in Georgia to highlight best practices in obtaining and using high-speed broadband connectivity and will showcase local innovations that broadband has enabled in the areas of education, health care, business and government. Sponsored by the Georgia Technology Authority s Digital Georgia Program, the North Georgia Digital Economy Conference will gather local experts to provide insight into North Georgia s emerging digital economy.

The keynote speaker will be Gen. Larry Ellis. A retired Army four-star general, Ellis serves as CEO of VetConnexx, which offers veterans a career path in technology.

Also on the agenda are Ron Jackson, commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia; Buster Evans, superintendent of Forsyth County Schools; and Bryson Payne, Ph.D., computer science department chair at the University of North Georgia, who will showcase innovations in north Georgia digital education. Other speakers will specifically address the impact and opportunities for North Georgia  s digital economy, and will include Jennifer Zeller of Georgia Power, David Parker of Appalachian Valley Fiber Network, and Paul Belk of the North Georgia Network, along with a panel of high school and college students discussing jobs and education for the digital generation.

As the state agency tasked with leading a multi-year effort to encourage increased participation in the digital economy and growth of broadband connectivity throughout the state, GTA has initiated the Digital Georgia program. One of its first steps was to map statewide broadband coverage in Georgia through a project funded primarily through the federal State Broadband Initiative.

The Georgia Technology Authority, working with all twelve of Georgia s regional commissions, is funding the development of a digital economy strategy in each region of the state. GTA has also begun conversations across the state with broadband providers and local communities in an effort to bridge the gaps and bring opportunities for greater connectivity to every corner of the state.

The registration cost for the North Georgia Digital Economy Conference is $20 and includes lunch. The event is open to the public, but space is limited. Find more information and register online or contact Debbie Barron at dbarron@uga.edu, 706-542-0420.
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