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UGA Public Service and Outreach presents 2022 awards to external partners

Covington equipment maintenance company is UGA SBDC Entrepreneur of the Year

Ryan Loew is a Covington-based entrepreneur whose equipment maintenance company has expanded from 20 employees in 2016 to more than 150 industry professionals today.

On Monday, he was presented with a certificate and trophy for being selected as the UGA Public Service and Outreach 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year, during the PSO Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon.

As president of Process Equipment and Controls, Loew works with clients in the U.S. and abroad, including Fortune 500 companies that have outsourced their equipment and maintenance needs to Loew’s business.

He spent 10 years in equipment and machinery maintenance for a Fortune 500 company, tasked with assuring all equipment ran productively and efficiently. During that time, he earned his bachelor’s degree in business.

It was then he decided to take a leap of faith as an entrepreneur and open an original equipment manufacturing business.

Loew knew his way around industrial and commercial food processing and preparation equipment. He also knows how best to manage the skilled millwrights, pipefitters and mechanics needed to do the work.

In 2016, he turned to the UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for advice. Loew worked with the SBDC to learn about cash flow management and strategic planning.

The key to his success, he says, is making sure that potential employees meet the company’s goals and vision through the vetting, hiring and onboarding process. Loew saw his sales increase 900 percent in the next two years.

“We’ve grown significantly,” he said. “Without the assistance of the UGA SBDC, we would not have been able to manage our explosive growth.  We would have grown to death.”

Chattanooga foundation receives Donor of the Year Award from UGA Public Service and Outreach

The Lyndhurst Foundation, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the recipient of the 2022 Donor Impact Award in recognition of its support of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and projects designed to boost economic vitality in northwest Georgia.

Since its first gift in 2015, the Lyndhurst Foundation has enabled the Institute of Government to improve and revitalize northwest Georgia and Tennessee cities. Over the course of this partnership, the foundation has empowered communities and improved the region by supporting planning and design projects in McCaysville, Copperhill, Ducktown, Trenton, Chickamauga, Chatsworth, Rossville, Ringgold, Lookout Mountain, and unincorporated Murray County.

Funding in 2017 supported a unique economic development partnership with communities in Georgia and Tennessee. The Copper Basin Renaissance Strategic Visioning and Planning (RSVP) collaboration united key leaders from McCaysville, Georgia, its twin city of Copperhill, Tennessee, and nearby Ducktown, Tennessee, in a community-driven alliance to help the region’s economy flourish.

It was the first two-state RSVP, a component of the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership, which is a Institute of Government revitalization initiative with the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Cities Foundation, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and other partners.

The Copper Basin RSVP strategy complements public and private quality-of-life amenities underway or already in place, including the privately funded Rivers Crossing restaurant development in McCaysville. It also leverages tourism opportunities.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and his staff worked with the Institute of Government since the initial discussions about this project. A longtime proponent of economic development initiatives like the RSVP, Ralston’s district includes McCaysville and Fannin County.

“Initiatives like this combine private-sector resources with public-sector expertise to revitalize downtowns to generate economic activity and create jobs,” Ralston said. “I am excited about the potential of this project.”


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