By David Pendered
The Atlanta BeltLine has created the position of director of economic development and filled it with a former director of the Savannah Economic Development Authority. Terms were not disclosed.
Jerald Mitchell is to devise and implement a strategy for economic development around the BeltLine, according to a statement the BeltLine released Thursday.
Mitchell’s hiring was announced 11 weeks after Mayor Kasim Reed announced he intends to develop the BeltLine as a public private partership. Reed said he is looking for an investor to put in $3 billion to $4 billion, nearly double the 2005 estimate of the BeltLine’s development costs.
In the statement announcing Mitchell’s hiring, BeltLine CEO Paul Morris said:
- “Jerald is an outstanding addition to our team who brings great knowledge, expertise and relationships that will help the Atlanta BeltLine attract and create more jobs. His knowledge of the state and the region will help us become more proactive in our efforts to stimulate economic activity around the more than 45 neighborhoods of the Atlanta BeltLine.”
The statement did not include a comment from Mitchell.
According to his profile on linkedin.com, Mitchell has worked in Savannah since 1998, the year before he was graduated with a bachelor of economics degree from Armstrong State University. Mitchell earned an executive MBA degree in international business from Georgia Tech in 2011.
In a story that appeared Jan. 13 in businessinsavannah.com, Mitchell, 38, was profiled in the “Generation Next” column and said his top three accomplishments have been:
- Helping to attract more than 1,000 jobs and nearly $1 billion in investment;
- Rolling out a digital product for the Savannah market while in the telecom industry;
- Participating with a task force that created a poverty initiative, and the Greater Savannah International Alliance.
The story was in the format of a question/answer report and this is the first entry:
“Q: As a proven local leader, please share your vision of Savannah’s future. What growth or challenge do you foresee?
“A: A 2014 challenge and opportunity will be continuing to move toward collaboration in all sectors of our economy. We have a robust and thriving established industry component, and we have to continue, as a community, the good work of putting small business, entrepreneurism and the growth of capital on parallel paths.”
Mitchell began his career as a process engineer with Comcast in 1998 and rose to the position of area marketing manager, according to the linkedin.com profile.
Mitchell took a job in 2008 with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. He served a year as a regional project manager in charge of development in 18 counties along the coast and in southeast Georgia.
Mitchell moved in 2009 to the Coastal Regional Commission, a counterpart to the Atlanta Regional Commission, which serves 10 counties along the Georgia coast. He served there a year as director of economic development.
In 2010, Mitchell took a job with the Savannah Economic Development Authority. In 2012, Mitchell was named director of innovation, according to the linkedin.com profile.