J.W. Fanning Institute Director Matt Bishop on the Importance of Community Leadership

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Director of the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia Matt Bishop talks about the Institute and working in communities to strengthen future leaders and drive community growth. He also talks about the recent Community Leadership Conference and the Innovation in Community Leadership Award.

Roy Reeves, a Moultrie businessman who was instrumental in the launch of the first UGA Archway Partnership, was presented with the inaugural award for Innovation in Community Leadership by the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, during the institute's annual conference on Friday.

Reeves was selected for his decades of public service in Colquitt County.

“The Innovation in Community Leadership Award recognizes an individual or organization that has taken extraordinary steps to enhance and sustain their community leadership development programming,” said Matt Bishop, director of the Fanning Institute, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach (PSO). “This year's winner, Roy Reeves, has been involved in various aspects of community leadership programming in his hometown of Moultrie for more than three decades. His leadership in public education, the faith community, youth development, and community engagement has resulted in hundreds of emerging leaders being trained to take on community leadership roles.” 

Reeves, who did not know ahead of time that he was the award recipient, said he was honored to be recognized. 

“I believe everything rises and falls on leadership,” Reeves said as he accepted the award. “The greatest resources a community has is its volunteers. They're the ones that get involved and make a community go.”

More than 150 people from 39 Georgia counties attended the Community Leadership Conference, held at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel Feb. 2-3. Participants included representatives from chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, K-12 schools, non-profit organizations, community leadership programs, power companies, housing authorities, judicial systems, county commissions and the medical field. 

This year’s theme, “Transforming leaders, transforming communities,” focused on helping community leaders improve existing programs. Workshops targeted adult, youth and nonprofit leadership programs, bringing together leaders from the public and private sectors of Georgia communities. The Small Business Development Center, another PSO unit, presented a session on digital marketing. 

Reeves, who owns Reeves Properties in Moultrie, has chaired the executive committee of the Colquitt County Archway Partnership since it was launched as a pilot program in 2005. Archway, also part of UGA PSO, connects selected Georgia communities with the extensive resources at UGA and other Georgia higher education institutions to address locally-identified critical community needs. 

Reeves' volunteer work in the Moultrie community dates back to the 1980s, when he returned to his hometown to join the family business. He is a member and has served as president of the Moultrie Kiwanis Club, United Way of Colquitt County, and the Moultrie-Colquitt Chamber of Commerce.

In addition he has served on numerous boards and committees in Moultrie-Colquitt County and is a long-time member of the Colquitt County Board of Education, where he served as chairman in 1999, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2013. Under his leadership, the board recently completed construction on a new start-of-the-art Colquitt County High School. 

In 2014, Reeves was named to the Advisory Board of the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Because of his rich experience in community leadership roles, Reeves provides invaluable counsel and advice to the institute in fulfillment of their leadership development mission.  

Reeves, a graduate of the University of Georgia, is married to Cheryle Neal Reeves, and the couple has three grown children.