Experts to discuss impact and future of tourism during Kennesaw State forum

KENNESAW, Ga. | Sep 26, 2022

Georgia’s more than $50 billion tourism industry will be the topic of Kennesaw State University’s inaugural Campus to Community Forum at 10 a.m. on Sept. 29.

Panelists Leonard Jackson, director of KSU’s Hospitality Management program, Kim Franz, director of programs and events for Cobb Travel & Tourism, and Dale Kaetzel, park president for Six Flags Over Georgia will discuss the challenges and the future of an industry that currently supports more than 410,000 jobs across the state.  

The Campus to Community Forum is a new series developed by KSU’s Office of Economic Development and Community Engagement to bring together University and industry experts to engage in a dialogue about some of the state’s most pressing topics.

“As Georgia’s economy continues to grow, it is vital to connect what’s happening on our campuses to the communities we serve,” Associate Vice President for Economic Development Tyler Reinagel said. “Innovation and research will continue to change the face of Georgia’s industries, and KSU is well positioned to contribute. The Campus to Community Forums will help us connect that work with partners across sectors and industries.” 

Future discussions include: 

Housing, Nov. 7 – A critical part of the economy, regardless of sector or industry. With rapid growth in Cobb County and metro Atlanta, leaders have had to adapt to unique challenges and work toward long-term regional solutions.

Community Improvement Districts, Feb. 9 – CIDs are a type of business improvement district widely used throughout metro Atlanta. CIDs are voluntary self-taxing districts, with commercial and industrial property owners making additional investments in infrastructure, parks, and transportation.

Small business development, April 25 – Businesses with fewer than 300 employees or less than $30 million in annual revenue in Georgia are a priority in Cobb County, metro Atlanta, and state of Georgia economic development plans. There are many resources available to bridge the research and innovation ecosystem of KSU with the broader economy.

Reinagel said topics for the Campus to Community Forums were selected based on feedback from economic partners throughout metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia. 

The community is invited, free of charge, to view the program via livestream at


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit