GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson Named ‘Georgian of the Year’ by Georgia Trend

Georgia Trend Pat

Coming off a record-breaking year of economic successes, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is celebrating yet another achievement as Commissioner Pat Wilson was recently named the 2023 “Georgian of the Year” by Georgia Trend.

The award recognizes Commissioner Wilson as the top salesperson for the state and commends his work promoting the advantages of Georgia to attract investments and create jobs.

Sonny Perdue and PatAuthored by Editor Kenna Simmons, the cover story captures the nuance expressed by Wilson in accepting the award: he credits the state’s success with the team approach Georgia takes when conducting business. It also highlights Wilson’s personal focus on the importance of keeping relationships strong at every level, including with partners and businesses across the state and the globe.

In the six years since Wilson was appointed as economic development Commissioner by former Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia has maintained its place as the No 1. state in the nation to do business, a recognition the state earned for the ninth consecutive year in 2022.

David Ralston Nathan Deal Pat“I think Pat, while he’s had great gubernatorial support, deserves a lot of the credit for Georgia being one of the best places to grow a business by communicating all the great things that the Georgia governor and legislature have done during those years,” Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue told Georgia Trend.

Wilson’s leadership and focus on relationship-building has helped Georgia play the long game in attracting business and fostering its growth. In August 2022, GDEcD announced that in FY22, investments in expansions and new locations totaled more than $21.2 billion and would create 51,132 direct new jobs in the state – both new records for Georgia.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s work providing solutions for companies and keeping communication open were two key factors that helped Georgia land two of its largest-ever investments in FY22.

Kemp and PatWilson has a passion for selling Georgia.

“I get a little emotional sometimes when I talk about the people who’ve come up and told me how their jobs have changed their lives. This is a special position to be in and I’m grateful every day for the governors who’ve given me the chance to do this,” Wilson told Georgia Trend.

In addition to Wilson, GDEcD teammates Lee Thomas, who serves as Director of the Georgia Film Office, and David Nuckolls, Executive Director of the Center of Innovation, were also recognized in Georgia Trend’s lists for their contributions to the state.

In Georgia, economic development is a team sport, and GDEcD is proud to be the “quarterback” that brings partners across the state together to make business happen.

Learn more about why business wants what Georgia has at

-Posted January 19, 2023