With two tugs on a pink ribbon Monday morning, Kathy Bowden pulled black plastic from a road sign bearing her name.
Bowden was honored for her service as the former executive director of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority with the naming of Bowden Parkway -- a cul-de-sac road off Avondale Mill Road in front of the First Quality Baby Products plant.
It is a great honor that you do this for me, Bowden said to a group of about 30 people gathered for the road-naming event. She also served as the executive director of the Development Authority of Bibb County.
While helping develop some of Bibb Countys industrial parks, Bowden said, she always encountered lemons such as issues with the soil at the Bass Pro Shops site, and bears and alligators at Airport East Industrial Park.
I have wonderful memories ... and it is the only job in my career I have ever said, I love my job, Bowden said.
Pat Topping, senior vice president of the Macon Economic Development Commission said Bowden was always efficient at her job.
Kathy kept everybody on track and on time, Topping said. Sometimes that would drive me crazy, but it needed to be done. Anyway, Ive loved you, Kathy, for a long, long time and this is a great honor.
Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart said it was fitting to honor Bowden in this way because she was such a strong advocate for Bibb County and was instrumental in helping bring industry to the community.
Under Bowdens leadership, the authority used a $500,000 grant for the construction of the cul-de-sac roadway now named after her. The infrastructure was needed to help convince First Quality to remain in Bibb County and build a new plant.
Mayor Robert Reichert said Bowdens efforts with the authority helped more than 200 people retain their jobs with First Quality.
Bowdens leadership is to be highly commended and celebrated, Reichert said.
Some of the other industrial developments in Bibb County during her 13 years with the authority include distribution centers for Kohls, Bass Pro Shops and Sara Lee (renamed Hillshire), as well as Nichiha, Graphic Packaging and MBM Foodservices.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.