By Lauren McDonald lmcdonald@thebrunswicknews.com Nov 19, 2021

College of Coastal Georgia announced the establishment of a new center that will support entrepreneurship in the Golden Isles.

The college hosted an event Thursday to celebrate the unveiling of the new Art and Lindee Lucas Center for Entrepreneurship.

“This is a day that we’ve been waiting for some time,” said Michelle Johnston, president of the college. “And the College of Coastal Georgia is the incredible institution that we all know and love in large part due to caring and generous people who believe in our mission, who see the excellence of our faculty and our staff, who care about our students and who deeply understand the role of the college in the community.”

She noted that CCGA has made an economic impact of about $500 million in the last five years, and hundreds of service-learning and research projects have benefited the community as well.

“Art and Lindee Lucas are leading the charge to bring a long-time dream to reality,” Johnston said. “How appropriate for the man behind the center, in Art Lucas, to have lived and demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit for decades — for successful decades.”

Art Lucas founded the Lucas Group in 1970 and ran the company for 37 years as it grew into one of the nation’s leading executive recruitment firms.

He sold the business in 2007 and later returned to his McIntosh County roots by moving back to Coastal Georgia, where he founded Lucas Properties.

He also serves as a trustee for the college’s foundation, and he and his wife, Lindee Lucas, have funded the Arther and Lindee Lucas Endowed Scholarship for Entrepreneurship and the Arthur and Lindee Lucas Fellowship to support the college’s School of Business and Public Management.

“We are fortunate that he returned to the Georgia coast and began a second career immersing himself in the commercial real estate industry,” Johnston said. “And recently he has begun a large real estate development on the Darien waterfront with condominiums, a hotel and a restaurant.”

The new center will support economic development, business creation and other entrepreneurship efforts through academic programs, mentoring, consulting services, community events and partnerships.

“I have no doubt that this center will be transformative for the college and our community,” Johnston said.

Entrepreneurs have dreams, not just ideas, said Skip Mounts, dean of the college’s School of Business and Public Management.

“Not only do they have an idea, they have passion,” he said.

Mounts said he got to know Art Lucas and his brand of entrepreneurship pretty well in recent years, often through breakfast meetings at Cafe Frederica on St. Simons.

“Now, I must say, Art and I, we’ve eaten there so much we have established the ‘Lucas Table,’” Mounts said. “… I learned this. Art is a true entrepreneur because he dreams.”

Art Lucas said he can think of no better place to create an entrepreneurship center of this kind than at CCGA.

“We need more entrepreneurs here in the area, on the Georgia coast,” he said.

Entrepreneurship brings positive changes to communities through the creation of businesses and jobs and by adding a richness to the areas they impact, he said.

“We need more entrepreneurs,” he said. “We need more kids growing up who are going to stay here so hopefully this center can help implant some of these people right here on the Georgia coast.”

Republished with the permission of The Brunswick News. Originally published in The Brunswick News.