2019 By the Numbers


Expansions / Announcements


New Attraction Projects Worked


Additional Square Footage


New Job Opportunities


Total Investment

Business Development

The expansion and retention of companies already here and the attraction of those yet to come are SEDA’s ultimate goals. Meeting these goals means more job opportunities for our region, more investment all around us and ultimately a better quality of life for our community.

And that means in 2019, with the help of our partners, thousands of new job opportunities and millions in investment were created and we laid the groundwork on many initiatives that will pave the road for success for years to come.

WTC Savannah

For more than 85 years, the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) program has been instrumental in promoting international trade, economic development and job creation in the United States. 2019 proved to be another successful year in the history of FTZs, particularly within FTZ 104. World Trade Center Savannah is the grantee of FTZ 104 which covers 16 counties in Southeast Georgia.

In 2013, when WTCSav became the grantee of FTZ 104, the zone had eight operators. In 2019 alone, FTZ 104 welcomed five new operators bringing the total count to 19. The new operators include Keen Transport, Pacific Cycle, Shaw Industries, ELK Group International and Noble House. The 19 operators represent three manufacturing companies and 16 warehouse distribution facilities.

In 2019, FTZ 104 had 3,166 employees engaged in foreign-trade zone activities. FTZ 104 operators received $2.42 billion worth of merchandise and $1.7 billion through imports. Additionally, $2.22 billion in shipments left the zone with $158 million worth of goods being exported.

FTZ 104 also saw internal growth. One operator added three sites within the zone in 2019 because of continued expansion, bringing their total count to five sites and increasing their footprint in both Bryan and Chatham Counties since joining the program in 2014. This operator is just one example of the additional developments that are occurring.

The zone has experienced growth for a multitude of reasons. World Trade Center Savannah continues to proactively market the FTZ program to companies in the 16-county region that it serves through a structured approach backed by research identifying importers that should find value in the program based on their commodity, import volume and source of imports. Each November, WTCSav also hosts a half-day program open to the public to educate participants on the ins and outs of the program, its history, benefits and requirements.

Companies both big and small can reap the benefits of the program, and there are no export requirements that need to be met to become an operator. Foreign-Trade Zone operators enjoy duty exemption, duty deferral, duty reduction, merchandise processing fee reductions, streamlined logistics and quota avoidance. As of today, the companies that participate in the program in FTZ 104 are a combination of warehouse/distribution facilities and manufacturing companies, both multi-national and locally owned and represent a variety of industries.

Foreign-Trade Zones provide economic benefits to the Southeast Georgia region, the state and the nation. They offer a competitive advantage for United States-based manufacturing and distribution companies. As a result, jobs that otherwise might be located abroad are created and retained in the United States.

Map image with zone lines

Counties in Foreign-Trade Zone 104.

TradeBridge Brings Business Deals
In November 2019, WTCSav led its fourth and largest mission to Ireland that included 28 representatives and officials from six organizations in economic development, education and tourism. Targeted business development meetings were the primary focus of the trip as a part of TradeBridge.

Group photo of personnel in a warehouse

A group tours Burnside Hydracyl, a hydraulic cylinder manufacturing facility in Carlow County, Ireland. (From left to right) Burnside Hydracyl Managing Director Pat Byrne, Wexford Enterprise Center CEO Brendan Ennis, WTCSav Director of Research & Trade Development Jessie Jenkins, WTCSav Consultant Craig Lesser, SEDA Board Vice Chairman John Coleman, SEDA/WTCSav President & CEO Trip Tollison.

Savannah’s economic development leadership had the opportunity to advance investment leads during meetings and facility tours across three counties in Southeast Ireland, and management from nearly 50 businesses from Southeast Ireland attended a “Why Savannah?” luncheon to learn more about economic and investment opportunities in the Savannah region.

