PRESS RELEASE Henry Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell Delivers 2024 State of the County Address

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Alyssa Eubanks


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For Immediate Release:
Thursday, April 11, 2024

Henry Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell Delivers 2024 State of the County Address
Over 300 Attend Annual Address at Grace Baptist Church ATL

HENRY COUNTY, GA – On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, the Council for Quality Growth hosted the 2024 State of Henry County Address in partnership with Henry County and the Henry Chamber of Commerce at Grace Baptist Church ATL in Stockbridge. A crowd of more than 300 Council and Chamber members, elected officials, businesses, residents, county staff, and partners of Henry County attended the annual address to hear from Henry County Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell. This year’s breakfast was presented by Geosam Capital Group and Truist.

Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell began her 4th State of the County address full of optimism for the growth and future that lies ahead for Henry County.  Henry County has seen exponential growth, from 50,000 residents to 250,000 since 1970. Chairwoman Harrell reported 1,600 new jobs and over $1 billion in commercial investment just last year. Ranked the 7th best county across the U.S. for business growth, Henry County has no intention of slowing down. Coming in the next couple of years are major investments like Hyundai’s meta plant for electric vehicles, Renewal by Andersen’s advanced manufacturing facility, and NewCold’s large-scale distribution center, which is Henry County’s single largest investment at $333 million, expected to create 200 jobs.

The Chairwoman also highlighted small businesses, like Southern Belle Farm, and efforts from the Henry County Chamber, the Development Authority, and Southern Crescent Technical College to support entrepreneurs and local businesses. “To say that Henry is open for business is an understatement,” said Harrell. “We are proactive in our pursuit of greater opportunity.”

Harrell addressed housing directly. “Growth is only a good thing if everyone can afford to be part of it,” she said. She’s prioritizing housing efforts that support the county’s workforce, stating that her Board of Commissioners examined and re-wrote development standards during last year’s moratorium on multifamily projects. “I promise you that we understand just how important housing affordability is,” she said. Harrell is part of an ACCG housing task force, ARC’s housing action committee, and a national housing taskforce.

Transportation is another priority in Henry County. “Investments in road and bridges, in trails and transit, are helping us transition from dirt roads to a 21st century infrastructure that meets the demands of our day,” said Harrell. She credited the taxpayer’s SPLOST dollars for the resurfacing of nearly 200 county roads in the last 2 years, in addition to countless other road improvements, widening, extensions, and sidewalks. Harrell is pushing for SPLOST 6 to be on the ballot this November. Other transportation initiatives include a new Airport Authority and hangar development plan and a micro-transit service in McDonough.

Chairwoman Harrell also addressed the county’s growing demands for quality-of-life improvements. The county prioritized senior resident assistance through the provision of over 160,000 meals, the future “Senior Wellness and Activity Megaplex,” and the award-winning Southern Grace Hospice. In 2023, Henry County won Georgia Recreation and Parks Association State Agency of the Year after completing numerous park projects and breaking ground on future facilities. Piedmont Henry Hospital received multiple awards for their excellence in treating patients, and they have plans to start a $212 million expansion to transform their quality of care.

Henry County’s public safety also remains a priority with improvements and upgrades. In 2023, the police department opened a new precinct, received a grant from the state to purchase Flock Raven devices to expedite response times, and began the design process for a new emergency service and 911 call response building.

At the conclusion of her address, Chairwoman Harrell presented the 2024 Henry Hero Awards to Southern Belle Farms, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Southern Grace Hospice, and the leadership from Henry’s Public Safety Department. The Desai Award recognized Corporal Daniel Podsiadly of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department for his heroic work on duty. The Barham Leadership Award honored Kevin Johnson, Emergency Management Director, for his leadership in the department.

Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell is dedicated to the growth of Henry’s transportation, housing, and public safety through the work of ‘Team Henry.’ “Growth is very much the greatest challenge we face,” she said. “And yet, it’s also our greatest opportunity, so long as we meet it together.” All Henry County staff in attendance dawned custom Henry County jerseys as the Dutchtown High School drumline played the Chairwoman off stage.

[Chairwoman Carlotta Harrell delivers the 2024 State of Henry Address]

The Council’s State of Henry County annually convenes the county’s business community with its local government bodies, as well as with other local leaders from across the region. “It’s great to hear about all the progress and potential in Henry County,” said Michael E. Paris, President & CEO of the Council, “We look forward to a productive partnership as Chair Harrell continues to prioritize housing, transportation, and other quality of life issues over the next year.”

The State of Henry also featured video presentations from Geosam Capital Group and remarks from Ron Alston, Senior Vice President, Not-For-Profit & Government Banking Leader of Truist. Attendees heard from Sally Riker, 2024 Chair of the Council for Quality Growth, Danny Johnson, Managing Director of the Natural Resources Department of the ARC’s Metro North Georgia Water Planning District, and Cheri Matthews, Henry County Manager. Mayor Andre Dickens filmed an introductory video and remarks as a surprise to the Chairwoman.

A photo gallery will be available in the coming days at


[From left: Michael Paris, Ron Alston, Danny Johnson, Cheri Matthews, Chairwoman Harrell,
Sally Riker, Patrick Brooks, and Martin Pham]

About the State of the County/Agency Series
The Council for Quality Growth hosts 10 ‘State of’ events across the region, including 8 counties and 2 agencies. We work in close collaboration with the office of the County Chairs in Cherokee, Clayton, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale, as well as with leadership at MARTA and the Atlanta BeltLine, to provide a platform for our counties and agency partners deliver an annual update on achievements, projects, and the future that is specifically geared toward the business community and the Council’s membership. A full calendar of the Council’s 2024 Signature Events, including the State of the County/Agency series, can be viewed and downloaded here: 2024 Programs Calendar

About the Council for Quality Growth
The Council for Quality Growth is a trade organization that works to ensure continued growth and economic success for generations to come by providing advocacy, information, and education to its members. In its 39th year, the Council is committed to the mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth and is proactively involved in the formulation of policy and legislation critical to the growth and development industry. The Council addresses, head-on, strategic economic planning, infrastructure needs, and tough quality-of-life issues throughout the metro Atlanta region and state. For more information, please visit