Executive Team

Lisa S. Collins, CEcD, EDFP

Director of Economic Development

Lisa S. Collins, a Georgia native, is the director of economic development for Early County 2055 (EC2055). 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 managed the Advancing Early Initiative 2012 program, a five-year community and economic development plan with specific goals and implementation strategies. By forging public private partnerships, the plan ended December 31, 2012, with all goals met.

Collins now oversees 2020 Vision, the second community and economic development action strategy (eight years), for the 50 year master plan developed by EC2055. This plan sunsets December 31, 2020.

Ms. Collins has over 17 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.

In June 2012, Collins was one of 30 people chosen from across the United States to attend the White House Rural Council's Regional Innovation in Rural America Forum in Washington, D.C. Participants were chosen based on their outstanding efforts to promote economic development strategies, and were invited to share their experiences with significant leadership within the Presidential Administration.

Ms. Collins presently serves on the Executive Committee of the US Highway 27 Association, the Agritourism Committee for Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, the board of the Southwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, the Early County Development Authority, and serves as secretary of the Early County Airport Authority. She is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the Council of Development Finance Agencies,