New Bryan County Development Authority Chairman Sean Register makes a living as a ship operator, chartering ships to the Caribbean.
He said his goal now is to keep the development authority sailing on the same course charted by his predecessor.
"My agenda is to continue the work we’ve already started and perfect on it to keep expansion going," he said. "We are basically following through with the planned industrial growth of Bryan County."
Register, who has been a member of the development authority since 1999, takes over from longtime chairman Frank Dubose.
Dubose declined to seek another term and gave up the seat for good Thursday, citing a desire to pursue other interests.
He will remain on the authority.
"Frank has done a wonderful job," Register said. "His shoes are going to be hard to fill. I’m glad he’s staying on the board. He will give a lot of good and valuable advice."
Dubose’ tenure as chairman began in October 1998 and he helped guide the formation of a unified development authority while overseeing gains in land and jobs.As part of its Interstate Centre park in Black Creek, the authority has acquired more than 1,000 acres -- including 500 of which are being developed as Interstate Centre Ii in partnership with Technology Park of Atlanta.
The authority also has brought in more than 200 jobs with the location of Oracal, Oneida and a Kawaski warehouse at Interstate Centre I. But getting to this point took some work, Dubose said.
"It’s been a challenging experience," he said, "convincing elected officials this is the way we should go."
Dubose said local leaders were first skeptical about the prospects of an industrial park, so much so that two development authority members borrowed the money to buy the first tract of land despite the personal financial risk.
"We knew it was a good plan and we knew we had something here," Dubose said. "I can't take the credit. It just so happens I was on board at the time all this happened."
Development Authority Executive Director Jean Bacon credited Dubose for being able to see down the road and follow his instincts.
"Frank has the gift of vision and not many people have that gift," she said. "He also has the perservereance to follow through and the drive to make it happen. These people are rare. We’ve made great progress under his leadership."
Dubose said he’s leaving the chairmanship in good hands with Register, who in turn said the authority is one of the best boards he’s worked on.
"We’ve got poeple who donate their time and effort and really care about Bryan County and the direction it’s going in," he said. "Our thing is to bring jobs to Bryan County. Not only for current residents, but for ones in the future."
The authority appointed Dell Keith as vice chairman and Ted Akins as secretary treasurer.Keith is president of Bryan Bank and Trust. Akins is a realtor.