Brian Akin, Chairman
Brian Akin, President/CEO of the North Georgia Credit Union in Toccoa and a current director and Treasurer of the GA Credit Union League Board of Directors. He graduated from North Georgia College & State University with a BBA in Accounting. Brian is a former chairman of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a current director and Chairman of the GA Credit Union Foundation, former member of the GA CUPAC Board of Directors and the GA Credit Union Service Corporation Board of Directors. Brian also serves as the Chairman of the GCUL Outreach Advocacy Committee and is former member of the GCUL Regulatory Response Committee, GCUL Advocacy Policy Committee, GA Corporate FCU Supervisory Committee and GA Central CU ALCO Committee. He also served on the GCUL Finance Task Force in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. In addition, he is a two-time recipient of the Moses C. Davis Professional of the Year Award, 2001 and 2009. Brian and his wife Kelly have two daughters, Tessa (17) and Abby (14).
Jeanette Jamieson, Assistant Chairman
Jeanette Jamieson is the owner and operator of Jamieson Income Tax Services. She receieved an Associate's Degree from North Georgia Technical and Vocational School, as well as a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Georgia. She is a six-year veteran as Stephens County Commissioner and has much experience in local government. In particular, Jeanette receive the "President's Award for Innovative Government" from President George W. Bush due to her role in Rural Development. She served 24 years as an elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives; notable for being the first woman to chair a major committee and first woman in Georgia's history to serve as the Governor's Floor Leader.
Chuck Wright, Treasurer
Chuck Wright, Owner and Operator, Bulldogs Xpress Lube and Carwash. Chuck grew up in Knoxville, TN where he attended the University of Tennessee and received an Associate’s Degree in Science. He also has an Associate’s Degree in Science from West Florida University in Pensacola, FL. Chuck was the Director in Radiology at St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville, TN from 1997-2001. In 2001, Chuck and his wife Karen moved to Toccoa, her hometown, and he transferred to Athens Regional Medical Center where he was the Director in Radiology. Chuck purchased Bullodgs Xpress Lube and Carwash on Big A Road, Toccoa in 2004. Chuck served for 4 years on the Finance Committee for the Tugaloo Baptist Association and served a 4 year term on the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the FCA Board of the Georgia Mountain District. Chuck and Karen have two children.
Debbie Whitlock, Secretary
Debbie Whitlock has an Associate of Arts degree from Truett McConnell College, a Bachelor of Sociology Degree from the University of Georgia and a Juris Doctorate from Florida Coastal School of Law. Debbie opened her law office in 2006. She is currently serving her second County Commission term. Debbie has three children and several grandchildren.
Bill Wheeler, Assistant Secretary
Bill Wheeler received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from The University of Georgia with a concentration in English Literature. There he received annual Certification through Holiday Inn Worldwide MBA program as well as extensive training through the georgia Baptist Convention. Bill is currently the Directof of the Georgia Baptist Conference Center and has been in the hospitality management industry for 40 years. A strong advocate for Toccoa-Stephens County he is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he serves as a board member of the Board of Education in Stephens County, serving from 2016 to 2019 to Distric 2. Bill and his wife Ellen have raised their 3 children in Toccoa-Stephens County and plan to continue to give back to the community.
Tim Martin, Executive Director
Tim Martin began his service as Executive Director to the SCDA in June 2008. He comes to Stephens County with more than 30 years working in community and economic development. Tim also served in the Peace Corps in Bogota, Colombia. Tim earned his Bachelors degree at Florida State University, where he also pursued graduate work. He is a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), and Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). Tim’s leadership roles have included President of the Georgia Economic Developers Association (2000), President of the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (2005), and President of Georgia Technical Colleges Directors Association (2006). He enjoys reading, writing, running, and traveling. Tim and his wife Esther have two married adult children and five grandchildren.
The SCDA is responsible for the recruitment of new businesses including industrial, manufacturing, distribution, corporate and regional headquarters and customer service centers. It also provides support and assistance with all other types of economic development projects.
The SCDA also works with existing businesses and industries to ensure their continued success. While recruitment of new industry is a significant function, aiding in existing industry expansion and retention is just as significant. About 80 percent of all new jobs in Georgia come as a result of existing industry expansion.
Georgia Work Ready
State Tax Credits
Opportunity Zone Tax Credit
Freeport Tax Exemption
Training and Education
Grants & Other Finance Options
Drugs Don't Work
A couple of years ago, the Stephens County Development Authority informed us that we were located in an Opportunity Zone which qualified us for tax credits that were applied to our GA payroll taxes for adding new employees. We were able to realize these savings. We are thankful to our local development authority for making sure that we were taking advantage of all the tax credits available to us.-
From the beginning of our interest in moving to Toccoa-Stephens County, the Stephens County Development Authority made regular trips to our office to make sure we are adjusting to our new home and acclimated to the community resources in Stephens County. They provided a wealth of information on Georgia Business Incentives and tax incentives specific to Stephens County. They introduced us to many connections in Stephens County. We now are well connected with the Department of Labor and attend their monthly meeting and after SCDA's help with some paperwork we have taken advantage of GDOL's Incumbent Worker Program. The Development Authority also shared their long list of local vendors with us and we were able to find our utilities provider, an insurance agent, a computer technician and research local CPAs. Basically, the SCDA is our go to. If we can't figure it out or just need some guidance on an issue we don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call. We definitely appreciate the Stephens County Development Authority's efforts to make Toccoa a great place to do business. They truly make us feel welcome and appreciated in Stephens County!-