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Newton Chamber's VP of economic development Bernardi resigns

COVINGTON — After less than a year as the Newton County Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of economic development, Courtney Bernardi resigned on Friday.

Because of her husband’s career change placing him on the northwestern side of Atlanta, Bernardi chose to take a position in Johns Creek as president/CEO of The Johns Creek Advantage.

“The decision to leave Newton County was a very difficult one. With a change in my husband’s career, putting him on the northwestern side of Atlanta and a new baby on the way, the desire to be in close proximity to both of our places of employment and to do what is best for our growing family became paramount,” Bernardi said in a press release.

She was hired in April with an $85,000 salary and given the responsibility of recruiting new industry as well as assisting existing industries with expansions.

Before working with the Newton County Chamber, Bernardi was the director of economic development in Jackson County, where she facilitated the recruitment of nine companies and the expansion of numerous company footprints, resulting in more than $700 million in capital investment and more than 2,500 jobs created.

“Courtney has been a huge asset to our community,”said Hunter Hall, Chamber president. “Since she came on board we have seen the industrial sector continue to grow, and she has only strengthened our relationship with the state Office of Economic Development.”

The chamber is already in search of a replacement but is unsure when the position will be filled.

Hall said as of right now, the county does not have much industrial space available for lease or sale.

“Newton County has continued to see industrial growth and while we still have available zoned raw land, we are extremely under supplied in available, move-in-ready, buildings.” said Hall in a press release.

Hall will be the point of contact with the state of Georgia’s Office of Economic Development. Projects will be handled by James Johnson as the director of Workforce Development, Dave Bernd, as director of Commercial Development and Hall as Chamber president.

“Newton County, with the 2050 Plan in place, our rich history, and incredible quality of life, is perfectly positioned for planned and progressive growth,” Bernardi said.