SCDA Leadership


Board of Directors

Brian Akin, Chairman

Brian Akin, SecretaryBrian 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).

David Austin, Vice Chairman

After a 40 year career in radio and television broadcasting he retired in 2011. He attended Toccoa Falls College receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 2009. From 1996 to 2000 he was a member of the Toccoa Planning Commission and served as its chairman. He was elected to the Toccoa City Commission in 1999 and is serving his fourth term.

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.

Michelle Ivester, Secretary

Michelle Ivester is a native of Stephens County.   She obtained her B.A. degree and her M.B.A at Piedmont College. She is a Real Estate Broker for Talan Properties, a local real estate firm.  She has served on numerous boards within the county such as Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Upstate Lakes Board of Realtors, Board of Elections, and Concerned Citizens of Stephens County.  Michelle is also a graduate of the Georgia Economic Development Academy.  She is a Rotarian with the Toccoa Chapter.  Michelle is a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church and has one child, Talan Grafton.   

Bill Wheeler, Assistant Secretary

Stacy MillerBill 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.



SCDA Staff

Tim Martin, Executive Director

Tim Martin, Executive DirectorTim 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.


Elizabeth Jones, Administrative Assistant

Elizabeth Jones joined the SCDA team in May 2017. She previously worked at the University of Georgia in the Information Technology department where she ran the mainframe and web applications. Elizabeth earned her Bachelor's of Business Administration in Information Systems from the Michael J. Cole's College of Business at Kennesaw State University. Her and her husband live in the community and are involved in the Chamber of Commerce and local business leadership. She enjoys pursuing her passions in web development and graphic design when she is not working.



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.

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31 W. Doyle Street, Toccoa GA 30577
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