Additional activities included a meeting with Irish President Michael D. Higgins at the President’s residence in Dublin, Aras an Uachtarain, as well as a tour of the Dunbrody Famine Ship Museum, which is home to the Savannah Landing exhibit, and a ribbon-cutting for Georgia Southern University’s new learning center in Wexford.

“We have a strategic plan for our system, and it’s based on two core principles: student success and economic development,” said Don L. Waters, chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. “I can think of no better example of an opportunity to create student success and economic development than the Wexford learning center of Georgia Southern University.” Read more about the learning center grand opening here.

Group photo of people smiling

The Savannah delegation including WTCSav board member John Coleman, WTCSav President and CEO Trip Tollison and WTCSav Director of Research & Trade Development Jessie Jenkins with members of the Irish delegation.

Prosperity Through Trade Luncheon
World Trade Center Savannah hosted its inaugural Prosperity Through Trade Luncheon on May 9, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah. Chief Operating Officer of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Network, Carol Sawdye, was the keynote speaker. More than 300 people from across the region attended the event to celebrate global economic development.

Three people smiling for the camera

WTCSav President and CEO Trip Tollison, Chief Operating Officer of the PwC Network Carol Sawdye and WTCSav Chairman of the Board of Directors Scott Center at the WTCSav Prosperity Through Trade Luncheon.

The goals of the event, which was sponsored by the Georgia Ports Authority, were to highlight global economic development in the Southeast Georgia region and showcase the services, activities and partner companies of WTCSav, connect WTCSav to new businesses, people and organizations and recognize a regional company with the World Trade Center Savannah International Business of the Year Award. At the event, the World Trade Center Savannah International Business of the Year Award was presented to manufacturer Koyo Bearings from Screven County. The award, sponsored by Georgia Southern University, is presented to encourage and recognize exemplary corporate leadership for international business or trade that advances relations between the U.S. and other nations as well as creates quality jobs in the region.

Japanese-owned Koyo is global in scale, and the company exports 30 percent of its products through the facilities of the Georgia Ports Authority. Landing in Southeast Georgia in 1973 as the Torrington Company, Koyo Bearings has been in Screven County for 46 years. With 456 employees, the bearing manufacturer has nearly doubled its physical space while lifting the payroll to $30 million, annually.

It was also announced at the event that CZM Foundation Equipment, a family-owned and operated Brazilian company that manufactures various models of drilling equipment, will construct an approximately 40,000-square-foot expandable facility in the Interstate Centre II industrial park in Bryan County. The new facility will allow CZM to increase its machine manufacturing operations as well as research and development. In addition to announcing the new facility, the company also revealed plans to relocate its international headquarters and engineering operations from Brazil to Bryan County.

Two ladies smiling and posing for a photo

WTCSav Programs and Community Development Coordinator LeAndrea Mikell and WTCSav board member and 2019 Prosperity Through Trade Luncheon Chair Loretta Cockrum.

Men posing with an award

Koyo Bearings USA Andy Durrence with Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero after Koyo received the World Trade Center Savannah International Business of the Year Award presented by Georgia Southern University.

Accountants/CPA Firms
Contract Furnishings/ Interior Design
WTCSav Financials Actual Fiscal 2019
Fiscal 2019: Accrual Revenue covered 67% of the total $654,005 expenses (including allocated expenses).
Fiscal 2018: Accrual Revenue covered 61% of the total $589,139 expenses (including allocated expenses).

