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County manager to chair Lanier Tech foundation
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A Dawson County man was recently elected to lead a foundation that supports Lanier Technical College.

Kevin Tanner, 39, who has served as vice chairman of the college's foundation board of trustees for the past 18 months, will begin his one-year term as chairman July 1.

He succeeds Gary Smith, who served as chair for three years and will remain on the board.

"I'm a strong believer in technical education, because not everyone is suited to attend college," Tanner said. "Technical schools fill a great void between that high school education and the folks furthering their education at the college level."

The foundation helped coordinate the site for Lanier Tech's new Dawson campus with the county, city of Dawsonville, local school system and state

The property is next to Dawson County Middle School.

"Hopefully, by summer of next year, we'll be moving into the new technical college in town," Tanner said. "It's just a great opportunity for Dawson County residents.

"I think you're going to see more and more of a partnership between the technical colleges and the high schools for more high school students to attend and get credit at both levels."

Russell Vandiver, president of the college, welcomed Tanner to the foundation's helm.

"He has brought energy and vision to the foundation board of trustees in his capacity of vice chair this past year," Vandiver said.

"We know that will continue as he leads this board of 21 business, industry and community leaders as they seek funds and donations to benefit the students of Lanier Tech and support the growth of the college's mission of work force development."

Tanner's relationship with Lanier Tech began more than 20 years ago, when he enrolled in the school's emergency medical technician program.

"Lanier Tech's a great technical school and has a great reputation across the state," he said.

The foundation also raises funds for scholarships, having awarded more than $70,000 to students this year.

Tanner said the foundation expects to help more students who could lose funding midway through their studies due to recent changes to the HOPE Scholarship.

"I think this is an opportunity for the community, any business or any individual, who has an interest in seeing the foundation successful, to step up and fill that void through charitable donations," Tanner said.