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People in the News

Oct 31 - People in the News

Jean Neils-Strunjas has been named coordinator for the communication sciences and disorders program at Armstrong Atlantic State University. She will oversee both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs and manage the RiteCare Center, the program’s clinic located in the Savannah Mall.

Neils-Strunjas comes to Armstrong from the University of Cincinnati, where she served as professor and director of graduate studies in communication sciences and disorders under the College of Allied Health Sciences, which serves more than 500 students, including 200 in graduate studies.

“Jean’s background and experience will help her provide strong direction and support for our students pursuing careers as speech-language pathologists,” said Shelley Conroy, Armstrong dean of the College of Health Professions. “Her experience working in a community setting will also benefit the RiteCare Center and the clients we serve.”

Neils-Strunjas is the author of multiple refereed journal articles and book chapters in the area of speech-pathology and communication disorders.

She holds a Ph.D. and a master’s in speech-language pathology from Case Western Reserve University. She earned a bachelor’s in speech pathology and audiology from Pennsylvania State University at University Park.


Savannah Technical College has hired Amy Shaffer, APR, as its director of communications. She will be responsible for media relations, public relations, marketing and special events for the college.

“I am pleased to welcome Amy to our team,” said STC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and Communications Gail Eubanks. “Her range of experience will bring tremendous value to Savannah Tech.”

Shaffer steps into the role Eubanks held for nearly a decade. Eubanks’ responsibilities will focus on fund-raising and institutional advancement for the college.

As an award-winning, marketing communications and accredited public relations professional, Shaffer has nearly two decades of experience. She has a strong background in strategic communications and creative direction, as well as print and design for marketing materials. Prior to joining Savannah Technical College, she served as manager of communications for the Georgia Ports Authority where she was managing editor for the GPA’s corporate magazine, annual report and other publications.

Shaffer holds a master of science degree in communications from the University of Tennessee and bachelor’s degrees in journalism/business communications and English from the University of Kansas. She is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America.


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler has announced that Curtis Dyal of Chatham County has won the Georgia Department of Labor’s (GDOL) Distinguished Safety Advocate Award for workplace safety. Dyal is an ironworker and superintendent at Milton J. Wood Company in Garden City near Savannah. 

Dyal won the award because of his work with the company’s Behavior-Based Safety program, which insures the safety of workers as they perform their various crafts.

Deputy Labor Commissioner Melanie Stockwell of Atlanta presented the award on behalf of Commissioner Butler at the 18th annual Georgia Safety, Health, and Environmental Conference held recently in Savannah.

There are more than 200,000 employers in Georgia, representing a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, trade, and services. Companies that provide safe workplace environments better ensure that their workforce will remain healthy and productive.  

GDOL’s awards program annually recognizes the “best of the best” for achievement in workplace health and safety. Dyal was one of nine companies and individuals who received awards at the conference.


The Coastal Bank is pleased to announce the recent hire of Jamie DeLoach as branch manager at the Rincon office.

In his new position, DeLoach will execute management of all staff responsibilities, actively market the bank’s products and services to surrounding communities and originate loans to new and existing customers in Effingham County.

Prior to joining The Coastal Bank, DeLoach worked as credit manager at Coastal Concrete, where he handled all accounts receivable. He also previously held a management position at Citizens Bank of Effingham County and served as a financial advisor for Wachovia Securities.

“We’re delighted to welcome Jamie to The Coastal Bank,” said Jim LaHaise, executive vice president and chief banking officer at The Coastal Bank. “His comprehensive knowledge of the financial industry and customer service experience will be great assets to The Coastal Bank customers in Effingham County.”

DeLoach earned an M.B.A. and a B.B.A. in Marketing from Georgia Southern University. He actively participates in community service and serves as an Ambassador for the Effingham County Chamber, a member of the YMCA Board of Directors and a member of the Effingham County Exchange Club.

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