Albany Area Executives Say Covid-19 Has Sparked New Era of Corporate Flexibility


Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Albany businesses have emerged stronger, more flexible and have discovered new ways to be generous to the community and their employees thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, executives from a host of Albany-area companies said at a joint goBeyondProfit -Georgia CEO forum hosted in Albany this past week.

The CEO panel, held at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, focused on how much the community has endured since 2018 both as a Covid-19 hotspot and the impact zone of Hurricane Michael.

“We rise to meet the healthcare needs of our community again and again,” said Scott Steiner, President and CEO of Phoebe Putney, noting it has been 783 days since the hospital opened a Covid command center. “We rise to wrestle and tackle whatever comes next, to move mountains.”

“Generosity is more than a financial transaction – it’s the humanity, the relationships, listening to workers and the customers and being good with your time,” Jud Savelle said. “Try to surprise somebody with your generosity and be ahead of it.”

Savelle, President of Bishop Clean Care, said they run their business with integrity, even during the pandemic when it could have charged enormously high rates as a disaster mitigation cleaning company.


The CEO forum also included panelists Staci Willson, Creative Director at Sunnyland Farms, a 1,700 acre family pecan farm that has grown to serve customers around the world; and Health Fountain, CEO of Colony Bank, the largest community bank in Georgia with headquarters in Albany.

Sunnyland Farms lost 5,000 pecan trees after Hurricane Michael yet learned to adapt to serve a global market with new healthcare protocols as it processed food and planted new varietals.

“Embrace change,” Willson said. “Don’t run from it.”

Since the pandemic, Colony Bank has launched the Colony Leadership Academy to serve 30 to 40 youth across the state in their junior and senior years of high school. Co-sponsored by the Fanning Leadership Institute at the University of Georgia, Colony has a special emphasis on financial literacy and youth development.

“We are trying to be proactive in serving others and do things that will have an impact down the road,” said Fountain said.

Wilson said her company has discovered ways be adaptable to employee needs doing everything from giving employees the afternoon off to vote on Election Day to a new work model of four, 10-hour work days so employees can spend more time with family.

“As a company we show our values through how we work,” Wilson said.


For More Information About the Albany Regional CEO Forum by goBeyondProfit and Georgia CEO, Contact Tyler Jacobs, Senior Marketing Advisor, goBeyondProfit, or 678-764-8628