Apr 20, 2021
When Deke Copenhaver took over as mayor of his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, the city’s politics were broken and riven along racial lines. Half of the city commissioners were white and half were African American. Neither group trusted the other, so nothing got done.
Who was it that paid the price for all of the political posturings? The citizens of Augusta. As Deke saw it, something fundamental about leadership needed to change. So, when the opportunity arrived in 2005, Deke knew he had to run for office. Against all reasonable odds, Deke and a band of enthusiastic twenty and thirty-somethings who knew little about running a political campaign won the election. He had his first commissioners meeting as mayor on December 20th, 2005, and began the work of being a Changemaker.
From 2005 through 2014 Deke was a catalyst in helping to transform Augusta, attracting businesses to spur economic development, implementing social programs that impacted the lives of Augustans on a daily basis, and developing communities that for many years had been neglected by the city’s leadership.
Deke has also served as managing consultant for the Augusta Economic Development Authority. He’s been recognized on multiple occasions by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians and has spoken at many national conferences on topics including city design, economic development, healthcare, veterans’ issues, and the nonprofit industry.
Deke currently authors a monthly column on leadership published by the Georgia Municipal Association. Deke earned a BA in Political Science from Augusta College and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and the Mayors’ Institute on City Design.
What We Discuss With Deke Copenhaver in this Episode:
Episode Show Notes: https://tinyurl.com/2wc7r4sp
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