The assumptions are: Direct Allocation includes two direct payroll, taxes and pension, insurance benefits and telephone expenses. Indirect Allocation includes:

  • 75% of the Manager of Research and Trade Development
  • 30% of Vice President
  • 10% of President, Marketing and Finance
  • Automobile; office supplies/expenses; and office space expenses.
Since Inception
WTCSav 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Revenue $440,145 $360,152 $381,704 $346,953 $333,915 $276,349 $202,344 $8,636 $0
Expenses $259,284 $209,177 $212,376 $307,756 $245,747 $240,670 $213,183 $66,486 $308,630
Net Income before Allocations $180,861 $150,975 $169,328 $39,197 $88,168 $35,680 ($10,839) ($57,850) ($308,630)
Allocated Expenses $394,721 $379,962 $326,545 $369,428 $397,499 $372,415 $360,231 $0 $0
Net Income /(Loss) after Allocations ($213,860) ($228,987) ($157,217) ($330,231) ($309,331) ($336,735) ($371,070) ($57,850) ($308,630)
Accrual Income coverage 67.30% 61.13% 70.83% 51.23% 51.91% 45.08% 35.29% 12.99% 0.00%
Accrual Income coverage excluding SWTCI 67.68% 61.58% 71.63% 58.11% 56.53% 51.96% 37.90% 12.99% 0.00%
1 2019 Revenue includes Prosperity Through Trade Revenue of $47k - Net Income for event was $13,678
2 2017 Revenue includes Business Development Mission to Germany of $47k


Headshot of Kevin Jackson
Kevin Jackson

Chairman and CEO

Read Letter

Headshot of Trip Tollison
Hugh "Trip" Tollison

SEDA President & CEO

Read Letter

Headshot of Scott Center
Scott Center

Chairman, World Trade Center Savannah
National Office Systems

Read Letter

The SEDA Team

The SEDA Board of Directors

Office personnel posing for a group photo

Left to Right Back Row: Kalpesh Patel, Trey Thompson, Quentin Marlin, Frank Macgill, Nina Gompels, Bill Hubbard, Robert E. James, Truitt Eavenson, Reed Dulany, Kay Ford, Stephen S. Green, Cheri Dean
Front Row: Loretta Cockrum, John Coleman, Kevin Jackson, Joyce Roche’
Not pictured: Paul Hinchey, Greg Parker and Willie Seymore

2019 SEDA Board of Directors
  • Kevin JacksonChairman
  • John ColemanVice Chairman
    Bonitz of Georgia, Inc.
  • Paul HincheySecretary / Treasurer
    St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System
  • Loretta Cockrum
  • Cheri Dean
  • Reed Dulany
  • Truitt Eavenson
  • Kay Ford
  • Nina Gompels
  • Stephen S. Green
  • Bill Hubbard
  • Robert E. James
  • Frank Macgill
  • Quentin Marlin
  • Greg Parker
  • Kalpesh Patel
  • Joyce Roche´
  • Willie Seymore
  • Trey Thompson

World Trade Center Savannah Board of Directors

Office personnel posing for a group photo

Back Row Left to Right:Kalpesh Patel, Ted Dennard, Yvonne Long, Nina Gompels, Eric Johnson, Daren Pietsch, Dwight Evans, Joseph Bell, Joyce Roche, Dr. Kyle Marrero, David Paddison, Edna Jackson, Scott Center
Front Row: John Petrino, Laura Moore, John Coleman

2019 World Trade Center Savannah Board of Directors
  • Scott CenterChairman
    National Office Systems
  • John PetrinoVice Chairman
    Georgia Ports Authority
  • Laura MooreSecretary / Treasurer
  • Joseph Bell
  • Loretta Cockrum
  • John Coleman
  • Steve Croy
  • Eddie DeLoach
  • Dr. Cheryl Dozier
  • Ted Dennard
  • Dwight Evans
  • Micael Foran
  • Nina Gompels
  • William "Bill" Hill
  • Edna Jackson
  • Eric Johnson
  • Yvonne Long
  • Daren Pietsch
  • Ann Purcell
  • David Paddison
  • Joyce Roche´
  • Willie Seymore

The SEDA Staff

Office personnel posing for a group photo

Back Row: Jennifer Collins, Leigh Ryan, Antwone Smoak, Leigh Acevedo, Trip Tollison, Leia Dedic, Angela Hendrix, LeAndrea Mikell, Liz Poole, Jessie Jenkins
Front Row: Katie Schuck, Beth McLaughlin, Jen Bonnett, Jesse Dillon, Mark Sprosty, Beth Nelson, Renee Leventis

