'TAG Central' Helping Midstate Tech Organizations
Network With Each Other & Promote Economic Development
By Sheron Smith
For Central Georgia businesses that have anything to do with technology
- and these days, virtually all are touched by it in some way -
networking will never be the same.
The new Central Georgia Technology Alliance is promoting technology
related economic development in the region by giving businesses opportunities
to mix and mingle their way to strategic connections. One of eight
societies of the Atlanta-based Technology Association of Georgia,
"TAG Central" is closely aligned with Macon State College
through President David A. Bell, who chairs the charter board of directors.
Maj. Gen. Dennis G. Haines, commander
of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, talks with MSC
President David A. Bell at a recent meeting of the Central
Georgia Technology Alliance.
"With all of the tech-related growth flowing out of Atlanta,
I think that from an economic point of view Central Georgia is going
to hit a home run with the bases loaded," Bell said. "A
Central Georgia chapter of TAG complements the important work that
has been taking place here in economic development. It strengthens
Central Georgia's already strategic position for attracting technology
TAG, one of the fastest growing organizations of its kind in the
nation, is a 2-year-old umbrella organization representing Georgia's
technology community. Its purpose is to promote and grow the state's
technology industry through networking, investment, strategic partnerships
and professional development opportunities. TAG's 5000+ members
represent more than 1,000 companies and every corner of the industry
- the technology sector, the end users, the service providers, the
entrepreneurs, the venture capitalists and the development community.
Initially, TAG brought together several separate groups, including
the Atlanta Business and Technology Alliance, the Southeast Software
Association and Women in Technology. There are now eight TAG societies,
including the Central Georgia Technology Alliance. In addition,
10 special interest groups within TAG focus on specific areas ranging
from finance and human resources to software development.
"Macon State College is an integral part of the rapidly growing
technology industry in the midstate, and the Technology Association
of Georgia is excited to be part of that growth," said Chuck
Johnson, Atlanta venture capitalist and TAG chairman for 2001. "We
look forward to working with the Central Georgia Technology Alliance
to provide quality business development, education and networking
opportunities across the region and the state."
TAG Central's first open meeting, held in late February at the Macon
State College Student Life Center, drew more than 100 people representing
a variety of regional businesses. Several speakers, including Johnson
and TAG President David Simmons, reviewed the association's purpose
and the state's technology business climate.
How to Join TAG
TAG currently has eight Societies
and eleven Special Interest Groups that operate under the
TAG 'umbrella.' As a member of TAG, you may participate in
any or all of these groups. Details on each Society, Special
Interest Group and all TAG upcoming events can be found at
TAG memberships for individuals
through the Central Georgia Technology Alliance are $75 per
year. There are also several levels of corporate membership
that represent group discounts over individual membership.
To learn more, contact Kelly H. McMullen, TAG's membership
coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (404) 817-3333.
The Central Georgia group's second meeting, held in late March
at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, explored the theme,
"Technology in the Midstate: A Look at the Participants."
Keynote speaker was Maj. Gen. Dennis G. Haines, commander of the
Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base. Haines
discussed critical changes in national defense that the information
age is driving.
The Technology Association of Georgia has played a key role in
some major technology business ventures. TAG was instrumental in
introducing Zapmedia.com, an Atlanta-based producer of entertainment
hardware and software, to the Gannett Co., the largest newspaper
company in the U.S. Gannett invested $270 million in Zapmedia to
form an alliance that allows consumers access to music, videos,
movies, the Internet and e-mail through existing TVs and home stereos.
Bell is optimistic that regional businesses will similarly profit
through TAG-facilitated networking
"TAG offers a great opportunity to raise Central Georgia's
visibility in the technology arena," he said, "while its
members build new alliances to support individual enterprises."