Page Siplon to direct program; Ag Department’s Bo Warren to head Agribusiness Center
ATLANTA, July 10, 2013 – The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced today that Page Siplon will serve as director of the Georgia Centers of Innovation (GCOI), and that Bo Warren, currently with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA), will become director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness. Both appointments are effective immediately.
“Georgia’s Centers of Innovation program is a national model and an excellent resource to help our Georgia companies create new jobs and investment. Page has a proven track record of success with the Logistics Center of Innovation, and his past experiences, leadership and enthusiasm will elevate the program to the next level,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Cummiskey.
The Georgia Centers of Innovation focuses on six areas of strategic industry growth and expansion: agribusiness, aerospace, energy, life sciences and IT, logistics, and manufacturing. The centers help Georgia companies grow and compete globally by leveraging industry expertise on their behalf; establishing connections and facilitating collaborations with other companies, state organizations, agencies and universities; and providing access to researchers and resources.
Siplon is an active industry leader, and was recently recognized by DC Velocity magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker,” one of the top ten logistics professionals in the nation. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013. He serves various industry leadership roles at both the state and federal level. Gov. Nathan Deal recently nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was also selected to serve as vice-chairman. Siplon is the appointed fiduciary agent for all U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security port security grants awarded to Georgia, responsible for a total of over $16 million in allocated funds. At the state level, he served as the lead consultant on the Commission for a New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force, and in March 2012 aided the Georgia Department of Transportation in the release of the first comprehensive Statewide Freight and Logistics Action Plan. In this effort, Siplon led a private sector advisory committee, which included participants from UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Pacific, CSX and Norfolk Southern. Siplon also served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force.
“I look forward to this additional leadership role with the Georgia Centers of Innovations and GDEcD, and to working closely with the incredible team of industry experts that lead each of our centers, ensuring their individual resources and services, as well as those of the entire program, are widely known and easily accessible,” said Siplon.
Siplon will also maintain his current position as executive director of the Center of Innovation for Logistics, located in Savannah. This center directly assists companies with overcoming challenges and capitalizing on opportunities related to the movement of freight by providing focused expertise and specific industry data, leveraging state resources, and connecting them to an extensive cross-sector industry network. Under Siplon’s leadership, the center created and hosts the Annual Georgia Logistics Summit, the only industry-driven, state-led event of its kind and size in the nation. In its fifth year the summit hosted 2,000 public and private industry attendees from 30 states and nine nations.
The Georgia Centers of Innovation program also welcomes Bo Warren as the new director of the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness. Warren is currently Director of International Trade and Business Development for the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA), where he has led the development of new programs to increase awareness of Georgia’s agriculture products both domestically and abroad. Warren has multiple degrees in the world of agriculture, including an Associate’s degree from Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College, a Baccalaureate in agribusiness from UGA, and an MBA from Mercer University. GDEcD and GDA have partnered since 2012 to streamline export assistance for Georgia’s agriculture companies. Warren has worked to elevate the agency’s involvement in advancing Georgia’s largest industry and those sectors that support production agriculture. His role as director of the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness will enable both agencies to further grow Georgia’s agribusinesses. The Agribusiness Center of Innovation will remain in a close partnership with the University of Georgia, and maintain its office and staff on the UGA campus located in Tifton.
“The Center of Innovation for Agribusiness has been a critical resource in helping commercialize new products, start new businesses, and create new technology in the world of agribusiness in Georgia. As a largely regulatory agency, the Department of Agriculture has often been the first call many entrepreneurs make when starting a new agriculture or food related business. With this partnership we will be able to efficiently assist new and existing companies in navigating the regulatory framework while also exposing them to the many great economic development resources our state offers. This is all great news for Georgia companies,” stated Warren.
About the Georgia Centers of Innovation
The Georgia Centers of Innovation, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development provides the expertise and connections to help Georgia companies and strategic industries solve problems, grow quickly and compete globally. The six Centers of Innovation focus on agriculture, aerospace, energy, life sciences and IT, logistics, and manufacturing. Learn more at www.georgiainnovation.org
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia, and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects. Visit www.georgia.org