Anna Chafin, CEO of the Development Authority of Bryan County, was named chair of the Georgia Economic Developers Association at the group’s annual conference in Savannah last week.
“It’s an honor and a privilege and really helps in my role with Bryan County,” Chafin said. “There are a lot of opportunities to network with peers and get to know the top-level leadership at the state level.”
Derrick Smith, chairman of the DABC, agreed.
“The state is the driving force when it comes to economic development, so it makes sense having Anna in the mix to get that front-line information,” he said. “It’s a good thing for Bryan County.”
Chafin, who began her role with Bryan County in November 2013, has been involved with GEDA for several years, starting out as a committee chair and then serving two terms on its board of directors.
She was then asked by the nominating committee to become an officer, which is a multi-year commitment that begins with a term as secretary/treasurer. From there she moved to second vice chair, then first vice chair and will serve as chair in 2017. Each position lasts one year. Chafin will be past chair in 2018 and then nominating committee chair in 2019.
“We have about 700 members, mostly economic development practitioners at the state, regional and local level,” she said. “But membership also includes architects, engineers and developers.”
Chafin said the group provides a good platform to network and gain professional development.
“We’re all working for the common good to grow jobs and get investment while also individually working in our roles,” she said. “It helps to keep up with best practices and help shape public policy.”
Chafin, a graduate of Mercer University, came to Bryan County after several years with the Liberty County Development Authority. She is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Leadership Bryan, Leadership Southeast Georgia and Leadership Georgia. She was appointed in 2015 by Gov. Nathan Deal as a board member to the Georgia Student Finance Commission.