In this episode of the Smart Community podcast, I have a great chat with Deke Copenhaver, the author of "The Changemaker: the Art of Building Better Leaders”. Deke was Mayor of Augusta, Georgia for 9 years, and is currently the principal of Copenhaver Consulting. Deke and I met when I visited the US in January 2020 and we were introduced by our good friend Kerry Grace. Deke tells us about his background in business, real estate and land conservation, and how that sparked his interest in Smart Communities, which only deepened in his time as Mayor of Augusta. Deke shares what both Smart Community and leadership means to him and why long-term thinking is key to both, plus why he thinks Millennials will be the next great generation of leaders. Deke and I discuss some of his favourite community projects while in office, including the Laney Walker Bethlehem Revitalisation Project, and how the community engagement aspects worked in that project. We talk a bit about COVID and how Deke has been moving through this time, and the emerging trends of the mental health aspects of the pandemic, as well as the virtual work and digital divide aspects too. We finish our chat discussing some of Deke’s favourite Smart Community resources. As always we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.
Connect with Deke on LinkedIn
or @dekecopenhaver on Twitter and Instagram