Story to leave Archway

Habersham County Archway Professional Rick Story has announced he will leave the University of Georgia’s Archway program to take a position at North Georgia Technical College. He will begin as NGTC’s vice president for economic development July 18, and his last day with Archway will be July 8.
“I am very excited about this new opportunity and look forward to being a part of the team at North Georgia Technical College,” Story said in a June 6 email to Habersham County’s Archway partners.
“I certainly appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to work with all of you over the past four years, and cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of you both personally and professionally,” Story continued. “I’m certainly not going far, and I am thankful for the opportunity to continue working with all of you in the community we all know and love.”
Story told The Northeast Georgian Tuesday he will be taking the position vacated by Mark Ivester, who has recently been named NGTC’s president, to replace retiring president Gail Thaxton. Story said NGTC is “a great group of folks,” and “in some ways, it’ll be a continuation of my Archway work, in terms of what I’m doing community-wise.”
Story, who lives in Rabun County, said, “I’m really happy I get to stay in the area, which is home.”
Habersham County Archway Partnership Facilitator Mike Mixon told The Northeast Georgian, “Archway will be fine.”
“I knew it was possible,” Mixon said of Story’s departure. “I hate to see him go, but I certainly understand it’s a great opportunity for him. But I think Archway is in good hands. There’s a great support staff at the University [of Georgia] that will keep moving us forward, and I think Rick will stay involved.”
“With our graduation date (from Archway) looming, it’s probably a good move for everybody,” Mixon added.
Mixon said he believes UGA will appoint another Archway professional to Habersham County, though, as the county plans to graduate from the program, it’s unknown how much longer Habersham will be an Archway community.
“There are several people qualified to step into that position, and it’ll be a fairly easy transition for us,” he said. “It’ll be somebody who’s been involved with us. We won’t be starting from scratch.”
“He’s going to be in the community, and I think it’s good for us as a community to be able to hang onto him,” Mixon said of Story. “But I think as an Archway community, we’ll be fine.”
During the Habersham County Archway Executive Committee meeting held June 1, Sue Chapman, Archway’s coordinator of operations, announced she is leaving the Archway program to take a position with the University of Georgia Extension Service.
When reached for comment, Rob Gordon, Archway Partnership director, said he is grateful to Story and Chapman for their “service and dedication to the Habersham County Archway Partnership.”
“On behalf of Archway, we appreciate the hard work and dedication they’ve provided to support work of the Archway Partnership Executive Committee,” Gordon said.
About bringing in replacements for Story and Chapman, Gordon said, “One of our other operations coordinators, Sharon Liggett, will be immediately working with Sue and Rick on a smooth transition for Habersham and will provide immediate support for the community in addressing the revised work plan approved by the executive committee.
“Archway is looking forward to continuing our partnership with Habersham as an active community through graduation and as an alumni Archway community beyond graduation,” Gordon added.

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