Jane Fryer, executive director of the Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority, assumed the presidency of the Korea Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce at its board meeting held at the Kia Training Center in West Point on Jan. 13.
Ms. Fryer is a veteran economic developer who served as president of the LaGrange Chamber of Commerce & Development Authority from 1973-2011 until she moved to her Meriwether County post in November 2011.
During a telephone interview from her office in Greenville, she told Global Atlanta that she was active in the state’s efforts to attract the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant to West Point in neighboring Troup County and continues to encourage suppliers to settle in the area.
“We’re roughly between Atlanta and the Alabama line that is 25 miles away,” she said. “The airport (Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) is only 45 miles away, which the Koreans, who have to travel back and forth, appreciate.”
She added that Meriwether includes the furthest point north where a supplier can settle if it wishes to be in close enough proximity to the Kia plant. Korean auto supplier Mando America Corp. and its affiliate Mando Casting both have facilities in Meriwether County as does doorframe manufacturer Dongwong Autopart Technology Georgia LLC.
While she said that she hopes to expand the chamber’s membership to include more representatives of both Georgia and Alabama companies with Korean connections, her immediate task is to assure that the annual dinner is a success.
The dinner is to be held at the Kia Training Center the evening of Thursday, Jan. 28. Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and Randy Jackson, Kia senior vice president of human resources and administration, are to be the keynote speakers.
Outgoing president, C. H. Andy Kim, chairman and CEO of the Duluth-based Corman Group, wished Ms. Fryer well as she assumes chamber’s presidency for the next two years.
Over Mr. Kim’s term, the chamber held a number of successful programs and launched its new website. Among its activities were the joint luncheon with the Korea Economic Institute of America and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta where Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to Korea and Ahn Ho-young, Korea’s ambassador to the U.S., both briefed the attendees with the relations between the two countries.
The chamber also hosted Bryant Trick, deputy assistant, U.S. Trade Representative, and Gheewhan Kim, minister for economic affairs at the Korean embassy in Washington, who provided an overview of the improvements in trade between the Korea and the U.S. due to its free trade agreement.
In addition, the chamber gave James Laney, former ambassador to Korea and former president of Emory University, a lifetime achievement award.
The directors also approved the following vice presidents: Jane Caraway, senior project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development; Chaney Park, Korean Air’s general manager based in Atlanta and Arndt Siepmann, director of industrial development, Auburn, Ala. Angela Levin agreed to continue her services as the chamber’s secretary.