Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The move by the Athens-Clarke Economic Development Foundation to hire Matt Forshee is a great decision. Matt is young, energetic, and understands both Athens and Oconee. He has established relationships around the state and locally, and his background in land planning will also give him insights into the broader goals of each county.
I first got to know Matt as a member of the planning commission in Oconee County. He was planning director in Oconee County during the boom years of the early- and mid-2000s. He has always been action oriented, and was not afraid to take an unpopular stand, even under pressure from developers.
As Oconee's economic development director for a short time, he moved quickly on marketing and other initiatives, but before he could really get his feet wet he was recruited away by Fayette County to run the Fayette County Development Authority, where he has had tremendous success. Fayette County is the home of Peachtree City and has also recruited a lot of technology businesses and clean industry, which are similar to the type of companies Athens-Clarke is seeking.
Matt has had nothing but success in Fayette County, and his move also allowed him to deepen relationships with key recruiters and industries in Georgia. We are fortunate that he is coming back to help Athens and the region improve its recruiting efforts.
Best of luck to Matt Forshee!