Robert Reynolds, formerly Director of the Atlanta Development Authority of Douglas County, was named CEO of the new Economic Development Council of Washington County, Jonesborough, and Washington County and began his position July 1. As director of the program in Atlanta for 17 years Reynolds helped create more than 6,000 jobs and over one billion dollars in economic development investment for the community, and sees many assets and opportunities in Washington County.
“The assets are in place to do some really great things here (in Washington County),” said Reynolds. He was impressed with MSHA, ETSU, the Innovation Lab, high level of Internet infrastructure and the medical economy. “The potential is one of the things that attracted me, because …few communities have all the elements you have here. It creates potential to make some great things happen and I look forward to building on that.”
The newly formed Economic Development Council (about one year old) combines the efforts of four local economic development organizations to maximize impact of: the Economic Development Board, Chamber of Commerce, Johnson City Development Authority and Public Building Authority. The CEO will bring those groups together in ways that benefit them and the region’s economy with greater impact than in the past. His job will be to coordinate the efforts of these groups.
“We were looking for someone with a proven track record in the field of economic development and is a good fit for Washington County and economic entities that make up the council,” said Steve Darden, Johnson City Commissioner and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the new Economic Development Council. “In Reynolds we are enthusiastically optimistic that we found the right person.”
“The new Economic Council draws much of its funding from the private sector and the selection of Reynolds will boost funding commitments which already totals more than $200,000 a year for the next three years,” said Darden.
“I think he will be a good blender of the organizations that will be involved in the economic council and take the lead on private fundraising …..essential to get us to the next level,” said Washington County Commissioner Pat Wolfe.
Reynolds had praise for the accomplishments of the leaders of the organizations covered under the Economic Council. “I hope to help everyone seize the opportunities they’ve laid the groundwork for and accomplish more. ...do a better job of getting the word out about assets I see... and make it easy for prospects to find out about these assets.”
Robert Reynolds and his wife, Diane, have three boys aged 13, 10 and 6 years old. The family is getting settled in their new hometown and learning about…” the outstanding quality of life in this community and that this is a great place to raise a family,” said Darden.