About The Golden Isles Development Authority2020-07-23T16:24:41-05:00

Golden Isles Development Authority Mission, Staff, and History

The Golden Isles Development Authority (Development Authority) is the organization that is responsible for the creation of jobs and investment in Glynn County by supporting the attraction, retention, and expansion of businesses.


The Development Authority promotes Brunswick & Glynn County as the best location for our targeted businesses to relocate too. To remain competitive, we focus on developing regionals assets such as industrial parks and educational infrastructure and tailor incentive packages to attract new business and investment to the area.  VIEW PROPERTIES .

Retention & Expansion

The Coastal BEST (Business Expansion Support Team) support our local businesses to help them thrive in Brunswick & Glynn County. Members of the Coastal BEST make two visits a year to each industry. These visits are imperative in identifying challenges and opportunities for the local business community. Coastal BEST works with these businesses to connect them to local and state resources, or developing initiatives for the sustainability and growth of our region.

Growth is the natural result of increased demand and requires prompt attention to meet that demand. The Development Authority works closely with existing industries and often assists with locating/securing financing, workforce training/hiring, developing utility infrastructure, or any number of other projects. VIEW RETENTION AND EXPANSION SERVICES PAGE.


Golden Isles Development Authority Staff

Ryan Moore, President and CEO

office: 912-265-6629

Ryan Moore is a native of Savannah and has a 15-year career in Economic Development and Real Estate. Ryan is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional, has an Economics Degree from Armstrong Atlantic State University, and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. In his role at the Brunswick & Glynn County Development Authority, he is responsible for growing existing industry, attracting new investment, and ensuring a productive workforce.

Ryan and his wife Heather have four young children and reside in Glynn County.

Sherri Pruitt, Business Retention and Expansion Coordinator

office: 912-223-3464

Sherri is the Existing Industry Coordinator at the Development Authority and is in charge of assisting with the existing industries and companies/prospects who are locating in the Golden Isles. Sherri Pruitt is a tremendous asset to the Development Authority and started in the administrative and coordinator field over 25 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sherri and her husband Irby have one daughter and reside in Glynn County.  Sherri also volunteers with MAP International and is a member of the Rotary Club of Golden Isles-Glynn County.

Vanessa Wagner, Director of Business Development & Strategic Programs

cell: 703-999-0470

Vanessa is the Director of Business Development at the Development Authority. She is in charge of communicating the unique advantages of locating in the Golden Isles and building strong partner relationships. She brings to the organization more than ten years of marketing and program development experience with economic development, small business, and international organizations.

Vanessa and her husband Evan are native to Buffalo, New York and currently reside in Brunswick. They are both avid outdoor enthusiasts and have enjoyed spending time exploring the waterways, trails, and beaches that are unique to the Golden Isles. Vanessa also volunteers with Glynn County Animal Services and serves on the Board of STAR Foundation.

Joan Hearn, Financial Consultant

office: 912-265-6629

Joan is the Financial Consultant for the Development Authority and supports our incentive programs, property transactions, and the compliance and financial management for our offices. She brings to the organization 26 years of financial accounting experience with both private and public institutions. Joan earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics and Business from Queens College in Charlotte, NC (now Queens University). She received her CPA certification in 1990.

Joan fell in love with the Golden Isles and made it her home over 12 years ago. She is the proud mother of two sons who reside in North Carolina. She is an avid sports fan and has a soft spot for homeless animals.

Mission and History of the Development Authority


The Development Authority is the organization that is tasked with the creation of jobs and investment in Glynn County through the retention, expansion, and attraction of business and industry. Our mission is to ensure that Brunswick and Glynn County have a strong business climate that encourages the growth of existing industries and is an attractive location for prospective businesses.

Mission Statement of the Golden Isles Development Authority

Promote economic prosperity for Brunswick and Glynn County by assisting retention and expansion of existing industries, securing new diversified industry locations, and creating jobs opportunities and investments.”

In addition to working with prospective and existing businesses, the Development Authority serves as a catalyst for economic growth and stability for the area. The Development Authority works to identify opportunities and challenges that will affect the area’s economy – both the long and short term. The Development Authority has a unique position as a ‘middle man’ and can bring a variety of organizations together to tackle even the most complex challenges to economic growth. For example, the Development Authority was a vital player in projects that have a major impact on the local economy such as the Golden Isles Career Academy, Coastal Pines Technical College, Brunswick – Golden Isles Airport ramp expansions, Gulfstream hangar expansion, Port of Brunswick…the list goes on.

Organizational Core Values

  • We are dynamic, adaptable generalists. We value and respect each other’s time in and out of the office. We collaborate where possible but lead when necessary.
  • We hold ourselves accountable – good, or bad. We do not pass the buck.
  • We are bold. We act decisively and are willing to fail fast and move on. We believe none of us is as smart as all of us.
  • We listen. We seek opportunities and provide solutions by treating our customers like the individuals they are. We are stronger when we actively encourage all members of our community to contribute. We foster open-mindedness, compassion, and inclusion among the various groups we support.


The Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority (Development Authority) was created in 1963 as an amendment to Georgia’s State Constitution.  As such, the Development Authority is a “Constitutional Authority” and has the ability to issue bonds and own property. Having these abilities is a huge advantage for recruiting industries to the Golden Isles.

Initially, the Development Authority only existed on paper and was a tool community leaders could use to further economic development in Glynn County. In 1975, the Development Authority was successfully used for the repurposing of the Glynco Naval Base into a publicly accessible airport and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

In 1987, it was apparent that the Development Authority needed to take a life of its own and was officially organized.

In November of 2019 the Board of Governors voted to market the work of the Authority as The Golden Isles Development Authority. This change is a component of their rebrand and commitment to aligning their message with the customers that they serve.