Thank you… from the bottom of my heart!

By: Chrissy Miner, President/CEO

In a few short days, I will depart my role as the CEO of my beloved 21st Century Partnership to pursue my dream of running my own business.  I am grateful to the board members, past and present, for entrusting me to lead the organization, after cutting my teeth as the COO beginning in 2012.  It has been an interesting ride… to say the least.

During my tenure I have seen the lulls and difficulties of Sequestration and the peaks of success at Robins with the largest employment ever, the 1200 in 12 campaign, Synergy, Blue Sky, etc.; tremendously impactful to the Region – on both sides of the spectrum. There are literally hundreds I would like to thank for their support and leadership – unfortunately, this column is not long enough to support such a task. However, please indulge me as I acknowledge a few “Robins’ Heroes” – in my view, for their tireless support of the Partnership in time, treasure and talents.

The gentlemen that acquainted and guided me in this business: Eddie Wiggins, retired Maj. Gen. Ron Smith and Secretary Bob McMahon. I am externally grateful for their trust, guidance and patience with me over the years. Current and Former Board Chairmen Dan Slagle, Rob Brooks, Mark Byrd and Brad Fink: These gentlemen provided solid leadership, mentorship and empowerment to help us do what needed to be done to be successful in our endeavors. Wayne Lowe: Never once missed a meeting and is always front and center in his support of Robins Air Force Base. Chairman Tommy Stalnaker: An unmatched supporter of Robins, friend and mentor, and always a steady hand of leadership. Sue Dryden: A defense leader that supported me through leadership transitions in my early days in the Partnership – and still looks out for me today. Bob Ray and John Rhea: my beloved “brothers”, for their support and leadership of the Foundation. Bob Hatcher and Bob Walker: both Bobs were literally in the room when the Partnership began and have been staunch supporters ever since. Our current Foundation Chairman, Bob Hatcher, has been the Chairman since its inception and has set the bar for servant leadership. He is a wonderfully respected leader and mentor to me.  Emily Myers: An incredibly smart and tenacious lady responsible for setting up the Foundation and raising literally millions of dollars in support of the Partnership. Our largest contributors Mayor Randy Toms and the City of Warner Robins, Mayor Reichert and the Macon/Bibb Commissioners, Chairman Stalnaker and the Houston County Commissioners, Peach and Twiggs County commissioners, as well as the cities of Centerville, Perry, Byron, and our regional city/county supporters that have always supported the important work of the Partnership – thank you!

Sponsors/Supporters: Including Five Star Automotive, The Park, Robins Financial Credit Union, Georgia Power Foundation, Cox, Cadence Bank, MERC, Parrish Construction, Flint Foundation, Fickling Family Foundation, the great Houston Home Journal and so many others; these patriots understand the tremendous impact of Robins and graciously support our efforts. Educational Partners: Middle Georgia State University, Mercer University and Central Georgia Technical College, Houston and Bibb BOEs – with special admiration to Drs. Chris Blake and Ivan Allen. Community Partners: Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Museum of Aviation, MERC, Dixie Crows, Regional Chambers and Development Authorities, with special love to my dear friends and power women, Angie Gheesling, Laura Mathis, April Bragg, Andi Mitchell, Lisa Fruge-Cirrili and Darlene McLendon – first-class community leaders and supporters of Robins AFB. Federal and State Legislators and their superb staffs, who literally carry the weight of ensuring the future is bright for Robins Air Force Base. Base leaders past and present and my former public affairs teammates: for working in lockstep with your community partners to propel success.  The incredible Partnership team, aka my “work family”. Dan, Jamie, Pat and Judy. I would go to war with this team and trust they would get me home safely.  You will not find a more loyal, hardworking team – I guarantee it! I am so grateful for all their efforts over the years to make us successful. My beautiful family, Steve and McKenna, for sharing me with the organization that I love and always supporting my endeavors. And finally, I thank God for granting me the opportunity to lead this organization… his hand has guided the great success that we have realized.

Ok… now is the exciting part. The part where I tell you that we are incredibly blessed to have the Partnership transition into great hands. You all have gotten to know retired Brigadier General John Kubinec over that last four years in his role as Air Logistics Complex Commander at Robins and have seen first-hand his commitment to Middle Georgia. I expect him to take the 21st Century Partnership to new heights and continue the trend of making Middle Georgia the strategic asset the Air Force and the Department of Defense will need far into the future.

As I mentioned, there are literally hundreds of others near and dear to me that I failed to mention…I will do my best to thank them in person, when possible.  In closing I would like to extend a final thanks in my official role, to those that I know, or may not know, who silently work to bolster the position of Robins now and well into the future. Thank you for all you do and will continue to do… to make us a Great American Defense Community! God Bless!