Lisa S. Collins, a Georgia native, is the director of economic development for Early County 2055. As the leader of EC2055’s team, she is directing the execution of a 50 year comprehensive economic development master plan for Blakely and Early County Georgia – a plan focused on preserving the area’s historical foundation and revitalizing the economy. She also oversees the Advancing Early Initiative 2012 program, a five-year public-private economic development plan with specific goals and implementation strategies.
Ms. Collins has over 16 years of experience in community and economic development. Before coming to Early County, she was the president and chief executive officer of UPtown Columbus, Inc., a non-profit organization in Columbus, GA, where she facilitated the economic revitalization initiatives throughout the city’s central business district, riverfront, and overall uptown area. Prior to UPtown Columbus, Ms. Collins was senior vice president of governmental affairs and transportation at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, working closely with governmental, business and community leaders on issues affecting the economic development and quality of life in the region.
In 2009, Ms. Collins earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth. She joined approximately 1,100 CEcDs in the United States.
In 2010, she earned the designation of Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) from the National Development Council (NDC), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of economic development finance skills and deal structuring techniques that translate development opportunities into results for the community.
Ms. Collins presently serves on the executive committee of the US Highway 27 Association, the agri-tourism committee for Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, the board of the Southwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, the Early County Development Authority, the City of Blakely Development Authority, and serves as secretary of the Early County Airport Authority. She is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the Southern Economic Development Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ms. Collins is also a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association and, under the Professional Development Committee, is assisting in the reorganization of a CEcD study group which involves a hybrid approach of on-site instruction, small group facilitation and CEcD mentorship.