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South Georgia Banking Company’s Neil Joiner to Retire after 35 Years of Service to Dooly County

December 31st will mark the end of Neil Joiner’s dedicated service to the banking industry of Dooly County. Joiner’s retirement comes after 35 years of banking; first as a loan officer and president for Bank of Dooly and eventually as City President for South Georgia Banking Company’s Vienna branch.



A native of Dooly County, Joiner graduated from Unadilla High School in 1970 and went on to pursue a degree in Business Management from Valdosta State University. He was a graduate of Georgia Banking School and received another degree from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.



Though his career in banking kept Joiner busy, he has also been an active member of the community. He served as a board member for the Dooly County Chamber of Commerce for over 30 years, and has been a long time member and serves as current chairman for several local development authorities including: Crisp-Dooly Joint Development Authority, Dooly County Industrial Development Authority, Vienna Development Authority and Vienna Downtown Development Authority.



Joiner has served in various positions with the Georgia Bankers Association (GBA) and the Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA), including several terms as Director of CBA.



Neil and his wife, Jane, have been married since 1974 and had triplets in 1978: Erin, Seth and Carrie. They now have four grandchildren: Abby, Melanie, Megan and Walt. The Joiner family is active in Vienna First Baptist Church where Neil currently serves as deacon, church pianist and Sunday school teacher.



Neil’s hobbies include writing, music and fishing. He is publishing his first book this year, an illustrated patriotic poem entitled, “What America Is” - which was inspired by his triplets who were five years old when he wrote the poem.



Joiner will be missed as both a hardworking and vibrant member of the South Georgia Banking Company family and the Dooly banking industry as a whole. SGBC will be holding a retirement reception in Joiner’s honor on Friday, December 11th from 3pm to 5pm at their Vienna location, 210 South 3rd Street. All are welcomed. Come help us celebrate Neil Joiner who believes that “George Bailey continues to provide the best example of what a banker should be.”

Cordele Inland Port to Begin Construction July 2010


The Crisp County Cordele Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Cordele Intermodal Services Inc. (CIS) have officially announced the completion of agreements between the Authority and CIS for construction and operation of the Cordele Inland Port in Crisp County Georgia.

The new Intermodal facility will be built and operated under a public private partnership between the Development Authority and CIS. CIS will operate the Inland Port and be the service provider to customers utilizing the new Intermodal facility.

The new port will be built in two phases, with construction of the first phase having begun this week on a 42 acre site owned by the IDA. An official groundbreaking is scheduled for July 14th. According to Jonathan Lafevers, CIS President and Chief Commercial Officer, the first phase facility will be in operation by the fall of 2010 with a capacity of 20,000 lifts per year. The new Inland Port will have space to store intermodal containers and chassis to be better positioned to serve customers in the Inland Port marketing area.  With the completion of the second phase of operations CIS will have the capacity to handle 100,000 annual lifts.  

This facility has been in the works for over 7 years and now has become a reality. The new Cordele Port is similar to the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal, Virginia which services the Port of Norfolk, Virginia. The Cordele Inland Port will provide direct container rail service to and from the Port of Savannah via Cordele. Containers originating in an area south, west and northwest of Cordele as far as 350 miles that are destined for overseas shipment will be brought by truck to Cordele for final shipment to Savannah. Containers entering the Savannah Port that are destined for this same area will be brought from Savannah to Cordele by rail and then transferred to truck for final delivery.

The Cordele Inland Port is being built in the center of a new 800+ acre industrial park being developed by Crisp County IDA.  Located directly on I-75, 120 miles south of Atlanta, the new industrial park is expected to become a magnet for companies needing sites for manufacturing or distribution and who require access to the Port of Savannah.  Overnight service for container traffic moving between the Cordele Port and Savannah will be provided by two short line rail operations, the Heart of Georgia Railroad and Georgia Central railroad.  Final movement into the Chatham Yard at the Port of Savannah will be handled by CSX Transportation.

Inland Ports are not a new concept, and several are in operation around the U.S. Benefits of these facilities are realized in reduced truck traffic and environmental pollution in major Port areas and a reduction of truck traffic on roads from the Seaport to the Inland Port. These Inland Port operations have attracted new industrial development by providing cost savings and more efficient service into the Seaport. The Cordele Inland Port will help to reduce congestion and mitigate pollution in Savannah while providing efficient and cost effective service for its users.  It is estimated that with completion of the Cordele Port in conjunction with the new industrial park, 2500 to 3000 jobs will be created over the next three to seven years as new industries locate to Cordele.

“The Georgia Ports Authority is pleased to see this new tool for economic development move closer to reality,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA’s Executive Director. “By improving rail connectivity between the ports and Southwest Georgia, Cordele, Crisp County and their partners are further opening the region to trade with international markets. As GPA expands to more than double its current container capacity, connectivity with the Cordele Intermodal facility will help Georgia continue to lead the region in transportation and logistics.”

“Georgia continues to see significant improvements in the volumes of cargo flowing into, out of and through our state. This upward trend is expected to continue, and potentially become more dramatic, and so we are always pleased to see improvements made to Georgia’s logistics ecosystem that will help meet these demands,” said Page Siplon, Executive Director, Center of Innovation for Logistics. “Logistics is a critically strategic industry for almost every business in Georgia and we need to continue to work hard to find creative ways to fuel the state’s competitiveness.”

“I am very excited about this project. I see this as a great enhancement to the Customer service that we provide here at our warehouse. With Cordele becoming an extension of the Port of Savannah, this will eliminate the drayage and weight limit issues as well as truck availability for our Merchants, said Twyla Tolbert, General Manager, Union Compress Company.”

“Cordele Intermodal Services will establish an instant market presence with our low cost structure and ancillary services that a typical truck dray company cannot match.  We have had ongoing discussions with a select group of shippers in our target market area that will be ready to use our service from day one.  We are very excited about the opportunities that this facility will bring to the surrounding area, said Jonathan Lafevers, President, of CIS.”

For more information contact Bruce Drennan, Cordele Crisp IDC, 229-273-9570,, or Jonathan Lafevers, President and CMO, CIS, 229-938-9343. .


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