During its July 5, 2022 meeting, the Mauldin City Council appointed J.R. Charles to serve as the City’s Community Development Director. Charles replaces former Community Development Director Van Broad, who retired earlier this year. Charles is responsible for collaborating with City officials and businesses to attract and retain economic investment opportunities that will benefit the greater community.
“J.R. has developed the skills and leadership to create and run an effective economic development plan,” said Economic Planning and Development Chair Taft Matney. “Mauldin’s economic development opportunities continue expanding, and we are excited for J.R. to play a pivotal role in the next phases of that growth.”
Charles comes to the City with 13 years of economic development experience. In his most recent role, he served as vice president of economic development for Carroll Tomorrow (Carrollton, Ga.) where he successfully serviced a $152 million investment and 700 new or retained jobs representing $24.5 million in payroll. Additionally, he has worked for the Oconee County Commission as director of economic development, Habersham County Development Authority as executive director, and Upson County Industrial Development Authority as executive director.
“I’m very excited to serve the residents of Mauldin,” said Charles. “The Mayor and City Council have bold ambitions for the City as it sees thousands of new residents come to call it home. I’m eager to work with the City’s leaders to build a premier community in the Upstate.”
Charles earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. He is a graduate of the Georgia Academy of Economic Development and has completed professional coursework from the International Economic Development Council. He has served in numerous leadership capacities: Chair of the Northeast Georgia Joint Development Authority, University of Georgia’s Innovation Gateway Incubator advisory board, and Board of Directors for the Georgia Economic Developers Association.
“I am impressed with J.R’s experience and his passion for helping cities reach their potential for economic development,” said City of Mauldin Mayor Terry Merritt. “He is going to be a great asset to help us grow thoughtfully and have an even brighter future.”
Charles and his wife, Emily, are new residents of Greenville County. In their free time, they enjoy gardening, vacationing at the beach, exploring the area with their two young children, and cheering on their favorite college football teams.