Improving the lives of others has always been a passion for Donna Armstrong Lackey ’85.
Through that passion, she has achieved an outstanding career over the past 30 years. From her 10 years directing the regional planning commission, 12 years as a director in the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce to her current position as the director of the University of West Georgia’s Office of Public Service and Outreach, her work in community development has not gone unnoticed.
Lackey was recently appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as a 3rd Congressional District representative on the state’s Department of Community Affairs Board of Directors.
“The board’s mission is to ensure all Georgians enjoy the opportunity to live, work and thrive in strong, vibrant communities,” Lackey explained. “Having dedicated my career to improving life in the West Georgia community, I am so excited and honored to be part of that mission.”
According to Lackey, the board works to achieve this goal by strengthening rural areas and leveraging public-private partnerships, in addition to creating affordable housing opportunities for low- to moderate-income individuals across the state. As of right now, their focus is on broadband expansion.
The board recently released a new, more accurate map that identifies areas in Georgia that are not served by high-speed internet or broadband service. The new map reflects more than 5 million locations in all 159 Georgia counties. Nearly 70 percent of these locations are in rural areas.
“Donna’s appointment to the DCA board is a testament to her expert knowledge and experience in the economic development space,” said Russell Crutchfield, UWG’s associate vice president and chief of staff. “She is an incredibly valuable contributor to the region and community’s economic development in West Georgia.”
Lackey graduated from UWG with a master’s degree in public administration in 1985. She has been a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association for more than 30 years. In addition, she represents UWG on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Advisory Committee on Community Engagement and Service and the USG Economic Development Committee.
Lackey hopes to continue her support of UWG through her new appointment. She thinks having firsthand knowledge of the state’s technical assistance programs will help the university engage in research and give talented graduates a chance at great employment opportunities.
“I’m just honored there was enough faith in me from both the governor and the DCA commissioner to appoint me to this position,” Lackey concluded. “I am also excited because I think there is a lot that not only I can bring to the board but also that community affairs can bring back home to West Georgia. I’ll be keeping my ears open at every opportunity that may benefit UWG.”