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Sears to leave Economic Development Council
Glenn Sears

Glenn Sears, executive director of the Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council, announced he will be retiring after more than five years in the position. His last day will be Dec. 31.

This will be the third retirement for Sears, who retired as the southeast regional manager for John Deere in 2001 after nearly 30 years and then served as county commissioner from 2002-2006. He began with CREDC, an economic development and recruitment agency for the city and county, in July 2007 for what he thought would be a short transitional period.

"It's just time," said Sears, who turns 68 on Dec. 15. He said it wasn't an easy decision. "It's time to do it before time runs out. I feel good. I want to do a whole lot of things." He said he and his wife Marie wanted to travel the United States and spend time with their grandchilden. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and water sports.

Rockdale County Development Authority Chairman Mike Sullivan, who counts Sears as a good friend, said "He's done a great job," said Sullivan. "He has good leadership skills. He has a lot of common sense. He is an expert on the educational and training part of economic development. He's as good as they get. We're going to miss that."

Conyers Mayor Randy Mills, who chairs the Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council, said "He's going to be sorely missed. He did an incredible job. He was the second in that position. He was able to navigate the governments becuse he had that experience," in both government and industry.

Gina Hartsell, CREDC coordinator since 2004, said "I think we've done some really great things in the 5.5 years we've been working together. 'We will miss him' is an understatement."

During Sears' time at CREDC, the Conyers-Rockdale area became Work Ready certified, become a Camera Ready community for the film industry, and saw the retention and expansion of local industries such as Hillphoenix, the recruitment of cardboard manufacturer Corrugated Supplies, and several deals in the works for manufacturers looking to move to the former John Deere facilities and the 92 acres next to it.

Sears was the second executive director for CREDC, after retired Bank of America executive Mike Lott. CREDC was formed in 2004 and Sears was actively involved in shaping it as a county commissioner, said Hartsell.

A search committee composed of CREDC members Mills, County Chairman Richard Oden, Mike Sullivan, and city council member Vince Evans, who also serves on the Downtown Development Authority, will be formed, said Mills. After the search process, the selected name will be sent to the County Board of Commissioners and City Council.

"We've got to define what we're looking for," said Mills. "This person has to be able to work with boh governments, understand business development, industry development, recruiting."