The Archway Partnership, a unit of public service and outreach at the University of Georgia (UGA), is pleased to announce that Mary Alice Applegate will be the new Archway Professional in Sumter County effective September 1, 2015. In her position, Applegate will serve as liaison between the community and the university as she works to connect higher education resources to locally identified issues and priorities. Her office will be located in the Rees Park Economic Development Center in Americus.

Mary Alice comes to the University of Georgia Archway Partnership with many years of experience in community development and downtown revitalization. As a Field Representative of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Ms. Applegate provided technical assistance on Community Development Block Grants and urban redevelopment plans. She managed DCA’s Revitalization Area Strategies Program.

Ms. Applegate joined DCA in 2007 to work with Georgia’s Main Street and Better Hometown Programs in the East Central Georgia region. Her experience in downtown development included many years as the Main Street Manager for the City of Hartwell, Georgia. Ms. Applegate holds an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification. Prior to joining the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Ms. Applegate served as the Communications and Marketing Manager for the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Ms. Applegate has also worked in community arts and arts in education initiatives for the Arts Experiment Station of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia.

A native of Swainsboro, Georgia, Ms. Applegate is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. She also holds a M.A. in Art from the University of Northern Iowa.

We are excited to welcome Mary Alice to the Archway Partnership team,” remarked Archway Partnership Director Rob Gordon. “She has the depth and breadth of both community and economic development experience needed to continue our support of the Sumter Archway Partnership’s efforts.”

The Archway Partnership connects Georgia communities to the full range of higher education resources available at UGA to address critical community-identified needs. Partner communities have access to the knowledge, research and other resources available through the interactions between the communities and the university, while faculty and students are able to experience first-hand the opportunities and challenges facing the state. The community drives the process through an executive committee of community leaders and local organizations. The funding partners for the Sumter County Archway Partnership include the City of Americus, City of Andersonville, City of Plains, Sumter County, Sumter County Schools, Americus-Sumter Payroll Development Authority, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, Georgia Southwestern State University, South Georgia Technical College, and UGA’s Office of Vice President for Public Service and Outreach.

For additional information about the Archway Partnership, go to: http://www.archwaypartnership.uga.edu/.