Every year, the Terry College of Business puts on a program that rivals the Peabody Awards in attendance. It’s called the Georgia Economic Outlook Series. It consists of luncheons held all over the state in which expert speakers discuss what lies ahead for the state’s economy.
Naturally, such a large event takes a copious amount of planning, and that’s where Donna Wilson steps in.
As an events coordinator for the Office of Executive Programs at the Terry College of Business, Wilson helps plan and execute this program along with several others. Her work includes communicating with participants, contacting hotels to plan for programs and creating nametags and updating databases in the computer for future programs.
Wilson has worked for the office of Executive Programs at Terry College for 20 years and plans to retire at the end of February.
For now, however, the busiest time for Wilson is the fall, especially as the Economic Outlook Series becomes imminent.
This year at the Economic Outlook Luncheon in Atlanta on Dec. 13, Steve Forbes is the featured speaker. Also, Gov. Sonny Perdue and George Benson, dean of Terry College, will speak, while UGA President Michael F. Adams will serve as moderator for the program.
Wilson said her office is expecting about 1,400 people to attend. While the luncheon draws a large crowd, Wilson said that the other nine luncheons across the state also draw about 250 to 400 people.
It falls to her and her staff to make sure everyone has a positive experience, and she said a large part of her work is based in customer service.
The Economic Outlook Series is not the only program that Wilson coordinates, however. There are about 15 programs a year including the Economic Outlook Series. Even with all of these events to plan, the mission of her work is clear, she said.
“What the Office of Executive Programs does is build relationships with the business community by offering programs in both open-enrollment classes, available to the general public or customized to meet a client’s need,” Wilson said.
When she’s not at work, Wilson enjoys spending time with her husband, three daughters and granddaughter. Big music fans, Wilson and her husband combine their passion for music with their love of travel and travel across the country to attend festivals. They recently attended a jazz festival in Delaware, and every year they attend the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Although she enjoys traveling for pleasure, traveling is also important to Wilson in her job, as she not only must plan, but also be on-site for all conferences.
With all of her travel and the busy work schedule in the fall, though, Wilson appreciates her work.
“It’s a great job, you get to interact with a lot of people, travel to some interesting places and help make people’s association with our department a happy one,” she said.