Sherri Skeeters


AEDC’s Denton has served the Athens community well

ATHENS, TX: Athens Economic Development Corporation’s executive director, Lisa Denton, has announced her resignation after having served the Athens community for five years.

“It is with great sadness that I accept Lisa Denton’s resignation,” Jeaneane Lilly, AEDC board president said. “Lisa has been a wonderful asset to the Athens community and the AEDC board is very proud of her achievements.”

Denton was hired as AEDC’s executive director in January 2015, replacing Brian Malone.

Former AEDC board president Jess Laird said, “I was on the board when we hired Lisa. She came to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience, having served more than 10 years in economic development with Kilgore EDC. Lisa has accomplished many great things during her time in Athens. She was a perfect fit here, and her leaving will be a huge loss to our community.”

During Denton’s tenure with AEDC, Athens has benefited from 10 project wins generating an economic impact of $834 million to the local economy, over a 10-year period. Those ten project wins consist of eight Type A primary employer projects, Clayton Homes, HVAC Manufacturing, FutureMatrix Interventional, Extreme Engineering, Athens Screen Printing, Steritec, Biomerics FMI, and two Type B projects, Country Place and Advanced Rehabilitation & Healthcare of Athens. The combined projects have created 533 new jobs, retained 876 jobs and will add more than $34 million to the tax rolls in real and personal property.

Denton successfully worked with new industries that relocated or expanded their operations to Athens, such as Clayton Homes, HVAC Manufacturing and Biomerics FMI. Denton was just as successful working with existing companies to grow their business, for instance Steritec, Extreme Engineering and Athens Screen Printing, keeping jobs and investments in the Athens community.

In addition to the projects listed above, programs such as the Business Assistance Grant and the Community Development Grant program have resulted in more than $1.4 million in capital improvements in community development projects since 2015.

AEDC’s most notable accomplishments, under Denton’s leadership, were the Biomerics FMI project and getting the Freeport tax exemption passed, which both won international awards.

Denton’s diligent work in economic development has earned AEDC international and state recognition, receiving a total of 10 awards and merit recognitions.

AEDC won the Business Retention and Expansion International Award of Excellence two consecutive years, most recently for the Biomerics FMI project. In addition to receiving BREI’s Award of Excellence last year, AEDC brought home the overall Impact Award for the Freeport tax exemption project. AEDC has been recognized on a state level by Texas Economic Development Council receiving the Economic Excellence Award for four consecutive years, in addition to AEDC being recognized for its efforts in workforce development. During Denton’s tenure, AEDC received the prestigious Community Economic Development Award by Texas Economic Development Council and Southern Economic Development Council for communities with a population of 5,001 to 15,000.

Denton has represented Athens in various capacities serving as president of the I-20 Corridor Marketing Association and secretary of the Northeast Texas Economic Alliance Marketing Association. She is also a board member of Texas Economic Development Council and serves on TEDC’s Workforce Committee, along with serving on the board of the East Texas Regional Development Company and North East Texas Economic Development District.

“I truly appreciate the opportunities offered to me in serving the Athens community with AEDC,” Denton said. “The board members I have had the pleasure of working for are second to none, and each has played a part in my growth in the profession. I do believe, as a team, we have improved the organization and achieved many successes. I do hope the strides we have made in all our focus areas will be built on and continued to the benefit of our industries and the community.”      

“We will miss the leadership and expertise Lisa has demonstrated during her tenure with AEDC,” John Trent, AEDC board vice president said. “She has demonstrated competence and a dedication which was over and above what was required of her. Lisa has shown a capacity to resolve issues which inevitably arise in the EDC world and that talent will be difficult to replace.” 

Denton’s last day will be July 5.