JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Johns Creek’s economic development corporation – Johns Creek Advantage (JCA) – has named Courtney Bernardi as president and chief executive officer. Bernardi recently departed the Newton County Chamber of Commerce’s Office of Economic Development.
In her new position, Bernardi will implement new business attraction, existing business retention and expansion and small business development programs. She will further develop and maintain collaborative relationships with key allies in the city of Johns Creek, as well as regional and state economic development partners.
Neil Stevens, JCA Board chairman and executive vice president and chief operating officer of KeyWorth Bank, said the JCA’s executive search was comprehensive.
“Under the leadership of Personnel Committee Chair Rees Waite, we conducted an exhaustive search to find the absolute best candidate to lead JCA,” Stevens said. “We were pleased to find a wealth of economic development talent in our state. Courtney emerged from this group, and we couldn’t be happier.
“We are appreciative of the more than 50 investors in the JCA fundraising campaign that made this all possible,” Stevens said.
Craig McCoy, JCA immediate past chairman and CEO of Emory Johns Creek Hospital, said the choice was a popular one.
“We were impressed from the start with Courtney’s detailed knowledge of the economic development process and players, and her ability to connect with JCA board members representing a variety of industries. She clearly knows her stuff. We are excited to have her on board,” McCoy said.
In Newton County, Bernardi led new industry recruitment and assisted with the creation of a countywide retail development strategy. Previously, she served as the director of economic development for the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce.
She facilitated the recruitment of nine companies and numerous existing business expansions resulting in more than more than 2,500 new jobs and $700 million in capital investment.
Bernardi spent five years in a variety of positions with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. She is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, holds a bachelor’s degree from Presbyterian College and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Kennesaw State University.
In the coming months, Bernardi and her team at JCA will ramp up JCA’s economic development program with primary goals of growing businesses and jobs in Johns Creek, stimulating capital investment and sustaining the outstanding quality of life enjoyed by Johns Creek residents.