Skip to main content

Community Spotlight: Meghan Barwick: Valdosta, Georgia

"Meghan is the person you call when you need something created. If there's a concept but it needs vision, she's who you call. She's an incredible partner in economic development."

- Scott Purvis, Georgia Power Community and Economic Development


What is your role?

Marketing manager, community relations, and public relations for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority (VLCDA).

What is your favorite thing about the job?

Promoting all the wonderful new and existing industries in our community. Being born and raised here gives you one mindset of the way the community looks, and then I think going to school and getting older you see it a whole different light. For example, growing up I had been by the Saft facility millions of times and never knew they made batteries for some of the top companies in the aerospace, marine, and aviation industries. Since working at VLCDA, I’ve been able to find out what’s made in our community and help tell their stories. Some of the coolest things are manufactured and made in Valdosta.

What makes South Georgia special?

It’s home! One thing I push our Locate South Georgia group to do, is to tell those stories- there are some manufacturers that are here in South Georgia that are making things that don't come from any other place in the world. You know you sometimes hear people say " well there aren't good jobs, there's not industry" but there's a lot more going on in South Georgia than people realize, and it's very exciting. Even the very delicious and fresh Martin's famous potato rolls are made right here in Valdosta! I buy them every time I go to the grocery store. And for me, the plan was to move away. I went to high school and college here, everybody knew my family, I graduated, and I was like, "I'm going to move to Atlanta". And you then know, I met a farmer, got married. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love South Georgia & all the special attributes that make it such a great place to live, work and play.

If you had one day to show someone around your community, what are some of the places you'd take them?

This is hard because there are so many wonderful places and things to do and see in Valdosta-Lowndes County. Here are a few worthwhile stops.

- Wild Adventures Theme Park

- Valdosta Wake Compound

- Moody Air Force Base

- Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area

- Georgia Beer Company

- Historic Downtown Valdosta

- Lowndes or Valdosta football game… Go Vikings 12

- Valdosta State University

What are your hopes for your community's future?

That not only we grow industries and jobs, but we promote what's in our communities for younger generations and show them how important the things and possible career opportunities we have for them. Also show them that you can make life vibrant in your community, you don't have to leave. You can graduate high school and either stay here and attend Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Valdosta State University, Georgia Military College, etc., go straight into the workforce or go off to school but when you return home there is a great career waiting for you, too.

How do you feel about your partnerships in the Economic Development world?

They are fantastic! From the Georgia Department of Economic Development to our utility partners and everyone in between, whenever we have a question, they usually have an answer or can get us in contact with the right person. Economic development is all about relationships and we are so fortunate in Valdosta-Lowndes County to have great economic development partners who are willing to help us at the drop of a hat. Economic development is a team sport.

What is your current favorite thing to watch on TV?

My guilty pleasure is reality TV, I love it! Chrisley Knows Best is my favorite thing to watch right now. But really, I am just ready for some football. Go Blazers! Go Dawgs!