Ryan Forrest recognized early that proper development would allow him to enhance his quality of life, not just earn a living. A three-time recipient of Southern Company’s Southern Excellence Award, Ryan said his time at Southern Crescent Technical College helped him polish essential skills and a work ethic.
His higher education route started at Southern Crescent Technical College with a Diploma in Carpentry in 2011, followed by the completion of two Associate of Applied Science Degrees, Applied Technical Management in 2012 and Business Management in 2013. He continued his education at Mercer University and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and Informatics and Human Computer Interaction in 2016.
“Southern Crescent Technical College is a great avenue that allows you to further yourself both personally as well as professionally. SCTC helped me polish the essential skills and good habits I already had, which employers desire. After attending, I felt confident in continuing my education, and I felt relieved that my career options had grown.”
Southern Company is a large American gas and electric utility holding company based in Atlanta, where Ryan works as a business analyst. Ryan joined Georgia Power Company, one of Southern Company’s retail electric companies, in 2006 as a field service representative. He graduated from Fayette County High School in 2003 and went on to serve in the United States Air Force. In 2006, he transitioned to the Air Force reserves and began his career with Georgia Power.
“Not many people know what they will do for the rest of their lives after high school,” Ryan said. “The purpose of development is not to make more money. If you know what you love to do, and you become the best at it, you will never have to worry about job security.
“I became an analyst for Southern Company in 2014, but it took hard work and lots of planning to figure out my passions. I continued to advance with work as well as college. As I took on new opportunities, my educational journey shifted focus to various areas.”
Jeremy Bowden, Supervisor of Application Development at Southern Company, said Ryan is a well-rounded Application Analyst who lets his results speak for themselves. “His diverse background has set him up for success as a subject matter expert in Southern Company's rates and billing department,” Jeremy said. “Ryan handles all of Southern Company's electric utility's tax changes as well as various rate changes. He also generates and implements innovative ideas to streamline processes that add value to our department. Ryan is detail oriented, inquisitive, works with minimal supervision, escalates issues quickly, and seeks guidance when needed to ensure deadlines are met and quality is obtained.”
Ryan received the Southern Excellence Award in 2015 for outstanding performance of requirements, elicitation, analysis and documentation. In 2017, he received the Southern Excellence Award for business and process innovation, and in 2018 he claimed the honor for achieved goals while delivering high-quality work during a high-demand period. He was recognized this year by Southern Company for 10 years of perfect attendance.
“People take notice of individuals who are passionate about their craft and are devoted to a skill,” he said. “These are the folks I want on my team! I would rather work with someone who shows up every day and doesn’t have much experience, instead of the most experienced individual who is not reliable.”
He recognizes that the SCTC carpentry program was one of the most helpful experiences in his life. “I found a personal passion and an awesome hobby,” Ryan said. “Having the skills to build and a fundamental knowledge of construction have allowed me to add value at home.”
Ryan and his spouse, Lindsey, live in Fayetteville. Ryan acknowledges he has saved the couple thousands of dollars with his carpentry skills through the years. He has built and repaired furniture, refinished kitchen cabinets, reconstructed a fireplace as well as installed and refinished flooring at home. He also built a 12x12 shed/workshop at his previous home.
Ryan is also committed to his community. He used his facilitation, organizational and effective communication skills as he served as a volunteer for the Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in February and as the event committee co-chair for the Georgia Power Company ‘PRIDE Power’ in 2017.
He also participates in the Atlanta Heart Walk annually and has been a member of the AIDs Walk team since 2014. “I'm raising awareness and money because I want to see every life thriving!” Ryan said. “With everyone’s support, we can really make a difference for those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS right here in Atlanta.”
Do you know any alumni of Southern Crescent Technical College (formerly Flint River Tech or Griffin Tech) who contribute to their community and inspire others to do the same? We’d like to reach out to them as a potential spotlight as well. Send their name and contact information to Foundation@sctech.edu.
*Southern Crescent Technical College was formed in 2010 as a result of a merger between Flint River Technical College in Thomaston and Griffin Technical College in Griffin. Southern Crescent Technical College is a public, accredited, two-year post-secondary college serving the workforce and community needs of the citizens of the South Atlanta region including Butts, Fayette, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties. Currently offering over 200 programs in the areas of allied health, business, computers, technical/industrial and professional and personal services, Southern Crescent Technical College trains students in the latest technology through programs that are specifically designed to meet the needs of local business and industry. From short certificate programs to diploma programs to associate degree credit programs, the College offers students the state-of-the-art training needed for students to make a swift transition into the workforce and help stimulate the economic growth and development of this community. In addition, Southern Crescent Technical College offers Adult Education/GED preparation courses and specifically designed industry training and continuing education courses to train today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce.