Floor and Committee Statements

“Mr. President, I would like to pay tribute to one other Georgian, the retiring chairman and CEO of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, David Connell.

“This is the kind of guy you really appreciate. He worked for 40 years at the Georgia Power Company. He had 12 different titles in 40 years. He was a great employee of that company, a great member of the community of Cobb County, a great private citizen, and great personal friend of mine.

“After 40 years of working there and retiring, the county had a big problem. The chamber of commerce had a scandal. It couldn’t find a leader and was losing its effectiveness. David volunteered to go in as a chamber board member and spent one year as chamber leader. He stayed there 15 years and led the chamber to new heights unprecedented in our state and in our county: an AAA bond rating in our county, new businesses coming and relocating, and even the now-famous relocation of the Atlanta Braves from downtown Atlanta to suburban Cobb County – one of the rare moves a professional team has ever made smoothly and easily. They made it because of David Connell.

“David will tell you that when the chamber board found out the Braves were interested in maybe talking about building a $750 million facility in the county, they asked David if he would stay until that was accomplished. He made the commitment to do so, and it took three-and-a-half years – three-and-a-half long years.

“It was a lot of effort, all in a circuitous nature because of the popularity of the Braves and what would have happened had it gotten out as a rumor that they were coming.

“David closed that deal this year. The Braves opened this season in a new stadium. With three-quarters of a billion dollar investment having been made, the county is more prosperous. David Connell made it happen.

“He announced this week that he is retiring after 40 years at the power company and 15 years at the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce. I want to take a moment on the floor of the Senate to say thank you to David Connell for what he has done for our county and our community, for our citizens and our families, and how proud I am as one of his friends.

“I thank him for a job well done. David, thank you. We are proud of you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America."