It’s bittersweet news: after 10 years, Pinky Modeste is no longer going to be a local government employee in Albany.
Modeste notified Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis on Monday that her last day leading the community’s Small Business Program (formerly the Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization – SBDU — office) will be Dec. 24. She has accepted a position with the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission in its Workforce Program.
Modeste started the SBDU program to help small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses. During the program’s eight years, minorities gained more than $100 million in additional government contract work. In short, Modeste did what she was hired to do.
“I have been very fortunate to work under what I consider the top brass. The government leaders in Albany- Dougherty; the County Administrator, city manager, superintendent, general manager of WG&L and Albany Tomorrow,” she said. “At one time or another I have worked directly with each of their commissions and boards. There have been numerous volatile moments but many more rewarding experiences and accomplishments. I must say I have learned a great deal working under Richard Crowdis. He is a good Life Coach as well as an effective Administrator. In addition Lemuel Edwards, general manager of WG&L, has always been a good an ‘attaboy’ and he has always motivated me to keep going and not to take things personal.
Among the highlights of Modeste’s tenure:
Ø Created the first contract for prime contractors to use with subcontractors on government projects, which is still being used by some prime contractors today.
Ø Established a tracking system to ensure prime contractors paid their subcontractors. Even though the small and minority business program has been complete for almost two years, prime contractors send proof-of-payment forms to Modeste’s office.
Ø Sponsored conferences during National Minority Business Week for six consecutive years, recognizing successful minority business and contributors to minority owned businesses.
Ø Developed the first Entrepreneur Roundtable, an organization that brings all program administrators and coordinators in the area to work toward increasing opportunities for minorities, women and small businesses.
Ø Created the Business 101 Prep Class to teach new business owners how to bid on government contracts, marketing, etc.
Modeste has created a legacy for local government in Dougherty County. She even endured a cruel and shameless coup attempt by Albany City Manager Alfred Lott and prevailed, courageously proving that you can fight city hall and win.
God bless, Pinky. Local government has been blessed to have you among its leadership.
B.J. Fletcher on ADICA:
A brilliant decision
Sometimes, the Albany City Commission nails it right on the head. Such was the case of appointing B.J. Fletcher to the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority (ADICA).
Indeed, most of the post-Don Buie appointments to the authority – which is the city’s community redevelopment agency – have been winners. And in Buie’s replacement as the downtown manager, Aaron Blair, Albany has a go-getter who has a key redeeming attribute that is in woefully short supply at city hall – humility. (Sure, we don’t need a downtown manager in our top-heavy municipal government, but that’s not Blair’s fault, by any means. We wish him the best.)
Congratulations and thanks City Commission (the vote was, appropriately, unanimous) and, particularly, Assistant City Manager James Taylor, for your admirable leadership at ADICA’s helm after the Buie scandal. You’re largely headed in the right direction.
Now, we can only hope that Fletcher’s leadership will result in ADICA eliminating secret meetings (aka executive sessions) and otherwise ensuring that, finally, at least this one aspect of city government is finally carried out openly, honestly and efficiently.