Executive Director

Joanie Ahlers


Joan recently relocated to Athens from Los Alamos, NM where she was Economic Development Administrator for 3 years. During her tenure in Los Alamos she successfully negotiated more than $80 million in land development deals (including a Marriott Towneplace Suites, 150+ affordable housing units, and several multi-family complexes) and multiple corporate incentive deals that increased jobs by 300+ in high tech start up growth incentives for small businesses.

Joan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional. She is married with 4 children and her parents live locally here in Athens.

Office Manager

Valerie Franklin


Val is the Office Manager for the Athens Economic Development Corporation. Ms. Franklin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisiplinary Studies and has over 10 years of management experience.  She is responsible for office and property management, as well as support services for AEDC’s Director and Board. She is married with three adult children.