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ACC Has a New Head of Economic Development

Athens-Clarke County has hired the first director of its new in-house economic development department (which replaces the independent but government-funded Economic Development Foundation), officials announced today.

The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government announces that Ryan Moore has been named as the Director of the new Economic Development Department by Manager Alan Reddish. Moore has served as the Project Manager for the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) since 2006.

In this position, Moore played an integral role in attracting over 600 jobs and over $175 million of direct community investment while managing the planning and engineering of over 4300 acres of industrial property. His job responsibilities included responding to all requests received from industries seeking information about possible locations in Effingham County and creating proposed incentive packages for prospective new industries. Moore also has experience in negotiating with international firms to encourage them to create industrial operations in the region, including most recently the building of a Portuguese manufacturing operation’s first United States plant.

Moore manages the annual $4.5 million IDA budget, most of which is used to cover debt and operating costs of the industrial property owned by the IDA. The main operating budget for the IDA is approximately $750,000.

Moore is experienced in negotiating intergovernmental agreements, working with elected officials, interacting with community economic development leadership, and working with state economic development project managers.

Prior to his work for Effingham County, Moore was a partner in a private business that sold commercial and residential properties in his hometown of Savannah. He has a B.A. in Economics from Armstrong Atlantic State University and is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP).

Moore will assume his new duties for Athens-Clarke County beginning May 13.

A few thoughts:

1. Effingham County? Really?

2. So much for EDF board members’ contention that a qualified economic development professional would never come to work for a local government at a government salary.

3. Let’s hope ACC commissioners and other officials do more than pay lip service to expanding other sectors of our local economy—especially small businesses and the arts—and not just factories.