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Long time New Ventures, Inc member remembered for dedicated service to community

A long-time member of New Ventures, Inc. and Chairman of the Board, Wayne Bartley, passed away recently after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Fellow board member J.M. Rawlinson remembers Wayne as “a quiet man, but he was also a very strong and deliberate person.”

“When problems arose, and decisive action was needed, he took it and never backed away from the challenge,” Rawlinson said. “His dedication to New Ventures was limitless — it knew no boundaries. For more than two decades, he gave of his time, effort, and wisdom to make it a better organization. He was always a pleasure to work with; always calm and steady. He loved his community, his church, and his family. Troup County, New Ventures, and all of us that knew him are better because he came our way.”

Bartley served New Ventures, Inc. as the Chairman of the Board for 11 years, and he was a board member for more than 15 years through many organizational transitions.

“Wayne was a very fair and honest man,” said New Ventures Marketing Specialist Anabeth Ivey. “He was committed to supporting New Ventures in good times and even when times weren’t so great. He always led with confidence and faith, knowing everything would work out as it should.”

His daughter, Kim Dunn, will take a seat on the New Ventures board as a way to honor his memory.

“We are excited to welcome Wayne’s daughter, Kim, to the board,” said New Ventures CEO Mike Wilson. “We hope she will bring some of the same wisdom, experience and strength to the team that Wayne did. Upon accepting the invitation, Kim said she was honored to be part of an entity that was such a true passion for her father.”

New Ventures described Bartley as a servant leader at heart. After 30 years of business with Bartley Electric Company of LaGrange, he remained very involved in the community because he wanted to continue making a difference.

“Wayne was a great asset to New Ventures because he was not the type of board member to just attend meetings and check it off his list, Wayne was invested in the success of New Ventures and the community impact we made,” Ivey said. “He was committed to helping us carry out our mission and supporting us in any way he could.”

Bartley was also a long-time member of the Rotary Club of LaGrange, a very active member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of LaGrange, a community volunteer and former Chairman of the Troup County Assessors Board.

“Wayne was a wonderful chairman of our board. His work ethic and consistency were incredible. He gave so unselfishly of himself, his time, and his resources to help New Ventures provide meaningful employment to those with disabilities and other barriers,” said David Kegel, New Ventures, Inc. board member. “He successfully guided NVI through the last two decades, navigating challenging times while substantially growing the reach and positive impact of New Ventures. We are especially grateful for Wayne’s leadership, and while we face the future without him, today we recognize we’re figuratively ‘standing on his shoulders’ and commit to carrying on his incredible leadership legacy.”