Senior Vice President & Executive Director, Economic Development & Cobb EDGE
Brooks Mathis is Senior the Vice President & Executive Director of Economic Development and Cobb EDGE. The core focus of the Cobb economic development team is to promote existing business growth, provide strategic workforce development solutions, recruit new, fresh and targeted industries to Cobb and market the assets of Cobb County and its six cities to the world. The Cobb EDGE strategy is a new community and economic development partnership, www.cobbedge.com. Brooks manages the efforts of all seven EDGE strategy items, corporate recruitment, retention and expansion and workforce development programs. Since the launch of the EDGE and Chamber partnership, the ED team in Cobb has secured 18,000 jobs and over $3B in new investments. Prior to joining the Chamber, Brooks served as the regional project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, recruiting companies to the state of Georgia. He also worked economic development projects with Electric Cities of Georgia & MEAG Power and the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce. Brooks was selected to participate in LEAD Atlanta and was chosen as one of Georgia Trend’s Top 40 Under 40 and Notable Georgian. Brooks serves as the Vice-Chair of the Cobb Travel & Tourism Board of Directors. A native of Rome, Georgia, Brooks earned a communications degree from Shorter College.
J. Nelson Geter
Director of Existing Industry, and DACC Executive Director
J Nelson Geter serves as the Existing Industry Manager for the Cobb’s Competitive EDGE Project. In this role, Nelson is responsible for identifying issues of concern to existing businesses, the challenges that could lead to closures and reduction of workforce, and to create opportunities that could help support expansions and high –wage jobs creation. Nelson also serves as the Executive Director for the Cobb County Development Authority. Nelson retired from Georgia Power as its Metro East Region Manager after thirty-five years of service. Nelson graduated for Savannah State University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Director of Economic Development
Amanda Blanton is the Research and Operations Manager for the Cobb Chamber Economic Development team and Cobb’s Competitive EDGE. Amanda supports the organization by providing essential information to the Chamber membership as well as prospective companies and existing industries within Cobb County. Additionally, Amanda is working to promote international commerce connectivity to the Cobb business community. Amanda also serves as administrative support for the Development Authority of Cobb County and the EDGE Redevelopment Efforts Seed. Prior to her role at the Chamber, Amanda was the Membership Manager for a premier golf community in Cashiers, North Carolina.
Rob Garcia III
Workforce Development Manager
Rob Garcia joins the economic development team as Workforce Development Manager. In this capacity, Rob will work closely with Cobb businesses and its educational institutions to create workforce development programs to ensure a continued pipeline for growth and success. In addition, Rob will manage the Cobb Workforce Connections Program, coordinate marketing efforts to expand Cobb’s young professional workforce as well as focus on recruitment and retention strategies for both business and universities. He will also partner on existing industry calls to ensure workforce needs are being met. Rob graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Finance and is a native of Cobb County.
Director of International Trade Center, The University of Georgia SBDC
Rick is Director of the International Trade Center of the University of Georgia SBDC. His organization provides one-on–one trade consulting and delivers export training to Georgia’s business community.
Rick has over 30 years of experience in international business in both the public and private sectors. As Regional Director for a food processing equipment manufacturer, he established and developed distribution networks in Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region. The majority of his time was spent visiting markets in these two regions.
Prior to his current position, he served as Assistant Director for International Trade with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his International M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina. Rick is certified as a Global Business Professional (CGBP).