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Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission Names Jana Wadkins Dyke as Finalist for President/CEO Position

October 20, 2020 > Posted in News, News & Events

Albany, Georgia– The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission has named Jana Wadkins Dyke, a South Georgia native, as the sole finalist to lead the public-private partnership as president and chief executive officer.  The announcement was made today by Cynthia George, chair of the organization, and Dr. Anthony Parker, chair of the search committee.

The EDC board is expected to vote on Dyke’s appointment in early November.  For public authorities with a majority of funding from taxpayer dollars, Georgia law requires a 14-day waiting period between naming a finalist and voting to employ the professional.  Matt Reed, a former board member of the EDC and Owner of Georgia CEO, has been serving as interim president for the past several months.

“The search committee has vetted many candidates over the past month,” commented Dr. Parker who serves as president of Albany Technical College.  “Jana’s successes in her current position, knowledge of economic development in Georgia and communication skills are the key reasons we have chosen her as the finalist.  She has the skill sets we were looking for to move the EDC to a new level.”

Since 2017, Dyke has been leading economic development initiatives for the Waycross-Ware County Development Authority in southeast Georgia.  Prior to her current position, she served as director of Mainstreet and Downtown Development in Sylvester; a realtor for Real Living Realty Advisors in Valdosta; and various roles with the Walton County Chamber of Commerce and Destin Chamber of Commerce, both in Florida.  She started her career in economic development over twenty years ago as vice president of the Lee County Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority in Leesburg.

“South Georgia is home for me,” Dyke said.  “I grew up going to school in Lee County and working in this region.  Now I want to play a role in sustaining the jobs that are already here as well as be a part of the team that builds a foundation for attracting new investments.  The opportunity to lead the organization that serves as the key point of contact for economic development in Albany and Dougherty County is an exciting challenge I look forward to.”

Dyke is a graduate of Columbia Southern University with a Bachelor of Administration and Management degree.  She currently serves as Georgia state director for the Southern Economic Development Council, the oldest and largest regional economic development association for professionals in North America.  Dyke is also a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, Leadership Georgia Class of 2020, Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Steering Committee, board of directors of the Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce, graduate of Leadership Waycross, graduate of The Georgia Academy for Economic Development, and member of the Waycross Rotary Club and Exchange Club of Waycross. 

“Our board has taken a very organized and strategic approach to the executive search process for a new president,” says George, who also serves as chief executive officer of Horizons Community Solutions in Albany. “We wanted to make sure we identified the most qualified professional who had the proficiency and expertise to move the EDC and community forward in terms of economic development.  I certainly believe we have found that person in Jana.

“The EDC board is prepared to retool and refresh our approach to economic development,” according to George.  “Effective communications with the community, and most importantly our funding partners, will be one of the improvements that will be seen in the days and months ahead.  Our strategy for economic development is going to be an extremely competitive, targeted approach to the types of businesses we want in our region and building strong, meaningful relationships with our existing employers.”

Dyke and her husband William, also an Albany native, have two sons.  Harrison is a sophomore and Tucker a sixth grader.  Dyke’s anticipated first day at the EDC is December 1st.

In addition to George, Dr. Parker, and Reed, other members of the search committee included Walter “Sonny” Deriso, Jr., chair of Atlantic Capital Bank; Chris Hatcher, EDC board member and CEO of Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy; Clinton Johnson, EDC board member, Dougherty County Commissioner and Director of Outreach Services for Mt. Olive Community Outreach Center, Inc.;  Farid Kahn, Senior Director Manufacturing at Procter & Gamble; Jeff Sinyard, owner of Adams Exterminators, Inc.; and Chad Warbington, EDC board member, Albany City Commissioner, and owner of Shutters Plus, Inc.

The Chason Group, an executive search firm specializing in economic development, assisted the EDC board and search committee with the process.


About the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.

The EDC is designed to foster new investment and job creation through the recruitment, retention, and expansion of industry in Albany and Dougherty County.  The new professional will be held accountable to the board of directors.  The EDC is funded by the City of Albany, Dougherty County Board of Commissioners and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  The twelve-member board is appointed by the funding partners for staggered terms.