Middle Georgia business leaders, technology professionals form advisory board

A group of Middle Georgia business leaders will represent the Macon area in a technology group that promotes growth at Georgia’s tech-based companies.

The group of 11 local business leaders recently formed the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Middle Georgia advisory board.

They will represent TAG in the region, helping to bring events and resources here to support growth in technology-based industries, according to a Tuesday news release.

Formed in 1997, TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 17,800 members and hosting more than 200 events each year, the release stated.

The Macon-area business leaders are a welcome addition to the group, said Tino Mantella, TAG president and CEO. “The presence of technology businesses in Middle Georgia and the surrounding region is growing and we are pleased it has become such a focus for the region,” Mantella stated in the release. “TAG has received a very warm welcome in Middle Georgia and we are excited to have built such a strong advisory board. Extending our reach to Middle Georgia supports our efforts to become a truly statewide organization and help Georgia become one of the top states in the nation for technology.”

TAG provides members with access to networking and educational programs and it promotes Georgia’s technology leaders and companies. The group also advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology, according to TAG’s website.

Members of TAG’s newly formed Middle Georgia advisory board are: Robert Betzel, president, Infinity Network Solutions; Michael Chalmers, owner, Spherion of Middle Georgia; John Cozart, IT manager, Robins Federal Credit Union; Tanya Goette, department chair of Information Systems, Georgia College & State University; Brent Lanford, deputy director, Middle Georgia Regional Commission; Steve Masteller, director of IT, city of Macon; Robert Rhodes, CIO, Houston Healthcare; Terry Schwindler, manager of Business and Industry, Macon Economic Development Commission; Terry Smith, regional director, AT&T; Jackie Turner, IT department head, Central Georgia Technical College; and Josh Walton, area director, The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center.

On Aug. 21, TAG Middle Georgia will kick off its “Tech Tuesdays” with a discussion on economic gardening.

“Economic gardening will enhance and accelerate the maturity of early-stage tech and tech-enabled companies by leveraging existing regional strengths along with new, innovative business support services,” Mantella stated in the news release. “We are excited to expand this program to other areas of the state and believe it will be just as successful in helping young companies grow as it has been in Savannah.”

For more information on Middle Georgia’s Tech Tuesdays and its economic gardening initiatives, contact Heather Miner via e-mail at or call (404 920-2022.