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Economic Development Council CEO Reynolds resigning effective Feb. 28

Madison Mathews • Feb 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Washington County Economic Development Council CEO Robert Reynolds will resign from his post later this month, Council Chairman Bobby Jobe announced Tuesday.

“We are grateful for the many accomplishments Robert was able to achieve in a short period of time,” Jobe said in a press release. Reynolds was instrumental in realizing the goal of a more unified approach to economic development in Northeast Tennessee’s fastest-growing county, Jobe added.

Citing family considerations as a key factor in his decision, Reynolds will resign effective Feb. 28. He said he is pleased with the foundation for success the county has seen has since his arrival in 2010 when the Economic Development Council formed, integrating the missions of the Economic Development Board, Johnson City Development Authority and Johnson City Public Building Authority.

“The goal of unifying Washington County’s economic development entities into a single coordinated organization has been largely realized,” Reynolds said in the release.

Reynolds said he and his family will likely move back to the metro Atlanta area. He said Washington County has been a good home over the past two years.

“This is a great community up here. Johnson City and the Economic Development Council has been very kind to me and my family. It’s been a great run. It’s just time for a new chapter in my life and the life of my family, so to speak,” he said.

Reynolds’ announcement comes on the heels of last week’s announcement to create a new tax increment financing, or TIF, district in Boones Creek just off Exit 17 on Interstate 26.

Having both the council and the Johnson City Development Authority sign off on the TIF district was one of the key decisions Reynolds said he wanted to see accomplished before announcing his resignation.

“Getting approval of that was really key before I departed. It was something that I really wanted to have happen. We’ve been working on the project at the council for more than a year,” he said.

Other projects the council has overseen since its formation include the successful expansion and relocation of Johnson City-based Mullican Flooring; successfully brokering a TIF-supported purchase and renovation of the Downtown Centre that paved the way for Northeast State Community College teaching site, which is slated to begin holding classes in the fall; and development and implementation of a new downtown revitalization plan, which includes the renovation of the CC&O Railroad Depot into Asheville, N.C.-based Tupelo Honey Cafe second Tennessee location.

That success and the potential created by a TIF district in Boones Creek are examples of the type of progress led by the council’s work.

“That’s really a shining example of the benefit of having this partnership and umbrella organization where everyone can be on the same page at one time,” Reynolds said. “Not that it couldn’t have happened in the past, but certainly having this organization and everybody together shows what you can really get accomplished when everyone is on the same page.”

With the foundation the council has created in the last two years, Reynolds said he believes the organization will continue to grow and see more success in Washington County and Johnson City.

“We’ve got everybody really together and I think the future is extremely bright based on those accomplishments,” Reynolds said.

Council Executive Vice President Mitch Miller has been selected by the organization’s executive committee to serve as interim CEO, effective March 1.

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