The SEDA Staff
  • Trip TollisonPresident and CEO SEDA and World Trade Center Savannah
  • Mark SprostyVice President of Finance, Administration & Compliance
  • Leia DedicVice President of Strategy and Partnerships
  • Jesse DillonVice President of Business Development
  • Jen BonnettVice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Angela HendrixDirector of Marketing and Public Relations
  • Leigh AcevedoDirector of Business Retention and Workforce Initatives
  • Jennifer CollinsBusiness Development Project Manager
  • Beth McLaughlinExecutive Assistant and Office Manager
  • Liz PooleMarketing and Public Relations Coordinator
  • Antwone SmoakAdministrative Assistant/Front Desk
    & Intern Program Coordinator
  • Leigh RyanVice President
    World Trade Center Savannah
  • Jessie JenkinsDirector of Research and Trade Development
    World Trade Center Savannah
  • LeAndrea MikellPrograms and Community Development Coordinator
    World Trade Center Savannah
  • Beth NelsonExecutive Director
    Savannah Regional Film Commission
  • Renée LeventisOffice Manager
    Savannah Regional Film Commission
  • Katie SchuckLocation Specialist
    Savannah Regional Film Commission
  • Ralph SingletonEntertainment Industry Liaison
    Savannah Regional Film Commission
  • Andy YoungLocation Scout/Photographer
    Savannah Regional Film Commission

The Financials

Independent Auditor’s Report

To the Board of Directors of
Savannah Economic Development Authority

We have audited the consolidated statements of net position of the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) and affiliates, as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, and the related consolidated statements of revenues, expenses, and changes in fund net position and of cash flows for the years then ended.

The accompanying condensed financial information of SEDA as of and for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 is not a presentation in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Reading the condensed financial statements; therefore, is not a substitute for reading the audited financial statements of SEDA.

Management’s Responsibility
Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the consolidated financial statements.

Auditor’s Responsibility
Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the consolidated financial statements based on our audit.

In our opinion, the accompanying condensed financial information is fairly stated, in all material respects, in relation to the portion of the basic financial statements from which it has been derived.

Other Matters
SEDA has not presented the management’s discussion and analysis that the Governmental Auditing Standards Board has determined is necessary to supplement, although not required to be a part of, the basic financial statements.

Holland, Henry & Bromley, LLP
Holland, Bromley, Barnhill & Brett, LLP
Savannah, Georgia
April 13, 2020

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Condensed Consolidated Statements of Net Position

December 31 December 31
Assets 2019 2018
Total Assets $61,202,777 $42,724,301
Cash and Cash Equivalents $15,178,037 $4,947,128
Investments $22,301,775 $19,409,073
Capital Assets - Net of Accumulated Depreciation $5,282,080 $6,427,850
Real Property Held for Sale or Development $17,016,139 $8,437,451
Other $1,424,746 $3,502,799
Deferred Outflows of Resources 2019 2018
$1,109,848 $1,197,468
Liabilities 2019 2018
Total Liabilities $4,394,582 $6,166,075
Current Liabilities $4,394,582 $3,120,000
Noncurrent Liabilities $0 $3,046,075
Deferred Inflows of Resources 2019 2018
$218,097 $164,574
Net Position 2019 2018
$57,699,946 $37,591,120

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Fund Net Position For the Years Ended December 31, 2019 and 2018

2019 2018
Total Net Position - Beginning of the Year $37,591,120 $36,134,965
Total Net Position - End of the Year $57,699,946 $37,591,120
Operating Revenues $7,902,492 $7,507,140
Operating Expenses ($7,027,897) ($7,014,322)
Nonoperating Revenues (Expenses) $19,234,231 $963,337
Net Income $20,108,826 $1,456,155