It was announced last week that Josh Fenn, the proverbial man behind the curtain at the Development Authority of Bryan County, is leaving his post here and heading for a new job as the head of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce.
The news — for us anyway — is bittersweet. For the last four years, Fenn has been an integral part of the economic development puzzle here in Bryan County as he played a major role in bringing in big industry to the county’s Interstate Centre in Black Creek. He also helped drive home the importance of having an industrial park in the southern end of the county as well as an interstate interchange leading to it. He helped usher a deal between the county and TerraPointe for the planned Belfast Centre — which is also helping gain headway with the planned interchange at I-95 and Belfast Siding Road. Fenn is by no means the only person responsible for these accomplishments in local economic development, but he no doubt has been a leading force for Bryan County.
We will be sad to see him go — not only because of what he has done for Bryan County, but also because he has been a pleasure to work with from a public information standpoint. Fenn always made himself readily available for media requests, and that goes a long way in gaining the public’s trust, which —in addition to making deals with industry and promoting local industrial development — is part of the job as a public figure whose paycheck is funded at least partially by taxpayers.
That willingess to keep the public as informed as possible is a trait we hope Fenn’s predecessor will possess as well.
And in that regard, we offer the county and the Development Authority Board of Directors the best of luck in finding a new executive director. He or she will have big shoes to fill. And likewise, we wish Fenn well in his future endeavors in North Georgia. Hopefully Jackson County knows how lucky they are to have snatched him up.