The sole finalist to become the next president of the agency charged with spurring economic growth in Glynn County was announced Monday.
Ryan Moore of Athens is the likely successor to Mel Baxter as president of the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority, according to Paulo Albuquerque, chairman of the authority’s board of governors.
The authority’s president is a full-time, paid position.
Under Georgia law, the authority must give two weeks’ public notice before holding a vote to name Moore president. The vote is set for July 9 at the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce office on Richmond Street in Brunswick.
Moore currently heads the Athens-Clarke County Economic Development Department and has held that position since May 2013.
During his tenure in Athens, Moore helped establish its new economic development department. He increased its budget from $550,000 to $775,000 in a five year period, and participated in efforts to attract more than 750 jobs and $170 million in direct investment, according to his résumé.
Prior to joining the Athens-Clarke County government, Moore was employed as a project manager for the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority from 2006 to 2013. Moore also has experience in real estate.
“I am certainly excited about Ryan,” Baxter, the outgoing authority president, said. “I am excited that someone with his experience is coming, and he’s had some successes, which is what we need to keep things moving here.”
“He has proven economic development results with his work within the coastal area in Effingham County, and was able to successfully create a new department in Athens that’s grown the market there with great results,” Albuquerque said.
Moore also helped create a marketing campaign to attract businesses to Athens, and informed policy makers on potential incentives including tax allocation districts, tax abatement and public-private partnerships.
Moore earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2004 and his Master’s of Legal Studies from the University of Georgia in 2017. Moore and his wife, Heather, have one daughter, Charlotte Grace; a son, Jackson Ryan; and twins “due any day,” Moore said.
“I’m eager and excited to come down that way and be back on the coast, both myself and my family,” Moore said. “I think my experience lends itself to what I’ll be doing for the authority there ... I feel like the biggest thing is the opportunity that exists and the assets the Brunswick area has.”
Baxter announced he would step down in March. He has served as the authority’s president since 2016, and was interim president prior to that. Baxter first joined the authority’s board in 2009 and served two consecutive three-year terms. He previously worked for United Community Bank, where he was market president until his retirement.
After stepping down from the authority, Baxter said he intends to help his wife with her business and potentially work with other organizations in the Golden Isles.
“I’ve actually been talking with folks about doing some different projects,” he said. “I love this area, and this will give me time to get involved in other things that I had to back out of because of being so busy.”
In addition to Baxter’s departure, John Scott, the authority’s project manager, announced Monday his intention to step down. Friday will be Scott’s last day with the authority as he accepts an economic development director position in Jackson County about an hour northwest of Atlanta.
Albuquerque said a search to replace Scott will begin in the coming weeks.
The authority was created in 1963, but existed in a limited capacity until 1975. At that time, it was restructured to aid in the conversion of Naval Air Station Glynco into a publicly accessible airport.
It was reorganized again in 1987 and today is tasked with job creation, expansion and retention in Glynn County. It works to recruit new businesses and foster an attractive climate for economic development.
The authority primarily works to attract businesses in the sectors of aerospace, metal and machinery, food processing and logistics.
The authority is governed by a five-member board that is ultimately selected by the county and city commissions. Board members are limited to serving two consecutive terms.