Q&A with Jannine Miller, GDEcD Director for the Center of Innovation for Logistics

Victoria Borges

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Jannine Miller has just joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development team as the new director for the Center of Innovation for Logistics. We sat down with her to get to know her background, her vision and also what attendees can expect at this year’s Georgia Logistics Summit.

You’ve had a very solid career in both the public and private sector around transportation and logistics. You’re obviously very motivated. What is it that drives you?

Whether it’s through my time with the Georgia Regional Transit Authority, the Governor’s Office, or at The Home Depot, always seeing opportunity to make things more efficient and more effective is what has kept me most motivated. To me, there’s this idea about transportation and logistics—that something is here and needs to get there—and this value that is created in that connection that really appeals to me. It’s what I love about business and what we’re able to do here in Georgia because we have those efficient, effective connections that most other places don’t have. 

What drew you to government, and specifically to transportation and logistics?

I was two semesters into my MBA program at Georgia Tech and I remember standing on the platform one day waiting for the MARTA train to come. I looked over and could see the Capitol behind me and thought, “That is where things happen, that’s where a difference is made.” So I changed my masters track from business administration to public administration and loved it. I made great connections and took on projects about transportation. It was something that I just knew I wanted to do.

Why the Center of Innovation for Logistics? Why is this the next chapter in your career?

The Center of Innovation for Logistics sits at the emergence of both the public and private sectors, and at the same time the merging of transportation, logistics and economic development. There is so much our transportation network does for the movement of people and goods here in Georgia that is leaps and bounds better than what other states have to offer, and that’s what drew me to it. The Center showcases the value that Georgia’s logistics infrastructure provides for a company’s supply chain network and helps them strategize for their business. Businesses want to be here and the state has created a very favorable business climate for them to do so. 

You’re coming on at quite a fun time for the Center. The Georgia Logistics Summit is happening at the end of March and planning is in full swing. What can businesses and logistics professionals expect at the conference?

They can expect the opportunity to network with the best in logistics. We draw more than 2,000 professionals. And that’s 2,000 opportunities to network, to collaborate, and to find more efficient ways of doing business. They can also expect new things. Our topics this year will include e-commerce, perishables, and intermodal, which are seeing a lot of growth right now. And we’ll also hear from Craig Menear, the new CEO of The Home Depot, and his perspective on e-commerce.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The pinnacle of my career, when I was just like, “Wow, I’ve made a difference,” is the first time I drove on the I-85 HOT toll lanes. I led the project initially, and it was incredible to see my dream there and available for people to use on a daily basis—to help them get to that airplane on time, that job interview on time, or their kids baseball game. That was the height of my career to date.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position with the Centers?

I hope to be a voice and a real “agitator”–not in a negative sense–but a catalyst for our economic success going forward. This department has done phenomenal work under Gov. Deal and Commissioner Carr and with the economy now picking up, we have the ingredients for explosive success. I just want to be a part of contributing to this team and this state’s success and in helping make Georgians lives better.